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Crohn's Disease Forum » General IBD Discussion » Crohn's at school and work


03-07-2016, 04:31 PM   #1
GotCrohns
 
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Crohn's at school and work

Hi All,

I keep reading stories or comments where people with Crohn's & Colitis feel they have been treated differently at school or work. I had an aweful workplace experience in which I felt bullied and discriminated against. I was very sick at the time and my coping ability was severely diminished. It's easy to feel victimized and blame others but I'd rather use my experience to help the Community and cause positive change.

I would love to hear about other experiences in this area.
1) Have you ever felt bullied or discriminated against at school, work or in other situations?
2) Did you fear reprisal for speaking up or speaking out?
3) Do you have any thoughts on how school or work can be made safer places for people with Crohn's and Colitis?

Thanks for sharing.
03-07-2016, 05:53 PM   #2
ronroush7
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Make people more educated.
03-07-2016, 06:11 PM   #3
EvieBaby
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The place I worked with when I was first diagnosed were awful. They didn't even try to understand what was wrong and when I got sent to hospital my boss was really horrible.

Luckily now I work for a wonderful employer who is extremely understanding and appreciates my difficulties. It's bad enough dealing with an embarrassing illness without having someone who thinks you're making it up. If I was going to make up an illness it wouldn't be one where I end up having accidents!

03-07-2016, 06:16 PM   #4
ronroush7
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The place I worked with when I was first diagnosed were awful. They didn't even try to understand what was wrong and when I got sent to hospital my boss was really horrible.

Luckily now I work for a wonderful employer who is extremely understanding and appreciates my difficulties. It's bad enough dealing with an embarrassing illness without having someone who thinks you're making it up. If I was going to make up an illness it wouldn't be one where I end up having accidents!
Agree

03-07-2016, 06:46 PM   #5
Tubes
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I've got a couple in 95 I was in 7th grade when I 1st came down with Crohn's I missed so much school that year.I was hospitalized for about a month and a half and then spent another month at home before returning back to school,I was on a ton of prednisone and was 65lbs the last time anybody saw me and now I was 175lbs so my doctors told me let every at school know what was going on telling me that everybody will be understanding well they've weren't and the occasional comment behind my back became nasty comments to my face and more then a few bullies started fights which went poorly for them cause while I don't consider myself a tough guy that was a really sad time in my life and that was kinda of a release of that stress and anger.

In 2002 I started a new job and they were great in the beginning I let everybody that needed to know my condition but I'd get sick and miss 6 month sometimes a year.Well in late 2003 I got a flare that put me in the hospital for 12/26/03 to 1/31/04 I was out of the hospital for one day and then I got rushed to the ER the next day I had toxic mega colon 3 surgeries later in December I went back to work I couldn't lift anything over 10lbs and it took all my energy just to get my work done well my supervisor and Boss would make comments regularly about me being lazy and faking my illness because I couldn't do the stuff I once did.Due to hospital bills and meds I continued working there but after a few months I quit because the stress of working there was taking its toll on my health.
03-07-2016, 06:52 PM   #6
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I've since graduated, but my past principal was completely understanding as we're all my teachers, we devised a system where I would only go to my morning classes and if I chose to I could attend my afternoon ones, the teachers for my afternoon classes basically just gave me my work and told me what to do and I did it as soon as I could, they weren't stricked about deadlines and were always willing to help me without judgment. The classes I had attended I didn't have to publicly asked to leave for the washroom I was permitted to do so whenever I needed too, my classmates understood entirely too, I looked like hell, was very pale and very skinny and liked like I hadn't slept in weeks so they were always supportive. However there was this one teacher who I had said I wouldn't be in tomorrow due to a iron transfusion or something and she said oh your always in the hospital, it doesn't sound rude but the tone and context it got said in wasnt appropriate whatsoever
03-08-2016, 03:14 PM   #7
hcrum87hc
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My boss and coworkers have been very understanding. I had only been working here for about three months when I went to the ER from a blockage caused by a stricture. I was there for 6 days and officially diagnosed at that time. As I went to the ER on a Sunday evening, I remained in contact with my boss all throughout the week. She stressed getting better and not worrying about work.

I also have several coworkers with relatives with CD, who have already conditioned the office and educated them somewhat about the disease. When I contemplated having surgery back in December, I didn't have enough sick leave saved up. I had numerous people offering to donate their sick leave to me. I decided to postpone the surgery for a bit, but I know when it's time, I won't have any issue getting time off or feeling rushed to get back to work.
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Blessed is he who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. Jeremiah 17:7.

Officially diagnosed with Crohn's Disease in June, 2014 2 weeks before 27th birthday after ER visit due to partial blockage (stricture).

Current Meds:
Humira-40 mg every other week
Imuran-150 mg/day

Surgeries: Ileocecectomy 7/13/16 removed 60cm of small intestines.

Status: All inflamed and strictured intestines removed. All remaining intestines are currently healthy.
03-08-2016, 03:24 PM   #8
ronroush7
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My boss and coworkers have been very understanding. I had only been working here for about three months when I went to the ER from a blockage caused by a stricture. I was there for 6 days and officially diagnosed at that time. As I went to the ER on a Sunday evening, I remained in contact with my boss all throughout the week. She stressed getting better and not worrying about work.

I also have several coworkers with relatives with CD, who have already conditioned the office and educated them somewhat about the disease. When I contemplated having surgery back in December, I didn't have enough sick leave saved up. I had numerous people offering to donate their sick leave to me. I decided to postpone the surgery for a bit, but I know when it's time, I won't have any issue getting time off or feeling rushed to get back to work.
That is great

03-08-2016, 08:07 PM   #9
Tommy21bn
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Hi

I had a terrible time at school because of undiagnosed Crohns. I ended up leaving without any GCSEs and suffering from serious depression due to the pressure I was being put under. I sensed that everyone thought I was faking it and I was just a nuisance. It was a terrible time for me.

In the world of work I have received far better treatment by my co-workers and mangers. They have been on the whole incredibly supportive. In the last 20yrs that I have been at work there has only been one incidence in which a manager has informed me that they wouldn't have employed me had they known I had an ileostomy. This was a considerable knock back at the time particularly as I was recovering from surgery as well.

I will say that there has been a considerable improvement and understanding of IBD and bags/ileo-anal pouches in the last 20 years. From never talking about it we have gone to having coffee and cake sales supporting various charities.
03-08-2016, 11:34 PM   #10
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I'm self employed. I'm a musician and if I don't work, I don't get paid. I've had Crohns since I was 6 and I've learned to navigate as much of life as possible. I don't tell people I have Crohns. It's no ones business. If I get sick, I will be honest that I have Crohns but I down play every thing. I was in the hospital last week for 4 days and had surgery. I made it to work the day after I got out. I told people that knew me that my Crohns had acted up and I had a minor surgery. That's it. It's no ones business. Just because someone has spent a month in the hospital doesn't guarantee that it will happen again. It could but deal with it when it happens.
I try to get wherever iM playing early enough to find the bathroom and use it before I start playing. I'm fortunate to play with a lot of friends and I may not always play my best but I do my best not to let anyone know how much I'm hurting.
BTW, for someone to say something as cruel as they did about having an ileostomy is against the law (at least in the U.S.). Your health is not N employers business and you shouldn't let them know any more than is necessary.


03-09-2016, 03:07 AM   #11
fuzzy butterfly
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Hi yep. I have had people at work thinking i was making it up. When i first got dxd some "friends"from work came to visit me in hospital. I also had got ecoli at that time. Im convinced that at least one of them was a company "spy" just sent to check i was in hospital. Btw i looked like shite at this point. Even when i went back to work still didnt feel believe. It seemed that only when i ended up having surgery they believed me. Didnt make them any more considerate tho.
I changed jobs last sept. Told them i had crohns ,2 operations and was doing really well. Got the job anyway. Not had to test their understanding yet but i feel it will be much better than the last place,going of people there that have.
Best wishes to you all. 💕💕
03-16-2016, 01:51 AM   #12
tots
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Can we change the bullying/discrimination- allow ourselves to have our own back if that makes sense! Do be appolgetinc about your disease and your needs. So much easier said than done. I just am learning if you feel confident about your needs, it pays often more than not.


Lauren
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03-16-2016, 08:38 AM   #13
Cat-a-Tonic
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I'm really fortunate and apparently in the minority here - I have a super understanding boss and co-workers. I work in a small department (there's 4 of us in the office and 2 more out in the field) and all of us in my department have chronic health issues. So we just support each other and nobody questions it when someone calls in sick - we all know that when someone with chronic health issues calls in sick, it's not because they're lazy or faking or just want a day off, it's because they're legitimately very ill. My co-workers know when I'm struggling and I know when they're struggling, we all support each other.

And even outside of my little department, everyone else at work has been super understanding and supportive as well and I've even found a few people at work who have been affected by IBD. I have a colleague who has UC, and one of the managers told me that her brother passed away from UC complications (I was having a rough tummy day recently and she gave me a big hug and that was when she told me about her brother), so yeah, everyone at work has been wonderful.
03-16-2016, 09:20 AM   #14
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I am from a developing country and as yet undiagnosed. I am a full-time research scholar in a ranked institute. The only way I know is to go out and perform. I was within the top 5%ile in the coursework, and the animosity of people could not do much harm.

I do not expect people to understand me. Why would they? It is a genetic disease, and my father calls me a faker. In a man-eat-man world, what obligation has anyone got to understand someone else?

My way has been: It is either me or them, and till now I have been successful. One of these days, however, they would get me. On that day, death, do me a favor. Get me before they get me.

Wishing you all the best.
03-16-2016, 09:55 AM   #15
smt
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I also wanted to add a coping strategy that I follow: I attack an assignment as soon as I get it. I try to finish it off as early as possible. I do not engage in any activity that a "normal" individual does. I go out of the campus only on work. In short, other than illness and my research, I do not have anything else in my life. This is another reason why people hate me.

I dream of a day when I am better, and giving it back to all who had insulted me. To be honest, there is a guy who insulted me sometime back for my illness, and today he has a pacemaker. That person realizes his arrogance now. None of us are infallible, but people forget it in their arrogance.
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