Crohn's Disease Forum » Ulcerative Colitis Forum » Upcoming stressful event causing symptoms

08-09-2011, 02:44 PM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Aug 2011
Upcoming stressful event causing symptoms

I've had UC for 15-ish years. It's usually controlled, but whenever I'm worried or anxious, I get diarrhea.

Well, I just finished my masters degree in May and I've been job searching. I've just got my first face-to-face interview scheduled, and I'm not handling it very well. The interview is over a week away and I'm already having diarrhea.

I'm worried over so many aspects of it. Firstly, I'm from WV and the interview/job is in CT, so I have the stress of going through the airport and security and all that. I'm not particularly experienced in flying either. Not to mention the possibility of having to use an airplane toilet. I have trouble using normal public restrooms without feeling embarrassed.

Then, of course, the whole job interview is stressful because I really want this job, and what am I going to do if I don't get it. Being fresh out of school makes it difficult to find companies to even look at you. And since I'm also going to get a tour of the facilities and such, I imagine at some point we're going to eat lunch or something, so I'll have to face the embarrassment of having to go to the rest half a dozen times within half an hour after eating.

And if I don't get the job, I'm going to have to go through all of this again.
08-09-2011, 02:55 PM   #2
Lisa's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: New York

My Support Groups:
First - airports aren't that scary - some tips - make sure you arrive nice and early - booking an early flight if you can - the planes are cleaner....if you are having issues with your movements, you can talk to an attendant ahead of time and try to get a seat closer to the toilet.....remember, the plane makes noise, so don't worry too much about that. If you are worried about odor, see if you can find the drops that get rid of it - I'm sure someone else here can chime in on the escapes me right now.....

Eat/drink lightly the night before and the morning of the flight - remember you can't bring bottles of water etc - so make sure you have some change to buy one if you think you will be thirsty.

Bring a book or headphones to keep you occupied while waiting for your flight etc....which airline are you flying on?

What kind of job are you interviewing for?...REMEMBER - if for some reason you do not get the job, use the interview as a LEARNING TOOL - to make your next interview better.....

30 plus years and counting with UC/Crohn's!
on remicade since 11/05

While my experiences may not be what everyone has had- I feel it is worthwhile to share any and all experiences that may be beneficial to others.
08-09-2011, 03:17 PM   #3
New Member
Join Date: Aug 2011
I'm flying on US Airways on the way out and United Airlines on the way back. It's not even the actual flying that bothers me. I've been on a plane a couple of times before, and I did fine. It's just the bits before that bother me. The other times that I've flown, I was with a group of friends, and I left it up to them to show me what to do and find the way to the gate. This time I have to manage on my own.

I'm interviewing for a chemist/engineer position.
08-10-2011, 01:12 AM   #4
New Member
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Portland, Oregon
Something that's helped me so much is learning a full body relaxation technique and getting good enough at it that I can do it anywhere and at any time. I was in college when I first got UC and was doing theater so I can definitely relate to how stressful it is when your stomach starts acting up at the wrong moment. I figured out that when I'm anxious even slightly I tense my stomach and carry most of my stress there. Immediately when I would tense my stomach I would feel cramps and have to head for a restroom. I started doing these elaborate positions with my legs over couch arms and Lamaze style breathing exercises to try to calm my stomach and get my mind to focus on relaxing all abdominal muscles and eventually developed a second nature to always be aware of tensing those muscles under stress and immediately relaxing them.

If you don't already know a relaxation technique, one that has helped me a lot is an exercise where you breath in, focus on one small set of muscles starting at your toes and on your exhale relax those muscles and slowly work your way up your whole body including everything such as hands, jaw, forehead, etc. At first it takes a lot of concentration, lying on your back in a quiet space, but once you get good at it you can pretty much do it in any position whenever you need. I know this might not seem like an easy fix, but I can't tell you how important learning this skill has been for my UC.
08-10-2011, 05:49 AM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2009
What I love that you shared is that this is your *first* face to face interview. Everyone is nervous at their first face to face.. and I bet those without UC have diarrhea and can't sleep.
So what I am saying is you are not alone !!!! I am middle aged and I still get nervous for interviews. I get nervous when I get the call for the interview.. Heack I get nervous handing someone my resume !!! I don't know what kind of job it is.. but there are lots out there... maybe not what you are expecting to get but definaitely somethign that is right for YOU !!
Good luck ))
08-22-2011, 02:50 AM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Houston, TX, Texas

My Support Groups:
I can sympathize with you. I fly about 6 times a year and I still get butterflies. Not about the actual flight but about the stomach garbage we all deal with. My way of dealing with it: I eat very light the day before. I have nothing carbonated for about two days before. I NEVER eat anything in the airport. I take the earliest flight I can so that I can have a light meal after I land.

As for the job interview: of course your nervous. I think this is very normal. If you are nervous about eating lunch with possible future employers, just eat one of your safe foods, but just a bit.

Good luck!

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