Crohn's Disease Forum » Support Forum » Vent Away » Job uncertainty stress!

03-18-2014, 12:19 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: UK
Job uncertainty stress!

I just wanted somewhere to rant...

I've had Crohn's for over a year and been in a constant flare-up that's only been getting worse. Finally got dx'ed a few months ago and have been on oral steroids and immunosuppressants to get myself better.

It hasn't been working fantastically so far, last week I ended up in hospital for four days because I had an abscess that gave me a fever and needed draining. They managed to do all that internally, so I was all good to go back to work the next day. Then I ended up straight back in hospital again for the past eight days on intravenous steroids. Feeling better now, but the abscess is still there and I'm not quite on top form yet, so taking two more days off work to rest.

I work in finance in a medium-sized company in nice country offices, which is a pretty good environment when I'm feeling ill compared to retail or something - usually fairly calm and no problems with me running off to the bathroom whenever - so I'm happy to go back to work asap. I do have a stressful contract situation though. I started an intern for a year, my contract was extended to cover for another employee who left (but still intern pay and job title), and my employer has been an odd mix of really supportive and...not. My manager is amazing, his sister has colitis so he understands some of what's going on, why I've been falling asleep at my desk occasionally, why I've been having time off for hospital trips. He's always nice about it if I call in sick and tells me to look after myself.

On the other hand, my contract runs out in two weeks and my department is being restructured, so I have no idea whether or not I have a job to go back to. And they just...aren't...telling me. I called in the other day to give an update on how I am and they just said they 'might have some news for me when I come back in', which is not exactly clear. The stress is definitely contributing to making me feel worse and just...argh. I know I haven't been performing as well as I could have over the past year thanks to Crohn's, but I have been coming in when I haven't really been well enough, taken the minimum amount of sick leave and really just done anything possible to get in and be productive. I enjoy my job but throughout the restructure everything has been very secretive and staff haven't been told what's happening until the last minute. I'm not feeling well enough to job hunt right now, so I am somewhat at the mercy of this decision and it's really frustrating me that no-one is telling me what's going on!

Not sure what I'm looking for from posting this, really, just to get it off my chest because it's stressing me out so much -_-
03-18-2014, 10:16 PM   #2
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Trysha's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2009

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It is a very depressing situation to be in especially when you need all the support you can get.
There are certain rules that pertain to release of staff and legalities for employers to follow when it relates to sick employees.
Your citizen's advice centre might be able to help you with information regarding this.
Rygon, a member of this forum may also have some helpful information on this score.
On the other hand, you do not yet know whether they are putting your job on the line----they may have an offer for you, so don't jump the gun.
It is a good idea to be prepared for any eventuality.
You mention a contract which had a built in time so did you contract for specific time?
The other thing to take a look at is disabiity government programmes.Fel better soon
Hugs and best wishes
03-21-2014, 01:20 PM   #3
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Cat-a-Tonic's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Madison, Wisconsin

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Hi Weatherwax, I don't have any advice for you, but I've been through several rounds of job cuts at my workplace too and it's tremendously stressful, so I wanted to let you know I feel for you. Regardless of what happens, I hope it all ends up being okay. Try not to worry too much - maybe the "news" they have is that they'll have you work part-time or from home so that you can concentrate on your health a bit more? I hope it's something like that. Good luck and - I know this is far easier said than done - try not to worry too much, and take care of yourself in the meantime.
03-21-2014, 07:52 PM   #4
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: UK
I found out today what's happening. My contract isn't being extended, and I'm being invited to apply for an internal vacancy in the same department which is much more basic than the work I have been doing - basically filing and photocopying when I've been working on large-scale projects. Another vacancy has come up which is at my level, but that's not even being advertised - it's being given to an employee from another department as he's being made redundant.

During the meeting about this I was told that I should try to really impress my bosses by 'not being off sick or on leave for a single day' over the remainder of my contract, in order to stand a good chance of getting this basic job. To put this in perspective, out of an entire year of feeling extremely ill, I've taken all of six odd days off sick, plus two recent hospital stays. It's not like they don't know why I've been off ill.

The real icing on the cake is that I'm expected to run the entire department for the next month as literally everyone else is away on holiday! Plus train the employee who is being given the position, because this guy is from a completely different department and has no idea how anything works. So... I'm qualified to run the place, cover for all the other staff and train the person who's supposed to be my immediate superior, but not to have more than a basic low-paid position.

So annoyed. This plus Prednisolone mood swings are not a good combination :\.
03-21-2014, 11:27 PM   #5
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rrhood1's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Didsbury, Alberta

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Don't go postal on us! That really sucks but I've been there. Now I'm looking for a basic job as my last career just about killed me. I had to train my replacement as well (but just found out that she was fired for never showing up to work).

We seem to try so hard to keep healthy enough to the job and then they complain. Someday I wish that employers would realize that we do our jobs well and that being sick is not keeping us from doing that.

Don't let it get you down - they may come to the realization that you do great work and are valuable. Take care.

Dx: Crohns - 2010
Dx: Severe cervical spondylosis/foraminal stenosis, ruptured discs
Dx: Severe lumbar ruptured discs
Dx: thyroid cancer - 2 surgeries - done with
Rx: Remicade, Methotrexate, Lyrica, Butrans patch
Vitamin D, C, B, calcium
03-22-2014, 04:16 AM   #6
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Western Isles, United Kingdom

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Hi Weatherwax
I really feel for you. I work in Finance too and was diagnosed just prior to starting a new job. I explained this to them before I started as my then GI had just referred me to a hospital for surgery, I was waiting to go in for the pre-op assessment and I didn't want to spring this on them after I'd started the job. It does help that I work in a learning centre/charity where we deal with people with all sorts of mental and physical disabilities.
Like you, I have one manager who is particularly sympathetic as her best friend's husband has severe Crohn's.
I went into hospital for 10 days a month after starting the job and then for 3 weeks, plus a post of recovery of 3 weeks a year later. That and being spaced out on Pred for the first 6 months with them, they must have wondered what they had taken on!
Is it possible for you to make an appointment to see the sympathetic manager and talk it all through with him?
Dx Crohn's terminal ileum April 2011
Ileocaecal resection & partial cystectomy Sept 2012
3.5 years happy remission, in mild flare since Feb 2016 with related Portal Vein Thrombosis

Previous: Prednisolone, Mesren, Omeprazole, Infliximab, Azathioprine
Current: Pentasa, Librax, Warfarin
Helen x

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