Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Digestive Health Support Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've noticed that lately I get really bloated feeling and have gas, combined with horrible stomach cramps and diareha. Today, I had to call into work, after only being on the job for 2 months - how embarassing! I went to the doctor and he said that I probably have IBS and prescribed some medication. Do you find yourselfs having to call into work a lot or can you control it? Calling into work actually made my symptoms worse b/c it stressed me out having to call in after only two months. HELP!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
501 Posts
I now have a very flexible job now, but when my first symptoms started I was Branch Manager of a very busy shop - often the only person rostered so if I was sick and couldn't get a replacement the store didn't open and the company lost thousands ... talk about stress !So I talked to all my staff about the problem (just in a very matter of fact way explaining it could mean sudden absences) and they were very understanding and said to ring them at 6am if I was feeling bad and they would come in and at least open the store and man it until I felt able to come in or they would organise another staff member to cover. My company's Head Office was even more supportive, saying "All that matters is that you get better - don't concern yourself with the impact it has on the shop it's our job to worry about that." and didn't even ask for a sick certificate when I was off for three days in a row. Before I reached diagnosis I would sometimes be in bed for 2 - 3 days doubled up with a hot waterbottle crying with the pain.Firstly, I would communicate to your employers what is going on (as well as that you are a very healthy person with a fantastic work attendance record in the past ;-) but that you have developed severe digestive issues that you are getting diagnosed and treated for - they will help I am sure by ensuring your work load is not too much and ensuring someone else is up to speed on your duties to help out when you are sick - don't worry they won't fire you !! and they will be glad you told them rather than leaving them in the lurch. You will be a lot less stressed (which may reduce your symptoms if they are stress triggered) knowing you can leave early when you're ill and make it up when you're feeling good.Secondly, "Probably have IBS" is not an accurate diagnosis. Without blood tests, stool samples and a colonoscopy your doctor cannot rule out celiac disease, chron's disease, or a number of other more serious conditions that should be diagnosed sooner rather than later.Get your doctor to write you a referral to a Gastroenterologist (I believe they are called Gastro Intestinal specialists there ?) and get a solid diagnosis. They should also help you with advice on things like stress triggers, lifestyle changes, etc, and if the don't then shop around (or ask other members who live in your area) until you find a GI that is willing to work with you until your condition is brought into submission - not just repression through drugs (although these can work really well while finding out what will work for you lifestyle wise).Everyone gets sick, and 10 - 20% of the western population suffers from IBS, so don't feel guilty or stressed, just ensure you communicate with everyone so you can focus on getting better ! instead of what you missed doing at work.And in the short term for the diarrhea you may have immediate relief with Imodium (or generic brand for Active ingredients: Loperamide HCI 2 mg per caplet). It can be taken long term without any side effects - following directions for dosage on pack of course :)Anything you can do to keep the stress to a minimum will also help, long hot baths, reading books, yoga, meditation :)And finally, stay strong and positive ! and know that you're on the beginning of a road that many have walked down and lots have already finished ! (well so their testimonials say ;-) but that the road has different ups and downs for everyone so don't be afraid to say "this isn't working - I need to try something else" or just "I'm having a really crappy (pun intended) day I need understanding and compassion !Wishing you the shortest road possible ....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
501 Posts
I now have a very flexible job now, but when my first symptoms started I was Branch Manager of a very busy shop - often the only person rostered so if I was sick and couldn't get a replacement the store didn't open and the company lost thousands ... talk about stress !So I talked to all my staff about the problem (just in a very matter of fact way explaining it could mean sudden absences) and they were very understanding and said to ring them at 6am if I was feeling bad and they would come in and at least open the store and man it until I felt able to come in or they would organise another staff member to cover. My company's Head Office was even more supportive, saying "All that matters is that you get better - don't concern yourself with the impact it has on the shop it's our job to worry about that." and didn't even ask for a sick certificate when I was off for three days in a row. Before I reached diagnosis I would sometimes be in bed for 2 - 3 days doubled up with a hot waterbottle crying with the pain.Firstly, I would communicate to your employers what is going on (as well as that you are a very healthy person with a fantastic work attendance record in the past ;-) but that you have developed severe digestive issues that you are getting diagnosed and treated for - they will help I am sure by ensuring your work load is not too much and ensuring someone else is up to speed on your duties to help out when you are sick - don't worry they won't fire you !! and they will be glad you told them rather than leaving them in the lurch. You will be a lot less stressed (which may reduce your symptoms if they are stress triggered) knowing you can leave early when you're ill and make it up when you're feeling good.Secondly, "Probably have IBS" is not an accurate diagnosis. Without blood tests, stool samples and a colonoscopy your doctor cannot rule out celiac disease, chron's disease, or a number of other more serious conditions that should be diagnosed sooner rather than later.Get your doctor to write you a referral to a Gastroenterologist (I believe they are called Gastro Intestinal specialists there ?) and get a solid diagnosis. They should also help you with advice on things like stress triggers, lifestyle changes, etc, and if the don't then shop around (or ask other members who live in your area) until you find a GI that is willing to work with you until your condition is brought into submission - not just repression through drugs (although these can work really well while finding out what will work for you lifestyle wise).Everyone gets sick, and 10 - 20% of the western population suffers from IBS, so don't feel guilty or stressed, just ensure you communicate with everyone so you can focus on getting better ! instead of what you missed doing at work.And in the short term for the diarrhea you may have immediate relief with Imodium (or generic brand for Active ingredients: Loperamide HCI 2 mg per caplet). It can be taken long term without any side effects - following directions for dosage on pack of course :)Anything you can do to keep the stress to a minimum will also help, long hot baths, reading books, yoga, meditation :)And finally, stay strong and positive ! and know that you're on the beginning of a road that many have walked down and lots have already finished ! (well so their testimonials say ;-) but that the road has different ups and downs for everyone so don't be afraid to say "this isn't working - I need to try something else" or just "I'm having a really crappy (pun intended) day I need understanding and compassion !Wishing you the shortest road possible ....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
370 Posts
Tropigal wrote:
quote:Firstly, I would communicate to your employers what is going on (as well as that you are a very healthy person with a fantastic work attendance record in the past ;-) but that you have developed severe digestive issues that you are getting diagnosed and treated for - they will help I am sure by ensuring your work load is not too much and ensuring someone else is up to speed on your duties to help out when you are sick - don't worry they won't fire you !! and they will be glad you told them rather than leaving them in the lurch. You will be a lot less stressed (which may reduce your symptoms if they are stress triggered) knowing you can leave early when you're ill and make it up when you're feeling good.
God bless Australia...
But I do hope that Candy Elf in Kentucky has either a really cool boss, or a really professional HR department (better yet, both). My impression of the situation in the States is that three years of economic gloom have given employers a nice long off-season in which to perfect their skills at hardball. Add to that the idiotic prudishness of Americans, which probably puts us far behind the rest of the world in ability and willingness to deal with any problem related to anyone's digestion, and you've got yourself a bumpy road, at best.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
370 Posts
Tropigal wrote:
quote:Firstly, I would communicate to your employers what is going on (as well as that you are a very healthy person with a fantastic work attendance record in the past ;-) but that you have developed severe digestive issues that you are getting diagnosed and treated for - they will help I am sure by ensuring your work load is not too much and ensuring someone else is up to speed on your duties to help out when you are sick - don't worry they won't fire you !! and they will be glad you told them rather than leaving them in the lurch. You will be a lot less stressed (which may reduce your symptoms if they are stress triggered) knowing you can leave early when you're ill and make it up when you're feeling good.
God bless Australia...
But I do hope that Candy Elf in Kentucky has either a really cool boss, or a really professional HR department (better yet, both). My impression of the situation in the States is that three years of economic gloom have given employers a nice long off-season in which to perfect their skills at hardball. Add to that the idiotic prudishness of Americans, which probably puts us far behind the rest of the world in ability and willingness to deal with any problem related to anyone's digestion, and you've got yourself a bumpy road, at best.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
353 Posts
I'm lucky(?) that I am a grad student right now, so I don't really have to worry about this. However, when I have to go work in the real world, I am going to make sure I tell my boss my situation right after starting. I think if they fire you or give you problems, that would be discrimination. I am not actually sure about the law, though, and that might be important to check out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
353 Posts
I'm lucky(?) that I am a grad student right now, so I don't really have to worry about this. However, when I have to go work in the real world, I am going to make sure I tell my boss my situation right after starting. I think if they fire you or give you problems, that would be discrimination. I am not actually sure about the law, though, and that might be important to check out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
353 Posts
I guess I mean to say that I don't know how tolerant your employer has to be towards absences or tardiness due to your condition. I am not sure what the law is regarding that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
353 Posts
I guess I mean to say that I don't know how tolerant your employer has to be towards absences or tardiness due to your condition. I am not sure what the law is regarding that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Candy Elf, I was first diagnosed with IBS when I was in college about 10 or so years ago, and I know what you mean, I was sick for six weeks straight. I managed to drag myself to class regardless of that (thank heavens I didn't need to work at the time), but there were days I could have and should have stayed home sick like you did. Little did I know that my caffeine habit of 3-4 cans of pop at least daily was causing me the severe problems I was having (duh)
.But anyway, after 6 weeks I finally went to the doctor and was tested for Crohn's Disease and something else I don't remember right now. Once that stuff was ruled out the doc said it was IBS. From there, I got the advice I needed ("lay off the caffeine") and things really turned around. I am usually not troubled at work nowadays with my problems unless I cheat on caffeine or alcohol, which I rarely do. If you are able to get it under control, it does get better, at least it did for me. I do find at times when I am under stress that my IBS kicks in. Usually occurs as a sudden attack of diarreah, but then once that passes I can get on with my day almost immediately, so even with that, it doesn't take away from my work time. Whatever advice you're given, I'd suggest sticking to that faithfully and hopefully you'll get back to normal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Candy Elf, I was first diagnosed with IBS when I was in college about 10 or so years ago, and I know what you mean, I was sick for six weeks straight. I managed to drag myself to class regardless of that (thank heavens I didn't need to work at the time), but there were days I could have and should have stayed home sick like you did. Little did I know that my caffeine habit of 3-4 cans of pop at least daily was causing me the severe problems I was having (duh)
.But anyway, after 6 weeks I finally went to the doctor and was tested for Crohn's Disease and something else I don't remember right now. Once that stuff was ruled out the doc said it was IBS. From there, I got the advice I needed ("lay off the caffeine") and things really turned around. I am usually not troubled at work nowadays with my problems unless I cheat on caffeine or alcohol, which I rarely do. If you are able to get it under control, it does get better, at least it did for me. I do find at times when I am under stress that my IBS kicks in. Usually occurs as a sudden attack of diarreah, but then once that passes I can get on with my day almost immediately, so even with that, it doesn't take away from my work time. Whatever advice you're given, I'd suggest sticking to that faithfully and hopefully you'll get back to normal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Candy, I UNDERSTAND!! I'm still in my 90 day prob. period with my mew employer. And this has all really started since I took this job. The stress of calling in does make it worse for me. Let's see, out of the last 7 work days I actually worked almost 2 full days. I have so far been very lucky that my new boss is somewhat understanding. I've tried to make sure that I've gotten excuse slips from my dr to c.m.a. I'm going to the gastro spec today for the 1st time, and have lots of questions to ask after the things I've learned from this site. I'd like to find out how FMLA &/or disibility might be able to play into this. Because I'm stressed from being sick & missing work now, but imagine how bad payday will be with a REALLY SMALL check? This thing is enough to make any of us crazy! Best of luck! Please let me know if you'd just like to vent. Take care!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Candy, I UNDERSTAND!! I'm still in my 90 day prob. period with my mew employer. And this has all really started since I took this job. The stress of calling in does make it worse for me. Let's see, out of the last 7 work days I actually worked almost 2 full days. I have so far been very lucky that my new boss is somewhat understanding. I've tried to make sure that I've gotten excuse slips from my dr to c.m.a. I'm going to the gastro spec today for the 1st time, and have lots of questions to ask after the things I've learned from this site. I'd like to find out how FMLA &/or disibility might be able to play into this. Because I'm stressed from being sick & missing work now, but imagine how bad payday will be with a REALLY SMALL check? This thing is enough to make any of us crazy! Best of luck! Please let me know if you'd just like to vent. Take care!!
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top