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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am employed full time, but I miss so much work every year that I have to take Family Medical Leave (U.S. law that forces your employer to keep your job open for 6 weeks while you are ill, without firing you. You don't get paid though.)I am in horrible financial trouble right now. I have just filed bankruptcy, but I have missed 3 days this week and some almost every week for 2 months. I am living hand to mouth. I am having my gallbladder out next Tuesday. So, I will miss more work. I may have to have the regular surgery, not the laproscopic, which could cause me more time off. Short term disability doesn't kick in till you have been absent 20 days. My parents have passed on and my sister too. I am only 47 and have a teenage daughter to support. I am scared.I'm sure some of you have had these kind of problems--what did you do? I live in Texas and I have never applied for any welfare or anything? Anyone have any ideas? Thanks--you guys are so cool.Tessie21
 

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I am sorry to hear of your situation.This aspect of IBS is shoved under the rug by the medicos. Since you're not going to die from it, there can't be other problems of significance one shouldn't be able to overcome. Wrong! Employers insist that we be toilet trained and at work. We can't change that.Since this started for me I have lost $500,000 in lost wages, funds I've had to withdraw to live on and on lost appreciation of those funds. Money that was meant to last for about 15 years now has to last an extra 15 years. I'm not supposed to be depressed and angry about it according to those same guys. I'm supposed to adapt. BS!Perhaps they can help me overcome this by hiring me. Medico's are perhaps the only people who have enough bathrooms around their place of work.
 

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I am sorry to hear of your situation.This aspect of IBS is shoved under the rug by the medicos. Since you're not going to die from it, there can't be other problems of significance one shouldn't be able to overcome. Wrong! Employers insist that we be toilet trained and at work. We can't change that.Since this started for me I have lost $500,000 in lost wages, funds I've had to withdraw to live on and on lost appreciation of those funds. Money that was meant to last for about 15 years now has to last an extra 15 years. I'm not supposed to be depressed and angry about it according to those same guys. I'm supposed to adapt. BS!Perhaps they can help me overcome this by hiring me. Medico's are perhaps the only people who have enough bathrooms around their place of work.
 

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I too know exactly how you feel. I was in medical school, something I worked so hard to achieve, when multiple health problems, including bowel problems as well as endometriosis and migraines, finally forced me out. I could no longer function. If that wasn't enough, at the same time I was in med. school, I developed salmonella and then C. difficile from all the antibiotics I had to take. Since leaving med. school, I have worked at home. I don't know if this is an option for you at all, but it has saved my life financially. There are still days I can't work at all because of the pain I am in, but for the most part I make it through the day by lying down when I need to and sometimes even working in the middle of the night if necessary.With more and more employers offering this as an option these days, it might be something to try and work out with an employer, especially if you have computer skills that would allow you to split your time between an office and home.We all suffer so terribly and lose so much as a result of illness, and it just seems so unfair. I did just hear from a lady though who was granted Social Security Disability benefits solely based on her IBS. This is an amazing advancement in the recognition of this as a life destroying disorder.Good luck and God Bless. ~JR~
 

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I too know exactly how you feel. I was in medical school, something I worked so hard to achieve, when multiple health problems, including bowel problems as well as endometriosis and migraines, finally forced me out. I could no longer function. If that wasn't enough, at the same time I was in med. school, I developed salmonella and then C. difficile from all the antibiotics I had to take. Since leaving med. school, I have worked at home. I don't know if this is an option for you at all, but it has saved my life financially. There are still days I can't work at all because of the pain I am in, but for the most part I make it through the day by lying down when I need to and sometimes even working in the middle of the night if necessary.With more and more employers offering this as an option these days, it might be something to try and work out with an employer, especially if you have computer skills that would allow you to split your time between an office and home.We all suffer so terribly and lose so much as a result of illness, and it just seems so unfair. I did just hear from a lady though who was granted Social Security Disability benefits solely based on her IBS. This is an amazing advancement in the recognition of this as a life destroying disorder.Good luck and God Bless. ~JR~
 

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Dear Tessie-I am so sorry to hear of your situation.-look into the short-term disability benefits and possibly long-term disabilty ben(if you have them)from your employer.I know that wont help right now,and you have to fight like heck to get the benefits(I know from personal experience) so document every call and copy every letter.I agree with Angry,IBS is not recognized by most as the severe,severe problem it can be for some of us.I wish you the best of luck,keep coming to this board...another idea is to try Mikes hypnotherapy tapes,I am on about day 30 (out of 100)and I am getting some slow improvement!!I have not been able to work more than 2 hrs/day due to other health problems,and am currently not able to work at all...I hope this will change sometime soon...Also-I think you are wise to see what the state of Texas has for benefits for your situation....take care!Beth PS sorry if this is rambling,I have had one of those weeks...!
 

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Dear Tessie-I am so sorry to hear of your situation.-look into the short-term disability benefits and possibly long-term disabilty ben(if you have them)from your employer.I know that wont help right now,and you have to fight like heck to get the benefits(I know from personal experience) so document every call and copy every letter.I agree with Angry,IBS is not recognized by most as the severe,severe problem it can be for some of us.I wish you the best of luck,keep coming to this board...another idea is to try Mikes hypnotherapy tapes,I am on about day 30 (out of 100)and I am getting some slow improvement!!I have not been able to work more than 2 hrs/day due to other health problems,and am currently not able to work at all...I hope this will change sometime soon...Also-I think you are wise to see what the state of Texas has for benefits for your situation....take care!Beth PS sorry if this is rambling,I have had one of those weeks...!
 

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Tessie, will your employer pay you sick days for the 20 days up until the STD kicks in? I was lucky enough to have a boss last year, who let me stay on the payroll at full pay, while I had an operation that took me out of work for 8 weeks. I know I was lucky. I can't get steady work now cs. of my IBS, but have been able to get some freelance work, which I do mostly out of my home. JR, that's good news about someone getting Social Security for IBS -- first one I've heard of. Do you know how she did it? Perhaps Tessie could pursue this. I don't know anything about welfare in Texas --how old is your daughter? I'm so sorry that you are in such a tough place financially -- so difficult when you are ill and without family to help you. I really understand your plight.
 

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Tessie, will your employer pay you sick days for the 20 days up until the STD kicks in? I was lucky enough to have a boss last year, who let me stay on the payroll at full pay, while I had an operation that took me out of work for 8 weeks. I know I was lucky. I can't get steady work now cs. of my IBS, but have been able to get some freelance work, which I do mostly out of my home. JR, that's good news about someone getting Social Security for IBS -- first one I've heard of. Do you know how she did it? Perhaps Tessie could pursue this. I don't know anything about welfare in Texas --how old is your daughter? I'm so sorry that you are in such a tough place financially -- so difficult when you are ill and without family to help you. I really understand your plight.
 

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I actually don't know how this particular lady did it, but since I used to work for an attorney who helped people apply for Social Security Disability, I know it is a daunting task. It is extremely time consuming and is not a short-term solution by any means, as the documentation process and the appeals process can be very frustrating. This lady who was approved for her IBS says she began the process back in November 2000, which is actually not that bad time-wise. I have tried asking her more detailed questions but haven't heard back from her yet. I will keep you all posted when I hear back from her. ~JR~
 

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I actually don't know how this particular lady did it, but since I used to work for an attorney who helped people apply for Social Security Disability, I know it is a daunting task. It is extremely time consuming and is not a short-term solution by any means, as the documentation process and the appeals process can be very frustrating. This lady who was approved for her IBS says she began the process back in November 2000, which is actually not that bad time-wise. I have tried asking her more detailed questions but haven't heard back from her yet. I will keep you all posted when I hear back from her. ~JR~
 

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No I can not work. People can't quite get this.I ask them if they would hire someone who would be late most mornings,would probably have to leave early many times a week and would probably have to call in sick at least 2 times a week. I can not plan anything. Once in a while I have a good day and can do anythig I want( except eat what I want)but I never know when that will be. I am very frustrated as I really want to help out financially. I would love to do work from home but I haven't worked in the real world for so long I doubt that I have any useful skills. I do have an art back ground but there doesn't seem to be many positions for that or they require degrees or computer knowledge that I don't have. I'm really at a loss here. I am currently going to a doctor to see if we can find something that will work for me. Hope we find it soon.
 

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No I can not work. People can't quite get this.I ask them if they would hire someone who would be late most mornings,would probably have to leave early many times a week and would probably have to call in sick at least 2 times a week. I can not plan anything. Once in a while I have a good day and can do anythig I want( except eat what I want)but I never know when that will be. I am very frustrated as I really want to help out financially. I would love to do work from home but I haven't worked in the real world for so long I doubt that I have any useful skills. I do have an art back ground but there doesn't seem to be many positions for that or they require degrees or computer knowledge that I don't have. I'm really at a loss here. I am currently going to a doctor to see if we can find something that will work for me. Hope we find it soon.
 

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linr, I do understand that. Not that many people have IBS as severely as you do. IBS varies greatly in severity and even us IBSers don't always appreciate those differences among ourselves. I see so many posts that basically say, "Buck up and just get yourself out of the house." For most IBSers it is possible to work and socialize, for others it isn't. We need to be sensitive to that.
 

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linr, I do understand that. Not that many people have IBS as severely as you do. IBS varies greatly in severity and even us IBSers don't always appreciate those differences among ourselves. I see so many posts that basically say, "Buck up and just get yourself out of the house." For most IBSers it is possible to work and socialize, for others it isn't. We need to be sensitive to that.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you, all...My employer wants to fire me. They are like vultures circling when I get sick. We get six sick days per year. We are not suppose to use vacation days as sick days because they are "unscheduled". I understand that they have to be able to plan for staffing needs and such. I have already used all my vacation days also, though.I have tried being nice, being co-operative, working over and on weekends when I am not sick, but they don't care. I had to get a lawyer last year to get them off my butt. This year, after I used my six sick days, they said that everytime I was sick-even for a part of a day--I would need a doctors note. I quickly told them that under The Family Medical Leave Act they cannot require that. I have already supplied them with doctors letters and certification. There are rules about how often they can require this.I have had to keep this job because I need the insurance. My daughter is 14 years old. She is a freshman in high school. I forsee a time soon when I will miss more than I am allowed by Family Medical Leave and the company will fire me. I am just trying to get by one day at a time.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you, all...My employer wants to fire me. They are like vultures circling when I get sick. We get six sick days per year. We are not suppose to use vacation days as sick days because they are "unscheduled". I understand that they have to be able to plan for staffing needs and such. I have already used all my vacation days also, though.I have tried being nice, being co-operative, working over and on weekends when I am not sick, but they don't care. I had to get a lawyer last year to get them off my butt. This year, after I used my six sick days, they said that everytime I was sick-even for a part of a day--I would need a doctors note. I quickly told them that under The Family Medical Leave Act they cannot require that. I have already supplied them with doctors letters and certification. There are rules about how often they can require this.I have had to keep this job because I need the insurance. My daughter is 14 years old. She is a freshman in high school. I forsee a time soon when I will miss more than I am allowed by Family Medical Leave and the company will fire me. I am just trying to get by one day at a time.
 

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I'd like to make more comments, but don't have much time now... but one thought...It sounds like work is a pretty stressful place for you to be right now. Do you think you might be better off not working there???I think many of us have struggled with the dilemma of uncooperative bosses and coworkers who seem to want us out of there so they can hire someone who never misses work or is late or doesn't feel well. They know they could be in legal trouble if they fired you without just cause, so instead they try to make you miserable enough to quit. Then is it better to stay there and not let them win, or to quit and get out of that stressful situation??? But the sad fact is that many of us are reliant on our incomes, and if the IBS is being bad, it might be even harder to get past the probationary period at a new job, not to mention waiting for new insurance to kick in. <Sigh>
 

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I'd like to make more comments, but don't have much time now... but one thought...It sounds like work is a pretty stressful place for you to be right now. Do you think you might be better off not working there???I think many of us have struggled with the dilemma of uncooperative bosses and coworkers who seem to want us out of there so they can hire someone who never misses work or is late or doesn't feel well. They know they could be in legal trouble if they fired you without just cause, so instead they try to make you miserable enough to quit. Then is it better to stay there and not let them win, or to quit and get out of that stressful situation??? But the sad fact is that many of us are reliant on our incomes, and if the IBS is being bad, it might be even harder to get past the probationary period at a new job, not to mention waiting for new insurance to kick in. <Sigh>
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I have gone so far as to interview with other companies when I am having a good spell. I hate the thought of starting out somewhere new and the eventual explainations that have to be made and then the probationary period and waiting for new insurance to kick in and all that. I also hate the thought of staying where they don't want me. Right now I am just trying to get better, so that I can face these changes and decisions. Like I said, I have to keep this job because I don't have any other income and I need my insurance. My life wasn't always like this. Like J.R. I was in school full time (computer multimedia) and had a full time job a little more than 3 years ago. I have always had IBS, but it got dramatically worse around then. I have had to drop things from my life, one at a time, until I barely even recognize my own self. It's like my life is in hold and I am still waiting for the chance to live again.
 
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