On the 23rd June 2016 (no this isn’t a post about the EU Referendum. You’re safe), I asked the members of the Crohn’s and Colitis UK Forum the question:

Do you feel your IBD has ever affected your work/education/career?

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A massive 92.8% believe their IBD has affected their work or school life and even their career progression. Just like me. Only 6.9% said their IBD doesn’t affect their ability to work as normal. I am so happy some of us are able to have a normal work life. It gives me hope for the future.
I’d heard of people losing their jobs due to health conditions before and I had naively thought it couldn’t be true, surely we have some rights. After all, we didn’t choose this condition and I haven’t a doubt that the majority of IBD sufferers would give anything to be able to work without the fear of having flare by pushing themselves just that bit too far. Without the fear of not making it to the toilet in time. Without the fear of losing their job.
I wasn’t at all surprised about the results of the survey. And it was very nice to see some positive outcomes. What I was stunned by though was some of the experiences some people have had to endure because of something they cannot control and quite frankly, it’s a fucking outrage.

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Until recently I was working full time. At least 39 hours a week. A had just stepped down from a managerial role are therefore ended my career prospects. I had tried to step down not long after I started the role because I started flaring after years of remission, but it was just brushed off and ignored by my manager, as if I hadn’t even raised the concern for my health. I felt like the job was more important than me. Not even when my manager and even her boss witnessed me break down in tears, in enough agony to bring me to my knees, not even then did they think, “Shit this is serious.” So I have experienced this first hand, but I was still appalled by some of the comments posted on this survey.

For me, I’m beginning to learn my limits. It’s frustrating when you think back to when you could do simple things without feeling pain or becoming tired, like I don’t know, walking up the stairs. Seriously. But hey, shit happens and we carry on.

When I moved back home I was only able to secure a transfer with a 12 hour contract. At first I was worried I wouldn’t be able to afford it, panicking about bills. It’s a struggle, but I’m managing so far. And you know what, I am so thankful I only work 12 hours now. My health comes first and I honestly don’t think I could manage more right now. My joints just can’t take it anymore.

Published by Elle Quinn