Working with IBD

March 22, 2022 in IBD

How do you deal with work having IBD? What sort of solutions have you been able to find with your teams to make things work during a flare-up or high fatigue day?

Have any of you made the jump to working remotely or freelance full-time?

1 - 4 of 4 Replies

  • KatelynPatient

    I've worked full-time since 2015 (prior to that, I was a student). I think the important thing is communication -- I've talked to my bosses early on about my IBD and what it means to me. I've worked with them to figure out how I can come up with creative solutions to make sure I can balance my work and my IBD. I thankfully have a desk job (I'm an analyst), so it's pretty easy for me to do my work whenever and wherever, which has meant a lot of flexibility from my bosses with working from home. That has been a tremendous godsend on days when I'm really not feeling well or am really tired. Eliminating a commute, the need to dress up, and the ability to lie down for 15 minutes when I need to rest is a huge help on a bad day. I always made a point not to abuse any of the privileges and work hard when I'm at my best, which I think has gotten me a lot of leeway when I need it.

    I'm now a permanent remote worker. In 2020, my husband got a new job in a state clear across the country (we lived in Michigan and now live in California). I asked my job if I could continue to work for the team from California, and they gave me the green light. It's been great for me from an IBD perspective. I really don't stress at all about my health because I'm in the comfort of my own home all day long. Definitely recommend it for anyone who has the ability to make it work and can be productive in a home office.

    For those who can't work from home permanently, it's worth knowing that IBD is a protected disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with IBD. Those accommodations will vary by job, but it's worth knowing that you have protections! People can get pretty creative with them, so I think it's always worth looking into that and seeing how it can help you with your professional life. In the past when I worked in an office, my accommodations were the ability to work from home as needed and the ability to take time off for appointments and infusions without having to use PTO (I would make up the time before or after).

    March 23, 2022
  • Jackie_ZExpert

    I've been working remote for almost 7 years now and I can't fathom ever going back into an office full time. I have also been a full time freelancer for almost 4 years, which basically ensures that I won't need to go into an office.

    Working for yourself full time, for me, is the ideal situation for managing my physical health and mental health. I choose my working hours and when I am available for all communications. I take breaks mid-day when I want and sometimes I just don't go back to work.

    However...I have to say that I do work my booty off to be able to have that flexibility in my days. The exchange is worth it for me, but getting a business off the ground and running in a stable way is so much more work than it looks like. I feel like I am enjoying some of the fruits of my labor from the past 4 years these days because I'm not worried about finding clients and I also feel like I can take breaks, but it took a really long time to get here. It's definitely not a lifestyle for everyone and now that there are so many more WFH opportunities it doesn't have to be the only option anymore.

    March 28, 2022
  • Jackie_ZExpert

    Oh also came here to say....

    Asking for accommodations at work can be scary, especially if you haven't disclosed (or don't want to). Think about concrete solutions to things that cause you grief and that is your best approach to getting support through the ADA.

    Things like:

    • A desk closer to restrooms
    • A mini fridge for your snack or meds
    • Later start time in your morning or earlier leave time
    • Changes to your desk equipment or your chair
    • Lighting changes

    March 28, 2022
  • Wendy_LExpert
    Care Partner of Adult

    OK, potty talk time as I bring up something that nobody wants to admit but that (I'm hoping) many of us would confess to having done: going to the bathroom during a Zoom meeting...with muted video and sound OBVIOUSLY!

    I think this is one of the "perks" of working remotely and having to participate in large meetings, the kind where you can momentarily silence yourself and not draw attention to it. Am I right?

    Although it does not sound professional, it is a reality of working remotely and, therefore, a solution for those who frequently need bathroom access and otherwise would be noticed doing so at work. I'm curious to see if others are willing to confess. :-)

    March 31, 2022
Sign In or Register to comment.