Putting Health First: Taking Time Off with IBD

Putting Health First: Taking Time Off with IBD
With IBD, sometimes taking time off work or missing social events can be necessary to relax. This is important, as stress flares my Crohn's disease symptoms, which leads to even more stress. I skipped my column for the past couple weeks because I'm still experiencing pain two weeks after my ganglionectomy, a type of hand surgery. I tried not to worry about missing columns once I contacted my editor, but I feel bad for missing any task, which causes extreme stress. I tried to rush and complete a column last week after my care team removed my stitches, but my hands disagreed. My pain led to migraines, insomnia, and a Crohn's disease rebellion. I needed a break, I needed sleep, I needed not to stress. Things happen. Breathe. The surgery mixed badly with my already angry bowels, so my symptoms flared so intensely this past week that I called my gastroenterologist (GI doctor) to order testing. For some, getting immediate testing isn't so easy. Many employers don't understand that an IBD schedule may not always be "normal," and having the opportunity to work from home is not always an obtainable privilege. So, discussing concerns with your employer could be wise. With insight into your disease, symptoms, and management, employers can have a better understanding of what to expect on bad days. See my past writing about this: "Working with Crohn's Disease and IBD." You can request accommodations, like having a desk near a restroom or working from home, but you may need a leave of absence if accommodations are limited. Taking time for yourself and knowing when to say no are important for easing stress levels. This disease is unpredictable, and so you have to
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