Monthly Archives: June 2011

Are you IBD friendly? Three essential thoughts for cafes / restaurants

Susie commented that she would like some tips to pass on to the management team at her place of work about how they can make their place a little more  Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) friendly. Most of the following are common sense and generally good business sense, but it can helpful to review these issues every so often to make sure standards have not slipped:

  1. Toilets – A clean, well stocked toilet facility is all that is required. More than one stall in both male and female bathrooms is a must. People with (IBD), constipation and other health problems can be on the loo for quite some time. Most people hate it when there is no toilet paper, but because people with IBD often have diarrhea, they really hate the sinking feeling of realising that there is no TP after they’ve completed business…. Soap, towels or air dryers are essential as well for hand hygiene. If you have the luxury of designing a facility, toilets that can have an opening window light in them will enable any smells to dissipate quickly. Failing a window light, a good quality extraction system will help prevent any odour issues.
  2. Food – People with IBD love to eat out just as much as people without IBD. There are some high fibre / high residue foods which seem to be universally problematic for people with IBD. Please do note that this is not about fussy eating and perhaps a little bloating. These foods can cause severe pain as they are too fibrous to pass through the inflamed and narrow parts of the bowel, they literally scrape past sore parts and cause further damage. In some cases, such foods can actually cause a bowel blockage which inevitably means that the person has to go to hospital for emergency surgery. The biggest culprits are mushrooms, sweetcorn and nuts. People with IBD usually know what food they need to avoid during a flare up of symptoms and if you can be a little bit flexible with your dishes that can be really helpful. For example, swapping the mushrooms for aubergine or the sweetcorn for rice.
  3. The ‘Unexpected‘ – People with an IBD may unexpectedly and urgently leave their table and disappear for several minutes. They haven’t scampered without paying the bill, they have just gone to the toilet. They may leave some or almost all the food you prepared for them. This is because they may have an appetite for the food, but not be able to eat a large quantity. They may ask for a child’s or small portion. Sometimes they may return something containing very rare or uncooked meat / fish, blue cheese or the high fibre foods described above.
Advertisements

20 Ways to relax when you are in pain

It is hard to relax when you are in pain. Crohn’s Disease isn’t content with just one type of pain, it has an entire reportoire of sensations to delight you with… Although there are painkillers available, both prescription and over-the-counter, these come with other effects in addition to painkilling such as constipation, nausea, dizziness and drowsiness. This means that sometimes people with Crohn’s prefer not to take the painkillers, but still want to relax. As some of you know I am a Yoga Teacher and so effective relaxation is something I am very interested in.

There are three types of realxation: Physical, emotional / spiritual and mental relaxation.

Physical relaxation includes things like massages, baths and naps.

Emotional / spiritual relaxation includes things such as informal social support from friends

Mental relaxation – includes activities and techniques that can help alleviate mental stress such as meditation

  1. Have a laugh – laughter is a great way to relieve stress. It doesn’t have to be hours of belly laughs, but having a session with things that you find hilarious  can help lift your mood, relax you and hopefully decrease the pain you are in. When you have the chance, have a think about what really tickles you and maybe make a note of it. (For me it would include Michael Mcintyre’s ‘Man Drawer‘ sketch; Monty Python’s Holy Grail and Life of Brian  and
  2. Go Swimming
  3. Take a Warm bath
  4. Have a relaxing massage
  5. Put your feet up with a good book
  6. Relax in bed with a hot water bottle and a movie
  7. Go for a walk and get some fresh air
  8. A nice cup of tea / coffee / hot chocolate and a short break
  9. Have a beauty treatment such as a facial or a pedicure
  10. Watch feel good or funny movies
  11. Carry out some breathing exercises
  12. Take some exercise
  13. Listen to music or an audio book
  14. Follow progressive neuromuscular release techniques
  15. Consciously relax your neck, jaw etc
  16. Spend time with family and friends
  17. Do something speical or thoughtful for someone else
  18. Devise, shop for and prepare a special meal
  19. Art

My chronic career – Sarcoidosis and fibromyalgia

I’m delighted to announce a new feature here on worklifespirit. ‘My Chronic Career’ will present interviews with people who have chronic health problems focussing on not just their medical experience, but also the impact on their life and career.

Morgan Bowers from Wolverhampton, West Midlands has kindly agreed to be interviewed. Thanks Morgan!

(Please come forward to be interviewed if you work and have a chronic health problem by contacting me)

Can you tell me a bit about your Medical history?

I have sarcoidosis of the eye & possibly nervous system, benign joint hypermobility syndrome and fibromyalgia.  Generally they are related conditions give me debilitating fatigue, aches and pains, as well as inflammation of joints (ligaments), shortness of breath and pain/inflammation of both eyes (iritis).  I have been ill for some years but only recently was diagnosed with sarcoid after yet ANOTHER trip to the eye infirmary.  Sarcoid is an auto immune disease which can affect any organ.  There is no cure, although steroids are often given as treatment for inflammation.

And how about your working life? What career path have you taken?

I’m trained as an ecologist, currently working as a Senior Countryside Ranger.  I have worked for the RSPB and Wildlife Trust, generally in conservation and ecology, and have also worked as a freelance bat ecologist, doing surveys.

Did you know about your condition before you were diagnosed?

I had never heard of sarcoid, but I knew about fibromyalgia and had suspected it due to its connection with Benign Joint Hypermobility Syndrome, which I was diagnosed with some years before during physiotherapy.

How did you find out further information about your condition when you were diagnosed?

The internet – the first I learned about it was being told that I had elevated levels of something called ACE, which I had to look up.  The truth is that GPs don’t actually know a lot about sarcoid or fibro, and many people are in the dark until they are diagnosed and sent to at least a rheumatologist.

Finding information is different now with the internet, which sites do you find useful in terms of information / support and advice about your condition?

http://sarcoidosissupport.ning.com UK Sarcoidosis Information and Support Group

http://sarcoidosis.ning.com/ SILA – Sarcoidosis Support Charity

Thinking about working and having your condition – what do you find / have you found most difficult to manage / cope with in the world of work?

My job requires some unusual hours, lots of driving and often dealing with the public. The first two can exacerbate my condition, and dealing with the public means that you can’t show that you’re in pain, which you do get used to eventually.   I have to just take things one day (or even an hour) at a time and pace myself.

What is your top tip for employers – what could they do to support people with your condition?

Well I think understanding it is one of the best things they can do – and for example in my position (on a temporary contract which may lead to a permanent one) I worry that my condition may be a factor in the decision my employers make regarding extensions to my contract. I am worried that they will think that I can’t do my job, or I’m too much of a risk / unreliable attendance really. So I only take sick days if I’m literally unable to get up and go out of the house.

What is your top tip for employees with your condition?

I’ll let you know when I figure that out! I don’t want my colleagues to think I’m whingeing about my health all the time, but I also need to let them know if I’m not capable of something, or need help. They are pretty wonderful actually, but I struggle finding a balance in how much and how often to communicate about what I’m going through. It can be pretty isolating, so its important to have a good support network OUTSIDE of work. My friends and my husband and brothers are, well, there aren’t words. I am very blessed.

When you have a flare up of symptoms – what is your ‘coping mechanism’?

I immediately cancel all activities outside of my minimum work hours, as I know that I will be wracked with fatigue and pain.  I deliberately expose myself to positive influences (funny movies & books that make me laugh) as it can be a battle to keep your spirits up.  I think my biggest coping mechanism is to modify my expectations of myself and what I can physically accomplish.  Its very easy to fall into feeling guilty, which exacerbates feelings of laziness and worthlessness and frustration.  Flare-ups can spontaneously go into remission, so I always have that carrot dangling.  It could be tomorrow and I’ll be myself again.

Do you think you have developed any personal skills or qualities as a result of having your condition? 

My god I have learned to be patient!  And also to treasure my good days, which is something people take so for granted.  Actually feeling healthy and energised is a precious thing – I never take days like that for granted anymore.

What advice would you give people who have just been diagnosed with your condition?

Wow, well I think don’t panic.  But if they’re anything like me they will just be glad to finally have a diagnosis.  I have never been so happy to hear bad news!  My main advice is to SLOW DOWN, don’t expect too much of yourself, don’t expect miracles, and pace yourself – don’t go crazy if you have a good day, it will knock you back.  Get a good GP who is willing to discuss your condition – as many won’t/don’t , and rheumatologist appointments are a long wait.

So do less.  Expect less.  Give yourself time.  Improve the quality of your sleep.  Reduce your stress levels.  Eat right.  Exercise if you can (its so hard!).  Communicate.  Rely on your friends for support.

What advice would you give to the family and friends of someone who has just been diagnosed with your condition?

They are going to feel a number of things, often in quick succession:  weak, angry, lazy, frustrated, alone, unsupported, misunderstood, tired, aching, exhausted, tearful, breathless, dizzy and even depressed.

My husband has been fantastic, calling my Sarcoidosis “the surfin’ sarcoids” – because they surf around my body.  If he sees I’m having a bad day, he asks if they’re surfing a lot today, and that’s a nice way for me to talk about feeling awful, but in a way that’s funny and I don’t feel guilty for talking about it that way.  Its easier to talk about the surfin’ sarcoids than to whinge about Sarcoidosis.

Do you have a chronic health condition and a career? If so please come forward to be interviewed by contacting me!

My chronic career interview questions

‘My Chronic Career’ is a series of interviews with people who have chronic health problems focussing on not just their medical experience, but also the impact on their life and career.

If you work and have a chronic health problem you can contribute to this series by completing the questionnaire below and sending it to me.

1. Can you tell me a bit about your medical history?

2. And how about your working life? What career path have you taken?

3. Did you know about your condition before you were diagnosed?

4. How did you find out further information about your condition when you were diagnosed?

5. Finding information is different now with the internet, which sites do you find useful in terms of information / support and advice about your condition?

6. Thinking about working and having your condition – what do you find / have you found most difficult to manage / cope with in the world of work?

7. What is your top tip for employers – what could they do to support people with your condition?

8. What is your top tip for employees with your condition?

9. When you have a flare up of symptoms – what is your ‘coping mechanism’?

10. Do you think you have developed any personal skills or qualities as a result of having your condition?

11. What advice would you give people who have just been diagnosed with your condition?

12. What advice would you give to the family and friends of someone who has just been diagnosed with your condition?

Do you have a chronic health condition and a career? If so please come forward to be interviewed by contacting me!

Ways in which Crohn’s Disease causes pain

If you have Crohn’s Disease you are familiar with pain. Not just a ‘pain’, but the whole repertoire of pain sensations that the human body can manufacture. Sometimes you might be treated to a solo rendition that can be quietened down with over the counter meds, but more often than not Crohn’s pulls out all the stops and decides to delight you with a symphony performance that inclues the equivalent of timpani drums and death metal guitars. You might think that the pain is limited to bowels (it is after all Inflammatory Bowel Disease) but oh no, if Crohn’s can drag in other parts of the body, it will!

There is:

  • Cramping of bowels – this ranges from ‘Oh that Jalfrezi was probably a little hot for me’ through to whole body spasms that are akin to extreme forms of food posioning
  • Aching of joints and muscles – some mornings it takes me about 10 minutes moving around and a warm shower to get going
  • Needling of nerves – this can occur if you suffer from abscesses related to crohn’s – the abscesses fill with fluid and press against nerves, sometimes feeling like the nerve is trapped against other organs or bones – the pain seems to transfer to them too.
  • Lemon juice in a cut type feeling – crohn’s causes ulceration and inflammation of the GI tract – and sometimes it really does feel like getting lemon juice in a cut, or eating crisps when you have a mouth ulcer.
  • Fainting – Sometimes the cramping and the needling can be so painful that I zone out for a second, feeling a littel faint – sometimes can faint slightly.
  • Battlezone feeling – sometimes it feels like my bowels, uterus, bladder and pretty much everything in my lower abdomen is engaged in some kind of battle, twisting and squirming around causing a difficult to define but wide ranging pain. If you have children, it is a little like the sensation of a baby moving inside you, but very painful.

As well as the pain, your body brings in some other bits and pieces:

  • Headaches – all sorts of reasons why these might occur, but one reason is that your body builds up so much tension when you are in pain = tension headache
  • Sickness – possibly as a reult of the cramping, causing your stomach to churn or just beacuse crohn’s affects you there as well.
  • Tiredness – can feel like a little fatigue through to utter exhaustion which causes you to fall asleep the moment you stop.

And how does this manifest itself externally? People with Crohn’s may:

  • Seem a little distracted when they are trying to get through a spasm of pain
  • Carry out self soothing behaviour, such as absent mindedly rubbing or holding sore spots on their belly
  • Look like they had a very indulgent and intoxicated evening the night before and have come straight from the party without bothering to sleep – sadly that probably isn’t the case!
  • Not want to eat or drink
  • Want to be left alone (because being in this much pain can reduce tolerance levels for other people)
  • Not want to be on their own (it can be scary being on your own and  in this much pain)
  • Look very flushed
  • Look very pale
  • Go quite a spectacular green colour

I’m interested in how you describe your aches and pains and how do they manifest themselves externally?

Physical Recovery: Two fantastic moves for stretching your spine

1. Lying on the floor, if possible, or a bed, start by just lying with knees bent and feet on the floor/bed – wait a couple of minutes in this position until your spine settles.

2. Then from here, draw your knees onto your chest gently, until you feel your spine stretching. Again, take it slowly, let everything settle. Then, right hand on right knee, and left hand on left knee, as you breathe out squeeze your knees closer onto your chest, as you breathe in, extend your arms a bit and loose your knees away from your chest, then repeat for a few minutes.

3. Next try a supine spinal twist, knees bent and feet on the floor/bed with your arms out at shoulder height, drop both knees over to one side, and then the other. If you struggle with this, use your hands to help support your knees into position.

Have a go with these, take it slowly, and do a few minutes of each one, then go through them again – as the muscles release they will ‘let go’.

My Chronic Career – Gary with Crohn’s Disease

My Chronic Career’ presents interviews with people who have chronic health problems focussing on not just their medical experience, but also the impact on their life and career.

Gary with Crohn’s Disease has kindly agreed to be interviewed and his story is below. Thanks Gary! 

(Please come forward to be interviewed if you work and have a chronic health problem by contacting me)

Can you tell me a bit about yourself and your medical history?

My name is Gary and I am originally from Northern Ireland. I am currently at Bournemouth University studying Forensic Science. I have the world’s greatest Girlfriend. Not only is she the love of my life but she is the probable reason I am still walking the earth! Although university is meant to be the best experiences of your life, for a Crohn’s suffer it can be the  most horrifying thing since they were diagnosed.

I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in November 2008 and have had to have 1 major op in march 2009 that probably saved my life. I also met the love of my life in January 2009 so she probably saved my life too.

I took ill first when I was in Belgium on holiday and originally thought I had contracted food poisoning from rabbit stew. After nearly 6 months the doctors decided that given the length of time I had been ill to get me properly checked over. I was sent for a number of different tests and I went to pick up my results fearing the worst!

When I first started high school aged 14 I was ill a lot and it was put down to bullying and no matter how much I said I wasn’t the more I got sick and I had to be protecting someone. So I believe that I had Crohn’s for at least 4 years before diagnoses. After I was diagnosed I was given tablets and that helped me stabilise but that was short-lived as within 3 months I was very ill. This led to 3 weeks in bed and 11 days with no food staying in my body. This led to scenes similar to those of “The Exorcist” only from both ends at the same time.

The knife was the only option by the time I got to the hospital! I had 6 inches of my small bowel removed and the ileocecal valve restructured and connected up again. Then 5 days of severe fighting lead to me coming out of hospital in record time, just in time to watch my beloved Man Utd win the Carling cup. But this again was short-lived as by the Tuesday, 3 days after being released ,my stitches burst and evil-smelling pus came flowing out the 12 inch lateral wound on my abdomen. Cue, another 2 days in hospital getting that drained and re stitched!

After that it was home time and a host of appointments and checkups. Though I managed to squeeze an Easter break over to Bournemouth to see my Uni and  meet up with the 2nd love of my life. My long-term girlfriend of 4 months at the time. For this break I got a severe telling off as I wasn’t meant to be doing very much during my rebuilding never mind flying to England! Lucky until September 2010, I haven’t looked back.

And how about your working life? What career path have you taken?

My Crohn’s has never really got in the way of my work or play to be honest. I have worked in 4 different bars and restaurants since being diagnosed. I also worked in a food processing plant distributing meat products all over the UK. Add to that I worked last summer in an amenity site to gain money for uni. I also play amateur league football. So this meant that I was in college during the day, 3 nights football training and sometimes 2 matches a week. So I can honestly say that my Crohn’s has never got in the way but at the same time I haven’t let it beat me!

Did you know about your condition before you were diagnosed?

To be honest I had never heard of it. When I went for my results and the doctor said they had found “abmormal” cells in my intestines he sent me up stairs to see a specialist. I played the scenario over in my head of how I going to tell my family & my new Girlfriend I had cancer! This is the only conclusion that I had considered.

How did you find out further information about your condition when you were diagnosed?

The doctors and specialist gave me tonnes of leaflets and information from NACC and I spent the rest of the week reading everything I could get my hands on. I then started the process of telling everyone and explaining what I had and how I was going to “fix” it.

Also with the course I was studying (forensic science) they allowed me to do my medical research project on Crohn’s disease and this allowed me to talk to people all over the world that had various stages of the condition. All this was very informative and I believe that there is never any bad news, just news that you have to interpret! Never the less I got the highest grade available for my project and it was displayed for the world to see (well anyone that wanted to read it)

Finding information is different now with the internet, which sites do you find useful in terms of information / support and advice about your condition?

I have a lot of friends online through various Crohn’s forums and through Facebook. Through my project I trailed through hundreds of websites but I do like to read the latest info coming out through a university group from America on Facebook. They are very quick to get the latest techniques and research online. They are truly amazing!

Thinking about working and having your condition – what do you find / have you found most difficult to manage / cope with in the world of work?

I never had that many problems with my work as I had the freedom and understanding from my bosses that I needed the toilet when I needed it and that if I missed work I would work up the time or get cover a.s.a.p. This worked well as I worked with a group of girls that often wanted to swap shifts after heavy nights so I worked when I could and called in favours when I couldn’t. Though during the time I was ill and having to have the op, I was laid off as I had bad time keeping and unable to work for weeks because of the recovery from the op. The company did offer me a new job when I was fit to work again, though I didn’t take this and instead got a cash settlement in way of the holidays I would have been owed if they hadn’t laid me off.

What is your top tip for employers – what could they do to support people with your condition?

My top tip would be work with the employee, let them have the freedom to negotiate their work at short notice. This is how my bosses worked with me and It worked well. We always had someone nominated to fill in just in case there were people ill or unforeseen circumstances. This worked well and although it may not be ideal but it works well in the long run because having that person on standby not only covers the Crohn’s patient but covers the hangover victim or the mother whose kids have been ill all night.

What is your top tip for employees with your condition?

My top tip for the employee is to open with the boss and the other employees. If people know what is going on they may be less likely to see your treatment as favouritism or talk behind your back. You will feel better about having to call on them if needed or having to phone in sick at the last moment.

When you have a flare up of symptoms – what is your ‘coping mechanism’?

When I take ill I tend to lie down and die for the duration of the flare up. Everyone knows I’m ill when I “stop”. Being quite active is an advantage because I can deal and cope with a lot and its only when it becomes unbearable that I have to admit defeat (if only briefly). I also tend to recover quicker if I starve myself and only take on fluids. I find this gives my body a break and allows for quicker recovery and I also find kicking a football about is a good release as well. Not exactly a Crohn’s coping mechanism but it is a stress relief and stress is a major contributor to the flare ups, so maybe it actually is.

Do you think you have developed any personal skills or qualities as a result of having an your condition? (I for example have encyclopaedic knowledge of public toilet locations!)

Other than outstanding knowledge of every toilet in my university, town and neighbouring towns I think I have developed the quality of being able to work my socks off in a small time scale as I am either working to catch up or working to get a little bit ahead so I have a built-in mechanism allowing for illness. This stood by me at college as I was streaks ahead in all areas and allowed me the time off without having to worry about being behind. Therefore a lot of the pressure is taken off and stress dramatically.

What advice would you give people who have just been diagnosed with your condition?

Research and read everything you can get your hands on. It allows you to know what is going on inside and prepares you for what might be coming in years to come (hopefully not though) if you understand what is happening then you can tell others and the taboo that goes with the whole condition becomes non-existent and you and those close to you can deal with it and help to keep you on the straight and narrow

What advice would you give to the family and friends of someone who has just been diagnosed with your condition?

Read about Crohn’s and support the person that has been diagnosed. They will feel a lot better if they haven’t the need to explain everything every time something occurs! They will also feel better about approaching you as they know you understand and will help them get through the rough as well as the smooth!

(Please come forward to be interviewed if you work and have a chronic health problem by contacting me)

My chronic career – Crohn’s Disease

I’m delighted to announce a new feature here on worklifespirit. ‘My Chronic Career’ will present interviews with people who have chronic health problems focussing on not just their medical experience, but also the impact on their life and career.

Tim Albert from Milwaukee, WI has kindly agreed to be interviewed. Thanks Tim!

Tim is 23 years old from Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. He was diagnosed with crohn’s at the age of 14, but has been leading a relatively normal life. He is a recent college graduate and young professional working in the IT field. He is also an aspiring entrepreneur, and has recently created a blog (www.crohnsoncampus.com) to help empower college students suffering from crohn’s disease.

(Please come forward to be interviewed if you work and have a chronic health problem by contacting me)

Can you tell me a bit about your Crohn’s history?

I have a moderate case of Crohn’s. I was diagnosed when I was 14 years old while I was in the middle of my freshman year of high school. It started with diarrhoea and stomach pain, and after a series of horrendous tests and procedures I was diagnosed with Crohn’s.

I have had way too many hospitalizations and have been in and out of remission. However, today I am on a strict pill regiment and I receive Remicaide once a month. Most importantly I am living a relatively happy life.

And how about your working life? What career path have you taken?

In high school, I attended most of my classes (senior year I may have used the Crohn’s to get out of a few days of school, sorry mom). I attended all of my school dances and was on the track and swim teams.

I was accepted into Saint Louis University where I majored in business administration and was amazingly able to graduate in 4 years. While in college, I was elected the president of the national honor society. I rushed, pledged and was initiated into a social fraternity. In the frat I held leadership positions and did my fair share of partying. I also held down numerous campus jobs including help desk security worker, and IT help desk worker.

After school I moved to Wisconsin where I am currently employed as a Quality Assurance Engineer at a small software development firm.

Did you know about your condition before you were diagnosed?

No. I had no clue the Crohn’s Disease existed.

How did you find out further information about your condition when you were diagnosed?

I really just started searching on Google. However, when I was first diagnosed I was almost in denial that I had the disease, and most of the information I found scared me shitless, (sorry for the inappropriate pun) so I pretty much just avoided learning anything about the disease.

Finding information is different now with the internet, which sites do you find useful in terms of information / support and advice about your condition?

I would say CCFA.org is your best bet if you need some information about Crohn’s today. You can really get lost on that site; there are just so many links.

One site I would stay away from however is WebMD. No matter what, I always find myself freaked out that I have cancer after visiting that site.

Thinking about working and having your condition – what do you find / have you found most difficult to manage / cope with in the world of work?

The thing that I have found to be the most difficult is dealing with missing work. Even though I have paid time off, I feel like I need to take off like once a week, which doesn’t allow for much PTO to use for pleasure. Your employer doesn’t want you to miss work and I am always worried that I am going to get fired for missing so much.

If you don’t have PTO this would be even worse because you will be losing money to deal with the Crohn’s.

What is your top tip for employers – what could they do to support people with your condition?

Allow for flexible scheduling. My employer allows me to work at home when I’m not feeling well. This is especially useful for people with Crohn’s because a lot of times you don’t need to be laying in bed sleeping, you just need to be close to a bathroom. As long as you are getting your job done, I see no reason an employer should say no to working at home.

What is your top tip for employees with your condition?

Be prepared. Pack all the things you think you might need on your worst day and leave that emergency kit at work or in your car. Scope out the bathroom situation ahead of time. It’s not worth being uncomfortable at work. If you have to go, go. Even if is going to be the loudest smelliest one you have ever let go. (Sorry that was 3)

When you have a flare up of symptoms – what is your ‘coping mechanism’?

Humour. The disease is like a prank from god, if you don’t laugh at it, it will get the best of you.

Do you think you have developed any personal skills or qualities as a result of having your condition? 

Absolutely, I am always conscious of where bathrooms are. I have also developed a mentality that allows me to just not get embarrassed anymore when things happen that may traumatize the average person. A lot of times there isn’t anything you can do about it so there is no reason to sweat it.

What advice would you give people who have just been diagnosed with your condition?

It’s not the end of your life. Yes, things are going to change but you can change as well. The human body is truly amazing, and you can do anything, I repeat ANYTHING you want with Crohn’s. Do NOT let the Crohn’s imprison you.

What advice would you give to the family and friends of someone who has just been diagnosed with your condition?

Be supportive, but at the same time don’t treat them like they’re handicapped. The best friend of someone with Crohn’s is a friend that listens.

And if there is a question that I have not asked which you would like to answer please add the question and the answer below!

I have found that a lot of young professionals with and without Crohn’s have one burring question after they have been working in an office for a while. That question is: Is it all right to fart in your cubicle? I want to let everyone know that the answer is YES! That is your space, and everyone would rather you do a good job at work than sit there all backed up and uncomfortable.

Do you have a chronic health condition and a career? If so please come forward to be interviewed by contacting me!

Friday fun – Diarrhoea mnemonics

Diarrhoea is such a hard word to spell, and even though I write a blog about Crohn’s Disease I still struggle with spelling the crazy word! Fortunately there are some mnemonics around to help you remember:

  • Diarrhoea Is A Really Rather Humiliating Occurrence, Especially Annoying!
  • Dash In A Real Rush, Hurry Or Else Accident!
  • Dining In A Rough Restaurant: Hurry, Otherwise Expect Accidents!
  • Diarrhoea Is A Really Runny Heap Of Endless Amounts
  • (Feel like I’m) Dying In A Rich Restaurant Having Over Eaten Again
  • Down in Africa Red Riding Hood Only Eats Apples (courtesy of @Babir1981)

In the US, the ‘o’ is omitted so you need to remove the ‘o’ words….

Are there more? What are your favourites?

Out of office – medical leave

Rather than a post this is a few questions for people with chronic health problems. When you are ill, and out of the office do you do any of the following:

1. Put an out of office note on your email / phone system explaining that you are not in the office? Do you say that this is beacuse of illness?

2. Tell people other than your immediate supervisors that you are off because of illness?

3. Keep in touch with the office while you are off ill?

And finally…..

4. How do you deal with any ‘grumblings’ from your colleagues about having time off?