Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Man says I have to work!

Oddly, as I'm writing this my stomach begins to grumble. At least no one can see me jump from the computer and run to the bathroom.

So within the past few months I have noticed a change in my ability to work. Currently I am working as a concierge at a spa which requires me to stand on my feet eight hours a day. The most difficult part is standing still and hunching over the computer. I've tried numerous things to decrease the aches and pain in my legs: support hose, Dansko clogs, shoe inserts and walking tennis shoes (forgot to mention pain medication here and there). Sadly this is not the only difficult part about working. I generally have my stomach attacks between 8am to 1pm. I will literally be in a discussion with a client and my stomach will decide to ruin my moment! I have a short window of time to hold it before losing control. However, when a client walks in they are generally undecided about choosing a service. Not good for someone who can't hold it. I'd like to whip out my "I can't wait" card and shout to the client:

"Sorry, but either you make up your mind about what you want, or I'm going to crap myself...literally. I know both you and I don't want to experience that. Come back or call when you KNOW what you want."

I know it's not their fault. I'm really not frustrated with them as much as I am with not being in remission. I haven't had an accident yet, but those moments are the ones where I feel like it's going to become a reality. I would be humiliated to have an accident at work. I can hear my mother's voice,"Carly, you better put an extra pair of underpants in your car. Just in case." Plus the nearest bathroom is not a hop, skip and a jump away. I have to power walk to make it on time. Most of my fellow coworkers are aware of my situation. They can joke with me about how I log my daily BM's.

COWORKER:"So Carly, did you log your poo for the day? Was it rough, or smooth as a mudslide?"
ME:"So far so good. Definitely going to stay away from the cafeteria food today. That place is a diarrhea trigger if I've ever seen one."

It's difficult enough when you're trying to relax at home and having to spend the evening on the toilet. But it's even worse having to hide from guests. I feel bad when my coworkers are left alone at the desk. There is no way I can give them a return time when I'm having an attack. I've tried numerous times to rush...not a good idea - it comes back with a vengeance! The most comfortable place during a flare is your home! I come to work every day with a positive attitude (ok I lied...most of the time). Some days are more difficult than others. I don't want to have an attack. I want to be that dependable employee. It's hard knowing that most people expect you to be sick, or to call out. I don't think it's funny either to use Crohn's as an excuse to get out of work. I want to work. Heck, I need the money, the benefits, and the social advantage of a work atmosphere.

At the moment it's difficult for me to accept that I'm not fully capable of working full time, on my feet. I know that I would like some extra energy to live a life. I have so many things to be excited about. Currently they are being shoved aside. My exhaustion is so extreme, I'm wasting away in bed. I know he loves me, but my fiance is constantly reeled in to the affects of my exhaustion. I'm unable to spend a lot of active time with him. I'm sure movies and naps get tiring. He is truly an amazing man. If I want to push myself at work, he knows it's something I have to do. If I need to take the day off, he's by my side making my breakfast.

So, I know that there are options. There is no true need to put yourself through hell. Yes, disability or social security is almost impossible to get. Our recovery partially (replace "partially" with mainly - truthfully) depends on health insurance and amazing doctors. However, I'm realizing that with this disease it's all about fighting. I'm unsure as to what my future will bring with my career, family life and disease. I know that I look forward to being married and beginning to pathe my path. Right now the main thing I need to "fix" is my health. My job will work itself out the way its meant to be. I'm fortunate enough to have the support of my loving family. There are so many people out there with IBD who are financially struggling. They are unable to get the medication they need and are suffering with the outcome. Healthcare is a whole other issue! I am just grateful for having my support system. I know if I need to take a step aside from the typical work-woman role, so let it be...I'm getting into remission!

P.S. I'm expecting this in the mail. It's like waiting for Christmas!


  1. it's got to relieve some stress that you can talk to your coworkers about BMs... i yearn for this environment.

    sorry to hear that your efforts to help your legs haven't been fruitful... if you work at a spa, you should be able to get a freebee during lunch, right? ;)

  2. UPDATE: The gel toilet seat is such a waste. I'm returning it ASAP. It's very unsanitary and not comfortable!
    @Ragamuffin - I wish I was getting free massages. Some of the therapists do rub my hands and help out here and there. Hopefully things will get easier! Hope you're doing well

  3. I love you Carly! I love your Blogs!!!! You can always run to the bathroom when ever you want as long as I'm around!!!!!!