Hidden Symptoms of IBDWritten by Stephen Ward | | firstname.lastname@example.org
IBD stands for Inflammatory Bowel Disease, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. There are many symptoms that an individual may experience with IBD from frequent and excessive bloody diarrhea to abdominal pain and weight loss. Not to mention the secondary symptoms that the individual must face due to whatever medication they are on, medications such as Asacol or Remicade. For example, those using Remicade may experience the side effects of pain in rectum, and if you take Asacol you may develop arthritis. But that’s not all. There are many more symptoms that people diagnosed with IBD must deal with on a daily basis.
With gas prices currently at $4.09 per gallon and continuing to climb, unemployment rate is still high, and families having to downsize to survive…people with IBD have another added stress to deal with. The stress of being employed!
While being employed is a great thing, and it allows us to put food on the table and clothes on our back…this same blessing can become a curse to some.
Some individuals with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis are able to maintain their daily lives by taking their medication and making a few adjustments. However, for others that is not the case.
Some of the most mentally toughest people are those diagnosed with IBD. Just as the author who penned “The Spoon Theory” wrote, “Choose the rest of the day wisely, since when your ‘spoons’ are gone, they are gone. Sometimes you can borrow against tomorrow’s ‘spoons,’ but just think how hard tomorrow will be with less ‘spoons.’ A person who is sick always lives with the looming thought that tomorrow may be the day that a cold comes, or an infection, or any number of things that could be very dangerous. So you do not want to run low on ‘spoons,’ because you never know when you truly will need them.” (I recommend you Google “The Spoon Theory” and read it in its entirety.)
We have to be mentally tough because every day is a new challenge for us, and most times that problem begins, along with the added stress, when we report to work at our respective employers. Our employers can be the hidden symptom of IBD.
We are faced with having to go exceedingly above and beyond the call of duty at work. We are faced with always looking over our shoulder, questioning ourselves to make sure that we work better than the next employee, because at any given time our employer can find a loop hole in the policy of the American Disability Act, and get rid of us. No, they may not terminate us, as that comes with other issues that they may have to deal with. The new termination is called unpaid leave.
It is unfortunate that senior citizens have to choose between food, clothes and medication…and it is just as unfortunate that people with IBD must deal with insensitive employers. If only employers knew how much we go through on a daily basis…sadly many of them know, but just don’t care. They are governed by the almighty dollar…for the love of money.
PRNewswire reports the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that annual medical expenditures for Crohn’s disease patients are more than three times higher than those for a matched comparison group of patients. Similar results were found for people with ulcerative colitis.
The study examined both direct medical costs – inpatient and outpatient hospital care, office visits, emergency room visits, and prescription drugs – and indirect costs – absenteeism and short-term disability expenses – for patients with employer-sponsored health insurance. Annual medical expenses for Crohn’s disease patients were $18,963 versus $5,300 for a matched comparison group.
Ulcerative colitis patients’ annual medical expenses were $15,020 versus $4,982 for the matched comparison group. These figures are higher for individuals with extreme cases of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
Dealing with the hidden symptoms of IBD can be stressful. Individuals with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis constantly have to either prove ourselves or explain why we don’t look sick.
We may not look sick, but we are. Just read some of the testimonies of people with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. These testimonies are taken from Facebook, and the names of each individual have been withheld to protect their identities.
“Having one of those days where I feel really pi**#d off that my body will never feel normal again. I didn’t appreciate my ‘goodish’ health until I got sick. Having a moderate UC flare up and arthritis in my hands, hips and feet! Not sure which one is more annoying. One day at a time I guess.”
“Can you please take a vacation or something? I’m tired of being sick and tired…tired of skipping meals to go out…tired of not being able to do stuff…just take a 10 year vacation…the trip is on me…JUST GO!!!”
“Trying to find ANYTHING that will relieve my 14 year olds many trips to the bathroom each day. I’ve read so much on Coconut oil and its benefits for this. Including a story about a man with Crohn’s and how he discovered through eating macaroon cookies, that it stopped his diarrhea. Has anyone tried this? I bought pills yesterday as well as coconut milk. I’m desperate to help her. It’s been 10 years of hell for my daughter; I just can’t watch her grow up like this. She’s miserable.”
I guess now we have to explain why we are worthy of being employed too!
For more information or speaking engagements about IBD contact Stephen Ward by email at email@example.com