“You’re Fired.”

by on Monday, March 15, 2010 13:01
This entry is filed under: Coping/Support

Well, this is one of those days that I come here to post and I wish I had a positive, uplifting one for you…perhaps this will turn out to be just that. Today, I was fired from my job because of my inability to come to work regularly because of my disease. Now, my employer is simply blaming it on an attendance issue, but they are all aware that I had a “condition” which was keeping me from working regularly. I’ve been having issues since December with a Crohn’s flare or a pouch problem-my docs and I are still trying to figure it out. I had a barium study done Friday, so hopefully that will lend some wisdom to us on that matter.

I feel relieved, bittersweet, I think. I will miss the money, and some of the work, but it was a horrible environment for me to be in, quite honestly. I loved the people I worked with, but the energy was all stress. When I am completely honest, I just couldn’t do the job because I was too tired a lot of the time when I was there to function mentally. I forget so quickly how much I’ve been through and what my body has to go through to just function every day when I feel well-I work as hard as I can and I see my “old” self come though. However, those days, honestly, kick my ass and I end up having to sleep for 4 days nearly without interruption to recover from it. It’s depressing and frustrating to me that I cannot do certain things that others can, and that’s why I’m really upset. I’m also worried about what my fiance (soon to be husband) and I will do financially, and what I will do about health insurance.
On the other hand, this opens a lot of doors for me. I have more time to help out with CCFA stuff, and to finally make it a priority to find a career, not just a job for a paycheck, that I can do and that I will enjoy.
Life with Crohn’s and a J-pouch is not easy, but I’m glad to have it.

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17 Responses to ““You’re Fired.””

  1. avatar

    Megan says:

    March 15th, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Hi Lizz, You write so well about how it is a bittersweet moment this is for you and I appreciate what you mean. I was talking with a friend today about how it seems many jobs are really pointless for us other than money. And I thought that was a such a great point she made. I do think finding your way into paid work to do advocacy with your lived experience will give you an incredible purpose and the energy to go on. I’m an asst. professor and I always thought this job would fulfill me and it does pretty well, but my work building jpouch.net is the real work I’m most proud of out of everything I’ve achieved. I guess, I’m just saying that I think pursuing your goal of advocacy as a living is definitely the blessing in this situation and I I know you will find the right path on this direction regardless of the reality of needing work to live.

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  2. avatar

    Brevin says:

    March 15th, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    Dear Lizz. Hi. Hey. ‘Sup.
    Now I know they really let you go because of all the office supplies you stole, and I think you should reconsider telling your coworkers of the Fort-Made-Of-Staplers you built in the living room and then posting pics on Facebook.
    Before the JPouch, my job would tend to stress me out as well and yeah, that doesn’t really go with any IBD-type condition. At some point I decided the stress wasn’t worth it and adjusted my work ethic without sacrificing quality. It’s not that I stopped caring about work, but I rather selectively chose what to care about.
    Either way, you won’t stop kicking butt, since that’s a personality trait. You can join Team Challenge for the CCFA in the meantime! If you do the Sonoma to Napa half-marathon (seriously, just walk that thing), you get three days and two nights in wine country, free wine, and you get the unfortunate thrill of running into me.
    Sure, this is a minor inconvenience right now, but something tells me you’ll hit the ground running with a new opportunity. Rock on.

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  3. avatar

    lizz says:

    March 16th, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Well…shit. This keeps getting better. My barium study showed narrowing of my intestines and I have an appointment with a surgeon on April 5. I swear, I feel like my life revolves around surgeries. I just feel really numb, guys. This week is really sucking.

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    Brevin Reply:

    Nooo!
    On the plus side, maybe getting multiple surgeries is like getting multiple sandwiches! Every time you get one, they stamp your card, and the 10th one is free!

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    Mark Reply:

    Hmmm…the universe thinks you need more surgery for some odd reason?! Have you found a good P-town surgeon? I know some jpouch.org posters use people there, but I didn’t even though we were in Eugene. Keep us posted after your visit.

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    Lizz Reply:

    Brevin-that would be sweet, but I always lose those cards 😉
    I think the surgeon I’m seeing is good? He has a good education and track record from what my research revealed. It’s a Kaiser guy, but he also works at two other hospitals in the area. I’m not SURE I’ll have surgery, but I had it the last time I had a stricture, so I’m preparing myself for it.

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  4. avatar

    Lizz says:

    March 16th, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    This thread is turning into another post in itself, but I’m now starting to consider disability very seriously. I mean, I’ve had 5 surgeries in the past 5 years-those aren’t good odds and the likelihood is that I’ll have number 6 in the near future. I’ve lost every job I’ve had in the past 10 years since I was diagnosed w/ IBD due to my health. My medical records speak for themselves-severe UC, no help from treatment, J-pouch surgery with following complications of Crohn’s, stricture requiring surgery, J-pouch twisted twice requiring another major surgery to tack it into place, now another stricture that will probably require surgery. Not to mention anxiety/depression and PTSD after all this to boot. I take twice the normal dose of Humira, I’m becoming incontinent b/c of the stricture, I guess. I like to think of myself as normal and healthy, but the facts are just against me there! I like to be super positive, but my positive attitude isn’t healing my body. Maybe it’s time to be realistic. What do you guys think? What would you do if you were in my shoes/bowels? Would you just “give up” and go for disability? I know you can still work some on it, but I can’t continue this pattern of being hired for my talents and qualities and fired for my shitty health. It’s not good for me. I need more stability in some area of my life since I certainly don’t have it with my health!

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    Susan smith Reply:

    Lizz, don’t give up! I know how you feel because I’ve been there for so long, I’ve survived it and will go on surviving because there is no choice and because we have a huge capacity to keep fighting to restore our lives. I don’t have your disease but a very rare connective tissue disorder which has caused multiple internal probs through tissue weakness. I’ve had surgery since aged 5, became very ill aged 19, my problems weren’t diagnosed so I suffered pain and symptoms daily for decades, had a breakdown, then several random operations as defects were found failed to help me. No-one looked at the whole picture and most of my colon was removed, making things worse. This nightmare only started to ease when my daughter found a brilliant surgeon abroad who clarified my situation and gradually fixed what he could. I still have daily pain and 12 – 15 bms most days and nights, I need one more op and am looking into this carefully. It will be my 8th major gut op (and my 18th op, as I’ve had several joints replaced, spinal surgery etc, weak tissues affect everything.) The pain has affected everything, not being believed by doctors was a nightmare, but life itself is so precious and I appreciate every day. I also managed to produce two wonderful daughters and have many good friends. Some of us have a hard road in life but so many do, and so many don’t make it, life itself is a gift. Good luck, try to see that there is hope and hold on for this and meanwhile suffer what you must but enjoy everything you can. ll the best.

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  5. avatar

    Jeff says:

    March 16th, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    You ever thought about getting rid of the J-Pouch? I’m constantly fighting pouchitis and thought about getting rid of the jpouch. I’ve also thought about disability. I’d look at if you could live on the disability checks.

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  6. avatar

    Shrimp40 says:

    March 16th, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Hello.
    I tried going 4 disability, but as I can walk more than 50yards they said I wasn’t disablied.
    I’m now on ESA, cause my doc says I can’t work like I am. 1 day I’ll be ok n the nxt I cud b laid up in bed wit the pain. But every place is different. I hope tings go well for you.

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  7. avatar

    Jackie Z. says:

    March 17th, 2010 at 5:33 am

    Ugh Lizz. Suckfest 2010. I sometimes worry that I may be in that boat here soon. I’m about to take these 6 weeks off for sugery #1 and then there are the other 2 later this year. I’m training my “fill in” as we speak…and there is a huge worry that she will magically become my replacement.

    But if you’re having as much problems as you say you are, I would look into disability. However, you’re gonna have to give them one hell of a fight woman. They are not all about giving us “kids” help. Also, just a thought, I know a lot of people who have retired/been on disability and while they like having their time…they are BORED. So…if there is any chance you can keep working, and make your bills and live a fulfilling life, I would try to as long as possible.

    p.s. I never send you email penpal vent sessions…so I’m returning the offer. If you need a bitch session…I’m here :) Good luck lady.

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  8. avatar

    Tim R says:

    March 18th, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    Hi Liz,

    If you haven’t already, you may want to check out //www.advocacyforpatients.org/.

    Jennifer Jaffe is an attorney who started a not-for-profit org to help people who have gotten screwed out of their jobs for chronic illness related reasons after she got screwed out of hers.

    Taking into account what you has already said in this post, I understand that retribution may not be your ultimate goal, but the cash might help in the mean time. Crohns and UC are considered disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act changes of 2009
    http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/adaaa_notice.cfm. Hopefully that is as helpful to us all as we need it to be.

    Admittedly, that was a legal change, hopefully the practical change is not far behind.

    I hope you find a way for this to work for you.

    Megan, is it ok to plug websites like that on this site?

    -Tim

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    Megan Reply:

    Tim, Yes of course feel free to post relevant links to help others access information. I know trying to understand disability is really challenging so I’m sure Lizz appreciates any help you can offer.

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  9. avatar

    Lizz says:

    March 21st, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    Thanks for all of the info, guys! I’m learning my way around the unemployment website. I’m all signed up and my (former) employer signed me up for COBRA so I should be good-to-go. Rob and I are economizing and trying to keep a positive outlook. I will start the disability process soon. I’m seeing a shrink tomorrow, which is probably a good idea given everything that’s happened lately (and I think a good idea for those of us with chronic conditions anytime). I’m looking forward to venting to an objective victim! I have talked to my former surgeon about unemployment and also to those who know me best and have seen what I’ve been through over the years-they all say go for it, so I guess I’ll start that process soon. Spirits are okay. Something strange is still going on with the J-pouch. I wish they would move the appt. with the surgeon up, but I can suck it up for 2 more weeks.

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    Lizz Reply:

    talked about disability, not unemployment:)

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  10. avatar

    Discover More Here says:

    October 2nd, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Discover More Here

    Jpouch Life: Stories of Colitis, Crohn’s, IBD, Ostomy, Ileostomy & J-Pouch Surgery from around the world

  11. avatar

    minion rush unlimited tokens says:

    October 11th, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    ” They are planning nationwide tea party protests on the doorsteps of as many local left-wing media media outlets as possible this coming October 17th, 2009. When Lord Capulet enters he is first of all very sympathetic and understanding about Juliet’s state, thinking that she is crying for Tybalt. Once summoned this minion will be very agitated and will want.

    [Reply]

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