Crohns Disease - Response to Carole

I'm responding to Carole who seemed to suffer the same indignities that I have.


I spent about three years telling my doctor about my fatigue, my stomach issues and various aches and pains. I've had stomach issues since childhood and all the ulcer medication didn't solve anything.
I always had the feeling the doctor thought I was overreacting (or a big wimp) because, after many tests coming back normal, he couldn't find a cause.

Then I started having anxiety attacks (mainly because I was working fulltime, raising two kids and trying to pretend I wasn't ill) and I believe the stress aggravated the Crohns. I was off work for three months (the Crohns was diagnosed) and when I returned to work I was laid off. So much for getting rid of the stress.

In addition, I also gained weight as opposed to losing it ... which is the usual I believe.
I told the doctor I wasn't tired because I'm fat - I'm fat because I'm tired. It's very frustrating.
Now I'm depending on my husband as the sole income and hoping like hell we can make it.

Hang in there Carole ... I am! There's always better days ahead! *hug*

Heidi

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Staying positive against all odds NEW
by: Annette

Hello Heidi,

Thank you so much for sharing your story with other Crohn's sufferers. I am sure that your message of support will be gratefully received.

It is a horrible disease and sometimes the amount of information out there is incredibly overwhelming, especially on first diagnosis. Many people write in to say that they are struggling either to stay focused within their jobs or to simply keep their job going.

Stress certainly can play a huge part in making the disease worse. If you know that you are under a great deal of stress then it's important to find solutions to these before they become triggers and cause flare-ups. It can become a vicious circle.

Losing your job when you are suffering with Crohn's is horrible. This just compounds the levels of stress you might be feeling right now. Have you tried to see if you are eligible for any benefits? There are a lots of ifs and buts regarding the level of 'disability' required to claim but it is worth a try. It's not an overnight process but worth a phone call to ascertain if you can have some help. Anything is better than nothing.

As you probably know, there is no known cure for Crohn's disease but there are things you can do to help yourself:

Develop a better sleep pattern to help ward off fatigue
Stop smoking or drinking alcohol
Reduce stress
Exercise gently when feeling well
Learn relaxation techniques and try out meditation, it can help
Keep a food diary to see if certain foods are triggers

Some people try to retrain in a different career so they are able to work from home, others are not able to do so. Staying positive might be difficult but it can also help and I can see from your post that you are doing your best. There will be times when your symptoms will ease dramatically and life will be almost normal again. I hope that those times come for you soon.

If anyone else has lost their job or is struggling to work whilst with Crohn's, please do let me know. Similarly, if you have found a way to be positive against all odds, do let me know.

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