Work and the pelvic pouch plus Crohn's

Hello pouch buddies,

I have had my pouch now for 32 years. I've had a pretty good run up until about 3 years ago. Lately I've been suffering with a multitude of bowel obstructions over the last 3 years.  On my last visit to the hospital I had a CT scan and they discovered that I have Crohn's. So now I'm dealing with amongst the pouch and Crohn's symptoms I'm also dealing with diarrhea which I have always dealt with.  I'm also dealing with a complete lifestyle change, as in changing my diet and changing my stress levels.  my brother and my mother who have seen me at my worst over the last 32 years have suggested that I stopped working. I have had eight abdominal surgeries and I cannot be operated anymore because I was told by a multitude of Surgeons that I cannot be closed again. Would any of you consider retiring from work at the age of 53 and staying on disability? Or would you put your health at risk and continue working? I am having a hard time right now getting myself to say my health is not a priority and going back to work.

Original Post

Hi, Maddie. You don’t say anything about the work involved, and I think that’s critical. Some jobs add stress to our lives and give back little besides money. Other jobs can help keep us grounded in the world, and may reduce our stress. In addition, some basic accommodations by an employer can substantially reduce the stress of being ill at work. Are you sure that leaving work would cause you to feel less stressed? The answer has to include the economic impact as well as the work itself.

It’s not at all clear that stress changes IBD very much, if at all. It surely does affect our resilience, though, and that’s a big deal, too, when dealing with illness.

Good luck!

Hi Maddie, I retired three years ago at age 56. I just couldn't do it any longer. I often ask myself now...how did I work for so long. I had a desk job that was not stressful, but with the side effects of j pouch surgery, even a desk job was difficult. It is different for everyone and took me a long time to make the decision. 

Good luck with your decision!

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