Calling all full timers!

Hi Guys, im really interested to know who here works full time with ibs. I currently do but really find it a struggle sometimes. Fortunately i have a really great manager and the ability to work from home on occasions where i really dont feel good. How do you guys cope? Also has anyone had to go Part Time due to ibs? If so how did you tackle this with your manager? Im thinking it might help me so would be interested in knowing your thoughts?

10 Replies

  • Im not limiting this discussion to just those that work full time. Would appreciate advice from anyone :-)

  • Hi,

    I work full time and have really been struggling this last 6 months or so. My IBS is mostly discomfort, and slight C, but I also have pelvic pain which is related to adhesions or possibly endometriosis. When the pain is bad it wears me out so much and I can't concentrate or be in the same position too long, so work is hard. I too have a great manager, and have managed to secure flexible working with a set day working at home each week, and able to choose to have other days at home as and when if I'm not feeling up to being in the office. This was worked out through occupational health at my place of work, and also declaring disability to my employers - they use something called the 'social model' I think which focuses on what limitations/problems you have rather than what your condition/disease actually is, and basically means by having declared this I will have more leeway with time off and they have to make reasonable adjustments - in my case the flexible working. I haven't got to the stage yet where I have seriously thought about part time, if my current levels of symptoms continue though I'l probably think about it, after doing 3 days I feel as if I've done a full week even on a good week! I would approach this in the same way as did working from home arrangements and generally keeping work informed about my condition, maybe let them know you're struggling even though you're grateful for the arrangements already made, maybe ask if you could trial it for a month or so before making any definite decisions? Do you have any type of advice service where you work, where you could have a confidential chat before going to your manager? If not, somewhere like citizens advice may be able to offer some ideas? Best of luck, and keep us posted!

    C x

  • Hi. Yes I work full time and travel an hour to work. It's hard going and although I can work at home at times no one quite understands how much of a struggle each day is. They always agree to me working at home but I am made to feel like I shouldn't be at times. I don't think people really understand how bad you feel with IBS and that it's just the odd thing not a daily struggle. Hope today is a good day for you.

  • I work full time. My daily IBS struggles are mostly under control now but the flare-ups still hit bad. I'm pretty frank with my employers on my condition and on my abilities. Most of my work is based around a computer so if I'm bad for several days I can work at home. I told my employer that the days I work from home when I'm ill they'll have probably 70% of my time (the rest of the workday being made up of IBS related issues). But the alternative is taking 100% of the day off for a sick day. Both they are okay with, but I like the option that if I can put a few hours in I can.

  • Thanks for all your replies. I have an excellent manager who says that i can take all the time i need. I guess i just feel guilty for working from home as i know im not very productive when working from there. I get the feeling that my manager thinks its a temporary issue but i guess i need to explain that this is a chronic condition and that theres no end in sight. For me its the knock on effect this condition seems to have on my memory. I feel like i have brain fog all the time! Does anyone else experience this? Im thinking it may be down to the medication im on.

  • Hi,

    I am 69 now , had IBS D since 21 and had to retire age 50. I struggled with the condition at work , I managed large Departments in a variety of locations and did want to share my problem with others unless absolutely necessary. I had days where it was really bad and found different routes to the loo ,so others would not see where I was heading and found a variety of reasons to leave meetings etc. Business lunches could be hell.

    Finally travelling long distances and having to leave early in the morning to get to airports etc., got too much and stress/ anxiety took over . I was signed off work with stress related anxiety by my GP and told it would be a while before returning to work.

    Eventually after various attempts to return to work ,it got to the point where I could travel to work but could not go through the door. I was fortunate to get an early retirement package , had that not been available, I don't know how we would have survived on incapacity benefit or similar and that added to my worries at the time.

    Anyway I still suffer the condition although it is much better without the stress of work and I can now mostly control and manage things to suit . Apart from relating this story and illustrating that this condition happens to managers too, I would advise that if it is possible to reduce hours, or work from home ,grab it with both hands because I don't think the IBS goes away and the alternative is eventually maybe not being able to work at all.

    This is my first post after joining recently --hope is useful in making any decision with work.


  • Hi Will, thanks so much for your reply, Its reassuring to know that even though youve had IBS for such a long time you're still fighting. I appreciate you're dvice about grabbing any oppourtunities with both hands. I think working from home more would be most appropriate option although i would dearly love to reduce my hours. I find every day exhausting and feel completely wiped out by thursday or friday but keep having to drag myself in. Im truly awful with travelling, i can guarantee i'll have a bad stomach if i have to travel and severe nausea. I think the fact that i expect it to happen inevitably makes it happen and is a vicious circle. Maybe i can get an early retirement package too at 27 lol. Thinking that might be a bit optimistic. Thanks for you're post, i have some serious thinking to do.

  • Glad to be of any help. You are spot on with the vicious circle analogy.

    I would say working from home would be a god send. My line of work was accountancy and probably nowadays with computer developments etc., I could have worked from home and probably continued working. That was not an option back in the 1990's .

    When you feel good you would be bored not working !!


  • I only work part time now because of my IBS and anxiety. I had to change many jobs as the full time positions here in Hong Kong were too much and I just became very sick. ..... I chose my health..... It's still not easy for others to understand why I can't work 'normally' but do what feels right for you.

  • Hey! I work full time and am really struggling at the moment :-( I also struggle with anxiety and for around a month my work situation has got out of control. I used to have the odd couple of days off for IBS D attacks but then I had a stressful week where I had to cover for someone else and then they complained that I hadn't kept up with the work, I had a week off with really bad IBS D and stomach acid related pains, I was very miserable.

    I was wobbly emotionally when I got back and ever since then I have just been trying to put on a brave face and get on with things, but my manager has started to question my performance and has actively said I cannot work from home for various reasons, one of which being that he wants to make sure the job gets done which makes me feel totally mistrusted :-( He has no reason to think I would not be trustworthy to do the job other than the week when things got a bit too much, and I am really worrying about my work situation now. I started on a temp contract so I kept things quiet for a while, but when I was made permanent I felt more confident about asking to work from home when either my IBS or anxiety was bad. HR and occupational health said yes, but my manager is saying no!

    I have not had any anxiety symptoms for a long time now due to medication working well, but my IBS, related time off and not being allowed to work from home has stressed me out so much I just keep crying and had t have a day off again today :-(

    I feel like if I could work from home one day a week I would feel more relaxed, and any other time when I was having a flare up. I read about reasonable adjustments today and have realised this is a legal requirement, so I am going to meet with HR on Friday with my manager and I don't think he is going to like what he hears.

    I have had endless issues with previous jobs and my company is generally really flexible and good, so I don't understand why my manager is being like this. Hopefully HR will back me up. I have had about 3 weeks off sick this year when at least 2 weeks of those I offered to work from home but was told 'you're either off sick or come into the office'.

    I feel like I should be in control of my condition. Honestly if it was financially viable I would much prefer to work 4 days a week. I may have to do that one day as it would be much better for my health.

    I want to progress and take on more responsibility for important stuff, but my condition is affecting me badly and I feel like going part time would make the situation worse :-(

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