wish I had an understanding manager


I have been suffering with IBS-D for 13 months. at the beginning I thought it was just food related. My doctors are pretty useless. so I went and paid for a food intolerance test. There were loads of foods I couldn't have dairy, strawberry's potatoes, tomatoes there just to list a few. so cut out everything and it got a little bit better. Through all that time I was having problems with work I was turning up late ( I would always let my manager know I was running late due to being stuck in the bathroom) I was also having days off due to it being so bad. My manager hasn't been very supportive or understanding through the whole thing. then this February I was told my job would be changing I wasn't told what was happening when it was happening nothing ( I like to be very much in control of what's happening) I then kind of lost it I became very depressed and anxious which made my IBS a lot worse i was signed of off work for nearly 4 months. put on antidepressants and received CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) I have returned to work after feeling better but since being being signed off I have realised work stress and my manager are huge triggers. last week I text him and said I am running a little late due to my belly be there as quick as I can. I was 5 minutes late he immediately looked at his watch so I asked him if he had received my text he said yes. I went upstairs to get my jacket and went to the ladies again before going back down. I was walking down the stairs, he was standing at the bottom looking at his watch he said why has it taken you another 10 minutes to come down. I said sorry I was in the ladies again he then went off on one saying you are supposed to start at this time how are you going to make up the time. I replied with there are plenty of opportunities to make up the time he then raised his voice and said that's not the point, so I actually lost it and shouted at him (pointed to my belly) this is not something I can control, he told me to calm down and nothing else was said about it. I was trying so hard to not burst in to tears. I am now worried about going to work if I am running late due to my belly for him having a go so I just phone in sick. I cant keep carrying on like this. apart from looking for a new job (which I am) I don't know what I can do. sorry for the rant. any advice will be greatly appreciated x

12 Replies

  • Hi Shell, I'm sorry to hear you've had such bad trouble with your ibs at the moment. I too have had to call in sick before due to IBS-D. I have found anxiety and stress are a major part of my ibs and I think anyones well being in general. Have you tried any apps on your phone before you start work maybe for the day or go to sleep? I've recently downloaded an app called 'headspace' which has guided 10 min meditations that helps me to just forget the world for a moment. Your manager sounds horrible, it's so hard trying to keep up with work when you have an illness. Do you have anyone else you can talk to at your work apart from your manager? My team leader has been understanding at the moment about my sickness lately but I think that's because he too has lung problems. Wishing you well X

  • Hi Helen

    Thank you for your message.

    I hadn't tried meditation but i have now downloaded an app and working my way through it. We shall see you never know until you try it.

    I don't really get the chance to talk to people at work. I have recently started seeing a councillor and going to the gym with a personal trainer so I now have a outlet for my stress.

    glad your manager is pretty understanding.


  • Thank you I will look in to it.

  • The first thing you have to do is see a dietician who can help you create a diet that helps with the IBS. Then you should try yoga meditation. I know it sounds daft, but, it will teach you how to calm yourself down and relax a lot better. You can only try it, if it works great, if not, no probs either. But, start with the diet. Good luck.

  • Hiya

    I have seen a dietician but it was for another problem (polycystic ovaries) i told her I also had ibs but she was telling me I really needed diary in my diet and to ignore what I had been told previously. I have downloaded a meditation app so will see how I get on with that need to learn to switch off.

    Thank you x

  • In addition to dietary and lifestyle changes, it might be good to have a talk with your manager. Most people don't know what IBS really is, and there's a lot of misconceptions that it's as simple as a 'tummy ache'. Perhaps an honest conversation about your limitations, but as well what you can deliver is worthwhile. I don't know what you are employed in, but sometimes little tweaks can make all the difference. Things like working closer to the bathroom, shorter shifts or moving them to different times of day, etc. Good luck.

  • hi

    Thank you for your message. I work in a shop and the closest toilets are up a huge flight of stairs. I have been doing a bit of research and I am thinking of asking to do flexible working times so if I am running late in the morning then I can make it up somewhere else. I received some information from the ibs network which details out the symptoms I was going to give him a copy of that.

    see what happens.

  • Hi I'm about to go into a new job (my first!) and I have such anxiety that this will be me, I don't think a new employer would be as patient though :/

    Worth asking, did you pay around £60 for the intolerance test? If it's the online one where you send in strands of hair then don't bother it's completely fake. Figured that out the hard way. Told me I was intolerant to tea, grapes, marjoram.. all sorts that wasn't true!

    You've probably heard it a bunch of times but stick with cutting out dairy and try gluten as well. I also watch my sugar/glucose intake as I've found that's a HUGE trigger for me.

    Plus I agree with the above - headspace is a fab app and meditation has helped me massively. It's not sitting cross-legged doing the whole "ommmm" thing haha it's clearing your head for a few minutes or maybe an hour each day, when you find the time. You learn to stay as calm as you can in situations like that altercation with your manager. It will seem weird and pointless as first probably but stick with it!!

    I hope things work out well for you, it's probably best that you look for somewhere else to work, too. Best of luck x

  • Hiya

    Good luck for starting your first job.

    No it wasn't one of those ones. My mum found a local pharmacy that had a homeopath that did food intolerance test with electrodes was £120. some of the foods he said I couldn't have like the dairy I have unfortunately found out is true.

    I have never thought about meditation. but I have downloaded the app so will give it go. I will try anything for abit of a normal life.

    Thank you very much and yes I am looking for another job x

  • Hi Shell

    i just wanted to say that i too used to be in a job in which my manager sounded very much like yours and this can be such a huge trigger for IBS. When I changed jobs my IBS improved so much i couldnt believe it. I hope that things get better for you.

  • Hi Andrea thank you for your message. I actually have a couple of interviews coming up. which will be a whole new thing to deal with. I'm worrying about my sickness record with the new companies. Thank you glad things got better for you there is hope for me x

  • Good luck with the interviews fingers crossed for you

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