Should I Go Back To Work With Crohn's During COVID?
The positives of working from home with Crohn's disease
From a Crohn’s standpoint, it makes it easier. I don’t have to wait for someone to come and relieve my classroom.
Another positive about having Crohn’s and working from home is that I can experiment with more foods without much worry. If my stomach acts up, I can literally walk a few steps to the bathroom.
Yes, I will admit that I have been drinking a pot of coffee a day. I know, it's not good for me, I know!
The fears around returning to work during the pandemic
Starting November 9th, all K-2 teachers in my school district have to return. There are a lot of my staff members that are getting written out of work due to an accommodation that has to do with the ADA. I get it. They are scared to return to work, and I don’t blame them.
Many of my staff know that I have bad Crohn’s. Many of my staff also know that I take Humira and other immune-suppressive medications. They have been asking me if I was going to get written out of work for those reasons, and I really haven’t given anyone an answer.
Crohn’s is listed under the American with Disabilities Act. My GI doctor would have no problem writing me out. I am sure if I went to go see him, he would of course say that I would not be returning to the building.
I also know that it is the right thing not to return to the building due to my Crohn’s. But there is another side to the coin...
The reasons why I want to go back to work in person
I need to go back to work. This pandemic has affected me psychologically. It is very hard to stay home and basically look at the four walls.
Sure, you can say: “Paul, you know, you are so lucky to have a job, and benefits, and uninterrupted pension.” I agree with you.
But hear me out. When you spend over a year in the hospital, then another year at home recovering, it really takes a toll. Being home brings back some scared and bad memories of my Crohn’s past.
Am I at an increased risk because of Crohn's disease?
Is it an increased risk? Sure is. Do I know that? I sure do. For my own sanity, I can’t wait to go back to work. I am willing to take the risk and hold myself accountable for anything that happens to me (COVID-related).
Crohn’s has made me a more independent person, able to make tough decisions daily. I know one thing is for sure, the bathrooms at my school will be much cleaner! Stay safe everyone.
Does exercising regularly help in the management of your symptoms?