Support comes in all shapes and forms.
The support from my workplace to me having Inflammatory Bowel Disease has been mixed. I used to be a key player in the work team, I worked hard and was doing well in climbing the career ladder. My management have been supportive, they have moved me into the quiet office where I now do a little admin work. There are days when I get asked too much of and days I feel that the support is lacking, but I am often surprised by the kind response I get when I call in sick.
Colleagues are rather nosy and judgmental. I understand they think I am getting preferential treatment but they tend to be rude in the way they ask questions. I have had to learn to ignore people and their outspoken opinions! (easier said than done.)
Friends can sometimes be wonderful and I find myself wondering how it is I still have friends when I spend so much time being poorly. I try my best to explain why I can't make certain trips or accept invites. It is safe to say that you truly learn who you can count on when you become unwell. I have lost touch with a few along the way but deep down I am still the same person I was before my illness and am always on the phone trying my best to support them as much as they do me.
The medical staff I have dealt with have been marvelous, although my consultant is outspoken and pushy HA! 'Are you back in work yet?! Why not?!' In all fairness I think I need that push some days, although I hate to admit that he is sometimes right.
Family I would say are the shining stars...and also the biggest head ache. They are angels when I cancel plans that I have made the previous day due to not feeling great. They understand why I may be wary to do certain activities or spend hours on a day out. Family are very tolerant, as my mother's new saying goes 'I'm used to you by now!!' Though there are times when even they just simply don't get it!!
Nobody knows the physical side or can contemplate the emotions that come with such an illness. I have been extremely determined and hopeful about my Ulcerative Colitis but the cracks are starting to show. My emotions can get the better of me some days I'm not afraid to admit. There are days I think why me? Days when I think about my mortality, wouldn't it be simpler? Days I laugh, smile and think life isn't so bad after all.
The best support I have had is from the Crohn's and Colitis Uk website and the fellow champions on their forum. No questions are off limits, everyone asks whatever is concerning them and people find ways to inspire and laugh again.
So to everyone who ever has, is or will support me in future a huge thank you to you all!