UC and being a police officer, any experiences?

Posted , 5 users are following.

I've been suffering an ulcerative colitis flare up for nearly 2 years now, I'm on all the top whack meds including, 8 weekly infliximab infusions, asacol tablets, azathioprine, have had 3 periods of using prednisolone steroids which work whilst I'm on them but within a couple of weeks of being off them, I start flaring again. Consultant is starting to discuss the possibility of having to have surgery to cure me (illeostomy) as I have full pan colitis.

i am a police officer and very concerned that if I have to have an illeostomy bag that I won't be able to be a front line officer anymore and HR and occupational health can't seem to give me answers just yet. 

I would appreciate any comments on whether you know a police officer who has a bag and what's the likely hood of me still being able to be a bobby on the beat. I'd hate the thought of not being able to and if I can't then I'd be determined to try and persevere without surgery for as long as I can. 

 

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  • Posted

    I don't know if you're aware of this, but many think that UC may be associated with stress.  I know in my case it's what caused my first flare many decades ago and put me in hospital for a couple of weeks.  Afterwards I consciously tried to avoid stressful situations at work and with family and practised relaxation / relaxed breathing exercies for fifteen minutes once or twice a day.  Now I was lucky and had no serious recurrences for decades and had a normal life.

    If I were you I would try first of all to get a medical leave (with pay) for a few months to try to get over your flare.  Afterwards I would try for a less stressful police job such as working in the office, in teaching or officer training.

    I would try everything possible before agreeing to surgery.

    Good luck and I hope you find a solution to help you recover.

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  • Posted

    I feel for you - such a stressful job with having to cope with major uc too. Has your specialist considered trying you on another immuno suppressant instead of azathioprine? There are several different ones & forms (infusions or tablets) & some work for one person but not another. I have researched this a bit as I am a uc sufferer & fairly likely to have to go on immunosuppression soon due to repeated flares. I would ditto what gabe said - try every option before you consider surgery, & maybe a less stressful position in police force as stress is often a major trigger for uc flares. It's better to be able to continue working than have to give up altogether in the long term. Hope this helps.
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    • Posted

      Thanks looloo43, yes I've been on various different types of tablets,over the last 2 years it's felt like it's been trial and error with the tablets. I've even had the dosages changed. 

      I know that surgery in the long run, will be the best option and if it gives me my life back then that's great. If it means that I don't have to carry a bag full of wet wipes, spare underwear and be able to go shopping without having to run to the toilet every time! I've stopped going out with my friends cos the cue for the girls toilets are always long. I've managed to get hold of one of them radar keys for disabled toilets and it's the best thing ever, I'm past caring about people giving me dirty looks for using the disabled loo, if it means that I've escaped soiling myself then I really don't care. 

      Good luck with your recovery. Azathioprine is ok, but I did suffer some side affects when I first went on it. Felt very lethargic and sometimes felt like a struggle to get out of bed. Make sure you if go on immuno suppressants that you speak to your doctor bout the flu jab, because they affect your immune system you are more prone to colds and infections so you should be offered the flu jab free from your docs. 

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    • Posted

      I don't know if you've tried Immodium, but it can give you several hours free of diarrhea when you go out.  In emergencies i've had to duck into women's washrooms (I'm a guy) when the men's was occupied.  You might have to go into a men's washroom too. You might get some funny looks, but what the heck!
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  • Posted

    I'm not sure if it's classed as discrimination to suggest you can't carry on with your job, but check out ostomy support belts on the web, they protect the stoma so it can't snag, be pulled etc. It sounds as though your UC being so active would make it harder to work rather than a stomach. Good luck
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    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply, yes I've spoken to the federation which is like our union and it UC would be classed as a disability under the disability act so I know that work have to accommodate me.them belts look really good and I can't see why I couldn't wear one of them underneath my body amour. 

      Cheers 

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    • Posted

      Did you ever get your situation sorted out? I'm a police officer and currently waiting for a surgery date for a stoma to be fitted. Wondered if you ended up having surgery. How were work with it if you did? Thanks.
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  • Posted

    That was stoma by the way this kindle does not like that word!
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