Welcome to Crohn's Forum, a support group for people with all forms of IBD. While this community is not a substitute for doctor's advice and we cannot treat or diagnose, we find being able to communicate with others who have IBD is invaluable as we navigate our struggles and celebrate our successes. We invite you to join us.
Reason why I have, is because I've been there as long as I have. I've been at my workplace for many years and they've seen me through a very bad flare. Honestly, when I obtain a brand new manager who doesn't know me or my work, I don't tell them right away. I want them to know me for how I work, not for my medical issues. Thankfully, I haven't had to call in sick because of my IBD though.
Oh yeah my employer is well aware. I missed 4 months of work due to an emergency bowel resection in 2013 and they were quite supportive. After that incident I asked for intermittent FMLA coverage to protect me/my job in the event of call outs & extended time our due to flares or hospitalizations. I've had numerous surgeries since, and they've always had no issues with the time missed/HR provides great support plus my managers are always reminding me to speak up and try not to 'tough it out' if i'm ever having a bad day. They'll work to cover my shift if I need to take a day off.
I think it really hit home for my senior manager who saw me come back to work after a week in the hospital and she said I looked white as a sheet. I was still hurting pretty bad but I didn't want to use up anymore sick time and wanted to get back into my routine. She had my immediate supervisor reassign tasks so that I wouldn't have too heavy a load and had her sit next to me to keep watch in case i needed help. They know i'm a hard worker and they certainly know i'm not faking it. It does help tremendously to have that kind of support.
My employer knows I had heart surgery due to pericarditis. Hard to hide being away from work for a month to recover from surgery. But I have not told them that the pericarditis was an extra-intestinal manifestation of Crohn's disease. I haven't mentioned Crohn's at work at all. Except for perhaps going to more doctors appointments than usual (both GI and cardiologist), the Crohn's, or at least the intestinal part of the Crohn's, has not caused me to miss any work.
I told all my bosses about this. I set some time aside to explain how it works, without going into gory detail, and how it affects me. With my current boss I've managed to get the flexibility to work from home when the symptoms kick up, which has frankly been a life-changer.
I had a similar situation, on yearly employee contracts. Applied noting disability, no prob. Told my boss a few years back, no prob - but also no use. Told HR to formally ask for help, resulting in seemingly big problem (though not relayed directly). Not only no noteworthy help, but a month later a senior person announced the end of my role without good / believable reason. So not the best experience.