Thanks for starting this forum. Medicine is certainly demanding and though our colleagues should be the most sensitive and aware about the impacts of IBD, we are also pressured as doctors, nurses, etc, to somehow be superhuman and work impossible hours with poor self care.
I am still in my training and although it is difficult, I find that the best policy is to be open about my diagnosis with supervisors. It is awkward and I too worry about burdening my colleagues. Sleep is incredibly important in regulating my symptoms and yet I have still not requested accommodations for call, partly because I don't want the stigma and pressure of burdening my colleagues. You're right that at the end of the day, what use is it to put others' needs before our own when we'll end up less helpful and healthy in the process!
I'm having a moderate flare currently for the first time since 2010 and I think I'll have to be more open with colleagues. I have a strong urge to minimize my symptoms and try to hide it from colleagues, but that just makes me feel worse, like I'm keeping a shameful secret.
It may be difficult to negotiate, but ultimately your health comes first. Nothing is more important. And you may love your job and colleagues, but you're compromising both if you're neglecting your health when it's most important. This is what I try to remind myself.
More than call, right now I'm concerned about an upcoming grand rounds I am scheduled to present. This is probably my biggest current stressor and I'm wondering if it would be appropriate to reschedule to a time when I'm in less distress. What to do?