One in four U.S. adults live with a disability, some visible and some invisible. Disabilities are not just what you can see on the outside, but oftentimes what is happening on the inside. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a person with a disability as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
Celebrating International Day of Persons With Disabilities
In honor of the International Day of Persons With Disabilities, we wanted to share Elisabeth Wurm’s story. Elisabeth is an IT Corporate Recruiter for Dot Foods and shared her experience with Crohn’s Disease—an irritable bowel disease (IBD) that attacks her gastrointestinal (GI) system and creates painful lesions—with us.
People living with invisible disabilities often undergo physical and emotional pain, lifestyle changes, and a number of procedures without many of their work peers even knowing. That’s why it’s so important to show colleagues empathy and flexibility in the workplace. And that is why Elisabeth is speaking out—in hopes that it will encourage others to learn from her experiences and inspire other people with disabilities to speak out, too.
Crohn’s has helped me get in touch with my body’s needs like nothing else. Incorporating regular rest and margin into my schedule is crucial for me being able to function and show up to work every day. I am thankful I work for a company like Dot that helps me achieve a better work-life balance.
Here’s Elisabeth’s story:
Hi, I’m Elisabeth Wurm, and I have Crohn’s Disease. Crohn’s is an Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) and also an autoimmune disease. This means my immune system attacks my gastrointestinal (GI) system, thinking it’s foreign. The result is painful lesions throughout various parts of my intestines.
10 Things You May Not Know About My IBD:
1. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in May 2015, but I’ve dealt with gut issues since 2009. After having 12-hours of intense pain one night, my doctor thought I had kidney stones. We did a CT scan and colonoscopy, and Crohn’s was revealed.
2. My first GI doctor had me on only steroids for six months, and one of the side effects was that I couldn’t sleep. I was taking up to three Benadryl a night just to get rest!
3. I’ve been on Humira since November 2015 and am grateful it works for me! It’s a biologic medicine that suppresses my immune system from attacking itself.
4. I don’t just struggle with gut problems. Also included are chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression, and inflammation in other areas of my body, like chronic neck pain or joint pain. I also get chronic migraines, but we aren’t sure if that’s a related or separate issue.
5. Since gluten and dairy add extra inflammation, I have to avoid those. I also have to avoid beans, corn kernels, nuts, and seeds because they could get stuck in my intestines. Sometimes other foods cause me problems, too. Eating food is always a trial and error situation.
6. IBD is different from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). I have both.
7. I’ve had three colonoscopies before the age of 33.
8. Plexus has really improved my gut health. I take their pre-biotic drink every morning, plus their probiotic, biocleanse, and x-factor vitamin with aloe.
9. Crohn’s has helped me get in touch with my body’s needs like nothing else. Incorporating regular rest and margin into my schedule is crucial for me being able to function and show up to work every day. I’m thankful I work for a company like Dot that helps me achieve a better work-life balance.
10. I found an amazing friend who helps me with meal prep twice a month. She’s aware of all my finicky dietary restrictions, sends me new ideas for meals, and helps restock my freezer. This type of practical support is so appreciated and makes such a difference!
Nothing like a #chronicillness to develop resilience and empathy for myself and for others!
Great Place To Work®
Dot Foods is proud to announce that we have officially been certified as a Great Place To Work®. This year, we partnered with Great Place To Work®—the global authority in workplace culture and most respected workplace recognition program—for our annual employee survey.