Forum member Nutmegblue stopped into the forum recently to relate his experiences with discrimination. Discrimination has become a big topic in the IBD community of late, after the results of the IMPACT survey done in Europe found that many people who have IBD feel they have been discriminated against because of their illness.
Nutmegblue and his fiancee have both been dealing with discrimination in the workplace because of ulcerative colitis. Here's what he posted in the forum:
"After being misdiagnosed as celiac for five years, my fiancee was finally told she had colitis in 2009. In Nov 2009, this became ulcerative colitis. She was put on prednisolone initially, and suffered severe side effects. In March 2010, she suffered a complete breakdown.
We both worked part time for a radio station in the UK, me for 5yrs, my fiancee for over 12yrs.
From the day she returned to work, in Sept 2010, she was harrassed, bullied, and discriminated against by one senior staff member. I made a formal complaint to the company's diversity unit, on the grounds of disability discrimination by this one person.
Result: suddenly, we're both surplus to requirements.
We are going through the Employment Tribunal process now, which is proving a great strain for my fiancee.
Don't let anybody tell you discrimination doesn't exist! It only started after the diagnosis! And my fiancee's IBD is well managed."
What is your experience with discrimination? Do you have any advice for Nutmegblue on how to handle this problem, or other problems that may come up in the future? Hop into the forum to talk about it!
Photo © Constantin Deaconescu