I just wanted to share something with you all. I have read so many horror stories of MS patients that can't tell their employers that they're sick, or worse, they tell & get absolutely no support from their employers. Well, this week I decided i needed help. I have been so exhausted lately and I needed to find a way to get myself some rest. I have 2 little kids (2&7), so it's not like I get to catch up on my rest on the weekends when i'm not at work! I also can't really work shorter days during the week because I would just have to pick my kids earlier & again....not really restful!! So I talked to my boss (who already knows i have MS) about working from home one day a week. He didn't hesitate for a second before saying he was 100% in favor of it AND that he would talk to his boss (our vp of operations) about getting me a laptop so that i wouldnt have to use my home computer & it'd be easier to work from home on any other days when i'm just not feeling up to getting to the office.
Our VP approved it without even asking WHY i wanted to work from home. I felt that they had been so good to me that i owed him an explanation. Professionally, i didn't want him to think i was just burned out or something else. So yesterday I went & talked to him about everything that's going on (getting diagnosed a month ago, starting on rebif last week, etc etc) and he was FANTASTIC!!!!! Told me that I have proven myself in my job and that they will do whatever it takes to help me get & stay healthy. He even told me that staying healthy will be a big part of my MBO's/goals for next year and that that was my priority. All i have to do is tell them what i need and they will do their best to accomodate me. I even told him that my biggest frustration is that my memory is just not what it used to be. I have always been able to remember EVERYTHING about what i have done at work, who i talk to, etc. He kind of laughed and said "well, you'll just have to learn to take better notes". No judgments, nothing.
I can't tell you how blessed I feel to work in such a great environment. I know I am one of the lucky ones, and I apologize if I have upset someone by sharing this, but I wanted to put this out there for those that haven't been able to tell their employers so you could see that it doesn't always have to be as bad as you make it out to be. There are wonderful people in this world (some on this board! )!!!
Personally, I've always found it better to "tell" rather than "hide" (figured that out when I was a kid and have been like that ever since. That way people don't have to "talk around the water cooler" about me :-)
I too have a very understanding boss. He knew about my MS before he even hired me. There have been several times over the last couple of years when I was unable to concentrate or just too fatigued to do my job and it was never questioned when I left early. He just said that he needs me here at 100% so to go home and get the rest. If fact, by now, my whole office knows and everyone is very supportive. (It was hard to come up with a story to explain why I was on an IV at work) Its very comforting to have such a great group to work with. I feel for those of us who have to deal with boss's or others who have no compassion.
Wonder if there is some kind of award that could be presented to the good ones.
I am so glad this went well for you. I can "hear" happy in your post!! That definately eliviates(sp?) so much stress in your life, making for a healthier you!! Its always great to hear these happy posts.
HI Erin. Im really happy for you. I was in the same position as you about 10 months ago, and didnt get the same exact reaction. Ive choosen to handle it a different way.
When I disclosed, it was because I had to. I had already had MS for a few weeks when I got this job, but hadnt told them when they interviewed me or when they hired me. I was being covered by my husband's health insurance and until I was sure about the job, I just wasnt ready to talk....about 3 months into the job, I relapsed-bad. I wound up on IV Steroids (in my home) for 5 days and called in sick the first 2 days...the third day, I went in and just blurted the story out about how I had "just been dx with MS" (okay so I decided to skip a few weeks of the whole story) and how lousy I was feeling. Because my job is in sales/marketing and because I am on the road all day, no one really sees me regularly. They now know- but never ask how im feeling. Ive decided that its basically up to me to manage myself. If I feel especially bad, I go home and make calls from my house or just bag it and go to bed. I make sure that I see my quotient of customers even if some nights I have to work until 8 pm to do it. Its actually kind of cool, becasue I work in hospitals alot- I justify my being there after 5 with saying that I wanted to see the night shift, since normally I only see the 7-3 shift of nurses. My boss thinks its a creative strategy and I at least know Im giving him a full weeks work, even if I have to break it up on certain days. Im not doing anything wrong, and this is why Im good at sales! In the long run its working out for me.
I wish I had the kind of support that you have because there are days when you just need someone to understand...but thats when I turn to this board and all of you. We all have to find support wherever we can get it. Im very happy for you to have found it on your job. Dont ever apologize for having some nice people in your world. You deserve that respect. It sounds like you earned it and legally, they are required to help you. Its a really nice bonus that they sound like they appreciate you and want you to be at your best. Congrats..
Erin, that's great! Each of us does have different situations and reasons as to whether or not to disclose -- don't worry, I don't think you're upsetting anybody. Anyway, certainly seems that it was the right thing for you -- glad it worked out so well!
I am very excited for you!!! I'm glad to here everything went so well at your job. I too, have a great support group at work (even though I haven't been officially diagnosed yet) and have similar expectations when I tell my boss. It really makes such a difference when you know people will understand you and be compassionate when you need time to relax instead of thinking your just a lazy employee. Hopefully your medication will kick in and start helping you feel yourself again. I've heard rebif works wonders from some on this board. I am very fortunate to be in the medical field (mri) and have a boss who knows the in and outs of autoimmune disorders since she has lupus herself! Things always seem to work themselves out in one way or another. I firmly believe this. Hopefully you'll be well rested with your new change in hours and be able to keep up with your rugrats! Take care. Tara