Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Continuation of Disaibilites and work

           Last week I blogged about disabilities and work. I wanted to share my story of what happened at one of my jobs through the same employer I work for now but thankfully not the same department. I honestly have always struggled with being able to tell people I am diabetic. I grew up being teased and experience issues at school from teachers. So I am the type not to tell because of these experiences. I am currently working on being more up front about it except at work.

            I worked in a very busy department where i manged everything from event planning, accounting, student events, purchasing, student payroll, and quite a few other special projects. My boss liked to take time off so I was covering for her when she was out. I had my handfuls to say the least. After my mother passed away I started having issue with low blood sugars and was diagnosed with hypoglycemia unawareness. Dealing with grief and managing blood sugars is not an easy task. Grief is like having two full time jobs. I was doing the best I could. I was testing at least 14 or more times a day trying to catch all the lows but sadly I was still missing them. I decided to go back to pumping which seemed to start helping but I still had a large amount of lows.

             I was getting very disoriented from my lows and would lose track of time when I was low. I was really scared with how I was going to deal with all the craziness I called my life. I was working as hard as I could to deal with the lows. I started to make some headway and then one afternoon a coworker calls me to ask me a question. I was not answering the questions like I normally would. She had a feeling something was wrong. She worked up 3 floors above me. She came down to my office and I was really out of it. She decided that she needed to call 911. She was not sure what to do. I start to come out of my low after they decided that I needed a soda. I start drinking it and by then the EMS arrive and they check my blood sugar it was back up to 60 by then. After this whole incident my boss became very concerned about my ability to do the job.

              I was called into a meeting with my new supervisor who had just started and the executive assistant. They wanted me to speak with the disabilities office where I worked. They were worried they were not accommodating my condition properly. I had never said I was diabetic but they knew after the EMS visit but my coworker knew. I told them that I was trying to address the low issue I had that day and was working on ways to avoid that from happening again. They seem satisfied so I thought the discussion was over. I had numerous visits over the next couple of months to my endocrinologists office trying to get things to settle down. I had have several EMS visit at home as well. I know my work was getting frustrated with all the Dr.'s appointments and such. I tried my bets to schedule early morning or later afternoon appointments to miss less work. This still did not seem to be helping much. In fact at one point my boss told me she thought I should consider applying for disability. I was offended after one incident at work they wanted me to quit.

               I knew things were not going well. I was getting really stressed by the pressure they were putting on me. I noticed around this time that I was going into a rheumatoid arthritis flare up. I had not been to my rheumatologist office since i took the job with this department. I really needed to take care of things because I was having trouble dealing with the pain. It was one of the worst flare ups I have had since diagnosis. I went to my rheumatologist and he put me back on a prescription medication to treat my RA. The Dr. wanted my eyes to be checked by my eye Dr. before he put me on the medication. It has been know to possibly cause some eye issues. I emailed my supervisor at the time about going to my eye Dr appointment. He email response was why are you going to the eye Dr. during the week. Why are you not able to go to one on a Saturday. I told her that ophthalmologist and optometrist are very different and that was not an option. I needed to see an ophthalmologist. I called the disabilities office about this issue because I know my appointments are important part of me being able to not miss work.

              The next thing I know the disabilities office is recommending that I possibly start looking at other departments because this department thinks my appointments are excessive and I should not need as many Endocrinologist appointments. They said I should have max of two of those a year and one eye appointment. Since when did an executive assistant and an senior administrative assistance become Dr.'s. I went to another Dr.'s appointment and had my Dr. write an note allowing me family medical leave and I used my time off to find another job outside of this employer and then gave notice..I think next time in this situation I would be seeking legal council because this employer did not follow the laws. This blog is way too long already there was even more than I have covered that went on. I learned several things for me that not disclosing what type of appointments I am going to helps reduce the why do you need to see them again routine and also it helps reduce them doing there own personal research and justifying me down to only needing so many types of appointments. I think this is working for me and I will most likely not change this method after this bad experience.


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