@Gray86

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Gray86

MS v Work

Hi everyone. Hope you're all well. This is my first post and I hope it is shared in strict confidence. I am going to skip the details of diagnosis and move onto the biggest challenge I have faced since being diagnosed with MS. I would be so grateful of your opinions. I was diagnosed with MS at the end of 2014. I remember spending Christmas that year not so cheerful! After nearly 5 years I have disclosed this to my employer. That was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. It was so personal, embarrassing and having spoken to my boss and HR I told them to keep it to themselves. To me, nobody underneath management needs to know. I found it hard and quite frankly exhausting really keeping this from everyone. They respected my wishes and assured me that it is confidential. To start from the beginning. I work as a Legal Executive in a law firm. Generally a career in law is demanding and has its own pressures. Despite years of blood, sweat and tears studying (through passing and also failing), I have still continued with working in it. It was in July that work has been stressful. It was discussed with me that I should be put on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). All employers have them. I have not been meeting the standards of work for the firm. They said I will be looked at over a few months, monitored, send written warnings if I have not improved. If it escalates it can lead to dismissal. When I was told I did not take it well. I was given a sick note from my GP for two weeks. During that time I went over in my head questioning whether MS has took hold of me more now. Towards the end of the sick note I woke up and decided to have an appointment with GP and discuss whether I should tell work I have MS. My GP advised me that in his opinion I should have told work from day one. Although, I have been told that you do not have to. I told work and they referred me to an Occupational Health Therapist. During the meeting with the OH, I was embarrassed and needed encouragement to share with the OH what I went through and how work potentially affects me. Also what kind of adjustments I think would benefit me. The most important one for me is having the time off to attend appointments with the MS consultant and DMT nurses. My OH report has been received which has added to my embarrassment. However, HR have now come back to the OH to ask for clarity. Due to the stress and also the current client work coming in, the type of working I am doing is low at the moment. Allocation of work to me depends on my capacity. I feel a little relieved but I am still embarrassed and I still fear the unknown. I just hope that as work are questioning the OH's report, they are trying to get to the bottom of my condition. I fear that my competency will be questioned and I will get a demotion. To put this into more context. I have not long bought a house, which I saved up for after paying back my law exams and saving so much, to the expense of having no life. I fear that my house could be taken off me. So my closest family. Mum, dad, my sister and closest cousins know about this, and now work know about it. For now, until I am ready I should not have to tell anyone else. I just think if I do I will just get a bit sympathy and then afterwards I might get treated differently. I am putting that on hold. At the moment I would really appreciate your thoughts, opinions and experience of what I have just done.