@oskar

Last reply

oskar

Disclosure

This is a perennial issue for everyone, but for me, it has become a difficult one to side-step. I have recently started a new job, new that is as it's with new colleagues. My MS was well known to previous colleagues as I was working with them when I was off sick for months and diagnosed. My new colleagues don't or didn't know about it, but with the new job being more 'community-based', my lack of car and driving, travelling around from site to site by bus, have been noticed and questioned. They're a good bunch and I don't want to be secretive nor appear to be asking for sympathy/special treatment. In addition, I have applied to OU and declared MS as a disability, but just having filled in the 'Disability' forms, I feel like a charlatan. I'm not that badly affected, but, like us all, I struggle if I do too much. It's that old dilemma - I want to be and appear 'normal' while at the same time receiving the concessions that come with, that horrible word, 'disabled'.

Stumbler

@Stumbler

You're not disabled, you're "lesser-abled". Or use that term that was mentioned yesterday, "neurologically-challenged". But, we do have to be sensible and work within our limitations.

oskar

@oskar

Thanks Stumbler. I never liked the term 'disabled' but my Occupational Health doc said to me once, "you have to face it, Martin, you're disabled". As he's the O.H. consultant, I didn't feel able to object. It has allowed me all sorts of workplace privileges though ;)

Gems28

@Gems28

I recently moved office. My colleagues in my team in my previous office knew and were great. I just came out and told my new colleagues and they have been great also. One of them's mother has ms too so she keeps a wee eye on me if I need it. I personally just wanted it out in the open with them then carry on with business. I think it's a very personal choice though and I did wait a little while thinking it over.

oskar

@oskar

Thanks @Gems - I have considered making a team-wide announcement just to clear the air. Might yet do it.

Stumbler

@Stumbler

Do you have team meetings? You could always do a short presentation to raise awareness of MS. And then have a Q & A session.

oskar

@oskar

I think I had considered that - I'll bear it in mind, thanks.

cameron

@cameron

Or you could do as I did and say you have a degenerative spinal condition (but that you're keeping positive etc etc). Mind you, it sounds as though you have a nicer bunch round you than I did. I told those people who had to know plus my real friends but had to face quite a few nosey parkers. I think I might be tempted to tell them in your place. And as they're presumably all health professionals, doesn't that pre-suppose tolerance and understanding? Or am I being naive?

reddivine

@reddivine

Disclosure is definitely best. whats gonna happen if your hands tremble tremble and you stumble? worst case, they think its the DT's....not a good move eh? 2nd the OU thing, go in with the whole telling the truth, there are all kinds of leeway if you declare a disability. In mid-90's I did a degree as a mature student(dx one year in) and do not underestimate that STRESS may, for a while make your symptoms flare up. But being the OU, you shd not have to deal with travelling and lousy buildings, built before "accessible" was an issue. You can at least pace yourself. Well done for taking on the challenge.

MrsAristotle

@MrsAristotle

I would just make light of it, next time someone asks you why you take the bus etc instead of driving just throw it into the pot, oh well cant do that anymore got a nuerological disorder which doesnt allow me to drive, but i can do everything else or something similar, if they ask what just say oh I have that Mother Sucker disease MS lol but it doesnt control my life thats why i am still working....and i will still give you a run for your money lol. I just wonder why it is when we have MS we have to tell anyone as long as we are doing the job properly. I expect if you spoke to each and everyone of your colleagues they are all suffering with something lol. Anyway I wouldnt make a fuss over it just drop it into conversation lightly. I know when i told someone I had MS they treated me differently and then stopped talking to me as though they might catch it off me lol, thats the weird thing its like we will give them some sort of horrible disease. I am going to get my Tshirts printed with I am not ill I am just neurologically challenged lol.

oskar

@oskar

@Cameron they are a nice bunch and I think they'd be understanding - little by little, the real me has won them over ;) @reddivine thank you for your words of support - what kicked me into that action was, I started a degree in French after leaving skool, but dropped out. That has always irked me, so I thought I'd have another go, particularly as it will take 6 years and I can retire in 6 years - I don't want to retire into 'puddingism' and I'd like to earn a bob or two as a part-time tutor. No flies on me ;)

cameron

@cameron

I did my PhD as a mature student and can honestly say it livened and sharpened me up tremendously. It was good to have something 'big' unconnected with work, but soon realised that I was getting new skills which I ended up using at work all the time. I was also promoted,which I put down to the fact that I'd become quicker on the uptake and definitely a rapid reader! I'm sure it'll be rewarding for you - you'll be juggling so many balls that you won't have time to fret about the MS! Lots of luck, Kay

oskar

@oskar

@Cameron - thanks very much and your experience has given me an extra boost:D

MrsAristotle

@MrsAristotle

Hi Oskar i was a tutor i taught I.T to mature students and troubled teenagers. One of my best students who devoured every qualification and passed very well had progressive MS and was in a wheelchair. She was amazing and said all the study kept her brain active. I learnt from her and I too although I dont do college courses am always learning, or supporting, as I have my own support group for undiagnosed neuro conditions, and I run a club for my rare breed poultry. So my brain is constantly on the go. Without that I think i would be in a mess right now.