Anonymous 16/07/12
Last reply 5 years ago
Starting a New Job….With health issues…

So I potentially may be starting a new job soon. During the day, better pay, full time yet I will still have 3 days off a week, and may possibly be easier on my body then my current job is.

I’m really excited…but I have a few worries.

A: I’m in the middle of a flare up and my symptoms are really bad. I may be able to hide some…but I know I wont be able to hide all of them.

B: I’m going through diagnostics right now and have MULTIPLE appointments coming up in the next three months…many of them I wont be able to work the day of the appointments. Which means I’m going to have to ask for days off before my 90 day – official permanent employee date. Never good.

If anyone has some advice on how to handle dealing with a new job and symptoms/doctor appointments I would really appreciate it.

The prospect of having to tell them about my upcoming appointments and explaining why I can’t keep my balance or can’t walk properly…and still trying to hang on to the brand new job is very daunting.

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Alison
5 years ago

Hi Chels – congratulations on the new job! Somebody replied to the Career Progression: Disclosing I have MS? topic saying they faked a knee injury – could that be an option? For your appointments you could try and get them grouped into a period of 1-2 weeks, then explain that you’ve already booked a holiday & take it out of your annual leave. It totally stinks that we feel the need to hide our MS, but realistically that’s what you have to do. X


Anonymous
5 years ago

Thank you for the suggestions! Sadly neither of those explanations are viable. My gait is quite noticeable and I drag my foot when its bad…it definitely doesn’t look like an injury when its noticeable. And my other visible issues are a tremor – which, when noticeable, looks like I’m awake and functioning during a minor seizure. And the dizziness makes me look like I’m drunk.

I can work through these but they are noticeable and not easily explainable without telling them. Which means I probably don’t have much of an option when it comes to telling them.

And as for the appointments…some of the tests need to be spread out a bit and since I’m being seen at a big teaching hospital the appointment dates are really dependent on when the doctor/equipment is available. Which means when they offer a date I have to take it. So I’m kind of stuck there. Plus I don’t get annual leave either. Ugh.

I really appreciate the suggestions though. The brainstorming helps.


macready
5 years ago

Congratulations on the job Chels 🙂 Its Tricky, i have been in the situation where i was diagnosed whilst working for a company, so with all the time off and appointments they knew something was up and then when i disclosed it to the owner/boss (smallish company) made it clear i wasn’t wanted there, anyway i got another job (after staying for 11months of hell, in a stalemate of i couldn’t leave as i have a Daughter to support, and he couldn’t fire me cos of the DDA in UK). Then last October started a new job and i was on temporary contract, nobody knew about my MS, although i was sure people must of seen me yawning and stumbling. They gave me a full time position in Jan, Then a occupational doctor was in and doing routine staff checks, the form asked if i had any (can’t remember exactly) disease of nervous system…hmmm so i told him and basically the bosses were informed, and i felt relieved that they knew, as a couple times colleagues had asked “whats wrong with you” say if i lost strength while lifting or grip. I just wanted to tell them, i found the stress of it was making me fatigued and grumpy. Soooo i dunno what i am saying is there is not an easy answer from what i have experienced. You may find they are OK or they are total *coughs*

Also it depends on the job and if maybe there could be any assistance from colleagues to help when needed, find it a can become a bit patronising but if it saves me from mind fog or heavy legs then as long as i see the money at the end of the month is all good heh.

Looking back i was having a good spell last October so was lucky, not been good since April, but then i was employed and had laws to protect me , its just really tricky, because i felt guilty also that i didn’t disclose my MS at interview, when it did affect my attendance this spring/summer.

(made redundant last month, but due to downturn in business and 10 others lost jobs too, so not down to MS)

Hope this may be of help i do not want to confuse the situation more


chueykooh
5 years ago

Congrats on the new job Chels, you never know how a employer will react, some will be very supportive and some will not. You won’t know until you try. If they like you shouldn’t have any problems and if they ask what’s wrong with you, I guess your only option at that point would be to tell them the truth, which would be I’m not sure yet, and that would be the truth in your situation. I really hope they are understanding and supportive. Good luck, I will have my fingers crossed for you 🙂


macready
5 years ago

Yes thats what i ment but better, sorry about the length of reply and i misunderstood the whole thing doh 🙂


Anonymous
5 years ago

Thanks everyone for your suggestions and well wishes! At this moment I don’t see any other option then to just tell them immediately after hiring that I have several doctors appointments coming up in the next three months, most of them I’ll be unable to work the day of. But that I will be happy to supply them with notes from the offices for proof of appointment at stated dates and times.
If they ask – either when I tell them this or when they see the doctors notes are from a neurologist office – I will have to just disclose the issue with them and pray for the best. Hopefully convincing them that I will do my best to not let it effect my work.


chueykooh
5 years ago

Sounds like your smartest option Chels. I wish you luck and hope they’re cool about it.


reddread
5 years ago

Congrats on finding a job that can support your needs! That can be very tough indeed. I recently just started a new job as a DJ (mostly weddings and such) which is only a weekend job, but I am facing the same issues that you are. Sometimes I get noticeable tremors, bad enough that one of my customers at my other job thought I had Parkinson’s Disease. My temperature sensitivity is causing all sorts of issues as well, because I am usually in a hot-and-stuffy community hall or gymnasium, and when I go outside or near a door (or even when I feel a slight breeze) the tremors get worse. I am also required to stand for the majority of the night, which causes all sorts of foot/leg pains as the night goes on, usually leaving me walking like a 90 year old man for the next couple days.

I totally understand where you’re coming from on this as it can be tough to disclose that kind of information to an employer who can easily, and legally, fire you for “no apparent reason” as long as you’re within that 3 month probationary period.

My best wishes go out to you and I hope everything works out =)


Anonymous
5 years ago

@ reddread – And mine to you


cameron
5 years ago

Chels: I was the one who posted elsewhere about faking a knee injury, so as an experienced deceiver would suggest the following. You could say that you are having balance problems which may well be neurological in origin so you’re having a round of tests. (To my mind, anyway)it’s less serious sounding than mentioning MS. The other one I’ve used is a bad back. This covers a multitude of symptoms and allows you to request to sit down, have a special chair etc. Just an idea, and lots of luck however you decide to play it. Keep us in the loop.


Anonymous
5 years ago

I was officially offered the job just now! I go in on Thursday to fill out the new hire paperwork and to let my new boss know about all of the appointments coming up. If they ask I will have to tell them…and we’ll see where that lands me.

@cameron – I appreciate the advice. I really do. But sadly as stated above…these ‘explanations’ wouldn’t properly fit all of the symptoms I present physically. And the last thing I can risk is being caught in a lie at a new job.


cameron
5 years ago

Great news, Chels. You’re right, you can’t lie, but hopefully you’ll not even be asked. And when you’ve got everything sorted I hope you’ll celebrate in style!

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