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Thread: How do you tell people?

  1. #1

    How do you tell people?

    I've recently been diagnosed with MS after several years of having symptoms, after having such a long period of time without a proper diagnosis how do I tell people I have MS?

    I used to hide my symptoms behind excuses such as I have a bad
    back and lots of other creative excuses when people ask me why I was walking funnily etc.

    I'm now at the stage where I cannot walk more than a 100 metres and need to start using sticks or crutches full time for support and balance.

    I work in a job where I deal with people face to face a lot and although I have managed to hide symptoms by lots of varied and different methods I'm concerned that when people find out I have MS I will lose their respect and any chances of promotion etc.

    I realise that my situation is far better than the majority of people who use this website and am sorry if my whingy self-centered post offends anyone, I would just like to find a way of telling people without their
    opinions of me changing or them pitying me and would be grateful for any advice any of you can offer me.

  2. #2
    Senior Member willingtocope's Avatar
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    Its a tough progression, and all I can say is you're not alone.

    7 years ago, when I first took my current job (IT specialist), I went to my first interview with just a cane and a little bit of a limp. Over the years, I went from barely being able to walk 100 yds to get to meetings, to using a rollator, to now, where I need a wheelchair to get around work.

    People noticed my decline...asked what happened...I told them "they tell me I have MS". Everyone where I work has been supportive and helpful. They even remodeled the bathroom across the hall from my office to make it handicap accessible. I'm now at the point where I "telecommute" from home...the morning ritual of getting cleaned up and dressed is just too timme consuming.

    I realize you're in the UK, and the laws may be different there, but here, my company has been very accomodating and I'll continue to work as long as possible. Some of their cooperation is due to the US laws regarding disability, but, overall, telling people turned out not to be an issue.

    Only awkward moment I've had was one lady who, when I told her the dx, she said "let's pray together". I had to explain that although I am an ordained minister, God and I don't talk anymore.

  3. #3

    tough call

    Dear willingtocope,

    You would do well to get a letter from your doctor explaining your condition and your symptoms or potential symptoms to your supervisor and your HR department. Human Resources (HR) should know about the laws reporting disabilities of employees and protection of employee rights. It is better that your employer know about this and then you can tell customers,co-workers as you feel comfortable.

    pbr

  4. #4
    Senior Member willingtocope's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    You would do well to get a letter from your doctor explaining your condition and your symptoms or potential symptoms to your supervisor and your HR department. Human Resources (HR) should know about the laws reporting disabilities of employees and protection of employee rights. It is better that your employer know about this and then you can tell customers,co-workers as you feel comfortable.
    Agreed...in fact, already done. Papers filed and approved for FMLA certification. Registered with Iowa Vocational Rehab. My company actually has an RN on staff in the HR department who has helped guide me thru the paperwork.

    As I say, part of it is because of the US and Iowa laws...part of it because I work for a company that actually cares about its employees. There's probably 15-20 folks out of 600 in the building that have special needs.

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