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Telling your employer


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purple_ness1 Find out more about purple_ness1
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  • Telling your employer

    Hey how's everyone going ?
    I have a question for everyone, how many of you tell or don't tell your employee about your health? Do have have bad or good reactions?
    My boss found out about my health the other day by accidents as I fainted at work turns out it had nothing to do with my heart in the end anyway it was just because I was low in iron but at the time didn't know that so had to tell my boss I had "heart issues" if you can even call it issues.
    Anyway now she's taken me of some shifts as they are doing "physical" stuff and they "can't have me fainting on the kids" ( I work with children). I'm a bit annoyed about that as the fainting was not even heart related as I told my boss and I have a few issues hear and there but it's never effected my work

    Forever Young

    I was diagnosedwith HCM at 6.
    Went into Atrial fibrillation so had a ICD put in at 16
    Went into Heart failure at 17
    Got a heart transplant at 21(2009)

  • #2
    Re: Telling your employer

    Hard for us to answer in a way that will be meaningful for you since the laws in the U.S. protect us from discrimination based on disabilities. Don't know what the law in N.Z. provides.

    Since you do work with small children, the school does have to worry about the health and mental well being of the kids. After all, if something happened to the kids because of your health, the school would be responsible.

    Sorry, probably not what you want to hear, but true. It's a bit like driving with an ICD that might go off. We are precluded from driving if we are a risk to others.
    Daughter of Father with HCM
    Diagnosed with HCM 1999.
    Full term pregnancy - Son born 11/01
    ICD implanted 2/03; generator replaced 2/2005 and 2/2012
    Myectomy 8/11/06 - Joe Dearani - Mayo Clinic.


    • #3
      Re: Telling your employer

      I got pretty good at hiding my episodes. For a while I worked at the local Lowes ( a big home improvement store here). I could lean against something and act like I was looking something up for a customer while I caught my breath. But I'll have to say I never passed out. I got kind of busted one day when a manger caught me bracing myself against a wall to catch my breath. I was able to talk my way out of trouble when I explained that I was in no danger of anything but discomfort and it helped that I had been otherwise reliable. Had I passed out there would have been a lot more explaining to do!
      Angus Campbell
      Golden Isles Region, Southeast Georgia, USA

      Dx'd HOCM at St Luke's Roosevelt, New York City, 2005
      Myectomy Jan 9th 2014 at Cleveland Clinic
      Drs Lever and Smedira


      • #4
        Re: Telling your employer

        Angus - think of all the fun you missed by not passing out on the streets of NYC where people just walk around you complaining of another "drunk" using the sidewalk for a bed, or coming to on the floor of Penn Station with a circle of cops telling you to "move along". At least when it happened in a hospital (twice) medical personnel were a bit more concerned.


        • #5
          Re: Telling your employer

          RE Fainting at work story:My mother-in-law fainted at work...she begged them not to call 911 but they did. the paramedics started an IV and carted her off to the hospital. The IV the paramedics started became infected, she developed SBE ( Sub-acute Bacterial Endocarditis) Her mitral valve decompensated from the bacterial damage and she went into heart failure and had an emergency mitral valve replacement.
          Never had any heart issues before, probably fainted from low blood sugar....she was diabetic.

          RE Purple's situation: Sorry about your work situation....Maybe you could get a letter from your doctor explaining this was a single occurrence, unrelated to your heart condition and that you are 100% cleared to work full time. Then offer your boss a trial period.... Say three months to show her you can do the job without any further incidence. It seems strange to me that her answer was to cut your shifts.....If fainting were the issue, you could faint on 1 shift a week or 5 shifts a week. Maybe they are looking for ways to cut the budget and your fainting was an excuse? As Cynaburst said, if your condition put children at risk, they would need to do something to protect the kids and themselves.... which might be to let you go entirely.....So, I guess look at all angles of the situation before you take action.
          After years of symptoms:
          Officially Diagnosed HOCM 2006
          Myectomy 3/11/13 at non-COE
          Extended Myectomy 7/23/14
          At Mayo with Dr. Joseph Dearani


          • #6
            Re: Telling your employer

            To answer your question - Most of us (of a certain age), know its none of their damn business, and that being the case - usually try to NOT to bring it up unless we have to. That was my case when I requested time off for my ICD change-out this week. The cats out of the bag when your beeping, fainted, winded, or can't be near high power electrical stuff. Then its a matter of proving I'm no different than I was last week before they knew.
            Diagnosed @ 48
            Saw Dr. Michael Debakey @ age 5 - "He's fine, just a little noisy"
            Father to 3 boys 22, 25, 29 (all currently clear - pending genetics)
            AICD - Valentines Day '08, Spark Plug replaced 11/14
            After much research, I had a Myectomy @ Mayo for my 50th Birthday '08
            Quietly going insane . . .


            • #7
              Re: Telling your employer

              Before my myectomy, I was sure I'd concealed my situation from my co-workers, or at least most of them. It turned out that, of course, all of them realized something was going on with me. In my particular case, I would have been better off had I been open. That's not necessarily true in other work situations.

              Myectomy on Feb. 5, 2007.


              • #8
                Re: Telling your employer

                I can just say that I have a decent employer (bigger company) that has a fair and understanding way of dealing with my heart condition. I never (had to) hide it from HRM or management, and received adequate support and understanding after my surgery and rehab. They are not pushing my too hard, but I'm not relegated to minor stuff and boring chores. Despite the law never requiring me to be upfront, it hasn't hurt me either. And it sure saves a lot of headaches. But as I said, I happen to have a very decent employer. That certainly helps.
                \"Hope is disappointment postponed\"

                Dx in 2004, first symptoms 20 years ago? Obstructed, A-fib, family history!

                Combined Morrow and (left atrial) Maze procedures & PVI at St. Antonius Hospital, Netherlands, March 28, 2013.

                Meds (past) propranolol, metoprolol, disopyramide, sotalol, amiodaron, aspirin, dabigatran, acenocoumarol.

                Meds (current) sotalol, dabigatran, furosemide.


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