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How do you deal with knowledge of your condition at your place of employment?

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  • How do you deal with knowledge of your condition at your place of employment?

    Is it common knowledge, especially if you have been out sick for awhile? I suppose the company nurse and doctor have to know, but what about your immediate supervisor and co-workers? I have never mentioned it before since I had no symptoms, but now that I have had some, I suppose it is a part of my medical history, right? Especially since I have an ICD now.
    First major HCM symptoms at age 50
    ICD 6/06

  • #2
    Re: How do you deal with knowledge of your condition at your place of employment?

    Remeber that your medical history is personal and protected. There are different opinions on this subject. Many people only give the information that they feel are relevent to there job. It isn't your companys business to know your entire medical history. That's what HIPPA is all about. Think this through and toss around the experiences of others that will surely post here soon, before making your decision. There is many pros and cons to this issues.
    Take care and best of luck!

    God Bless!
    Sherry
    tommysgirl wishes you a blessed day with many laughs and smiles along the way!

    Wife of Tommy Hall passed 9/22/07
    HOCM, (AA x2, CABG, RFA, Myectomy x2, Maze)
    Tomy 13
    Amber 25
    grandchildren Aiden 6, Maddie 4

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: How do you deal with knowledge of your condition at your place of employment?

      HIPAA seems to be more about health insurance. My employment has all these requirements about returning to work, and I suppose the required doctor's letter has to summarize what the deal was, so they will know.

      I guess I will try to call the HCMA offices tomorrow for guidance on this - it is a very scary thing, going from saying "no health problems except for high blood pressure" to "they put an ICD in me because they are afraid of me dropping dead due to HCM".
      First major HCM symptoms at age 50
      ICD 6/06

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: How do you deal with knowledge of your condition at your place of employment?

        I would think that the information your employer needs to know --- may vary from state to state. I certainly would not feel it is NECESSARY to disclose anything that my doctors didn't feel was necessary, for example, if I'm putting others' safety at risk -- obviously, that would be relevant, but with an ICD, you can feel more secure than before. I might be careful about disclosing too much information until you talk to someone (i.e. Lisa at the HCMA office).

        A few years back, when I had to be out of work for a while, due to my HCM acting up while I was pregnant, all my doctor's notes said were something like: "Complete bedrest/No work until further notice;" and "Theresa is permitted to return to work as of this date." When I began working, I hadn't yet been diagnosed, and since when I signed my contract at the beginning of my employment, it did not say anywhere that I needed to update my health status if my health changed, I didn't feel the need to go change my employment records. I figured it wasn't really any of their business.
        Theresa
        Philippians 4:4-9; Wife, & 39 yo Mom to 9 year old son and 6 year old son/daughter twins; Diagnosed with HoCM 1999; Cleveland Clinic Myectomy and ICD, January 2006.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: How do you deal with knowledge of your condition at your place of employment?

          It depends on what kind of work you do. Some people with ICDs had jobs that put them near power converters and they had to change jobs, so then the boss needs to know why.

          However, if you have a desk job, no one needs to know. I wear a medic alert bracelet and people ask if i'm diabetic and i just say no and don't say anything else, if they press me, i just say they don't have to worry about it unless there is an emergency.

          most peopple can't wrap their mind around HCM and it is usually not in your best interests to say anything unless it is interferring with your work.

          While not specific to HCM, this site has some good info on disability in the workplace (i have no financial interest in it but she is my career coach): http://cicoach.com/

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: How do you deal with knowledge of your condition at your place of employment?

            Please do call the HCMA office and speak to Lisa. It is important to be very careful in how much you discuss with your employer. Unfortunately, it can back fire on you.
            As, for HIPAA it is an act to protect you and your health information. It isn't just to do with insurances. Healthcare workers including doctors, medical staff, and insurance companies have to protect your information and can't speak to anyone about it, including spouses without your written consent.
            I wish you much luck on your return to work. Your ICD is a new safety net for you.

            God Bless!
            Sherry
            tommysgirl wishes you a blessed day with many laughs and smiles along the way!

            Wife of Tommy Hall passed 9/22/07
            HOCM, (AA x2, CABG, RFA, Myectomy x2, Maze)
            Tomy 13
            Amber 25
            grandchildren Aiden 6, Maddie 4

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: How do you deal with knowledge of your condition at your place of employment?

              Please deal with this carefully. In 2004, I had been going through alot of tests and found out in June. I had my ICD placed in Sept 2004 and was out. I had been med fighted in Sept 2005 and scared my job. THe next year I was in and out. Finally in Feb 2006 was told with my health and the stress of the job was to much for me. Iwas an accountant and know I'm a Real Estate Appraiser. I did not let them know too much and this back fired on me.
              Joe Del

              Diagnosed @ age 45 with HCM June 2004; ICD Implant: September 2004. Fifteen years prior was tested and told had an anxiety attack. Second ICD implanted May 5, 2009 with adding second lead.

              My biggest part is the depression and now on disability.

              Tested positive for HCM gene and all three children are negative.

              Husband and father of three children: Son 18 and two daughters 13 and 7.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: How do you deal with knowledge of your condition at your place of employment?

                I am facing some of the same issues. I have been looking for a job in my profession since February( I am an RN). No luck until just recently. Friday I filled out 3 hours of paperwork and I think I am now considered an employee. The only place on the job application that asked anything about health was something to the effect of " is there any reason you would not be able to perform the tasks required? I said no. I hope I am right.
                I will be providing home care for a young woman in her home. I have an orientation to complete in the next few days, with a nurse who is already familiar with this client. Then I am on my own. I must lift her- she is about 70 pounds. My doc has given clearance for that kind of lifting, so I am hoping everything still continues to go well. I have done this kind of nursing before, but not since my ablation. IF something goes haywire they will want to know more about my medical, but I am hoping that it doesn't ever come to that. Wish me luch everybody- I'm going to need it!! My confidence level is not very high these days.

                ::::shaking in my nurse's shoes::::::::

                Judy
                Dx Dec 2005 - HOCM with gradient of 80at rest, provokable to 150. Alcohol Ablation on Dec 22, 2005.
                Echos in April 2007 shows 0 gradient at rest, but gradient of 100 on provocation

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: How do you deal with knowledge of your condition at your place of employment?

                  You have all brought up some great points. I am not going to address them all here...but will do a bit more detailed info and write a longer article on the topic and post it on the web. In short your employer can not use any health issues against you....UNLESS it is a safety issue. Bus driver, those with CDL's, nurse, and similar jobs can and do have a public safety concern and based on your health and ability there can be limitations placed on you. However the Americans with Disabilities Act offers a great deal of protection.

                  Keep your eyes open for more information.

                  Lisa
                  Knowledge is power ... Stay informed!
                  YOU can make a difference - all you have to do is try!

                  Dx age 12 current age 46 and counting!
                  lost: 5 family members to HCM (SCD, Stroke, CHF)
                  Others diagnosed living with HCM (or gene +) include - daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, sister and many many friends!
                  Therapy - ICD (implanted 97, 01, 04 and 11, medication
                  Currently not obstructed
                  Complications - unnecessary pacemaker and stroke (unrelated to each other)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: How do you deal with knowledge of your condition at your place of employment?

                    Well, now they want me to sign a medical information release and I'm REALLY worried.
                    First major HCM symptoms at age 50
                    ICD 6/06

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: How do you deal with knowledge of your condition at your place of employment?

                      They really have no need for a complete release of your medical information but only a release of your restrictions and or information relevant to your work environment. Talk with an ADA person some areas have them available through their state dept. of Labor or Employment and you can be annonymous.

                      Billy Berry
                      Be not only GOOD; But, BE GOOD for SOMETHING!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: How do you deal with knowledge of your condition at your place of employment?

                        What would the information be used for?

                        Reenie
                        Reenie

                        ****************
                        Husband has HCM.
                        3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: How do you deal with knowledge of your condition at your place of employment?

                          To determine what restrictions there are for my specific job. It's not a release of the complete history, just that I have an ICD, which to me is the worst part anyway, since it makes the rest easily deducible - they will know I have a serious heart problem.
                          First major HCM symptoms at age 50
                          ICD 6/06

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: How do you deal with knowledge of your condition at your place of employment?

                            I see. Please refresh me, what does the job entail? What is it? Will the ICD affect your performance? Have you ever been shocked?

                            Reenie
                            Reenie

                            ****************
                            Husband has HCM.
                            3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: How do you deal with knowledge of your condition at your place of employment?

                              Spalding,

                              I am not a Lawyer, nor do I work in H.R. so please take what I am going to say as peer advice only. I would not sign an Release for Medical Records to my Employer without consulting an Attorney first.

                              I would ask
                              Why do they want this?
                              What do they plan to do with the information?
                              Is it mandatory for my return to work, meaning can they keep me from returning if I refuse to sign?
                              Is there a way to get them the information that they need without me signing this form?
                              Does the Americans W/ Disabilities Act protect me if I do not sign?
                              Have they required this in the past of other employees, if not, why me, why now?
                              Where in the company handbook/bylaws is this issued covered. What is policy?

                              I have to say. When I saw this post, I saw RED!!!!! I do not think they have this right, please investigate and speak to others before you do this.
                              Live, Love, Laugh

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