Monday, March 31

That MS Conversation

I think I mentioned that I started a new job the other day; still with the bank, just a new position. Now that MS is part of my personal life, it has to b part of my professional life too. When I was going thru my  issues leading up to my diagnosis back in 2005, I decided to keep everything to myself.  I remember the week after my Lumbar Puncture I'd been providing site support because we were bring a newly acquired bank on board and I'm really not sure how I pulled it off but I remember one day having to tell my trainer that I absolutely had to leave because the pain was too much to bear (have u ever thrown up in a cup while driving because u're feeling so terrible that getting home was more important than anything else at that moment? It's something that I hope I NEVER have to experience again in my life). I don't remember when I told my then manager that I'd been diagnosed but at that time, it hadn't started rearing it's ugly head. 

In march of 2007, I switched positions and again, I had no issues so no need to share with anyone and that's when I started working from home so...But then it was April and sh** started hitting the fan - I had to come clean. I scheduled a call with KW and told her about my troubles. The conversation went very well; in fact she was the one who suggested that I reach out to the society and ask bout MS facilities that eventually led me to home #2, the MSCA.  Throughout our time together, she remained one of my biggest supporters and didn't give me any stress about anything (Friday afternoon off every 4 weeks when I was on Tysabri and luckily it never got in the way of my production) but alas, she left in June of 2013.  My new mgr then luckily was one of her peers so she already knew that I had it but I still had to have "the conversation" even tho Tysabri was no longer in the picture. 

Fast forward to January 2014 and I had to do all that  stuff to start Gilly. Ugh! I had to have "the conversation" sooner rather than later and I was actually dreading it; kept putting it off because I really wasn't ready...but, it was inevitable so once again, I scheduled the call.  

Now, there's a certain reaction when I mention "multiple sclerosis" that I didn't get while we were talking and in the middle of my spiel I stopped and said, "ok. I have to ask, do you know something about it because that's what I'm picking up from you; this is not the reaction I expected at all" That's when she said that someone to whom she's close has it and, essentially, she's "in the know". She went as far as to say that when I told her that I had something personal to share, she was wondering what it was and was glad that I threw her something she could handle vs not. 

I'm not stupid, I know that again, I'm lucky.  I know that supportive management is not a given and I may (or may not) be in a rare situation. A friend once shared a situation where someone made the decision to keep their diagnosis secret because they were afraid of what the fallout could be. I don't think there's a right or wrong decision, it's really up to the individual - they need to gauge their situation and determine what's best.  One thing's for sure - there's certainly no easy answer.  

Well...back to ur original programming... 

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