Employment and health problems

By Leca
@lecanis (16664)
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
January 31, 2007 5:54pm CST
Usually my work is pretty good about my health issues, but today I had a bit of a problem. I have Meniere's disease, and as a result I have both some permament hearing loss and temporary increase in hearing loss. So today my left ear was completely deaf. I was working in the drivethrough at the bank, and wearing a headset that covered my right ear. So all I could hear was my customers in the drivethrough. I tried to explain the situation to my coworkers, whom I usually get along with very well. I explained it to my supervisor as well. All the same, a couple of times one of my coworkers became really annoyed with me that I didn't do something they asked of me, when I couldn't hear them! I'm starting to worry about work, not just today, but in general. If I had a day where I wasn't hearing in either ear, I suppose I would just have to go home, because I couldn't communicate with customers. And if my vertigo gets too bad, sometimes I go home. So far they've been really understanding most of the time, but I worry a little that I won't be able to do my job eventually. Does anyone else have a health problems that's a problem with their work? How do you handle people who just don't understand the situation?
2 people like this
3 responses
• United States
11 Feb 07
medical evidence will go a long way tward creating a buffer between you and your fellows. that can be a note from your doctor. it will even help your superior in creating a buffer between you and your less unkind coworkers. it is against the law to discriminate against the disabled. you are disabled medically.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Feb 07
sorry, i meant less kind coworkers.
1 person likes this
@coolcatzz (1587)
• Canada
11 Feb 07
You know that is really too bad. I have a friend who has menieres and I had never heard of it until she came down with it. Now she has good days and bad days but yes she experiences the same things you do. She fortunately is a stay at home Mom so she doesn't have the same concerns. You know as these illnesses come in the forefront people are just learning about them. Back in 1997 I had never heard of fibromyalgia and now I know 4 people who have it. That is just strange to me. I know these people have said that when they are aching and in pain others don't always understand. Sometimes people call them lazy and tell them what they should be doing. People need to lighten up and appreciate the fact that they aren't suffering with one of these illnesses. Where is the compassion these days?
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
11 Feb 07
Thanks for your reply! I had never heard of Meniere's either until I was diagnosed with it. Now I'm doing a lot of research to make sure I know all of my treatment options, but honestly there's only so much they can do for it. I do hope that once people become used to knowing I have Meniere's, they'll come to understand it and accept it better. I really am doing my best to keep working and keep my work up to the level it should be. We just can't afford for me not to work right now. I know a couple of people with fibromyalgia too, and they have the same problem you have mentioned. People just think they're lazy and tell them to get over it. *sighs* A little education goes a long way. As does compassion.
@emeraldisle (13145)
• United States
1 Feb 07
I have been there. Some can be very understanding while others feel like you are using it as an excuse to get out of work. Those that feel it's an excuse you might be able to enlighten with some information but I have found so many that they don't want to hear it. They have their beliefs and feel everyone else should be like them. That if they can do it they cannot see why anyone else can't. I wish it worked that way but for some of us with problems it doesn't. All I can suggest is talking with your supervisor. See if he/she understands how things really are for you. Ask if this could eventually be a problem. Find out now before hand so you can plan and prepare if need be. That way also you know if you are worrying about nothing or not.
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
11 Feb 07
I'm so sorry! I really thought I replied to this already at least a week ago! Anyhow, thanks for your response! I have been trying to enlighten people about my condition more lately. It helps in some cases, but in a lot of cases people just don't understand the severity. I think I will have to talk to my supervisor on the issue. I had been trying to put it off because there's been a bit of bad feeling among my coworkers lately about another employee who is always in our supervisor's office badmouthing someone. But if I do it in a positive way I'm sure it'll turn out okay. I know my supervisor really understands the situation better than my coworkers do already. She even gave me a ride to the doctor's the other day. =)