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GlassHalfFull
07-22-2007, 04:36 PM
I got into a discussion earlier this week with a friend who has fibromyalgia. I also have fibromyalgia along with Lupus and Shogrens. She was aghast at the hours I work. At least 70/week sometimes more. Sometimes all-nighters.

My Rheumy thinks I should get a different job, but I'm afraid that with a diagnosed "chronic" condition -- I will less likely get hired. I do a very specialized kind of research that isn't necessarily easy to find work in -- but when you do, it is generally well compensated. What can I say, I do like the money.

I'm not sick enough to go out on disability. My Lupus/Shogren's seems to be managed -- but the fibromyalgia is the current painful issue. Even with the help of Lyrica. Not that I'm sure I know you attribute things to one condition or the other since so many of the symptoms overlap.

Here's my question. My friend believes that my firm should have to make "accomodations" for me because of my diagnosis. However -- the firm only has like 9 FTEs -- we use a large number of outside contractors. My understanding is that they would be exempt due to their small size, but my friend insists I'm wrong. She's out on permanent disability due to a brain injury -- so sometimes she's with it and sometimes not.

Not that it matters anyhow, since I know that they would say they've offered to give me whatever I need to hit the recently raised performance bars. But one can only work manage so many subcontractors effectively, and there are many tasks they prefer I not sub out -- since I research better than the subs generally. Plus they are now pressuring me that if a sub misses anything that might be out there in the webosphere -- to drop them for someone new. Did a mention that they want the subs to be ready at a moment's notice but not offer them a retainer?

I also know that if I even think about looking for another the job the company owner would fire me. (I remember one of the guys telling me that in my initial interview.) I know that the owner is putting the same kind of pressure on the rest of the professionals as well, but they aren't suffering with this condition.

I'd like to continue working here -- the flexibility to work from home is fabulous, the money is good (as long as one doesn't look at it on an hourly basis) and I like my colleagues. Plus they're covering some professional development for me I sorely need.

I'm not depressed just tired. Thoughts?

browneyedgirl53
07-22-2007, 05:35 PM
Hi Glasshalffull,

I understand the struggles that you're dealing with. It's a difficult decision to make; to work or work half time....or not at all. I can only share with you my personal experience.

In My 05' I suffered kidney failure, went back to work and then in September of 2005, I suffered a mild heart attack...after about a month I went back to work; in December of 2005 I suffered a stroke. It still brings tears to share this; I had always been a very hard worker, I was determined not to let this disease get me down. Well, as you can see by these events; the disease did take me down.

It took me over a year to get on Long Term disability through my company's insurance; and when my doctor kept trying to tell me to sign up for Social Security disability benefits, I finally went to their office and talked to someone. Yikes, I think I was in shell shock about how little they pay out....I couldn't sustain on that little of money. My meds would cost 3/4 of my check. It was not a difficult decision to make, I decided that I needed to give myself an opportunity to make changes in my life. I needed to commit myself to a CARING PROGRAM for me. I went into physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy....and followed up with all 7 doctors along the way (lupus, brain, kidney, lung, heart, etc.)

It has been almost two years since I've been on Long Term Disability, from our company's insurance benefit and I have just returned back to work. I know without a doubt that I am blessed beyond measure because their are very few employers who would do what mine have done for me. They all understand that I'm not the same person I was before in terms of meeting physical demands; but my heart and mind are still towards serving others. I've learned to take one day at a time.

Do what your heart feels, not your emotions...not fear...but make your decision on what's best for YOU! You deserve to be in an encouraging environment, wherever you are! Take care of your heart, your mind, and your body. You will have a greater sense of peace when you do what you know in your heart is the right thing to do.

I wish you all the best, and my prayer will be that you will have a clear mind and a heartfelt determination that you will do what's best for you.

Much love,
Browneyedgirl