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Telling work I have Ms

Hi all I’m thinking of telling work about my Ms I was dx 3years ago and have only told 2 other people who I work with. I’ve started tecfidera I’m still on the low dose but have already had an episode of flushing quite bad,very red face,neck and arms. I’m concerned about this happening at work,I haven’t said anything before as I didn’t really want anyone knowing the symptoms I have are mostly invisible,and I don’t want to be looked at any different or be treated any different. Most of all I don’t want it going round workplace if I tell my boss can I ask her to keep it strictly confidential . Thank you for any advice x

hi jabby

your boss will have to keep it confidential.

now that you have made the decision to tell your boss the company will have an obligation to make reasonable adjustments for you.

this could be a parking space that doesn’t require much walking.

the opportunity to work from home when you aren’t feeling very well.

access to work are very good at looking at your workplace and finding out what would make it easier to stay in work.

all positive stuff.

you don’t want to be looked at any different but those pesky relapses just sneak up on you and it will be better now that your boss is being told.

good luck

carole x

Hi I told my work as soon as my dx came through they all new I had issues with my sight and other symptoms but I could never have hid it anyway as I took the dx really badly and still not come to terms yet! However everyone I work with have been fine and I’ve not been treated any differently in fact most of them have forgotten about it only the people I’m close with at work will ask how I am on occasions. So from my experience I would say let them know :slight_smile:

for me, i do not believe my employer needs to know, until they NEED TO KNOW.

i.e. because my situation compromises my ability to do what they might reasonably expect of me.

we can all indulge in the hope that people will act fairly and not look at you or treat you differently, by why risk it if you do not have to?

you have come to this decision due not to the problems associated directly with MS, but due to a visible side effect of a drug regime. i would recommend dealing with the side effects, rather than trying to head off any speculation as to why your face has gone beet root; take aspirin and / or anti-histamines.

at the end of the day, such flushing might happen only once more if at all and even then, could be short lived or go un-noticed.

it would be a shame to commit to some form of prejudice that could have been otherwise avoided.

good luck. just bear in mind, some things cannot be undone.

Thank you for your replies,I’m still in 2minds I also had the view not to tell, just the side effects of medication and the fear of it happening in work I mean I wasn’t a slight shade of red no way could of hidden it. I’ve been having aspirin and that seemed to have sorted it. also I noticed on a post that you said that you take tec in between having breakfast carol ,so I am also trying that . Thanks again x

I tend to take the view that it is no one’s business until it becomes more of a strain to keep it to oneself than to tell people. You know what the rumour mill is like, and if people are starting to wonder what’s up with you, it might make sense to get in there with some real information, in a way chosen by you.

Also, your employer has no obligations to take account of your disability (and the Equality Act 2010 does regard MS as a disability) if there is no reason for them to suppose that you’ve got it. Once they know, they have certain obligations. (I am assuming here that the people you have already told are friends, and that your bosses don’t know yet).

You’ve got MS already. Set against that unfortunate fact, whether people know or don’t know isn’t that big a deal, in my experience. Sometimes these things can loom larger in our minds and take up more worry-time than they have a right to.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do, and I hope that your treatment goes really well too.

Alison

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Hi,

I totally sympathise with the flushing episodes, I started Tecfidera 8 months ago, and I still flush most days around 4 hours after taking meds - I have suffered no other symptoms though! It is highly embarrassing if someone comes into the office when I’m mid-flush. I told my boss when I was diagnosed (10 yrs ago) and asked him to spread the word so I didn’t have to do it myself (I work in a small office). That way if I was ill, I didn’t face the spanish inquisition from colleagues (cos they can be nosey) or feel that they could be talking about me behind my back, as in “she’s off again” - I’d rather be talked about with a modicum of truth involved.

I have tried both aspirin and antihistamines - neither of these seems to work. However if I eat a large breakfast the chances are I won’t get the flushing. Unfortunately during the week when working a quick bowl of cereal is all I tend to have time and the appetite for. One of the research nurses at my clinic once told me that from what she had been hearing from patients - eggs seemed to be the best breakfast food for stopping flushing.

Good luck - I hope your flushing improves.

Murraymint

Thanks again for all the advice ,yes it’s a couple of good mates at work who know they have been great,I’m probably making it a lot worse in my head than it actually is. I get what your saying about the rumour thing we have a few people at work who like to go round telling stories . Sorry to hear your still flushing after 8 months i don’t know a great deal about it but hopefully it will improve. I think I will stock up on the eggs just in case. Thank you

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