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New job/work issues

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#1 Tue, 30/03/2021 - 17:08
cyprus
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Last seen: 1 day 1 hour ago
Joined: 12/02/2019 - 12:35

New job/work issues

HI all, I have been suffering severe headaches since the age of 21 years, I am 59 this year. I was diagnosed with "Migraine" when 21 by a casualty doctor....not much known about headaches then smileyAfter years of suffering and having a fantastic GP (good old days) who managed to get me an appoitment with Professor Goadsbysmileysmiley (many years ago) where upon he did actually diagnose me with CH. He did take me in hospital to give me "a holiday" in his words and had the ergotamine treatment. Was great at the time but aviail did not last. I decided to move abroad and i have to say the sun/heat did help my headaches ( i no they can increase with heat etc)  The hospital in Cyprus were really good putting me on oxygen (was not allowed oxygen therapy at home in Cyrpus there rules) . I returned to the UK end of 2018 and yes the headaches came back with an almighty bang. Welcome back CH. My Gp referred me to a lovely Dr. McFaden who operates a specialist clinic every 2 weeks. What a lovely lady who listens and understands. I have since being diagnosed with CH & Migraines inbetween. I have oxygen at home, Sumatriptan injections (by the bucket full) taking amitriptelyne daily (at night time). 

I was made redundant from my job working from home last year due to Covid and the travel industry. However I managed to get a job pretty quickly but ended up working 14 hours a day. After speaking to Dr. McFaden she sent me a letter i could use with my employers re shift work being on new medication etc....you guessed it no sucess so left the position. I signed onto universal credit for a very short time to where they wanted a FIT TO WORK note from my GP saying i can only work restricted hours due to my medication side effects making me drowsy. When applying for jobs i was unsure if to disclose my CH so i asked universal credit for assistance on this one. They advised to inform employers that i suffer from said headaches. I did not feel i could do this as surely some employers think oh well she will be off work for periods, we need someone who can come to work daily. 

I managed to get a temporary job dealing with Covid issues. I have just recently had to have several days off over the last 2 months due to the headaches (and been in casualty via ambulance as they are so bad)  now my employer wishes to see me on my return to work (tomorrow) after my latest bout. They think it is stress related and i am fed up of telling them it is not. I work in the NHS and the amount of people who have never heard of CH is unreal. 

Sunday was a really bad day for me to the point i was severely considering suicide so i could just go to sleep and have no more headaches. But i remembered what happened before when having to have my stomach pumped. My GP gave me the number for local Crisis......i did not call them because i talked myself back round again. 

I am currently applying for new jobs so my question are;

1. Do i actually tell the new employer i have CH + Migraines - has anyone had experience of this? 

2. Do i keep quiet and hope the CH settles down ( i can hope!!!) 

3. Can i be "sacked" for not informing my new employer i suffer from CH/Migraines. 

Thank you for reading my post and sorry it dragged on a bit but this is the first time i have posted on here. 

Angela Bence 

Tue, 30/03/2021 - 20:52
DavidH 7
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Last seen: 2 hours 23 min ago
Joined: 26/02/2014 - 15:13

 

Hello

Copied and pasted from here:  https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/jobs/you-tell-your-boss-youre-6666746 -

"You are not duty-bound to reveal an illness or health issue to your employer.

If you are applying for a job, your potential employer does not generally have the right to ask you about your health –unless the employer is checking whether you are able to carry out a function that is ‘intrinsic’ to the job. For example, if you’re applying to drive a bus, the employer can ask about your sight. But if you’re applying to work in an office, a very general question about your health is not relevant.

If your job application is rejected on the grounds of health or a disability, the employer’s behaviour could be judged to be discriminatory.

If your contract of employment specifically says you must tell your employer about any condition that affects your ability to do the job, you must tell them.

If you have a medical condition that could affect the safety of your colleagues or members of the public, you should tell your employer – otherwise you may find yourself being accused of negligence."

A couple of quick thoughts: 

Your name is at the bottom of your message - are you comfortable with that? 

And is it worth joining a union, for if things go wonky?

Personally, I wouldn't mention Cluster Headaches at the point of interview but would mention them in answer to any HR questions.  I'm lucky enough to work for a company who have been good at engaging with this stuff.  We created a risk assessment including things like I'm not allowed to make any decisions if in pain or for two hours after medication and I don't drive while in pain or medicated (in fact, I stop driving for the duration of my Cluster Headaches - I'm far too tired).  I'm also cut some slack when I start to become exhausted and I'm actively encouraged to take time off when I hit that point.

Easy for me to say but I'd encourage yourself/employer to see your Return To Work meeting as a supportive meeting and a chance to work out what your working weeks need to look like.  There are useful resources on this website for sharing with colleagues and the like. 

Good luck.

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