You should hire me because:

◦ I take a lot of sick time

◦ I max out the benefits provided and still need more

◦ I have an incurable disease

◦ I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression my entire adult life

◦ I’m unreliable (see previous two reasons)

◦ I’m really good at my job, when I show up of course

◦ I can engage even the most hardened youth, when I’m not taking a sick leave

◦ Kids love talking to me, when I’m not on a reduced work week

◦ I have no idea if round 2 of Lemtrada will leave me unable to work for a longer period while I recoup

◦ I don’t even know what MS has in store for me

You should hire me…

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It’s only MS who cares anyway?

I’m sitting here seriously flabbergasted that this is still happening

Since my last update

The union had a phone conversation with HR whom he described as being ‘defensive’

He stated that she referenced my attendance over the last two years as a ‘concern’

He told her firmly and clearly that what she was doing was against the law and that I would NOT be submitting any doctors note and if I wanted accommodations, I would ask for it

HR made some weak comment about us not being unionized yet

Which is untrue, we are unionized but have been unable to sign a collective agreement due to difficulty with our employer

He said the call ended without HR committing to anything and said something about them consulting their lawyer

In the meantime, what do you think yours truly began to experience?

Ding ding

You guessed it

A flare up (for all you non MSers, new symptoms or a worsening of symptoms lasting longer than 48 hrs)

Eye pain

Eye pain so bad that I have to keep the lights very dimly lit

And the Scandal series we’d so happily been watching has been suspended

Yup

A flare up that your beloved author has not had the displeasure of having in approximately one year

A fucking year, people

Does this mean anything dear readers??

Yuppers

It means that stress is a motherfucker

And

Stress may have been a huge contributor to this woman’s flare up

So with tense muscles and clenched jaw, I sent an email to work including HR

I stated that I may be experiencing a flare and while I await the MS clinics call to determine next steps, I would need some time off of work

And what should I get in response?

Some pithy platitudes to get better and a request for the doctors note I was supposed to get for them on February 8th

A request for a doctors note

After being reprimanded by my union

And reminded of my human rights

Obviously I did not respond and forwarded the message to the union

But I’m seething

I want to hit something hard

I want something to break and shatter

Remember that blog I wrote only yesterday?

What if the term ‘MS’ was replaced with ‘Cancer’?

Imagine this then:

Dear work,

The cancer that you have been aware I’ve been fighting since 2013. It is possible my cancer has returned. I need some time off to deal with this.’

And your employer of over 6 years replies with some bullshit sentiments and a fucking request for a doctors note to discuss your capabilities at work.

How completely and utterly insensitive

And very unlikely

Not impossible of course

But unlikely nonetheless

Common fucking sense right?

Back to regularly scheduled MS

And

Poof

That desire to degrade, downplay and harass a human being?

You know the feelings they can suppress for people who have the dreaded ‘C’ word

Well that shit is right back on the table

Because, despite that MS is Canada’s fucking disease

It is, after all still

Only Multiple Sclerosis

And that apparently doesn’t warrant compassion and you know following the fucking law

MS and the life I had

One day I would like to write about happy things

Rainbows and unicorns aren’t in my forecast though

I was called into a meeting by my employer to discuss my attendance and how it may be impacting the program

I felt a sense of dread

Who doesn’t when they get emails like those?

The meeting included my supervisor, her supervisor and HR who joined via phone bc she was sick. The irony wasn’t lost on me

Pleasantries exchanged

I felt the mood shift

HR stated that the school board had expressed concern over the attendance and how it is negatively impacting the class

I literally felt my haunches go up

Do I take days off? Yes

Have I noticed an impact on my youth?

No

And to be perfectly honest

If I had noticed such an impact

I’d of done something

Bc despite how HR made me feel by repetitively asking me to be honest with them

I have been

To a fault

I notify my supervisor and coworkers immediately

I tell them the truth

I don’t feel well

I’m tired

I have a sinus infection

Blah blah

HR says they want to support me

But can’t if I’m not being honest

I felt my head shake in puzzlement

She spoke words like systemic and pattern of absences

And I felt like I was on trial for something far greater

She asked me to commit to five days a week of attendance

I may have guffawed

I have MS I thought to myself

I recently underwent treatment to kill off my immune system

How the fuck do you expect me to commit to that?

Can anyone? Even a non-chronically ill person?

She said then I should speak to my family doctor to discuss my capabilities

Of which I’ve never been uncertain of

She made me uncertain

She said to get a letter

Absolving me of my absenteeism or giving me a stamp of healthy approval

I laughed when she said a month was too long to get an appointment with my doctor

She doubles as HR and a medical receptionist

In my bewildered state

I asked how the program had been negatively impacted

She said the relationship building was affected

I felt cold

I’m not certain of much

But my ability to engage the youth in the program

I’ve got that

The call with HR ended

I was left in a room with supervisor and management

I felt so fucking small

They asked if I had questions

I asked about the relationship building

They said it wasn’t about my relationship with the kids

But rather the one between the school board and agency

You know

The shit I don’t care about

I nodded absently

They said it wasn’t personal

They said my ability to engage with clients was top notch bar none

They said there is no question about how good I am with the youth

I hate this part

I cried

Stupidly

Embarrassingly

It hurt from the inside

And I couldn’t stop it

I cried because I felt like I was being held responsible

For something that I have no control over

I didn’t want to have MS

I didn’t want to be anxious and depressed

And generally broken

I cried because I would never want to do anything that would leave any negative impact on any of the youth I work with

Indirectly or not

On a side note

I’ve never had to take a break and stop writing once I’ve begun a post

It’s usually like a stream of consciousness

Flowing from brain to fingers

I’ve stopped once already in writing this last blog

Because the usually cathartic release I get from writing

Hasn’t been found in writing this time

It feels too raw

I need some time