Couldn't sleep Health vs job loyalty HELP

By EJMac Latest Reply 2012-06-12 16:48:44 -0500
Started 2011-03-24 03:50:13 -0500

Thought maybe if I write this, I could get some sleep. Wondered if anybody else is torn between what is good for your health and what the job needs from me. I've had several health issues for the past 7 yrs including pancreatic & lung cancer in addition to diabetes & CKD. I started a job 3 days a week and I do get very tired. I've been on and off with the company for the past 25 yrs. In April, they want me to fill in a 4 day a week job for at least 2 months. I don't think I have it in me to do it without it affecting my health. The endocrinologist office called and wanted me to attend a 2 day diabetes class and I can't see how I could take the time off during the next 2 months. Maybe it's time (I hate to admit it it) that I might be at the end of my working career. I basically went back this time in Feb for the insurance coverage. I would be entitled to 18 mos of cobra if I work at all in April. Any thoughts from you wise people???

21 replies

doggier 2011-03-24 23:47:51 -0500 Report

I know this is a hard choice to make. Let me tell you what happened to me. I don't give people advice, i just try to give them my story. I have delt with mental health issues for awhile. Back in 2004 my dad got sick and i got worse. I was diagnosed with bipolar i could not work any more. My brain just was not as fast as it was in the past. i have accepted that now. I had to go on disability. I still work one day a week, but it was the best choice for me at the time. That my story with my illness and the choice i had to make in my life.

Mary1969 2011-03-24 23:34:42 -0500 Report

EJ, I have to say I can totally relate to what you're saying !!! I had worked for a healthcare facility for 16 yrs. 14 of that was behind a desk. I have to say, 12 of the 14 were part time. I had the opportunity to go part time, keep my benefits and stay at a " Tier 1". So, I did that for many years. It started as 3 days one week, then 2 the nest etc.. Perfect for my/my health and family.. I had specific days I could make my Dr. appointments, child's appts, and still work at what I liked doing. Over the years, work made many adjustments to my department physically and the responsibilities. I ALWAYS adjusted MY life to what they wanted and kept telling myself, "My time will come." Having Diabetes is so difficult to adjust according to our lives (as you know). Then, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor, bad car accident & of course stilllllll the Diabetes. Needless to say, I missed tons of work which was covered by my OWN personal/sick time I had accrued over the years. Thank God !!! I was not able to apply for the FMLA because I didn't work enough hours to be eligible for that. During all the time of their "adjustments" and changes, I continued to do as asked. The last straw was when they told me my position was elliminated and I could do the same "work", just different hours and days. I did every day from 9-1 or 9-2, for couple years. I was late a few times too many and was fired. Done, outta there.. [ sorry so long]
But, my point is >> I knew NOTHING about Americans with Disabiliies and IF I had, work would of HAD to make adjustments to accomodate ME. ie; NOOOO morning hours, work every OTHER day, make exceptions IF late etc.. IF YOU ASK OR TELL YOUR EMPLOYER beFORE ANY DIFFICULTIES ARISE, YOU SHOULD BE OK.. Just make them aware, and legally there should be nooooo problem.. If I had known this beFORE the "big~boot" I'd still be there making double the pay I'm making now.. again, sorry so long, but >> needed to share so you don't suffer as I did because it could have/can be avoided..Best of luck to you..

digitaldoorbell 2011-03-24 20:42:20 -0500 Report

I am reasonably new to this site and read many of the posts here. Your situation is very comlplicated and anyone can undersand the difficulty in making your decision. I'm a human resources director and noted that someone mentioned FMLA below. Unless you're "eligible" with sufficient hours worked in the past 12 months, that won't be an option. Do you currently have health insurance? I see that you "went back" in February, so I'm not sure what your company or the policy requireds. I noticed that COBRA is an issue for you (and most of us).

You will be able to work out all of those considerations. Once that is done, it becomes a difficult and personal choice. You will have protection under the ADA and will be able to take the time the doctor recommended. I don't see that you have a choice with that; you absolutely have to take care of yourself.

I don't know your personal life; work may be an interesting past-time or distraction…it may also be something that you enjoy. There are economics involved in your choice as well (I'm sure).

I was diagnosed Type 2 seven months ago and try to "control" it by diet and exercise alone. This condition, and others that you have, make things entirely difficult. Don't feel uncomfortable seeking the opinions of other similarly-situated people here. If nothing else, it's a great forum for "venting". Come by anytime.

ANYSA728 2012-06-12 14:44:23 -0500 Report

I have a question for you, Ms. HR Director! I am an hr/payroll rep (hire fire and pay) but I dont have a degree in HR so I don't deal with personnel issues & that type of thing. I am working on my Economics degree actually! I was diagnosed Type 1 the weekend that you wrote this post! I probably had it for a year or 2 before (thinking back to the thirst, skin infections, and vision issues) but almost slipping into a coma prompted the blood work (lol) and there ya go! … Diabetes! I've always been a pretty athletic person (marathons and dance, etc) but here I am…still tryin to figure out the B.s. and insulin ratios that work for me. Sometimes I'm fine and seem moving in the right directions but today Im above 200…?why? I didn't eat Micky D's or anything! I know how to divide my carbs and Humolog units! I've got crazy pain. On my 4th type of medicine prescribed by my wonderful Endo and long-time Family doctor who seem to be battling over who knows best to treat me. I smile and I'm upbeat..or try to be…I've always been the bubbly up-beat positive friend, coworker, sister, etc…But inside I'm totally freaking out. I feel broken, confused, helpless, scared, alone…the list goes on and on and on. I don't want to ask my boss (our HR director) but can I take time off for FMLA? I'm not taking summer classes (I have about 2 years left of college) so if I could just take a break and get myself together. I don't sleep because of the pain so I don't run (which is my love). I feel like if i could just take a breather. But thats probably not an eligible FMLA issue is it?
Can you tell me your thoughts? Thank you!

Caroltoo 2012-06-12 16:12:14 -0500 Report

I would ask my doctor if any of your conditions or feelings could be written up in a format that he could support in a request for FMLA. I've used it and it's always come down to what the doc would/wouldn't support. Sometimes they will even give you suggestions on how to write the initial request.

GabbyPA 2011-03-24 19:37:39 -0500 Report

It is a hard thing to give up what you enjoy because you have to. This is going to sound hard...I hope you understand that this is what I go through and if it doesn't apply, just ignore me. Or you can just ignore me anyway...LOL

Now that I am diabetic and tried to find a "regular" job, it has been hard. In the time that I searched, I found odd jobs, worked for myself and even found some steady flexible work that I can do, but doesn't come near to what I used to earn. But what I gained was flexibility to be with my family, time to garden (which can be a full time job certain times of the year) and the freedom to do things when I need to without worrying about a boss to tick off because I needed time off.

All that said, I found it intimidating to work regular hours because I had found a great freedom in what I do. I found it easy to make reasons to not work 9-5 because I didn't really want to give up the new lifestyle I had found. Even though it doesn't pay as well, it is good for me and tends to make any kind of 9-5 unappealing. I have broken down and got a 9-5 three days a week, but it is still very flexible and fun...and even though I am on my feet all day, it is okay.

So I guess I choose health over income. I still work my butt off doing a lot of different things, but one thing is for sure. I NEVER get bored.

EJMac 2011-03-24 23:07:48 -0500 Report

Thanks Gabby for your reply. Think I will take it a day at a time. If things get too much for me, I'll just let the job go. I believe that if I work in April at all, I will be on the group policy for insurance. They want me to work through the end of May. (but now 4 days a week which I didn't expect.) I have been either on their company policy or their cobra for 25 yrs. My current cobra runs out in Oct. Private ins. would be much more expensive for me. My understanding is that once I am covered under the company policy, if I work in April I am entiled to their cobra for another 18 mos.
I do love the work, but it is VERY obvious to me 1) that I am getting older and 2) my health issues have taken a toll on my energy. It's really hard for me to admit that what I used to do with ease is now hard on me. I sleep alot when I am home. Anyway, just more changes to acept I guess.

cindygal1 2012-06-12 16:46:00 -0500 Report

I used to work full time, then I was diagnosed with diabetes type 2, then my husband had to retired because he has a rare blood disease that he has to go every two weeks for them to control, he just had a mini stroke, so I decided that while he was able to do for himself or rest I start contributing my time from 9AM tp !2Pm to the Church so far it has worked out great, it gets out of the house and around people, and give me some time to myself. Then I take care of hm when I get home. It has helped me lot.

GabbyPA 2011-03-25 05:50:24 -0500 Report

Yeah, that getting older part really bites. It's the hardest thing for me to accept sometimes. I am not young, and don't haul 50 pound bags or boxes so easily anymore. I can't read the stupid fine print! LOL. I totally understand the insurance bit. That is the one thing I miss the most being where I am. I have to choose carefully to go to the doctor and some doctors won't even see me because I pay cash. So for that alone it may be worth the effort.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-03-24 12:27:46 -0500 Report

Doing my job was one of the most important parts of my life. I ignored how sick I was until I went from the Dr.'s office by wheelchair across the street to the ER for a 5 - 6 week stay. Now after 14 months and 3 surgeries I hopw I will be wise enough to know if the future job I am hoping to get will be too much for me to handle and I can adjust if needed from FT to PT or no time. Don't think that puts me in the wise department, just experienced.

EJMac 2011-03-24 23:08:43 -0500 Report

Thanks for the reply. Health is more important. Just hard to accept the changes in me and my energy.

LennyDenny 2011-03-24 09:14:07 -0500 Report

Your health is the number one concern. If you don't take care of yourself you won't be good for anyone else. I walked away from a job 10 years ago because it started effecting my health and it was the best thing I ever did. I took time off to heal from some health issues at the time and then found something that I enjoy doing. But the company knows that my health is number one and I need to remind them from time to time.You've been through a lot in the past the way it looks and now may be the time for you. That should be between you your drs. and god. Hope this some how helps.

EJMac 2011-03-24 23:10:30 -0500 Report

Thanks for your reply. My health has to come first. Just seems like I keep having to work at accepting changes that I don't particularly like.

cindygal1 2012-06-12 16:48:44 -0500 Report

That applies to all of us, as we get older, I have made some changed that I don't like, but it is the only way that I can take care of myself and my husband. I did have my Grandson taking care of him, he got to be too much. So as we get older, we need to tihink of our health and ourself and make changes that we nee to make.

squog master
squog master 2011-03-24 04:01:45 -0500 Report

I struggled w/that for years. Finally God made the dicision for me. I'm glad he did.

EJMac 2011-03-24 23:12:46 -0500 Report

Thanks for your reply. You are right. This is gonna work out one way or the other. I'll deal with it whatever. I forget, sometimes I don't have control of everything LOL

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