I have Graves Disease, which is an incurable autoimmune illness. The Graves Disease caused my body to develop Hyperthyroidism. This part is treatable by either killing or removing the thyroid.
I have been taking medication to calm the hyperthyroidism for a few months now, but it became clear that something more permanent had to happen. I also developed two suspicious nodules that they weren’t too worried about at first, but then grew in size and now they say the RAI treatment (killing the thyroid) will take care of that problem too.
I passed all my medical test over the last 2 days and was given the go-ahead for the RAI treatment. The hospital originally wanted me to have the treatment tomorrow, but since I’m getting married in less than 2 weeks, they agreed to wait until the first week of June.
I advised my employers immediately after my appointment. They already knew that it was coming and would probably happen in June. I just didn’t have an exact timeline until now. The human resources sent me an email reminding me that I had used all my sick days already this year and that I am using my vacation day for my health. She also reminded me that there are big projects happening and that my presence is important.
The human resources manager sent me an email reminding me that I had used all my sick days already this year and that I am using my vacation day for my health. She also reminded me that there are big projects happening and that my presence is important.
I understand that the human resources manager is simply following procedures, but receiving one of these very cold emails feels like someone is turning the knife in my gut.
Yes, I am aware that I am loosing all my sick days and all my vacation days because I have a chronic illness that is trying to kill me. I am aware that I won’t be able to have a summer vacation with my family this year or a Christmas vacation again this year.
Yes, I am aware that both my family life and my work is suffering because of my health issues. I didn’t ask for this to happen to me. If there was any choice in the matter, I would have turned it down, obviously.
Yes, I am also aware that there are big projects happening and that I have a key role in them. I had already advised my employer that this procedure would happen in June. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. It’s not like I can turn it down. My health depends on it.
On top of all the emotional upheaval and the inner strength that it takes to battle a chronic illness. The fact that Graves Disease creates mental illness (depression and anxiety) The fact that I will a part of my body killed on purpose. That my child and stepchildren won’t be able to hug me for a week. That I also already felt guilty for missing work and not being at my usual 100% because of the ups and downs of this illness and changes in my prescription over the last few months. That email made me feel like a child who is being chastised for doing something wrong.
I’m also being followed by a new doctor because they believe I may have a second chronic illness. I am terrified of what will happen if they find that I do have someone additional. How will my workplace react? I still need to provide for my family.
I’ve been a model employee for over a decade and all of that seems to count for zilch when it comes to the human resources department and having a bit of heart. I know that you have to protect the company, but it’s not like I’m not giving you 100% of what I can give. It’s not like I’m taking advantage of the company either.
It shocks me how little humanity and empathy the human resources department actually has.
Anyone else has gone through this? Any advice?