|Thinkin of making major changes in my life! Would like your input
Jul 15, 2005
You have already given me so much guidance and I don't want to take advantage of your giving spirit but I would like your input on a descision that I am making. I have been battling HIV/AIDS for a mere year and a half and I have come to the point where I am done with doing what everyone "expects" me to do. This expectation is that I continue in what used to be a rewarding job that I loved. Since disclosing my status to my imediate superiors and having to miss quite a bit of work. I have run into a supervisor that wants me out! She has never been a kind person and until recently I have been able to slop enough sugar on her to keep her at bay. I have FMLA which protects my job but my work environment is hostile and is beginning to affect not only my mental health but my physical health as well. I have always had the dream of changing careers and going into real estate. (something I know I could kick but in) I know I can do cobra coverage for 18 months while I establish myself but I am not clear on HIPPA coverage after the cobra has run out. Am I being stupid in making a change when things seem so up in the air health-wise or should I follow the dream and make the best of whatever time I have left? I am tired of being trapped and treated like a second class citizen. Another person in my department has cancer and is treated as a saint even though she has missed more work than I. I want to take control of my destiny and make major changes I just need an outside party to tell me I am nuts or that I should go for it. You have been the only person that I have found thus far is this journey that speeks in a positive manner and I value your opinion greatly.
Thank you!!!! JME
Response from Dr. Frascino
You stated you have "what used to be a rewarding job that I loved." However, since disclosing your status, a supervisor wants you out and your work environment has become hostile, which is beginning to affect your mental and physical health. It doesn't sound like you have a job problem but rather a discrimination and supervisor problem! Here's what I would suggest. Document on paper all your complaints and their consequences on your health. Give a copy of this report to your HIV specialist and have him or her comment on this in the chart notes. I would then contact your local AIDS legal services. (Check with your local AIDS service organizations or ask your HIV specialist for a referral.) Depending on the strength of your claim and support of your physician, a complaint can then be filed at your place of employment. Your HIV specialist also can put limits on your work schedule or even take you off work for a period of time (i.e. short-term disability). Supervisors who discriminate for health reasons usually don't last very long, especially if a lawyer or legal service gets involved. The key is to make sure your HIV specialist knows what's going on and supports your claims.
If your current job really is no longer satisfying (aside from the scumbag supervisor), a career change is always an option. I would see a benefits counselor before making any decisions. They will explain all the details regarding Cobra and other insurance-coverage options. Make sure you understand all the ramifications of making a major switch, if it's going to negatively impact your health care or ability to get insurance in the future.
I always recommend following one's dreams. I just urge you to do so wisely. I also do not advise you to change your true dreams as a consequence of a shitty supervisor.
So to sum up, fight or switch. Both are legitimate options. In fact, you could even do both!
Should be in the hall of fame
Thank you! I have made a descision. Let's see what you think!
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