The Scarlet Letters: CF

I feel like I’ve been running from a monster most of my life. It’s the type of running you see in the movies when zombies are closing in on the humans or when Dustin Hoffman sprints away from the bad guys in Marathon Man. It’s called running for your life. And on day 18 of this hospital stay, half my ass is missing from where cystic fibrosis took its most recent bite.

Today is also the day when I had to let the company I work for know about CF. No more hiding it. I have certain protections now under the ADA, which is nice, but I’d rather not have to deal with it and be CF-free. My denial is over – I have CF. The HR department was very nice about the situation. However, as of today, I’m not allowed to work in the hospital until my doctor provides a letter stating it’s okay. In a way, I feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I’ve been hiding CF and my hospitalization for over 10 years now. How many conference calls have I held in hospital bathrooms? It might be nice in the future not to have to do a dance every time I go in for IVs.

So, here I sit, wings clipped, and I can actually take the time to write a post. It’s such an odd feeling not to be working, not to be thinking about work. I don’t like it, but I don’t have a choice. And I may find a way around it. (Fox has many tricks he can share.) I have another call with HR tomorrow and I’ll know more about what I can do and I can’t do. And I realize that from this point forward I’ll be linked to CF at work. That bothers me. I might as well sew a big CF on my chest. It’s not about me anymore. It’s about us – me and my zombie pal CF. Someone send me a sawed-off shotgun, please. I need to blast its head off.

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5 thoughts on “The Scarlet Letters: CF

  1. I’m going to say “good!” I only let my employers know when it was affecting my work so I didn’t get fired, but it never goes further than you let it unless you tell a big mouth – HR has to keep it to themselves and your boss should respect your wishes.

    3 years working in cubicleville, I had people 20 feet from me who always though I was choking on something as I coughed and never saw any evidence of having home IV balls in my pocket (nice imagery there), sometimes twice a day at work.

    I know it’s new and scary for you, but I think you’ll grow to like it and I trust you to not take advantage of them and live happily ever after.

    So, can I call you by your name, now.

  2. I think I just let out a *sigh* for you 🙂 Remove the scarlet letter and hold your head high. You may be different to them, but to us, youre a survivor, one of our elder warriors…you are awesome.

    Glad to hear Fox is back in the mix. That crazy cat is sure to keep you on your toes.

    much love ~j

  3. I am so proud of you! I can’t imagine the pressure you were feeling every day trying to keep up with work. I am on disability now and am allowed no access to our computer system. I had a lot of worries at first, but it has turned out to be great! I am working on healing and getting to do a lot of things I had no time for when working full time. I’m reading a lot. Spending lots of time with the family. Watching lots of movies. Best of all, I NEVER think about work. I’ll be going back a few weeks after this 3 months of IV’s is over, which happens to be just after New Year’s. I know you’re worried, but it can really be a good thing!

  4. I remember when I came clean at my job. It was a HUGE relief and the company was very accommodating. Don’t feel like you have a big CF target. Now there ARE benefits to this. You can do fundraising and include your work friends! Try to focus on the benefits as opposed to the negatives 😉 I think it’s a good thing that it’s out in the open. Take care of yourself an work on getting out of that hospital! Wishing you all the best…

  5. All I can say is “whew!” I know this was HUGE for you and I’m very proud you bit the bullet. Now you can concentrate on getting well which is Job No. 1 for you.

    But does this mean you have to change the name of your blog?? Not sure if I can cope with seeing you with no bag over your head. 🙂

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