Sunday, November 27, 2011


Say WHAT?! What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve heard about health or your condition. Was there any context? What did you think at the time you heard it – and what do you think of it now?


If ever the investigator for my EEO case were to read this blog, I would not want him to feel badly about this story.  This is just another 'one of those things' about being sick, and something that will amuse me forever.  I know he meant no offense, and I am finding him to be a detailed and thorough kind of person so far, which would make up for much, much worse than this commical story.

This is the story as I posted it in my favorite Bell's palsy forum under the title, "How could your bosses tell you had Bell's palsy?"
This is HILARIOUS to me.

I had my investigatory interview for my EEO case today and the investigator was asking how my bosses would have known I had bell's palsy. There is a question as to whether I provided a doctors note early enough, blah, blah, blah (I did, though).....the point is that after explaining that my eye was stuck open, the right side of my face didn't move, only one side of my mouth was talking, drooling, tearing, etc., I kept getting the question.

Finally my lawyer gave it a shot.

He spoke very, very slowly and said, "because....her face....was paralyzed."

He wasn't disrespectful to the investigator, just very, very slow and clear. It's all I could do not to laugh and it just cracks ME UP....which I just can't explain to regular people right now.

But I think in ten years I will still think of that moment and be very, very amused. Now there are funny answers coming to mind that would have been fun to say....but not very legally prudent.

And this is a picture of me during the time that was called into question (and my supervisors could easily have vouched for me, just from seeing me try to talk), although I'm more improved in this picture than when they saw me:

It's equally ridiculous that my bosses' boss told me that "I really didn't look that bad at all" with a tilt of his head and a change in his voice that sounded a lot like, "you looked just fine, so there was really no need to take all that time off."  But I don't like to guess what other people are thinking, so I'll never know the actually relevance of his statement.  But among the ridiculous things I've heard in regards to both Bell's palsy and CFS are:
  • If you can travel, you shouldn't need reasonable accomodations
  • If you are too tired to come to the office then you are too tired to work from home
  • Certified letters to your house during sick leave that include the first threats of discipline in your career even though you did nothing wrong "shouldn't be stressful for you"
  • This doesn't make sense to us (after so many explanations and no clarifying questions, this necessarily eventually translates to, "we don't believe you")
  • You probably just need to exercise more (I know people mean well, but its hard not think, "you probably shouldn't just blurt things out about medical conditions you're not familiar with")
  • WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR FACE??!!!!!  (this one was actually nothing but hilarious, as it was a close friend who doubled over in shock as she asked the question, having just walked in on me taking off my sunglasses and saying "argghh" while showing other coworkers the full effect)
  • Well, you didn't get sick until October 18th (um, really, because the paralysis started in May (though I didn't say it like that)--to which the woman replied, well, the form I have says October 18th, so that's when it started---huh, ok, thanks for setting me straight there, lady.....good thing you didn't apply any pesky tact to your statement or it might have been confusing for me (that wasn't out loud either))

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:
I am also participating in my Bread and Roses Blog

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