How do you tell your boss about your epilepsy?

First of all, I want to apologize for not posting in a really long time.  I wanted to ask fellow patients with epilepsy for advice.

First of all, a bit of history.  Many of you who have followed this blog know that I teach part-time at a couple of colleges in my area.   Most of my tonic-clonic or myoclonic seizures occur late at night.  I don’t know why this happens, but it does.  When I started working at each place, I did not tell them that I had epilepsy.  My reasoning was the following:

  • If I scheduled my classes carefully, I could avoid any problems.
  • I had already been doing the above for years, so I had some experience.
  • If I schedule my courses carefully, I can leave lots of time for stress-reduction activities like exercising or meditation.

At the moment, I am not getting the number of classes that I was expecting, which resulted in lot of anxiety.  There is also a lot of pressure and stress to meet end of the semester deadlines. Something needs to change.  I would like your advice:

Have I just been extremely lucky so far?  Should I go to my boss and tell him/her about my chronic condition?  If so, what would be a good way of approaching the situation?  I can be a little too blunt at times.



2 thoughts on “How do you tell your boss about your epilepsy?

  1. I have told every employer of my epilepsy immediately upon hiring. Just the basics verbally at first, and then I follow-up with a note for my file that I send by email. It contains info on the kind of epilepsy I have, the area of my brain it is in, my family dr and neurologist names, the meds I’m on and their dosages, date of last known seizure, kinds of seizures I have had, and what to do with me if I have one. Not only is this in my best interest for them to know, as it could quite literally save my life, it’s also in their best interests too so they can do what they can for me should I ever have one at work. It also increases awareness and understanding of the disorder, and dispels myths ie. the good ole stick a spoon in a seizing person’s mouth. Plus, if any accommodations can be made with your job, then you’re both in a position to discuss it and find the win-win-win solution together. Win for you, for them, and the students.
    Sorry for the long comment but my immediate gut reaction when I read this was “no! tell them! right away!” 🙂 Yes, I think you’ve been lucky but maybe if you do what I do you can be a safe lucky ducky instead.
    Blessings … Marianne


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