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That’s what my boss told me two days ago. He’s not the first person to tell me that and he’s probably not the last who will say something along those same lines to me. All I could do is stand there leaning against the counter in the office wringing my hands in frustration. He, like others before him just doesn’t seem to get that there is no just “getting well”. Despite all the treatments I can try and all the medicines I can take, I may never “get well”.

He’s upset at me because I had to call out two days in a row for a really bad migraine. Never mind the fact that I had just worked almost six days straight in continuous pain. He doesn’t seem to understand that I live almost every single day of my life with my ears ringing and feeling like my head is in a vice. Sometimes the vice is a LOT tighter than others and there’s a number of other symptoms that accompany the pain. I wear sunglasses at work because I’m sensitive to light, particularly the fluorescent lights at the store. I’m sensitive to sound, different pitches or types of sound effecting me more than others. Scents are a major trigger. Nausea and dizziness are common for me. I get auras and blurriness of vision. Lately, I’ve had trouble with aphasia.

He almost sounds like he’s concerned for me. I think he genuinely likes me as a person. But I know his main concern is for the business. I know that my frequent absences aren’t good for business, but I have to work when I can for as long as I can. I have bills to pay. That’s the other reason he’s upset. I’m applying for FMLA to protect my job for the time being and my health benefits, because if I don’t have my health benefits I can’t afford treatment, at all. He feels like I’ve dumped this on him, although I told him months ago that I was planning to apply for it. I have to do what I have to do. Especially when he does petty crap like take away most of my hours for the coming week because I had to call out.

When I transferred to this store, he was warned by my previous Manager and by me that I have a chronic illness that could result in frequent absences. I’m doing the best I can, damnit, but there’s only so much I can do!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • SilverPhoenix13 author
    3 years ago

    Well, if I suddenly lose my job after getting FMLA, there would be only one reason for it and they would not be able to prove otherwise. I’ve never received disciplinary action for anything. They never made any complaints to me about my performance and I’ve never had a poor review. Their ONLY complaint has been about my migraine related absences, which they haven’t even written me up for, which is their mistake. But from now on, I am going to make sure that everything is documented, so that it’s known that every absence is in relation to my migraines.

  • jns192 moderator
    3 years ago

    Thank you so much for openly sharing your story with our community. It is so helpful and reassuring to learn from one another and members who are willing to share their experiences make that possible.
    I am so sorry about all you are going through with your migraine attacks and subsequent issues at work.
    As a fellow migraineur, I understand how hard it can be to push through and focus during an attack. But what is even worse is the judgement that comes along with calling out for a migraine. No one really understands how debilitating they are unless they have experienced one.
    I know there is only so much we can do to minimize our triggers and it sounds like you already have been doing just that by wearing sunglasses etc.
    It truly sounds like you are doing the best that you can and I hope that your application for FMLA turns in your favor. If you are interested, I wanted to share a few articles we have on this topic:

    I also thought you might enjoy perusing through ideas from our community on managing migraine at work:

    Lastly, our forums are a great place to interact with migraineurs who have had or are having a similar experience. Here are some topics that pertain to you:

    Please let us know if there is anything else we can help you with.
    Thank you so much for being part of our community.

    Warm regards,
    Jillian ( Team)

  • mia
    3 years ago

    Unfortunately, this sounds all too familiar. I was right where you are 2 years ago. I ended up losing the job about a year later. Of course, despite the fact that I was a top performer, they said it had nothing to do with my FMLA or chronic illness. Hope you have a better outcome than I did :/

  • jns192 moderator
    3 years ago

    Thank you so much for your feedback and support.
    I am sorry to hear that you lost your job last year and hope you are doing well.
    Feel free to keep us posted. We would love to hear from you.
    Jillian ( Team)

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