This recent survey results discuss how people with migraines are reluctant to inform employers about them or tell them that is why they missed work.
Of those who missed work, just 42 percent said they told supervisors the truth that migraines and headaches were the cause. The reason? Most think their bosses/instructors don’t consider headaches or migraines a valid reason for being absent Reuters
And they are right to think that. When I call in sick, which I will for migraines with severe digestive issues (horrible diarrhea and vomiting), severe vertigo or 9 level pain… they still want me to come in when it is done. Like an hour later. Like an Hour Later. I want to say this is going to last 8 hours to 3 days. Generally 8-10 hours for me, sometimes 12-48 hours. No one hour show for me. Yet I force myself to go in. I take whatever medication I can and just force myself to do it, facing whatever hell that will be. Because I miss too much work. Because they do not comprehend a migraine and all the symptoms that go with it.
While most managers (57 percent) view migraines as a good reason for missing work, 38 percent were less amenable, saying migraines either only sometimes justify calling in sick or don’t justify it at all. Managers were even tougher on headaches: While 43 percent responded that headaches could be severe enough to justify calling in sick to work, 53 percent said “no” or “sometimes” to the issue.Reuters
The poll revealed gender differences among those who missed work or school, with 67 percent of men surveyed staying home one day or more in the three months leading up to the survey, compared to just 44 percent of women. Even though men were more likely to miss work or school, they were less likely to be upfront with their employer or instructor about the reason. The poll shows that 60 percent of men did not mention their headache or migraine to their boss or instructor while most women—54 percent—did tell the truth.
I am upfront about my migraines with my employer due to the fact they are chronic migraines. I know they will have an impact whether I will or not. Whether I want it to or not. So they need to know. Just a fact. I don’t care if they know about my other health conditions but I don’t talk about them because they have little to no impact. FM, for example, can flare up horribly but I’ll be at work… it isn’t the same sort of pain and therefore one I can ‘think’ through. And at a non-physical job one, I can adapt to some degree, but not to say it isn’t painful and I don’t have issues with the pain and other aspects, just that I have taught myself to ‘get through it’. Certain levels of migraines I endure because I Must, and some I just Cannot.
- Men and women experience different types of pain. Twice as many women as men in the poll reported that they suffer from migraines (17 percent of women vs. 8 percent of men), while more men in the survey reported missing work for tension headaches (38 percent of men vs. 31 percent of women).
- Migraines and missing work. The leading reasons people gave for missing work were migraines (37 percent), followed by tension headaches (35 percent), cluster headaches (10 percent), sinus headaches (10 percent) and other types of headaches (6 percent).
- Personal experience counts. Those who experienced headaches and migraines themselves were more likely to say they personally feel a headache or migraine can be severe enough to justify calling in sick to work.
The one thing I hate about chronic migraines is that I can’t miss work for a migraine anymore. I used to know a lady with episodic migraines and she would miss work when she got them. Everyone was accommodating and understood. It is a migraine after all. But when you have chronic migraines, you miss work too much so it is not seen the same way. They doubt. They wonder. Why do you get that many? What is wrong or different? They are not so accommodating. Even though you are not missing work for Every migraine just the out of control pain migraines or out of control symptoms. You don’t get to miss work for a migraine. ‘Just a migraine’ is just another day. That is what I hate. It is not a pain that is meant to be functioning through and the neurological symptoms can be really messed up.
So I am not missing work for a migraine. I am going to work with a migraine every damn work day. I am missing work for a mother trucking migraine. The mother of all migraines. To have an employer not get that is not fun. I wish they had a taste of it. Just one day of the worst migraine every, with the combo platter of symptoms. I would want they to work through it and tell me how they ‘feel about that’.