Employer keeps calling 911 when I have a seizure. Is this standard for most jobs?

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I have been diagnosed with psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES), after having 4 normal EEGs. Two were 30 mins, one was a 3-day take home test and the last one was a 5 day VEEG. All were normal. I had a normal MRI as well, but it was 6 mos. after they started

I have anywhere from 1-6 seizures almost everyday. My doctors have put me on Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, Gabapentin and Lamictal...none of them seem to work.

It's starting to take a toll at work. Even though I have sent my employer 2 doctors' notes explaining my condition and NOT to call 911, they do anyway because of company policy.

I've been sent to the ER over a handful of times during my 3 years at my current job. I've repeatedly refused to go. Now, I'm nothing but a liability to them and they don't give me enough hours to support myself.


I'm looking for new work, but I wonder: won't most employers call an ambulance every time an employee has a seizure, even if it's against their will?

My only option seems to be disability but my family won't support my decision, even though my doctors are suggesting I do until my health improves. They tell me I am ridiculous even though they have seen the worst of them. I want to work, but I feel like I won't be able to no matter what job I take.

I have one or more combinations of sleep attacks, grand mals and partial seizures everyday. It makes it hard to do much. :(

I'm desperate for help! Anyone have the same problem with their employer?
 

C0urt

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they kinda have to cover their own tail to stay in good with their insurance and every thing
 

arnie

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Hi and welcome. When were you initially diagnosed, and when did you start taking the meds? Also, especially with the Lamictal, what dose did you get to and how long were you on it? It seems to me that you have been on quite a few medications, and several of them not usually epilepsy-related.
As for the job issues, maybe you do need some time off. Are you in danger of losing your job altogether? Finally, are there life issues or stressors in your past or present which could account for or precipitate psychogenic seizures? A vist to a good counselor or therapist might be able to help figure out if there are such things that need to be addressed.
Best of luck and keep us posted.

Onward!
 

N Sperlo

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If I didn't call an ambulance when someone had a seizure, I'd lose my job. General safety standards here.
 
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I was initially diagnosed with psychogenic seizures four years ago by my Psychiatrist at Rush University in Chicago (where ER was filmed) who also had some background in neurology and experience with other patients diagnosed with the disorder.

I was also diagnosed with PTSD because of suspected childhood molestation by my father. And the man I wanted to marry, after 8 years of living together, left me for another woman.

Anyway, I went for a second opinion with three other neurologists. Since all of my EEGs and MRIs have been normal, I have been diagnosed with PNES by all neurologists and therapists I have seen since my seizures started. None of them seem to think it's epilepsy, although the last neuro I saw seemed to think there were aspects of them that seemed like epilepsy.

Right now I'm seeing a Psychiatrist and a Psychologist, who both correspond with each other regarding my illness and treatment.

I'm working on cognitive behavioral therapy with them. I see my therapist twice a week to work on that.

As for seizure medications: I take 400mg of Lamictal and 3300mg of Neurontin (gabapentin) daily. The Klonopin helps with my anxiety and I have read that it can also be used for convulsions.

But my real question is this: is it unfair that my employer will not comply with my doctors instructions and stop calling 911, as it makes my seizures worse and that I have never been injured by one?

AND, has anyone else on here been fired, forced on sick leave or had hours cut back because of uncontrolled seizures? Will this be the norm with most employers until my seizures are controlled?
 
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If I didn't call an ambulance when someone had a seizure, I'd lose my job. General safety standards here.
What if that person would be more likely to sue for having an ambulance come and had official documentation stating that it was unnecessary and would actually make their condition worse due to unneeded hospital bills? And HR was notified of this?

Unless someone is having status-elipticus or confirmed to have been seriously injured during the seizure, calling 911 is completely useless. The seizure will be over before paramedics even come, much less by the time they get to the ER. And they're just going to inject you with the medicine you take anyway or from the same class of drugs. I'm sure some people on here would agree.
 
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arnie

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As N. Sperlo says, the company probably has to follow their policy re: when to call 911. It's not up to them to decide if the seizure you are having is serious. If' they made the wrong call, or waited too long, or had to decide whether you were in status or had injured yourself before they called, they would be in very real danger of being sued, and the person in charge could easily lose his or her job and/or be held liable for any injuries you might suffer. If you died and they had not called 911 in a timely manner your family would be almost certain to sue.
 

Fedup

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deutschelectronic

When it comes to work none of this is cut and dry, I agree with what N. Sperlo and Arnie have said. It makes no difference what country you live in the policy within any company is generally the same all over the world and for the same reasons even in Ireland. So no matter how many note or letters from doctors or neurologist they get they will still ring 911, even if it is counter active to health, Sorry about that.
 
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deutschelectronic

When it comes to work none of this is cut and dry, I agree with what N. Sperlo and Arnie have said. It makes no difference what country you live in the policy within any company is generally the same all over the world and for the same reasons even in Ireland. So no matter how many note or letters from doctors or neurologist they get they will still ring 911, even if it is counter active to health, Sorry about that.
I suppose it's unreasonable to expect an employer to not call an ambulance after someone has a seizure at work, no matter what. It's not like most people know anything about seizures, especially PNES.

Has this been a big issue for anyone else on here?

That is, if you have seizures all the time. And having your job call 911 so many times it's not worth working?
 

Fedup

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deutschelectronic

No it is not unreasonable to expect an employer not to call an ambulance, but you must remember all employers are bound by rules, health and safety being one and no matter what you or I might want these rules decide what the employer does. In reality they do not have much of a choice but to make that phone call, then you have all the other reasons most are legal as well.

It is always worth working provided it does not impact on your health, if it does then you need to decide which is more important and make the decision. But for me work is worth it but my seizures were controlled. That is the problem with E it will effect you in so many ways and a lot of this can disappear when you get control of your seizures although this is not guaranteed. You have to keep trying.
 

SlimBlue

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I was working for an IT company for the past 5 years and they were quite good when I had a seizure- only called one after a grand mal, or if I'd possibly hurt myself. Any absence ones or partials at my desk, they usually just let me recover in a quiet area.

Thing is, I was eventually forced into taking 'Long Term Sickness' (which took 7 months to get any money through from Canada Life) because of all the time off.

I want to work, but having left them it seems nobody wants to employ a software engineer constantly needing days off. So I've applied for disability benefit (which will take at least 4 months to come through).

It'll be a bit of a come-down, but there's lots I plan to do to keep busy.
 
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