Monday, January 18, 2010

Hippie Freak because of Migraine Lighting

I have this one guy at work, Bill, who stops outside of my office when he walks by and starts laughing. He thinks it's funny how dark my office appears. Lately, Bill keeps asking me if I was a hippie freak growing up. Honestly, I don't think my office is that dark. For me, my lights are perfect and just has that extra zing off of the lights.

I have a workplace accommodation where my employer puts a sleeve like filter over the fluorescent light tubes in my office. These filters reduce the light output from the fluorescent lights as well as decrease some of the lights flickering effect. I would not be able to work in the office if I didn't have these filters. I know this definitively because I have problems in every other office in the building and cannot stay in them for long.

In general, I work really hard not to loose my cool especially while at work which I can easily do while Migraining. I actually first started looking into my just headaches after a bad incident at work where I didn't remain as calm as I should have which really isn't my character. I had finally learned and attributed many of my work Migraines to the lighting. If you have or think you have a problem with the lights at your work, you may want to read Migraines at Work? Check the Lighting.

Anyway, most people who question why my office is a little darker than the other offices accept what I tell them. As an ice breaker, I usually joke about how my office has a nice ambiance and how comforting it is. Although I guess I'm not entirely joking since it is so much more soothing, but it helps put them at ease. Then, I feel it is my duty, as a Migraineur, to go into the explanation around why my lights are the way they are. I want to educate people about Migraine disease plus this has been known to generate other questions around Migraines especially when they or someone they know have Migraines.

I had gone through this routine with Bill a few times, but haven't the last few times. He knows my deal. His office used to be two doors down from mine, but luckily he's on a different floor now and he doesn't come upstairs very often even though I've seen him a few times recently.

Since Bill's not really close to me and just a co-worker, I have printed out the Understanding Migraine Disease and Migraineurs letter and will personally hand it to him the next time he comes by. It will happen and he will comment again. I look forward to this contact as I am ready for him now and know what to do with him. I have to believe that Bill just does not understand Migraine disease and Migraine triggers as that is the way I will approach the whole situation when we talk.

I really am learning to stand up to these types of things as I actually stood up to my father at a recent family gathering. This is a big deal. My father is not someone anyone stands up to and I think this was my first time.

Again, my issue was around the lights. My sister Pam was running late and my father wanted me to help save seats. Fine, not something I like to do, but I was willing. Unfortunately, I had a CFL staring me down. It doesn't take long for CFLs to hit me and I immediately feel when they are around even if I don't see the bulbs or even know they are there.

I mentioned something to dad about the lights and how I had to move. Talk about feeling like a kid again, he told me to stay there until Pam arrived. It took me about 30 seconds to think of all of the progress I have made, all of the doctors I have fired for their ignorance's, the pain I was going to endure for the next day or so and the wrath from all of you if you knew I would allow someone to make me endure a Migraine trigger situation if I stayed there.

Anyway, I stood up and told him I could not stay there any longer, that I would leave my drink there to hopefully save that spot and I walked out. When I returned, he understood. I think my mom talked to him and we talked a little after that. Then he helped unscrew some of the CFLs in the restaurant in the area. I am glad I did not stay there. CFL Migraines are really bad and last longer for me.

So you see, I can't let my co-worker go around not understanding. I think I am strong enough to take it since I will do what I need to do, but I believe Bill needs to understand Migraine since there are so many Migraineurs out there and he may run into one that is not too strong.

1 comment:

steph said...

Thank you so much for educating Bill. He's lucky to have you.

I hate having to remind family of my limitations. You did it with grace and have given me something to strive for: adult assertion of my needs.

But I still stomp out of rooms when I'm angry with my SO, so it'll be a process.