Hereditary angioedema (HAE) on the job
Many people with HAE work full-time jobs and have careers they are passionate about. Unfortunately, HAE can sometimes make it difficult to focus on your work life—especially if you’re dealing with symptoms and managing your condition.
The reality of living with HAE means you might miss days of work because of attacks and making regular trips to the doctor. But HAE shouldn’t keep you from pursuing the occupation of your choice. Here are some tips and tools for navigating work with HAE.
Your health information is private
Of course, your health information is a personal matter and the decision to tell your boss and coworkers is up to you. In fact, there are laws that protect your right to keep your medical information private. You don’t have to disclose the information during an interview or after you’ve been offered the job, unless you need to request a reasonable accommodation.
Should you talk to a supervisor about your HAE?
If you think HAE might be impacting your productivity, consider speaking up and letting your supervisor know what’s going on. Talking to human resources may also be in your best interest. Ask about company policies or accommodations that could have an impact on your situation.
Again, the decision to share your health information with others is personal, but if you’d like help explaining it in the workplace, consider doing it in writing. Fill out the letter below and use it to help explain HAE and provide important details regarding your specific situation.
Having HAE isn’t something I’d have chosen for myself, but I don’t have to let it rule my life.
Plan for an emergency at work
If you spend a great deal of time in your work environment, think about having an open and honest conversation with someone who works in close proximity to you. Let him or her know how they can support you and explain the steps they should take in case of an emergency.