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How do you deal with people who think you're malingering?

oonamilkooonamilk Posts: 62
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:57 AM in Chronic Pain
Hey Spineys!

Can anybody provide advice on how to deal with people (especially at work) who think you are malingering?

How do you deal with it?


  • Is it your boss? If not, ignore them, it's none of their business. If it's to the point that you're feeling harassed, file a complaint.

    If it is your employer or direct supervisor, I would suggest making an appointment with them and sitting down and asking if there are any issues. You don't need to divulge any medical information, only what you are comfortable with, but you don't have to tell them anything if you don't want to. If they do have issues, then maybe from this appointment you can come to a compromise, or through HR you can set accommodations to ensure a proper work environment for you.
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • Compare it to being kicked between the legs. Nealy everyone has had that happen at least once on the sports field.

    Hubby did not believe me (married 48 years) till he bent over to pick up nickle and could not stand up again. Riding in ambulance, he asked EMT's not to tell me he said, "now I understand my wife".
    Clearly, they told me.

    Two years later, he has forgotten his pain. What can I say.
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  • As a very young Navy Corpsman, I tended to side with my co-workers who thought that of one of our patients. Now that many years have passed, I know how it feels from the other side. It ain't fun! As a matter of fact, even though I live with back pain every moment of every day, I still occasionally feel like I'm somehow "dogging it". I guess that you can't win when it comes to chronic pain.
    Disability retirement
  • As a very young Navy Corpsman, I tended to side with my co-workers who thought that of one of our patients. Now that many years have passed, I know how it feels from the other side. It ain't fun! As a matter of fact, even though I live with back pain every moment of every day, I still occasionally feel like I'm somehow "dogging it". I guess that you can't win when it comes to chronic pain.
    Disability retirement
  • I have been thinking of this post for some time. I am pretty sure many of my co-workers & extended family were thinking the same thing of me... Even my friends probably thought it at some point.

    This experience of having extended spine problems, I even thought that about my self and still do at times.... It is a guilt that I was raised to be strong & tuff. I am an adult now (have been for years lol) but still have this internal fight at times trying to believe myself...

    So in closing, if my boss or another co-worker says anything about my spine issues I have trained myself to say "it's my life, I deal with it daily, do you think for a minute that I would not have this go away if I could?" "If I get a couple hours a day when my pain meds have peeked, I am no longer groggy from their effects, I seem chipper/normal- GREAT!- Good for me"...

    Let them see me writhing in agony, tens unit on, heat on, ice ready- Do I want to live like this? Hell No! But I do want to live, I enjoy life. Is that a crime? Not if your normal. You are just thought to be an energetic enthusiastic part of society.

    Peace my friends,

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  • What size shoe do you wear? Then I would tell them to walk around in a pair of shoes 2 sizes smaller for a few years. Then I would explain that back pain is much, much worse. When you take your shoes off you can get some relief, but , there's no relief with back pain.The pain can be relentless and life altering. Maybe then they will start to get it. But, probably not!
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,425
    People who think or want to make others think that you do not really have the medical problems would only love to get into a discussion/argument/display with you regarding that. That will give them pleasure.

    I've found the best way to deal with people like that is to ignore them. That only frustrates them.

    No one has the right to invade your privacy when it comes to medical conditions. But like Kelly stated, if its your supervisor or likes, then detailed discussions would be warranted.

    Over the 35 years with IBM, and having almost 4 total years (collective surgery, flare ups, recovery, etc), I know there were those that raised an eyebrow or two.

    I never opened my situation with anyone like that. The ones that needed to know , already knew.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • You get to a point in your life where you dont worry about what other people say,

    I am way beyond having to worry about what people think and say, As long as you know you are doing everything posible and you not dramatising your pain then you dont need to worry,

    Problem is there is so many drama queens in the world , people mistake real injury for drama queens,

    You have to be happy with yourself, and thats all that maters, And if someone pushes too far then you put them in the hospital will work, Git-ir-done
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • I let my little woman take care of them people.
  • I had my first surgery, never told HR.
    Came back right after the surgery working remote a few days and eventually making it to the office for a few hours.

    My boss never said anything but in hind-sight, he was thinking I was underperforming (sadly, he had no proof b/c I had results to prove him wrong).

    Before my 2nd surgery, I let HR know but they nearly demanded I call the disability center. I said, not necessary b/c I only needed to use 2 weeks sick time. Thankfully, she explained why I needed to call it in even if I only used 2 weeks.

    She explained that if my performance declined or my manager wanted to use my illness as a way to push me more so it appeared my performance declined that without filing the "Disability", my job could be at risk.

    By filing disability claim, even if you don't need to 'use' it b/c you have enough sick time to take. The claim protects you from idiots. It essentially says that you manager has to tread very carefully before saying your performance is bad. It also says the company has to take reasonable measures to ensure they accommodate your disability.

    This was helpful
    1 - I got a new office chair
    2 - I was allowed to work remote for 2-3 days a week
    3 - I was also given a standing work station if needed.
    4 - It was clear in meetings that if I needed to stand up (and/or pace) that it wasn't because I was rude or bored but rather b/c I couldn't physically sit longer than 40 mins).

    All the other people....well, they can still hurt you professionally. I was in training and while the trainers understood, most of my classmates did not. They initially felt I was uninterested or bored. Now, it was NONE of their business but I did tell a few trusted folks and they spread the word. I figured try not judging others until you know the story.

    It can be frustrating.
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