April 23, 2008

Ergonomic Evaluation for Vulvodynia

My situation at the office has been miserable and unprofessional for months.  I've been standing most of the time, but my desk is not designed for the height, so I have my computer on boxes of envelopes.  While I'm reducing trauma to my lady bits, I'm hurting just about everything else.

I decided to reach out to my company and see if any improvements could be made to my workstation.  The gentleman who made the assessment was very compassionate.  I spoke to him on the phone first and tried to explain my condition.  

"I have pudendal nerve damage which makes it very painful to sit."   

"Do you have pain in your lower back?"

"It's lower than that..."

"Is it in your tailbone?"

"No...  It's even lower..."  I didn't feel comfortable saying, "no sir, it's my vagina.  The pain is in my vagina."  Call me crazy, but I think you need to establish quite a rapport before you start dropping the V-bomb.  

This man spent his lunch break reading up on pudendal nerve damage.  He even stumbled upon pudendal.info.  I was very impressed that he took the time to understand.    

I haven't received the evaluation yet, but I got a few great suggestions.  There is a height adjustable computer stand that would be a major improvement.  The only problem is, my department is expected to fund any improvements.  I foolishly thought that the institution would.  I don't want to be a problem employee.  I don't want to give my bosses any reason to think twice about keeping me around.  

Now obviously they can't fire me for having a disability, but it's apparently very easy to circumvent the system.  I NEED this job.  So I may not be able to do anything with my evaluation.  

I could always buy the equipment myself and bring it in to the office.  Unfortunately, the cheapest workstation I can find is $380.  I already spent nearly $300 on the kneeling chair.  The gentleman who came to my office said that my department should at least reimburse me for the chair.  I've already discussed it with my boss and he doesn't want to pay for it.  That's actually how I wound up getting the ergonomic evaluation.     

1 comment:

The Honorable Samantha Grace said...

This must have been a very tense set of moments for you. I really commend you for "coming out" (so-to-speak) to your boss. It's something I don't know if I could do.