School and work

At work and college

To tell... or not to tell

New job, new college, new university all bring with them new friends and workmates, employers and tutors. So who do you tell? For some people, telling others you have haemophilia can feel daunting. You may be worried that you will be treated differently once people know. You do not have to tell anyone. Before you make up your mind, think about some of the issues, both practical and emotional. In the end, you probably need to ask yourself whether telling this person will make your life easier or more difficult. Only you can decide.

Valuable support – it might be a good idea to tell some people if only to make sure that you have their support if you do have a bleed, or if you have concerns about your health or future. They can help you cope with the ups and downs of living with haemophilia.

Finding out – if you don’t tell people it is worth considering how they will react if they find out later, or from someone else. Will they feel their trust has been betrayed? Will they take the time needed to understand that nowadays, by using your factor prophylactically, your haemophilia places very few limitations on your lifestyle?

Storing your factor – if you tell your tutor or employer, could they make a safe storage place available for your factor so that it is on hand if you have a bleed?

If you have a bleed – how will your employer, tutor or new friends react if you have a bleed? If you warn them in advance they may be understanding. On the other hand, they may over-react and be over-protective.

Time off work/college – if you have a bleed and need time of work or college, how will your employer or tutor react if they don’t understand why? Even when people know about your haemophilia they may not understand its treatment.

Taking time to explain

If you do decide to tell people about your haemophilia, remember that they may have little or no understanding of the condition. They may be scared if you bleed, they may even be concerned that haemophilia is contagious. You will need to be patient and take time to explain and deal with their concerns. It may help to have some accurate information, such as pamphlets or fact sheets, to give them.