Problems with coworker

I had a problem with a coworker today. She was angry at me for not reading her reports. When we talked about her reports, I don’t remember everything. While my recovery has been good, it’s far from perfect. I have a lot of problems remembering. Recently, I’ve tried to tell my coworkers about this problem. She thought I was making the whole thing up. She said that I didn’t have any real memory problem and I had fully recovered. She said that I was lying and didn’t read any of her reports. She said that the brain just heals itself and I was fully functional. She said I was making it all up as an excuse. I went into deep silence on that subject and went into monotone. She kept up her tirade on me. I didn’t say anything much after that. I’m not certain how to handle this one tomorrow.

Hey Armand,
Sorry to say it like this but some people have no idea when it comes to matters of the brain. Trying to educate people who think they know all about it is near on impossible. Even for people who should know better, often their attitude come from a ‘high and mighty’ prospective. I’ve also found that some people have the idea that all neurosurgery is the same ie 'Well, my friend ‘John’ had one of those and he’s OK, so what’s your problem…?" No 2 neurosurgeries are the same so even making the comparison shows an ignorance IMO.
My only suggestion to assist you is a notebook, when I was working I found it the only way to keep a track. I had to write down what needed to be done and then mark it off when I completed it.

Merl from the Moderator Support Team

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I agree with Merl, most people have no idea about the matters of the brain and how it heals or doesn’t heal; most people assume after a few months it’s like a broken arm and you’re all right because you look alright from the outside.
I also recommend writing everything down on a notepad I put everything I need to do in a calendar on my tablet and I jot down notes on a 5 by 7 notepad of things I’ve been thinking about or want to discuss with my wife when she gets home from work as I’ll forget by the time she does.
it’s frustrating to have to write everything down but it’s the only way I can jog my memory.

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You say this is a coworker. How understanding is your boss about what you can do / can’t do / are less good at? If your boss is on-side, it’ll be an easier thing to work through. If your boss is not on-side, it’ll be more difficult.

I think don’t feel the need to answer back tomorrow. Just carry on as normal. If she starts the whole issue again, just weather it out and let’s work out what you might do together.

It might be a “flash in the pan” bad day or it may be she’s somehow got it in for you longer term. Once we see how big a deal this is, we can work out some strategies.

You’re not alone.


Hi there!

I agree. Many people are just ignorant, some have little compassion. It is something I have had to deal in all my years post-op. And, the most frustrating!

The suggestion to write “to do lists” is simple, yet SO beneficial. And, when I strike a line through each item I can see how productive I am. Notes may take more time, but help in the long run.

You deserve to feel more than satisfied with what you CAN DO. For me, that is where I had to start in order to build my confidence and self-esteem.

:heart: Lifeisgoodcc

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Depending on your daily work relationship with this person, you can either choose to ignore what happened (maybe deciding she was having her own bad day) or you can provide her with official medical information to review – you could send her an email with links or leave something on her desk with a nice note. There’s tons of information out there about brain fog and other cognitive issues people experience.

The other thing I suggest you do is no longer tolerater any sort of tirade directed at you by a co-worker. I suggest walking away. If she tend to be violative in general develop a non-confrontation exit line, maybe something along the lines of “let’s take a break and regroup and meet up in 15/30/60 minutes to continue this conversation in a constructive manner…” and then walk away from her. No one should tolerate any sort of tirade from anyone in a professional work enviroment!


I agree with Dick (or Richard - I can’t remember which one to call you) (sorry, bad humor). But when he uses the term “We” he is not talking just you and him. He’s talking “we” as a group. Go to work tomorrow, give us a report tomorrow night and we’ll back you up and help figure out how to do things from here.


P.S. On a side note - my wife is at work and I send her e-mails about things throughout the day - and then she reads them whenever she can (kind of our way of making sure I tell her things). I wrote her about something my SLP said yesterday and then I went back into the e-mail and read it and I’m like, uh, yeah, Houston, we’ve got a problem. I could not understand what I wrote. There were words out of order, some words missing and it was quite bizarre.

But, I’m having a “bad head” day, so I should have expected it and taken the time to reread it and make sure it made sense. That’s why sometimes she responds to things with “WTF?”


@Armand I am so sorry she was angry with you. She is not a dr and she sounds incredibly rude. I worked in trading where its perfectly acceptable to use swear words and I would have a few choice ones for her.
I would suggest documenting when she says these things to you as they are harassment.
If you she continues I would contact HR with your documentation. You dont owe her or anyone else an explanation about your medical history at work I understand you probably want to be honest and I would tell HR as so. She is creating a hostile and stressful work environment. She sounds like a bully.


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Your coworker’s response to you is extremely unprofessional. I would highly recommend that you contact your human resource department and inform them of what is happening. You are currently experiencing harassment in the workplace as well as possible discrimination due to your disability. This is serious business and she should be fired for her completely disrespectful remarks to you regarding your personal health and recovery. Good luck to you on your journey toward recovery as well as in your workplace. I too struggle with memory issues and had mine surgically repaired almost a year ago. Recovery takes time. Be patient with yourself, and continue to advocate for yourself amidst others who don’t understand. Good luck to you.

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There is nothing worse than a co-worker being difficult but you need to just move on and don’t let this bother you… Do the best you can and if things get worse then speak to your bosses about the matter… God bless!


Sorry to hear that mate some people are just so wrapped
In there little bubble oblivious to anyone else
Keep your chin up remember what goes around comes around
People are just cruel

Tell your ignorant co-worker to kick rocks! You don’t have a problem, she does. What you have is real! You should not exert yourself trying to convince some uninformed co-worker that you have a serious and rare condition. I’m sure your Manager or your Human Resources Dept., can intervene on your behalf. Tell your uninformed co-worker to research AVM’s and to pray she doesn’t have one. Wishing the best. Stay strong.

That is just rude, I would take it to a higher level and go to your Human Resources/manager and maybe print her out some info on AVM’s so she can understand it a little better. I teach preschool, I am 16 years AVM free and with my short term memory loss I have to write everything down or put it in my phone or I will definitely forget. Keep a notebook with all you need to do and cross it out as each task is complete. I do it at home as well.

I’m sorry you are going through this. I would document this on paper so you will have it in writing. You could also discuss it with HR. The more you push it, the closer you will potentially come to being put on disability though. You can manage the situation depending on what outcome you want. Either way, I would definitely write it down on paper, sign and date it and save it, so you can potentially refer to it down the road if it will help your cause.

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Thanks you to all of you. You helped me get the strength to talk to my supervisor today. It was a tough discussion as he likes her and thinks she’s one of his good employees (not like me). Still, by the end of the conversation, I had him wavering. He said he’ll talk to her. I’m sure she’ll do her double talk and blame me for everything and he’ll fall for it. I don’t care. I feel better already. Now, I’ll deal with this problem the best way I can. I won’t work with her.

But some of you recommended printing out information on AVM to give HR, boss, or to my problem person. Do you have any specific examples of what I should use?

Thank you.

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Sounds like her problem not yours.

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I’m not sure if your boss is a reader or not, but if he/she is A STROKE OF INSIGHT by Jill Bolte Taylor can help illustrate what surviving an AVM is like, in the hospital and afterwards. Dr. Taylor is a neuroanatomist of all things…teaching medical students at Harvard University! Obviously, this is not a scientific paper, but a personal account of her journey.


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What a shame. It’s another challenge or challenged individual goal you can achieve by forgiving their lack of compassion and knowledge and by doing so achieving your next step to fulfillment.

I like the reference to A Stroke of Insight, it is a great book. I was given a copy shortly after getting out of the hospital post bleed. It helped me a great deal, and I should probably read it again!

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If you live in US, then you are entitled to a 504 Plan listi g your rights as a person with a disability. That wd end such comments, since rudeness is breaking the law. Ask me more if you wish. HR needs to work this out with you.It is their duty.