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Jury Duty


imapumpkin
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Hi everyone.

I just got my 3rd jury duty summons in a year and a half :blink:. For the first one they had everyone call the day before and the courthouse told my group not to come in, so instead of that fulfilling my once every three years obligation, they threw me back in the shuffle. In the fall of last year I was summoned again, and I had to get a doctors note from my urologist because (unbeknownst to me at the time) POTS was causing overactive bladder even with medication so there was no way I could be "that girl" who has to keep getting up to pee every hour in the middle of a trial. That was before my POTS really kicked in and flared up this summer. Now that I've been summoned again I know I can't serve on a jury because I am so fatigued and nauseous all the time. I will technically also be recovering from my valve repair surgery on my summons date.

My question is, how do you handle medical excuses with POTS? No one knows what POTS is outside the medical community. Which doctor should I have write a doctors note? My PCP, Dysautonomia Neurologist Specialist and Cardiologist have all been following my case. The summons says that if your doctor thinks your situation might be permanent they can say so in the doctors note...but there's really no telling if POTS *is* permanent, and I don't want them to think I'm going around to all my different doctors coming up with a different medical excuse each time not to fulfill my "civic obligation". But the fact of the matter is, I am not well enough to work, not even a sedentary job, and according to the rules that makes me not well enough the serve on the jury...the problem is I haven't filed for disability or anything so it hasn't been documented anywhere other than at my doctors visits that I am as incapacitated as I am. Any suggestions?

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Im not sure about jury duty or the exact medical codes since there isnt one for pots, however when I first got sick my doctor wanted to put my mom out of work for a few months on fmla, to help me and he used the code for autonaumic dysfunction. He also wanted me to get handicap tags and used the same description for dmv, autonaumic dysfunction (cardiac) and had no problem with Dmv. If u have a doctor u see regulary I would call and see if there is a form or something he could fill out and fax for u stating something along those lines.Hopefully u have a doctor that can do that? Good luck =) and please know u are in my prayers for a speedy recovery and tons of comfort and calming energy is being sent ur way.

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I got a jury summons and I didn't say that I had a medical condition that prevented me from serving because of the same issues. Instead, in the 'other' information section, said that I would be happy to serve but I might pass out at random that requires ER medical care. If they were fine with that, then I was fine with performing my jury duty. Put all my doctor's names and numbers on there too. Oddly enough, got a call saying I was excused. :)

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I was called before I got diagnosed so I freaked out because I was too ill to serve but couldn't explain why. My doctor was great and faxed them a note saying I had adrenal insufficiency---which she suspected---and that I would be an unsuitable juror.

A few years prior I was called and had just gotten a full time job. I spoke with someone over the phone and they were really nice and excused me with no problem. So I wouldn't stress over this too much. There are plenty of alternates they can call.

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In general, I tell people I have a fainting disorder. People seem to be very responsive to that! Maybe your doctor can explain that you have a fainting disorder?? People seem to get the word "fainting" in a way that they don't get "fatigue", "lightheaded", "nauseous", etc.

Yeah that seemed to be the key for me too. They're pretty quick to say stay home when you tell them you're a fainter.

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I have been called up for jury duty here in the UK a number of time's on our forms it has a section asking if you require any disability adjustments, I then just explain that I will require easy access to a toilet, rest breaks, and to be able to move about. I do not faint either but I do fall into a state of major incoherence if I stay still for more than 10-15 mins. I also have bladder/kidney issues as I can not retain fluid well. As yet I the courts have not been able to accommodate my needs!

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This happened to me too. I was summoned - got out with a note Dr's note and then within the year, I was summoned again. I felt bad going back to my Dr. again and asking for another note, but had to. PCP wrote a note saying something like I had POTS Syndrome which caused fatigue and dizziness and that I wouldn't be able to stay upright for many hours and it would be too exhausting. I don't think the court people scrutinize the Doctor's note too closely. I think just having a Doctor say you're not well enough for whatever reason should be enough.

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I got called this summer and explained that I had been currently unable to work for several months due to POTS. I briefly explained that I had a difficult time being upright for extended periods of time and that I was constantly light-headed and often had syncopal episodes. I added in all the other fun symptoms I was experience as well. I totally expected them to send me forms for my doctor to fill out, but I got a quick response by mail telling me I was not needed for jury duty at this time because of my medical conditions. I joked that for the first time, POTS actually did something good for me. :P

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I've never fainted either--I just get real close to the edge. I think if you have a sympathetic doctor he/she might explain that POTS is a fainting disorder. And I would stay away from the word "syncope" since most people don't know what it means.

As far as "permanent", POTS is a "chronic" illness. We all hope to get better some day, but there is no guarantee. That seems pretty close to "permanent" to me.

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A dr's note should be all you need. They call a huge excess of people for jury duty b/c they know some will be unable to serve due to school, work, illness, etc. As long as you communicate with them about why you cannot serve it should not be a problem. They definitely do not want a trial complicated by a juror becoming too ill in the middle of hearing a case.

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