about working..

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by oceans, Jan 7, 2003.

  1. oceans

    oceans New Member

    due to the nature of fibromyalgia i've had quite a hard time staying employed over the past few years.

    currently i am working full-time, and i have a wonderful, compassionate boss who refuses to fire me! but- i am only ever there half the time, due to pain, of course, and fatigue, or the way i'm responding to a new med, etc, etc and i feel it unfair to stay under her employment when i am truly not capable of doing the work.. i know it's my right to be employed and i am blessed to have her understanding but i can't shake the bad feeling everytime i call in sick.

    there is also the matter of the dwindling paycheck every couple of weeks.

    what do all of you do for work? & how do you manage work with FMS? i'd like to hear all of your input.

    ideally, i'd prefer to work from home, but it is not realistic at this point in time.

    this issue has become a huge burden & stress and i believe it's making the pain that much worse, but i don't know how to address it, or what possible options there are out there..

    any help is appreciated, and by the looks of some other topics it would seem others may have similar problems..


  2. oceans

    oceans New Member

    that i also have scoliosis.

    no one seems quite sure if it's a contributing factor to the amount of pain, along with FMS, or not.

    anyone else with scoliosis & FMS? not to mention clinical depression & CFS.

    [This Message was Edited on 01/07/2003]
  3. oceans

    oceans New Member

    is nobody else experiencing this stress?!

    well. the only option i can think of is to quit work and apply for disability.

    i cannot appy for disability (here in canada) unless i am reieving social assistance (which i am not) and i cannot apply for social assistance unless i am making less $$ working then i would by recieving social assistance, otherwise i would have to quit my job AND then wait 3 weeks after quitting my job (if i do) to apply for social assistance and then for disability. how frustrating is that?! make sense? it's ridiculous.

    and i don't what to do.
  4. griswoldgirl

    griswoldgirl New Member

    due to knee injury. Before the injury my job was on the line due to absences. I am a ultrasound technologist and worked in a very busy high risk ob/gyn hospital with a very tight attendence policy I could not live up to.

    I had c=spine fushion for ruptured discs in my neck and now had orthoscopic surgery for torn meniscus in my knee and still have torn acl that might have to have another surgery. I have been without a paycheck since early september and have been turned down by WC-was on job injury long story in other posts of mine and disability turned me down through my work as well which I am fighting.

    I miss working and do nto know what I am going to do. I have a second opinion on my knee that is not healing as it should and might have to have the acl repaired. I suffer from pretty bad arthritis and fibro which has been in constant flare since surgery last year and year before. Now have bronchitis and sinus infection for about 6 weeks that will not quit and am trying to keep up with my physical therapy exercises everyday to get knee back in shape to look for another job and I have no idea if I am going to be able to hold one down or not.

    MY husband is out too due to a bad asthma attack at work and a bad reaction to predizone that knocked his adreanal function out of whack and he cannot work for a few months. We are literally living off cashing in one of the little 401 Ks we had which was retirement money and took a big hit tax wise.

    Yes I need the paycheck-I went back to work way too soon after back surgery -3months post op-- and I am worried that I will not be able to work on the knee the way it is, but do nto want another surgery.

    it is a decision a lot of us go through on this board. There has been a lot of posts in the past on whether to work or not to work. SSI is hard to get and even if you do who can live off that?

    I agree the stress I have been through in the last year has made my fibro much better and my cfs-more infections than usual etc.

    It is a dilima we all face it seems sooner or later. If you have an understanding boss, I say go for it and keep on keepin on if you can. I felt much better mentally when I was working and making a difference than I do sitiing at home.

    good luck

  5. oceans

    oceans New Member

    i'm so sorry to hear about your current situation, i can almost imagine the levels of stress you must be under.
    thank you for your response.

    i would rather be at work than at home, as well, but lately, i've been at home ten times more often then at work and i am so far behind.

    i really feel that i need a good year off to address my physical disabilities and to really figure out what works best and how to get a handle on the pain. unfortunately, that is an ideal that won't be realized for me at this time.

    it really is a serious dillema, and a huge stress for those facing it.

    i wish you the best.
  6. catgal

    catgal New Member

    Hi Kate~~I am 53, was born with asthma, severe allergies, and IBS. At age 14 was diagnosed with FM/CFS, and through the years have picked up osteo, psoriatic, and rheumatoid arthritis, and two years ago was diagnosed with advanced degenerative disc disease and have multiple back problems.

    I worked full time till 1993 when I was forced to quit a good, high paying job and go to work 3 days a week for considerably less pay and no benefits (especially no insurance, sick days, etc.).

    It was an uphill road trying to work full time when I was younger, but with the additional ailments added as I've grown older--I was sick more often and missed work. However, in the past two years since I've been in so much pain and so disabled with my back--I've missed a great deal of work, and my boss is not compassionate, understanding, or accommodating. I live in constant fear that he is going to use my "absenteeism" as a reason to get rid of me, and I am my sole financial support. I would be bankrupt in 30 days and unable to pay my extensive monthly medical expenses much less anything else.

    It sounds almost impossible to get on Disability, and I was told by the SSD people that you have to be unemployed to even apply--and then it could take years.

    I have been a psychotherapist for 25 years, and I love my work. However, it is very demanding because I have to cram 5 days into 3 which makes it extremely difficult on me. By the end of the 2nd day--I can hardly move. And when I have to call in sick....I gringe inside listening to the exasperation on the other end of the phone. I feel guilty for missing my clients therapy appointments, and all the stress makes my condition worse.

    I desperately need to quit work, but cannot afford to. I can't wait years for a disability approval that may never come. And so I live in a constant quandry about what to do. My boss wants to put his wife in my position, and he has no other reason to let me go--except for absenteeism--and I honestly couldn't argue with that. I have missed alot of work over the past two years. And since in my profession I schedule appointments all day long, it is a double burden to miss work because it directly affects the wellfare and treatment of my clients.

    I wish I knew the answer to our delimma. The only thing I can think of is to fall in love with someone who is financially stable and can support the both of us--but that isn't likely to happen where I live.

    I wish I had some answers for both of us. I, too, would like to work at home, but the bills come in every month and have to be paid. And when I miss work--I don't get paid, so I know about the dwindling paychecks that don't make ends meet. I soulfully sympathize with you.

    So, I just continue to drag this pitiful body to work and pray that I can hang onto my job.

    Be grateful you have an understanding boss. Put guilt aside and do the best you can. In our condition--that is all that can be expected of us. We showup for work on many, many days that most people would have stayed home snug in bed taking care of themselves.

    I hope all of us can eventually find a path that will meet us halfway. We so deserve it. Best Wishes, Carol....
  7. judywhit

    judywhit New Member

    I work as a school bus driver. Although, not stress free it fits very well into ones schedule who has FMS. I check in at 6:20am go home at 9:45am.....without this rest time I could not function! back at 1:20pm-4:30. I live fairly close to the bus garage so I do not have alot of travel time. Only work when the kids are in school and the money is fairly good along with great health benefits. We have great sick leave and are union so with a doctors note about one's disability they CAN NOT fire you for missing work! I try not to miss work but on those nights when my pain meds do not kick in I do miss. They always have sub drivers to cover our routes. It is not the most glamourous job but it pays the bills and is as good as it gets when you are dealing with a medical problem. We have several drivers with fms. Today it really did hurt turning that big old bus. But, I look at it as excersise and it keeps my arms moving. Just thought I would share with you what I do.
    [This Message was Edited on 01/07/2003]
  8. teach6

    teach6 New Member

    I also have CFS and FM. I worked full-time as a teacher up until September, 2001. After two weeks of school I went out on leave and never went back full-time. I attempted to return part-time with modified duties and even that took every ounce of energy that I had.

    I am lucky in that my school system has a good disability plan in place. I have been living on STD and LTD until I am able to get SSDI and disability retirement. I actually want the retirement more than the SSDI because it will allow me to continue with my health insurance and also contributes $100 a month toward it. Every little bit helps. With the shape Medicare is now in I prefer to be on my current plan as long as possible.

    I started a part-time home-based sales business less than a year before I became so ill. I was quickly very successful with it. There are a lot of options for these types of businesses out there, anad they will train you so you really don't have to be a salesperson to do it.

    Carol, my therapist was dx'd with CFS and FM shortly before I was. She has her own practice and limits her hours to no more than four or five per day. She doesn't work every day any more. I don't know if that would work for you, but thought I would mention it. She is self-employed and our doc now refers his patients to her to help them learn to live with a chronic illness. She was the one who initally recognized what was wrong with me.

    I hope this provides something helpful for you. Good luck in finding a way to make a living through all this, I know it's tough, I'm single too.

  9. Annette2

    Annette2 New Member

    I have FMS and I work part-time. I am a legal secretary. My hours are 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. I find that since I work part-time, I never have to take sick-leave. I've been there almost 4 years and I think have called in sick maybe 3 tmes. I think that because I only work 4 hours a day, I can go to work even if I feel bad because I know I'm only there for a short time and can go home and rest. My job isn't very stressful and I enjoy the people there. I'm married and my husband is working, so I'm not the main breadwinner. I don't think I could work full-time. That would be too stressful for me. I hope this helps you.

  10. tandy

    tandy New Member

    I know your in a tough situation and I feel for you~
    The system of SSI,Disability and other financial help must be changed. I also have FM and scoliosis,and a few other ailments-endometriosis,herniated disks in my low back and narrowing of the spinal canal in my neck area.I have a tremedous amount of back pain and I truly think that alot of it is from the scoliosis!!(I don't care what the Drs. say)I mean having a c or s shaped spine,it only makes sense that things are gonna give in at some time or other.Theres alot more stress on the spine!! I worked untill 92,at that point I left to give birth to my son,and had full intentions of returning to my job of retail management.But thats when I started having alot of my health problems.So I never did make it back~(I miss my job and sense of security).Within a few yrs I applied for SSI and was denied once.I then got an attorney(free thru legal aid)and I went before the judge.I won my case fully favorable!! So thats where I'm at now.But it certainly is'nt much money,I have a hard time making ends meat.
    I hope to go back to work part time in the near future.
    Wishing you much luck kate~
    Warm regards,
    Ps.I believe you answered one of my posts on low back pain,numbness.(radiates into the legs)? I'm having alot of that lately.I just got a script for pool therapy.Hope it helps!!
  11. barn1253

    barn1253 New Member

  12. Lynncw

    Lynncw New Member


    I had to quit my full-time very stressful, high paying job last year. I didn't work for six months and then went to work as an educational aide at a public school three miles from my house. I work 8:00AM to 2:15PM, with at least two 40 minute breaks during that time. I only work when school is in session, around 180 days a year. The pay stinks but they have full medical coverage and I have not had to call in sick yet.I am also lucky that my husband (of 5 years) has a good job, our home is paid for and we have no other mouths to feed (no kids). I really feel for everyone out there who feels so miserable but must have that paycheck.

    Good Luck.