Dealing With Employers

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Newswoman, Nov 13, 2002.

  1. Newswoman

    Newswoman New Member

    Hello Everyone,

    I am new to this message board, and I am wondering how you handled telling your employer that you have fibro. Out of the blue, the fatigue has popped up again. It's extremely difficult for me to concentrate, and it's become worse over the past week or so. I work in a pretty laid back atmosphere, so I don't think it would be a problem if I asked to work at home some days. How have you handled this on your job?

    I would like to wait to broach this subject once I've gotten through my probation period (that's next month, but I really don't know if I can last that long. I've been here less than 90 days, and legally it would be a lot harder for be to be let go once I'm a permanent employee.

    For those of you still working, what type of work do you do? Did you have to switch careers, and did you tell your employer? Did you tell them right away, or did you tell them when you had a flare-up?

  2. Newswoman

    Newswoman New Member

    Hello Everyone,

    I am new to this message board, and I am wondering how you handled telling your employer that you have fibro. Out of the blue, the fatigue has popped up again. It's extremely difficult for me to concentrate, and it's become worse over the past week or so. I work in a pretty laid back atmosphere, so I don't think it would be a problem if I asked to work at home some days. How have you handled this on your job?

    I would like to wait to broach this subject once I've gotten through my probation period (that's next month, but I really don't know if I can last that long. I've been here less than 90 days, and legally it would be a lot harder for be to be let go once I'm a permanent employee.

    For those of you still working, what type of work do you do? Did you have to switch careers, and did you tell your employer? Did you tell them right away, or did you tell them when you had a flare-up?

  3. Dara

    Dara New Member

    in who I chose to tell that I had Fibromyalgia. I feel there is such a stigma about it I didn't feel it was something I needed to share with everyone. I worked for a School District until a year ago when I took an unpaid leave of absence. Even at that time I did not tell them why, which now I feel was a mistake. I was so totally exhausted and sick all of the time I didn't even bother to request a "medical leave", I just asked for a leave of absence in the hopes that I would start feeling better once I had the time to stay home and take care of myself. Well, a year has passed and not only am I not better, but I believe worse. My employer has agreed to extend my leave by another six months, at that time I will either need to return to work or resign. I would love to be able to have the option to work from home, that I feel I could do because then my hours would be chosen according to how I was feeling. Has your doctor labeled you as disabled? If so, doesn't the ADA apply for you?

    Dara
  4. kayfrey

    kayfrey New Member

    I feel for you! I was dreading telling my Employer too. I just sat down with her explained to her what it is, the symptoms and how I felt most of the time, etc. She was very understanding! I am lucky in that area. They have really worked with me trying to help me. As a matter of fact I have been doing badly the last couple of months and have missed quite a lot of work so starting tomorrow I am going to 3 days a week til after the 1st of the year to see if that will help me out. I could end up working part time from now on I hope not, but they are working with me to keep from having to let me go. I have been here 1 year and 7 mos.

    I work for an Executive Office Suite's. We have many tenants and do all of there secretarial, phone answering etc. It is a very stressful and demanding job and it has been getting to me lately!!!
    I hope you have as much luck as I did. What type of job do you have?

    Hope this eased your mind in someway. Good Luck!

    KAYFREY
    [This Message was Edited on 11/13/2002]
  5. Newswoman

    Newswoman New Member

    Thanks for the replies. To answer your question kayfrey, I left the broadcast news industry last April (temporarily I hope) after nearly 10 years. I was working in the most stressful job in the newsroom, and I was just exhausted and stressed out all the time. Now, I work as a writer for a web advertising company. While I enjoy writing again and I'm not stressed out, I really miss news.
  6. EllenComstock

    EllenComstock New Member

    Hi, Newswoman:

    I got a little behind reading these posts so just saw yours today. I did tell my boss about the endo (when I was diagnosed two years ago and about to have my first laparascopy). He just shrugged his shoulders, said his wife had it and she never had any trouble with it. Of course at the time I didn't realize that I also had FMS. My boss is a person who rarely gets sick and just doesn't understand. I never told him about the fibromyalgia diagnosis I got in July of this year.

    I have decided to keep my health problems pretty much to myself. I do have a few co-workers I am close to that I have told, but even among them I don't tell them everything. The thing that I keep really quiet about is the fibro fog. I think that if people here knew how spaced out I am some days and how forgetful FMS makes me, they might not want to continue to employ me. I have now just started telling my husband about how badly fibro affects me mentally. I told him that one morning I woke up and couldn't remember what year it was. I finally had to check the calendar in the kitchen. He looked kind of scared when I told him that, which made me feel bad. Granted, I am not usually that fogged, but some days I really have a hard time focusing on what I am doing. I think that is the thing I really hate about having this disease and the pain, too, of course.

    Sorry, don't mean to ramble on but I guess we all have a need to vent sometimes.
  7. susabar

    susabar New Member

    I also am a Medical Technologist in a very busy 600 bed + hospital, we also service 125 nursing homes etc... I had difficultly before some days. I am so afraid I will never be able to return to work. ( This is my first flare up)
    sue
  8. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    in a skilled nursing facility. I can no longer work in any area other than long-term care because of pain and fatigue and cognitive changes. All of my co-workers and employers know of my illnesses. When I was hired there six and a half years ago, I told them I had Lupus. I was diagnosed with FMS since then and I have had a lot of depression and pain. Each year I end up taking at least one medical leave of absence, relying on my short term disability I have paid into since I started the job. I am SO glad I have the short and long term disability....it is worth every cent I have taken out of my check every two weeks. I still feel confident, most days, of my competence, but work has taken a serious toll on me and my pain has increased significantly and my recovery takes much longer with each flare. I am fortunate that my children are grown now and I don't have that added responsibility. My husband married me ten years ago knowing very well how sick I was. In fact, I was taking 80 mgs. of Prednisone a day when we married and I looked like He//! He is such a good man and a good support for me...most of the time. He is only human and he does wish I felt better and was more able to enjoy activities with him...so do I. Work still provides many benefits for me; not only financially. My job gives me pleasure and self-confidence. I love being a nurse and I thrive on taking care of others. As long as my employers let me take the time I need to recup from a flare, I will continue working.

    Love,
    Kady
  9. maleficent4310

    maleficent4310 New Member

    I'm pretty new to this sight and the fibro, but the way I look at it(at least with my job) is who cares who knows. I try not to let it get in my way, but everyone gets sick from time to time. I am in pain most of the time, but as long as I do my job the best I can, what can they say. I just started my present job, but at the job I just left, I would even let them know if I had started a new med (just in case). That way, if I started acting a little loopy, they would know why. Even though I called off from time to time and was sick alot even when I was at work, I was still one of the best employees there. When I quit, I had more people tell me how much they were going to miss me than any other job I have ever had (too bad the pay was nothing). Anyway, like I said, as long as you do the best you can , they will work with you (at least in my experiance).

    Good luck, And God Bless you in your decission.
    Lisa
  10. Shelle16

    Shelle16 New Member

    I was on a paid sick leave for 18 months thats how long it took them to figure out what was wrong with me. I worked in a factory on 3rd shift for 6 years making awesome money,but my doctor told me there was no way that i would make even 6 months more let alone 6 years. So I finally gave in a quite. I'm now working for A family home agency and I love it.(except for the money)i have meet some many wonderful people. I pretty much can set my on schedule taking lunch and breaks when needed.I hav eonly missed one day of work in six months and that was last monday. i just called and told them I had a migraine instead of trying to explain that i was having a really bad flare-up. But I did tell them about the fibro before they hired me.

    Hugs
    Shelle
  11. Stormy214

    Stormy214 New Member

    high school teacher, and had been with my district 10 years when I was diagnosed with FM. I am one of the seemingly few who loves my building administration, for they appreciate how hard I had worked before afflicted with this stupid thing, so they know I am not "sandbagging." Once I was diagnosed, I sat down with my Principal and ASsistant Principal and spilled my guts, and they were very understanding. However, I find that they are among the majority who thinks this is "aches and pains," and I wouldn't be surprised to know they think I'm just being a big baby, although they never act like that to my face. That has been bothering me, too, and I've been wondering myself how I wanted to handle it. I've decided that I am going to sit them back down again (I've been really bad off lately; barely able to make it through a day, though they are wonderful about letting me come home to lay down on my prep period), but I want them to understand just what it is I'm dealing with here! So I've decided to select from the most informative literature I have the best explanations and give them a copy of it so they understand that it isn't "Oh, my sister has that, she aches all the time." I know I'm being long-winded (sorry :-( ) but one thing I've found that seems to get the point across is this simple explanation when someone says that. I say, "No, you don't understand. If you go into the doctor's office and complain of achy muscles, the doctor will write "patient complains of fibromyalia," which literally means fiber-muscle pain. This is different from fibromyalgia SYNDROME, which is a wide-ranging collection of symptoms that can be downright debilitating." I then go on to list my specific symptoms (if it is someone about whose opinion I honestly give a hoot), but that does seem to help them understand the difference between people like us, and the achy sister who came home and whose doctor said they had fibromyalgia. Hope this overly-long rant offers a nuggest of wisdom. *sigh* Can you tell I've had a bad day? ;-)
    Stormy