Does Everyone Work Full Time?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by soozbee, Sep 6, 2003.

  1. soozbee

    soozbee New Member

    I was wondering how many people with this debilitating ailment work full time and what they do to make it through the day.

    I find it very hard! I have missed a lot of work. On the days that I do drag myself there, I find it hard to concentrate with the pain and discomfort. I am trying all kinds of different treatments (magnesium, adrenal supplements, vitamin b5, etc. as well as various pain meds), but so far nothing and absolutely nothing seems to help when the barometric pressure drops (I can predict the weather, as I'm sure most of us with fibro can). If I take painkillers, I'm walking around in a fog and that's no good at work either.

    I always wake up with pain and stiffness, but I do have some good days where the pain is kind of dull and I can live with that.

    The problem is - how can you work full time, when you only feel good part of the time and you can't predict when that will be???
  2. reva727

    reva727 New Member

    I worked full time up until right after Christmas 2001 when I hurt my back. While I was working, I had been given a letter saying I had to get a doctor's slip if I missed even one hour of work due to sickness. That was because I had been missing so much work because of problems cause by fibromyalgia. The people at work were just not understanding at all. That is why, when I hurt my back after I had missed about a month of work I went ahead and filed for disability. I couldn't face going back and not being able to take sick leave, especially since I had used all of it up. Thank goodness, it was approved, otherwise I don't know what I would have done.
  3. lovabuga

    lovabuga New Member

    I WORKED FOR MANY YEARS WITH FM AND THE MIGRAINES THAT GO WITH IT.EVERY DAY BY 2:00 I HAD A MIGRAINE, SOMETIMES I LEFT (IF SOMEONE WOULD COVER),OTHER TIMES I WAS STUCK UNTIL 7-8:00.IT WORKED OUT THAT I TOOK EVERY FRIDAY OFF BECAUSE THE PAIN WAS SO BAD THAT I COULDN'T STAND IT ANY LONGER.I THOUGHT I WAS DOING GOOD MAKING 4 DAYS IN A ROW.THEN I GOT A WARNING.ANY MORE DAYS OFF AND I WAS FIRED.I QUICKLY APPLIED FOR SSD AS I KNEW I COULDN'T WORK MUCH LONGER. I QUIT MY JOB.IT TOOK 2 YARS TO GET THE SSD.I'M GLAD I DID IT WHEN I DID AS TODAY I WOULDN'T EVEN MAKE IT 3-4 HOURS...THAT WOULD BE STRETCHING IT IF I COULD EVEN MOVE ENOUGH TO GET TO A JOB. I DON'T HAVE ANY ADVICE AND I DON'T KNOW HOW OTHER PEOPLE DO IT I JUST THOUGHT THAT IF HEARING MY STORY WOULD LET YOU REALIZE THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE. GOOD LUCK.

    LOVABUGA
  4. Lana56

    Lana56 New Member

    I could not even work part time.The pain is almost constant for me and at any moment can put me down.I had 17 days out of work(twelve years now since I've worked)and 14 of those days I was in the hospital.I was let go from my job.I never got disability either-a bummer believe me! I did try two other jobs and they did not work out either.With one after two days I went to the hospital in an ambulance.Needless to say there is no way I could work. Lana56
  5. loriRn

    loriRn New Member

    I do work fulltime,though it takes alot of support from friends and family. I've been diagnosed a year, and I seem to steadily be getting worse. I am a RN at a health department and I am blessed with the best coworkers and bosses in the world. I have not yet run out of sick time. When I am having a hard day, they are so kind and supportive, which makes me want to stick it out. It's a supportive enviornment. But ,still, by the weekend, I crash and it takes until Sunday night before I feel human again. I also have a loving and supportive husband and 3 great kids. My parents also help alot ie; run kids to practices and such. i have found that when I am home alot, I seem to feel worse, physically and mentally. I need the outside socialization that work forces me to do,otherwise I think I would become a hermit. So I think with good support, some kind of work can be maintained. Good luck, Lori.
  6. Susan07

    Susan07 New Member

    I am still able to work full-time. Thankfully I have a desk job. I missed 4 days this year due to FM, more than I've missed in the 12 prior years altogether! I can handle it because I do minimal at home, spouse does most, he also does the grocery shopping. I have to make myself go clothes shopping every few months. When I have a really bad day my husband drives me to work too. Sometimes I really don't know how I make it through another day and this year has been scary, not knowing if I'll be able to make it.
  7. NancyDrew

    NancyDrew New Member

    No, I am not able to work, I am consistently inconsistent, lol! Unfortunately, with the FMS and back problems I have, I just never know how I will feel on any given day. It's been almost 10 years and I still have a hard time accepting the fact I can't be productive in the work force.

    If you are feeling terrible and having struggles making it in and working all day, it is time to consider other options. There is SSDI and possibly short term disability with your employer, then long term if it is needed. Hang in there, try to pace the best you can.
  8. sumbuni

    sumbuni New Member

    I work at least 40 hrs a week. It's hard work even if I were younger and healthy. I come home from work, and that's just about as far as I can go. sometimes my daughter and her 2 children (the joy in my life) come over after I get home. She cooks us something to eat, and stays around for a while...then I try to go to bed and rest.

    for 8 straight weeks we worked 10 hrs a day for 5 days, and then 8 hrs on saturday too. The 10 hour days are almost more than I can stand.

    I have missed 4 days of work since I hired on in April. No, they aren't very happy about it. I don't have ANY choice but to stick it out, no matter how sick I am. (My boss even accused me of trying to "work the system", and had a fit when I couldn't stay for overtime because of an abcessed tooth, which had already had the beginnings of blood poisoning, which would have landed me in the hospital and more days missed! or possibly killed me...the funny part of this is that a week later HE had an abcessed tooth and missed 2 afternoons of work!)

    Hang in, it is hard, but you just keep plugging, knowing that when it gets past GO, then you go for ssd.

    God Bless!
    Sumbuni
  9. JP

    JP New Member

    Hello soozbee,

    I left my career in December of 2001. There was an opportunity to ask for packages due to our business downsize. I loved my work and the cognitive fog was getting the best of me. I thought I might get better with some time off. Just the opposite has occurred. I am progressively getting worse and I have a number of things going on with my health. Leaving my career was just acknowledging to self that I was not doing well at all.

    Such fun...Jan
  10. illumine27

    illumine27 New Member

    I sort of wandered into a part time library job earlier this year (when I had gone into a bit of a remission & thought that perhaps I was finally BETTER... well one by one the symptoms crept back in after I'd been working for a few months--very disappointing!!) At any rate... I work Monday and Friday and every other Saturday. I usually use T/W/TH to recoup for FRI & seem to have to get thru the Sat shift on will alone as I am generally so flippin' tired!! It's a job I LOVE though & I just do my best to accomodate myself. I've not even told anyone at work that I was diagnosed... although I don't know why exactly as they're a pretty understanding bunch... I think I'm just too embarassed to actually TALK about something that feels so... almost too personal or something. (like the one time I felt "safe" talking about my depression & such during a bible study & they all seemed to look at me like I was going to
    completely FLIP out at any moment!!
    after that. I quit going shortly after... kinda leery about divulging "health" stuff with people after that.
    Anyway...
    I do my OWN accomodating & I feel very fortunate that I can. On the days when I am in more pain in certain areas I try to steer clear of the tasks that aggravate those areas... I try to alternate sitting jobs w/ standing jobs... when my hands & arms are especially pained/weak... I only carry a few books when I shelve as opposed to a stack... etc. So far--this job gets me out in the world, involves me with others & is mentally challenging & on many levels enjoyable. I'm not planning on giving it up easily!!
    I just wish we were all so lucky... I've read so many posts on various sites of those of us who are stuck in labor intensive jobs--and it makes me want to cry for all of them!! I know I couldn't DO that kind of work. My heart goes out to those of you who, for now, have too... I wish you the best.
  11. Dara

    Dara New Member

    Even though I have had FM since childhood I was able to just keep pushing myself. Well, in Nov of 2001 it all caught up with me. I truly loved working and really miss my job. I would give anything if there was some possible way that I could find a part time job. But what I would need would be a job where I could come in when I felt good enough. Now, I don't think those jobs exist, especially in todays labor market. I miss the independence that I have always had and the fact that I felt very productive and knew that I was very good at what I did. It helped my confidence and self esteem, which I now find I don't have much of.

    If at all possible I would try and continue working. But, not to the point of pushing yourself into exhaustion like I did. Only you know when you reach the point of having to stop. Good luck to you.

    Dara
  12. KJ2003

    KJ2003 New Member

    I had a fantastic career in broadcasting for fourteen years and then worked on a book for five years (some of those years I was still doing radio, too), which was published this year.

    I have worked odd jobs for the past couple of years but now I am no longer working and it feels as though I've lost a vital part of myself...of my personality and security.

    I'm trying to work through it. My husband provides for us and I throw myself into working on the house and garden, as well as taking care of my 14 year old daughter and two yorkies.

    I'm having more pain and depression than I've ever experienced and I'm a little lost as to what my future holds. I know I'll write another book but right now I wouldn't be able to type out the first sentence.

    It is frustrating because, in a different way than most jobs, broadcasting and the like puts you in a spotlight that not only pays well but you receive a great amount of attention and perks.

    Now, I rarely go out and can't relate to 'normal' people and feel as though I am somebody altogether different. Even before I was diagnosed, I believe I have dealt with fibro and depression for years but, being younger, I didn't pay attention and went for the gusto and, probably, wreaked a little havoc around me. When I was down and in pain, everyone knew it. I couldn't see how my attitude was affecting their working day.

    Well, the gusto got up and went and took my energy and drive right along with it. At the moment, I have absolutely no ambition or will for anything.

    I'm sure I'll find my feet again. It may not be like it was but I pray I do find work that I can enjoy and handle with the medical and mental problems I endure.

    Good luck to everyone,

    Kim
  13. tulip922s

    tulip922s New Member

    I worked full time,,,,plus,,,all my life until 8/31/01 when I had sudden onset CFS/FM. I couldn't even work an hour a day if I wanted to. Somedays I can only crawl on my hands and knees to the bathroom and back. I sure envy those that can,,,,,some days I sit and watch the cars in the morning, knowing that most of these people are going to work and think to myself,,,,they really don't know how lucky they are. Tulip
  14. fullarmor

    fullarmor New Member

    But it's sure not easy! There are days that I hit the snooze alarm till the last possible minute because i don't want to get up. But I tell myself that I won't let this DD run my life or take me away from a job I love. I have to say, having a job that I absolutely adore makes it much easier. I can overlook (sometimes) the pain since I'm doing something I truly enjoy. The things that have made it easier are:
    I told my closest coworkers and my supervisor. If I'm feeling very badly, I let them know, and they're all very helpful to me. I educated them on FM and they seem to be understanding.
    Employers are required to provide "reasonable accomodations" for those with a disability. I went to our office manager and requested a new and better chair, a foot rest, a better mouse pad and wrist pad, and a glare screen for my computer. I had those things in a few weeks and they've helped a lot.
    I don't (can't) take pain killers, so i always bring my aspercreme and Salonpas, and at times a heating pad, with me to work.
    I can't say it's easy to work full time, and sometimes i wish I didn't have to. But i'm trying hard to work for as long as I can. I know the future may get worse, but for now i'm plugging along. Good luck to you!!
    Nay
  15. sunshine8957

    sunshine8957 New Member

    I was firsr dx'd in May '99. After 11-1/2 years at a job I absolutely loved, the two bosses trapped me into a corner and I had no choice but resign - they had been kind enough to let me work out of my house for several months (I had 4 bulging discs and 2 herniated that I still believe to this day that this is the result of them having me do the heavy lifting better suited for a man - but they have bad backs. I lost worker's comp case and can't afford $10k -12k attorney fee.

    By March '03 (after umpteen mailed resumes and interviews]I
    came to the horrifying conclusion that I won't be able to hold down any type of job because of all the pain, fatique and depression (to name a few). I applied for SSDI and was rejected first time (like most people are) Since they put me in an experimetal group (skip SSDI internal review) and go directly to an Appeals Hearing Judge to hear my case, I hired an attorney to present my case. In LA, Attorney'a have to do disability cases on a contingency basis with a max of 25% of backpay up to l year prior. Small price to pay to have someone who knows the system help you win your case. An attorney is not going to take a case they don't believe they are going to win. When I asked my attorney how thick my file was, he said about the size of a ream of paper, and he added, 'that's one of the reasons I took your case.' So evidently he feels fairly comfident that we may win my case. I sure hope so because I can not see myself being able to go back to work, without being fired AND I WOULD DO JUST ABOUT ANYTHING TO BE ABLE TO WORK - I MISS EVERYTHING ABOUT IT (WELL ALMOST -LOL.

    Soft Hugs to you,

    Sunshine8957
  16. Ahorsesoul

    Ahorsesoul New Member

    I have the same story, USE TO WORK. I get so bad that I can't remember to feed my darling husband sometimes. Usually, about 8:30 pm he will remind me by asking, "Are you going to cook dinner tonight?". I do miss the work, nursing, but I sure wouldn't want me taking care of anyone.
  17. darlamk

    darlamk New Member

    is good advice to follow. Most of us with FM/CF have to struggle with the work issue. Other circumstances can affect our ability to work also. Many people have arthritis, lupus, allergies, depression, etc, that contribute to our ability to work outside our homes. I get a little resentful when we make judgements about how we should be able to work if we have good support or try hard enough, take the right pain meds, etc. After many many years of dealing with this illness and also having a multitude of other ailments I am no longer able to function as an employable person. I worked full time as an RN for almost 25 years! I live in an area where almost every women works plus I was raised on a farm in the 60's so I think I have a pretty good work ethic. Giving up a nursing career as well as not doing too great even at home has been the biggest obstacle for me to overcome. I have finally started accepting where I am and just going with it...until someone asks me "Where are you working now?". After cringing inside (a little) I just smile and say I am "retired" for a little while! Take care and best wishes to everyone.
    Darla
  18. hope-floats

    hope-floats New Member

    on your worst days. You're right, I've never been to a doctor who said to me, "Have I told you about my aching back and my bunions?" Smile!
  19. Suekoo

    Suekoo New Member

    Yes, I'm 61 and still work 40 hours a week. Some mornings I fight with myself to get going. That stiffness and pain can just be too much. Fortunately I have a desk job, but if I sit too long I get really stiff and have trouble walking without pain when I first get up. I really think the job keeps me going though. I was diagnosed with FM about 5-6 years ago. Right now the flexeril at night and Mobic in the day really are helping me. I also got the ZMA from our store here and really like it. Blessings - Sue
  20. moose1070

    moose1070 New Member

    Hi Soozbee,
    I have to work, my husband took ill last November and has not been back to work as of yet! It's getting harder and harder for me to work, there are days I spend more time laying in bad thinking of ways to get out of work then I do getting ready for work, the hardest part for me is I have a desk job and have to sit all day, I dont have the chance to get up and walk around alot so by noon time my legs are pounding with pain! they burn and hurt so bad then when I do get up I feel like im gonna fall over but due to the fact I know im the only one with a paycheck coming in that is my drive to keep going, I am on pain killers and stuff to try and keep my muscels relaxed but untill my hubby can go back to work, ive got to keep going and pray that untill that day comes I can hang in there!!!
    Moose1070

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