"Don't touch me"

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by shalyn840, Mar 9, 2007.

  1. shalyn840

    shalyn840 New Member

    I work in a small office with 10 coworkers. Every once in a while one of these coworkers will pat me on the back, tap me on the shoulder, etc.

    After about 6 months of being in terrible pain after each of these episodes, I finally had to bite the bullet.

    I went to my immediate supervisor to talk about my fibromyalgia. I was trying to hold off, but just couldn't any longer. I asked her to please talk to the staff and let them know that I just cannot be touched - for any reason - due to a medical condition. I stressed to her that I wasn't at all angry at any of my coworkers because obviously none of them knew about my condition either, I just needed her to relay this message for me.

    It brought me to tears how understanding she was. All of this time I was afraid to bring it to her attention, now I'm glad I did. She talked to the staff, was very discrete, yet compassionate about it, and they are all fine with it.

    If any of you have this problem at work - don't be afraid to tell your supervisor!!!
  2. Chelz

    Chelz New Member

    I'm so glad you were able to discuss this with your supervisor and it worked out. Unfortunately, not all supervisors would be so understanding.

    I one worked in a real estate office, and made the mistake of telling my boss about my fibromaylgia. In my case, the realtors were not touching me, but I couldn't life the heavy office paper, ordering supples and putting them away in the very fast way they wanted me too just wasn't working out for me. I would be in extra pain for hours.
    My boss did not acknowledge my condition and this only added to my pain and stress.

    This is a touchy subject, pardon the pun, LOL. I now work in a hospital, and even though my supervisor is a nice person, she just wouldn't understand my problem and I know it would just cause more issues.

    I always thought working in a hospial that the environment would be more understanding and gentle, I was VERY MISTAKEN about this, hospitals are extremely unforgiven to employees who have illnesses or chronic health problems, it's horrible and I need to find another job, but starting over has its issues as well.

    Sorry to unload. But your postjust reminded me of how much I would love to trust a supervisor with this info, but past experience had taught me not too.

    However, I'm so glad it worked out for you, that's a great relief. Hugs to you, Chelz.
  3. Shalala

    Shalala New Member

    I work in a big building with hundreds of people and the whole areas are wide open. The flourescent lighting is just unbelievable and the NOISE ... oh my. It is a call center. I am 53 and 90% of the employees are in the 20-30 age range (even most of the managers). I startle easily and this one "kid" is always hitting me, poking me, startling me. I know he doesn't realize he is hurting me when he does it. Then there is the PERFUME and cologne and lysol spray. OH MY! I am soooooo chemical sensitive and I start choking. Many times I have to leave on FMLA. I have tried to be nice about all of this but I still end up being the world's biggest u-know-what.

    Glad your boss was really undersstanding. :)
  4. kjfms

    kjfms Member

    So glad everything worked out for you.

    The majority of large companies and more small companies are adopting "No Touching" policies.

    I do not care for people touching me period has nothing to do with pain though for me it's usually their hygiene habits...(wink)

    Frankly (sorry for being blunt and gross) if I can smell some one's body odor the last thing I want is for them to touch me.

    That being said and my personal feeling aside -- the work place is no place for touching another person.

    Simply stating another persons name in a normal tone should be sufficient for getting the attention needed...IMHO

    What can I say I have issues about personal space...LOL

    Take care,

    Karen :)
  5. Mar19

    Mar19 New Member

    ...but your post just brought something to mind.

    Before I was ever Dx'd with FM I would have many times when I would nearly jump out of my skin when someone touched me. I was just having a flashback to the many times when dh and I were first married and he would give me a hug and I would nearly scream in pain. Completely OT, sorry, I just haven't thought of that in years. Not very good for a relationship, eh? We're still married tho, 35+ yrs.

  6. terrilynnb

    terrilynnb New Member

    I am so glad that you brought this up because some of us are huggers and if you don't stop to think about that someone may be in terrible pain or just very touch sensitive, even the gentlest loving touch may be too much. I am so glad that your supervisor was so understanding about this. Hopefully your coworkers will respect your request now and you can just get through your day without that added stress.

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