How do you handle fibrofog at work?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by EllenComstock, Oct 30, 2002.

  1. EllenComstock

    EllenComstock New Member

    Hi, Everyone:

    The above is a question I've had for sometime. For those of you still working, how do you handle fibrofog at work? I guess there are no easy answers. I am at work right now and feeling very spaced out. I try to hide it when I am that way, but it's not always easy. I know that some of my co-workers probably wonder about me at times, like when I ask them questions that I should know the answer, but have temporarily forgotten. I think I handle things pretty well, but would really like some feedback. I have only told a few of my close friends here at work about my fibromyalgia since I don't want there to get any doubt that I can do my job, it's just that some days I have such a hard time. On these days I double check everything I do and write (including this posting). Of course it's worse on the days I am especially tired.

    Ellen
  2. EllenComstock

    EllenComstock New Member

    Hi, Everyone:

    The above is a question I've had for sometime. For those of you still working, how do you handle fibrofog at work? I guess there are no easy answers. I am at work right now and feeling very spaced out. I try to hide it when I am that way, but it's not always easy. I know that some of my co-workers probably wonder about me at times, like when I ask them questions that I should know the answer, but have temporarily forgotten. I think I handle things pretty well, but would really like some feedback. I have only told a few of my close friends here at work about my fibromyalgia since I don't want there to get any doubt that I can do my job, it's just that some days I have such a hard time. On these days I double check everything I do and write (including this posting). Of course it's worse on the days I am especially tired.

    Ellen
  3. pamela

    pamela New Member

    WHEN I FIRST STARTED MY JOB BEFORE I FOUND OUT HWAT I HAD, I COULD NOT FIGURE OUT WHAT WAS WRONG W/ ME. I COULD NOT DECIFER ANY INFO. OR UNDERSTAND THINGS NORMAL PEOPLE COULD. I QUIT EATING ALL SUGARS..ESPECIALLY LACTOSE, DEXTROSE, GLUCOSE, SUCROSE...ALL THAT STUFF. ALSO ITS IN MEDS SO I TOSSED ALL THAT TOO. I QUIT DRINKING CAFFEINE AND JUST STARTED DRINKING WATER. ALSO QUIT EATING POTATOES. TALK ABOUT PAIN AND FATIGUE. BASICALLY QUIT ALL CARBS. IT TOTALLY HELPED W/ THE FOG AND PAIN. I STILL HAVE IT SOME BUT EATING HELPS ME!! USUALLY I EAT A PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICH AFTER BREAKFAST. THEN LUNCH IS EITHER TUNA SANDWICH AND A SALAD OR CHICKEN AND A VEGGIE. SO NEXT TIME TRY EATING A PROTEIN. HOPE THAT HELPS PAMELA
  4. Myth

    Myth New Member

    I think people at work must think I am stoned sometimes- which does not give a really good impression. I had a recent job interview ruined by fibro fog. The interview has a group one, and lucky me I was the last one to be interviewed. I forgot some of her questions moments after she asked them, and sometimes while responding I would forget what the question was- so I rambled on until I either remembered or she gave some indication that I had answered her question. I also get a sort of glazed look in my eye, as I am trying my damndest to comprehend what people are saying to me, but usually I don't grasp much. And I can forget spontaneously simple tasks. I find that food helps Lots of little snacks, protien is better because it causes less fatigue)- that interview took to long. I also find it helps to take periodic and short breaks- but this is not always feasible (it works when I am studying). Temporarily changing tasks works, and this works well for a job that has many tasks. Or just getting up and walking about works too. But there are days when nothing works and then you just do the best you can and tell people that you did not get anough sleep- at least that is an excuse that people understand.
  5. lavender_butterfly

    lavender_butterfly New Member

    ...but this is what I do!

    First of all, I keep my coworkers informed. I refuse to allow this to be a huge secret. I remember, back in the days of my preschool and elementary school years. I have been diabetic since I was 18 months old. At first, my mom would whisper and look guilty when explaining my condition to teachers and mothers of other students and my friends. One day, I told her it was nothing to be ashamed of. She never believed me, but I started telling people with my chin up and a proud look on my face. After that, people would ask me questions respectfully, instead of walking on eggshells, whispering behind my back, or avoiding me like I had the plague.

    I never wish to be treated like that again, so I tell people. Maybe I am just lucky...and I do consider myself blessed. I have thoroughly explained it to my boss and other people I work closely with. Some other people in my department know because they asked me and I explained it. There have been a few instances where people have gotten very frustrated with me, so after the incident in question, I pulled them aside and explained it to them.

    I refuse to allow people to use this against me. So I talk about it when appropriate. I share little "funny" stories and tell them when I am having a bad day. Most of my coworkers commend me for being so brave, working through the pain and exhaustion. They have come to realize that when it looks like I am only giving 75% I am probably giving 150%. This is the only way I have found to keep from living in fear of losing my job.

    When it comes to outside people...clients, deliver people, etc. Well, if I am having a bad foggy day and I am not making sense to anyone, let alone myself, I act like a ditzy blonde (even though I am a redhead). Okay, I know, I know...I am causing serious stereotypes everywhere I go!! They think I am a dumb woman or a dumb receptionist or a dumb something else. But really, if they think I am stupid, it works out great. They slow down, explain everything carefully, repeat the information even more slowly, and use even more patience than normal. I really don't care if they are patronizing me. At least I can understand what the heck they are saying and I can eventually help them, once the information sinks into my fibro foggy brain.

    The only time it becomes an issue is when my supervisor is on vacation. I have to do her job while she is gone and NO ONE knows how to do her job. I barely comprehend it when I am completely on top of my game. So it can get really stressful and frustrating for me. But its not the end of the world. I get by, one day at a time!

    I hope I was able to help you!! Best of luck and wishes to you!!
  6. annl

    annl New Member

    that someone is going to walk in and find me not doing the right thing at the right time. I am a teacher and my job depends on my not beiing forgetful. I forget to do routines and am reminded by the children, I forget what I'm doing during lessons at times. I have to constantly look at my lesson planbook which I am writing every lesson step by step when I used to be able to do lessons without looking at anything. It seems that eveything that used to come naturally, now is so much work. Any distraction from the children and I forget where I'm at. I'm forgetful, disorganized and unfocused most of the time. I don't know if this is fibrofog - I'new to this - just diagnosed a little over a week ago. All I know is that if the pricipal should walk in at a bad time, I'm going to get written up. She was on my case last year and the stress made me even worse. The only thing that I have going for me is that my file has been loaded with excellent observations over the years. I think that is why she didn't give me an unsatisfactory final evaluation at the end of last year. I don't know what to do - can't lose my job - it's my only income. Also, I love working with the children and I want to do a good job of teaching them! Any suggestions?
  7. karen55

    karen55 New Member

    I work in a small office, and I pretty much run things. I've always been able to multi-task exceptionally well; in fact, I loved the diversity and thrived on it. That's a thing of the past. My boss makes jokes all the time about my getting older affecting my memory, and I just realized a week or so ago that I can no longer keep a handle on 15 different things at once and know what's going on with all of them. Now it's a struggle to have 3 or 4 things going on at the same time and keep it straight in my mind. I also forget things as soon as I've read them quite a bit lately, and have to go back into files and start all over. This diagnosis is still new to me and I'm just realizing that my forgetfulness and lack of concentration are due to a legitimate medical reason, not that I'm just getting older.
    As for diet control, I consume very little sugar at all. I've severely limited my carbs, and I drink water all day long. I was doing this long before I had a diagnosis. One thing I do for me that helps *me* is, on my lunch hour I lie down and just relax. I used to skip lunch often, not the eating part, but the actual taking-a-break-from-work part, and would eat at my desk and work right through lunch. I make an effort not to do that anymore, I find that when I can have that time to relax, destress, stretch, whatever, I'm better off and can deal with the 2nd half of the day easier.
    I do work with people who don't necessarily believe that this illness is *real*, so I don't say too much about it. And I do just what Myth posted, on really bad days I just say I didn't sleep well last night (and some days, it's the plain truth).
  8. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    caffeine and Nutrasweet...I take my meds ON TIME, I sleep better now, so that really helps, I try not to skip meals...I researched my meds to see which ones caused increased confusion....but most of all, I tell my loved ones and co-workers what's going on so that they understand and don't think I'm overmedicated. I ask for other nurse's help when I feel fuzzy and I always get their advice if I can't figure something out. I have no shame here...I did not cause this illness and I don't hafta apologize for being ill. I do a great job at work and I feel like they are lucky to have me. When I no longer feel this way, I'll resign. It's as simple as that for me! I would NEVER risk a patient's life....if I can no longer do my job, my friends would be the first to let me know...we have an agreement.
    Love,
    Kady
  9. toots2

    toots2 New Member

    I have been off sugar for about 6 months. It has made the biggest difference in how I feel, emotionally and physically too. My fatigue is much better, I don't hurt as much. It was something I just had to do. I still hurt everyday, but not nearly as bad as when I eat sugar. Helped me and might help some of you too. Toots
  10. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    You received some great advice, the biggest thing that I did to cut the fog was start drinking water, half your body weight in ounces of water a day. It seems to clear the brain(for a better expression!).

    Also, taking ULtra B-Complex with Folic Acid from Pro Health. Between the water and the B-Complex, my memory has improved, I don't forget what I am doing too often, and I don't 'search' for words when I am talking too bad either now.

    If you would like to read about water and the brain, go to; www.watercure.com/intro.htm Its an eye opener! Or read the book; 'ABC of Asthma, Allergies & Lupus' by; F. Batmanghelidj,MD. He made me a believer that most of us are dehydrated, and that is why we have a lot of ailments.

    I also got rid of my sinus headaches, and it improved my digestion too.

    Also, take a quarter teaspoon of Sea Salt through out the day.

    Have a good one!

    Shalom, Shirl