HOW MANY OF YOU WORK/HOW MANY DON'T?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by AnnG, Dec 7, 2002.

  1. AnnG

    AnnG New Member

    I just put in my resignation from my very physical job a month ago. We are feeling the pinch from my not working. You all seem to be very intelligent, together people and so I need to ask you: Do you work? If not, when did you quit? Do you feel your symptoms are worse now that you have more time to pay attention to them? Is there something to be said for pushing through the pain and putting one foot in front of the other? Or are you relieved to be home? I would love to hear your stories as I will be facing decisions soon.

    Thank you,

    Ann
  2. AnnG

    AnnG New Member

    I just put in my resignation from my very physical job a month ago. We are feeling the pinch from my not working. You all seem to be very intelligent, together people and so I need to ask you: Do you work? If not, when did you quit? Do you feel your symptoms are worse now that you have more time to pay attention to them? Is there something to be said for pushing through the pain and putting one foot in front of the other? Or are you relieved to be home? I would love to hear your stories as I will be facing decisions soon.

    Thank you,

    Ann
  3. Shelle16

    Shelle16 New Member

    Hey Ann

    Ywes I'm still working I'm a single mom and I really have know choice. I did how ever change jobs.I was working in a factory 3rd shift I worked there 6 years.I tried to go back several times in 2 years but it absolutely put me in so much pain I just could'nt do it. I'm now working for family Home health now and i love it, It is very diffcult at times(most of the time) But it does make me feel coould to help others.I just wish it paid more money. i had to sale my brand new house that I bought 5 months before i got ill, I now live with my mother and my two daughters. Its not the best way to live but It is a roof over our heads.I don't know how long I will be able to work but hopefully for a while longer. It is a very flexable job I can break when I want and go in when I want. I have missed 1 full day of work and a half a day in 7 months. So i'm doing well It is very stressful not knowing how lonfg you will be able to work. I just take it day by day. Sorry this is so long oncew I get started I don't no when to shut up.Best wishes to you.

    Shelle
  4. catgal

    catgal New Member

    Hi Ann~~I'm 53, and I worked full time until 1993, and then I changed jobs and went to work three days a week. I have had FM/CFS and Asthma for 35 years. Then osteoarthritis came along as I got older. Then rheumatoid arthritis. I could never get any medical help with the FM/CFS, but basically got no help from the rheumatologist except for anti-inflamatories/flexeril.

    Then last year I was diagnosed with advanced degenerative disc disease and saw an Othopedic Specialist which did me no good. I got in such bad shape I couldn't even work part-time, function, and my quality of life went in the tolit.

    Finally I found a primary physician that was willing to treat chronic pain with narcotic medications, and I was able to go back to work three days a week.

    Though the meds help tremendously with the pain and discomfort, I still get some bad really bad days when everything flares up--like this past week, and I have been bed-ridden since Friday. I'm a psychotherapist, so my job isn't physically demanding, but sitting in a therapist chair all day seeing client after client takes a toll on my body.

    On the bad days, I'd give anything if I could get on disability and be able to stay home. To not have to force myself out of bed when the alarm went off and drag myself to work when I can barely function. However, I'm afraid if I just stayed home that all I would do is focus on my aches & pains and become depressed and stagnate. Helping others takes my mind off myself, gives me purpose/satisfaction/motivation, and I am out in the world still participating, still being productive, and still going. And, of course, a major factor is that I am my sole financial support and have to work.

    You just decide what is BEST for you and the quality of life you want. If you need additional income, perhaps you can in some work at home, and that way you could work at your own pace. My girlfriend had to quit work due to illness, but couldn't get on disablity--so she turned a favorite hobby into a booming business--and she makes handmade Native American baskets. Or, perhaps you could find a part-time job somewhere. Do what is in your best interest, and things will work out. Best Wishes to You! Carol....
  5. Stormy214

    Stormy214 New Member

    I teach high school, which is very demanding, but I have a great working relationship with my administration who, if they don't understand WHAT is wrong with me, truly believes something IS. I have a standby sub who is certified in the same subject as I, and we work closely together to make sure the kids still get a good education. Some weeks, if the schedule isn't too demanding and I'm not in major pain, I can make it through the week; some weeks, I can only work half days, and then I alternate so the kids are getting me at least every other day. It's mentally tiring trying to design lessons that are as educationally sound as the ones I had when I could still stand on my head to get their attention, but I can deal with that. There are some weeks I can't work at all, and by February (I live where it's very cold), I usually end up taking a lot of time off to go somewhere warm. I am SO thankful that I am in the situation I'm in...I could just cry when I read some of the sadness that has come from this illness (actually, sometimes I do). I love my job, and have vowed that I will teach until I can't do it effectively anymore for the kids' sakes. Other than that, I'll quit when I collapse!
    Peace,
    Stormy
  6. Bunnylover

    Bunnylover New Member

    Anng, Hi, I'm 56 and had to quit in May of 2001. I left a very high paying but stressfull job. I hoped by taking some time off I would feel better. I was out sick more than I worked. Needless to say it was only the start of falling apart. I'm glad I quit when I did,but we feel the pinch of not having that extra paycheck but we are making it. I applied in July for disability after the Dr.said I wouldn't be able to work again. It has not been approved but we are fine. It has a way of working out. There are all kind of things you can cut back on. I also trust Jesus and he has come through every time. Today has been a bad day with the pain but I keep trying and hoping next day will be better. Hope this helps. Terri
  7. teach6

    teach6 New Member

    I left a low-paying, high stress job-teaching! I have CFS, FM and NMH. I can only stand for brief periods and I need a nap every afternoon. My fatigue is really bad, in spite of trying several treatments for it.

    I am also a single mom, of three young adults. My youngest is a junior in college. I am very lucky that my job had a wonderful disability plan that is paying me well, 2/3 of my former pay, and tax free. Of course with inflation that will not be so great in a few years. I also receive alimony for one more year. I'm trying to save as much as possible of it for the last year.

    I also live with my mom. We bought a new house and moved in right before I became too ill to work, in the fall of 2001. I do have a home-based business that I am able to work on a very part-time basis. My hours are flexible, I basically work when I want and often take a week or more off. When I'm working at a regular pace I may put in 6-8 hours in a week, so you can see, it's not too demanding, but the pay is good.

    I have applied for SSDI and disability retirement. I have not heard from either and think it's probably time to call the retirement office and find out what's going on.

    I'm not sure I'll ever be able to return to work full-time, but I do hope to improve to the point that I can work my business more regularly because it has unlimited potential and is lots of fun, too!

    Barbara
  8. JP

    JP New Member

    Hello Ann,

    I left a pretty good career last December. I could manage the pain okay...I couldn't manage my cognitive decline. I wanted out before any of my peers began to notice my struggle. I am now on disability for the disease of my spine. I do hope to work again. I so love being in the world of work.

    Take care,
    Jan
  9. dolsgirl

    dolsgirl New Member

    Working full time & I do find that when I'm working it does help to have myself occupied instead of being able to focus on how I'm feeling. I still hurt, but I don't have time to dwell on the pain, unless it's absolutely severe. dolsgirl
  10. Carlacat

    Carlacat New Member

    I went on short term disability from a head teller job at a bank Aug 7 this year and testing is still being done so I could not go back to work after my short term was up so I had to give up my position. Along with FM I have other medical problems so its taking them a while to get them all straighten out.So I'm not working and still testing for problems I have.
  11. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    for three weeks now. There is NO way I could continue to work with this degree of pain.
    Kady
  12. AnnG

    AnnG New Member

    Thanks to you all! I really appreciate hearing your varied stories. I'm not sure what I'll do yet but, it helps to know I am not alone in having to make this decision. And, a special "God Bless" to all you single parents/people out there! I will remember you the next time I am feeling sorry for myself!
  13. Sandyz

    Sandyz New Member

    But I`d like to find something part-time[2 or 3 days a week]
    because a few days a week is all I feel I can handle.
    When I`ve worked before it certainly helped take my mind off
    of how bad I felt. Also, you feel more self-worth I think
    having a job and getting out among people.

    But its so hard. The way I feel lately, I honestly don`t
    know if I could handle even a part-time job. Maybe I`d be
    better off saving my energy for my family and focusing on them like I`ve been doing.

    Best of luck on your decision Ann!
  14. Annette2

    Annette2 New Member

    I have a part-time job. I work from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in a law firm. I am a Legal Secretary. It's a very non-stressful job for me. I come in, do my typing and go home. When I leave the office I forget about my work for the rest of the day. I have never taken a day off because of FMS or CFS. Right now I'm home, recuperating from a hysterectomy. I find that since I've been home I focus more on my pain. I think it's healthier for me to go out every day and work and be with people. I do have to pace myself and not over-stress myself, and as long as I do that I'm okay. I figure if I can sit at my computer at home, then I can do the same at work. And only working 4 hours a day is very helpful!
  15. nitalynn

    nitalynn New Member

    I quit for about 6 months but we really need the money and I found myself sitting around and focusing on my pain. I do hurt alot and I get really stiff sometimes but as long as I can I plan to work.
  16. Wreckless

    Wreckless New Member

    I am/was an Electrician. It is an extremely physical job, requires heavy lifting, and ditch digging, and working in high awkward positions. But the real problems are not just physical. Being an electrician or an electrician forman like me requires a lot of knowledge. It has become so hard for me to remember things, I had trouble telling my boss what was done and what was not. Also, in this business you make a mistake, and people can die, or suffer serious injury. The last week I worked, I actually reached a point where I was hurting so bad, and lost so much strength, I could not do my job. I had to stop and just sit there. I have had fibro symtoms for more than 10 years, I have carried a bottle of Ibuprofen in my lunch box for over ten years, because of pain at work. There is a difference between pain, and being a hazard to yourself, and coworkers. I felt that not having the strength to do my job, and not having the mental capacity to remember things, and the severe fatigue finally just made it impossible to work.
    Rudy
  17. Dara

    Dara New Member

    I had to finally give in and take a leave of absence back in November 2001, my leave has been extended until July 2003 at which time I will either have to go back or resign. All the years that I worked I was able to keep going and work with and through the pain. but, I got to the point where it became impossible. When I'm in pain all day it makes it very hard to concentrate on my work. The only advantage I have found is that I am able to lay down or rest during the day when it gets really bad, and I don't have to force myself to be up at 5:00am anymore. I still will wake up on my own at the old time, but at least I don't have to try to get ready to leave the house. When it got to the point where I was having to take narcotic medications during the day in able to work I felt it was time to leave my position.

    Dara
  18. tomf

    tomf New Member

    I've been unable to work since Sept 99 because of CFS.
    I was hanging on to my job by a thread after I abruptly came down with CFS in Nov 98 after rollerblading. Muscle weakness, dizziness, nausea and flu like symptoms were the problem. I was an automotive designer and had a sedate job but I was still barely hanging on because of the symptoms. After almost a year of seeing doctors and them telling me there was nothing wrong with me I forced myself to excercise. I ran 2 miles in Sept 99. That was the last day I worked. It caused progression of my CFS to the point of being bed ridden for several months. I have been getting better every year since then but not well enough to work yet.
  19. Kim

    Kim New Member

    After treating my depression with shock therapy in 1999 I returned to work as college professor. The FM somehow went into remission after the shock therapy until car accident in 2000, then slowly crept back with pain and fatigue. Now dizziness and other symptoms, including depression are making it very hard to continue. The cognitive symptoms of CFS and depression are almost identical. I pray that I will be able to continue working because my job is easy, I work few hours for full time pay and excellent benefits and a great retirement plan.

    Prayers for you all.

    Kim
  20. Pat UK

    Pat UK New Member

    in July I worked part time in a home for people with a learning disability which I loved, but I became too ill to go on any longer, I really struggled from March. My husband was made redundant at the same time and there was a lot of stress. I had more time to think of my condition and at first my symptoms did seem worse but I had more time to do something about it and was able to pace myself better[I have CFS] Now that I have had time to think I realise I have made the right decision, money is very tight as my hubby now only has a part time job. I feel if I had struggled on I would have been much worse than I am today.
    Pat