New diagnosed trying to deal with work need help,

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by GiGi1976, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. GiGi1976

    GiGi1976 New Member

    Hello everyone,

    I am new to the boards and new to Fibromyalgia. My pain started in my knees when I was 12y/o and I just attributed it to "bad knees" for 20 years, but in September of 07 the pain was so bad in my legs I could barely walk somedays'.I went to the doctor and was referred to a rheumatologist in January. I was diagnosed in February of this year and have been on a roller coaster of pain and emotions ever since. I have been doing a lot of reading and am finally beginning to understand about FMS & what is wrong with me. But nothing is helping me or giving advice on how to deal with my boss, co workers and the decision to continue to suffer thru work or just put in my notice.

    Twelve weeks ago my Fibro got so bad I was unable to bath or dress myself because my arms hurt so bad. Unfortunately I had to leave work and go on Short term disability so I have been out of work for 3 months. I am supposed to go back to work on the 23rd of this month and have no idea how or what to ask for to accommodate my return to the workforce. If anyone could help it would be greatly appreciated.

    My doctor asked me to write the letter stating the accommodations I would need to return to work and my brain doesn't seem to be working very well these days so my husband is doing most of the grunt work on writing the letter. But he doesn't really understand what is going on with me himself so if anyone could help it would be greatly appreciated.


    How do I get my husband to understand what I feel like and am going thru on a daily basis?
  2. GiGi1976

    GiGi1976 New Member

    Granny 27,

    Thanks for your response I will answer ur questions one at a time if you don't mind. I copied them into this post so I can keep track of where I am.

    ----"Has/will your doctor released you to return to work?"---

    My primary care doctor is a PA, she and her associates, who are full MD's want me to return to work because they feel that this is out of their realm of expertise and are no longer comfortable with keeping me out on Disability. I saw one of her associates and he essentially told me to suck it up and go back to work, he said "I was going to hurt either way so why be out of work." I have been to a rheumatologist and she doesn't believe in any FMS patient needing to be on disability and refused to sign the STD paperwork. I also see a pain management doctor and will bring up the option of LTD with him since he is the only one who seems to be doing anything to help me with the pain I am in.

    But as of right now my doctor will sign a release to return to work but hasn't.

    ---"If no, do you have a long-term disability policy through your employer?"---

    Yes I do have a long term disability policy thru my employer.

    --"IMHO, if your husband is having to get everything ready in order to have a letter about return-to-work accommodations for your doctor to sign, it doesn't sound like you're ready to return to work."---

    I do not believe I am ready to return to work, I am an accountant and the main issue their is the major memory and cognitive problems I have been having. My meds don't help much with that either Neurotin is not conducive to a normal thought process. Sometimes I have an extremely hard time remembering words to say. It's like I know the answer to the question but can't bring forward the word.

    Which doesn't even take into account the physical pain I am in all the time and the fact that I cannot sit for more then 20-30 mins due to sciatic pain issues and I cannot type or use a computer for very long without intense pain in my arms, neck shoulders and back.

    ---"Have you discussed the possibility of staying off work longer with your husband and your doctor? That's where LTD would come into play."---

    I have not really discussed the option with my husband we are barely making ends meet as it is. I only receive 60% of my salary right now and that would continue if I go on LTD. We have 8 yes that is eight kids between us and things are extremely tight and have been for a while. I hate to put such a burden on his shoulders. We are a blended family I have 5, who live with us and he has 3, who live with his ex. We also have only been married for 2 years so this is all very bad timing wise.

    One of my largest fears is losing my job. I have only had this job since November of 07 which was thankfully enough before the pain got so bad I couldn't work; but I still haven't hit my 1 year anniversary and have been out on STD for 3 months within that crucial first year. I know if I can't keep up when I go back I will lose my job. I wouldn't blame them for firing me. It just makes good money sense to replace me with someone who can do the job. The woman in HR told me they would have to look over the accommodations and approve them before I could return to work. Which to me says ok if your asking for too many allowances then your fired. Can they legally do that?

    I appreciate your advice and will talk to my husband about staying on and going to LTD. Sometimes the things he says make me think he is in a dream realm somewhere and believes this is temporary and I will one day wake up and be all better.

    I see my Pain management doctor soon so I will talk to him about long-term disability.

    Thanks for your advice and support,
    [This Message was Edited on 09/15/2008]
  3. angelinpain

    angelinpain New Member

    I have been living and working with fibromyalgia for over 10 years now. In my last position I had to ask for the most accommodations because it was a more traditional "desk job," whereas many of my previous jobs were field sales positions where I was not in a tratitional office environment. The following were accommodations that I found very helpful.

    1) I have a special chair and back pillow. This helped because my pain is primarily in my neck and back.

    2) I need "mini" breaks to walk around throughout the day. If I sit or stand for too long my muscles seize. I had an agreement with my boss that I could take my mini breaks as long as it didn't affect my productivity. It forced me to stay focused when it is time to work so I can have my time to move around.

    3) The biggest thing was my schedule. I get my best sleep during the morning hours and, fortunately, my job had a variety of shifts to work, but I had to get a doctor's note to switch to a later shift so I could spend more time getting good sleep and be more productive in my day.

    4) Sick time...well I am not good at taking sick time but we all know that when we have really bad attacks it gets bad. I came into work a couple of times when I was really bad and as a result came to an agreement with my boss that if I was really bad I would either leave or call in and if I had no designated sick time left I would either take unpaid leave or use vacation time.