Telling your boss....

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by cbella, Dec 10, 2005.

  1. cbella

    cbella New Member

    I'm a nurse and I work with almost an entire staff of RN's. I have had FM and I think CFS for almost 2years.(dx 1 year ago.)And it is getting worse. I'm thinking of letting my manager know,so that she will understand if I have to take a day off once in awhile. Last week I called in sick one day and just made up a story of having a bug. Nobody in our dept ever calls in unless they're really sick, so everyone was asking me if "I was better from my stomach bug". I'm not a very good liar, and I hate that when someone would ask me. But my other problem is nurses are known to not have much tolerance or understanding with people who have chronic pain. So, I'm wondering if it's best to continue to keep it to myself. And how would the hospital feel if they knew I was taking pain medicine every day. (only Ultram). I would like some of you to give me your opinions. Thanks cbella
  2. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    Does your manager 'believe" in FM/ CFS? If so, telling her is a good idea. If she doesn't maybe someone else have an idea what to say. I heard some people have problems with staff after telling about their FM/CFS. It would really relieve some of the pressure to have a manager that knows and understands. I hope it will work out.
  3. cbella

    cbella New Member

    I'm not sure what she thinks of FM/CFS. :)
  4. cbella

    cbella New Member

    You're very lucky to have a boss like that. I'm just not sure how my manager feels. I know she doesn't like it when someone calls in sick. Especially if it's often, which I haven't done that yet. cb
  5. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    I absolutely would not tell anyone you have fibro/cfs.

    We all like to feel the employer will be sympathetic, unfortunately, these days everything is the almighty "buck" not caring about people.

    Once they discover you have a chronic illness, eventually they will find a way to push you out of your job. Do not tell anyone, anything about your medical condition or the meds you take for pain. By the way, you would probably do better with a little Vicoden a couple times a day.

    I used to take just 1/2 a tablet and it really helped.

    Sorry to sound so downbeat, but I have seen it over and over here on this board. You are better off keeping it to yourself.

    When you have to take days off, yes keep making excuses if possible. Or say it is "arthritis" - that is a condition people acknowledge and you will probably have more understanding.

    Sadly, there are still many doctors and people who refuse to acknowledge fibro exists - worse, won't even treat it.

    You will live to regret it if you tell them, believe me.
  6. XKathiX

    XKathiX New Member

    I know what you mean about nurses. My mom was a nurse and I would have to be half dead before she would believe that I was even sick!

    I'm fortunate that my boss has CFIDS, so she understands my FM.

    You should look into FMLA. I have 9 employees and I recently learned that FMLA can be used in spurts. I thought it was for when you are written out of work for a week or more, but you can use it for varying days if your doc is writing you out. Now, putting on my "boss hat" - I have a small team and if someone was out a day here and there that added up to 13 weeks a year, I would be frustrated. It's not that I don't have compassion, it's just difficult to have someone out all the time.

    My advice would be to check out the FMLA and then have a heart to heart with your boss. I know for me, if an employee comes to me and is honest and up front then I want to do whatever I can to help them. But, if I have an employee (and I have) that doesn't talk to me and just calls out all the time, I feel like they don't care.

    Good luck, I hope whatever you decide to do goes well for you.

    -Kathi
  7. cbella

    cbella New Member

  8. nanswajo

    nanswajo New Member

    Hi Bella!

    I thought it all went so well when I told my boss, but eventually she used it against me. She really just wants someone healthy with lots of stamina. My yearly review was all about how my health was not good and it was affecting my work. I didn't get a raise.

    If I had not told her about FM I think it would have been different. All she was doing was worrying about how her business would be/might be affected in the future. She tried to get me to quit. I changed my approach and just started acting like I felt fine even if I felt like @#*^, and things changed back to a more "normal" interaction. Now I come to work and put on a fake face. Otherwise she was going to push me out.

    I don't talk about FM any more at work.

    She has a friend with FM, and I had mistakenly thought she would be very understanding. I learned my lesson the hard way and it hurt.

    That has been my experience with it.

    Nancy

  9. jake123

    jake123 New Member

    I wouldn't tell my boss for anything. I can muddle through and take sick days and even days without pay if I need to and they can't do anything about it. My boss would just yell at me. He is a yeller and if he does it again I might yell back - such a rude way to handle people. What is he thinking?
    Last year the student resource officer (a police guy)told me that one of teachers was on Fentanyl and he would arrest her if he saw her driving. Well, (a) How did he know that? She may have filled out the employee medical form that asks what meds you are on. I refuse to do that - it ain't their business. (b) How could the SRO be so cruel as to arrest someone who has chronic pain and is just trying to earn a living? I was assured there was alot I didn't know.
    Well, I still wonder how the cop got that information.
    [This Message was Edited on 12/11/2005]
  10. cbella

    cbella New Member

    for your feedback. I was "on the fence" about whether to tell her, but now I am really leaning on not to. Under Hippa regulations, she's not allowed to say anything to anyone, but I'm not sure how she would react if she knew I had to take pain medicine everyday. She might start watching me differently. By the way, just to set the record straight---not all of us nurses have no compassion for chronic pain sufferers. I really work with a great bunch of nurses, but when it comes to someone having to work for you because you call in sick, their feelings may change! hugs to you all --- cb
  11. cbella

    cbella New Member

  12. ritatheresa

    ritatheresa New Member

    Hi I've recently been diagnosed with CFIDS/Fibro, have been suffering for many years with CFIDS and recently had a "Fibro Flare"

    I am also an RN , right now I'm on a FMLA leave.

    The quality of my work has been so adversely affected by this disease. Always getting in trouble for absences, lateneses etc. I did make a promise to myself that if ever I felt i couldn't do the "right thing for my patients" I would reevaluate. I love being a nurse, however this disease has really taken it's toll on me. I'm also a single parent and I really was not taking proper care of myself or my daughter. All of my energy was going in to my work. Of course I did not realize this at the time, now that I'm home I'm really seeing what an absolute mess my life had become.

    As far as my bosses are concerned, for the most part all they're concerned about is that there is a body to do the work and that there numbers look good. It sounds terrible, but it's reality.

    I can honestly say I have always been very compassionate towards my patients, I can not watch somebody suffer, whether it's medicating for the pain or just giving them a hand to hold. Unfortunately I can not say as a patient myself I have been treated with the same dignity.

    This disease is baffling and very much misunderstood. I hope one day there will be a specific marker to show people this is not in our heads. The research seems promising.

    What I have realized from all of this is that I MUST take care of myself and my daughter FIRST. Nobody cares about us like I do.

    As far as my job, I'm certainly panicking, the worst of my symptoms are the fatigue and brain fog. I was beginning to think I had early onset Alzheimers. I still have a few months left on my leave but I'm scared, I feel as if I can never return to work. My symptoms seem to be getting worse, not better.

    My advice to you from one nurse to another. Take care of yourself FIRST. Hopefully you have disability insurance. Your employers will ALWAYS look out for their best interests, it is your responsibility to look out for your own.

    I apologize if this post was long, it's just that when I read this post I was able to really relate. I am also on another message board for CFIDS and it has been my only source of relief and comfort, God bless you all, Theresa