when do you know you have to stop working?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by caperkat, Mar 14, 2006.

  1. caperkat

    caperkat New Member

    I'm fairly new on this board. I appreciate the warmness & help/encouragement I have read here for the past few weeks. My question is this: I was dx'd 3 years ago and still work fulltime, a moderately stressful clerical position in a call-center. In the past 2-3 months I've been struggling more & more to finish out an 8 hour day, and even when I have a good day, as you all know, I pay for it the next. I've started having to miss work here & there, which never used to occur. I try my best to tough it out & fight through the symptoms here at work, but at what point do I throw in the towel & say I can't do it anymore? Is it one of those things where you just know it when you're there? I do want to take the best care of myself I can, but that's a scary threshold to cross. Can anyone help or relate to this? Thx for any advice.

    Hugs... kat
  2. suzetal

    suzetal New Member

    I stoped when I could not walk or stand.

    I was an Assistant Manager for Wal - Mart.I was in charge of about 200 associates and always on my feet.I also had a hard time to remember things.

    My doctor and I decided I should take the FMLA ( family medical leave )I got the pappers from work she sign them and so did WalMart.

    I thought this would go away or get better so I could go back.After a year on FMLA I had to be terminated.

    I knew I could not go back.I am in pain 24/7 but it is a little better than it was.I still can not stand for more than 10 minutes without my back going into sever spasms.

    I hope this helps.This is how I wound up not working.

    Please excuse my typing and spelling.I just had surgery today on my left hand.

  3. kaiasmom

    kaiasmom New Member

    Welcome Kat! It is hard to say. I feel like I can't work anymore, but I don't have a choice, so I push on.

    Can you cut back to part time? That may be a good starting point.

    I would say, follow what your body is telling you. I know, I'm lots of help!!!

    Take care,
  4. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member

    My guess is that if you are not able to continue working you will know. You might say something to the fact of 'No more, I just can not do this another day'.
    Yes, difficult bridge to cross and your whole life changes, but once you get into the groove of it, not working is not bad. Plenty of time to rest, too. I know one gal who quit her job and did not get out of bed for four months. She is on my e-mail list. Now, that is tired from working!
  5. mollystwin

    mollystwin New Member

    But I don't have an answer for you. I only work three days a week and lots of weeks can't even manage to do all three days. When I work two days in a row, I'm in bed the entire next day. I'm being stubborn though and have no plans on quitting until retirement. Hopefully I will make it!
    I think maybe you will know it when you are there. You just won't be able to do it anymore, or maybe you will never get to that point! Hang in there and good luck!!!
    [This Message was Edited on 03/14/2006]
  6. cynny3

    cynny3 New Member

    Hi caperkat,
    and welcome to the boards.

    I read somewhere that people with FM, about 80% eventually change the state of their jobs; whether it be reducing hours, changing the type of work or quitting altogether.

    I think only you will know when it might be time to make changes. Your body will tell you and might be telling you already.


  7. RockiAZ

    RockiAZ New Member

    Like some of the other posts say so far, unfortunately we do not have the answer. Even though we have the same illness, for the most part, we are all different. I've had FMS/CFIDS 6 years now. I was an Executive Assist. for the same company 7 1/2 years. I had been on medical leave twice, missed hours, days, then weeks, and was taken off work by my doctor last March. That was very hard, but I physically could not continue. If I could return work, I would. Not just for the paycheck, but for the human contact.

    I wish you the best Kat!

    Live, Laugh, Love,
  8. hobbler

    hobbler New Member

    Hi Kat

    As some of the replies said.. your body will tell you when its time to stop working..

    I had to stop working in the summer of 2004.. It wasnt an easy decision and it took me a year to make it..

    In the last 12 months there I had flare ups more and more frequently.. I would be sitting in the staffroom before the start of the day crying in pain and dreading the day ahead.. I could cry at the drop of a hat and had to have some of my duties given to others to do on bad pain days.. I felt so guilty about that.. I knew then it was time to stop..
    Aside from that, I was assaulted twice in that last year and faced physical abuse on a daily basis.. Im so glad im out of it now and my gp has supported me all the way..

    Good luck with wotever desicion you take..


  9. harrysmom

    harrysmom Member

    I was an elementary school Music teacher and kept working for one school year and almost a half after being diagnosed with CFS. I knew it was time to quit when I was at home in bed more days than I made it to school and had to lay on my classroom floor inbetween classes because I just plain couldn't stay upright any longer. Each day I worked I prayed that I could walk from my car to the school building and back again at the end of the day and fought panic as I drove the half hour home.

    You'll know - the decision to give up working is almost made for you when there is just no more reserve and mind and body can't rally any longer to do anything at all and you really don't care. At that point financial concerns don't phase you because you almost wish you'd die.

    Don't let yourself get to that point. The road back is even harder if you do.

  10. Lolalee

    Lolalee New Member

    I had a great job...I loved it..great boss, co-workers, good pay, great benefits. So, I fought leaving..didn't want to stop working. I knew it was time to take a leave of absence when I had difficulty understanding my boss's instructions and when I would forget to do things.

    Also, I kept a pillow and blanket in my car and would spend my lunch hour sleeping and breaks, too. I even would sneak away for a few minutes if my boss was in a meeting...I couldn't help it I was so exhausted.

    My doctor suggested I take a leave of absence. While on leave I got a serious case of bronchitis and it was downhill all the way. I never got to go back to my wonderful job.

    I would suggest that you stay as long as you can,but start documenting your irregular behavior and sick days,etc.. In other words, create a paper trail just in case you put in for Short or Long Term Disability. Also, talk to your doctor.

    Good luck,

  11. connieaag

    connieaag New Member

    Can you do some of your work from home where you can be more comfortable?
  12. angeljoe

    angeljoe New Member

    I went from being a great employee to missing too much work. I was proud to do my best at work. I used my personal days for my children being sick. I went to work even when I wasn't able too. I started missing work due to the fibro and fatigue. My company doctor put me out on temporary medical disability. I've been out for 7 months now. After six months they forced me to sign up on SSDI. I still get weekly disability checks from work but I don't know if I will ever be able to go back.

    My company is union so I still have a job and still get paid and have health insurance. I really want to eventually go back but that is not reality right now. My reputation was seriously put on line at work because of this DD. I looked healthy but I couldn't force my legs to work anymore. My work standards were dreams and out of reach. I wish you luck with this decision. I know it's a tough one to make. I was furious they made me go on disability but I couldn't have managed much longer.
  13. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I am my own sole support and thought I couldn't stop working. Then, one day, I simply could no longer get up and go to work. It has taken me a long time to claw my way back to not being bedridden most of the time. I can't help but feel had I stopped earlier that I might have been able to recover.

    I think we each have different symptoms and associated conditions plus different tolerances, so it's a tough question. I think when one gets to the point of asking the question, it is time to seriously consider it.

    Love, Mikie
  14. lovethesun

    lovethesun New Member

    I worked in daycare which I loved and I couldn't move my feet anymore.I was on lortabs,muscle relaxers,antidepressants,and would sleep when I wasn't working.-you'll know what's right for you.Linda
  15. Kat_in_Texas

    Kat_in_Texas New Member

    Welcome to the board, Kat. You'll find lots of good help and wonderful support here.

    I wish I could help you with this one, but I'm in the same boat right now. I work 36 hours a week (off on Friday afternoons) as an Exec. Asst. and love my job. It's easy, stress-free, and most days it's lots of fun. My co-workers and my family don't understand that even though it's a "piece of cake" job (I'm not kidding, it really is!) that I feel like I need to quit. I'm just so so tired.

    I've really suffered with cognitive problems lately, and I'm sure the guys at work are wondering where their "sharp" secretary has gone. I wonder too. Some days the mistakes are so frequent that I worry I will get fired, taking the decision whether to work or not out of my hands. That's the most depressing part for me, the mental issues. I've always prided myself on being accurate, quick, dependable. Those things are slipping away. So frustrating.

    And as you are experiencing, physically it's just so hard for me to keep pushing through for 8 hours. And if by chance a good day does come along and I do more than usual, *BAM* I pay for it the next day more than ever. I'm so exhausted in the evenings that I just sit and stare at the television (or get on the computer, my only "hobby" these days). I have no social life whatsoever.

    Weekends are really awful because there is so much I've left undone during the week that I again have to push and push and push to get even the most minor tasks done. The cupboards are usually bare because I don't have the energy to go to the grocery store, I haven't cleaned properly in months, haven't cooked a decent meal in forever, and DH does most of the laundry these days. You know the routine. It's just so hard.

    However, even though I feel I am ready and NEED to stop working, I have continued for several reasons:
    * Money, plain and simple. We're still paying for my daughter's college education and our son in currently in college. We'd be okay without my income but not great.
    * Going part-time is not an option at my job. Our office is tiny and one admin. asst. is all that's needed.
    * I don't feel my DH understands my physical needs at this point, and I need him to be supportive of my decision if I quit.

    But to be honest, my greatest concern about quitting my job is that I'm afraid I'd be even less active and feel worse. Does that make sense? Having to get up and out of the house every morning is hard, and sometimes trying to get through the day is torture, but at least I'm doing something. If I didn't "have" to get out, I'd most likely end up on the couch most of the day. I don't want to think about having that kind of life right now, it depresses me.

    Does that make sense? I really want to quit my job, but yet I don't want to. Guess what it boils down to is that I don't want to "have" to quit. Same as everyone else here. This DD makes me so mad, and so sad. For me and for everyone else.

    Goodness how I've rambled, sorry about that! Guess I needed to vent and didn't even realize it. (It was one of those days!) But you didn't ask for the low down on how I'm feeling ... so anyway, again, welcome to the board, and good luck with your decision.

    [This Message was Edited on 03/14/2006]
  16. caperkat

    caperkat New Member

    I sure appreciate all the warm responses to my questions about working. You all helped more than you know. Here are the upsides (blessings) and downsides (challenges) so far: I can't work part-time, but I do have FMLA available to me. I do work in a union environment which can be helpful & sometimes comforting. Although I can't stand up for more than a few minutes at a time, I have a sit-down job, and can wear jeans, t-shirts, sandals or sneakers (this is one of my favorite things about my job, LOL). I keep a pillow, microwavable heatpack, OTC painpatch, & nice soft washcloth in my desk at work. (the washcloth is for a cool or very warm compress for my face when it hurts like a ***). I'm doing my best to be proactive & be prepared . Thanks again to everyone for sharing your experiences & advice. I know each of us is different. It makes a world of difference to know there are others like us out there.

    [This Message was Edited on 03/14/2006]