When do you realize it's time to quit work?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by kaymac, Aug 22, 2006.

  1. kaymac

    kaymac New Member

    I was wondering when others realized that working outside the home was over. I had my first official day of calling in sick due to being on couch not able to move. Was in pain all weekend and so I called in Monday.

    I usually have 1 or 2 slow days a week and am able to pace myself, but here lately things have picked up and I am falling behind.

    I wonder if I quit my job and stayed at home, would it benefit me? Would I be able to have more energy to do "evening" things with family or on the weekends be more apt to grocery shop or socialize?

    Sunday, I put a roast on for lunch, folded clothes and unloaded the dishwasher and I was off my feet the rest of day. I cried. I guess because I can't believe at times that those simple things wipe me out!

    Monday, I slept till 12:30 and stayed on couch till 4 pm. Then I got up helped my son fix supper and I folded more clothes. Back on couch till bedtime.

    Does this make sense?? How do you know if quitting work benefits you? Are their any answers at all to this?

    Another thing I should say is that my pain has progressed from ultram to loracet type pain meds. My anti depressant doesn't seem to work as well after these past 2 yrs, may be time for change, and I have new pain and frequent flares of a new type. I've done all I've been told, watch what I eat, was tested for food allergies, and sleep tested and now use CPAP along with sleep meds, so I am sleeping better, but still same ole same ole, if you know what I mean?? Any ideas??

  2. SweetT

    SweetT New Member

    If your income is absolutely necessary, than try to keep pushing on. However, if your husband can cover the household expenses by himself, put your health over extra money, and quit.

    If I had a husband, and especially one who made enough to cover all of the household expenses, I'd probably at least take a few month leave of absence, to see if that would help. Actually, I need to do that now, but just cannot afford it. But if I were to come into extra money, like about $5,000, I'd take a couple of months off.

    I know what you mean by pushing yourself.

    Yes, if you quit, the health benefits are almost instantaneous! However, you will still have to practice energy conservation. But having to keep energy for going to work won't be a factor.

    I would say if you can take a leave of absence for a month, do that. If after you go back, you fall into the same slump, it might be time to consider leaving your job.
  3. puffy1

    puffy1 New Member


    I worked with fibro for most the 11 years I have had it. mainly becuase I wanted to keep working for the money even though my husband made and makes good money.

    I always wanted my own money I feel better having my own money to spend on what I want wihout haveing to ask for it.

    but there were days toward the end of working where I could barely get myself ready for work I would have to sit and do my hair I felt like I had no strength in me and then there were days where on the way driving home I would suddenly be overcome with sleepiness where I could not keep my eyes open.

    I was falling asleep at 7:00 at night while trying to watch tv with my husband.

    He finaly conviced me to quit and I did reluntanly but then I could not stand it after a while and I went back to work.

    but only did it for a while again. just takes too much out of me.

    I hate not working but I have to realzis I just can't.

  4. kirschbaum26

    kirschbaum26 New Member


    I am currently on STD from my employer. I have great benefits, so I got 100% of my salary for up to 6 months, then I go to 70% through UNUM Provident, which should start 9/15/06. My 70% is lifetime, so I have some choices. I have RA, FMS, and bunch of other health problems. Currently, my RA is out of control, and I am limited on what I can take for it due to poor liver function. I have tried ENBREL, which worked for 5 months. I have been on HUMIRA since May, but have had respiratory problems, including pneumonia and scaring on my lungs, so I might have to go to REMICADE. My fingers and wrists are really getting deformed and I am unable to do all that I used to do with ease. My hips, knees and feet are also starting to have some problems.

    My Rheumatologist and PCP were both shocked when I brought them my paperwork for STD from my job. They both thought that I was not working, and both told me that they strongly suggest that I try at least 6-12 months off from work to try to get the RA under control.

    I have certainly felt better these past 5 months, and I have been able to pace myself so much better. I can also make time for 30 minute walks each day, and I try to get into the pool every day for at least an hour with my daughter.

    So, my advice would be that if you can afford to do so, take some time off to see if it benefits you. You can always go back to work, or maybe change to part time.

    Good luck.

  5. adberens

    adberens New Member

    Stopping work hurt me so bad but I just couldn't keep on and at the end it was my boss who said I had to go on STD (Short Term Disability). I remember that day very well. It was the last day I ever worked. I kept thinking next week I will go back to work and then the weeks turned into months and now months have turned into years. I was lucky to have LTD (Long Term Disability). The desicion to stop work is a very hard one both financially and emotionally. My heart goes out to you.
  6. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    understand the instructions from my boss. My ability to comprehend new instructions, I also made mistakes in my files over and over (mistakes you can't make with a Government program).

    I then thought I could do jobs where I need no "brains", but quickly realised my body is too shot. I will go into major flares, and I can't bend, squat, walk stairs, carry, even color a picture for my daughter (neuropathy in hands).

    That's how I know I am done.

    Gee, even my reply is pooped,,,LOL!
    [This Message was Edited on 08/22/2006]
  7. jmblknit

    jmblknit New Member

  8. gongee

    gongee New Member

    Leaving work was one of the hardest thing I had to do and it has taken me 3 years to finally accept that I won't be going back. I had even kept all of my scrubs, just knowing that it wouldn't be long that i would be better and back at work. My husband continously asked me to sell them, but I just couldn't do it, until recently. To me, it was putting an end to part of my old life that I didn't want to be taken away.

    My doctor had been after me for months to stop work, but I just wasn't ready to let it go.

    I remember the day I left work for good. I had been having
    one bad day and night after another, started forgetting
    simple things, began watching the clock at 9am, hoping I could make it until lunch and I'm sure you know the rest.I left to go to lunch and could barely make it to my car. That is when I knew it was time. I called the office and told them that I wouldn't be back.

    I am still griefing the loss of having to leave work along with a lot of other things that have changed. I actually get jealous when someone is talking about their job. I had always said I wish I didn't have to work. Little did I know that I would get that wish.

    If you can continue working, do so as long as possible. Living on SSA Disability and my husband's income is not what I planned on at our age. Since I have left work, my health has declined. I really do attribute this to being so isolated and too much time to think.

    GOOD LUCK TO YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. springrose22

    springrose22 New Member

    I stopped working when I thought I was going to collapse and die. I am completely unable to do any kind of work for longer than 15 mins at a time. Marie
  10. Linn3

    Linn3 New Member

    For me it hit me out of the blue. I had spent 26 years at my job. Constant confusion and an inability to concentrate were taking their toll, and the pain was really beginning to kick in. But for me, it was the exhaustion. I had been drained of energy for a long while, probably about 2 years. Well I went to work one day, and for me it all came physically tumbling down. I realized that I was too exhausted to work one more minute. Now mind, I Though I would be back to work in a week or two. It's 3 years later, I've finaly been approved for ssdi. My life is still so limited, but with the small amount of stamina I have, I can use it for positive things. I think for all of us, the decisions are different. Good luck making the right decision for you.
  11. mosherpit

    mosherpit New Member

    I have had Fibro for years now and always worked full time. 10 months ago I had a baby and my husband stayed home with her and I went back to work. After about 8 months he decided I was better at raising her than he and he is now working extra hours so I can be home with her. I work 4.5 hours a day and let me tell you how much better I feel.

    I used to have frequent days when I could barely get myself out of bed to exist. They are coming less often now that I am home more. When the baby naps I nap too. At first I felt I should use the time to get things done around the house, but I have find I can get more done in the evening after having been able to nap with her.

    Financially it is challenging and we are under stress over that until we find the right balance, but as for the Fibro, working part time has definitely been a good thing.
  12. vloga

    vloga New Member

    When you know it's time to quit. If you think it may be, then it's almost certain that you should have done so years ago. The longer that you delay, the more your body will have been depleted and the longer it will take to recover even some element of health.

    In my case, I waited 17.5 years, and that turned out to be 17.5 years too long. I only knew when I realised that spending all weekend in bed just to get enough energy to go into work on Monday morning and then collapsing by 10am Monday was not a good way to live my only life. I was worried I'd lose my home, my partner, my sense of being. I lost them all over time, but I still survived (altho' am facing imminent homelessness). If I knew then what I know now, I'd have done what the specialists advised, hang the loss.

    But the time has to be right for you.....
  13. Adl123

    Adl123 New Member

    Dear Kaymac,
    I know many peope have already answered you,but here is what I went through. I hope it helps you.:

    I had a seemngly spontaneous anaphalectic reaction one evenng, at a faculty meeting. After getting treated at the emergency, I found a doctor who diagnosed me. She told me to take 6 weeks off work, so I did.

    Meanwhile, I followed her protocol. After the 6 weeks, and I was still not strong enough to go back to work (teaching), she told me to take 4 month off. I did that.

    After that time, I realized that I still was not well enough, although I was better. I told her that I didn't thnk I would ever get well enough to go back to teaching. She answered:"I was wondering when you would realize that". She was waitint for me to realize the truth, insetead of just tellling me. So - I retired.

    All this time, she had been treating me and explainng about what I had. She was wonderful. I'm still following her protocol after 13 years, and the fears I had about stopping work have not materialied.

    When I first thought of retiring early, I had the only true panic attack of my life. But then, I saw that I had no other option, and I simplified my way of life. Things are tight, but O.K..

    I'm going through the same kind of thing now, with getting a reverse mortgage. I'm afraid I won't get enough money to really help me, but I just have to forge ahead. Things will work out.

    Good luck to you.. I know this was long, but I also hope it helps you.


  14. EllenComstock

    EllenComstock New Member

    This is a tough decision to make. Of course finances play a big part of it. Have you considered part-time work to see how that goes? Of course if you are considering filing for disability, you might want to consult an attorney who specializes in disability claims first.

    I am fortunate in that the past several years I have been working part-time. I got to pick my own hours (M-F - mornings) and so far it's worked out pretty good. I work for a school so I'm off for three months in the summer. Also, I like my job and it's pretty layed-back most of the time. I know I can no longer handle high-pressure jobs.

    I would definitely check on the disability. I know it's a hassle with what they put you through to get it, but maybe someone here can recommend a good attorney in your area. They only get paid if you win your disability. I know it's a percentage of your settlement.

  15. MsE

    MsE New Member

    I used some of my teacher's planning periods to take naps. And when I realized I couldn't remember the names of the students in front of me. And when I completely lost the train of the discussion.
    And when I was spending $$ to hire a "reader" to help with the loads of paper work.

    For many years I taught a high school advanced placement class as well as a juniors honors class and three other classes. I had always told myself that if I wasn't giving it my best any longer, I would quit. So, after 29 years of teaching, which I loved, and when I reached 62 and could collect reduced social security, I retired. I loved my students too much to continue and chance doing a half-baked job.
  16. kaymac

    kaymac New Member

    I appreciate all the posts and comments. I do not have short term disability. My husband carries health insurance on both of us. I think we could begin to prepare to live on his income, but quitting now would upset our finances I'm sure.

    I work 5 days a week, but only 2 of them are more tiring. We have full schedule on those days and I am constantly busy and moving and up and down. So the other 2 full days are slower and I only have 1/2 day on Wednesdays (no doctor) which is good for me to rest.

    It is indeed a tough question, because I do enjoy extra spending money and I do like getting out and being around people. I like my job. I'm comfortable with the co workers and boss. I'm sure they get tired of hearing me moan and groan most of the time, but oh well!

    But actually calling in for the first time, I am compelled now to discuss my illness with my boss. There could be a possibility he would let me less hours if it comes to that. I just know that I really don't feel as if I can do anything else other than work. NO housekeeping, no socializing or shopping on weekends. So that is my main concern, if I were to not work, would I stand a better chance of having a life??

    Thanks again guys!
  17. jaxw17

    jaxw17 New Member


    I have done it. i have left a job that paid the equiv of $70,000 dollars a year that i loved. Things in the uk are different than the usa but i managed to get ill health retirement so i accessed my pension I am 49 years old.
    I am taking things as they come yes our income is down but i just could not work any longer. God laughs at people who make plans you know.
    Good luck with whatever your decision is although i think that it may be to cut down your hours from what you have said.
  18. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Hi, Kaymac. I think the working question is an individual thing and also depends on your lifestyle. A year after I was diagnosed, I cut back to part time (which wasn't). I couldn't wait until I could quit although my doctor encouraged me to continue on. He said that depression was more common in people who didn't work.

    Finally I was able to take an early retirement. I fully expected to rest up and be well. Really. I was that naive!

    What I found was that while it was nice not to have to be somewhere at a certain time every morning, I really missed the people I worked with, the paycheck and the feelings of accomplishment, especially since I lived alone.

    You'll know when or if it's time for you to quit. Just don't think it's a magic pill like I did. Not working has its own downside.

    You know, everything has its pros and cons. I think it's up to us to find the pros as long as we can.


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