working full time with Fibromyalgia

Discussion in 'General Health & Wellness' started by janenec, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. janenec

    janenec New Member

    I currently work full-time as a clinical supervisor of a drug outpatient facility and I have a husband and two children. I was diagnosed with FM in 2006 and as the years have gone by the pain is getting worse. I struggle through my work day only to come home and have to go to sleep because of my intense pain and exhaustion. Is there anyone out there that is making this work? I will be completely appreciative of any suggestions. By the way, I take Cymbalta, Celebrex, Adderall (to help me stay awake and concentrate), Ellavil(to help me sleep at night), Oxycodone for the pain when needed and a multivitamin.
  2. janderson6791

    janderson6791 New Member

    I have no idea if your pain is the same as mine but when I really hurt somewhere on my body I cut off the blood circulation for a bit. I know this sounds wierd but it helps. I take tight rubber bands and wrap them around my arms or legs. I also sit on my legs to make them fall asleep and that sometimes helps. I am also super flexible because of the pain. Stretching my arms behind my back or in a wierd position helps relieve the pain for a moment. I also have a table that you strap your self into and then hang upside down. I think its called inversion table. That also helps me when I am in a lot of pain. Its sounds like you are on all the right meds to help. I guess the rest is up to you. Keep moving because sitting around allows you to focus on the pain. I have always wanted to find a way to sleep while walking on treadmill. I wish you luck on your journey!
  3. Janalynn

    Janalynn New Member

    Hi Jane,
    I've had Fibro for most, if not all of my adult life but officially diagnosed only a few years ago. I've worked full time and sometimes two jobs because I've had another interest in something.

    I have felt worse and worse as the years have gone by. When I found a great rheumatologist who has treated many Fibro patients, I will never forget what he told me - the people who seem to do best are those who work a flexible part time job, have a happy marriage and have a supportive family. Now of course, that seems obvious.
    At the time, I was taking on another (I was already working) "venture" that I felt I couldn't pass up for my future and he strongly discouraged me. I went ahead anyway and he was so right. Two years later and I just (this month) gave it up due to stress and sheer exhaustion.

    Fortunately, my main job, I have been able to work into a flexible part time job - just as recommended. I know I am SO lucky to have that option. When working both jobs I was working so many hours and with basically no end to my day or work week. I am not a quitter so I kept going and going.

    Our financial situation really couldn't afford me to quit my second job but my health was more important. It almost took an intervention from my family to make me realize that.

    The minute I knew that there was an end to my long days in sight, I IMMEDIATELY felt such relief I can't even tell you. Working full time with Fibro, the pain, the exhaustion, while being a wife, mother, having a home to try and keep up etc. is A LOT!! I don't know many who can do it and not feel like they're suffering somewhere. Maybe those that aren't in terrible pain can handle it better, but you mentioned your pain is getting worse as mine has.

    I don't know how small your children are or how much time they require from you (hands on). I know once they get older, they are out more with friends etc. Is your husband helpful and supportive? That makes a huge difference for sure.

    It takes a lot of realizing how much you can do - really do, not how much you should be able to do. It's so important to take care of YOU. You can't run on empty, it's not doing anyone any good.
    Do you have any options of changing your work schedule at all? I'm sure it would be hard being a supervisor, but it might be something you might want to consider long term. It has made a huge difference in my life. I have been in management for many years and I've still maintained that position.

    In the meantime, as much pampering as possible is the only other thing I can recommend. Lots of help from your family to pick up any slack around the house. No guilt allowed. Hot baths,
    heating pads...

    Wish I could offer more concrete suggestions! =)

  4. JLH

    JLH New Member

    I am now retired, but I did work for 30+ years with fibro, lupus, arthritis, major back and heart issues, etc. (see my profile).

    I also raised 3 children during this time.

    It was by no means easy. In fact, the older I got, the worse it got. Probably the last 5 years that I worked, I came home most nights and put ice packs between my shoulder blades and at the base of my neck for about 30 minutes before I could begin preparing dinner and helping the kids which what they needed. I took 600 mg. of ibuprofen every 4 hours, etc. I also took an antidepressant, and Elavil at night to help sleep. I could not ever take any narcotic pain medicine because I worked for the federal government and was subject to spot drug tests.

    I decided to take an early retirement when I reached 30 years because it was just getting to be too much -- the pain with the work, driving 1+ hrs. to work and again after working 8-10 hrs. a day.

    Now, I take Neurontin, Cymbalta, and Zanaflex for the fibro.

    I do think, however, that the more you stay moving, the better that you feel. Even now that I am not working that is true.

    Right now, ice packs, and a heating pad are still by best friends! Oh, and if you can fit the time in, taking water aerobics is the best exercise for fibro. When I did that, I felt a lot better.
  5. janenec

    janenec New Member

    I really appreciate all you have told me it has helped more than you can know. Actually my kids are getting older, 11 and 14. My 14 year old is pretty independent, but my 11 year old still needs hands on from me. I have been truly blessed with an extremely supportive and understanding husband. I won't say that my fibro has not put a strain on us, but we are figuring it out as we go along. My entire family is supportive too, but they don't live near us. We have actually considered moving closer to my parents, so that my mom will be there to help out too! I appreciate the info on a part-time job. I know that I can't stay in the same position I have now part-time, but I am more than willing to do something else. At this time we have decided that I am going to take time off from my current job to see how I do. I will remember that I need to keep moving as I agree that I usually feel better when I am. I again can't thank you enough for your encouraging words, they almost brought me to tears when I read them. I am new at the posts and can't believe I didn't do this sooner. It is nice to talk to others who are going through the same thing I am.
    thank you