Working vs. Not Working

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by lgp, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. lgp

    lgp Well-Known Member

    Given a choice, do you think it's better to work or not work with fibro? I have the opportunity to go back to work part-time, but I don't know if I'll be sorry later. My thinking is, even when I'm not feeling so great, what's the point in hanging around the house dwelling on it? How did you tackle the work or not to work issue and what do you recommend?

    [This Message was Edited on 08/19/2008]
  2. footballmom

    footballmom New Member

    I don't think most people who have stopped working fall into the catagory as "just not feeling great". If I had an option, I would work. If you can do it by all means go for it, I for one stopped working because I have so much pain, fatigue and brain fog that I can not function at my job. I also did not have a job that I could just take off when I wasn't feeling well. People counted on me and when I was no longer capable of performing my job duties and being reliable I had to go out on disability. Even working part time would be difficult for me unless I could find an employer who would let me make the decision day by day as to whether or not to show up. Most emmployers would like to have someone they can count on.

    my recommendation would be that if your FM is not debilitating, and some peoples isn't by all means go out and work.

  3. pasara

    pasara New Member

    if you are able to work, do.

    if you are unsure, start out with a minimal amount of hours and if it does not affect your health adversely after a few weeks, add a few more hours.

    make your workspace ergonomically hygienic, and take frequent short breaks.

    another good way to help fatigue is to change tasks frequently. obviously not so frequently that you undermine your productivity, but if you vary between mental activity, physical activity, back and forth, you are less likely to get tired from one or the other as quickly. i don't know if i am explaining that well.

    you said, "going BACK to work" so it sounds like you already know your boss and he or she might know your issues and potential limitations. see if you can do a trial period of something like one month, and if it is taxing you too much you can leave without obligation or it being a big deal.

    another way to find out your capabilities, if you have the luxury of your position being open to you for a while, is to try doing some volunteer work somewhere. you can see how being in a working environment taxes you. it is not just the work itself remember, it can also be the stress to perform, stress of being in social environment,the nature of the commute, types of lighting, fumes of office equipment and furniture (and people) and other aspects of a toxic environment that need to be considered.

    i think most people here who are unable to work would choose to work if they could. it is not like being on a holiday, because if you are unable to work you are also unable to do most of things you like to do. for myself, not working was not a decision, there is medically just no option. but there are also alternatives to working that go beyond "sitting home and dwelling on" feeling bad!

    Good luck!
  4. jenn_c

    jenn_c New Member

    I was a nurses aid for over 10 years. The last 5 was doing homecare. But for my own health and for my clients that had huge needs I had to quit. If you have the opportunity to try on a trial basis then go for it as long as it doesn't hurt you.

    Did you apply for ss disability?
  5. Malcolm82

    Malcolm82 New Member

    I didn't stop working until I was told to do so by one of my bosses. I would collapse, come back, collapse, come back, over and over.

    The big problem with these diseases is you have no idea what is happening to you. Usually your doctor can't even tell you, other than to say they can't find anything "wrong" with you that would account for it. I was on disability for 6 months before I found a doctor that diagnosed me, and I found out about her totally by accident.

    In my world, you go to work and keep working unless you are dying. Eventually that is the point I got to before I had to realize I just couldn't do it anymore. I felt like I was dying.

    If I had it to do over again, I don't think I would do it any differently. For some reason, from the time I was a child, when the going got tough I would not give up. I have always said to myself if I didn't give up and everything else went to pot anyway, when I am on my death bed, at least I will have the satisfaction of knowing I did my best, and that's all that matters.

  6. colorfulcolorado

    colorfulcolorado New Member

    I have to go to work. My husband is disabled and we need to eat and pay bills etc. There are days I feel like dying and I want to quit everything! Being in pain and working is not fun and yes, I've missed many days, that's why I probably will be loosing my job in the near future. Then I'll have to find another job. I really hate this! If I had the choice I would rather be home and taking care of my husband and my self. That's why I'm looking for an in home job doing anything(almost)from my computer-billing or whatever. That would be a weight lifted from me like you wouldn't believe.
  7. dragon06

    dragon06 New Member

    If you can work without making yourself more sick then go for it.

    If working one days makes you have to sleep for 2 or 3 then working is probably not for you at the moment.

    I haven't worked in 5 years. I had a few months last year where I was feeling good enough that I thought I would try part time work again, I decided to wait a couple more months to see how I felt. Good thing I did because there is no way I could work now. I only had a couple months reprise.

    I can't even be counted on for volunteer work.

    You have to make the choice though, do what is best for your body. Maybe start out with some volunteer work before making a job commitment and see if you can handle it.
  8. spmom

    spmom New Member

    I think it depends on you feel. I had to quit my job because I was too sick to maintain my job which had a great deal of responsibility. It has taken me two years and I am going back to work, feeling good enough to take on a work committment. I also chose a job that was not as emotionally demanding (I am a counselor). I personally have a hard time not being able to do things and have really pushed myself. I'd rather be a little stressed than even a little depressed (again, this is my preference). I think you should do what you feel you can do. It is always a balance, but knowing who you are and what you need helps keep things in check.
  9. bikrgrl

    bikrgrl New Member

    i really shouldn't be. I'm just lucky my current job is slow paced. There are days when i just sit there doing nothing because i'm in too much pain to do anything. There are days that i lock myself into the bathroom to cry.
    If i didn't have narcotics to take daily, i wouldnt' be working.
    That's a hard decision. Are you able to change your mind after the fact. Like if you went but i didn't work out, can you leave???
  10. jewels920

    jewels920 New Member

    Monday mornings I'm leaping out of bed and getting ready to Friday night, I'm walking like Frankenstein. The effects, for me, are VERY cumulative.

    I'm glad that I'm working and it's OK for me now. I also am keeping in mind that my condition may change at a later time. I may get better and be able to take on more responsibility. Conversely, I may need to stop working someday.

    I think you should listen to your heart and work if you feel drawn to do it. And remember that it's OK to change your mind later if the job is not a good fit or if it's too challenging physically.

    Love and hugs.

  11. vannafeelbettr

    vannafeelbettr New Member

    Great Post!

    I would LOVE to be able to work. It is my dream to be able to do that again. But, I've come to terms that this is out of my hands and in my bodys' hands. LISTEN to what your body is telling you and you will know the answer. I was ganged up on and "let go" of a job I had for 13 years because my co-workers saw my daily struggling (as much as I tried to hide it) and knew I would never voluntarilly quit. I so miss evryone (even though I was stabbed in the back) and more so, I miss the money!!!!


    JEANSKI New Member

    I think it is better if you can manage it at all. Part time isn't bad, i am sure you can use the money (we all can right?)

    I know for me it helps to feel apart of the land of the living! LOL When I couldn't work I found the loneliness and depression too much to take. Not to mention boredom...can daytime tv get any worse? LOL
  13. RENA0909

    RENA0909 New Member

    I think given a choice we would all choose to work.

    For the company of people.
    For the self respect.
    For the money.
    For the work ethic.ETC.

    For many reasons ....BUT.....if you feel that you will not be able to give 100% and that fibro may cause problems the I do not think it is worth working to give yourself more heartache!!!

    I truly feel so sorry for the people on here who have NO choice but to work for family and financial reasons.
    I worked all my life and loved all my jobs and all the friends I made along the way.

    Sometimes I worked 2 jobs...but when you are "NORMAL" IT IS OK....YOU CAN DO IT!!

    Then I got Fibro......and my working life ended.

    If you decide to go back to work Laura just make sure you have the strength and energy to see you through it.

    Good Luck whatever you choose.


  14. Hootie1

    Hootie1 New Member

    I am afraid to even try to work because I would never make it - calling in sick, etc. It's so hard to know when I will be bad then the guilty feeling when I can't make it is overwhelming for me. It's much worse.

    I would have to have a full recovery for a long time until I didn't worry about relapses. Also, I think it is hard to turn off a type A personality.

    I don't think that I will EVER be able to work like I did before.
  15. zen68

    zen68 New Member

    I am a caregiver for a developmentally disabled lady. I go to work an hour after she has gone to bed for the night, and I read or watch tv or cross stitch, then I go to sleep, I wake up the next morning, an hour before she gets up, and go home. I do this two days a week, which averages out to 20 hours a week. The nice thing about it is, I am able to work, but fall within the guidelines for SSI, so I still qualify. I am in the process of an appeal, which should go through because I have other issues besides FM that qualifies me for SSI. I don't sleep at night anyway, and I'm only there in case the lady needs me, which she very rarely does. So it works for me. So I say, with a job like that, work.