Have you been able to find reasonable accommodations that have helped you keep working in spite of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome? What has worked for you? How has it changed things on the job? Your experience may be able to help someone else -- share it here! Share What's Helped You
yikes on help!
- I went into teaching because it was flexible and I had breaks. I needed a decent chair and even brought in pictures and I was laughed at. When I went on disability, I was terminated by the same woman who laughed and complained I didn't stand up teaching.
Now, I have Medicare and the judge wouldn't even let the vocational expert talk as he went down the list of all my health issues. I sat there crying because I was saddened and relieved and forgot how long I had been trying to survive ill. I am single and don't have enough disability to survive and I am not sure of the next step.
- —Guest sue
- Fell several times at work and experienced bad back and knee pain and fibro pain. Claim denied for wc. Paid for disability claim denied. They don't cover fibro or arthritis. No unemployment. No income for over a year. Waiting on a SS hearing date. Not an easy situation. Plus I'm a single parent and I know I am not alone on this journey....
- —Guest guest 101
Nothing but hassle
- I work for a huge worldwide company. I took a promotion 2 years ago before my Fibro got worse, which includes being on call to cover any shift. Since I sometimes go all week on 4-10 hours of sleep & am totally exhausted my dr. does not want me "flip flopping" hours. So I take in a letter to my director, who has MS by the way, & she says ...well you may have to step down, but we will see. So after 2 meeting w/H.R. and 2 trips back to my dr. for a letter that is still " not good enough"... I am still fighting this. I normally work days, & have said I would still cover 2nd shift, they are trying to make it as difficult as possible to not be on call for 3rd shift. & it can only be for a certain length of time... What a joke! I am on call next week, and have news for them.... they better call someone else to come in at midnight... not me... approved or not! Funny how when the boss or her family is sick, it's o.k., but any of us pee-ons no way! Makes me sick!
Accommodating Me Out The Door
- From the time I told my manager about my fibro, he has harrassed ne continuously, which only raises my stress and causes symptoms to be worse. At this point I'm going to doc to ask to be taken out of work for 1 month to see if I can regroup.
- —Guest PJ
Help - No Help
- I left a large insurance company because of the fibro fog -- and the slurred speech, etc. Those things didn't work well. The last 4 years I've worked at the county library as a substitute clerk. I thought I could manage that job pretty well. I was wrong. I wasn't fired -- but my hours were cut to 4 hours a week. Kind of a hint. They wouldn't fire me because then they would have to pay unemployment. I couldn't handle the job knowing that most of the managers had a problem with my fogs, my pain (I wasn't supposed to sit down much which aggravated my leg and foot pain. Luckily I live with my son and I have a good Social Security check. But I wish that more people realized that fibro IS an actual disease. To answer the question of making things easier, I thought I had found the secret -- but I didn't. Some of the clerks I worked with tried to help but it was clear they didn't believe that I was ill. Sorry for all the whining........
making work easier
- I have been a self employed goldmith for the last 30 years. I have run a retail store for the last 8 years, and in Jan., I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I just left my business in the hands of two part time employees (40 hrs per week) and am contracting out the jewelry work to two goldsmiths. If you count that up, that makes 4 people trying to do the work I have done all by myself for the last 8 years. I am on day two of a four week medical leave ordered by my physician. Since my diagnosis in Jan., I have repostiioned my chair at the bench, sat on yoga ball chairs, sat on yoga balls at the bench. I have done years of tai chi, had a visit with a chiropractor and a 1 1/2 hour massage every week for a year. I have had physical therapy and I am now seeing a counslor to help me cope with the fact that I will have to let go of my career and hope that others can run the business that I built up for 8 years at a profit. If not, I will close.
- My supervisor was the one who suggested that I submit my FMLA on my one year anniversary. After it was approved I can apply loss of work,doctor's appointments and procedures to the approved time. This lessens a lot of guilt and stress from my work life.
- —Guest berrymorin
Some of us are lucky, and some not ....
- After 10 yrs with a major large law firm on Long Island - assisting a senior partner - I kept my disease to myself and managed to be "the best secretary I ever had". Life dealt me many emotional and physical upheavals in the last 1.5 yrs and I had major flare up. Well, boss turned on me - as did many of my co-workers - boss accused me of having "mini-strokes" and co-workers thought -- with my slurred speech at times and unsteady gait - - drugs ? drinking ? sad end of story - got fired in Aug 2010. Asking why, I was given some nonsense about "well, gee, your boss ... ummmm, claims you still chat too much with clients on the phone." I'm now broke and waiting for a decision on SS disability - if it comes through, I'll still be pretty broke as I'm a single homeowner. It truly stinks !
- —Guest suntanjan
ergonomics, flex schedule, futon
- My employers have been very understanding of my needs, and of my desire to continue to work at full capacity, if possible. I have an ergonomic desk arrangement, and he ability to work from home on the rare occasions that I cannot drag myself in to the office. They also got a futon for me so I can rest during my lunch hour on my bad days in the office. I have been with this same employer for 20 years; but have had fibro and chronic fatigue for only about the last 6 of these years.
- —Guest tessa
Desk height, chair, hours flexibility...
- My workplace installed a computer workstand that I can wind up to stand rather than sit, to work, helping me vary my position several times during the day. I have a really good chair as well. We've closed the vents in my office to avoid that nasty freezing overhead drafts (worst with AC) and I use the baseboard heaters to warm my office.
I'm also able to come in a bit later if needed and flex my hours to an extent (I do classes/guest talks so have to be around for those). I'm looking at working from home one day per week in winter to avoid exposure to the cold. My boss is very understanding about my need to sit comfortably if it's a long meeting, to avoid long exposure to loud noise and to cold drafts.
I also teach a U. class at night - and I sit to lecture for most of the 3 hours. I tell my students that they didn't pay to see me stand and walk. (-:
- —Guest mj
- My employer has allowed me "flex" arrival time of 8:30-9:00. This lets me come in later when stiffness and soreness slow me down. For a company where punctuality is viewed as vital, this was a big accommodation that I truly appreciate.
- —Guest GinaG
Gloves, shawl, music, and nutrition
- When my hands start aching (first sign of an impending flare for me), I put on my fingertip-less gloves and wrap up in a wool shawl I keep in my office. It looks a little funny in the middle of summer, but my co-workers have all gotten used to it. They, and my boss, know about the fibro, but as long as I do the work and represent the company well (I'm a dept. head in covational rehabilitation), I can do whatever I need to in order to make it through flares and the daily aches, pains, and fatigue. I also keep high-energy snacks and drinks at my desk and listen to upbeat music throughout the day if I'm starting to slow down too much. I don't want to make my problems company problems, so I try very hard to make my own accommodations. My company did get me a computer monitor riser and ergonomic keyboard that helps with my back, neck, and hand pain, though, and that's helped a lot as well. So does a back roll and cushion on my chair. Get creative - most accommodations are free or low-cost.
- —Guest rarmccoy