Just when I thought I could work, Fibro slapped me in the face and called me stupid

I started a new part time job yesterday. I probably lost it today. I was hired as a merchandiser and yesterday was working with another person resetting the paper products section of a grocery store. Toilet paper and paper towels. Simple right?? I cannot move today. I swear even my hair hurts. It took me over an hour just to get out of bed to use the bathroom. I feel like total failure and I am so worried I wont be able to work ever. I cannot get disability because I had not worked for too long when I was a stay at home mom, raising my kids.

Do any of you work? What kind of work is possible with Fibromyalgia.

Thank you all of you wonderful people. I hope you all are having a pain free day!!



Dear nma,

So sorry you are having such a difficult time. I know this illness is tough on all of us, I'm sure that you are upset. Please know that we are all here for you!



HiNMA, I hear you i too was a stay home mom,and like you I need ajob but do not anything I can.I am going to try for disability i do not think you need to have worked to get that Hugs

I had to give up working, luckily my husband works and is able to get us by from paycheck to paycheck. I worked in an office but was unable to sit in the chair or use the mouse, typing made my arms flare. Thats why I was first dx with tennis elbow.

Now I stay home most days. Hubby faithfully checks the weather report to find out how my day will be, he has told me some days just to stay in bed and brings my coffee to me.

I keep up with my Dr and am currently applying for disability, looks pretty grim though.

I have a 11 month old grandson that I can't pick up or carry around, I can't sit on the floor to play with him because my knees scream with the pain when I crouch down.

I have said before "Fibro will not kill me" but it surely does suck!!!!

Dear Sharon, you have a husband that every woman dreams of! Hang on to him, he's to be cherished!

A neurologist was not able to diagnose me with Psoriatic Arthritis, Sjogren's Syndrome, Raynaud's Phenomenon, it took a Rheumatologist to do that. though I am not a medical professional, I feel those are the best ones to diagnose when we get to such a painful point in our lives are the Rheumatologists. Please condider this. I wish you well, hope you can soon pick up that beautiful grandbaby, I saw the video/photo!



Ouch! Sorry to hear that all hun. I'm only 20 so my experience s limited but I have tried some different jobs and found some that worked and some that didn't.

Ones that don't work with fibro: Anything including really high pressure stresses, standing all day, lifting anything, anything really active hurts (couldn't be a referee again)

Ones that have worked: Market Research Representative (calling out phone surveys) and Customer Service over the phone worked with no education so desk jobs seem to be more suitable.

Currently I'm in school to get a desk job marketing for passion and pay and that will allow me a stable desk job.

Hope you find a job that works for you pain, pay and passion! :)


I really feel for you, Maria. What may be a "simple' job for someone else is a killer for us. It happened to me last year, when I was hired full time as a dog trainer. They were going to train me. But for some reason they put me on the cash register instead. Hours and hours on my feet and bagging items (some heavy.) I made it into my second month and then felt EXACTLY as you did. You nailed it. This seems to be a typical fibro reaction to work.

HOWEVER I'm now working a part-time job (15 hours a week.) I deliver meals to seniors and the disabled. Instead of doing a lot of lifting and standing, I drive, walk and go up and down stairs. A bit of heavy lifting at the beginning of the shift. My point is that sometimes if you use different muscles or parts of your body, you can cope with a job. Or at least that's true of me. For today. It's been 5 or 6 months now. Of course, things could change overnight.

But maybe if you find a better job that doesn't aggravate your fibro, you could do it. You should write a list of all of the areas that really bother you with fibro and try to find a job that doesn't involve those areas. Or uses them in a way that's not stressful or painful.

I hope that helps and I'm truly sorry about your job situation. I know how disappointing it can be when fibro ruins things for us (I really wanted to learn to train dogs!) But the reality is that we have a chronic pain illness and there is only so much we can do as a result of it.

If you do find a part time job that you can cope with, maybe you can work your way into qualifying for disability benefits. I know that working mine has helped me because I don't think I would have qualified without those extra months of work.

Good luck!!!

That's an excellent list of fibro unfriendly jobs, Shawna. Add "pushing anything" to that list as well; that's how I really pushed my illness into full blown fibro. Also add "working long/extra hours." That also adds to the fibro, due to running you down. Great list!

I am so sorry to hear your difficulty. We can all relate to your frustration. It takes me about 1-3 hrs to get ready for work. I have difficulty doing the simplest things when I have a flare-up which makes me feel stupid. I seriously feared that I was autistic or suffering from some brain damage. When I talked to other FM patients, I realized it's part of FM.

I am a piano instructor and teach only about 15-20hrs/week at the university and the music store. My passion for music and teaching enables me to work. I feel like an failure because I cannot teach and perform in concerts all the time like my colleagues. My colleagues work from early morning to late evening (like 10-11pm!) - and they even have kids! I feel like a failure because I've been married for 2 yrs but we cannot have kids because of my FM. My husband wants some kids but I don't think I can even handle being pregnant.

My husband tells me that it's not the hours that counts. He reminds me that all of my students love me and I am making a difference in their lives through music.Teaching can be very stressful both physically and emotionally but it gives me a reason to go on. I am sure that you can find a job that you can enjoy and it's not too stressful for you. Keep asking people around for opportunities - you never know what you'll find. If you can't work, that's fine, too.


A site which I have used to understand how to ask for workplace accomodations is called JAN. there are definitely jobs which we can perform. The website is http://askjan.org/media/fibr.htm

You may need your job duties revised but don’t give up.

Reach out any time and hope the site helps.


Here is a direct copy/paste from JAN as an example:

Situations and Solutions:

An administrative assistant with fibromyalgia working for a utility company reported neck pain and upper body fatigue. Her duties included typing, answering the telephone, and taking written messages. She was accommodated with a telephone headset to reduce neck pain and eliminate the repetitive motion of lifting the telephone from the cradle, a portable angled writing surface and writing aids to take written messages, a copy holder to secure documents, and forearm supports to use when typing.

A nurse with fibromyalgia working in a county health clinic experienced a great deal of fatigue and pain at work. The nurse typically worked evening shifts but her doctor recommended a schedule change so she could regulate her sleep patterns. Accommodations suggestions included changing her shift from evening to day, restructuring the work schedule to eliminate working two consecutive twelve hour shifts, reducing the number of hours worked to part time, and taking frequent rest breaks.

A guidance counselor for a large high school experienced severe bouts of irritable bowl syndrome, depression, and fatigue as a result of fibromyalgia. He experienced difficulty in opening the heavy doors to the entrance of the school and had to make frequent trips to the bathroom. The individual’s employer complained that he was spending too much of his time away from his office and therefore was not available for students. The employer moved the employee’s office to a location closer to the faculty restroom, added an automatic entry system to the main doors, and allowed flexible leave time so the employee could keep appointments with his therapist.

An individual employed as a patient rights advocate had carpal tunnel syndrome and fibromyalgia. She had difficulty keyboarding, writing, and transporting supplies to presentations. The employer installed speech recognition software for word processing, provided her with writing aids, and gave her lightweight portable carts to assist with transporting materials.

Have you ever worked as a restaurant hostess, just greeting people and taking them to their seats?

Sunflower - this is great! We just need some help and accommodations! The only way I can work is that I can decide when I work - which means I need to avoid early mornings and late evenings. I had both teaching and playing (the piano) duties but the university gave me only the teaching duty now while I am being treated for my car accident injuries.

I forgot to mention that I used to be bed-ridden but now I am managing working part-time. I had to focus on my health before I could do anything else. I was working toward my doctorate degree but I took a leave of absence for a year so I could focus on treating my body. I am glad I did that so I could graduate and find a job. Maria, please don't lose your hope! If it's too much for you to handle, it's all right not to work. Our most important job is to take care of ourselves.

Thank you all so much for the suggestions and support!!