Question! :)

Hi everyone:) Hope everyone is having a great Sunday!

I have a question.. Do any of you have to miss work a lot because of fibromyalgia flare-ups? I'm wondering because I do.. I'm lucky because I have a job that seems to be "ok" with that, in the sense that they won't kick me out or fire me easily. But of course, my colleages aren't ok with it. Are there others like me that have a lot of sick days or do you all learn to suck it up and show up anyway despite how bad you feel? I don't know, maybe I need to get tougher..

In my job, if I miss a day, there is no one to replace me right now, and I feel so bad!! But I can't help it, sometimes I just don't feel capable to go to work with how bad I feel. :'( How do you all deal with it?

I have been out on short tem disability since end of may, I pushed and pushed my self as long as I could, working 3-4 /11 hr days, last 6 months cut back to 3 /10 hr days and struggled with that as well, now I’m almost out of disability payments and praying I can go back part time , but it’s scary because I know how horrible I felt.on the fence now, work part time vs apply for long term disability ??? I guess we all have to ans the question how much can I work, and how much will our present employer help or tolerate ? Wish I could help you more, but I know for me, instead of calling in sick I got FMLA and took off 2-3 days a month that will protect your job and give you a break.

Hi Kiwimango

Since I got with the support group, I have heard people say they can manage working and even volenteer (at least one) and others say they are struggling. This past year I can't say that I have even had one good day. This is because the pain exists everyday now. I can only tell you that the pain subsides sometimes for a couple of hours. That s not saying it goes away, it just weakens. And then there is the exhaustion! When I TRIED to work at the casino at the top of the year (CAMROSE RESORT AND CASINO in Camrose Alberta Canada) It would take every bit of concentration to not nod off at times. I'm not trying to say that this is the destiny of all fibro illness, mainly because, some of the drugs that people are saying they use, help them with these symptoms. What I mean is, it does not seem to be a flare up for me anyways. But perhaps I have progressed to this level. When some of the other support group members have talked to me they have mentioned a type of feeling like they may have progressed to the state in which they are in now. I'm not sure what to say about" how to deal with it?" Sometimes other support group members mention different things that help get them through the day....It sounds like the people you work with are kind..... Gee, I,m not sure if I helped any, its just that I heard the dessperation in your tone and every one here helps me so much, so I thought I would try and help, even if its just blabbering, I thought I would just talk. xoxox

Yours Truly


Hi, Kiwi!

In answer to your question, I started missing work once the fibro really got into my joints and back. Plus, I was working a very strenuous job, physically, which helped to set it off, I think. Then, when my back pain became unbearable, I went on short term disability and never went back to that job. So, in answer to your question, yes, the fibro did impact my work schedule. I currently only work 3 hours a days and am doing pretty well with that schedule. You really have to find the right balance for you. Many people cannot work at all with fibro. Some can work part time. A select few can work full-time. This illness truly is disabling.

I hope you can find a way to balance your job and your illness. Can you find a way to work fewer days or fewer hours in the week? If not, maybe you could look into a job with fewer hours or days . It really is difficult to impossible for people with this disability to work full-time for the most part. You can't be expected to give your all when you're in constant pain and are exhausted.

Hi Silent,

Yup, I know exactly what you mean! I'm eying a full-time job where I work but besides the pain, I worry about the darned fatigue! It's absolutely frightening to be awake one minute and then feel that crushing fatigue closing on in on your the next minute. I don't know of more than one person who "manages" the fibro, and she only does cause she works at a job where she can nap between appointments!

I think that most of us struggle with the issue of work because of the extreme pain and fatigue. I wish I knew of a solution but there isn't really one at this point...

Thanks for all your replies everyone. :) I really appreciate it! Part of why I wanted to know about this was because the only person I know who has fibromyalgia is a woman who never seems to miss a day.. I don't her very well, we didn't have a chance to talk much, but I just don't know how she does it! I don't even work full time, I work five hours a day, but sometimes I just can't help it when I have my really bad days. I guess I'm not alone to have trouble with working.. thanks again for your comments.. :) It makes me feel less alone.

Oh, I personally hate hearing those stories of the saintly fibro sufferers who never take a day off or work full-time and never complain. I'm sure they are sweet people but what good does it do to have them compared to us? Most aren't the exceptions, we're the rule. We struggle with this awful illness and it affects us at work and at home. And that's the way it is with fibro.

Thanks for your reply Petunia. :) Actually, I'm lucky, I got a new job at the beginning of the year - coincidentally around the same time my fibromyalgia symptoms started - and it is only five hours a day Monday to Friday. I also do spend an hour and a half travelling there and the same amount of time back, so that part is tiring in itself as well as I use public transportation.

It's a much better schedule than I had before, I know I would be struggling so bad if I was at my old job. Right now, I have a nice desk job where I have some time sitting, whereas before it was very physical and I was on my feet all the time. Sometimes it's hard to know that my colleagues must be judging me, but that's something I'll have to learn to accept and let go with time. :)

It's comforting to know that it seems to be normal to find this difficult.. that's why I was really glad to read your reply in a way. I wanted to know that it's not just because I'm being cowardly or something that I'm missing work, as that's what I'm imagining everybody else must be thinking.

Cowardly? No, just the opposite, Kiwi. Brave of you to go out every single day despite the pain and do your best to survive and thrive. It takes a lot of GUTS to do that, knowing the pain you'll go thru, day in and day out. A lot of guts.

Your work schedule sounds manageable but I don't envy you the commute at all, let alone on mass transit. That's one heck of a schlepp in and out to your job. But you seem to be managing it all fairly well, so my hat is off to you. Just do the best that you can, Kiwi. Many of us find a way to balance work and fibro, even if it's thru part-time work. It'll work out, one way or the other. And it's good that you're reaching out and asking. Now you know you aren't alone in how you feel. You're the norm!