Old 02-26-2018, 12:09 PM #1 (permalink)
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Default My Spouse, her job, and Fibro

Hello everyone!

My wife was recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia. For a little background, she is a chemist for a petroleum testing company in Southeast Louisiana. Her job is highly demanding both physically and mentally. If anything, her employer has exacerbated her symptoms. She has been to a rheumatologist, and has a long wait for her follow up visit. She has been prescribed cymbalta, wellbutrin, and gapapentin, all of which have given her no help (with negative side effects).

Recently, her employer is demanding that she work a schedule of over 50 hours, but she feels that this is just not doable (and I agree). We are really at a loss on how to proceed, because her job offers a much better and cheaper insurance plan than mine. She doesn't want to quit, but expects she may get fired because she is simply unable to work that kind of schedule.

All in all, hearing experiences from others who've been in her circumstances can really help her on how to go on from this point: Should she quit her job? Should she go on disability? Really, where should she go from here?
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Old 02-27-2018, 12:02 PM #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My Spouse, her job, and Fibro

I am so sorry for you and your wife who was recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I understand it is not easy to make a decision. After reading several times what you have written, it comes to me a few points that may be helpful for your decision making.

You mention that she expects she may get fired because she is simply unable to work that kind of schedule, in this case, to continue to work a schedule of over 50 hours is very stressful for her. And stress can make her Fibromyalgia worse.

In decision making, value (health and happiness) and necessity (financial situation) both are important, so you look into your possibility / capacity:
1. Can your wife afford physically (her health) to continue this work, which, as you say, is highly demanding both physically and mentally (that means, it is very stressful for her)?
2. Can you and your wife afford financially if she quit this job and do something else which would not be so demanding and stressful ?

Usually, the first year of Fibromyalgia is more difficult, but then it can be under control.

I hope my humble suggestion would be helpful to both of you. And I wish your wife to feel better and better everyday.
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Old 03-01-2018, 11:40 AM #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: My Spouse, her job, and Fibro

I have not been in this situation so what I have to say may not be useful.

I think, though, if I were in that position I would ask for a sit down talk with my employer, and explain my situation to him or her. I would stress that I love my career and my job and will continue to do my utmost to do what is required, but that the 50 hour work week may very well result in destroying or significantly lowering the level of health that I have. I would ask for leniency, and flexibility so that I can manage the job.

If that is not something the employer will do, then I would ask if there is another, less demanding, position I could move into. Even if this meant less pay, the health insurance would remain.

Also, please note that it is not that easy to go on disability. You don't just apply for it and get it. You have to show a documented period of time (last I knew it was 2 years) during which you were unable to work at all at any income producing job. If she just quits, it may be that long or longer before she gets any good out of disability, and of course that doesn't pay much. If she can show that she had to move into a lesser position due to failing health, and so on, and finally had to leave work (if it turns out she has to), it may help her case.

Also, it is possible that with the right medication and perhaps the addition of other treatments, her level of activity can raise and she could do the job, especially if the employer will be a bit flexible. To quit without giving this a chance might not be wise.

It would, under the circumstances, be better to take a lesser position or even to even, last resort, get fired for lack of ability to do the job. If fired for health reasons, and her health issues are documented over a good period of time by her doctors, she can appeal to receive unemployment benefits despite being fired. She won't get it at all if she quits.

Just things to think about.
Best of luck and let us know how it goes.
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Old 03-01-2018, 11:25 PM #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My Spouse, her job, and Fibro

Before she quits make sure she has had enough hours in a certian time frame. It may be diffrent where you live. My heart goes out to your family. But let me say this " Your a great hubbie! It shows. Keep up the encouragement its a rollar coaster of emotions. She needs your unconditional love right now.
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cymbalta, disability, fibromyalgia, hearing, how to, insurance, job, men, rheumatologist, symptoms, testing, work


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