Career and fibro - good days/ bad days

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chiquita

New member
Joined
Mar 26, 2016
Messages
1
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
05/2015
Country
NOR
State
Oslo
Hi, is there anybody here who has managed to maintain a professional career after developing fibro? Is it even possible?

I've been diagnosed just about a year ago but have been living with it longer. Before the diagnosis I used to make up for the bad days but putting more hours, spending evenings in the office, etc. Now I am on and off on doctor's sick leave. The company has been ok with it, luckily the state finances it for a while, long-term it is not sustainable of course and I was hoping I could make myself better and return to work.

I had better days, better weeks even, and I was hoping that I could somehow manage to bring it under control. My fibro is (in my opinion) a result of Iron/Vitamin D collapse due to very old and undiagnosed Hashimoto. So, I thought if I bring it back to normal, I'll be able to return to work normally. Was it fallacy perhaps? Almost a year has passed and things are as unpredictable as ever.

As everybody knows, it is very hard to communicate to people that even though you 'look fine' you are not fine at all. I try to push myself and be in the office, even tough I am not very productive. Sadly, I think while it helps me to maintain some degree to normality, it really is not helping how people see me in the office.

The thing that gets me most is the good day/bad day variation. I can feel fine for a week, make plans, promise people that I will deliver by certain deadlines, all based on how I feel at the moment. Then - tah dah- I'm a broken wreck feeling like a rusty bicycle that screeches as it goes... Concentration goes out of the window, deadlines are missed, clients complain, bosses are angry...

In a space of a few years, from being extremely successful professionally I went to being nervous, having zero confidence and anxiety about work assignments. The bosses are kindly hinting that I am not able to manage. I am not blind and I see it too - I am not being productive enough to sustain my position.

So, is it the end? Has anybody managed to pull through this?
 

Icebear

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2016
Messages
15
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
01/2016
Country
FIN
State
Pirkanmaa
I am "fighting" with same kind of issues. I had to change to easier job ( I wouldn't like to do that) and have had plan to go forward when I can handle fibro better. But when it is... I really don't know. And that is frustrating.

For getting my new daily job done, I have to concentrate to diet(fodmap), sleeping and avoiding stress. If something doesn't keep under control, the package will collapse. So, I just have to relax even deadlines are knocking on the door etc. I can't hurry up myself. That's the best way to me. No too tight schedules and so on.

I could recommend some mindfulness training to you. It might can help you manage and avoid stress and help you with your job and career.
 

diamond

Legendary member
Joined
Sep 18, 2015
Messages
1,547
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
01/2008
Country
UK
State
anywhere
I can't help with this one as i had to finally give in and give up my career after a few years of struggling on. It was a very sad day and blow to my identity.

Maybe be honest with your boss and think about reducing your hours if possible. I know that is hard to hear but in the long term keep pushing your body could take its toll on your health.

We are all different some people do can manage to carry on working...i loved my job and kept being off sick recovering and going back but by day three or four i felt so ill i would end up flat out in the staff room with my eyes shut in a comfy chair so unwell i didn't even care what people thought.

I know people didn't understand and it worried me but in the end after 18 months like this i had to stop kidding myself it was going to change.

I really hope your experience is different. There are a few people on here still working.
 

DK_engineer

Very helpful member
Joined
Jun 20, 2015
Messages
579
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
05/2015
Country
US
State
OR
I am still working. I try to keep a long term view and pace myself. I know I need more rest periods now and I also need the freedom to take a short walk when my symptoms are bad. On the other hand, everyone knows I don't mind getting phone calls at home if they need my advice. When my symptoms are really bad and I know I need rest I use FMLA (unpaid leave that is available under US law). If it is just pain, going to work can be a good distraction - at least at work I have problems that can be solved.

My pain is worst in my hands. I got several accommodations to help me use the computer - without them I don't think I could keep working. Depending on what causes pain at work you might be able to find a better chair or different keyboard that helps you.

Before I got fibromyalgia my manager used to tell us to always add 50% to how long we thought it would take to do a project because it is better to be early than late (and sometimes random things with higher priority come up). This is probably good advice for working with fibromyalgia.

Icebear is right - stress reduction is really important. It is so easy to forget to take a deep breath now and then. Sharing a joke with my coworkers perks me up too.

If you need to discuss your health with your manager I recommend keeping the discussion as professional as you can. I have a trusting relationship with my manager so I have been up front with him about my illness. We discuss it as a situation to be managed. In a highly political workplace it might not be a good idea to discuss your health, though.
 

remnant

Senior member
Joined
Mar 11, 2016
Messages
209
Reason
Diagnosis
00/0000
Country
KYA
State
Central
Hallo Chiquita. What is happening to you has many precedents. I used to have a colleague at work who had not been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. On hindsight, I think she was suffering from sciatica because the pain was lower back and leg pain. She was able to negotiate with the management. With medical records, they should be able to adjust your situation. Everyone including themselves do get ill. There should always be a precedent and compensation to pad your way out if it comes to that. One should not be penalised for something beyond his or her control. Wishing you well.
 
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