Coping With Fibromyalgia In The Workplace

Most people find that coping with the chronic pain of fibromyalgia has an impact on every area of their lives. Even the seemingly simple tasks like going to work can become complicated. Most sufferers with fibromyalgia continue to work after their diagnosis but find that they need to make big changes to their usual work practice. These changes can occur on both an emotional and physical level. A recent study showed that persistent, chronic pain has risen dramatically amongst full time workers in the US. Despite this rise, little is known by employers about fibromyalgia and employees with chronic pain need to be their own advocates in the workplace.

Who Can Help You At Work?

Your doctor - ask your doctor to answer all your questions about fibromyalgia. Be fully informed about your symptoms and what to prepare for in the future. This will help you set realistic expectations within your working environment.

Health department - find out if your company has a health department or a representative that you can talk to. They should have experience in these issues and will advise you about your rights.

Human resources - many workers with chronic pain need their employers to accommodate some changes. These can include taking breaks, altering the work schedule or taking sick leave for appointments. These issues should be discussed with someone from human resources.

Returning To Work

Fibromyalgia sufferers may have spent a lot of time away from work prior to or after their diagnosis. The chronic pain of the condition often makes working in a daily routine difficult, particularly in jobs that are physically demanding. With help from their doctors, it is hoped that a return to work is possible. However, having an unsupportive employer, a job with heavy physical demands, shift work and low self esteem can all affect the outcome of a successful return to work. All return to work programs need to be calculated to fit the individual. Workers need to be clear about their employer's expectations and should ask for regular reviews.

Tips For Working With Fibromyalgia

Every fibromyalgia sufferer has to find the right division between their work and private life. The balance between health and career is a very difficult one. The following tips can help to maximize this balance.

- Take your medications with care and regularly to maximize their impact.

- Know your limitations and say no when you know you will regret it later if you don't.

- Ask if you can work from home, even if just occasionally.

- Use your sick leave if you need it.

- Take regular breaks, stretch and walk around.

- Make sure your chair and work stations are comfortable.



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Ok, I can not work with peeing every 30 minutes without bowel movements, stress, limit diet, stress management , sense to frequencies of daily noises( Hyperacusis) , disc bulge in low back and neck, and fluid on the brain. I worked every high level physical jobs in wal mart and Taco Bell. I tried going to high education , but failed from learning disabilities and the stress of management illness at the time( Interstitial Cystitisis ). I work at wal mart until they let me go on the count of the illness, then I was homeless and sleeping on co worker's couch . I had a friend in Iowa whom take me in and me get a job and medical help after a job insurance, but no one would hire me. I lost my job , home , insurance, and almost my cat cause of this illness. A person knows what is important when on the streets and sleeping in their car for few days. Doctors could or would not treat me either because of slum insurance of Iowa or they did not believe I had pain. I moved back home after parents took out a load to move my roommate and I back to Missouri for better treatment . Had to stay in my parents storage shed in dead winter with no heat and spiders every where for a month , until we moved in town. Now I am diagnosed, but the last doctors I had would not referral me to other specialist for more information and questions to answer or get update test on my disc for neck and back. He discriminated against my and mother "speech to from cleft lip and pallet. Oh, how I suppose to work with 40 ounce a day , and weak pills that barley works on symptoms ?!