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advice on telling employers that I have Fibor
8 Replies
[email protected] - August 4

Hello
I am having a really bad flar up for the last 2 weeks. Talk about pain. My left shoulder, ribs, neck and side are killing me. And the fatigue is beyond fatigue. I had mono years ago, and it feels like that. Anyway, wondering if I should inform my manager what is going on. I have been coming in late and leaving early (not too often), but enough. I don't want to sound like I am asking for special treatment or looking for sympathy if I tell him, but I just want to explain what is going on. what you have you all done?

 

Katzra - August 4

I work in a high school and try to keep my fibro to myself. However, there have been a couple occasions in which my fog or fatigue have affected my ability to help the students or students have accidently elbowed or bumped into one of my tender points. They always wonder what's up with me and depending on the person I will try to explain it...but I really don't want anyone to treat me differently, like I am fragile and need protection. I mean we deal with a lot of pain and stress, we are used to dealing with it and can handle more than the average person because we HAVE to everyday. Sorry I am starting to rant, but, it is true...we are strong people who just have breakdowns on occasions because there is never a break from the daily stresses. So, the majority of the time I just tell them that I didn't get much sleep and am tired, the tender spots I say are bruises.

Luckily I haven't missed work yet, and seem to be able to endure my full days. My job is not physically demanding though and I have the option to sit or stand most of the time, so that helps.

I tried to tell my immediate supervisor and she just minimized it by telling me about all her problems and how her mom has fibro.

I would definitely let your supervisor know though, just so he/she doesn't think you are slacking and/or not interested in staying at the company. It would also let the manager know that your lack of energy will not last forever.

 

adrianei - August 5

I just recently had a flare up that lasted for a month or so. I tried hiding it but I finally had to let my boss know what is going on. I told her and gave a print out of what it is. However the tough thing is a lot of people don't care, they just want you at work and to produce. Just try to hang in there and I hope all goes well for you. Just remember that FMLA is there to protect you. I actually have it for just in case of days or hours I have to miss (so talk with your doctor).

 

solanadelfina - August 5

I told my manager right after my diagnosis, so he knew what was going on. (Especially since there were a few things I couldn't do anymore.) I explained what it is, how it affects me, and things that I can do to make it easier for me to get through the day. If you come in with solutions for things the fibro is tossing at you that day, you'll come off as a problem solver who cares enough to figure out how to get the job done. Don't forget, we also have the ADA on our side if it comes to that. Good luck, and I pray your manager will be the understanding type.

 

kvc33 - August 5

Although I'm not in the work force I think you should tell your manager what is going on. Even if he is not sympathetic he needs to know. If you don't fill in the blanks people start to wonder what is wrong and they can come to some nasty conclusions. It is also important to document your illness because if you ever become unable to work you need to be able to show a history of difficulties rather than just suddenly saying that you can no longer work. There is no shame in having an illness or disability and we shouldn't be afraid to tell the truth.

 

hollowsnothorcruxes - August 5

My advice is to be careful. If you need accommodation, put it in writing. Read the ADA before talking to your employer. You are entitled to reasonable accommodation per ADA, and a change in work hours is listed as a reasonable accommodation. Only go this route if you really need it, b/c some companies will fight you on it. I have been suspended for over 3 months, but I can't do anything unless I'm fired. I asked for a schedule change. Also, your employer are not allowed to ask for paperwork from your doctor, it is illegal to require a medical exam. I'm just letting you know, once you tell your employer about your FMS, be prepared to be discriminated against. The stress of fighting your employer for accommodation can also cause a flare up. I'm not saying don't do it, just know what you're getting into first.

 

[email protected] - August 5

thanks everyone- I will take all of your advise into consideration. Katzra- I could not agree with you more on everything you said. It was like you are speaking for me. I usually can hang in there, but this last 2 weeks have been particualary(spelling) brutal. The pain and the lack of concentration is unreal. People come in my cube to ask me something, and I give them a look like, HUH? just a blank stare sometimes. It is awful. I can hear what they are saying, but it just is not making sense. I have been at this job for 11 years so I know how to do it. But recently, when someone asks me to do something, I get stressed out because I am like, " okay how do I go about getting this done"? I have a complete mental block. It is quite embarrassing. So I feel like I should explain so they do not come to the wrong conclusions. People love to make up stories. Also I did not realize the ADA stands behind FIBRO- good to know, although I pray it never comes to that. Ok now I ranted :)

 

Ecw - August 22

Hi, I started my job when I already had fibromyalgia. I told only my line manager but rather than going into the details,I just told her that although most days I looked fine, it wouldn't mean that I am actually fine, and that if I go quiet it's because I might be in pain. For 2years I made sure I wouldn't take much time off sick and became great & time management & organisation skills.That way, when they gave me something to do, they wouldn't question the time it took to get it done.I would do it, & do it exceptionally well.These 2years have earned me the respect of my bosses, and now, now that I actually can't handle working ft anymore, I summed up the courage to go right into the vice-president's office and told her everything about my illness. Needless to say, she was never told abou me being unwell, and thought that for a person that goes through so much, I have done an amazing job at hiding it.
So, I went straight to the point- I am either given a 4-days week& flexible hours,or I'm out.
Because she appreciates the work I do, she has accepted to help me out & give me what I need.

So my suggestion is- if your environment at work allows you to, go straight to the people at the highest point in the hyrarchy who notice your hard work. Tell them how in all this time you have done your best to minimize the impact on the quality of your work.Then give them a low-down of the sympthoms you have to deal with... He/she will be shocked and will appreciate your amazing work even more- and then ask for whatever adjustment you may need to keep working.
If they truly appreciate and value you, they will do their best.
Hope it goes well for you!

 

tia - August 26

I sat my manager down and explained what i have and what goes on also print out of info and they dont totaly understand but it helps.good luck

 

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