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How do I make them understand?
6 Replies
weemama - January 30

I was off work for 10 days just after xmas and had to get a note from my doctor explaining the reason so I could collect my sick benefits. when I took the note in to personnel, she looked at it and said....What is Fibromyalgia? I explained it to her, and she looked at me and said this wasn't good enough because it sounded to far fetched...I told her that maybe she should read up on it and not second guess my doctor...I finally did get my sick benfits, but not without going to my manager . Why are people so closed minded about this disease? She made me feel like i was making it all up just to get time off work with pay.


Canada17 - January 31

Some employers will react that way no matter what reason you give them.

It is unfortunate that you do not have a supportive boss. Some employers have a tendency to focus so hard on the bottom line and the stress being put on them from their superiors that they forget we are human.

Fibromyalgia is hard for us to understand and we are living with it first hand. Just the explanation of what it does to us is enough to shut people off the subject. It's hard to believe that there could be "nothing wrong" with someone and yet they are always suffering in some way. It is unfair and confusing. But, it is real.

Discuss with your doctor that you don't want your employer to view you differently because of Fibromyalgia and request that he not detail the reason for your absence if a note is needed in the future. I know where I live, if I have a doctor's note for my absence all it has to say is, "From ________ to ________, _________was absent due to medical reasons".

My medical issues are personal and as long as I have documentation from my doctor, there isn't much else my employer needs. That being said, I am very fortunate that my boss is understanding. I work for a small, family owned business and I feel like part of the family. My boss had never heard of Fibromyalgia before but was interested in learning a bit about it and supports my quest for a treatment that works. (I have more doctor appointments than anyone else in the office)

Just remember, you are not alone. : ) Good luck.


hoppy - February 1

Hi weemama; sorry to hear about your problems with your employer. I know fibro is hard to understand; I dont even understand it all...but as long as you have a doctors note, that should be the end of it. With fibro, you have good days, and bad days...........personally, I had full body pain, back, and frozen shoulder. I dont see how you can even work. Christmas must have been exhausting for you so you probably had to recuperate.....maybe you should get a booklet on fibro and let yr personnel lady read it. It shounds like she needs an education. Good Luck....


Fantod - February 3

Please refer this close minded individual to the National Fibromyalgia Association website. And, good for you for sticking up for yourself. Take care.


Bretongirl - February 3

People have trouble believing what they cannot see - it is a very common problem with all "invisible disabilities". I guess it is a little like faith - you have to want to believe and most employers don't want to take that leap. I would give her some material to read - she probably won't go get it for herself. You need to work with her - it will be easier for you if she gets educated. The first chapter of the book "Fibromyalgia and Chronic Myofascial Pain - A Survivors Manual" is clear, concise, and painfully honest. I cried the first time I read it and then I had my husband and two sons read it. It really helped them to understand what I am going through. Try to make an ally of your boss - you will need her support but if she is unwilling go over her head. You are sick and you deserve to be treated with respect and compassion. Take care!


Canada17 - February 3

If you feel that educating your boss with help your situation then that is what you should do.

However, I would approach it with caution. It could very easily backfire. This woman already believes that you are making excuses. Regardless of what your affliction is, it sounds like she isn't a very compassionate person. Some bosses are like that. I lost a job because of chronic lung infections. The air in the building was terrible and I was constantly getting sick and therefore unable to work. I was fired. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise but no matter what I said or did or what note I provided, it was their decision to let me go for someone who was "healthy".


weemama - February 20

thank you all for your input....and I now have a new manager . my other manager was let go last week due to staffing problems and something about money? Hmmmmm... We all actually wanted to have a party to celebrate. It is so wonderful to have people to talk to and who understand. Thank you all so much!



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