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Old 11-10-2012, 08:10 PM   #1
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FiKA88 HB User
New to the Board, Questions about Fibro and the Workplace

Hi everyone, I'm new to HealthBoards and have a few questions for everyone here.

I'm a 24 year old female working as a sales consultant for a mobile phone company. I love my job, but it's very stressful work. I was diagnosed with fibro early this fall after being bounced from doctor to doctor because of my issues of chronic UTIs, extreme pain, and inability to sleep. By the time I found a doctor who was willing to help treat me, I was 'sleeping' at most 2 hours a night and I put quotes around that because it was more passing out from sheer exhaustion than anything. I have really bad issues with fibro fog, but they are getting better now that I'm on medication to help me sleep.

While I love my job, they have not been very supportive in my diagnosis. I'm constantly being scheduled when I ask for time off for doctor's appointments, I work in a kiosk with no chairs and taking too many breaks is frowned upon. My manager knows about my illness, but just isn't sympathetic because he manages to power through even with his own medical issues (he has hypothyroidism). Recently, we've been short staffed and I've been asked to do a lot of overtime because I have been the acting assistant store manager. My pain has been registering at the lowest a 7, I can feel the knots all over my body, and I feel exhausted all the time. Even with my medication, I'm losing sleep every night. I kind of feel like all the progress I've made in the last few months is going on the wayside.

I found out tonight that the assistant store manager spot may become a permanent position for me if I'm interested in interviewing for it. I would love the position, it's work that I'm very comfortable doing, and a salaried position would mean a lot less financial stress. However, I'm wondering if having fibro will make me an unfavorable person to have the job? I've never missed a day of work because of my illness, and have stayed a top sales performer in my store even with not feeling good this month and the additional work I've had to take on. Have any of you ever faced discrimination in the workplace because of your illness and what have you done to deal with it?

I'm also wondering when I do apply for the position should I declare my illness? I have made my manager aware, but I don't think it's been taken any further. I have never asked for special accommodations in at work before, but with the longer hours the assistant manager position requires I may need to. Would that be unfair, given that I haven't asked for anything up to this point?

Sorry for the long post, but any help or personal stories you might have would be really appreciated

 
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:19 AM   #2
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heath84 HB User
Re: New to the Board, Questions about Fibro and the Workplace

yeah i know the feeling. i have fm too and was on lyrica till i came to the conslusion that i was better off not taking it. i know what you mean about work as ive dealt with jobs that was hard to maintain because of pain. i hardly ever bring it up at work cuz most coworkers in my feild dont pity people like that. if it gets to the point where i have to sit down i just sit and then if a boss asks i tell them hey i got fm and i need a breather. usually they dont say much but i dont sit much either only when i absolutely have to. but in all reality im trying to change careers to adapt to my fm. i also have nerve damage in my left arm and left leg which adds to the complications of doing certain functions like helping someone carry something then my leg buckles. so im more concerned at this point on getting into some line of work that is sitting and standing and no heavy exertions good luck

 
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:23 PM   #3
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thesweetlife HB Userthesweetlife HB Userthesweetlife HB Userthesweetlife HB Userthesweetlife HB Userthesweetlife HB Userthesweetlife HB Userthesweetlife HB User
Re: New to the Board, Questions about Fibro and the Workplace

My suggestion to you would be keep quiet - you may find that once the job is yours you'll manage it better than you do currently - which is brilliantly considering you've never had a day off - and that's what they'll take into account - what is factual now rather than hypothetical. You've managed to date and they should assume you will in the future.
I run my own business so am able to "manage' my time much easier than if I was employed - good luck and keep us posted
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