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Employment Stress and CFS/FMS
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Employment Stress and CFS/FMS

I wanted to start a thread for those of us who have CFS and or FMS and are dealing with stress in the workplace. For those of us who are still working, the economy in the US and perhaps in the UK too has been extremely tense over the last couple of years. This has compounded the pressures I think we usually feel at work dealing with our illness and managing our careers. How do you all do it? I find myself struggling to keep a healthy balance. It's very difficult to do so when your sick, but have to maintain employment and pay bills and insurance premiums. I am curious to hear everyone perspectives here. Thanks in advance!  
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483733_tn?1326802046
I am in Canada and my fibro issues started firstly after ovarian cyst surgery almost 2 years ago and then really got going after I lost my job a few months later.  I started a new job a year ago and thankfully I get to work from my home office so have some flexibility to deal with my pain and tiredness.  I do still have to go and see prospects, need to talk on the phone a lot, and occasionally travel.  Some days I have the fibro fog bad and just can't talk on the phone or do anything that requires brain power.  This really stresses me out as I worry about not performing in my work duties.  I love business travel but that also causes a lot of stress and can cause me to not get enough sleep.  I try as hard as I can to ensure I don't have early morning flights or meetings but sometimes that is not avoidable.  I don't want to stop working so that worry contributes to the stress and the whole cycle of pain and tiredness.

I have added stress in that I am the primary breadwinner in our family.  My husband quit the corporate world ten years ago to take a break and then we bought a hobby farm that kept him busy.  We then downsized and moved into a smaller house in a small town and it took a year and a half and me falling ill to get him to go and get a job.  He has one but it is in retail with littlel benefits, rotten hours, and low pay.  I would feel a lot less stress if he had a job with better pay and benefits so that should I need to stop working that I can.  Just knowing that would do so much to reduce my worry and stress.

I have learned to prioritize and housework is at the bottom.  If I have a very busy day I try to take it easier the next.  Weekends are huge catch up on sleep times.  I try to start each day by meditating as I soak in the tub.  This has been tremendously helpful.  I'm learning to say no more and more and try to save my energy for the things that matter.  I love to cook and I do all I can to put a healthy good tasting dinner on the table every night.  My husband often says I shouldn't spend my time on that but I refuse to spend time on things I don't like at the expense of what I love.
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975514_tn?1325001538
Sorry Trudie,
I didn't mean to forget about Canada! LOL! What was I thinking??? I have some of the same issues as you Trudie. I am the primary breadwinner as well. My husband used to make a lot more money, until the economy crashed and he lost his job. Now he has had to change industries. This has been very troublesome because we are used to living up to a different standard and all of our bill reflect that. It's very scary.
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329994_tn?1301666848
Hello Dusty and Trudie,
I have CFS and as far as I know, I do not have Fibro, but my sister and my mother both do and sometimes I think that maybe I do too. I just wanted to comment on work and CFS. It is hard to work on a daily basis with CFS. I too, get brain fog and I worry about the mistakes I might make, I can't work a full day because I just am too tired. With CFS, as you all know, you wake up already tired and wanting to go back to bed.I am lucky though, in that my husband is working a good job and my job is part time. I can make my own hours. I am currently still recovering from double surgery,so my hours are limited. Boy, I didn't realize just how much CFS affects you when you have surgery.
I feel for both of you having to deal with your health issues and be the bread winner.That alone just causes so much stress. I like the way you are dealing with it Trudie.
I like your comment when your husband said you shouldn't be spending time on the cooking. I get that all the time with my line dancing. Everyone wants me to drop that first. It's ok to be hurting and tired and still do all the housework, the cooking, the grocery shopping, etc. lol but give up the one thing I love to do, line dance! Go figure!
Hope you both have a good day today!
Colleen
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483733_tn?1326802046
Colleen, I hope you can find out if your issues are fibro or not with your leg pains.  I do get the awful leg pains like you say but also pain elsewhere in the body.  Ask your doctor to check you for tender points.  With fibro we get the body pain as well as the fatigue.  It is so hard to get up in the morning when you just want to stay asleep.  I used to be a morning person but no longer.  I really can't function well until about 10:00 and then often want an afternoon nap.  I would give anything to have the energy I used to have.
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329994_tn?1301666848
Trudie, that is me exactly. When I wake up in the morning, I feel like I got hit by a truck, I ache all over and I don't want to get up, I just want to crawl back into bed and go to sleep. and you know that the CFS has left me with very little energy. I really could stay in bed all day but life doesn't let me. I will ask about the tender points. Thanks. I see my cardio tomorrow so will deal with him first, then back to my primary. My sister has fibro but she seems to get really severe pain and in certain places. Is yours like that too?
Hugs for you,
Colleen
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1046985_tn?1305120648
Hi Colleen and Trudie, that is me to. I have just had my ankles and knees xrayed this week that didn't show anything, which I new it wouldn't, cause its not a bone pain I'm getting. It's 5 months today since my surgery and still off work. I am still being treated for depression, but I just don't get how I can sleep  9-12 hrs, and then sleep 4 hrs later. It's not like Im running marathons. Doesn't anyone understand that when all you want do is sleep, or you push yourself to be productive and you can barely walk for days, that it makes you depressed,  I can see it why can't the Drs. Do they think I like this??, I've had heaps of surgery but this has never happened before, just walking around the shops for over an hour brings on the leg and ankle pain, and abdominal pain like a constant stitch. One day I want to come here and say, I'm better, I really do. Love to you both xx
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483733_tn?1326802046
wannasmile63, so sorry this is plaguing you.  Sometimes when our bodies have been battered with surgeries, accidents, illness, etc. our brain just starts processing pain differently and causing excess fatigue.  I hope they can find meds to help you.  I do find that 5 minute increments of exercise in my day does help my fatigue and pain.  We just can't do what we used to be able to.  Also, remember it will go in cycles and you will have times when you feel almost normal.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello;

Yes I feel that Fibromyalgia definetley causes stress in the workplace.. It is hard enough to try to keep evreyday household chores in toe, but to work full time is very hard. I just lost my job, which I love for the most part, it is in a school so it was extremly mentally draining..I do feel that it is due to me taking time off,(which was documented each time as being health related) and not to mention trouble concentrating and dealing with so much pain evreyday.. Maybe it is a way of saying that I need to take time to get myself figured out.. Losing my job means that I will go on unemployment and have lower income which means i may be able to get some health insurance ?? Maybe some kind of job that isn't so mentally draining might be right for me?    Good luck to all!! :)
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Avatar_f_tn
I too suffer from both and I have to agree, it is extremely hard to deal with CFS and/or both in the workplace.  The brain fog is amongst the worse.  I struggled with both of these illnesses, and trying to balance work, home and other day to day tasks.  It unfortunately got the best of me and I had to leave work due to both of these.  The brain fog got so bad that it eventually caused me to forget a lot of what my duties were at work.   I could not remember most days my passwords to get into my computer system software programs, and often "blanked out" when it came to one of my jobs that is very important for me not to make errors.  I got so depressed and confused because of the CFS that it eventually got the better of me.   I don't know about all of you, but it sure is frustrating when you know something inside and out, then all of a sudden feel like this is new to you and confusing at the same time.  When your job is on the line, because you are so involved and responsible for an extremely large intake of funds, you tend to chose your well-being over your job.  

I still, 3 years after leaving work, endure such brain fog that is often puts me to tears, but I have learned to deal with it...I hope none of you get to my point where you actually have these so called black outs, you don't remember having conversations or making statements, until someone brings it to your attention.  That is the worst part of this illness, I think, besides the constant day to day suffering, that no one can see except you...

Stay strong all !  
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