New Job & Pain Management

I have just been offered a full time position where I am currently working - In residential and respite care for children with additional support needs. This is my first time post ever and since finishing University. I have been working there as a relief worker for the last few months and have loved every minute of it, the job is so rewarding!

My work is aware of my Fibromyalgia but I am unsure about how working full time is going to affect my pain. I have already told them that I cannot work night shifts at the moment, as I take medication in the evening for sleeping etc.

Does anyone have experience of how to manage pain levels whilst working?

5 Replies

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  • sounds like a great job i onoly work 12 hours a week but after 3 years im finding even that a lil bit too much and thats just serving customers lol, just been signed off work for 2 weeks as having a major flare up, would they understand if you had a flare up and couldnt work? if they understand it all then id say go for it if you think you can manage and they know your ein pain

  • Hello Angied, I'm so sorry for the late reply! I have been thinking about it over the last week or so, especially after we had a staff meeting which explained the new sickness policy which they will be using. It really confused me and seemed that it was not too accommodating towards me if I did have a flare up. I don't think my work understand the full extent of Fibro, I think they think I only have a sore shoulder and back that is occasionally sore. When I applied I had to complete a health questionnaire on the computer, it did not ask about any conditions, only about anything that may affect your ability to complete the jobs required and I selected 'no' since I have never experienced any trouble to date. Do you have any advice about bring this subject up with them? Should I print something off/get leaflet from the pain clinic (they do not know that I go).

    Hope your having a good day!

    Charlie x

  • Hi Charlie Red,

    I've always worked full time (35 hours per week.) I think you won't know unless you try! You've done the right thing by telling them upfront. Just keep an open dialogue with your boss there and let them know if you feel yourself getting worse. I tend to take a few days off as and when I need to and it helps me to manage my symptoms and my fatigue.

    One thing to consider is how much time you'll spend on your feet...I am 100% desk bound at work now but I found that my previous role (50% massage therapist 50% office work) actually suited my fibro better as I wasn't sat in a static position for too long. Keeping the body moving seems to help...but one thing I cannot do is stand on my feet all day. It sounds like your job is a good mix of moving and sitting :)

    Remember to give yourself breaks throughout the day (if possible) and ensure that you have proper rest times at the weekends/non-working days. That might mean doing less around the house and less socialising whilst you get into the swing of your new working life. It's all about pacing yourself I find.

    Good luck! Let us know how you get on! :)

    Zosie x

  • Hello Zosie,

    Thanks for you comment. I have been giving it a go over the last few weeks, where my relief hours have been increased due to short staffing and my contract has not been created yet. I have been a bit worried as I have already had a major flare up and I had to take 3 days off :( .. My job can be quite physical with wheel chairs, supporting children walking, household duties and I don't get any breaks - I eat breakfast, lunch & dinner with the kids. This is something that I might bring up with the Manager, I mentioned above about possibly mentioning about Fibro and not just an occasional shoulder/back pain. What do you think?

    Any advice would be great!

    Hope your having a great day :)

    Charlie x

  • Hey Charlie, nice to hear back from you :) if you haven't told your manager about the fibro I think it would be helpful if you did. I tried to make out mine was nothing and then ran into trouble down the line and had to fully explain it from scratch. I always tell my new leader now! I assume you work in a place where your employment rights are laid out formally in policies etc? If your work isn't familiar with fibro perhaps ask your gp on how to educate them?

    I referred my leader to an NHS website which explains it simply. Fibro as we know is a recognised medical condition - remember that! Other people's ignorance or lack of awareness isn't your cross to bear, but you do have the chance to educate colleagues if they are interested and your boss should be professional and let you know what support or time off you are entitled too. Think about asking for small adjustments such as scheduled breaks and emphasise how managing your energy will help you to do an even better job!

    Keep in touch xx

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