Fibromyalgia Action UK
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Full time work and FM

I was diagnosed with FM last Monday although I suspect I've had it for quite a few years. I started working full time just over 12 months ago but am finding it such a struggle to make it through each day and each week. It is quite a sedentary job. I am thinking of asking to go part time - either shorter hours each day or maybe just drop a full day ie: Wednesdays to give my body a break. Has anyone had this dilemma or got any words of wisdom please?

8 Replies

Hi there sounds like your new in diagnosis and would say this is an illness that is stress related. So if the day a week feels easiest or the part time hours sound better, then the one that is far less stress full would be your answer its a very personal decision as your the only one who knows what makes you stress the most. I would like to add that as far as I know if you work 16 hours a week or more you can have your wage made up with tax credits so that may be a good option too best to check and see wish I could be more helpful but that's my limit so bye for now and hope your answer comes too you. ps as I seem to see around me and in my own personal experience if you can manage your stress whilst your working you hope full wont progress in symptoms and this may well help you stay at work longer and have a more fulfilling life. I find mine is quite progressed I exhaust real easy but was prescribed a very good fibro management course and this helped me so much from feeling what I couldn't do I went on to what I can do but pacing my activity's . hope this helps you and hope you find your answer


Thanks Royalspec, I know what you mean about having to pace yourself. I went with my kids for their GCSE results yesterday and then had to go to bed and sleep as I was so worn out. I will have to find out more about Pacing.


Hi Jools.

When you're taking points into consideration for your working hours remember travelling times and your home life. I was moved, temporarily, into an office placement because of the Fibro, which was good, however I had an hours journey each way. I also had my 2 children at home to care for, my husband had died a year before and we have no family nearby to help. I was employed on 24 hours per week on term time basis, so during school terms actually worked 32 hours per week, 8 hours/day. I found it extremely hard. Impossible really as I spent my days off sleeping because I was so exhausted. After more than a year I was finally medically retired in April. Now I'm not working I am catching up on a few years of housework, which causes a lot of pain, but more importantly I have time for my children again.

The treatment and courses available seem to differ area to area so check what can be available to you. Learning how to pace your activities is a great idea but you will probably have times when it doesn't work to plan, don't be hard on yourself if that happens. Take your job into consideration for that also, are you able to pace your work? A day off in the middle of the week will help you recuperate but shorter days may be better. You may be allowed to try both.

I wish you luck.

Is x


Hi Is, I can't complain about distance to work as it's only a mile and, due to pain with walking, I drive! I work for the NHS who I'm sure will be pretty good about this when I raise it. I am office based too. I have 16 year old boy/girl twins at home who are pretty helpful, more so now that they know Mum is sick. Also, I lost my partner 3 years ago this coming Monday, and like you have no family nearby to help. I suppose I think that maybe I could struggle through 2 full days, sleep on my day off, then struggle through 2 more until the weekend. I suppose I will have to have a chat with my boss and Occy Health.


See what they have to say and the options they suggest. I don't blame you for driving! There are days where I have to force myself. I worked for the MOD who told me an exercise course would cure me! It didn't.

We seem to have quite a bit in common. I have son, 13 and a girl, 7 (going on 17!). We had twin boys who should be 15, unfortunately they didn't make it.

I'm pleased to hear your kids help out, that will be a bonus. Mine are a bit intermittent on that point.

I'll think of you on Monday, if you need anything I'll be about.

Take care.


Is, I'm so sorry to hear about your twins, that must have, and still be, so hard to cope with.

Typical of a 'company' to think that exercise could sort FM! I would love to be able to do some exercise as before I got ill I used to be at the gym 5 times a week. Can just about walk up the garden to the car now!

Since I started working full time the kids have helped out a lot more, I still have to chivvy them along to actually do their jobs though - it's not much, maybe empty the dishwasher, run the hoover run round, put washing on the line - that sort of thing. I don't think they'd know what to do if I asked them to clean the bathroom ;)

Thanks for your thoughts on Monday xx


It's very hard to work I only work 22 hours

But the job is always stressful as it's in a

Prison, my manager is very good and I

Choose. How I work my hours but it is hard

At times I don't know how long I can do it for

But I get days when it's not as bad then I think

I'm going to be fine, I know I'm not but it keeps

Me going, I work as a nurse.

No one can tell you about work as we all have

This bl...y thing and it's differient for us all just

Take one day at a time and don't think about

It to much.


I can well imagine how stressful your job is Suffolklass, I used to be a Police Officer so have come across the type of 'patients' you deal with!

I think I will probably try dropping a day midweek if they agree, then at least I have break.

Take care of yourself and 'speak' soon xx


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