Fibromyalgia Action UK

Managing employment

Hi everyone. I was diagnosed with fibro in July and since then I have had my medication adjusted to manage the symptoms. I can not take anything with ibuprofen because of another medication taken for another condition.i have been off work for the past 6 weeks and panic at the thought of managing all the pressures of my job and the journey to and from work. Is there anyone with similar feelings? Am I expecting too much by thinking I can carry on as before? Your thoughts please.

14 Replies

Yes I can emphathise with you. I unfortunately had to give up a job I adored as I knew that I would never be able to do it to the level required because of the medication I was on as it needed me to be on top form with my mind as I was an advisor and the medication made my brain rather fuzzy at times and unfortunately in my case as I have other health issues as well they have only been able to control the pain to a certain degree so it is always there and then I have days of bad flares. I don't know what your job is but Is there the possibility of going back part time say mornings until your body adjusts to everything or even alternate days so there isn't so much travelling.Some people are managing to hold down a job but are aware that they can't burn the candle at both ends and need to adjust their lifestyle outside of work to get as much rest as they can. Be very gentle with yourself and don;t try to push yourself too fast too far. If jobs can be left, leave them and just concentrate on things that have to be done. Let us know how you get on.x

1 like

Thanks for this. My job is very demanding and mistakes could be costly. Your comments have been very helpful and I do need to carefully think over my options. My time is also charged to our clients so if I am slower then the boss' profits are reduced hence more pressure! Thanks again.



After being off for 6 weeks likely is, on your return, you will go back on reduced hours, giving you a chance to readjust.

Does your employer know your diagnosis?... maybe something to discuss with them? Is there anything they can do within your employment that may help you?

Its tough I know. Unfortunately I wasn't able to sustain being at work, still are'nt.

I hope it works out for you.x

1 like

Thanks for your reply. I have told them and printed off some information on the condition so they are aware of what I am going through. The doctor has said that I will need to go back on a phased return and possibly reduced hours on a permanent basis. Oh well I guess it is fingers crossed and not to be too hard on myself



You sound very worried about the pressures of your job.

I guess you must ask yourself do you really enjoy your job?

If the answer is "yes" then is there a possibility that you can speak to your employer about reducing your hours and work part time , or suggesting a job share.

If the answer is "no" then have you thought about looking for a less stressful job?

You also sound worried about the journey to work. Do you have to drive or could you maybe take public transport? If you have to travel in the "rush" hour can you maybe ask your employer if you alter your hours to travel after the rush hour?

I found that I have managed to continue working by doing part time hours (half days) and working weekend's (when the traffic is much lighter)

Have you explained to your employer about your diagnosis, they may be willing to alter your hours/days to help you rather than losing you!

Coping with this condition, is all about reducing your stress and finding what works for you! Perhaps you can return for a few hours each week, and gradually build up. Good luck xx


Thanks for your suggestions. Public transport is not an option as it would take about 3 hours a day to get there and back. I will think over your comments however and when the time comes talk everything through with my employer. Thanks again x


I work part-time and kept my employer informed as to my diagnoses. I work mornings and so long as I take my medication at the right time I can do well enough. There are days like today when I find it a little harder to concentrate on my work, luckily I am not too busy today :) If I have a really busy day I try not to do too much in the afternoon and rest up or if I have no choice and have to work in the afternoon I do nothing in the evening. As you will find it is a guessing game sometimes, trying not to over extend yourself. If you remember that you cannot do the amount you did before and adjust your life accordingly it is not too bad. There are of course some people a lot worse off than others and I am sure they have had to make bigger changes to their lives, which just proves we are all different and find our own path. Wishing you well on your path :)


Hi LMF1960

I am so sorry to read of the issues that you are going through and I genuinely hope that you can find some resolution and relief to these. I do not have this problem, but it sounds like it is causing you a great deal of anxiety? It may be worth discussing this with your GP and / or Occupational Health Department at your employers?

I want to wish you all the best of luck.

All my hopes and dreams for you

Ken x


Thanks for your suggestions. I was so glad to find this website to make me realise I am not on my home. I have talked to people so that I do not bottle up my worries but feel sometimes that friends may get fed up of me moaning and groaning all the time. I will see the GP at the end of the month so as suggested, I will talk through my concerns then.

Thanks everyone for eyeing so helpful x


Hi. I agree with Phlebo123. It is not worth making your health worse by putting yourself under too much stress. I have reduced my hours down at work. If you have a decent boss they will understand. If you are struggling to cope with all the stress and doing a job you don't really like anyway perhaps you should give up that job.


This is so relevant to me at the moment… I only work part time so my office colleagues don't seem to understand that I am not able to do as much as before. (They are all mainly full time)I am not doing as well on my medication, amitriptyline, codeine, naproxen, have had a few spells off work, off this week and I am seeing the Rheumatologist next week for a review. My employer has been as good as they can over changing days worked but I'm really considering whether I'd be better off without the stresses of working. I deal with patients on the phone and some days I really struggle to follow the conversations and forget what I'm about to say… this is making me really self-concious. I'm in much less pain when I'm off work and sleep better, without the anxiety over feeling you have to sleep because you're at work the next day. Its taken me a long time - nearly a year to get this whole pacing thing, and unfortunately (or fortunately?) people tell me every day how well I look. Its great on here that you all can understand, sorry for the long post….

meanwhile I'm off to acupuncture and I've found free meditation classes that sound interesting - anyone else tried these? Xx


My bosses have now asked me if they can tell the others what is wrong with me. I really don't think this will help because unless you suffer you won't have a clue what we go through. I am considering acupuncture. Let me know if it helps? X


Hello! I'm new to this lovely site but I can share my experience with you.

I gave up work and was permanently signed off back in 2002, very bad time with fibro. I was only 33 and couldn't do anything for my self or kids. Eventually got a desk job and been doing this for 10 years. It is very very hard to do but I put myself through it as I think I have the rest if my life to give in to fibro and just ly there. I am very tired and I pain but I can't give in as the alternative is worse. The pain and tiredness is constant and I want to be able to feel normal and do normal things. You will find a balance just don't give up trying, you can do as much as you want to, the mind is a very powerful tool. I hope this helps on some way, hugs x


Thanks for your comments. It looks like I am going to need to reduce my hours. I have tried to do the mind over matter thing but finally got to the exhaustion stage and couldn't carry on. Fingers crossed the rest will get me back on track x


You may also like...