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Fibromyalgia Action UK
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I don't know what to do about work

So I just got back from the Doctors. I told him I was getting very anxious about going to work, because of my fibro pain. I work 10 hour night shift 2 nights a week. The doctor wants me to cut my hours down, but I have only just done that, I used to work 5 to 6 days a week. He gave me a higher dose of gabapentin and put me on molipaxin (a antidepressant). I don't know wheather to phone up work and tell them about my anxiety and my medication or just go in and just put up with it. I am a carer and I find it very hard, as it is non stop from one unit to another and bell after bell. It doesn't help my anxiety either that I get moaned at by co-workers, about not doing it their way. I get home and then I can't do anything for a week, they don't realise at work how bad I actually am. I just need some advise about what to do.

10 Replies

I have a very similar probem to you. I am a nurse and work 12 hour shifts 3 one week and 2 the next. I have cut it down but am still strugging at times during a flare up. I suffer really bad with Fibro fog and can't concentrate very well. I have spoken to my employer and they are aware of my FM and are considering a 9-5. I suppose you just have to listen to your body and when it's not up to working don't and when you can do. That's what I'm doing at the moment and if my employer isn't happy about it what can I do except leave. When I can't find a job that works with my FM it will be time to give up I suppose.

Hope that helps.

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Hello Sassyada,

I worked in care for 5 years and there's no way I could do that now. It's such a physically demanding job anyway, if you add Fibro on top of that, it just makes it so much harder.

I think the last thing you should do is put up with the pain; perhaps you should speak to your boss and tell them what is going on for you? Keeping things to yourself may make matters worse,

Is there any chance you could get a job that is less physically demanding?

I hope things start to get better for you.

jellie xo


I am going through the same problem I work full time but in a gp so it is easier they hve offeredf me redundancy with a package I am going through do I take the package and have some money and no job but how long can I carrtu on as I get worse please keep in touch maybe you should go on sick ansd see were that gwets you take care angie x


same here I was a carer, Ive had to retire, theres no way I could be it, theres complicated reports to read and write, medication to be given, patients to be lifted and washed, I dealt with the terminally ill, and those with dementia


I have phoned in ill Quite a lot, and if I do it much more they are going to refer me to the occupational health. I don't supose that's a bad thing though, cos they are there to help. I think I need to have a good talk with the manager about my illness. I really don't think I can work there anymore, but I feel like I have to, as i have only just swapped my contact hours over, plus they are short staffed. ( thats not my problem tho is it! lol). Also there are no other jobs around my area.


Hi sassyada,

I am a project manager in telecoms who has been absent from work for approx 10 months (I think - it is a bit of a blur really).... I am not able to look after my own needs a lot of the time so work is something I couldn't even imagine right now.... hopefully that will improve over time with the right support. In the meantime, both me and my employer would consider me a serious risk to any project we undertake (risk management is part of my normal job) - on that basis I would wonder if the regulatory bodies for your job would consider you fit to deliver care for your "customers" or a risk that if you became unable to complete a shift then the care requirements or staffing requirements per number of "customers" would then be compromised - additionally, if there was an emergency where you had already become incapacitated, then care would be compromised even further! Obviously I am not aware of all of the constraints that your employer has to adhere to, but I would be very careful of being put under pressure to commit to attending shifts as "fit to carry out ALL your required duties" when in fact there may possibly be a risk, no matter how small or remote, of you being put in a position of liability if a serious issue occurred during your shift - perhaps dropping someone if, like me, you have sudden electrical pain that stops me using any particular limb with no notice!

I would check your liability out as a first measure, then see if there is a way you could do reduced shifts in a staffing situation where you would be limited or no risk and that your employer accepts that risk by assigning you shifts. Remember, your employer has a duty of care to you too.

I hope you find this a useful starting point to try and answer your question but one thing is a certainty, if you do not inform your employer you retain liability... informing them is a must as only then can they carry out their duty of care etc :)

I wish you the very best of luck!



I was medically retired 4 years ago, I worked as a Social Work Manager and was becoming unreliable due to the time off I had to take, my vision has also been affected through Lupus so am now unemployed. My husband recently left his Forces career after 26 yrs as I needed him to be home more. We are 70k a years down, but, it means I can take better care of me, which makes for a better quality of life. I miss work, but I missed me more. Hope it all goes well, employers have no idea about Fibromyalgia, which isn't a surprise as not too many Doctors do either.


On that note !!!! Just had a conversation with my manager and seems likely that they will not be able to suooprt me in my current workplace much longer especially as I need a stick to get up the stairs from the cellar office. Most probably will have to move to another unit without stairs to negociate. Feeling a slow spiral coming towards being deemed incapable of performing my duties and dismissal. Arggggg..........


i work for a very large government department at the airport, i was working 5 shifts a week, sometimes 7 before a day off. The shifts were 14 hour nights followed by early starts (7am)then a late start 12noon) ending in a late afternoon start at 4.30pm...these shifts were all crammed into a working week. i managed it for 3 years god knows how! but i eventually had a meltdown and was referred to the OHS.The OHS doctor recommeded that my sickness trigger points were raised slightly, and that i should no longer do the nights and only work between 9am and 8pm and no more than 4 shifts before a day off and in a more administative role...im still full time but still struggling even though they have made the reasonable adjustments. Im keeping quiet though.....they are culling staff and i will definately be in the firing line if i cant do my job...i have to work, simple as that so i have to push myself on. i take most of my leave in single days throughout the year and take a week off unpaid in the summer.its the only way i can cope with it.

your employer has a responsibilty to safeguard your welfare, make reasonable adjustments to enable you to perform your duties...that way you can keep working.

ask for an OHS referral, see what can be done for you,



Well I had to phone in ill again today, my tablets made me worse than ever as I was sick with them and had flu type symptoms. I was I bed for 15 hours and couldn't get up and i felt so drained .(Don't you just love antidepressants) I tryed getting hold of the manager and explaining my situation but there was no answer. So I just told the senior I was unwell. I'm only 26 and I wish I had a better life :(


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