I am in the restaurant industry. I live alone and can't even make ends meet working six days a week physically and having to do doubles with 2.5 hours of traveling time. I'm on my feet, no break...dealing with extreme stress everyday. I get fibro fog at work and make stupid mistakes because it seems like my brain twitches for a few seconds. I almost got fired tonight because of it. I have no friends or family to help. I can't afford to go to school(already defaulted on a student loan), and I work so much. I feel like I am going to fall down and die. Does anyone else work in similar situations? How do you deal? Can you hold a job for a period of time?
I'm so sorry for you :( I too used to be a server, and it's murder trying to keep up. Have you applied for disability? Be good if your doc gets on board. Good luck, and I hope things get better soon :)
:-( unfortunately I haven't been able to go to the doctor in a few years and have had to just cope with this alone. I have no health insurance(I tried, but they said I am not qualified unless I'm pregnant for Medicaid). I have been to the hospital due to horrible vertigo spells and then also for a two week vomiting/diarrhea spell during a flare up. They just refer me to a neurologist that I can't afford so I don't go. I don't know how to get disability without going to doctors! It is soooooo hard. Not sure how I can even make it to work today....
Are you working now? Are you on disability?
HI CHRISTINA IM IN THE RESTARUANT INDUSTRY IM VERY LUCKY I HAVE A WONDERFUL SUPERVISOR AND DIRECTOR I WORK IN A ASSISTED LIVING SENIOR COMMUNITY ALL OF MY WORKPARTNERS U.DERSTAND EVEN THOUGH NONE IF RHEM HAVE WHAT I DO MY SUPERVISOR ALSO HAS HYPOTHEOID LIJE ME SHE KNOWS WHAT ITS LIKE TO BE TURED SHES BEEN SI TIRED DOING PSPERWORK SHES FALLEN ASLEEP AT HER DESK I HAVE HYPITHYROID MARFAN HABITUS ITS A CONNECTIVE TISSUE DISORDER SCOLIOSIS AND FI ROMYAKGIA IVE MISSED 2 DAYS OF WORK WENT HOME 2/12 HOURS EARLY WENT TO THE DR AND HAD TO TAKE A UNSCHEDUKED BREAK AND LUE DIEMWN FIR 10 MI UTES TI GET THROUGH RHE SHIFT TGERE ARE DAYS I DONT KNOW IF I CAN MAKE IT BUT SOMEHOW I DO IVE APPKIED FIR SS DISABILITY FIKED 2 TINES AND BEEN DENIED 2 TIMES IM WAITING FOR THE ALJ HEARING ILL BE TOLD 3 WEEKS IN ADVANCE ILL SAY PRAYERS FOR YOU JYZT TSKE IT 1 DAY AT A TIME
I know how you feel. I worked two years in retail & it was a struggle. Of course it was before I got my diagnosis but now that I look back on it, it was so obvious. And my last employer was so oppressive. I was on my feet constantly and asking for a break was like pulling teeth (but all the other people working there could get breaks so easily? WTH?).
I actually got laid off from this job in 2009 but I think they fired me and covered it up. I filed complaints with the state and federal governments but no one cared. In fact, I know now that someone had to lie to one of them because I was getting unemployment (this was before I realized I was too sick to work) and I had an issue with that. When I went to tell the state what was going on and how they were contacting me to go back to work but my therapist and shrink both told me not to, the company's rep told the state that they NEVER contacted me (I did eventually get the unemployment). However, they told the feds that they tried to contact me several times. I REALLY wish now I would have told the feds what a rep for the company said to the state & they could have gotten them on perjury.
I actually had to put my one loan on hold but I have another that I couldn't get put on hold or forgiven so I had to arrange with them to make smaller payments. I also had to file for bankruptcy because of the credit card debt.
And I'm surprised that they said you can't get Medicaid unless you're pregnant. I know with me, I was told by the state that I could get it if I was being treated for a serious illness. At the time, I just had asthma and a diagnosis of depression, so that's how I got it.
As for disability, I can tell you some things that might help. The ER records would help you because they show you have a serious illness. Also, if there's not enough paperwork to tell Social Security what is wrong, they send you to a doctor (at the government's expense) that will do an exam. My advice is to get a lawyer. You won't have to pay unless your case settles. The way that works is that they usually take a small percentage of the "back pay." Of course you might have to talk to the company that handles your loan about putting it on hold (either a deferment or forbearance) before hiring one because some lawyers won't touch you if you defaulted because your back pay would pay what you defaulted on.
And as for the job: Document your problems and anyone who witnesses them. This way if they do fire you, there's a "paper trail." If you get doctor's notes to give to your boss, Xerox them first and keep a copy for your records. This is where I screwed up becasue in my case, the boss was allowed to bury every document I gave him (oddly enough I was the only employee he did that to). And if they do let you go, contact your state's labor relations board. If that is not possible (I don't think some states have them), contact the feds. The EEOC is the organization you'll want to contact in this case. It'll be a lot of paperwork but if it means that you get something out of it, it's worth it.
As for right now, I would take it one step at a time. Also, I find with Fibro Fog, it usually helps to write a lot of stuff down if it's something complex. And if you can find one, look for a doctor that works with a clinic that you pay little to nothing. They have these a lot in bigger cities (I don't know where you are) but also some hospitals have them as well. I know there's one near me (and I'm in the suburbs) that has many programs to help people who can't afford healthcare.
Just some thoughts.
I think you've been given some great advice on your fibro and work. If you get fired for the fibro fog, guess what? You now have more of a paper trail of how you're impacted by your fibro.
What about applying for FMLA - Family Medical Leave Absence - it is time that is allotted to people who need to take a break from work due to physical illness? It allows you to be off for a few months due to your physical stuff. In the meantime, you could look for another job or else try to apply for Medicaid again or else disability or SSI.
You have my sympathy on your situation. I worked a hard physical job that eventually brought on even more fibro symptoms. I don't recommend doing it for long. Like you, I felt like I was going to fall down and die. During the weekends, I would like down on my couch and feel that I didn't have the strength, mentally or physically, to ever get up again and I didn't care. Too much pain. That's why I really think you need to look into Medicaid, disability or SSI. You are going to need the help. Fibro is difficult to handle, let alone when you're working a hard job.
Please check out the thread entitled "Help for Low Income Americans," or something along that line. It lists all kinds of help that is available for people who are in tight spots. I truly hope you find something that will assist you. Please let us know how you make out. And please feel free to come back here to post. We'll try to help you as much as we can.
Hugs to you,
I have worked in retail my whole life. The past 15 years had been in the home improvement sector. Recently I had to step down from a mgmt position because I just could not do what was being asked of me. I was lifting five gallon buckets of paint all day. The department is fast paced and I would be there for hours alone. No break and having to constantly go up and down ladders. It was a hard decision because my husband had been battling prostate cancer and several other medical issues, so money was tight. In the end the decision was based on my health.
I now work at the customer service desk and I don’t go home crying on a daily basis. I dont gave to sit in my car snd wait until I have the strength to drive home. I don’t feel like my legs are going to give out while walking to my car after a long hard day of painfull physical work. At first I was panicking about the amount of money they took from me but no amount of money is worth giving up my peace of mind and quality of life. I am not where I can file for disability so I take it one moment at a time, a full day is to much for me to handle.
Gentle hugs and well wishes to you all.
Christina - I really feel for you! I worked at a Animal Hospital for a number of years and about 7 years ago I had to quit
because of my Fibromyalgia. I am now on Disability and Medicaid. Please look into the possibility of this. You are pushing
yourself too hard and I totally understand the Fibro-fog! This is a wonderful site and you will make many friends here. Best
of all, we know what you are going through and we can offer advice as well. I hope you will be feeling better soon!
I am really sorry to hear of your plight. .
I honestly don’t know what I would do in your position, I know that is no help but it’s true.
I am fortunately now retired but I don’t know what I would have done if this had happened to me when I was a single mum.
I wish I could help but we are in different countries and although I own my home I am on a single pension.
please stay strong and tell others of your plight someone somewhere may be able to help you.
Sounds pretty tough. You didn’t mention your age. I would try to get as many life preservers/supports as possible. If you can get a doc to support that you have fibro, you might be eligible for your state rehab agency, in MA it is the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission. " Rehabilitation" covers a lot of ground…they provide job counseling, testing, occasionally pay to send you to school or for more appropriate job, and they may know other resources. I know others are suggesting disability application. Depending on your illness and age, that is one route but you can always apply to the rehab comm, which takes time, while waiting to see what happens if you apply for disability.
Wow...thank you all for the advice and feedback. I am going to look into the things you mentioned. Yesterday I was so beat up I couldn't even move. I was trying to go to work but couldn't. I called my job crying and called out. I slept for 14 hours!!
I am a 33 year old woman. I started getting seriously sick at 27/28.
Tmrw I have to be at work by 11am, and I work until 2am....ugh....I definately have to look for another job. Happy New Years and thank you for the love. I'm sending it back!
You poor woman. If that's not a living h#ll, I don't know what is. I truly hope you can find something easier for you to deal with. I also hope you check into the various different programs and find something that helps you. So many of us can relate to what you're saying and we know from experience just how horrible it is working in a job like this when you have fibro. No one should have to suffer like this.
Take care, rest some and then see what's what.
Christina~ In Minnesota we have Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors via the Minnesota Workforce Centers. I am just starting to work with a great counselor after losing my job due to not being able to keep up with all the paperwork, documenting and organizing required for my job. Their role is to help people who have had to change jobs due to a change in physical or mental health status.
Know that you are certainly not alone and even though you may not feel like going back to school is an option, there are certainly other jobs besides food service you can do. One thing I have been struggling with is getting my confidence back (largely because of how poorly I was treated at work!) so when I have the chance I try to make sure others don’t lose theirs. You are strong and have lasted this long for a reason. Have faith in yourself and in God’s plan for you.
If you don’t know where to look for support, try starting with United Way in your area. In Minnesota we also have something called the Disability Linkage Line that has information for a variety of resources. Good luck and don’t lose hope!
I know exactly how you feel, Christina. I am in the exact same situation. I have been in the service industry since I was 17. While I was just diagnosed last year one doctor estimates that I have probably had fibro since I was a teenager. Throughout many of the years I was able to work around it but the last five have been hell. I have tried going to school and learning new skill sets but either there was no market for what I was trained for or I am physically unable to perform. I'm limited as I can't type or drive due to a lack of hand/eye coordination caused by an eye condition.
The worst part of it all is the one thing I had going for me for the longest time is that I was a really good server. When everything else in life failed I at least had the confidence that I was good at my job. That has been the hardest thing to reconcile. The fibro fog is often at its worst at work because of the stress. Most of my co-workers are sympathetic but my boss is moody and while she knows about it and claims to understand she really doesn't. I have offered her information about Fibro so she can read up on it and at least know where I'm coming from but she isn't interested.
Here are a few of the things I have done to cope...... I say no a lot more than I ever used to. I don't pick up everyone's slack anymore. I have cut down my hours considerably and I won't work more than five days a week. While cutting my hours has crippled me financially it has helped me physically. I just took stock of what was really important and decided what was costing me money that I could do away with. The alternative is going on disability (which my doctor is iffy on supporting anyway) and making a third of what I do now. I don't have much of a life now socially but it's how I get by in the time being.
You and I both know we won't be able to do this forever because even the healthiest of people can't do this job forever. It is physically demanding and it takes its toll on the best of us after years. Another good reason to cut down on hours is to give yourself time to think of alternatives.
A few questions- Could you either move closer to work or get a job closer to you? That would save time and stress. Is it possible to move to a cheaper apartment and cut your cost of living? Can you find work in a place where the tips are better so you don't have to work so much? These are all things I had to consider and I've done my best to balance it out.
Good luck to you. I know how hard this all is.
Hi Christina - I responded to you a few days ago. I am hoping you are feeling better? I am really glad you have signed
up with the Fibro site.. As you can see, there is a lot of support for you and great suggestions. Please know that you
are not alone, and we will do all we can to get you through it. Laurie