Working full time with fibro

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-03-2008
Working full time with fibro
Mon, 11-03-2008 - 2:13pm

I have three children ages 13, 10, and 8.  I also have a 17 year old step-daughter who visits.  I work a full time job as an administrative assistant 8 to 5 Monday through Friday.  I was diagnosed with fibro one and a half years ago.  I am so overwhelmed!  I feel as if I do everything half way.  I am so tired all the time.  My house is a wreck.  I never feel like going to work.  I am in so much pain that I can't even unload my dishwasher.  I can't vacuum.  I do laundry because we have to have something to wear, but I always pay for it the next day.  My husband is awsome.  He helps out as much as he can.  He works in consruction so he is bone-tired when he gets home.  I feel guilty asking him to help some days.  The kids have so many chores that I feel guilty about that, too.  Even with help, running the house is really kicking my behind.  I absolutely do not have the stamina to do everything that I need to do.  I went back to work when my youngest was in 2nd grade after staying home for years.  I am feeling the whole working mother guilt on top of everything else.  I can't go to parties and on field trips anymore.  Even if I could take off occassionally to go, I don't have the energy to help with a party or chaperone kids on a field trip. 

Does anyone else work full time and have fibro?  How do you handle everything?  I would really appreciate hearing from someone in my situation.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-04-2007
Mon, 11-03-2008 - 3:28pm

Hi, and welcome to the board! I'm glad you found us and I am sure you will get some terrific suggestions from some of those who work and have children too. I think being tired all the time is one of the most difficult things we have to deal with day in and day out.

I work, but don't have children. It is a little easier for me because we have our own business co-located at home. I have to be in the shop 8-5 M-F and 8-noon on Sat., but this is our slow time of the year so it isn't as exhausting. When the lawn growing season is here, then things tend to be hectic and stressful and it is more difficult to accomplish tasks in the house.

I just do what I can do, pace myself and don't worry about the small stuff any more. I try to keep meals as simple as pan plus salad, cook twice as much and freeze for another time. I'm sure meal time is more difficult when you have children, but keep things nutritional and simple--planning ahead and making lists helps take some of the stress out of grocery shopping.

Don't beat yourself up because you can't do everything or because your children have chores...think of it as a learning experience for them for when they become adults. Believe it or not, they will thank you one day


Kindness is more important than wisdom,

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2007
Mon, 11-03-2008 - 3:35pm
Not only do I work full time with fibro...I am also a single mom of an 8 year old girl.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-22-2008
Mon, 11-03-2008 - 4:01pm

I too work full time. My children are grown, but I still have one living at home. He probably is worse than ANY small child! Lol! I work Monday - Friday, 7:30 to 4:30. My office is in the center because I actually work for 2 different dept. and I can hide and rest. I do go into an empty office to eat lunch, I usually close the door for privacy and lay my head on the desk even just to rest(sometimes I do take a nap). I always set the alarm on my cell phone just in case I fall asleep. I work with all men and they know better than to interrupt my lunch time!

Hugs to you because you're special to me :)
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-03-2008
Mon, 11-03-2008 - 5:23pm
Thank you so much for your response.
Avatar for dogandcat99
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2000
Tue, 11-04-2008 - 8:52am


Cute username by the way! :) Anyway, I work full-time and so does my dh. He's been sick lately (had a stroke 2 months ago and has some bulging discs in his neck that appear to be causing him to feel short of breath, nauseous, tired, and headachy). I was diagnosed with fibro in June. I have told my boss and co-workers about this and for the most part they are decent. (Well the co-workers are by FAR the most understanding).

Since I have been diagnosed, I have had a hard time keeping up with the house. I know the housework will always be there. So if I feel miserable I don't do the things that will make it worse. Usually I'll do a little each day. Vacumming bothers my arms so I only do it when I am feeling pretty much okay. I rarely mop the floor b/c of vacumming, so dh does that most of the time when he's feeling better.

I know what triggers the pain so I will do my exercises that I learned from PT. I will also rest (I get in these habits where I have to do something all day and then all of a sudden I realize I don't HAVE to do a million things a day!) So basically I schedule my rest. IF I am exhausted after work, then I just go lay down, read or just veg and watch tv. I don't worry if I fall asleep early either.

Don't worry about the kids. I don't have kids, but I have 3 pets that are almost as much work as kids. Like the others, at least they'll know how to live on their own! ;) You can also look at it this way: Everyone lives in your house and everyone helps out. That's what I actually said to my dh when we were first married and it seemed like I was always doing all the housework. He came from a family where the woman was supposed to do all the work, and I totally disagree with that. So one day we discussed it and I said, this is how I see it: We both live here, we both are making the messes, so we BOTH should do the work of keeping the house up! I still do the majority of it. But he cooks dinner more than I do lately so I guess it evens out. Sometimes he does more, sometimes I do more.

I don't know if it would help to discuss it with the kids--maybe that would help you with your guilt issues.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-18-2003
Tue, 11-04-2008 - 11:47am

Hi, welcome to the group.


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-03-2008
Wed, 11-05-2008 - 3:57pm
Girl, I don't know how you do it.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-18-2003
Wed, 11-05-2008 - 9:14pm
Believe me I spent enough of my time in bed or on the couch.


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-03-2008
Thu, 11-06-2008 - 3:25pm
Thanks, Mandy!
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-30-2008
Fri, 11-07-2008 - 8:11am

I totally understand your situation. I was diagnosed in 11/06. I continued working but had trouble doing my job. I worked in an insurance agency as a commercial lines account manager. Lots of detailed work, solving other people's problems with their insurance, etc. It was a hectic environment to say the least. And I was one step from being where I wanted to be in the insurance industry. In addition to being an account manager I assisted with the marketing of the accounts. The marketer that was there was getting ready to retire and that would have become my full time job, lots of pressure in that position, but unfortunately I had to go out on disability in January 2008. I just could not do it anymore.

Before leaving I worked as many hours as I could before the fatigue set in, I used up all my paid time off and went from salary to hourly. My employer was VERY patient with me and worked with me on what I could do.

But in a work environment that requires so much attention to detail and so much work on a computer and sitting all day. I just could not do it anymore. I was having anxiety attacks pulling into the parking lot. I would have to turn around and go home.

Last year (2007) I worked most of the year, I was on disability during the summer and on Lyrica, I felt like I could go back to work in September. But I was wrong, it just kept going downhill.

I don't know how old you are, or your financial situation. But for me I am 46 and have worked since I was 15, never collected disability, unemployment or anything else. It was devastating for me to have to leave a job I loved so much.

I went on State Disability (NJ). That ran out in 6 months but luckily for me I had a private disability policy through my job, so I get that now.

Of course this is only half of what I was bringing home as a single mom to a teenager. My son understands my condition, we have no secrets, he helps me all the time. And he realizes that there are no more "extras". We work with the money we have.

I was already told by all my doctors that I probably won't work again, this was so upsetting that I see a therapist once a month. Which is a good thing because I think when you have FM you have depression also.

You should consider yourself very lucky as you seem to have a good husband to help you out.

Maybe you can talk to your employer about working shorter days or working from home. You may qualify for partial or full disability, so you do without the extras, it's not so bad, believe me.

Keep the faith but don't make your condition worse by pushing yourself, it sounds like you have enough to do with the children. Look for a FM support group in your area, see a therapist, do what ever it takes.

I have finally realized that I can't work anymore. When I think of it I cry. But that will go away with time and therapy. And I find a burst of crying is actually good for me, it seems to release so much that's inside of me.

So cry away, vent here. We are all in the same boat.

Gentle (((Hugs)))