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Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 1771
   Posted 9/11/2008 10:40 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm just wondering what other people with fibro do for jobs/volunteering?  I've had a really hard time finding a job I can do (at home or away), and I can't even seem to find a volunteer "job" that works for me.
With fibro, the back surgeries, inner ear disorder etc., I can't stand for long, can't do repetitive activities (even using the computer), can't sit for long periods, and on and on.  
I'm a former teacher (Elementary) but had to quit because of the physical strain.
Thought I might pick your brains and see if there is something out there that hasn't occurred to me.   Thanks!  idea
"There is no charm equal to tenderness of  heart." - Jane Austen
Fibromyalgia, 2 back surgeries, Meniere's Disease, 30+ kidney stones, GERD, IBS, Asthma, Allergies, Endometriosis, Heart Arrythmia, Myofascial Pain, TMJ.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 906
   Posted 9/11/2008 10:46 AM (GMT -7)   
When my children were young, I voluteered at school, usually no more than a couple of hours at a time. I now volunteer at church, usually about two hours at a time. Any more than that is just too much with the fatigue. Diane
Fibromyalgia since 1984, Sjogren's, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Auto-immune eczema, GERD, osteoarthritis, IBS, RLS, sleep apnea

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 155
   Posted 9/11/2008 11:25 AM (GMT -7)   

I spent over 23 years as a hair designer. about 10 years in I had to cut my hours to part-time. The pain was so intense and nothing helped. A few years into the part-time reduction I figured that I couldn't even do that anymore. I needed a career change and spent a year trying to figure out what to do. I have always been a big animal lover and voluntered with a Boxer rescue. This lead me to helping out hair clients through the years and pet sitting for them when they traveled. That part-time side business lead to referrals to people that I didn't know and I started getting nervous entering peoples homes that I had only met once. It was fine to visit my hair clients homes since I had known them seemingly forever!

Another year of researching professional pet sitting and what all it entailed lead me to starting my own legitimate company. I still had hair clients to care for so I bought into a friends salon so that I no longer needed to pay rent weekly (I had been self-employed as a hair designer). I started advertising pet sitting, got certified in pet first aid and CPR, created a website, bought insurance etc....

I booked pet sitting jobs around my hair schedule. In under 6 months I had to make yet another change and started booking hair appts around the sitting schedule. about 3 years ago I finally dropped hair down to 3 days a week, about 10 hours total. Last month I dropped Saturdays doing hair (YEAH) and now only get to the shop 5 to 8 times a MONTH, never more than four hours at a stretch. That is all that my body can handle of that profession. I am trying to find help for the pet sitting.....business is booming! I have fought making a decision to stop doing hair altogether but I have some really great clients that won't let me and then add in family and friends and it's just not something that I feel I can let go of entirely.

I would have been the LAST person on earth that would even think about changing careers. I was a lifer! Maturity set in and with that came the fact that I wasn't physically capable of doing it day in and day out any longer. I felt like a failure but kept on trudging along. I can only thank God for clearing my vision enough to see that I was fully capable of doing something else and the work with animals was my TRUE calling. I KNEW that but didn't know what to do about it for years. I thought volunteering was the answer. While I love that part of my life it doesn't pay the bills.

My job now is hard I won't lie. I am open to business 7 days a week, 365 days a year. I can work for months without a day off but this work doesn't HURT like doing hair does. When I do hair now I know that my limit is 4 hours at a time. If I try and go longer than that I pay for it for days. Getting up early for pets is the most difficult. I move SLOWLY in the morning and it ain't a pretty sight! But the critters don't seem to mind. tongue

I'm living proof that if you can physically do "something" and want it bad enough it can be done. You just have to find that one thing that will work for you physically, mentally and spiritually.....it's also just an added bonus if you get paid to do it!

The more time I spend with people, the more I like my dog.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 261
   Posted 9/11/2008 12:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Well I'm in a similar situation to you. I can't handle being on my feet for long periods of time. Can't do anything that requires repetitive stretching, bending, squatting, etc. I can't do any heavy lifting. I'm also unable to commute very far and many days I don't feel well enough to drive at all.

Unlike you though, I can do computer work for long periods of time. If I wasn't able to do that, I don't know what I'd do. I'm currently looking for part time work doing data entry or bookkeeping. Unfortunately, though I've been looking for work for the past year, I haven't been able to find anything that meets my capabilities. The few interviews I've gotten, I've always been beaten out by someone with more experience(I'm just out of college with almost no work experience).

I've got an appointment for next week with an agency that helps disabled people find jobs. I hope they can help me.

Since you can't use the computer for long periods of time, maybe something that involves calling people on the phone, like customer satisfaction surveys? I never considered this myself because a lot of talking drys me out really fast and then I end up coughing a lot, not to mention that I just find lots of social interaction very exhausting. But who knows, it might be the sort of thing you'd be good at even if it's not for me, and maybe it's something you could do from home.

Allergies, Asthma, Anxiety, Depression, IBS, PCOS, Fibromyalgia

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 368
   Posted 9/11/2008 11:36 PM (GMT -7)   

My doctor told me get a job, I nearly laughed.  I cant do anything that takes more than 15 mins, cant stand , sit , type for long and I drift in and out of sleeep several days a week. Shows how little doctors know.  But what he was aiming at saying was it would do some good.  Im sorry im the same. Im making myself go to the pool now just starting, its not work but its a commitment and at least I feel like im doing something to help myself.  Im lucky so far I havent needed to work we just scrape by, but I dont know how anyone with fibro could.  good luck with it sorry im no help.    sue2z :-) :-) :-)

Fibromyalgia, ulcerative colonitus, arthritus, bi-polar
norspan patch, valium, prothiedon, lyrica

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6067
   Posted 9/12/2008 9:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Susi, after we lost Brandy I jokingly said I was going to put an ad in the paper for puppy sitting to ease my broken heart and loneliness but now I've really considered doing that. I sure wouldn't do it on the scale you are and I would be picky about the breed. I would have never thought that something so tragic would give me an idea to feel useful and make a little money I could call my own. That has always been a biggy for me when I buy something for my DH and have to use the money he makes to buy it. I'm a dog lover and still plan on getting a puppy when the right one comes along but that would be good for her too to have playmates.
Sometimes inspiration comes from strange places AustenFan. I agree that we all need purpose in our lives and it's not  easy for us to figure out what we can do.
Kythe, I couldn't talk for long periods of time either with the dry throat.
luv and hugs
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 726
   Posted 9/12/2008 10:30 AM (GMT -7)   
As most of you know, I have been a Veterinary Technician for over 17 years (Licensed for over 14 years).  I had to go on disability in March due to chronic back problems.  At the time, I hadn't been dxd with fibro, yet.  Unfortunately, I had used up all of my FMLA the year before because I broke my leg at work, so I didn't have anymore when I had to go on disability.  So, I was conveniently "released" (AKA fired) from my position 2 days after officially going on disability. mad
Before everyone tells me how illegal this was, please know that I have checked into every available resource and discovered that what happened to me was what I like to call "legally illegal."  Yeah, it's not fair, but if any of you have had to go through the system to get disability, SSI, etc., you know how unfair it really is. shakehead
Anyway, lately, the pain, money issues, depression-you know, just LIFE, has gotten worse, so I don't know what else I could do for money.  Too bad that there isn't a job where I could just sit and talk all day.  Oh, I know that there is-my dad is a radio announcer and I know that I would be a pro at that.  Of course, with my opinions and dirty mouth, I think the FCC would shut me up fairly quickly. wink
BTW, Marlee, if you are serious about working with animals, there are always Humane Societies and Animal Shelters that need volunteers.  They almost always need help that doesn't involve physical labor.  Besides, just being around those animals may help your heart heal a little bit. :-)
FINALLY dxd on 06/13/08
Vicodin, Neurontin, Ibuprofen for pain-which doesn't help, BTW
Zoloft & methadone (NOT for pain) for sanity-which doesn't help, BTW
Klonopin for anxiety (Guess what?  Doesn't help!)
Chantix to try to quit smoking (started 08/20/08)
"I'll take the Chivas instead"
-Kelly Clarkson

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 1771
   Posted 9/12/2008 1:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Sue2z,  we sound like "kindred spirits" (as Anne of Green Gables would say).  :-)
Thanx for all of the advice.  I envy the pet sitters because I'm severely allergic to all animals; I would love to just have a little lap dog to carry around. 
I'm keeping my eyes and heart open.  I know that if God intends for me to do something, He will make a way for me.  The waiting is just hard.   - Austen
"There is no charm equal to tenderness of  heart." - Jane Austen
Fibromyalgia, 2 back surgeries, Meniere's Disease, 30+ kidney stones, GERD, IBS, Asthma, Allergies, Endometriosis, Heart Arrythmia, Myofascial Pain, TMJ.

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