I'm considering coming out of the closet.

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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 130
   Posted 9/30/2008 7:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone~  I currently work as a Receptionist in a small Doctor's (Specialist) office (7 months now).  There is a total of five of us including the doctor and it's a very close group.  Doctor's wife is very involved and very active in the office via phone and comes in often.  We see up to 30 patients a day at least 4 days a week.  It's high paced and high stress because of the expectations. 
My problem is that my fibro fog is a big problem.  I have been able to improve my mistakes by repatition, but my choice of words, spelling, speaking funny and not making sence is becoming obvious to co-workers.  I don't remember doodle and I can go on and on, but you know what I'm saying.  I'm hearing from co-workers more and more... what did you say?  I didn't understand what you were saying!!!
I'm considering coming out with my fibro.  I'm thinking that I have proven I'm reliable and able to perform under pressure, but I kind of want them to know why I'm at a loss for words or when I'm nervous I may ask the same questions over again.  I can perform while on my pain killers and medication, but it isn't easy to do every day and they just increased my hours from 4 to 6 hours each day.  By the end of the shift I'm shot.  I make mistakes and major speech issues.  I run as soon as possible.
Do you think it will cause a problem for me or benefit me?  Part of me wants them to know that it's not me it's fibro and I would hope that they would make light of my mind fog, not use it against me. 
What do you think?
Thanks for your help,

Fibromyalgia (DX'd Dec 07) ~ Generlized Anxiety ~ Migraines ~ IBS ~ Asthma ~ Allergies
Cymbalta   Topamax   Claritin   Tylenol   Ibuprophen

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 9/30/2008 8:48 PM (GMT -7)   

i'm right there with ya babe.

my co-workers are always saying "huh? what?"

not only are they in a high stress, fast paced situation, they have to deal with a fibromite!!!

i just recently printed out a few pages on fibro fog and i keep them close by....i wanted to give then out last weekend, but when i went in the next day, i felt fine and they all seemed to be okay with my previous "fog"....

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 289
   Posted 9/30/2008 9:13 PM (GMT -7)   
i was right up front with my employer when they hired me that i am not always the sharpest tool in the shed on somedays and may have to ask a few times to get it. they were okay with that especially since i deal with money and some pretty big accounts... i just make sure to let them know if i am having a bad day so that if anything does happen they understand why...

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 9/30/2008 9:28 PM (GMT -7)   
That's a tough one. You'd hope they'd understand and accept it but you run the risk of them holding it against you. In my experience, far too many people will accept people with disabilities right up until it affects them. If your mistakes start to cause them problems, maybe requiring them to do something again, or inconveniencing them in any way, they may decide your problem is too much of a problem. Really think about this.

I know many people with fibro and some had major problems at work once people found out there was a reason for their problems. Almost everyone will help in any way when they think your problem is temporary. Once they find out it's permanent, they get fed up. Many in my group regret telling the people they work with about their fibro.

On the other hand, I bring it up in casual conversation at work and talk about it like it's no big deal. I personally don't care if people have a problem with the way I am. It would be really hard for them to get rid of me, and if I ever become that bad where it affected my work, I'd leave on my own.

If you feel everything at work is fine but you are just uncomfortable because you have difficulty speaking sometimes, then tell. If your difficulty is affecting patients, then maybe you shouldn't tell.

You can take baby steps and talk to one person about it. You can ask them if your fibrofog is really a noticable problem. Sometimes we are too aware of our own fogginess and we think it's more of a problem than it really is.

Good Luck with whatever you do and don't burn yourself out with the extra hours.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 10/1/2008 8:39 AM (GMT -7)   
If I were you I might confide in one special friend who is a fellow employee. I wouldn't let them all know because it gives them ammunition for any problems that may arise. Instead I'd ask for fewer hours citing family issues. It's kind of a case where you're darned if you do and darned if you don't. Co-workers may use it against you if they feel that you are given special treatment. Kind people would cut you some slack, but if there is one or more who don't like you it can make it worse.
~ Jeannie, Forum Moderator/Diabetes & Fibromyalgia
I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. ~Mother Teresa

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 130
   Posted 10/1/2008 8:39 PM (GMT -7)   
I decided to go for it.  I felt the need to just come out with it.  I wanted them to know that my slurred speech and problems chosing the right words isn't because I'm an idiot.  I even said if it caused problems and I was to end up leaveing because of it then so be it.  I'm tired of feeling shame and stressing over how I must appear to them and btw... I made it clear that I am not looking to make excuses, I've proven I don't call in sick and the real reason I'm coming out is because I beleive it will make things easier on me in the long run.  I won't feel like I have to hide my quirks, in fact I give permission to make fun of them, but not use them against me.  Call me on my mistakes, but understand that when I'm tired I could sound funny.
I don't regret it yet, but I may and what comes will come.  My girls have braclets that read Fibromyalgia and I'm always trying to hide it from everyone.
Thank you for your help and I'll check in in the future on this topic and let you know how it turned out.
Fibromyalgia (DX'd Dec 07) ~ Generlized Anxiety ~ Migraines ~ IBS ~ Asthma ~ Allergies
Cymbalta   Topamax   Claritin   Tylenol   Ibuprophen

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 1156
   Posted 10/1/2008 11:04 PM (GMT -7)   
good for you. As the kids say "you rock."

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