What is your job?!

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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 2/23/2009 6:56 AM (GMT -7)   
I have had fibro for almost 10 years not diagnosed until April 08, and while being diagnosed I was told to "quit" my job. I am a horse handler on a huge retirement farm for horses in south eastern PA. i have been hurt there many times, but i believe it's part of the job, and i love horses way too much to quit and just drop it.
so im courious to see has anyone else got this from there doctor? and to see if anyone else loved there job too much to quit!

Post Edited (ashphobiax) : 2/23/2009 8:59:17 AM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 1014
   Posted 2/23/2009 8:06 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Ashley,

I was one of those folks that LOVED my job too much to quit.. but it caught up with me and now I'm not working, I was the director of a non-profit organization - (big job).  I commend you for trying to stay with what you're doing.  I'm orginally from NJ and I know how great those horse farms in Eastern PA are. 

Now my job is holding down my recliner at home. (wouldn't want my recliner to try to fly away or anything)  I'm hoping to go back to work sometime soon, but it will have to be a part-time office job, I don't think I could handle another job like I used to have.

I also noticed that you're a new member to the forum.  Welcome aboard!!! This is a wonderful place full of great people that are like family.  Please stick around and keep posting. 

Warm hugs,

Fibormyalgia, 4x Lyme Disease Survivor, Depression, Anxiety Disorder, Dyslexia, 2 Lumbar Disk Herniations, Allergies, Bi-lateral Carpal Tunnel. 
Meds = Elavil, Tramadol, Lipitor
"Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you'll land among the stars" - author unknown

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 519
   Posted 2/23/2009 8:27 AM (GMT -7)   

Welcome Ashley,

I am the Secretary/Bookkeeper for a Tree Business. I love my job as I am the only one in the office and I pretty well can make my own hours. My boss is a wonderful person and trusts me to pretty well run things on my own.  I can even answer calls from home when I need to. That is probably the only reason I am still working. Also, Winter is our slow time so I only go in a couple days a week to pay bills, etc.

I have been slowly getting worse and my Rheumy has mentioned it in the past, but it is kind of a wait and see thing if I can handle it this Spring when I will need to go back to work 5 days a week to keep up. I now make little mistakes I never used to & I even fall asleep in my desk chair!

It is a perfect job for me, so I am hoping I will be able to continue doing my job. I know I am very lucky. I worked at a factory for 10 years when I was younger and I know if I still had that job, I would not be working right now.

Hugs!!  Margie 

Never regret something that made you smile!

Fibromyalgia*Osteoarthritis on Spine*SleepApnea

Menopause*RLS*Spurs on Spine*Allergy/Sinus

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1279
   Posted 2/23/2009 8:28 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Ashley and Welcome-

Was hit very hard last winter with fibro and have been unable to work ever since. I was doing Administrative Asst. work and for a "good" company. Was very difficult for me to come to terms with not being able to work but my body just cannot do it. I think it is wonderful that you love what you do and I hope you can continue to do so!

Nice to meet you!




Fibromyalgia, Depression, Anxiety, TMJ, Arthritis/neck, SAD
Zoloft, Tylenol 4000 mg., Darvocet  

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 278
   Posted 2/23/2009 8:56 AM (GMT -7)   
You are going to find a wide range of opinions about work on this forum. That is because we are all different physically, emotionally, and mentally.  We all have varying experience with FM and varying thresholds for the effects of FM.
That being said, I definately believe that a person should continue to do as much as they can for a couple reasons:
1. staying active is helpful mentally and physically
2. I feel worse on my days off than on the days I am active.
3. You will develope a tolerance to the pain and fatigue. Sure, some days it is VERY difficult, but most others it is just challenging. :)
That is my thought. I encourage you to hang in there if you can. If not, reduce your work and responsibility while still working.
Good luck!
Our attitude towards life determines life's attitude towards us. {Earl Nightingale} 
Fibro since 2005

lost in philly
Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 243
   Posted 2/23/2009 8:57 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Ashley--
You live sorta near me! I was a house painter and my doctors REALLY wanted me to go on disability...easy to say when you make the kind of money they do!
Finally I listened, and it was the best Valentine's Day present I ever got! My pain is so much better!

lost in philly
Fibro, Endo, Migraines, Asthma, CFS

Topimax, Fentenyl Patch, Effexor, Crestor, Resoril, Loestrin

B6, B12, Magnesium, Melatonin, Omega3

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 2/23/2009 8:57 AM (GMT -7)   
i am worried i am going to get to the point that i am not going to be able to work, i am only 20 and my horse farm job is my temporary job, until i start college in the fall for vet tech in large animals, im praying that my fibro doesn't get to the point where i can't do anything.
i go crazy when im home all day and i can't do anything.
my work doesn't really understand my problem, do any of you have that problem as well?
thank you for all your comments.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 278
   Posted 2/23/2009 9:25 AM (GMT -7)   
My work does not know I have FM. I am an Area Supervisor so I do not have a physically demanding job, however, it is very demanding mentally and emotionally. On top of that I will have my Degree in business management in a couple months.
These two quotes really stay with me:

Lena Horne
It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it.

Robert Schuller
Always look at what you have left. Never look at what you have lost.

Good luck!
Our attitude towards life determines life's attitude towards us. {Earl Nightingale} 
Fibro since 2005

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 2/23/2009 9:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Ashley!

I am a new member as well. I have had fibromyalgia for a few years and , presently, work part-time as a small animal veterinarian. It is difficult at times as the hours are long, it is physically taxing and I have two children at home. Congratulations on starting veterinary technician school in the fall. It is hard to know how much you will be able to do with fibro. I think it is just a matter of trial and error. If your job is working for you and not compromising your health, keep at it. We all have different abilities and limitations and you will discover what yours are.


Chris :-) :-) :-)

P.S. My daughter would be so envious of you. She lives, breathes and dreams horses. Right now, she rides once a week!
~ Fibromyalgia ~   
 On Imovane and Lyrica

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 386
   Posted 2/23/2009 10:52 AM (GMT -7)   
:-)  Welcome Ashley,
I work full time and I have to say I have a pretty sympathetic boss.  We are a small company, so we are all close to each other(most of us).  I have always liked my job, so making adjustments while being at work was mandatory for me to keep working full time.  At times I want to cut my hours back and then other times I can push right through the week.  The stress of my job can vary everyday.  So when the stress is high....I have to admit I take a day off to regroup a little and rest all day.  When the stress is low, like this time of year, it is easier to get through the day. 
Taking one day at a time is the best I can do.  I have made accomodations at my desk area, like heating pad, fan and I have the best chair I could get for my desk and I can dress as casual as I want(lucky for me).  I also take two breaks a day, one for 30 min and the other 40 min. (we have a small couch in the lunch room, smilewinkgrin in which I use ALL the time) at times when I know that no one is in there, except maybe my dh.(yeah, my husband works at the same place)
I wish you all the best, I know it is soooo frustratiing not knowing what to do, keep checking out this site and check on some older posts to help find some other suggestions and some fun and encouraging conversations.
Dx Fibro 1/2008, gastritis

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 2/23/2009 3:53 PM (GMT -7)   
I have a licensed bakery in my home and up until last year was tapering off my wedding cake business and concentrating more on my bridal show. In December my daughter and her hubby (and bubby) lost their home to foreclosure and they moved in with us. We have revved up the wedding cake orders and are working together on the shows and bride appointments. I have to say that when I was doing less I was sleeping more and getting lethargic. Now with the toddler in the house and all the extra goings on with more people here (Just call us the Waltons, ok Ashley-Bob?) I am busier and don't notice the pain as much until bedtime. Busy seems to be better for me.
~ 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 2008
Total Posts : 40
   Posted 2/23/2009 4:39 PM (GMT -7)   
hey ashley!
most of my posts lately are about my job! i just started working full time a little over a month ago.... i love everyone i work with and my job! i am a teller at a bank, and some days are just crazy and absolutely draining. i really don't know that i can do this forever.... one day i may not be able to work if my bad days out way the good days. i am 20 years old just like you! as for today though its good for me now... its good to wake up and do something! with this you will see how varied it can be with everyone.... one of the main things is listening to YOUR body. find out whats good for you.... whats good for me right now is work!

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 155
   Posted 2/23/2009 9:01 PM (GMT -7)   
It took 10 years for me to get diagnosed (about 10 years ago) and I was a hair designer for all of those years. I was told countless times to find a new profession. Standing behind the chair was killing me (or at least it felt like it).
about 10 years ago I started pet sitting on the side for my hair clients. 5 years ago I made it official and started my own pet sitting and dog walking company.
Best thing I ever did for my health and for myself in general.
I work way more hours with this job than I ever did doing hair for 20+ years but the pain is different and although it still hurts it is in a different and now manageable way.
That being said I still do hair for a very small clientele who won't let me completely retire. I only do it now a few times a month and for no longer than 4-5 hours at a stretch. On those days the same horrific pain returns but it is much easier to recover from since I NEVER do hair two days in a row anymore.
Standing in one place with my arms elevated for 8-10 hours a day would nearly have me bedridden upon returning home. Now I can walk multiple miles a day every day and I get achy and sore but typically not to the point that I can't move unless I am having a flare.
The more time I spend with people, the more I like my dog.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 1156
   Posted 2/23/2009 10:41 PM (GMT -7)   
I am a writer. Several years ago I owned and operated a mail order company. I wrote the catalog and in addition, wrote and published a bi-monthly magazine.

I now feel blessed that I no longer run the mail order company because retail is suffering horribly in this economy. However, my writing has become more lucrative and my office is in my house.

I worked on two business degrees since stopping the magazine and catalog, a B.S.M and an M.A.Management so I know school can be done. You may need to attend part time though. Since you do not have children and are still young you may be able to handle more classes than I did.

Good luck,


Sera Smiles
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 671
   Posted 2/24/2009 12:50 AM (GMT -7)   
I am a Social Worker. Working "full time" work in a non-profit means working a minimum of 55 hours per week, with at least 2 evenings per week and at least 2 weekend days per month. Since I was always salaried, I worked many, many hours "overtime" and there no compensation for it. Now and again I could manage some "comp" time, but even that was a joke because once you go to work for a board of directors, I don't care how many friends you have on the board or how sympathetic the board president is to your dedication, you are theirs and they believe you work at their pleasure. Its an odd paradox- non-profits are there to help members of the community, but treat their staff so badly. Again, not every non-profit does this, but I have built or rebuilt dozens of small non-profits and I know whereof I speak LOL It's tough work- physically, mentally, socially and emotionally. The work is never done and the need never lessens. It would be more bearable if non-profit executives had someone they could "go to" the way others do, when they need counseling or motivation. I hope to return to non-profits in a strictly program management or policy development position, part time only. The alternative is another full time position, and it will cost me all the gains over the past year, I will hit bottom again after only a couple of months. Tough work.
"A butterfly is most vulnerable immediately after its metamorphosis."
Dx FM- 2003
Rx Meds- Ultram, Flexeril, Toprol, Cymbalta, Buspar 
OTC meds- Benadryl, Claritin, Melatonin, Valerian, B Complex, Multi Vitamin

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 532
   Posted 2/24/2009 8:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Ashley,I clean houses and Im really not sure how much longer I will be able to handle it. I can not go on disability because I have not claimed any income and you need to have so many working credits. I have an embroidery machine at home and am thinking that I might try to make a go out of doing monogramming and small embroidery jobs.Cleaning is very physical and it is really taking a toll on me. I have to have the extra income to survive We are barely getting by as is. I would love to find a part time office job som where but with the way the economy is Its impossible at this time. Listen to Sherrines advice and check it all out the extra D has helped me alot. I hope that you find some thing to help you soon.
Are you in Philly? I am 45 minutes north of there, And couple of other people are in the Lehigh Valley.


Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 120
   Posted 2/24/2009 8:49 AM (GMT -7)   
I was a scheduler at a company that worked with the mental ill in their home. I had to quit three years ago almost four, when I got really sick. The stress was too much and I was going to the bathroom all the time. I found out it was a very serious bladder disease and other illnesses have followed since, so long story short I don't work anymore.
Fibro, interstitial cystitis, migraines, rotated femur, bunion on rt ft, hiatal hernia, for just a few.

reglan, prilosec otc, nadol, citrilipram,amitriptyline, and peroxicam, and vicodin.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 346
   Posted 2/24/2009 1:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Ashley!

I am a Nanny for twin 4 year old girls 35 hours a week- and I go to school part time too. Sometimes it is difficult- mostly to keep up with my school work after working a lot- my doctor def. never told me not to work. maybe its becuase I am young still. i was diagnosed when I was 17ish I am 24 now. I suppose some jobs would be more difficult- but being active is very important.

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 2/25/2009 9:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello everyone,

I'm new to this forum looking for support for the chaos fibro has caused. I had a job doing some technical work for Apple and I've been on leave for a little over a month. It's time for me to decide whether or not to go back, and I'm thinking that though I really need the money, I very much need a job with a flexible schedule and perhaps something that I can do from the comfort of my home. I do want to make a suggestion to those in the same situation, finding it very difficult to work. This is something I recently started taking advantage of: Vocational Rehabilitation. It is a state program available in every state. It is free for you. You get a counselor who works with you and develops a plan with you to determine what you can do and what you can't. They can then help you find a job that is suitable for you with your limitations. They don't discriminate against disabilities so as long as you have been diagnosed by a doctor, you are pretty much eligible for their services. I encourage some of you to take advantage of this. It's not fair for us to have to work our lives around everything. We have a right for some things in our lives to cater to us and who we are. Hugs!!

67 stang
New Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 2/25/2009 10:08 PM (GMT -7)   
hey ashley     I teach First Grade.   This is only my 3 year to teach.    I cried when my rheumy to me the diagnosis because I ASSUMED
THAT i would have to quit working.    I havent   dont know what will happen i just need to takkkkkkkke everyday  one day at a time.

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 2/25/2009 11:56 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi LeeAnn,

If you do not qualify for SSDI then you will qualify SSI.  Just apply at the social security office.  I wish you lots of luck.  I couldn't imagine cleaning houses the way my body feels.  I can barely clean my own.



Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1097
   Posted 2/26/2009 7:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Most of my jobs have been office type work. I don't work outside the home right now, but I am a full time student and full time mom. That's enough for me right now!
love and hugs

fibromyalgia, ibs, gerd, anxiety

We either make ourselves happy or miserable. The amount of work is the same.~Carlos Castaneda

I wish you all the joy that you can wish.~William Shakespeare

Housework, if you do it right, will kill you.~Erma Bombeck

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 2/26/2009 9:08 AM (GMT -7)   
when i got told the news of this stuff i had a high stress, fast paced job that i loved and a staff of 90 that helped me through my day when they could. i miss them and still stops by and see them when i can after 9 months. i had to think what was more important my job or my health. animals help me at least mine do. is there a way that you can still see them even if you dont work there? that might be good for you to be able to still go say hi
just a thought, molly
I smile through fibro

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 316
   Posted 2/26/2009 11:28 AM (GMT -7)   

Welcome!! :)

I work in Trade Compliance for a large retailer. When I first acquired Fibro, I felt just as lost as you sound. I thought I would end up on disability and it broke my heart to think that all I had worked for was being taken away from me.

Like Jokat stressed, everyone with Fibro is different and the disorder affects everyone differently. Some people do end up needing to leave their jobs, while others are able to continue to work daily. Only you can know your own truth about how the disorder affects YOU.

That said, I do still work every day. My boss knows about my Fibro, but not everyone on my team knows, and she is understanding since she has RA. I work in an office setting (so the stress to my body is not as strenuous as it sounds like your job is). I have periods where everything is going great, where Fibro sort of settles into the background and I am productive and feel almost like my old self. But, this is always followed by a period where I am in tremendous pain, almost need my husband to push me out of bed, and where I forget everything and don't dare speak at any meetings (fibrofog). I have learned the hard way, after a HUGE error I made during one of my rough patches was made public, to stick to accomplishing simple, busy work during these times. I do not even attempt to tackle difficult projects, where my brain really needs to be working at 100%.

If you find that your job is simply too tough on your body, that doesn't necessarily mean that you have to stop working with horses. You may find a different area where you can still be involved. Or, you may be able to work with some flexability - where you can do more physical tasks on your better days and help out in the office during a flare.

One thing I do recommend is taking it in stages, rather than just throwing in the towel altogether. I started by switching my hours to 8 - 4. Then, during really bad days, I take my laptop home and work at my kitchen table. If it gets to the point where I was making too many errors to stay at my current position, I would probably see if I can find a position where I would fit better and had less stress.

Take care and always feel free to post any questions. :)



Fibromyalgia since 2007

"Tragedy is a tool for the living to gain wisdom, not a guide by which to live."
Robert F. Kennedy 


Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 704
   Posted 2/26/2009 1:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Administrative Assistant for a Director for the Cable Co
Fibromyalgia, Anxiety, IBS, Reflux, Insomnia,
Lyrica 200Mg X2/ Zolft 150 Mg/Ambein CR/Zantag (presc strength)
Taking it one day at a time.... 

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