How do I explain Fibro to my boss?

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How do I explain Fibro to my boss?

Postby Immpy » Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:22 pm

Just had it confirmed today that I have Fibro, and have been letting it settle in a bit before I broach the subject with my boss. I'm lucky that I am able to work from home, but want to tell my boss how this makes me feel and what to expect of me, just can't find the right words, to put in the right way that would make him realise that I am going to have good days and bad, but being understanding of me when I have a bad ones.
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Re: How do I explain Fibro to my boss?

Postby shortnsweet54 » Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:37 pm ... AoA........

have a read through this and if some of it helps print it off and highlight the bits that apply to you. Maybe letting him read it is better than trying to explain it yourself, then if he has any questions this would be a starting point. Maybe also keep a diary for a couple of week to back it up

hope this helps, take care
Jan xx
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Re: How do I explain Fibro to my boss?

Postby redhead77 » Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:19 pm

Hi. I printed off a fibro fact sheet and gave it to my boss and any new boss that I have had since. I think it makes it easier for people to understand when they can read it in black and white. Also helps when I have to undergo sickness interviews if I have time off. Good luck xx
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Re: How do I explain Fibro to my boss?

Postby arrieanna » Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:41 pm

Hi, not sure if this will help but I work full time and have had Fibro for as long as I can remember. I started my job 6 months ago and was asked whether there's anything my employer can do to support me. I wrote the following:

As you know, I have Fibromyalgia, which is a chronic pain and fatigue illness. My previous employer sent me to Dr *****, an Occupational Health Specialist for an assessment. I attach his report. He happens to be a Fibro specialist.

Fibro has flares and remissions. To manage this, I watch out for symptoms which indicate that a flare is coming. That’s usually bad temperature regulation, exhaustion and increased pain. Fibro is sometimes described as running a marathon every day, so I can usually minimise flares via meds, rest and exercise. When more rest is required, I book days off work, using my holiday allowance. This is partially successful, however it leaves me with insufficient holiday time and is not always effective.

If I ignore signs that a flare is coming, I become more and more ill, affecting my concentration – and eventually have a very bad flare lasting a considerable length of time and causing me to take sick leave. A flare can also hit my immune system and leave me more vulnerable to other illnesses.

In the attached document, Dr ***** made the following recommendation:

“Other workplace modifications and suggestions I would recommend would be perhaps looking at **’s work hours with perhaps shorter days or the possibility of ** working from home one day a week. I understand this is largely a logistical issue and I will leave this in the hands of line management to discuss with ** and come to a suitable arrangement. “

I would not want to shorten my working day as this would negatively affect my work and earnings whilst not significantly improving my health.

I would, however like to ask for permission to work at home one regular day per week.

Not having to travel shortens my working day by at least 2 hours and being in my own home allows me to rest during my lunch break. I could plan to see the doctor if necessary and take certain stronger painkillers occasionally. I have a good office setup there at home and can communicate with the office effectively. So much of our communication is electronic, my location actually makes little difference. I am also well used to the discipline required to work outside of the office.

If I work at home on the same day every week, this causes little impact on the team – whereas taking sporadic leave could be disruptive.

I believe it’s possible to manage my Fibro so well that it will never cause me to take sick leave.

Thank you in advance for considering this.

So you see, I tried to explain what Fibro is, how it affects me and my work personally - and was really clear about a solution that I think will help me. Fingers crossed, I have a meeting this week about this.

Maybe some of my wording will help you a bit?

So yes - you need to have an occupational health assessment and a workplace assessment too.

I am lucky that my current employers are very motivated to help me, they see I work hard and want to support me. They already did their homework on what Fibro is - and this really helped. I think this resource is pretty easy for non fibro patients to understand: ... algia.aspx even though it's not that great once you are already an 'expert patient'!

Good luck!
All best wishes,
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Re: How do I explain Fibro to my boss?

Postby tonydin » Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:16 pm

this will upset a few of you :yikes: :yikes: :yikes: :

my boss new i had back problems , and reckond the rest was because i was a hypercondriact :nono: :nono: :nono: :nono: :nono:

so when i was dx i was eager to rwll him what was actually wrong.

his reply :crazy: :crazy: THATS NOT A ILLNESS ,ITS A SYNDROME ITS WHAT MENAPAUSAL WOMEN SAY THEY HAVE ,TO GET OUT OF THE HOUSEWORK :yikes: :yikes: well that told me :( :( :( :oops:

suffice to say i did not mention it agian

i dont get flares just constiant symptoms that dont improve with rest so just carry on

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Re: How do I explain Fibro to my boss?

Postby FluppyPuffy » Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:21 pm

It can be difficult trying to explain to others what FM is, and how each day can be living with it. As well info from places such as the linky you've been given, NHS Choices, and the main UKFM Site you could also include something like One To Show The Non~Believers and/or The Spoon Theory as both do an excellent job of getting across just how cruddy and fecked~off it can have us feeling.
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Re: How do I explain Fibro to my boss?

Postby Immpy » Tue Jan 14, 2014 4:53 pm

Thank you all very much for all your help with links, I was feeling a bit down yesterday as I was diagnosed with FMS, suspecting you have it and being told you definitely have it are two different animals. I had kept things to myself and had only told a friend I might have it, so had to ring my daughter and let her know, getting told off for not telling her sooner!

Next was how to tell my boss, he rang me yesterday as he knew I was going to get the results of all the tests I had had done, so was caught on the hop, I was determined not to cry but he was being nice to me saying how sorry he was for me, so the flood gates opened. He offered to help I explained to him that if he could be a little more understanding of me and the condition. We finished the conversation with him saying that if there is anything he could do and if I needed to talk he would be around this week for me.

Later on in the evening he sent me an email with a link to another FMS site, :shock: he said he has done some research and he had no knowledge of Fibro and wanted to learn, I'm gobsmacked and grateful and instead of being scared of telling him he has come up trumps. (I'll still send him the information that you lovely people have sent though)!
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Re: How do I explain Fibro to my boss?

Postby tonydin » Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:03 pm

immpy thats brillant :-D :-D im really pleased that some one can take the time and trouble to do what he has done , i dont think you will have to much to worry about there

no matter how bad we feel , some people have worse and more serious conditions , so i guss we should be glade that even though it feels like it ,at least fm wont kill us :yikes:

i fpond the dx was almost a relife that ther was not more wrong with me,
glad boss is on your side, you can work with this if you can cut out the worrying

take care
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