What questions might my employer ask me about my fibromyalgia?

Many people with fibromyalgia tell of experiencing great stress on the job. Employers also tell of being concerned with the output of chronically ill patients, citing reduced productivity, increased absenteeism, poor work quality and increased rates of on-the-job accidents. Your employer may want to know if you are physically able to handle your job responsibilities. Other questions include: what should the employer do if you are fatigued? How can the employer handle days missed because of doctors' appointments or illness? Can the employer count on your work as being reliable? Whatever you do, communicate openly with your employer. Some people with fibromyalgia are able to work full time by allowing more time at work - so they can move at a slower pace and even take rest periods throughout the day. Some helpful tips include:
Ask for help from coworkers on days when pain and fatigue are overwhelming. Pay them back with your assistance on days when you feel better.
Take periodic breaks to avoid getting overtired or stressed during busy workdays.
Listen to music during your workday if you can to help keep stress levels low.
Most importantly, seek a balance between self, family, community and work. This will help you maintain a strong support network to keep you centered and enable you to have strength to get through the day--even when fibromyalgia symptoms flare.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.