This year with Fm and chronic migraines I made a major change to my work. Let me first tell you what wasn’t working for me.
I was working a desk job, which is about the only job I can work with FM. I tried many a job when I was younger working summer jobs and they were painful mistakes. So here I was working full-time in a job I should be capable do doing. Intellectually capable, yes for sure.
What I could not do was function. I could function through the pain when I was there if the pain was around a 7. That actually is my limit. 8 makes me have functional problems, memory issues, short-term memory issues, long-term memory issues, and making mistakes. And 9s I would not go to work at all.
I missed a lot of days to high pain days. Flare-ups. High migraines days. Both. I mean a Lot. And I went on 7 leaves of absence doctors put me on for stress, pain to change treatments, two suicide attempts. And one long-term leave when I knew I just could not handle it at all anymore. Because while I could function while was there, to some extent. I could not be There often. It was stressful. I felt guilty. My boss made me feel guilty for failing my customers, myself and my co-workers.
This is because I was Always exceeding my pain limits. Pushing through the pain. Boom and bust. High pain to push through, then cannot function at all as a result the next day. Then recover and do the same damn thing over and over again.
I did this for years believing something would change. Some med would help. Some doctor would help.
In the end, it was the pain clinic that flat out told me I am simply not capable of full-time work. I should be working part-time to avoid this pushing through the pain and exceeding my limits every day. I had to do some financial changes. But now I work part-time. In a less stressful job position. Day on, day off for recovery, a day on, day off for recovery. Three day work week.
While my finances suffer… which is why I had to prepare and adapt that to make it work. I have to say my wellbeing after not having to exceed my limits every day is working for me. I succeed at this level. I am happy. The pain is less intense as a consequence at work. And I always have the downtime the next day.
This is the most significant change I have made this year. One I fought hard not to do and resisted. I wanted a career. Ambition. Financial stability. To hold my own. Be more. Be proud of my work. I had to confront the idea that ‘I am what I do’. I am far more than what I do. And my job is not worth my health. I was stubborn about this for a long time. Trying to hold onto something I wasn’t capable of doing. In that old denial stage again.
What is that one thing you think you could change that would have a positive impact on your FM and pain?