Creating A Fibromyalgia Support System Within The Work Environment
The symptoms of chronic pain and fatigue that are associated with the condition of Fibromyalgai can be difficult enough to deal with in daily life. The symptoms that are most commonly associated with the condition of Fibromyalgai that debilitate a person so easily include muscle spasms or tightness, muscle pain, moderate to severe fatigue, joint stiffness, headaches, migraines, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and many others that are too numerous to list. These symptoms which are caused by Fibromyalgia affect productivity, relationships with family, friends, as well as social agendas and workplace employment.
A Support System
There are some suggestions to helping to put in place a support system for those who are suffering from the condition of Fibromyalgai, this support system should include first erasing denial, and then communication as well as planning:
- Erasing Denial – for any person to move on with the diagnosis of any condition or disease they must first get past the denial that they have been diagnosed with the problem, this is no different for the condition of Fibromyalgai. In order to properly move forward and create a support system the patient who has been diagnosed with Fibromyalgai must accept the diagnosis and realize how the symptoms will affect their daily lives before they can really begin to move forward and build a personal support system.
- Communication – this is an extremely important element of creating a support system for the Fibromyalgia sufferer, both at home and in the work environment. In order for others to be willing to help out and be a part of a support system they must first understand the complications and symptoms of Fibromyalgai and how this condition affects the Fibromyalgai sufferer. They must understand that Fibromyalgia is a real medical condition and that the individual diagnosed with Fibromyalgia will both need and want help at times to cope with their condition. Asking for help is not a bad thing, but understanding how to communicate the need for help and ask for assistance when it is truly needed is different than taking advantage of a situation and having everyone else do things for you all the time.
- Planning – lastly when it comes to creating a support system, whether at home or in the work environment it is important to adapt a routine of advanced planning. The condition of Fibromyalgai is one that is difficult at best to deal with on a daily basis. There are good days and bad days with Fibromyalgia, days where the symptoms are manageable and days where the symptoms simply will overwhelm the Fibromyalgia sufferer. It is important for the Fibromyalgai sufferer to not be naïve about these “bad days” but instead plan ahead for when they will take place and make life a little bit easier on themselves, their families, and their coworkers when these bad days come along.
Support within the Work Place
While many individuals who are diagnosed with the condition of Fibromyalgai may be able to take advantage of short term or long term disability, there are far more others who simply must remain in their workplace in order to provide for the family budget or help to pay for their ever surmounting medical bills. While there are many symptoms that occur for those suffering from Fibromyalgai the most common symptoms that interfere with work place environment is the presence of chronic pain and fatigue. Learning ways to manage these symptoms better is the key to creating a support system within the workplace. Using the support system suggestions of advanced planning and communication as well as the suggestions listed below to help Fibromyalgai sufferers cope with their disease in the workplace should help:
- Provision of clear expectations, deadlines, responsibilities, and consequences if not followed.
- Provision of Written Job instructions
- Provision of Memory aids, such as schedulers or organizers
- Minimizing Distractions
- Reducing Stress
- Allowance of periodic rest periods
- Allowance of flexible work hours, as well as a self-paced work load
- Allowance of time off for Counseling and/or Physician appointments
- Allowance of the possibility of an employee to work from home
Of course it is unreasonable to expect that all of these requests will be given. However clearly communicated the needs and how the symptoms affect the Fibromyalgai sufferer will help tremendously when it comes to creating a support system within the work place.