If you suffer with fibromyalgia and need tips on how to tell your employer, then take note of this blog.
If you have just been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, then there are probably millions of things on your mind. How will the condition change your life? Will the relationships you have with your husband, children and close friends suffer? Will you need to tell your boss about your condition? If so, how? As a condition, fibromyalgia is misunderstood by so many, which is why it is so daunting to be faced with the challenge of explaining everything about the condition, and how it will affect you, to your employer. If you are worried, do not panic. It is normal to feel this way. If you are someone who wishes to continue working after receiving a diagnosis, then discover our tips in this blog, so you can educate your employer in the right way.
Telling your employer about your condition is not easy, however, it is important. Not only will education allow your boss to understand what you are going through on a daily basis, it will also help to set standards on what they can expect from you. While some days will be good, others will be bad, which will make working life much harder. Without knowing about your condition, your employer may expect too much from you, which is likely to cause your stress levels to rise significantly. Prevent this from happening to you by sitting down and chatting to your boss openly. Below, we have provided a list of tips on how to do so successfully.
Fibro fact sheet
To cover the basics, print off or create your own fibro fact sheet, so your employer has all the information they need to hand. This sheet should provide insight and information into fibromyalgia as a condition, the symptoms associated, and potential side effects and/ or co-conditions, such as depression and sleep disruption. By having this to hand, you can be sure you don’t miss any important facts that could help your employer to better understand your situation. As opposed to talking through the sheet, give your employer the chance to read it alone. That way, they can come back with any questions.
As well as written fact, it is also a good idea to provide your employer with some useful links to provide further insight into what life is like living alongside the condition. As well as the obvious links to websites, such as the NHS, you should think about including links to bloggers who write openly about their condition and how their life has changed as a result, so your employer understands that fibromyalgia does exist, and is not just a figure of someone’s imagination. Some of our favourite fibromyalgia blogs include Counting My Spoons, Cranky Fibro Girl, and Chronic Mom.
Telling someone about your fibromyalgia diagnosis for the first time is tricky. More often than not, sufferers will believe the first thing people will say or think upon telling them about their condition is: “It’s all in your head.” Unfortunately, this happens all too often, leaving patients scared to face the reality and come clean. However, fibromyalgia is a condition and it does exist, and medical experts are there to back that up. When visiting your doctor or local GP, ask them for a written diagnosis to take with you to your employer. This way, you will be rid of any doubt that they will not believe you and have the ability to prove that your illness is ongoing.
Be honest and open
That is all you can do. Be honest about what you can and cannot do, so you can work together to reach a solution that is right for you and your employer. Try not to focus heavily on the negatives; instead, talk about your strengths and make sure your employer knows that just because you have fibromyalgia, it does not mean your working life has to come to an end.
We hope this blog helps to make the tough task of telling your employer about your fibromyalgia diagnosis a whole lot easier. Although it may seem daunting at first, it is incredibly important for you to be open about your condition with those around you, particularly your boss if you want to continue working. Do you suffer with chronic pain syndrome and have educated your employer on your condition? If so, comment below and share your words of wisdom with fellow sufferers.
We do not endorse any research, studies or sources mentioned within our blogs and comments. Furthermore, we do not endorse any medical advice provided, and would strongly recommend anyone seeking medical advice to contact their local healthcare provider.