What is Fibromyalgia?
Do you know of anyone who suffers from Fibromyalgia? Have you ever heard about this condition? Well, if you don’t have a clue about it, you are going to learn a lot about it.
If you suffer from this condition or you have a loved one who is affected by it, there are ways you can learn how to help the patient on how to live with it through this article.
Fibromyalgia is a medical condition that causes chronic pain in the joints, muscles, and other body tissues.
Fibromyalgia patients are more sensitive to any pressure that is applied to the skin.
Additionally, patients suffering from Fibromyalgia complain of sleep deprivation, joint stiffness, numbness, continence issues, and fatigue.
There are quite some psychological issues that accompany Fibromyalgia. These issues range from fibro-fog to depression.
Fibro-fog is a mental condition that affects cognitive functions and memory. When these psychological issues are combined with Fibromyalgia pains, it can make it extremely stressful for a patient to concentrate on work.
Fibromyalgia cannot be found in the Social Security Admin Blue Book. This means that there are no independent standards that have been verified for the SSA to determine if a person qualifies for the benefits of Social Disability.
The definite symptoms of Fibromyalgia are not known. It is believed that traumatic experiences in one’s life like abuse can be a trigger for this condition. It is also believed to be genetic.
When one is affected by Fibromyalgia, the following physical activities are restricted:
In some cases, you may be restricted by the condition to perform even repetitive tasks.
Can you work if you have fibromyalgia?
There are quite a number of people who are working part-time and full-time jobs who suffer from fibromyalgia.
Even though they attend to their work, they are affected by fatigue and chronic pain associated with fibromyalgia; this makes work a bit difficult for these individuals.
It is important to learn more about how to cope up with the fatigue and pain caused by fibromyalgia if you are employed.
Additionally, if you find it hard to work with the condition, it might be time to apply for a disability which is not easy to get because of the work capacity rules.
How do people cope up with fibromyalgia at work?
When you are controlling stress on a daily basis, and you are managing fibromyalgia on your own, you can do anything you wish.
Things get tough if you start having physical pain due to work stress, but the simple remedy is to make simple changes to your work schedule to continue working.
What are some of the changes that can help someone who is suffering from fibromyalgia?
It is important if you can openly discuss fibromyalgia with your coworkers and boss. Discuss more the symptoms of fatigue, chronic pain, and body stiffness.
If the company staff can understand your work experience on both good and bad days, the company staff can make changes to help make it easier for you to cope up with the work-life balance.
Once company co-workers understand how you cope with work on a daily basis, it is easier for the company boss to schedule off days when extreme levels of fatigue come up, or even take work home if you are working in a company where remote working is possible.
It is also possible to arrange reporting to work on Saturday, if you skip work during the weekday, to recover from lost working days.
It is also possible to request for nap time at work when you feel tired, and you need to rest.
Quite a number of people who are diagnosed with fibromyalgia find it refreshing to have midday nap times.
What kind of workplace modification guidelines are there for people who suffer from Fibromyalgia?
The following list can be used by people who have fibromyalgia when they are discussing workplace modifications with their employers.
This list is in the U.S Department of Labor Job Accommodation Network. The list contains recommendations for employers to consider when it comes to accommodating fibromyalgia employees.
Employers should consider addressing the following issues:
- Prioritize job assignments and provide more structure
- Provide written instructions when necessary
- Allow self-paced workload and flexible working hours
- Allow scheduled rest sessions for reorientation
- Minimize distractions
- Provide memory aids like organizers and schedulers
- Reduce stress at work
To address anxiety and depression, employees need to:
- Provide instructions and to-do lists
- Reduce distractive elements in the work environment
- Remind the employee of meetings and important deadlines
- Give breaks to reduce stress
- Provide clear objectives of tasks provided
- Allow counseling times sessions
Provide information about counseling and offer more information on assistance workshops.
To reduce depression caused by Fibromyalgia at work or at home, this video will help you.
To reduce weakness and fatigue, the employer needs to:
- Provide ergonomic workstations
- Allow flexible leave periods and work schedules
- Allow work from home days
- Schedule breaks for rest away from the office
- Eliminate workplace stress and physical effort
To reduce headaches, the employer needs to:
- Provide devices for air purification
- Provide task lights
- Remove fluorescent lighting
- Allow schedules breaks
- Allow flexible working hours and allow work from home
To reduce sleep issues, the employer needs to:
- Allow the employee to have breaks and flexible working hours
- Allow the employee to work from home
Is it possible to get a disability when someone has Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia has not been listed as a medical condition in the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). Additionally, ADA has a general definition of disability.
Therefore, there are people who can be easily classified as disabled while others will miss out on being classified, and yet they all have Fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is not easy to diagnose, there are physicians who cancel some conditions of Fibromyalgia through blood tests and physical exams.
With this kind of information, it is vital to do a comprehensive background, before applying for disability.
Federal regulations state that qualification for disability encompasses proof of complete impairment.
Another proof has to be confirmed on how the impairment limits your mental and physical ability to work.
Disability is defined by The Social Security regulations as “the inability to perform any gainful activity because of a mental or medical condition.”
Additionally, the Social Security Administration states that the condition has to interfere with any activity that is work-related.
If it does not comply with these definitions, you won’t be considered for disability.
To add to the definitions, additional impairments are also considered in the process. One has to be unable to work or perform any productive work.
Your education and age are also considered, as well as the abilities that you still have and the work experience you possess.
How does one apply for disability?
You have to call the Social Security office if you want to apply for disability benefits. Most of the information regarding disability application can be provided over the phone, via the internet or by mail.
Specific questions will be asked about the challenges you have at work. You will need to be as specific with the details as possible, just like you are talking to a doctor about your condition.
You will provide the details of your physicians and doctors to confirm the severity of your condition.
The Social Security office will record every detail from your doctors in order to cover the details.
Are there any other details needed when applying for disability?
Fibromyalgia Symptoms description will not qualify for the classification into the disability bracket.
The specifics about the signs, the physical examination of our body, and how it affects your work productivity will also be assessed.
The Social Security office is very thorough yet considerate when looking at the signs and pain experienced.
The consolidation of the report the Social Security office comes up with will have to indicate that you are disabled before the benefits of disability are discharged to you.
If more details are needed, an examination by a licensed doctor will have to take place, and approval by the Social Security Administration will have to determine your situation.
What happens if the examination by the Social Security Office does not consider you disabled?
It is a common statistic that patients who suffer from Fibromyalgia don’t get approval from disability, especially during their first disability application.
In case you feel that justice was not done, you can file an appeal through a court that deals with these cases.
Some Fibromyalgia patients consider involving an attorney during the filing of the appeal.
Even though additional costs may be incurred, the chance of receiving approval are better once a legal counsel is involved.
Which documents are required in the application of disability?
The reports that your doctor records need to be provided, from the time you were diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.
Ensure that your doctor provides documentation of all the prescribed medications you were given, therapies schedules, and other lifestyle changes recommended to you to resolve the issues caused by Fibromyalgia.
You will also have to be assessed by a Fibromyalgia specialist, who in this case is a rheumatologist.
The doctor will have to provide a thorough assessment of your condition along with the tests and treatments provided to release you from the distress the disease causes.
To get more details about disability and the steps needed, you need to visit the Social Security website.