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Constant flares, extreme exhaustion, and work issues.....

Jun 07, 2016 9:02 PM

So I haven't been very active in the community, but need to vent with those who get it.

I've been on Cymbalta since January and was doing much better, or so I thought, except for a couple of flare ups a month. The meds were helping my concentration and took my daily pain levels down a notch, and basically eliminated the tactile skin pain issues. I still take OTC pain meds and/or a small dose of Tramadol for flares.

Turns out my work was expecting much more out of me, but I didn't realize this until getting blindsided by a big write up about a month ago. Some of which was mis-communicated to my boss, and/or completely out of my control due to client delays that are common. This was considered my second warning, since I didn't realize the few things that had been causally mentioned before starting the meds and implied as minor were considered a first warning!

One of the issues brought up was my hours. I am newer in my position in comparison to my co-workers, and so have a lighter and less complex workload. We often have mandatory overtime required (with a unspoken rule to work 5 hours + more), but my direct boss has always stated "as long as it is done on time and done right I don't care about how much overtime". I was meeting all my deadlines, excepting a few client delays, with a 40 hour work week, with few actually mistakes that were in my power.

So I started to make sure I was getting the minimum 8.5 hour workday they wanted of me, plus extra when needed (start of our busy season). They also moved me to a busy distracting cube, and adjusted my hours back to an 8am-5pm shift (I was starting at 10am to work with west coast clients), in hopes that I would pick up more of the job from those around. I have been able to learn more stuff there, but now I am constantly getting overwhelmed by the noise factor. The light fixtures are older and cause migraines. The earlier start means I am not able to easily deal with morning grogginess and pain at home. By the end of the day I am zombie unable to think. By the end of the week I am in a major flare up. I am supposed to be on mandatory 50 hours (unspoken 55) but barely managing to squeak by 45-47 before the pain overtakes everything.
Now I am second guessing everything, and stressing out even more!

The past few weeks have just been one flare after another, and with extremely exhaustion, with no energy for anything but work and sleeping 10-12 hours or more. I have neglected all household chores, and have no energy for the things I enjoy, my family hasn't seen "me", just the pain and fatigue. I have used all my sick time and have deeply dipped into my vacation time already, and this is the time of year when I usually have less issues with flares due to the warmer weather and long sunlit days.

Last week I hit a breaking point and told my work I needed some simple accommodations per the ADA to continue functioning (eliminating the mandatory overtime, a steady break schedule, and an anti-glare thingy for computer screens, and permitted use of heater/heat pad). They of course countered with they need to have these items in writing from my doctor. I have an appointment set up with her end of next week, and am hoping she will agree. In the past she has been very understanding.

But I am so worried, I know I cannot keep going as is!

Jun 07, 2016 9:26 PM

Oh RavenRose, I So get what you're going through. I had a job that (I loved) that was doing the unwritten rules, unspecified complaints, higher and higher expectations ...(though the clients loved me). I honestly thought they were trying to force me to quit. Do you work for a very big co.? I'm wondering how it's legal for them to treat their workforce this way...? Can you talk with anyone who works with you? I'm so sorry. Sounds like that job is an uncaring killer. Is it irreplaceable?

Jun 07, 2016 9:59 PM

Thanks Autoimmunes

The place I work often has policy handed down from higher up, some of which are international. When my written warning was brought up I was agreeable to some of the changes, but I had no idea how much it was going to affect me. I had given them the impression that my health issues were under control, because that was what I thought, but obviously the overtime and stress of the situation has put me overboard. They are more completely aware of the health situation now, and are completely willing to work with me as long as they get something from my doctor. And have been better about giving me feedback.

The job itself is expendable, and not exactly what I really want to be doing, but I am (was?) content with the position. I have been with the company for a handful of years. In the past I have looked for other jobs, but the location and flexible sick/vacation, FMLA, pay, and affordable insurance are sort of keeping me there. Unfortunately I am in an industry where overtime of 50-60 hours is considered the norm during the warm months, and I probably have more flexibility where I am at currently, than I would if I change and start over elsewhere.

Jun 08, 2016 2:46 PM

RavenRose, do you think your employer would be willing to let you come in at 9 and get off at 6? Maybe your doctor could write the suggestion? I understand being under such demands and how it is affecting your health. Before I went out for surgery, then quit to recuperate (8-12 mos), my job was requiring more and more. It's very hard to do, and then have time to recuperate at home and enjoy family time. I actually wondered if they were trying to run me off. I worked in an office once with overhead fluorescent lighting, and we all bought desk lamps and kept the overhead lights off, otherwise all four of us had headaches. I hope your doctor will be helpful and that your job will be accommodating. Hugs & prayers they will! 🙂💕🙏🌼

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