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  1. Hey, it is nice to know there are tons of jobs to help people who suffer from Fibromyalgia. I think that being a blogger would be really be a great job for the individual. You can write from the comfort of your home and get tons of work done. Besides blogging, you have a wonderful list of other options too. Avoiding certain jobs is necessary. Thanks for the information.

    1. Stephan Zev says:

      Thanks Kendrick

  2. Øssur Eysturoy says:

    Hi Stephan,

    Thank you for your great post. My wife is an Osteopath, and some of her patients have fibromyalgia. She often comes home frustrated because she isn’t able to help these people get better.

    Reading your post has given me a better understanding of what she is talking about.

    Your writing is good and captivating and really informative, and with the knowledge I’ve obtained here, I may be able to contribute and better understand what my wife is talking about.

    Thank you.


    1. Stephan Zev says:

      Glad to help Øssur, thanks!

  3. I was forced into resigning from a job I loved (learning support in secondary school).
    After a year of flares and final diagnosis I wrote to a well chosen few schools looking for exam invigilation work. Luckily one telephone and after a long chat welcomed me in.
    I work on a self employed basis and can say yes or no to any work giving me flexibility to pace if necessary. After 2 years I’ve worked out how much I can do sensibly. The staff are amazing and now understand more why I don’t work full time. …they are happy to help by carrying papers and signs about and have used to my writing routines in my little book so fibromyalgia fog doesn’t catch me out, this benefits any autistic students because it’s always the same structure and speech. I can sit or stand and walk about (in stealth mode) the room is silent so no noise confusion. There is no clouds of body spray to fight through and I can regulate the room temperature to keep everyone comfortable (I’m always hot and overheat easily).
    The school get to tick the disability box for ofsted and I get a caring workplace with grumpy teenagers.

    1. Hi Ruth, thanks for chiming in! I’m glad you found something that works for you 🙂

      1. Thank you Stephen
        I must admit I didn’t think I would after all the negativity from the other school and staff.
        My advice would be to follow your can and can’t lists and find a friendly manager to run your idea/needs passed.
        Stay strong everyone x

  4. Cheryl Fewell-Brown says:

    I was a medical transcriptionist for 32 years, which brought on a frozen shoulder, which led to forced range of motion after no relief from regular physical therapy modalities. This led to pain spreading throughout my body, which led to my diagnosis.

    In order to make a living as a transcriptionist you must have excellent grammar and spelling in specialized vocabulary. You must have an ear for foreign accents, dictating sometimes very fast since medical providers hate to dictate. Jobs are few and far between at this point. Making a living wage is more difficult since offered line counts have been stagnant over the past several years.

    Things may have changed since 2010, while in the middle of treatment for my workman’s comp injury (the frozen shoulder) our entire hospital transcription was outsourced to a national company. I lasted 4 months before resigning from an incredibly tenuous position. I would never recommend anyone at this point to become a transcriptionist, which is sad because it served me well for many many years.

    1. Hi Cheryl, thank you for sharing your story. I’m so sorry your career as a medical transcriptionist came to such an unfortunate end. Your testimony will be invaluable to readers of this post. Thank you and I wish you the best of luck!

  5. My last “real job was 7-8 years ago in data entry. Worst job ive every l had. The last couple years I was continuously picked on, told i was doing my work incorrectly (I wasnt – as I triple checked my work) and Im positive they were looking for a way to lay me off without getting into trouble. My stress was sky high there – im not headache prone but I was getting migraines there that would last 2 weeks just from the stress. Ill never work in an office again.

    I took a year off after that and really struggled with trying to figure out what to do. I couldnt sit very long, couldnt stand long either and the exhaustion was terrible. I ended up watching 3 kiddos and returning to my daycare life. Best decision ive ever made – kids dont judge the adults in their lives and i love playing games, reading, doing kids stuff.

    Unfortunately after 6 years Ive reached the end of my ability I think. Currently I am bringing in about 1/3 of my income sewing hot cold therapy packs, sinus/migraine and lavender pillows. I have an etsy shop thats slowly growing, im in several shops locally, my chiropractor sells them for me & that pays for my chiro bill. My goal this fall is to visit shop SCORE to see what my next step is for growth. I want to get more wholesale accts w spas, gift shops and health food stores as well as grow on etsy. Im thinking i would continue to care for kids during school breaks and summer just so i can get my kid fix still (thats my slow period).

    I was a literacy blogger for 8 years. I would of loved to figure out a way to get paid to be a review blogger and possibly do some editing or maybe reading aloud on tape would be cool. But no idea how to get into that market. That would be a wonderful job.

    1. Hi Tina, thanks for sharing your story. I’m glad things are starting to work out for you with your Etsy shop. I actually wrote a long post about making money from home creating crafts which my readers can access HERE. Regarding your comment about becoming a review blogger, that’s something I can personally help you with if you’re interested. All the best!

      1. I was a review blogger on 2 different blogs in the literacy market (for several publishing firms as well as authors in several countries) as well as many therapy tools like padded mats/noxicare/therapy balls, etc for many years. There was no money in the literacy market and thats what id love to do. Just couldnt figure out how to get paid for reading and reviewing those books.

        1. Hi Tina, no doubt, some markets are far harder than others to make money in (sometimes passion and opportunity don’t line up). Have you considered looking into another health-related niche instead?

      2. I would be interested in this as well

  6. Estey Bailey says:

    I just wanted to let you know how thankful I am that you have written this Quick Guide! I am 36 yr old mother of 4 who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia 9 yrs ago. We are on a single family income and my husband lost his full time job almost 4 yrs ago. It has been incredibly DIFFICULT despite being blessed enough to live with family during this time. My husband has been back at work for 2 yrs now and we are currently looking for OUR next home! However lately the stress and anxiety have overwhelmed just about every part of me! I have had such horrible anxiety for the last two days, I have been having panic attacks to the point of extreme fogginess and I feel like I can’t catch my breath. Dead in your article was a real “Godsmack” moment for me! I had forgotten just how much of my symptoms are associated with my fibromyalgia. Not to mention that I have been untreated in all of my diseases (RA, Shojrens, and OA) for the last 4 yrs due to no health insurance. My family doesn’t understand my disease and I do my best to forget that I even have them. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to apologize my very real pain both physical and emotional! You have given me a reminder that I needed to give myself a break and not feel weak, alone or broken. You have been a Godsend!

    1. Wow, thank you Estey, you made me blush 🙂 Your story is quite heartbreaking. I wish you all the best in getting through this very difficult period in your life. Keep persevering!

  7. Catherine J says:

    I don’t have fibromyalgia, but I do have CMT (which seems to be very similar when it comes to symptoms). This was a great article to read. I have not worked in almost five years and I’ve been trying to come up with ways to make an extra income to take some stress off my husband. I can’t work in an office so I decided to become mobile notary and signing agent. I just got my notary commission and am in process of getting my signing agent certification. Hopefully once I get some experience I can make a nice side income that will allow me to set my own work pace.

    1. Hi Catherine, that’s really interesting and something I hadn’t thought of. How long did it take you to get your notary commission and is there a specific online resource you’d recommend for readers of this post to check out? Thank you…

  8. Hi, Stephan! Thank you so much for this info. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia a year ago and it’s quite severe. I currently work in retail and I’m on my feet anywhere from 6-14 hours a day 40 hours a week. (The schedule is never the same.) I push through the pain but it’s harder with each passing day. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at blogging. Any advice on how to start?

    1. Hi Becky, yikes, your schedule sounds intense for a Fibro sufferer so I understand why you’d want to leave. In regards to blogging, I wrote a long post on how to start a blog about any health-related subject which you can read HERE. Becoming a successful blogger takes a long time but I can help you get there with this training. Hope that helps!

  9. theceoinslippers says:

    To be honest, I did not know much about fibromyalgia until I read this article. I have had clients who had this disability and, in fact, I am visiting one tomorrow. This has shed some light and I expect it will help me with my career, so thanks for posting this! My client will be looking for a job soon and I think that this will help her when she goes out to look for one.

    1. Stephan Zev says:

      Good to hear, thank you.

  10. Thank you for this very useful information. I don’t have Fibro, but I have a chronic illness & am unemployed. The information here is very relevant and helpful to me. So, I just wanted to say thanks! Xo, Faith ;-)!

  11. Dear Stephan,

    Just as I was feeling the most hopeless than I ever thought possible, I stumbled upon your words of encouragement and support…not to be overly dramatic but your article and all the insightful comments have felt like warm and comforting sunshine breaking through grey clouds on a bitter cold day. I had to literally blink a few times and re-read it all again because it’s just so incredibly relevant to the heart wrenching nightmare of what is called my life at this time! And you Stephan, feel like a lifeline to me today.

    My name is Becki, I have 4 amazing kids and I have been a nurse for 25 years specializing in cardiac critical care. When I think about all the tired and weary hearts that stopped beating and I helped to pump and bring back to life, I feel very blessed. I assisted with inserting tubes, wires, lines and drains then helped to remove them all and was fortunate to walk with patients arm in arm out the door with new & improved healthy hearts and a 2nd (sometimes 3rd or 4th) chance at life. However 4 years ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer that had spread to my lymph nodes and was off work for surgeries, 1 year of chemotherapy and weeks of radiation.

    In spite of not feeling ready and my family still reeling from the diagnosis, I returned to work 2 years ago full time as a nurse care coordinatior/case manager. But the 5 days a week, long stressful 10 hour days and my mother’s unexpected death wore me down; I was then diagnosed with fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, anxiety and depression. My oldest son, 18 yo at the time was impacted the most…he started using heroin and attempted to overdose several times. His dad (who revealed he wanted to live a gay lifestyle after 11 years of marriage) tried to help but only made it worse when his boyfriend started helping my son get his drugs.

    I’ve been on FMLA, STD and just a few days ago after 3 months of a delayed claim, my LTD was denied because the medical director who has never met me disagreed with my oncologist/rheumatologist. We have exhausted all avenues for expenses, our excellent credit is destroyed, we will soon lose our home that my husband and I have worked so hard for. My 3 boys: ages 21, 19, 13 and my little girl who is 8 years old know that something is wrong and hard as I try to get my heavy heart beating strong again, I am overwhelmed with meeting barrier after barrier with employment due to my restrictions and accommodation requests to work from home.

    Stephan, I would embrace any advice or recommendations that you could offer to me…with deep gratitude and a very tired but willing heart.

    Thank you so much,


    1. Hi Becki, thank you so much for sharing your powerful story. I’m sure many people, including myself, can relate to many aspects of it. I wish I had some great advice to impart to you but unfortunately, I’m just a humble blogger trying to get by as best as I can given my own health challenges. All I can offer is to help you earn an income from home with your own blog, which is my main mission with this site. If you’re interested, please visit this post. Either way, I wish you all the best in getting through this very difficult time. My heart goes out to you 🙂 Thank you for stopping by…

    2. Donna cooper says:

      I have fibro, chronic back and 2 back surgeries. Stephan I’m sorry for your illness.

      1. Thanks for your kind words Donna, all the best to you too.

    3. Becki Hi Thank you for sharing your story, I know that it had to be hard to bare your soul like that. I too am a nurse, with fibro and I work in home care anc I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!! I work 3rd shift and Ive worked with both peds and adults. Depending on your state and agencies, Im sure it wont be what you were making at the cardiologist office but home care can pay really good considering its one on one nurse to client ratio. Its worth it to check it out because itz truly not stressful at all and being in the home makes all the difference in the world.

  12. I’m a massage therapist and I have fibromyalgia, I specialize in deep tissue, I work about 8 to 10 hrs a day. I have found that when I’m not moving continuously I get stiffer and suffer more from fibro. I see a lot of fibro clients and they all sit for their jobs which puts them in more pain, bending, squatting, lifting of the human body has helped me be more mobile because my joints and muscles are all being used not just a few key muscle groups. Nutrition has made the difference in how I feel after work. Taking a monthly vitamin from tru vision has saved my energy life! So I dunno how I feel about some of these jobs.

    1. Hi Amanda, thanks for your input. I think it’s still possible to work one of these jobs so long as you remember to move around regularly (setting your smartphone to ring every hour, or half-hour can help).

  13. Hi Stephan, thank you for such a well informed post about real life with an invisible illness. I’m 32 and I’ve had FMS for 13 years, in addition to CFS, IBS, and a neck injury from a car accident. My entire work history has been in customer service, data entry, “call center” type environments. Any position paying enough is with a global BPO (outsourcing) corporation. Every one I’ve worked with has pushed back at every turn, every request for compromise. One employer would send a supervisor to your desk if your break was one min. over/under/early. NOT conducive to fibro-friendly (or IBS) habits. I’m very interested in some of the other jobs you’ve listed on your top 10, but I wanted to give readers a bit of insight into the Customer Service and data entry jobs listed. If one can find a company allowing more flexibility or work from home, I assume that’s a different story. I’m not saying the right job isn’t out there, but be aware of these environments in the industry. Be completely, I mean brutally, honest with them up front. If they cannot accommodate, it’s a waste of your time and theirs. Not to mention the pain and frustration it will cause your body.

    Thanks for all your support and insight, Stephan. Keep up the great work!

    Hang in there everyone!

    1. Hi Marissa, thanks for your kind words and sharing your experience as a customer service agent! Have you ever tried doing customer service from home? I wrote a lengthy post about it which might interest you: Customer Service Jobs for the Disabled. Hope that helps!


  14. Barbara Collins says:

    Medical transcription is possibly THE WORST job for someone with fibromyalgia. You have to sit in an odd position to utilize computer screen, keyboard, and foot pedal. You have to sit for extended periods of time in the same position. It is a high-stress job which will cause anxiety. Your muscles will tense up over the day. If you work from home you will have the stress of trying to maintain your home and family with your work schedule. It is a constant race to achieve the line count required of you. You must make decisions about a thousand times per day. Was that word intra- or inter-, Valium of thallium? You will deal with dictators who are ESL and have heavy accents which are very difficult to understand. These are only a few of the stressors related to medical transcription. Please think twice about entering this dying field and choose a career which will allow you to move and relax. I know. I was a transcriptionist for 35 years. I now have fibromyalgia and I doubt I will ever recover from this horrible condition.

    1. Thank you for your input Barbara. I’m sure readers of this post will find it invaluable.

      1. The same would also apply for legal transcriptionists, although personally I feel the words are easier to spell. I think the basic rule of thumb – avoid transcription work. It causes eye strain, headaches, neck aches, upper back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome in normal individuals. Just imagine what it does for those of us with fibromyalgia, and don’t forget most of us have something else like R.A. to compound the issue.

      2. Admin Asst is also horrible for Fibromyalgia suffers. I was an AA or the equivalent for 14 years in health care. Health providers and institutions I worked for would not be flexible, would not make special accommodations, would not allow for frequent breaks, was very stressful and exhausting, pushed me out from one position to another, gave me poor work reviews and counseled me on taking any sick time, gave me hard times about going to doctor’s appts and PT. I ended up having to quit, because HR would not support me; and that was after my supervisor mocked me having Fibromyalgia, RA, OA, and Myofascial Pain to other staff in front of patients. And HR did nothing. And I was denied short term disability through my work, even after my doctor said I could not work under these conditions and longer.

        1. I agree. I worked as an Admin Asst in a hospital and had to leave on Medical Disability. The difference for me is that my former workplace did try to accommodate me with shorter shifts etc. Sadly they were still shifts that were set to days and times. My fibro isn’t on a set schedule so working on set days and times is impossible for me.

        2. Charmaine Eby says:

          I know what you went through. I was an Executive secretary for a bullying boss. There was much stress, and HR would not support me moving to a different position in the company. I also was forced to quit as I was denied any disability too.

    2. I am a medical transcriptionist with fibromyalgia and the fog gets me more than anything. I work from home so I am able to get up and move and rest when needed but there are several from home transcription companies that will work with you on being able to rest when needed

      1. I would be interested in hearing more about those companies and doing it part-time. I am a dental hygienist and health coach, looking for supplemental income. Can’t work FT in my field with fibro (dental careers are not a good match, for anyone reading who has pain issues!).

  15. Erica Camp says:


    Thank you for this post. I have been on Active duty in the United States Navy for 18 years. I was diagnosed with fibro about a year ago. I went through a medical board and they decided to medically retire me. I received my retirement date this week. My last day in the Navy will be 28 October 2017.
    I am married and have 4 children. My husband is a stay at home dad and full time student. I am blessed to have disability but it will not cover everything. I was convinced that I needed to find a job that I can do from home a long time ago. I live in the DC area and commute almost 3 hours round trip each day. I’ve been searching for an at home job for a while. I haven’t had much luck. In the Navy, I do administrative work. I cannot seem to find a good fit for me. Do you have any suggestions?

    1. Hi Erica, the jobs cited in this article are a good start but you can also take a look at the job opportunities posted HERE and HERE. See if any of those sound interesting to you. Let me know if that helps!

      1. Those jobs all require specific education. With inability to concentrate and retain info going back to school isn’t an option for people with Fibro

        1. Sherry, that’s what I was thinking! I can push through pain and fatigue most days, but if my brain can’t think straight how can I keep a job??

          1. I just want to know how I can pay the bills if I’m too clouded by brain fog to keep a good job, but not disabled enough to collect disability?

        2. Agree. Cognition problems is causing high anxiety for me right now. Of all the symptoms of fibro, that is the one causing me the most trouble because it fells so limiting and final.

    2. Erica do you use messenger? If so I’d like to talk with you there if you don’t mind. Thanks

      1. Same as I. It took a long time to admit. Now I’m unable to meet deadlines because I forget and become overwhelmed. I need FMLA but cannot afford one.

  16. I’m in a hard job for my fibro…. I’m a barista ???? so not only am I on my feet for up to 14 hrs + a day with 30 mins rest, 20 of that is driving…. It’s hard lifting and constantly smells of food perfumes etc….. I want to move on but I’m scared my fibro will affect my amazing work record ….. but seem to have had all the symptoms … some all in a day ????…. only been actually diagnosed 3 weeks and given meds buy not sure where i go from here ….

    1. Hi Terri, please check out my “Jobs” and “Extra Income” sections for some possible ideas. Good luck!

      1. Hi Stephan
        I work nights for a retailer in uk . I was a power house. Fast strong I out worked the men . I’ve been a mgr same work just with paperwork . And bigger kickings from boss no problems . Now I can barely lift a box. Had to step down from mgr my brain was scrambled. Now I’m struggling everyday . Employers don’t care because I had a good reputation now they just dont get it . I was working 62 hours a week as mgr now 40 as normal staff . I only dropped £289 in wages but that’s huge amount. My husband says change your job I can’t I’m an income provider I’m on 20k a year and that’s good I will struggle to find another job that pays that much. With FMs any help would be great . Emma (38)

        1. Hi Emma, I have fibro and work full time as a project coordinator in an office. It’s really not the best when the air con breaks and freezes you constantly or goes hot and cold throughout the day. I’ve recently started my own little business which I work 90% online and can do it from my phone 🙂
          It’s all about empowering and uplifting women and I hope to make it my full time income … many women already have. Would something like this be
          of interest to you? I’d love to help if I can xxx

          1. Hi kate… I have severe fibro… Please let me know if you can help me… I need an online job.

          2. Hi Kate, I would love for you to share with me more about your business if you would. I would greatly appreciate it! I would love love to be able to leave my job as an Educational Assistant, but I really need to have some income of some sort.

          3. Hi Kate I just saw your post and I would LOVE to get more information on this if you wouldn’t mind.

          4. Hi Kate
            I am an Educational Assistant and would love to try something new, could you please forward more info.
            My job is slowly killing me, I’ve been doing it 14 years.

    2. I am a barista as well and trying to cope with chronic pain!

  17. I 100% disagree with Customer Service Representative are a good job for fibromyalgia/chronic pain suffers . My job title as a bank teller is CSR and aside from standing all day , we have major stress due to unattainable sales goals and customer service expectations. This is the same in most other CSR roles where people have goals and sales pressure.

    1. I DEFINATELY agree, I worked at a credit union from being hired as a Member Service Rep through Accounts Opening, running an atm program and ordering cards and online banking, ach and checking acts…i worked my way up to salary in 9 YRS and was making 50k, I never worked so hard as I did I ended up leaving as member service supervisor in charge of all ms reps and it’s was an extremely stressful job. Not to mention the FIBRO fog was the deciding factor for me to have no choice but to walk away after all that I had accomplished. No college education and I was making 50k a year 5wks vacation and 10 sick and 2 personal….benefits cost me 650/mo for insurance for family and who would hire me now???? I can’t even predict how im going to feel day to day…..i once fell asleep on my way to work and had a near miss…and that happened alot….they weren’t extremely accommodating to say the least they ended up pushing me out the door to be honest. It felt awful…..

  18. Betty Sue says:

    I run a storage facility. Now, maybe one that is ran by Corp. may not be best, but rather family owned. It is not a high stressful job. I am able to communicate with the public, help people, get up and down alot, etc, and still get paid a decent wage. Just an idea for those out there still trying to seek employment

  19. I had to leave a job with my state. I was a probation and parole assistant. The stress of dealing with criminals and home life about killed me. My job was like a corrections officer but it was a release center. I found out about my fibromyalgia after I dropped on the floor in front of a inmate. He helped be up. That was a close call so I had to leave

    1. I also worked for the courts! 22 years. I typed the Presentence Investigations. The stress was unbearable. Between reading what the criminals were doing and what the courts were not doing I was miserable. I had been to several doctors when the third one in December 2017 said I needed to quit my job. The doctors never once took me off work. I finally did in March 2018. I did not have the money and I’m stressed. But actually it was the best decision for me. The building I worked in was closed because of mold and asbestos in December 2017. They knew I was sick, so sooner than later they would have fired me. Im lucky I have a husband that is always behind me. But being retired at 56 and I have always worked makes me feel guilty. I know Im sick. But now what?

  20. My career is on the list! I’m an editor, and though I currently work for a boss who has no compassion for … well, anyone, I have also started my own editing firm with a partner. Hopefully someday we can make a go of it so it will be our only source of income, and then I’ll have total freedom!

  21. Vic.198888 says:

    Maybe this isn’t for everyone but after being a dancer for years I ended up with fibromyalgia and early arthritis few years ago at age of 27. I decided to become a webcam model. It ment I could work few hours at night 5 days per week working two cameras at once and also making a great wage. Obviously its not a forever job but in the mean time I can fund maybe doing an online course for my future that I can do long term. The sex industry isn’t for anyone but mostly I end up chatting than anything else and I have a lot of other followers who are also fibro sufferers and webcam models, its seems to be popular choice for younger sufferers.

    1. Hey! This is something I’ve been thinking of doing for a while now can you recommend a certain agency that you went with please? Xx

  22. Another high stress job is teacher. Even higher: Special Education teacher.
    And if you combine Special Ed teacher with Math and Middle School you get what I call the trifecta.

    1. I am a school bus driver. There is a lot of stress but I get a break between routes and I can at least go home and rest. I was a retail manager but I can’t stand on my feet or lift anymore.

    2. I have been subbing. I can pick and choose when I want to work, I don’t have to accept every job that comes my way and if I have a bad day on a Monday – I can come home and cancel my job on Tuesday to allow myself to rest. I find subbing easier with middle school, it is more like making sure they don’t leave the room and helping them if there is something they don’t understand.

  23. I have had to give up office work having been a legal/medical secretary for many many years. Why? Not only because the commuting to work was so tiring and not only because sometimes I hurt…no the main reason was cognitive dysfunction..I found I couldn’t hold information. I forgot things. If I was told too many things at once or I had to learn something new my brain became literally a fog and became was a struggle to unravel and complete the end I felt I was not giving my best to the was embarrassing not picking things up as easily as I used to and above all it became so stressful knowing I wasn’t functioning clearly that I gave in my I’m looking at cleaning..yes it will hurt but my brain won’t have the overload and I won’t get so stressed.. it’s a very hard thing to come to terms with..

    1. Oh my gosh! This could be me! I am experiencing exactly the same things, I just don’t feel well enough to do cleaning. Just applied for benefits but am very worried ????

      1. Good luck Cathy!!! I’m about to apply too. ?

    2. I clean and have for years. My clients love my work and are understanding of my recent diagnosis. Flexible scheduling and you figure out your limitations to not trigger. Everyday is different and with its own challenges.

    3. Oh Maggie… I’m reading this and it is as if I had written it about myself.
      I can barely take care of myself and my own home though. ????
      I do wish you the very best!

    4. Yes, I have the same thing, always forget everything and have so much pain but I’m still trying to hold on for dear life to my job … good luck but I understand your pain.

    5. If you are on Lyrica for your Fibromyalgia, get weaned off immediately. It stops your brain from forming new neural connections, thus the inability to retain new information. I used to experience all of those problems for the 6 years I was on Lyrica, so I started to think that was just what ‘brain fog’ was. It’s not. 3 years off and I actually have cognitive function back, short term and working memory and the ability to learn again. My nerve pain may be worse (and weaning off it was the worst pain ever), but having my brain back is worth it. Brain fog now only gets really bad on terrible fatigue days and even then it’s less severe and easier to cope with.

      1. Zee,

        I was on Lyrica for my Fibromyalgia. I figured out it was the cause of my problems when working. None of my doctors would take me off of this drug. I started ramping down slowly. I learned that I had a very bad allergic reaction after I had stopped taking the medication. My brain function has not returned. Ever since that terrible drug, I usually am let go after 3 or 4 months, because I cannot remember what I have learned. I have worked in Human Resources for years, now I am in benefits, and it is precise, and fast paced. I expect to be let go in the next two weeks. I have already had the discussions with my supervisor. Is it not bad enough to be in pain with every breath you take, but to have the medication damage you further, it is not fair.

    6. I totally understand your situation. The cognitive factor was the main reason I retired earlier than I had planned. I worked in a very supportive and flexible office. I couldn’t have asked for a better workplace. I had fibro since 2000 and the symptoms became worse and more often. I was missing almost 1 day of work each week due to fatigue and pain. I was getting further behind and couldn’t catch up. I had always been a very good worker but with lost days and changes in work plus the brain fog I also didn’t feel I could handle working any longer.
      Kudos to you Maggie. I struggle to clean my own home.

  24. I’m a direct care worker! I love my job, I take care of hospice patents, mentally challenged and physically challenged. I’ve been on medical leave since November 2017 ordered by my PCP. It’s time for me to face I will not be returning to work, I can barely shower and wash my own hair or lift anything too heavy; I’m exhausted doing the smallest things for myself and stumble. I love taking care of others and solving their issues whether it’s with health insurance, housing or teaching them a skill! I’m in pain almost 24/7. I got take care of them and myself and give them my best of me! Help!

  25. Hi, my daughter suffers from Fibromyalgia and some form of arthritis. She worked in retail and was very good at it but it was getting progressively harder for her to enjoy the job plus having to call in sick more and more frequently and the company she worked for had little or no compassion for her problem. Her boyfriend talked her into quitting. All was good but soon started falling apart for her and the BF. I help her as much as I can but I’m not wealthy by any stretch so it is a burden on the wife and I. On top of everything, she seems more depressed than ever. I think a job that she can do would help her tremendously. She has some college but no degree so a job she can get will probably be hard on her. I’d love to be able to see her succeed as I will not be here to support her forever, I just don’t know what she could do.

  26. I disagree too with the Administrative Assistant position even being included. I know for me personally it is not a good fit because I have Fibro and have had this position. I think the hardest part is the set schedule. I think it would be fine if it was home-based work though. I have also worked as a Real Estate agent and I agree that this could be a good fit but keep in mind all of the things related to the position that are not so flexible. Yes, you can do a lot of admin stuff from home. You can work from home or the office but you are self employed. Your expenses like car maintenance and gas to drive clients around come out of your pocket. Since you are commission-based, you have to work your tail end off to get a sale. But you might be working so hard for months with a client who decides I’m not ready to buy or whatever. You are then out all this money without having stable pay coming in. Not worth it to me personally but my fibromyalgia is getting pretty bad. I’ve had it well over ten years.

    1. I agree. I’ve done Admin. Asst. too. I even got a Legal Transcription certificate. But It’s those tight deadlines that are my problem.
      I was diagnosed with FM 15 years ago, but already had depression and anxiety. I never know what my day will be like till I wake up in the morning. Even then, it may change within the hour. How in the world do I hold a job with those issues, ya know?!

      1. I feel the same way, I’m 43 and have worked since 17. When I was 26 I started to get bad anxiety and depression. I managed fine with medication 5 years ago I hurt my back then was just in pain and soar all over. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia right after. I’m a Master Plumber and my life has just gone down hill. I sold my house all my things and now after 10 years of marriage and 12.5 years of being together my wife left me. My only hope is breeding my emerald tree boa. I’ve had my male for ten years and I’m hoping to save for a female. I’m 43 and live with my parents. I used to work so hard I had every toy. It’s a struggle everyday dealing with this and feeling like the biggest loser.

        1. Jordan, bless you for sharing. I too was successful and looking forward to living a full, healthy, happy stable life. I have 3 degrees and a master’s. I’m a mental health therapist…I was. Because of fibro, I lost my career/license, my fiance after a 5 year relationship, I’m back at home with my mom and can’t contribute money or chore-wise. All I have is my car which I MUST keep or I’m screwed. I live in NC in a rural area…oh yeah, I also miscarried, probably due to meds I’m taking for this and other conditions. Some days I feel broken. Others I’m thankful to be here. Something will give. Though I hate what you’re going through, it helps to know I’m not crazy, lazy, or alone in this subjective battle. ?

      2. I appreciate a person trying to figure out what we can do for a paycheck. Lord knows I could use more money. But I had to leave my job 6 years ago due to pain and panic attacks. I struggle every day with just trying to get in the shower or load the dishwasher. I am still in shock and trying everything to get my health back. It helps to know there are others who are dealing with the same issues. No one wants to hire you when they can not depend on you to do the job. Fact. I have always worked and have loved it. Always been athletic and healthy. Now I have to somehow accept the new reality that my life as I knew is over. This is the new reality.

    2. I also have a Criminal Justice degree, that I can’t use.

    3. I agree with the Admin Assistant. I just was let go from job of 6 yrs. It was painful for me to sit all day at the computer not to mention the swelling in my hands, knees and feet at the end of the day.

    4. Sylvia Willemburg says:

      I’m 64, have osteoarthritis and Fibro and was retrenched 2 years ago. My settlement package is up and I needed to find a source of income, which is REALLY hard when you are both over 60 and have health issues!
      I did extensive research and have started an on-line Virtual Admin Support business from home. I have my first client and, with well set deadlines, I am able to manage my health and workload. I can take frequent breaks from the PC, walk my dogs for exercise and get up late and work in the evenings if I have had a bad night. I am keeping my health nicely under control and loving this new style of working (and my client is very happy with my output}. With no commuting, my 6 hour work day is exactly that – 6 hours. I finally have some balance in my life and haven’t felt this good or productive in nearly 10 years!

  27. I am a certified elementary school teacher looking for guidance in finding in-home employment. The combination of symptoms has now made it too difficult to teach. While paraprofessional jobs would reduce much of stress, they only pay a little over minimum wage.

    1. My daughter is a teacher and is dealing with fibromyalgia, too. She gets massages and cold laser therapy as well as sees a chiropractor just to keep going. It’s so rough for all of you suffering with fibromyalgia.
      She told me of a website called TeachersPayTeachers and has put several things on there herself. She makes about $20 a month on average but wants to add more things to the site. She said some teachers make enough money to quit their teaching job! Another option for you would be to tutor children. Parents will gladly bring them to your home or you can take one day a week to go to their home. Also, a good place to tutor is in places where children take lessons and have to wait their turn such a karate studios. Contact several teacher friends and let them know you’re available for tutoring. Also, share it on social media and make up some flyers to hand out. Best wishes to you!

  28. Amy McCormick says:

    I was diagnosed with Fibro in 2012. Since then I tried to apply for disability and even had a lawyer. Case was lost because there was such a long time between jobs. (Not enough work credit). I worked for the same company for 11 years (telecommunications for a women’s clothing mail order company. I started there when I was 16. I quit when I got married to a man in the military and did not need to work. I did have several jobs here and there to make ends meet. (With 3 kids we needed a second income). Finally my chronic migraines made it so I just plain and simply could not work. My doctor even labeled me as UNABLE to work in the paperwork for my disability case. I could work from home if there was something I could do from home. I tried my hand at school for Medical Transcription but found that the Fibro-fog made it extremely difficult to remember all the new words and definitions. I tried my hand at an accounting class, but the numbers just flat stressed me out and caused a massive flare. Our family now has teenagers and more than ever needs to be a dual income family. (My husband is no longer in the military). Many days I cry because I feel completely helpless that I can not contribute to our household. In 2009 I had Gastric Bypass to be able to keep up with my kids and make myself healthier, but then came the onset of Fibro. It has ruined my life. I feel like a weight on my family and even worse when it comes to my husband. I feel so depressed because regardless of what he says I feel like I have let him down. I wish to God there was a way I could contribute.

    1. Right there with you. I feel like a schmuck not being able to pitch in. Gave up trying to carry a job. Hubby works so we’ve got some income. I’m so not used to being unemployed.

      We’ve been blessed as the company he works for has a mobile home on their property that they are going to let us live in possibly rent free. We’ll know for sure maybe this weekend. Hubby mentioned they have miscellaneous hardware that needs to be stored and put back to stock so I’m going to ask them if I can do that for a couple dollars. Every little bit helps. Have also thought about becoming a limo driver. Think about it, driving a sweet ride, meet interesting people, sit around waiting for them to do what they’re doing, pick them up and take them home! I had an offer to shuttle vehicles at the airport. Sounded interesting but it was too far from home causing the financials to be a debit so I opted not to.

      Just throwing some ideas at you. Unfortunately I think we have to downgrade from what we were doing, accept it, take on something simpler than what we’re used to and enjoy it.

      Good luck and take care of yourself. Sounds like hubby is on your side so go simple and enjoy.

  29. I disagree with customer service rep, especially if you’re referring to those in call centers. It is high stress and low ability for movement. There is constant pressure to meet call time, resolution and quality goals from higher ups and pressure and tension from the people on the phones. Getting up from your desk is limited to scheduled breaks and lunch. If you have to go to the bathroom more than that, your supervisors question you and if it continues, they will put you on notice … verbal and eventually written. Hours of operation are horrible.
    I have worked in several call centers and each one exacerbated depression and panic attacks and eventually fibro. I know too many people who have worked in call centers who were either on antidepressants, anti-anxiety meds and who had developed other chronic conditions due to the overwhelming stress.
    Just wanted to share that with you and your readers.

    1. Hi Andrea, have you tried doing customer service from home? I’ve written a whole post about it, which you can check out here. Hope that helps!

      1. FibroMama says:

        I have fibromyalgia and I work (when not on medical leave) a customer service job from home for a VERY BIG Fortune 500 company. I don’t think it gets better than this particular company when it comes to policy, procedure etc. for their Customer Service Reps. I’ve also worked in a call center setting. Several, actually. The only difference betwixt working from home and a call center setting is the fact that you are at home. The stress, inability to control your schedule, things that cause the anxiety (job related) are all still there.

        When I’m flaring, my irritability skyrockets. Customers become unbearable and my ability to empathize disappears. This is the exact opposite of what a customer service rep is hired to do. That doesn’t change based on location.

        If you are not doing what you’re supposed to be doing when you’re supposed to be doing it, you will be written up (after a verbal warning) just like in a regular call center setting. I like that I am not physically dealing with a supervisor breathing down my neck, but the instant messenger pop-up to “check on me” are just as annoying and stress enducing when I’m flaring and barely holding it together.

        Customer service jobs are NOT fibro-friendly. Period.

    2. I agree on that. I do customer service from home and I get one call on top of the other and my calls are monitored and have to be less than 5 and a half minutes or I make less money and have last choice for hours. Most of my calls take 7 to 10 minutes on average so not only is it a stressful job, but also puts a financial burden on my family because I don’t get enough hours.

    3. I agree. I moved to a later schedule 3:3-midnight. Helping immensely. Totally different atmosphere. Just need to hold on until I turn 62.

  30. My job which is a pharmacy technician of 21 years is about to kill me but mostly I can not deal with the people anymore. That/they are what stress me out the most and make me feel so so so much worse than I already do not to forget the extreme physicality of the job.

    You wouldn’t think so but there is SO much to do in a pharmacy job now and the “lay person” doesn’t even know what we go through, all we have to do and put up with. We don’t just fill a prescription. There is just too much for me to even list. The people are what is getting to me now. I’m highly and easily angered, have ZERO patience for all the stupidity and babysitting I have to deal with, customers have become unbearable for me. All this causes more anxiety, MORE PAIN etc etc on and on.

    My coworkers are pretty great. They help and understand the best they can but they walk on eggshells. Of course, all my doctors don’t seem to know anything that’s going on even when I try to explain I’m about ready to just completely blow. I am so scared I’m going to be fired for something I do (my company is like that as well. I don’t trust them at all) because I can’t keep my calm anymore. I just don’t know what to do. I’m stuck and lost. I have to make money. I have to have insurance. I have no idea what I can do other than pharmacy and no idea where or how to start.

    I have to make at least what I’m making now which is I feel pretty good pay for no degree of any kind. This is all I’ve ever known or done besides a food job outta high school. I feel one day I’m just going to go off the deep end and have no job, no home, no one to help me and be destitute. If I could just be at home or not in the public. The longer I work the more things are going wrong with my body.

    I’ve never been able to get married which was my dream, to marry, have kids and be a stay at home mom/wife. Guess God didn’t see fit to give that to me so I have no help that way. I know it could be worse and I’m grateful for what I do have but how do you make it through life sometimes when it’s this hard, depressing and unfair. I’ll just stop here because I’ve said enough.

    1. I feel you. I worked a job for 19 years then fibromyalgia started flaring enough that it reflected in my work and was let go. I was devastated. Took a few months off to collect myself, applied for disability and was told that I still have functioning organs and am not blind and could continue doing what I was. That threw me for a loop. Felt so horrible mentally, physically, emotionally.

      I’ve tried different jobs and like you, people’s stupidity pissed me off and stresses me out then that causes fibro flare ups. Fibromyalgia basically makes you nuts plain and simple. I’m so happy to have all my drugs, they numb me to society.

      I’ve gotten to the point I can’t take it anymore and have given up on the job force. I do have a wonderful husband that has agreed I can stop working. It’s difficult for me as all I’ve known most my life is to work. Which makes you independent, then all of a sudden your home not knowing what to do with yourself. It’s been 2 months and I still feel guilty about it.

      I do a little housekeeping and that’s all I have the strength to do. I never thought my life would end up this way. It sucks.

      I’m going to try disability again and hope for the best.

      I hope things work out for you.

    2. I worked as a Retail Pharmacy Tech for 10 years and a small stint at a mail order pharmacy as a order entry where the stress level of performance was crazy. I went to long term care where the setting is more laid back and the stress level of one-on-one with angry customers and 20 min turn overs. I’ve been doing my current job for 9 years, some days are rougher than others but I have been put in a position where I enter medical records for residents and also do a tech position taking care of the 4 centers drug machines that they use for emergencies for after hours. I can move around during the week so I’m not always sitting or standing. It works for me so far but I’m not severe thank God. My husband tries to take my load at home off at home and that’s great. He’s an angel.

    3. I had to give up my job as a pharmacy technician 9 years ago when my back pain and fibro started. I couldn’t stand in one spot longer than 2 minutes before the pain in my legs became unbearable.
      I’m on disability now and I miss that work sooo much but I know I couldn’t lift, run around, and be as mentally sharp as I need to be. I worked in a hospital and we had IV work to do as well. Now that my hands shake it would be almost impose on.
      I’m curious you seem scared to leave as it’s the only job you know but you don’t realize the other skills you have aquired working as a tech. You have a vast knowledge of medical terminology, processing insurance, data entry, record keeping (CII) ppw. Believe it or not a lot of Dr. Offices hire someone with these skills.
      Pharmacy Technician is hard work dealing with angry customers and all can be very stressful. I just hope you realize if you ever have to leave you’re not hopeless.
      It’s not easy dealing with this disease when other people don’t understand. Or to even try to date . I wish you all the best and you never know when God may put that certain someone in your life, don’t give up yet!

  31. Diagnosed with fibromyalgia last year after a year and a half trying to figure out what was wrong. I’m 26 and currently work in Data Entry. I’ve been struggling with this job. It doesn’t feel like it should be as straining on my body as it is.

    My degree is in English. I’ve always considered myself a writer, but I want to teach too. It’s so frustrating! I want to be out there doing something meaningful with my life, but most of the time I don’t even feel like getting out of bed because of the fibro and depression. I keep trying to push forward, but it’s hard.

    Thanks for this post. It’s given me some options to think about.

      1. I wish it were that easy. When a person is applying for a job, they can’t tell the prospective employer what their “criteria” would be to work for the company. An employer would say something along the lines of “okay, thanks for coming in” and there would not be a call back. Free-lance means no steady paycheck & I’m pretty sure most people have to have money. Working is not a privilege, it’s a necessity. As a divorced mom of 3, works 2 jobs & a migraine sufferer, jobs don’t care if you don’t “feel well”. They need tasks completed & if you can’t, they will move to someone who can-it’s a vicious cycle.

    1. Hey Kendra, have you tried teaching English as a second language online? That could be an option for you.

    2. There are online teaching jobs. Teaching english to children.

  32. I’ve been diagnosed for almost 21 years and most recently was laid off about 8-9 years ago. My last job they were looking for reasons to write me up & saying I was making errors I know I wasn’t. I knew what they were doing – they were setting me up to be laid off and covering their rears so they wouldn’t get into trouble.

    I have to say I agree that administrative asst and the other one people said wasn’t a good fit. We (as fibromyalgics) do not have the memory and struggle too much with learning new tasks and understanding basic instructions and processes. Fibro fog is one of the worst symptoms we have.

    I personally have done child care for 3 families for the last 6-7 years. I love my kids but I’m exhausted. All 3 families are very supportive for me. All my kiddos are in school and I can rest as needed. If I couldn’t I wouldn’t be able to do this job.

    I am currently considering retiring. Amazon is hiring shoppers for online grocery sales. That’s a choice. One of my day-care moms suggested doing hospice or companion care. I’m not medicated and still want to work and help others – so I know that will be a requirement for me when I start looking. I also have my own business creating and selling Therapy Packs for those w chronic illnesses & I’d love to expand but the sewing has been really hard on me physically.

    1. I do get what you mean, but for me my admin job has been a life saver. When I’m having a good (my good being most people’s below average, I’m sure you relate) day, I can work my butt off while still managing to keep myself from getting too pained, and on bad days it’s easy enough to take it slow. As for learning new things, I find that gives me motivation to push past my syndrome and get some confidence up, and provided you’re open and honest with those around you, and write things down to keep yourself on track, it works well. But everyone is different. I think that’s the big thing I’m taking from these threads.

  33. Kate Judson says:

    Though I have no formal diagnosis I suffer from similar symptoms to Fibromyalgia and have found this page helpful. What a resource humans are to each other when we get to share and pool our experiences. Thanks.

    I’m currently at the end of my tether mentally, trying to find a means of financial autonomy. My partner has been supporting me since I moved in and lost all unemployment welfare, including any kind of specialized disability employment seeking support services. Not even sure if I would have qualified anyway as chronic disease doesn’t seem to be recognized as disability even when it’s totally debilitating.

    I was a massage therapist and was hoping I could transfer some of the empathic skills set but am finding there’s not a huge place in the marketplace for empathy. Lol. So I have been utilizing my artistic talents and resourcefulness and come up with a unique artisan product but it actually takes a lot of capital to market something properly to sell it, and if it doesn’t sell you’re just frustrated most of the time and demotivated.

    I’m selling at a wkd markets but can only manage one a month because it takes it out of me. So, it’s more of a hobby that’s bringing in some coin than a business. Sadly, because I really love it. I’m looking into retraining at college in something else or even hospice massage but don’t have the money for it. It feels like a vicious cycle of barriers.

    I’ll take on board some of the ideas that others here have tried.


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