Are you needing some fibromyalgia work accommodations? Are you using all the work options available to you? Do you even know what those work options are? Ever wonder if it’s time for you to file for short- or long-term disability?

If you are struggling with these questions about work and fibromyalgia, I encourage you to take this assessment developed by one of my best coaches,  Julie Hamilton at Coaching PI. (Take the assessment here.) After you complete the assessment, Julie will send you a personalized reply with what she believes your options are. You’ll also have the opportunity to schedule a one-on-one consultation with Julie to discuss your individual situation.

Julie has been trained by me directly and is a graduate of the International Fibromyalgia Coaching Institute. In addition to being a Certified Fibromyalgia Coach, Julie is a Certified Life Coach and Youth Life Coach. She has over 20 years as a Human Resources Manager/Director. This means she knows the ins and outs of the workplace when dealing with health issues. She has worked with the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) since its inception and can help you request fibromyalgia work accommodations from your employer to help you keep working. Julie has fibromyalgia and is familiar with workplace issues you may be facing.

I’ll be honest with you — whenever I have workplace questions or clients who need help with short-term disability, FMLA, requesting accommodations, or any other issues that come up at work, I go to Julie. She is truly an expert in this field and, quite frankly, knows WAY more than I do on this subject!

Half of Surveyed Fibromyalgia Patients Are Unable to Work

Fibromyalgia affects as many as 5 million Americans ages 18 and older with 80%-90% being women. About half of these patients are unable to work.

In March 2007, an internet survey was conducted with individuals who have fibromyalgia. Here’s a direct quote from the survey:

The respondents were nearly equally divided regarding their ability to maintain gainful employment. Those who were still working felt that their symptoms compromised their ability to be productive due to frequent absences and reduced work hours. Approximately 20% of the respondents had filed some form of disability claim and 6% received workman’s compensation. [1]

A Note From Julie

Julie Hamilton

I am passionate about helping women with fibromyalgia excel in their professional careers and regain their active social lives. I want to help you be one of the fibromyalgia patients that is able to continue working! Visit my website to fill out the questionnaire. I will then email you a personalized assessment based on your answers within 7 days.

Take the assessment here and get the help you need.


  1. Bennett, Robert M., et al. “An internet survey of 2,596 people with fibromyalgia.” BMC musculoskeletal disorders 8.1 (2007): 27.

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Press Release


Get your free copy of Take Back Your Life
Readers’ Favorite recognizes Take Back Your Life in its annual international book award contest.

The Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest featured thousands of contestants from over a dozen countries, ranging from new independent authors to NYT best-sellers and celebrities.

Readers’ Favorite is one of the largest book review and award contest sites on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the “Best Websites for Authors” and “Honoring Excellence” awards from the Association of Independent Authors. They are also fully accredited by the BBB (A+ rating), which is a rarity among Book Review and Book Award Contest companies.

Readers’ Favorite receives thousands of entries from all over the world. Because of these large submission numbers, they are able to break down their contest into 140+ genres, and each genre is judged separately, ensuring that books only compete against books of their same genre for a fairer and more accurate competition. They receive submissions from independent authors, small publishers, and publishing giants such as Random House, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, with contestants that range from the first-time, self-published author to New York Times bestsellers like J.A. Jance, James Rollins, and #1 best-selling author Daniel Silva, as well as celebrity authors like Jim Carrey (Bruce Almighty), Henry Winkler (Happy Days), and Eriq La Salle (E.R., Coming to America). “When the right books are picked as winners we pay attention. We will be spreading the word about Readers’ Favorite.” — Karen A., Editor for Penguin Random House

Readers’ Favorite is proud to announce that Take Back Your Life by Tami Stackelhouse won the Gold Medal in the Non-Fiction – Health – Medical category.

You can learn more about this award on the Readers’ Favorite review page where you can read a review of Take Back Your Life and the author’s biography, as well as connect with the author directly or through their website and social media pages.

Readers’ Favorite LLC
Media Relations
Louisville, KY 40202
800-RF-REVIEW
support@readersfavorite.com
ReadersFavorite.com

Get Your Free Copy!

Are you ready to Take Back Your Life?  Grab your free copy here. If you would prefer a paperback, you will find it available on Amazon.

WEGO Health Awards 2017I am excited to announce that I have been nominated for the WEGO Health Award “Advocating for Another” in the 6th Annual WEGO Health Awards.

WEGO Health is a mission-driven company connecting healthcare with the experience, skills, and insights of patient leaders. They are the world’s largest network of patient leaders, working across virtually all health conditions and topics. Click here to learn more about their Patient Leader Network.

The WEGO Health Awards were created to celebrate those who tirelessly support the mission of WEGO Health: empowering the patient voice. The WEGO Health Awards recognize over 100,000 inspiring patient leaders and advocates who raise awareness, share information, and support their communities — often without recognition. There are 16 award categories, with many names on the nominee list you’ll recognize! Be sure to endorse all your favorites, not just me. ;-)

WEGO Health Award “Advocating for Another”

The “Advocating for Another” award is my favorite. This award recognizes the work that patient leaders and advocates do on behalf of others. This is why I’m particularly honored to receive this nomination.

My personal mission truly is to change the lives of fibromyalgia patients all over the world. In 2013, I began working with doctors and advocates to change how fibromyalgia is treated in Oregon. (See Fibromyalgia Treatment Not Covered Under Oregon Health Plan.) I have been a regular panelist at Oregon Health & Science University speaking with their medical students on what life is really like for chronic pain patients. I’ve had the privilege of being interviewed for two different chronic pain documentaries (still in process) and have published two books on fibromyalgia (hint, these links will get you free copies of the ebooks!): Take Back Your Life: Find Hope and Freedom from Fibromyalgia Symptoms and Pain and The Fibromyalgia Coach: Feel Better, Change Lives, and Find Your Best Job Ever.

It is my mission to change the face of fibromyalgia in the world. I dream of the day when fibromyalgia patients can receive the care, support, and education needed to feel their best. Fibromyalgia doesn’t need to feel like the death sentence it is today. There is hope. You can feel better! All you need is someone to come alongside you. Someone to help you discover what works, what doesn’t, and get the treatment you need. This is exactly what a Fibromyalgia Coach does.

Patient Advocacy Summit & WEGO Health Awards

This year, the 16 WEGO Health Award winners will be honored at the 5th Annual Patient Advocacy Summit in Washington, DC October 23rd and 24th, 2017. Events like these have been an important part of my journey as a patient advocate and leader. Each conference builds my knowledge and network of colleagues and collaborators. As a fibromyalgia patients, we need to be as educated as possible about the policies affecting our care. We also need to know about medical research on our condition, possible treatment options, and where to find help. If you’d like more information about the summit, you can learn more here.

 

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International Fibromyalgia Coaching InstituteI am very honored to introduce you to the third graduating class of the International Fibromyalgia Coaching Institute!

I highly recommend each Fibromyalgia Coach and Advisor on this list. If you are looking for someone to help you with your fibromyalgia diagnosis, please reach out to one of these lovely ladies. You can find out more about the work I’m doing training new Fibromyalgia Coaches and Advisors at FibromyalgiaCoachingInstitute.com.


Meet the Newest Fibromyalgia Coaches and Advisors

Ceci Lebiecki (Argentina) is our first graduate from Argentina!

Ceci has always been passionate about helping people, especially women. She believes that the energy that women have, and the unique brightness that characterizes each, can be present in all. Regardless of the health condition, or the moment that the person is going through, it is always possible to be happy if you decide to be.

Ceci was born in Buenos Aires, where her days were very intense. She attended a prestigous school, took English classes, played guitar, had a love of dance and a large group of friends that were very close. Ceci majored in marketing and advertinsing, and had a very successful career at a young age. At the age of 25 she was Brand Manager in a major pharmaceutical company. At the age of 30, she was working in a dream company, with an important position and living her desire to have a “successful” life. It was at that time that she began to question herself. She wondered if that was really happiness …. And when she woke up, she developed Fibromyalgia.

Ceci was diagnosed with fibromyalgia after almost a year. She traveled around the world in search of answers. She went to a pain doctor, traumatologist, rheumatologist, psychiatrist, nutritionist, endocrinologist, orthopedist, ATM dentist. She tried acupuncture, tibetan medicine, ayurveda, homeopathy, Bach flowers, yoga, chiropractic, osteopathy, psychological therapy, and the list goes on…

On a very early Monday, almost without being able to walk, she introduced herself in Art of Living ONG. And with much effort she did a course of breathing and meditation techniques. At the end, something had changed. She traveled to India for two months to get an Ayurvedic treatment, and meditate. She became vegetarian, a lover of life in all its shapes. She began to like the avocado and strawberries. She returned to work in a manager position in a multinational company. She met her current husband, with whom she lives a great love. And she is immensely happy and knows you can be too.

 

Erin Reimer (Oregon) learned the importance of leaving a legacy of helping others from her father. Since his passing in 2008, Erin has dedicated herself to making the world a better place through her work at local and international non-profits and now as a personal coach. In addition to her Fibromyalgia Coaching Certification, Erin is a Certified Integrative Wellness and Life Coach through the Integrative Wellness Academy. Her coaching approach involves bringing balance to all four body systems, mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual in order to achieve wellness. Her desire is to help people with fibromyalgia, chronic pain and fatigue rediscover their passion for life through self-discovery, self-healing, and small life modifications.

Erin experienced being a fibromyalgia caregiver as a teenager when her mother was diagnosed with fibromyalgia at age 46. Erin herself was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome at age 22 and eventually fibromyalgia at 27. As a single young female she struggled to find peers who could understand her situation.

Six years after being diagnosed and experiencing very little improvement, Erin switched to functional medicine doctors that embraced complementary and alternative medicine and began working with her Fibromyalgia Advisor. Through these changes she has finally begun to thrive again. She decided to become a coach so she can help others follow in her footsteps to recovery.

Erin lives in Portland, Oregon with her two chubby tabby cats, Linus and Dexter. She is active in her local fibromyalgia and chronic pain support group and recently spoke on a panel about chronic pain at Oregon Health & Science University. When she is not coaching she likes to spend time with her family, attend gentle yoga classes and social meditation, go to Sunday brunch, and curl up with a good book with a purring cat on her lap.

 

Karen Brinklow, B.A., B.Ed., (Ontario, Canada) is our first Certified Fibromyalgia Advisor in Canada!

Karen helps women with fibromyalgia take control of their health and life. She brings years of business, teaching, and life experience to support her clients on their journey of recovery. Karen believes in and is eager to share the importance of stress management and self-care, and the benefits that can be achieved by doing so. Karen understands her clients’ needs from her own struggles with fibromyalgia and major depression and her challenges toward recovery. Karen is particularly passionate about the effects of chronic stress both in the workplace and life and the harm that it does to individuals and families. Karen is looking forward to helping you be the best “YOU” can be.

 

Karen Gerhardi (South Africa) is our first Certified Fibromyalgia Advisor in South Africa! 

Karen experienced pain in her legs from an early age but was only diagnosed with fibromyalgia in her late twenties. After years of not listening to her body, it finally spoke clearly enough for her to hear. It took a few years of trial and error for Karen to find the solutions that worked for her. She believes that she can help people find their solutions sooner.

Strangers have always felt very comfortable confiding their most personal issues to Karen and she finally realised that perhaps life was trying to tell her what she should do with her life and get the tools to ease others’ journeys.

Karen is a dog trainer and has learned that there is more than one way to look at a situation and that persevering and being open to new approaches will provide a solution. She’s also learned that positive reinforcement is just as important for people as it is for their dogs! Her principle role as a Fibromyalgia Advisor is to provide information and be a cheerleader.

 

Stacy Koch (Illinois) has had fibromyalgia for fifteen years. She has two teenagers: a son who is 17 and a daughter who is 13 years old. Stacy understands the difficulties that you have and the daunting task that it is to raise children with this condition. As a Certified Fibromyalgia Advisor and social worker, Stacy brings insight and tools that can help you grow and meet your goals. She offers a supportive atmosphere where you can feel comfortable embracing changes and taking back control of your life.

 

Tarvia Kelly (North Carolina) is a passionate Fibromyalgia Advisor who helps moms with pain learn to live life again. She has years of experience being the backbone of her family, having been a single parent for many years and a spouse of a active duty soldier who has deployed several times leaving her to hold down the fort.

Tarvia worked in the insurance industry for over 20 years dealing with Medical benefits, Claims, Auto, and Home. This knowledge is just another benefit for her clients. Her patience and transparency create a safe environment for healing. Tarvia knows she has truly found her purpose in life helping moms in pain take control of their lives by teaching them self care, motivation, and encouraging them one day at a time.

Join me on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 as I go LIVE with Norman Hanley from Men with Fibromyalgia. I’ll also have a special gift for everyone who is listening live!

I know my website is pretty “girly”… but men have fibromyalgia too! Norman is doing a fantastic job getting the word out on the fact that fibromyalgia isn’t “just a woman’s illness.” He has been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Osteoarthritis, Migraines, and Cluster Headaches, along with other chronic pain issues. Norman shares his journey and that of other men and their families on his website and in his Facebook support group, to educate and inspire others who are dealing with similar health issues.

RSVP for this special Facebook Live event!