Pain in the Pocket: Fibromyalgia Is Expensive

Pain in the Pocket: Fibromyalgia Is Expensive
People commonly talk about the physical costs of having fibromyalgia. Seldom is the monetary cost discussed. The other day, I began to calculate how much better off I’d be financially if I hadn’t had this illness. I was staggered by the answer. During a period of time in my 40s that I categorize as a “remission,” I was able to finish my college education. Because my employer paid tuition benefits, I was able to attend classes at night. (I can’t even remember having enough energy to do such a thing!) I had completed my bachelor’s degree and was nearing the end of an MBA program when my husband suddenly died of a heart attack. Overwhelming grief prevented me from continuing my studies, which is a major regret all these years later. The bright spot was that the education I did receive qualified me for various job openings within the company, eventually elevating me from my original administrative assistant position to that of a financial analyst. Over time, the stress of this very responsible position, along with the worsening of my symptoms — it’s difficult to say which came first — resulted in me filing for disability. I’d paid into the private disability plan offered by my employer, in addition to qualifying for Social Security disabili
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