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Another reason to not go back to work too early

NEBakerNNEBaker Posts: 53
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:37 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I warn you, I'm going to vent a little. Here is a great reason to not go back to work too soon, even if you're going stir-crazy and honestly feel like you would like to work a little.

I'm almost five weeks post-op from my ALIF L4/L5. I am doing very well. I have no pain: back, leg, or surgical. I just get tired. Last week my surgeon said that I can go back to work a few days a week for a few hours each time and then we would reassess in a month when I go back for my CT. I own my own business so I can pretty much do what I need to do without anyone making me do something I am unable to do. I went to work three days last week and it was great. I felt human and when I felt I needed to sit, I sat. When I felt I needed to lay down, I laid down on our break room couch. I did not over do anything and I left after three or four hours.

People that work for me tell me that I look great and they can't believe I just had major surgery. They were really encouraging and that was nice. HOWEVER, because I look like I am doing well, and I don't complain about anything, I have the impression that I am being taken advantage of. Two people have decided to not come to work this week. One has a "bladder infection" which she began meds for on Friday (I worked for her that day) and the other went to Denver over the weekend and can't get back until Thursday. She told me that since I am feeling so much better she thought I could work for her. So, guess who this falls on? You guessed it, me! I am so upset. I cannot work more than 20 hours a week (max). I pay people well. They have great hours, benefits, etc. This feels very personal. I cried for about 3 hours last night. I was so freaked out and mad at myself because one of these employees had done this to me in the past and I forgave her and hired her back after an incident that lead to her termination. I feel stupid for trusting her and very stupid for going back to work so soon. Stupid, stupid, stupid!

My husband took the day off from his job today so he could work a shift with me. He's great. I had time to think and I rearranged everyones' schedule. I end up working five hours more than I was cleared for but it could be worse. I think I can even take shave a few hours here and there. I need this fusion to work and since I'm feeling so great, I want to stay feeling great.

Sorry for venting. Thanks for reading. Everyone here understands frustration so I knew you would be okay with the venting.

For those of you who haven't had surgery yet, be careful when you go back to work. Do not go back too soon, even if you feel okay. Don't do it......!!!


  • I just wrote a post to someone else about how people expect the patient to be back to normal in a matter of weeks because they look healthy and "normal" and because it only takes a couple weeks to recover from other surgeries.

    I don't blame you for being angry, but this is so typical. I must warn you that it is not unusual to feel great for a few weeks and then to have some pain set in. Do not be shocked if this happens to you. It sounds like you are being sensible and are not pushing yourself too hard. But keep reminding yourself you don't want to have to redo the fusion and try to take it easy. Once your employees think you are healed, you will have trouble convincing them otherwise!!

    Keep listening to your body and try very hard to not overdo it.

    xx Gwennie
  • that this has happened to you. I can really understand how this would feel personal. It sounds like you are very good to your employees and felt like they cared about your well being and now it appears as if they do not care at all! This coincides so well with how chronic pain patients are treated all of the time. Pain is not something that you can see and unless you have experienced it yourself it is difficult at best to understand. Have these employees taken on extra hours while you were out and now possibly feel since you are back at work and looking so well it is time for them to take a break? Not that it would justify things at all. I hope that things get better for you and that tommorrow brings a better day.
  • I really appreciate all the kind words of encouragement. It is still so hard to fathom that the care that I have for my employees isn't reciprocated. When I went on leave, I borrowed a staff member from another restaurant to do my job. I was very careful to not add additional responsibilities to my staff members because I care. As was mentioned by JJ and Gwennie - this is typical of how chronic pain sufferers are treated. If you look okay, you must be okay :(

    I decided that I will not work extra duty for anyone. This fusion is too important to me and I cannot risk a failed fusion. Sadly, we let one employee go yesterday but we have someone to take her place already and that's a blessing.

    Thanks again.
  • I think that is so wrong that they're taking advantage of you and everyone is right about not looking like you're in pain.

    I'm looking for a job because I got laid off in February so I'll come work for you. I understand your pain so I'll be a very good employee. :-)

    Geez, you'd think with the economy the way it is people would appreciate the fact that they even HAVE a job. I certainly would.

    Anyway, I'm glad that you've put your foot down about not doing too much. It's the only spine you have and you've got to take care of it. Good for you.

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    more from you then you are capable of doing. You can say no.
    When its your business, its a total different ball game. You sure would hope that the people that are working for you understand the situation.
    But from your post, it sounds like they were just taking advantage of you. Now that the boss is back, we can go and do some of the things we want to do, take time off, etc
    Its sad, because people who feel that way have no concept of what you really went through and are still going through..
    I would not hold onto to any employee if that is the way they want to take advantage of you
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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