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Prayers please

jayhawkjjayhawk Posts: 1,032
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am 13 weeks post op today. I just talked to my director in regards to returning to work.

There is no light duty. I have a full caseload waiting for me and I was told I will be expected to " hit the ground running!"

I was asked if I will be able to get down on the floor with the babies. Get in and out of the car an average of 16 times/day!

They have already hired a OT part time. If I can't do it, I think I am out! There are OT's lined up for this job! But, it's my job! I built this program....

I am going to have to try.....but the reality is.....I have a hard time stringing two active days together!

Even if I push myself now, it won't work or help me! It's not like a diet or working out at the gym, where I have control....

My hubby doesn't understand! He's like, "just tell her you can do it and do it!"

I am in tears and feel so alone!

I am a good OT, I can find a new job....I will land on my feet,....but I don't want to lose the job that I love, the babies I love because I "can't hit the ground running!"

It's just BS!!!!

Sorry for ranting, but thanks for being there! I really need ya'll!...


  • What a bunch of crappy cards life has dealt us. I want to be a teacher because that is what I will always be in my heart. As sure as we both exist, we are not defined by OT or Special Education....but that is how we both measure ourselves. I am sorry for all the things this will cause for you in having to leave a job you leave, in part because I have a heart but also in part because "been there done that." I can do little here but to listen and to pray for your peace, and for sure am willing to do that. I wish I knew a magical cure for this, because I would share it with you and we could both gain control of our lives again. The financial devastation all the back issues have caused me fair outweighs the pain of the spinal deterioration. But please know that I understand where you are and how you came to be with this thinking. And wish I could take it away for you.

    Jane in Tennessee
  • You know in your heart it will be OK. There are two ways to look at this. You can give it a try. Or decide that you can't.

    There are lots of arguments for either side. I don't need to tell you what they are. You are a really smart cookie!!

    I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason. If it is your time to leave this job then something even better is waiting for you. If it helps I am facing the same problem when I have this next surgery. It is scaring me alot but I know that in the end I will find something even better. You aren't alone no matter what. Imagine a circle of your spiney friends around you.
  • It stinks...believe me, I know. You will make the right decision I'm sure. Please be careful if you go back, you have been through so much!

    Have your husband read some of thread concerning people going back to work and their trials and tribulations.

    Sorry again,

  • I am so sorry that you are having to go through this. You already have enough on your shoulders trying to recover from surgery without adding concerns about your job. I will be praying that everything works out for you. Hang in there!

  • Thank you so much my dear spiney friends!

    I am just so angry!

    When I was leaving, my director reassured me that they would work with me when I was ready to return...funny (not really) how 13 weeks later, she doesn't recall the words she spoke.

    If I was expecting a baby, they would lighten my load for me....

    I have been there for 11 years! The first OT they hired!

    I can do other things....but this is my specialty!
    I have worked hard, very hard to get to where I am!

    I have to try....but,...I can't sacrifice my spine!

    Thank you so much for your kind works and prayers!

    I have been through so very much, I just wish this didn't have to be a part of it too!
  • You are in the same situation I was in a few weeks back. I lost my position. I knew in my heart and my body that I was not ready to go back. My job protected leave was up and they posted it.
    I was very upset but have decided to just focus on getting well.
    Please think long and hard about it before making a decision. Also think about what happens if you go back full time and can't do it. What will happen with work as far as disability? Are you on short term right now?
    I will pray for you. I just decided that things do happen for a reason and let the job go..There are others out there. Jobs in the medical field are readily available.
  • I just read you comment. My supervisor told me the same thing..we will work with you. I won't post your job..blah..blah..blah..
    Then said I tried not too..but they forced my hand.

    After this I won't believe anything they tell me. Or I will get it in writing..
  • Add me to the list of people who are also in the same situation with our jobs. The realisation of how much my job defined me as a person was depressing when the pressure was put on me to resign. My employer also started off by saying they would work with me and then forgot that conversation. Currently my situation is at a stalemate, I won't resign and they haven't fired me- I'm in limbo.
    I hope whatever you decide will be something you can feel OK about in your heart.Big gentle hugs and good wishes for a positive outcome for you is all I can offer.If you ever want to vent PM me please. We had our surgery on the same date and have followed your posts and admired your courage and strength. Hugs n' Loves- Paula
  • I need to call HR and talk about what will happen if I try and I can't do it. I have 5 PTO days, that is it. Our new contact begins 7/1/10. I am out of my FMLA...I don't have STD so I am guessing I don't have LTD.

    I opted to not call today, didn't think I could have the conversation without crying....

    It just stinks!

    I feel like I have been holding it together....between the 360, pneumonia, plueracy, 3 transfusions, bladder issues before surgery and that horrible test they do at the ER to test spincter control, the sudden death of my nephew, .....I have held it together, but now......

    It feels like that one lasty straw.....
  • Thank you so much, but I sure don't feel like I have any courage now....

    there is just nothing I can do! I have given this recovery all I can....and in the end it just might not be enough.

    Maybe there is something better out there....

    Thank you again!
  • Jayhawk...I am here supporting you and will keep reading your posts as you continue on recovery.

    I cant' offer more than what has been said but trust that life has a silly way of working itself out. I told someone else, it throws you surprises and some we aren't ready for. But you will do good. Take things a day at a time and if you can do it great, if you cannot, there is no shame and perhaps you were meant to build a similar program somewhere else that needs it.

    Let us know how it goes.
  • Oh DNice, thank you so very much! I am trying to get my heart to catch up to my mind....

    I am such a firm believer in faith and fate, there are two new hospitals being built across the freeway from my house. One is a children's Hospital and the other is a huge general med/surg hospital...

    I just recieved my license/certification as an infant massage instructor. It took me 6 months and I specialized my research with using massage on premies in NICU and infants with colic.

    Premies who receive massage gain weight an average of 49% more than nonmassaged infants, go home earlier and have high IQ's.

    I had just started using this the past 6 months with the premies and multiples that I see....

    I know I need to give this to God and let go of what I can't control....it is just so very hard and makes me so very sad.

    Thank you for your thoughts and prayers!!
  • I am so sorry that your employer has put you in this situation.
    its a job that you really like doing, but facing reality right now your body is not ready for it.
    if you go back now you might put yourself at risk at prolonging your recovery, or possibly worse.
    only you can honestly answer if you are ready for it.
    Sure you might have to look for a new job, but you have to realize you have to put your efforts into healing for you and your family first.
    you have children who need you more then that or any job needs you. i dont want this to sound harsh but your children and family come first get yourself healed first before attempting to go to work, because some day you dont want to wind up regretting pushing yourself now. And having to sacrafice your play time with your children later.
    sorry if this sounded tough on you
    My Best to you
  • jayhawk, two things I would say to you...

    Even those of profound faith find the sentiment, "everything for a reason," trite when faced with sudden loss. I was in my mid-twenties when I lost a job and "family" I cared for. I had let myself become depressed about ever finding another opportunity to use my college education, sure when the company up and moved, and I couldn't find another job, that it somehow made my worth somehow less. So I spent that summer ferrying my grandmother and her sister, my great-Aunt Betty, to all the little stores they liked to go to. We were always close anyway, but not as much as we once had. I spent so much time with them, we were really the new 3 musketeers.

    I found another job in late August, it was a bumpy ride, a step backwards in my estimation. I remember my grandmother calling me at work on Christmas eve; she wanted to know that I was ok and was a little happier than what I'd been. That night she went to Mass; we found her, dead in her sleep, the next morning.

    I never think about that job, nor ever again built my self-worth over what I did for a living -- rather by what I've been able to do for other people. And all that started by knowing how blessed I was to have one last summer with my grandmother.

    The other thing I'd say to you: You have so much to offer, and have forged a lot of new ground in your field. Perhaps you will build one of those new hospital programs from the ground up, just as you did before. Perhaps you will become a consultant, or offer classes of your own to parents and caregivers of special-needs children. You could continue to give, by allowing other people to give as well.

    Think about it. I think you give yourself far too little credit.

    You take care.

  • I'm wondering if what you really are feeling is upset that your co-workers/boss/company does not value you enough to do whatever is necessary to keep your position. No one can take your licenses away from you so you can always find somewhere else to work. And your field is one of the few with growth so I don't think you are really afraid of not finding a job.

    I think what bothers all of us most is that we expect those we work with/for to value us so much that they will honor those promises to work with us. Unfortunately words are just words. Sometimes the same laws that protect us hurt us as well. FMLA gives you 12 weeks of protected leave generally. But companies are often afraid to give additional job protection because if they dont do it for everyone they can be sued. So companies have to watch out for themselves first which leaves us out at the curb.

    I don't think most employers intend to be "mean". But they have to consider what is best for the company first. So maybe if you can seperate your feelings into the hurt of being given this ultimatum and sorry at closing the door on that phase of your life you will feel better about moving on to something new and even more exciting.
  • Work and most doctors are much the same as they tell you what they think you want to hear. What would you have done if work had told you right from the start that you needed to be 100% before coming back? The days of helping out a employee is fast coming to a end.

    Can you go back as being disabled? That way they would have to make accomadations for you. What does your employee handbook say? I don't remember if you hurt yourself on the job or if your problems are from something else. Can you go above this manager? I would be making a stink as your going to lose everything you have worked for anyway. It is not fair. I would look at the disabilities act in your state to see what rights you have. They may not have to hold the exact position open for you but I don't think they can cut your pay. Have you made a visit to human resources to see what they have to say. They may have a entirely different view of what can and can't take plce. They will know the laws they have to adhere to. It might be time to ask a lawyer. Usually the bar association will give the names of lawyers that handle the type of case your talking about and in NJ you can have interviews with 3 lawyers for I think 15 minutes each at no charge. I am not a lawyer type of person but there are times when your rights need to be enforced.

    I don't know what a OT position is but if they are part time and you come back part time that should cover the position.

    Maybe make some grunting and groaning noises while doing things at your house so dear old hubby gets the idea that things are not ready yet. People that don't have severe back problems just don't get it. What is he going to say if you do it his way and get hurt further? Part of the fault here is the doctor. He probably painted a back to work in 6 weeks type picture. Your husband may think its time for you to go back based on that type of comment.

    There are no easy answers. I hope for you to feel better and to find a direction to take for everybody concerned.

  • Just read this thread after reading your response to mine. My prayers are with you. If this job doesn't work out, I am sure you will find something as rewarding. May not seem that way now. But, you are intelligent and hardworking, a trait I have come to believe after 60 years, is only present in 10% of the work force. The long term will work out for you.

  • Shari,

    So sorry that after all you have been through that you may have to make another difficult decision. Even as well as I was doing I had to lie down each day at lunch for an hour and I don't know about your leg strength but mine sucks and would never make it getting up and down from the floor. You may be ahead of me on that cuz I just started PT but that up and down motion will wear on you. Is your Dr going to release you to go back with no restrictions?? Mine would not release the restrictions yet but luckily at our health care facility I have 90 days to get myself back to that point. It will all work out in the end and I will be thinking of you. lynette
  • Hello Pretty Lady,
    I just read your post, I am sorry to hear what you are going through. I know you have been through so much and your always so kind and helpful to others that I have faith that things will work out for you, some how, some way, they will!!

    Have faith in you credability at work and your history with the company that they may work with you. YYou went through alot of extra stuff that you could not have anticipated when you went for this surgery. Have you talked to your doctor?

    I am sorry that you are upset but don't give up, your job is important to you, its something you love and I am sure your employers know this but you are not ready, you need more time, any chance of talking with them? Don't give up, fight for your job and for the time you need to recover.

    I hope your husband comes around to see how hard this is for you, he must know you are not capable of doing your job yet. I hope you get his support soon, we here all understand you, and we empathise and pray that things work out for you, please believe and don't loose faith.

    I couldn't return to work either, my principal called me and told me that unless I was 100% with no restrictions, otherwise I couldn't go back, its all or nothing! Its very frustrating.

    Look after yourself, stay strong and keep us posted.
    God Bless,
    Sandra xx Sending you lots of hugs!!
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    Some employers do offer LTD when they don't offer STD but often you have to enroll when you are first hired and you pay a portion of the premiums so you'd see it as a paycheck deduction. Or some employers pay all the LTD premium but that's increasingly rare. IF you do take a new job first make sure they offer STD and LTD, I won't take a job without it. And most of the time if you take it when first offered to you under employment there is no medical screening!

    You have to do what is right for your medical condition. Employers understand but then there becomes an issue of how much can the "upper tier" understand a job that is being held for an extended period of time. I used to work in the field of STD and LTD and had many HR people I worked with at our customers say they could usually hide a job being held for about one quarter of the year, until quarterly reports would come out and somehow administration/management of whatever the type of employer (school, hospital, corporation, etc) would want to know the defined end date and insist on termination once FMLA was exhausted.

    Best of luck to you.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 

  • Oh Shari,

    I have just read your post, and feel so sorry. I wish I could come and give you a hug!

    I don’t know about the US system of sick leave, but is there any way you could delay your return any longer? If you are not ready to return to work, then it would be foolish to push your body too hard and cause a relapse in your recovery.

    I know how much you love your job and the thought of losing it will be horrible.

    Letting go of things we value is always hard, but so often God replaces them with things that are just as good. Perhaps He has work for you to do somewhere else, and He wants to bless someone else with that job. I’m sure that you are in His hands and that He will lead you to a place that will bless others through you. You have so much to offer. I’m sure that He has a plan for your life, but perhaps just now it is time to rest and allow your body to complete its healing.

    Its ok to cry and will help to release some of your pain.

    I’ll be praying for you Shari. So sorry I couldn’t chat yesterday, when you could have done with the support. I spent the day with my daughter and granddaughter.

    You are not alone (as you can tell by all these caring posts). We are here for you and there will be lots of prayers said for you.
    Gentle hugs my friend
  • My dear, dear spiney friends! I am so blessed to have you all in my life and I can't thank you enough for taking the time to post and offer your support!

    Had a rough time sleeping, but finally did!

    Today is a new day! I am going to watch part of my daughter's riding lesson today. Something I haven't done since before my surgery! :) She is riding a new quarter horse and she is so proud!

    School finished Thur for the summer and all the kids have much anticipated plans for the weekend.....
    So.....if the kids are away....the parent's should PLAY!! :)

    We are going to head down to the beach and spend the weekend at my brother's get away beach house! YaY!!

    It has been a long, long time since my hubby and I have been away without kids (and when I have felt pretty good). I can't remember the last time I had some adult only time with my brother either! Maybe 6+ years.....:) Ya'll can probably see my smile from here!

    I will put all of this aside for a few days. I'll call HR early next week to see what they say will happen if I come back and I can't physically do my job.

    Then I see PM 6/14, surgeon 6/15.....

    Thank you again for your prayers and support! I feel it and I am so blessed to have you all! I don't know what I would do without you all!

    Peace and love!! xxxx Shari
  • I'm sorry to hear about this. Especially when you were a part in creating the program and now they want to not work with you with your healing time. I hope HR can help you out but it's true there may be a better place for you.
    I'm so glad you're enjoying your family time and spending time with your brother. Prayers for your situation. My best. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Jayhawk, praying for you, it helped me and also I'm still doing it, and I put it on the doctor. My pain is mainly at work not being able to sit, and pain killers do help.

    Are you on light duty? Or anything, I mean if you re-injure yourself, their "liable", its not something their going to say they are, "But they ARE".

    I went back to work after 5 weeks after my L5-S1 ALIF surgery and I wish I had stayed out to 8 weeks. I would work a couple weeks build time then take days off.

    Its funny when people see it in your face that your trying but about dying in pain, they are really nice. The humane side comes out, I finally after the 4 months am feeling better, about to start aqua therapy and all. Its been a long hard road. I have heard 1 guy he went back to work after 3 days and from my nurse said she talked to people who went back to work after 10 days after a fusion. I still don't believe that, but some people don't listen to their doctor.

  • My surgeon told me before surgery in March that I would need to have the summer term off work with my teaching assistant job in a school. Then my GP also wanted to sign me off for the rest of this school year, which would mean returning in September.

    I have been feeling good and thought I would be able to return for the last few weeks in July. My physiotherapist, last week advised me to wait and return in September, to give myself more time to get strong ready for all the bending and sitting in small chairs etc.

    I feel really fortunate to be in this position, where I can choose to do that. Hearing your stories makes me realise how lucky I am.

    Wishing you all better days ahead. :D
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