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How did you know you were ready to go back to work?

charryccharry Posts: 5,657
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in Exercise and Rehab
I was thinking of going back to work. How do you know if you're ready? I would start back 2 weeks of 3 X 6 hour days then would do full 8 hour days after that. I don't think I'm ready but have less pain after the injections. I really need the money and although my back and affected leg are important I just wonder if I'll be able to do it. Work isn't always standing but quite busy. I'm seeing one more Orthosurgeon then will try to go back to work. Tell me how you're doing at work? Thanks. 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


  • I would ask yourself what the downside could be. If you would be risking further damage then it might not be worth it. If you would be putting someone else at risk you need to consider that. Otherwise why not try? Worst that can happen is after a week or so you realize that it is too much.

    Sometimes being at work helps us forget the pain for a while. And sometimes the increased activity helps as well as long as it is monitored. And God know the mental part is usually better when we are around other people and feeling useful not to mention the money!!
  • personnely i think you are the best judge on if your ready. im not sure if you are work comp or using personnal time for your injury, but either way have doctor put on release note that your return is on a trial basis, so if needed you can go back on the no-work status.
    if it is work comp i would stay home until you are definitely sure, but you have to make that decision.
    My Beast To You
  • I went back to work to early fearing that I would be fired in 04' and it was a nightmare and the boss was furious that I needed more half days to help me out. Like the doctor told me "It's easy to go back to work, but it's twice as hard to get you back out and it looks bad" Co-workers have a tendancy to think your pool side with a drink in your hand and their picking up your slack. Just a thought.

  • going back to work is hard because we want to go back and know we can handle it and when the pain starts and new twinges, we worry that perhaps we are causing more harm and co workers never understand our pain!

    I tried to go back to work and my work would not accept me because I was not 100%, there is no light duty, or shorter hours, its all or nothing.

    Hopefully you can start out light and see how it goes and how you feel.....I know its hard decision to make. Take it easy and slow and good luck to you. I hope you have some luck with your new doctor and get some answers. Keeping you in my thoughts, let us know what you decide.

    Take good care of yourself,
  • Charry,

    I hope this missive finds you low on pain and having a great day! I have a question. It might not be a factor as you are in Canada. Would going back to work and maybe finding it is too much mess up your LTD status? In a lot of cases in the US, they stop benefits and then if you find you can't work, it is a mess to get it going again. Just wondering.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,848
    I think years ago, we wouldn't be as concerned about returning to work.

    Today, we have to balance everything regarding this decision.

    1 - We need the Income
    2 - If I dont go back, will I be laid off?
    3 - How am I going to cope returning to work?

    There is no simple answer. Each of us might have different reason in getting back to work.

    I guess my number one question would be:

    What are the general reasons why I would return

    When I did return to work after prior surgeries,
    I always started with some restrictions and part time. It was only after many weeks of that, did I return

    Each time I did that, many of the problems I had prior to surgery slowly started to arise. I was very fortunate that from 2000 until 2009 I was able to work from home and do the job. Both the company and I realized that driving the hour each way and spending 8 to 10 hours a day at the computer would cause more problems.

    Charry, I know this really doesn't answer your question. I think you are the only one that will know when the time is right
    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
  • I was starting to feel better after my third ESI but don't think I'm ready to go back. I've thought about having to push stretchers around in small places and also about helping other people stand up and that taking a toll on my back. Also if necessary would not be able to jump on a patient to do CPR as I have in the past. There's no light duty where I work. I also can't take narcotics working. If I couldn't handle working I would be able to go back on LTD.

    I also strained myself at aquatherapy doing front and back leg raises without the belt float for the first time and haven't been back. I've even had numbness in the other leg now.

    I have 3 more ESI's booked and have had 3 out of 6 done. I was hoping to see my 4th opinion Orthosurgeon but it looks like I may not be a surgical candidate and just have to wait it out.

    LTD is after me and sent a first reminder to get my applications in for work and government pension so I'm trying to wait until I see the Ortho and get more ESI's. I have no idea how long LTD give you to get the applications in before they cut you off?

    Nice of a co-worker to email to ask me for my locker as someone else could use it if I'm not coming back.
    I will go and clean my locker out and give my termination notice in a week or so which is what's required before you can apply for pension.

    I hope the Orthosurgeon calls me soon. Thanks for your support. 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
  • Howdy Charry,

    I can tell that this decision did not come lightly to you, as your love of what you did is pretty clear in your posting. It is equally clear that you let common sense and logic allow for your decision and realization that you at the present time can't physically do the job as it stands. Now your brain can focus on YOU and your healing. I will keep you in my thoughts Charry. You're good people!!! *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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