I have tried returning to work a few times since my fusion in January, but I keep running into issues with increased pain:
Surgery - Jan 19,2010
Resumed part time - Mar 1st (2 hrs/day, then 4, then 6)
Resumed full time - Mar 15th (within 2 days I was in terrible pain, so I worked from home, but still fulltime)
Went back out on partial disability - Mar 31st
Resumed full time - May 1st (with stronger meds)
Went back out on partial disability - July 21st (long hours caused a major flare up that would not calm down, despite a lot of medication).
Now, it's mid-September and I'm going nuts being at home and I really want to get back to work. After a series of SI injections and Epidural Lysis of Adhesions procedures, my pain is a little better, although I am still on a lot of medication.
If I return to work, I will need to limit my work day to no more than 8 hours and I will need to be able to work from home occasionally to limit driving.
By biggest fear is that my performance won't be up to par due to the medication and the shorter work day (normal day is 10-12 hours) and even with some documented medical restrictions, I believe that I could be terminated for non-performance. I have no idea if I am truly protected by the law or if my employer can find a loophole.
Then, as my workload increases, I wonder if I will find myself having to go back out again. I think my credibility is already suffering since I've been in and out now a few times.
Financially, I can manage to live on LTD if I have to. I believe that LTD is my safest route because my pain is still not fully resolved. However, what if it is never completely resolved? Am I going to put my whole life on hold? Should I try to get my doctor to help get me comfortable enough that I can work a full day? If he continues to restrict the amount of medication I can take, then I have no choice but to stay home. STD runs out on 10/22 and I am very stressed out about having to go on LTD.
I'm very confused about what to do.