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I feel so useless right now

SueDSSueD Posts: 545
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Chronic Pain
It's now Thursday and I had to phone my manager to find out if there had been any progress about when I can go back to work. I also had to emphasise how important it was for her to provide specific information to enable me to finally get paid this month (which I should have received on 15th). I told her I was forced to borrow some money, but now I was worried about meeting my financial obligations at the end of this month. I'm so frustrated that I keep having to make all the running - WHY DON'T PEOPLE DO WHAT THEY SAY THEY ARE GOING TO DO?

I then phoned Occupational Health and got far more information from them. It appears that the Occy Health doctor isn't going to reply to my line manager until after he has seen me on Tuesday 26th. That's fair enough - why my manager couldn't tell me that I don't know.

Also, I heard back from the Blue Badge and DLA people today - my claim has been rejected by both. I don't think I've got any fight left to appeal.

I've had enough. I feel a failure all round at the moment. My family have told me to 'enjoy' the time off (because I'm supposedly still getting paid for it) but I feel useless right now.

Thanks for letting me rant (yet again!).
2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!


  • getting the run around with your manager, seems like your better off dealing with occy health. youve just had a huge surgery, so please do not feel like a failure , your not , ok . i do hope your pay will come through soon , maybee you could let your creditors no the situation your in and that you will be able to pay your expenses soon . hang in there , hugs
    flower :)
  • I am so sorry on top of everything else you are dealing with that this situation is not going as smooth as one would hope it would.

    I understand the useless feeling. You are healing! Be kind to your body & mind right now :)

    I know easier said then done ;)

    Please know we care!
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • I am so sorry Sue.

    Money or lack of it is causes too much stress and it is an aweful thing to be going through when you are recovering from major surgery.

    It is next to impossible to relax when you are worried about your future. I can completely relate. Hopefully everything will get straightened out next week and your back pay will be issued (with intrest).

    Since you can't see the Occy Health Doctor until next week your hands are tied there. Make sure you are documenting everything.

    What is the Blue Badge and DLA? Is there a group that you can join that can help you get approved? One that offers advice/assistance (like free law)?

    Hang in there and try to stay positive >:D<

  • I know just how you feel :( I am so sorry.

    Yeah, what would the blue badge and DLA decisions change?
  • you know me ..i have your best interest at heart .you have either got to be in one camp of the other .and it looks like you have got a fight on your hands what ever you decide .if you want down the DLA and blue badge route .then get advice from the CAB again ..as for work ..i still think that you went back too soon and i don't think that they want you back {from what you have written down} ..i understand your financial obligations and with what that idiot did yesterday to the benefits system {killing 18 mill off it } if you need to apply for DLA DO IT NOW ..mines up for renewal in 5 months time but i have the parer work now and my lady at the CAB want to fill it in NOW because she feel that even with me being as ill as i am i may not get it if i leave it too long ...i think that the blue badge refusal is a joke !! try again sue
    sorry if you don't like what i have written
  • I have actually sent a letter off today to ask them to review my application. A Blue Badge offers the driver or passenger a designated extra wide parking bay. My problem is that although I'm in pain most of the time when I drive, to be able to get in or out of a car I need the door to be fully opened before I attempt to get out. The normal parking bays in the UK are narrow and most of the time, in order to get in/out, I can't do so with my long legs without twisting around which causes me even more pain. The disabled bays allow the door to open wide and therefore give me enough space so I don't have to twist and can manouvre myself more gently into a sitting or standing position. When I stand, I have to wait until my back and leg pain eases a bit before I can then walk off. I'm not quick by any standards because I often have to stop and bend my leg in order to relieve the leg pain. There's not much I can do about it at the moment but to persevere.

    It's frustrating because I need my car to be able to work, attend hospital, and try to maintain some sort of independence, normallity and quality of life. But the very act of driving takes a toll on my back/leg pain and I often find that after I've reached my destination, by the time I've walked around and gone back to the car, my back/leg pain is markedly worse - you can't do right for doing wrong sometimes eh? I'm just trying to ask for some help while I'm in recovery (as it can take up to 2 years). Obviously there's no guarantee that the back and sciatic pain will ever leave me, or that my 2-level fusion will be successful in the end, but I'm trying to give myself every available oppportunity to ensure that I do my best to protect my back so that I have a favourable outcome.

    DLA is the Disability Living Allowance. It's on 3 different levels according to how your disability affects you. I need help with certain personal cares and I cannot bend to lift, for example, things to take from the oven, or bend to put it in. Also, I need help with dressing (socks and shoes) and to dry my lower limbs after a shower etc. I'm not too affected by this when I consider what other people have to go through physically - so I will not appeal on this one.

    By the way, my manager DID phone me about half an hour ago - she was able to reassure me that the information had been sent to payroll, so hopefully I'll get paid next week (please G-d!) and she gave me an up-date on what's happening with work (or not), so I feel a bit better now (but still useless!).

    Thanks for responding to my post - it really helps!

    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • Sorry you are having such a tough time. I have to agree with Toni kind of, take it easy! Allow it time to heal!! You don't want to go thru all that surgery and mess it up by overdoing it. It takes time, lots of time, that is a big surgery, let it heal. No money is definately a huge stress, I don't know what to say to make you feel better there, but it sounds like maybe things will work out afterall.
    People can be extremely frustrating. I spend half my day at work following up with people to make sure they did what they said they would for our customers! They don't do it! I am from the old school, been with the gov for over 30 years and I say do it right the first time, and do what you say you are going to do! Think about how the other people are feeling, scared, frustrated, uncertain? Take care of business - that is what your paid to do! Not everybody see's it that way tho, and that is hard. I see it everyday and I could just walk down the aisle's and slap the shizzle out of some of these young kids that just don't give a shizzle... Take care and best wishes. Marion
  • So sorry you're still dealing with all of this Sue. As soon as I read about you not having the fight left, it struck a chord within me. I felt the same way with dealing with our Veteran's Affairs, I know there's tons of others out there who have had the same issues, along with worker's comp, and so many other organizations that are supposedly there to help us, but put us through the ringer to get the benefits we need.

    Dig deep down, and keep up the good fight! If you don't, as Tony said, you may lose the benefits entirely. In the very least, the longer you wait, the longer you go without them. I waited, and I lost out on getting a life-time monthly pension from Veteran's Affairs. Now, they give a one-time lump sum payment which pales in comparison to the monthly pension... You have the strength, you can do it! Is there someone that you can get to help you with the paperwork, like Tony has? It will at least take some of the pressure off. Hope this all get sorted for you quickly, especially your pay. It is such an extra added stressor on top of what we deal with pain-wise, isn't it... Try not to worry too much, though, it sounds like your Occ Health is working for you. Take care!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • Big support ***HUGZ*** to you Sue! So sorry all this is going on. Hopefully "work" will come through and pay you as promised. I agree that it sounds like you've gone back to work too soon. I don't know the relationship you have with your supervisor, so I don't know if as Tony said "they don't want you back" or not. I can tell that you love your job, and want to be back (no pun intended) to it as soon as you can. Please don't push and hurt yourself - you're still pretty young in that surgical recovery!!

    As to having no more fight left in you? I highly doubt that. You come off to me as a very strong and determined woman. Shake it off, and go after what is yours! Don't let the bas***ds win, okay? *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I just found out that I will receive my pay next Tuesday - it's a bit late, but better that than never. It's such a relief.

    I'm off now to travel to my hospital appointment (2 hours away). Not looking forward to the journey and it's raining here in the UK (there's a surprise!).

    I see the Occupational Health doc next Tuesday, so hopefully I can find out what's going on with work. My manager said yesterday that she doesn't think they can accommodate a 'special' chair in each workplace I attend, or that it will be difficult for them to have an Access to Work assessment in each location also - talk about putting carts before horses! One thing at a time - that's what I'm going to concentrate on.

    Yeah, it seems like their barriers have gone up against me - but she also said "it's Occy Health's fault" because I think their report was too vague and that they originally passed me fit to work in this job at the start (when I had indicated on the application form that I believed I had a physical disability). I only filled out a form and they accepted it without a follow-up meeting. That's not my problem because they had ALL my previous history on file - it was their decision to pass me fit for work.

    Anyway, I'm rambling as usual. Must go and start my long journey, woopiedo!

    Thanks for all your support - I love you guys!!!
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!

  • so glad that you now have some better news. :-)

    Funny that you have rain up there in the UK. Down here in the south, we have lovely sunshine and clear blue skies.

    I have just got back from the hospital to have my MRI scan on my neck. I will now have to wait an undetermined amount of time to hear the results. My appointment to see the neurosurgeon isn't until March next year!!
    I hope that, if things look bad, he will ask to see me before then! I suppose if I don't hear anything, that will be good news.

    My work have now said that they want me to see the Occupational Health Doctor. Funny as I am now back to my usual hours (apart from a few medical appointments). I have had to sign a form, giving my permission for them to contact my GP to ask about me. Did you go through this stage? What happened next?

    Sue, I hope that now you know that you will be paid next week, the pressure will be off and you will be able to relax and enjoy having some more time to rest and heal.
    What lovely or fun things can you plan to do?

    Take care >:D<

  • Sue, you should appeal and get some help in your claim for DLA for local CAB the appeals are successful and the true nature of your limitations do not seen to have been taken into consideration , do you have any additional evidence you could use to provide evidence of your walking restrictions.

    What can you do on your worse day not your best, pain is very subjective and as individuals we all need help and support thought this stressful process.

    In reality you can have a blue badge provided even though you may not qualify for the higher rate of DLa and it is at the discretion of the provided, get any evidence from you doctor, do you take medication relative to you pain need and medical evidence, financial support is intended to support those who find mobility aspect difficult and the CAB can help with that overall process….

    You are doing well, the weight of all this change would be difficult for anyone to endure let alone someone in chronic pain and all have had to fight for reasonable provision.

    The words are “reasonable adjustments” and one might suggest that you could be discriminated against because of your disability and a chair at each location is not an unreasonable request it could be used for any individual, are you in the union.

    Get the help you need, this is a team event, get those on your side who can help and support you and your needs. You are doing a grand job supporting yourself in challenging circumstances, we all have times when we are not at our best and constant change is never easy for anyone.

    I have been through this whole process and you are doing well.

    Take care and be kind to yourself.

  • Hiya sue, In the UK disabled people are entitled to DLA. The forms are a nightmare i know. Get intouch with your local CAB and they will fill in the forms for you, its how you word the forms . To be allowed the Blue Badge you have to be getting the higher rate of mobility. Usually if you do get the higher rate of mobility, you get middle rate care,thats how it usually works. please do not give up . Your local carers association can help you too, if you get more than 30 hours a week care from a relative you can also get an extra £27 a week. there is help out there its knowing where to look! Once you get DLA you will be allowed to apply for a bus pass and an entertainment pass(for swimming and cinema).This will give you discounts.hope this helps you!Keep me posted.

    Angie xx

  • ...that I'm thinking about you and praying this all will work out so that you can continue to work and make it financially. I had no idea that getting a handicap parking permit (what we call them here in the USA) was so difficult in the UK. I was given a 2-year permit for my total knee surgery last spring and only used it a few times, but now with my back surgery I'm using it every day. I hope you can get your permit with out a hassle.

    I read your post where you offered to quit smoking the same time as Tony but I couldn't tell by his subsequent post if you both are now quitting together. With all the things you're doing to help your back during this recovery, stopping smoking will help the fusion process. I'm assuming you quit and can add that to the things you're doing to benefit your back.

    You're a strong person and I wish you success as you make your way through the maze of paperwork and politics to get to a tolerable position as far as your work goes. You have my support and prayers!

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
  • smoking that it ,,,but its very hard to stay off them .i don't need a smoke but want one ,,there is a massive difference ,,every time i think about smoking i think about lung cancer /strokes and heart attacks and that's putting me off !! smoking's very hard to keep off especially when you spend as much time as i do on my own and in as much pain .
  • Sue, I'm so glad that your pay got sorted!! That must be a huge relief, and some weight lifted. You had mentioned about the different workplaces you attend. Are they in completely different locations, as in different buildings? That would be hard to get around, but if it's in the same bldg, I always used to just roll my chair with me wherever I had to work at, especially for those long (boring, lol) meetings and conferences. At one particular weekly meeting we'd have, they'd say "Oh, here comes Kelly down the hall with her chair!" lol. Is there any way they could accommodate you in that you work remotely from one place as much as possible, or is the work such that you have to physically be there?

    Tony, good for you with keeping up with not smoking! You're stronger than I, I have been able to cut way back, but I know, I smoke more when my pain is heightened, so you're doing great with not falling back into the trap. The visualizations are a great way of doing that, good for you!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • Yeah, I work in 2 different schools at the moment (but I've been told I'm to work in a third school in a couple of weeks time).

    One of the schools is on different levels, without a lift, so I can see how it would be difficult. Thing is, I haven't even been assessed yet, so I don't know what the recommendations may be, if any (I'm only going on my perceived need for a chair with lumbar support - as I've been down this route before).

    If you're interested, have a look at my 'update - I was upbeat, but now down again' for the latest news.

    Thanks for your comments.
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • aahhhh, working in schools is different. And it would be hard to roll your chair up the stairs, wouldn't it? They'd definitely hear you coming, for sure ;) Are you a teacher?
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • No I'm not a teacher. I am a communication support worker and am supposed to support Deaf and hard of hearing pupils access the national curriculum subjects. I use British Sign Language. However, as there are no pupils in any school that use sign language, I seem to be used to 'teach' signing to staff and pupils instead. I am not qualified to do this (but they know this and it's a far cheaper option than getting a qualified tutor) and, to be honest, there is no onus on the schools to provide this service. The national curriculum subjects they HAVE to provide.

    With all the cuts that the UK are having to make and with all the job losses they talk of, you can see why I'm feeling my position is insecure at the moment.

    BTW, one of my daughters is called Kelly. A lovely Irish name, even though there's no Irish in any past family generations! My other daughter has an Irish name also (Dana - pronounced D A R N A) and not Dayna as I've heard people say from the USA. That was a bit random, sorry.
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • What a wonderful way to make a living!!! I hope that they do find a way to accommodate you. I used to be able to sign a little, a friend of mine taught me a lot, he worked at a deaf school in our area. I kept it up for quite a while, but not having anyone to practice with, I kind of lost the skill. But one day, I was out with my mom and my nieces, we had stopped at a place for lunch, and there were people using sign language. My niece was about 6 at the time, and she's always been so curious and just soaks everything up. She asked what they were doing, so I told her, and was able to teach her what little bit I remembered. Her birthday was coming up, so I bought her some teaching books, and she picked it up right away! It was a fun bonding time with us, anyways.

    There's no irish in my blood, but my hubby is canadian french-irish. The first time I met his family, they all said that I had a good irish name, lol. That is interesting about the pronunciation of Dana, though!!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • straker said:
    smoking's very hard to keep off especially when you spend as much time as i do on my own and in as much pain .
    For sure! But you're doing it and we're all proud of you. This time you'll stop and never smoke again. There's something you can say over and over in your head, lol.

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
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