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Update - was quite upbeat, but now back down!!!

SueDSSueD Posts: 545
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Chronic Pain
By way of reply to my 'feeling useless' thread and an update.......

Inchworm - er, no, I haven't quit smoking. After the week I've had, it would have been difficult. I know, I know, it's all excuses - but it's so hard to quit when you're feeling frustrated/stressed all the time.

Jellyhall - Hi to my schools partner-in-crime! My employer would NEVER ask for medical info from my doctor. However, Occupational Health can, which I don't have a problem with. Have they told you WHY they are getting advice from your Occy health - afterall, if you're back to normal hours, I cannot see what the problem is. Very strange that. You'll have to let us know how you progress with this OK. Also, regarding hospital appointments - I've got to have an MRI in Stockton on Tees. It's booked for 25 January 2011, but the good thing is that they have made an appointment in the clinic for that same afternoon - so I don't have to go back and forth (it's a 2-hour drive each way). It's a pity your hospital aren't so accommodating. FIVE months seems an awful long time to wait to get your results, I wouldn't have thought your problems (if there are any) will still be current by then. Ha! They'll have to arrange another scan by then if your symptoms get worse. I presume it's NHS - don't you just love it? Though, to be fair, the NHS has done me proud so far, I've no complaints.

I'm sorry if I have left anyone off who asked a question. My head is a shed at the moment.

I have just returned from Stockton on Tees and I'm exhuasted and in pain. Before I go and lie down, I just thought I'd mention that I had x-rays this morning that showed 'white, fluffy bits' - the very beginnings of fusion taking place. YAY! What I am doing to protect my back is obviously working so far, so I'm not going to compromise this by sitting on a stupid, low chair at work, I can tell thee (as they say in Yorkshire!).

Aaaarggh! My manager has just this minute phoned me. I was feeling quite upbeat until now! She says that she has phoned HR and, because they sent me home last Friday 'cos I was 'unfit to work', I have to find out what the Occy Health doctor says next Tuesday - because it could mean that I may have to self-certify as 'off sick' for next week. How blimming rude! I AM FIT TO WORK - but I need reasonable adjustments to be considered to support my return to work. My employer sent ME home after I had already worked for 2 weeks - it's not my fault that my return to work interview was delayed by 2 weeks (because of her) and, I'm NOT sick, dammit! Can they do this?

Good job I sorted out my pay otherwise they probably would have taken that back (ha! I don't suppose they've lost the oppportunity yet either and I wouldn't put it past them now!).

I cannot believe how one minute I can feel quite upbeat, and the very next, I'm left a demoralised wreck again. It's not fair and I'm going to lie down now before I 'poke someone in the eye with a sharp stick!' ...... ha! that's not to be taken literally of course - it's a saying my daughters use when they are really frustrated!
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 roller coaster ride you're on, dear Sue! I'm so sorry about the nerve wracking maze you're forced to make your way through with your work and health accommodations. I don't understand all the lingo so it's good you have other UK spineys who can relate. As far as the smoking goes, we all understand how difficult things can be. We know you'll quit when you can. And, last but not least, HURRAY that fusion has started!! Keep making that white fluffy stuff! =D>

    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
  • GREAT news about the fusion!!! Just try to focus on that for the day, and try not to fret about work, give yourself a mental break from that for an hour or two, if you can! As soon as I read that she had said you had to go home because you were sick, I thought Whaaat??!! It was HER that sent you home because she didn't know what else to do!!! "oy" (isn't that what you guys say over there? :) ).. Can you call your Occ Health, or HR and find out exactly what she's doing and what she's said?
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • Well, I went for my lay down. It didn't help me much because the lady from Occy Health called me (an hour after my Manager).

    She said that the doctor was unfortunately attending Court now next Tuesday, so she has had to postpone my appointment with him until the following week. It's now on Tuesday 2 November.

    Now I've got to wait even longer to find out what exactly is going on. I hope my manager doesn't think that I cancelled this appointment, but they're all off now for half term, so I can't even let her know for another week. I've asked the occy health lady to email her so at least she'll know about this delay when she gets back to work.

    I do hope I'll still get paid.

    Yay for the white, fluffy bits! I'm gonna have a lovely weekend despite them all.
    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 !!
  • I'm so sorry all this is coming down on you, especially since you've been doing all that has been asked of you! I don't understand your countries way of doing things, so I can't be of much help there. I just wanted to let you know I am sending you positive energy and thoughts in the hopes it helps strengthen you and warm your heart. *HUGZ*

    Congrats too on the fusion starting to show!! Yes!!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Hello Sue, I am so glad that you are starting to fuse!!!! YEAH!!...Just stay strong girl!! You can get through this too!!

    You will be in my prayers!!
  • Wait a minute now. She said herself (go back and read what you quoted when you got home to make sure I got it right) that she sent you home because SHE didn't know how to manage you, not because of anything YOU had done. So why would YOU not get paid?

    Are you keeping records of what has been going on- such as your manager not calling you before your scheduled return to work, not meeting you when you returned, etc? This is just ridiculous, for you to be treated this way :(

  • At my 3 month check, the x-rays didn't show any sign of fusing. The surgeon obviously wasn't worried because he said to see him again at my 12 month check for more x-rays to check again. He did say I could see him before then if I had any problems. (I don't smoke). So Sue, you are doing really well. :-) Well done!

    Enjoy the half term holiday Sue and try not to worry. I think that as they sent you home while they tried to discover what action they need to take, then they will pay you without a problem. After all, you reported to work.

    Definately do keep a detailed log of all that happens and what has been said to you. You may need the evidence and if you don't need it, there is no harm done.

    I think that the reason that my school wanted me to give permission for them to speak to the Occupational Health doctor about me, is because I have been off for so long, (nearly 6 months!). I think it is a County directive for long term sickness. There have also been a teacher and another Teaching Assistant off long term this year too.
    That may be why the school has been told to follow these procedures. The other two staff have also been asked to sign to give their permission to have their doctors contacted about their sickness.
  • I am so happy you are beginning to fuse that is awesome.
    However, I can truly feel for you as for what is going on with your employer. After my cervical fusion my employer CEO was just horrible. I tried so hard to continue working but due to other medical issues (I think if you click my name it will list everything) my dr's decided there was no way I could continue trying to work. Mind you I had been employed as VP for 29yrs 11 mos and 26 days. I was also injured on the job but CEO handled all Workmans Comp issues completely wrong and I am still having to deal with that. Have had to get an attorney.
    Sometimes I think employers can be real jerks when an employee has to undergo any type of medical treatment. Unfortunately the managers and CEO's do not take the time to educate themselves on the laws pertaining to employee surgeries, time off due to illness or disabilities. So they get frustrated and it all falls back on the person who is simply trying to recover. You should not be put in this type of situation. I can tell you first hand the stress from how my employer handled my time off took a real toll on my body. After returning to work (my office was upstairs and my husband and I gave them two weeks notice with my restrictions-also took in the Dr. written restrictions which included no stairs, limited walking and many more to list. All we asked was for my computer to be moved downstairs. After returning as I had to take vacation time since I could not work without the modification, nothing was moved. I was treated just terribly like I did something wrong.
    I do not know anything about the law but I do know that since you had a Dr.'s note allowing you to return to work she had absolutely no right sending you home. Now since they have pushed back the time you can return I would for sure call and make double sure that this in no way affects your pay or takes away any days from your time off policies. She might not like that but from experience you have to be your own advocate in this situation because they are only out to cover themselves. I learned things the hard way so if I sound blunt or to the point I apologize. I just don't want to see you have to go through anymore emotional stress than they have put you through. My first day back the CEO actually through the policy handbook at my face and left the room after I questioned something she did wrong. Two days later I developed one of the worst cases of shingles my doctor had ever seen.
    I will keep you in my prayers and just look out for yourself. Keep a journal and if necessary record any phonecalls from your employer. Most employers record calls from employees who are off work I don't know if it is legal but being in upper management I did learn some of their nasty tactics. My post is not to scare you in anyway just want you to notate everything that is said. It is very easy when you are not quite up to par but trying to give your job 100% to forget things that have been said to you. If you ever need to talk or have any questions please feel free to PM me at anytime. Get some rest and we are all here to support you.
  • All your comments were much appreciated, thank you, and I have in fact written down everything that's happened. I sent you a PM Jan.

    By the way folks - I don't think I mentioned that I had a phone call from the occupational health office (an hour after my line manager called me) yesterday. My planned appointment with their doctor for next Tuesday 26 October has now been cancelled. It's now rescheduled for Tuesday 2 November.

    This is definitely a conspiracy. Everything hinges on the occy health doctor's further report and now we are all having to wait another week. This is just prolonging the agony.

    Ha! It's a good job all the schools are now on one week's half term. My line manager will, I'm sure, be very angry when she returns to work on the 1st November only to find that I haven't even had my appointment yet. That means they have to pay my wages for another week and I know for a fact that it won't go down well. Oh dear, how sad, never mind!

    I'm going to chase my union man up on Monday. I've emailed a couple of times all that has transpired, but he hasn't responded. I even left him a phone message yesterday to say "please check your emails!". There's nothing more I can do now, except wait.

    As Jan and others have implied, I have to be my own advocate here - and I'm now changing [slowly] from being extremely upset to defensive!

    I'll let you all know the outcome after 2 November (unless anything happens beforehand - oh, I hope not!).

    Thanks for letting me get it all out of my system - the Spine Health forum, and everyone who contributes to it, are simply the best!
    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 !!
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