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Do you think it's too much to ask?

KimD592KKimD592 Posts: 435
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:55 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
So, I have a major dilemma. I'm scheduled to start my new job on August 8th. It's a desk job as a telephone triage nurse. However, all new employees need to have a lifting eval. Well, with having had the surgery, they needed something in writing from my doctor stating my restrictions. So at my appt with the NP last week, she stated no lifting greater than 10 lbs until 8/23 (which is my follow-up with the NS), no bending at the waist ever, and may sit for 30 minutes at a time, but must get up and walk/stretch in between. I faxed that back to the employee health nurse on Monday and finally heard back from her today. Apparently, in order for them to do this lifting eval, I need to be able to lift a minimum of 10 lbs. It makes no sense to me being that I'll be sitting at a desk all day. I highly doubt I'll be lifting anything, and if there IS something I need to lift, I'm sure I can have a co-worker do it for me.

I left a message for the nurse to call me back, but do you think I'm asking too much by asking them to allow me that extra 5 lbs? I mean, I'm not completely complying with my restrictions anyway, being that I have a 19/20 lb 1-year old that I've had to lift on occasion. I'm home with the kids by myself, so it's just inevitable that there are times I need to lift her, but for the most part I haven't needed to. All I need for them to do is say that it's okay for me to lift 10 lbs so that I can get this lifting eval done. I REALLY need to start this job on the 8th. We are barely surviving on just my husband's income. We are SO far behind on bills and we can't afford to make the August 1st mortgage payment. If I am not able to start this job on the 8th, I don't know what we'll do. They only hold hospital orientation once a month (the second Monday of every month), which means I'd have to wait until September to start my new job.

I honestly think I'm going to cry. I knew it was too good to be true. I wouldn't be so worried, except for the fact that I JUST called the doc's office yesterday complaining of that left-sided pain. They called in a bunch of new meds for me, which seem to be helping because the pain is minimal today.

I just don't know what to do. I know my health and recovery from the surgery has to be my top priority, but I also have to have money to put food on the table and to keep a roof over our heads.


  • Kim,

    Your restrictions are lifting 10 pounds, and for the exam you need to lift a minimum of 10 pounds? It sounds like if they keep to the 10 pounds you should be ok and keep within your restrictions.

    I think you live in the U.S. If so, the hospital would be subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Under the ADA, an employer needs to make reasonable accommodations which would help you perform the essential functions of the job. I suggest you talk to Human Resources and explain your issue and what restrictions you have and what accommodations you need.

    I hope this helps.
    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • Sorry, just re-read my original post. The NP stated no lifting greater than 5 lbs until 8/23
  • Ugh! I wish the doctor's office would call back already. I feel like my fate is in their hands.
  • its your back and if you injure yourself again you could be off work permanently {like me } i was a fully trained electrician but after 2 operation and countless painful procedures my health is poor i am also waiting for a fusion {ALIF} so the chances of me returning to work are small .i understand the money situation i am down about 40k a year so living off disability is no fun .my wife is a health visitor and she earns good money about 40k .so thankfully we don't starve.at the end of the day its your decision but sitting down ...i think that you could manage it don't you?? good luck
    tony {uk]
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • I would think, if you were lifting your baby whom is 19lbs, that it shouldn't be a issue getting it move up to 10lbs. Be sure to remind them that you have already done that, and I am sure if your job is on the line they will be willing to accommodate you. YOu might also mention the other activities so they can see your moving about and stuff.
  • If you've already been lifting your child, then the doc shouldn't have any problem adding the 5 lbs. for you to get this job - and her money to boot. :-)

  • Well, I finally spoke with the NP at my doc's office. I swear I'd have an easier time getting in touch with the President of the United States! lol. My NS office has several doctors, and each has their own surgical coordinator and NP. Well, the NP for my NS happened to be out on vacation this week. Go figure! So trying to get in touch with one of the other NP's covering for her was no easy task.

    In any event, I was fully prepared to beg and plead with her. I explained the situation and how I only need to be able to lift 10 lbs for this lifting eval. After I pass the eval, it's very unlikely I'll have to do any lifting at all, being that my job is a desk job and I have no direct patient care. I also admitted to her that I've been lifting my 20-lb daughter on occasion, and that it doesn't hurt whatsoever. In fact, the pain today is much better. The new meds are working very well. The pain only gets worse if I've been on my feet too long. As long as I'm sitting down, I'm fine. But lifting my daughter has no impact on my pain level.

    After explaining all of that to her, she said it wasn't a problem and that she was willing to raise my restrictions to 10 lbs! Yay!! So I faxed the paperwork over to her that needs to be completed, and she said she will get it filled out and faxed to my work first thing tomorrow morning.

    Ahhh! What a weight off of my shoulders (no pun intended). I really need to start this job ASAP. Financially we are really in a tight spot. I was really worried my start date was going to have to be delayed yet again, which would have meant more time without my income. I know my health has to be my number one priority, but I really don't think 10 lbs is going to make a difference one way or the other.

    So, it all worked out in the end. Phew!
  • Way to go, Kim! I can understand where you're coming from, as I still work as well. Thankfully school's out for summer and I should be good to go by September. Just please, please be careful! :-)

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