Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

advertisement
advertisement
Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

Notice
All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Returning to work..how soon?

Okay in July 2010 I had a two level PLIF. I was out for four weeks full time, then returned to work at 60% for two weeks, then 80% for two weeks, then full time.
Fast forward 2 years. On Friday July 6'th I had a three level fusion. Woek no longer allows part time or light duty. I am either at work or I'm not. They want me to be out for four weeks again and come back as "full duty" but in reality only work 60% of my day. Being salary I would still receive full pay.
My doctor filled out my STD forms as well as my FMLA paperwork as my having to be out at least 12 weeks. I'm not sure the best way to broach this with my company. I do know what a hardship my being out is on the company but at the same time don't want to compromise my own healing.
Any thoughts/
advertisement

Comments

  • Moeck01:

    I had a two level TLIF in Jan 11. I had the opportunity to work from the house for an extended period of time, but after 5 weeks I went back to driving (at least once a week for 300 miles). At 8 weeks I went back to fulltime work (driving about 500 miles per week). I am the one who imposed this on myself and I now regret it!

    Tomorrow I will get some advice concerning a revision surgery, and I am suspicious that my less-than-favorable results from my initial surgery are attributable to going back to work too soon. My bad.

    My job is totally "coat and tie." I have 99.9% control over my schedule. It is a split between driving and working from the house. Obviously, the driving is the kicker.

    When I alerted my employer that I may have to undergo another surgery, etc. they told me that they would have to invoke STD. My initial response was "insult." But, I then realized that this may be the beginning to the end of work but also the beginning of paper work for SS disability. I am very weary and do not know how much longer I can continue. I am 61. My "twilight" years are here!

    So - the RTW in the subject line of my response stands for "return to work" and TROL stands for "the rest of life." Seriously consider where you are and where you want to be. It's a tough decision that most of us spineys have had to make. If I had contained my "work at all costs" mentality after my TLIF I may have had a more successful outcome. Who knows?

    Only you know the dynamics of your job/profession. My advice is to leverage the "work from home" option as much as you can. And, never forget that if you don't take care of yourself no one else will. I have learned that lesson from both government employers and private employers.

    Jim
  • Hi Jim. I'm not as close to "twilight" as you, I'm only 56. LOL. Not to belabor my job but I am an RN with dual sole responsibilites for quality assurance and accurate medicare reimbursment for my building. It is the smallest of the company's three buildingas and the only one that has just one reimbursment coordinator. 99% of my duties are handled by computor. The other 1% could be done by someone in the building and uploaded to me. I am totaly set up to work from home but our new CEO has declared that working from home is no longer allowed for any reason. I am not worried about finding another position if I end up being out longer than 12 weeks. And like you I wonder if my fusion 2 years ago would have had a better outcome if I hadn't returned so soon.
    My bigger worry is financial. My husband has a-fib and is in the no man's land of being too sick some days to work and too healthy on others to get disability. It's frustrating because his projected disability from the state would make up the difference between my STD/LTD and my salary. he's scheduled to finally see about getting a cardiac abulation next month.
  • stevo12sstevo12 Posts: 1
    edited 07/25/2012 - 8:50 AM
    Having had anterior and posterior fusion C3-C7 with hardware this past January, I would urge anyone to be patient with the healing process and not do too much too soon. I am 60 and have always lead an active lifestyle so it has been frustrating for me to continue to be laid up with pain 6 months after but I have vowed to no longer work through the pain I have suffered pre and post op for the last 10+ years. My surgeon continues to plead that I be patient with the healing process because of scar tissue from a C4 corpectomy and C3-C5 anterior fusion 10 years ago and C5-C6 posterior nerve root decompression 5 years ago. As of today I begin receiving company sponsored LTD and am depressed at the thought of having to live on 60% pay but will find a way to manage because I see this recovery as my last chance....doctor says he cannot go in there again. All attempts to rush the healing process only prolong the suffering. All 3 surgeries are the result of DDD which has caused not only insufferable pain but also muscular atrophy in my arms and shoulders. In my opinoin working through the pain for whatever reason just isn't worth it anymore

    Good luck to you
  • wow, if I only knew I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself, that was the old line, and still true today, when I think of all the crap I did and I am sure many others, my body now tells me when I get up in the morning, see stupid, you should have listened, I thought I was tough, and I guess I was for awhile, but we pay for our stupidity when we get older, I try and tell the young bucks now a days to work hard but work smart, get the right tool do do the heavy lifting, it doesn't make you weak to do it with tools that make your life easier,
    some people tried to tell me, but I was to macho to hear, now I will not let someone do what I did because just because I was stupid doesn't mean I am going to let them pay for it when they get older, it is hard to live with the pain and work through it, once you go over 50, I tried like hell, for about a year, then I said what the hell am I doing, couldnt think at work the pain was so distracting, and I am a electrician and can't afford to be distracted, most people believe electricians don't do physical labor but I did it all when it came to my jobs, from poring and finishing concrete, to welding pipe supports, to landing the smallest wire, now I have to let others do it, that is when I do work, I hate that I cant, it actually kills me not being able to do the work anymore,,,,
    sorry your post brought up what I was thinking, hammer
    hamrs_62
  • I thought my surgery was a big deal and that I possibly was pushed into returning to work too soon, but now I realize maybe Im being a baby. I admire how strong you all are after all the surgeries you have endured. Sorry, Let me explain a little more about me. I am 25 and am 6 weeks post up from an L5/S1 PLIF including decompression and almost 4 months post op a failed discectomy again L5/S1. Today is my third day back at work and I have been in crazy pain from sitting and standing with no other option, by mid day the pain takes over my brian!
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 10,045
    This can be a delicate situation. From a purely medical view, returning to work too soon, or performing duties that could compromise your condition, the answer is always NO You should never return too soon. The worse thing you want to happen is to return to work, too soon, do too much and create a new spinal problem that could require additional surgery.

    Now, the company and personal dynamics.

    Companies have the right to establish guidelines and rules regarding performance of work. They can identify the time away from work that they will grant you with pay. They can also identify the level of performance required ( light, medium or full duty)

    From a personal view, can being out of work beyond the time your company is demanding become a financial burden?

    There have been so many threads on this site talking about the identical subject. The financial burden in not being able to work due to spinal problems.

    I think it comes down to making the best decision for the long haul....

    There are many Federal and State laws that govern much of this , and depending on what state, the size (# of employees) of the company also makes a difference.
    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
  • moeck01mmoeck01 Posts: 29
    edited 07/26/2012 - 5:22 AM
    Okay..the first part refers to the fact that I have decided to put off returning to work until cleared by the doc. At my two week check I was told definitly no earlier than eight weeks, probably longer. Be that eight weeks, ten weeks or the full twelve weeks. Work is aware and the STD paperwork has been filed. My company is large enough that I fall under FMLA protection for the twelve weeks. If it starts to look like I may be out longer, well I'll figure that out further down the road.

    The at least it was fun part refers to the thirty plus years I spent on and around horses. Falls and other incidents occur when a 120lb woman spends that much time playing with 1200 lb horses, LOL. Although I have DDD and the majority of my lower back issues were from a car accident my family still blames the riding, well the falling, for my problems. once everything is straightened out I'm hoping to get a new driving pony, the cart can always be fitted with shock absorbers, and I'll share him with the grandchildren.

    Since I wrote this my STD has been approved through the end of the eighth week from my surgery. Let's hope if the doc says it will be longer than they will approve for longer. Apparentaly they haven't received the paperwork from his office yet. I have lalready contacted work to ask them to resend it. But if worse comes to worst I have copies that my husband can fax over from somewhere or I can scan them and send as an email attachment.
  • I had AFIB and SVT started in 98 when I was 37. I was on digoxin for a couple of years. In Nov 2003 I woke up in the middle of the night and my heart was beating out of my chest... Went to the ER and the couldn't get me back in Sinus rhythm. after 2 days in the hospital on blood thinners they finally did the ablation. Very minor discomfort is all I've felt. From 2003 to 2011 had no other heart issues. Have had several bouts of elongated heart beat in the last year but nothing that would keep me from working. Cardiologist says it just a nuisance issue now, we'll see. Anyway good luck to your husband, the ablation saved me.
    moeck01 said:
    Hi Jim. I'm not as close to "twilight" as you, I'm only 56. LOL. Not to belabor my job but I am an RN with dual sole responsibilites for quality assurance and accurate medicare reimbursment for my building. It is the smallest of the company's three buildingas and the only one that has just one reimbursment coordinator. 99% of my duties are handled by computor. The other 1% could be done by someone in the building and uploaded to me. I am totaly set up to work from home but our new CEO has declared that working from home is no longer allowed for any reason. I am not worried about finding another position if I end up being out longer than 12 weeks. And like you I wonder if my fusion 2 years ago would have had a better outcome if I hadn't returned so soon.
    My bigger worry is financial. My husband has a-fib and is in the no man's land of being too sick some days to work and too healthy on others to get disability. It's frustrating because his projected disability from the state would make up the difference between my STD/LTD and my salary. he's scheduled to finally see about getting a cardiac abulation next month.
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
  • Finally my husband's abalation is scheduled for September 13'th. Hoping it works for him
advertisement
Sign In or Register to comment.