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Saw the surgeon and it is not good

Receoved the results from my newest MRI, I am showing signs of abcesses on my lower spine, Surgery will be within one to two weeks. My boss is flipping out telling me I have not given her enough time to find a replacement and to put it bluntly wants me in her office first thing this morning. I REFUSE to apologize for something I have no control over nor will I postpone my surgery to make life easier for her. I have a feeling this meeting is not gonna go well.


  • paininohioppaininohio Posts: 240
    edited 07/03/2013 - 1:22 AM
    Wow Susan, I'm sorry to hear that, but you have to put you first. Good luck today with your boss, Let us know how it goes.
  • What caused the abscesses? How do they handle this in surgery? How long will recovery be? Doesn't sound good. Sorry you are having to go back to the OR.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • thoracic spine painthoracic spine pain Posts: 566
    edited 07/24/2013 - 2:45 AM
    Hi I had a friend who had this surgery and she came out OK even though recovery took a while. Now she does yoga everyday and goes to the beach twice a day for a swim. She also is training to be a homeopath and is using natural medicines and writing a book. Wish you the same recovery.
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    After the clean out so to say they will fuse l5-s1. My whole spine is going to be fused before its all over with.I have needed lower spine fusion for quite awhile but have put it off . Im worried how I will do with my cervical and my lower spine fused. 3 day hospital stay which doesnt sit very well with me, i HATE being in the hospital.
  • Hi Susan! It's been a long time! I'm so sorry to learn that you're in trouble with abscesses. I don't know if you've stayed here on the forum since I "saw" you last, but I'm surprised that you've managed to go this long without the lumbar surgery. I don't remember what kind of work you do but your boss sounds like something I won't say because I don't use that kind of language. The law should be on your side if your job is on the line--it's not as if this is elective surgery, for goodness sake. Please keep us posted how the encounter with the boss from hell goes. *frustrated*

    You'll be okay with fusions in both cervical and lumbar spine--I'm headed for the same and expect it will be fine. Am going to need to change my forum screen name to "metalback" or something similar that isn't already taken, lol.

    Keep your chin up, girl. :hug:

    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
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    edited 07/04/2013 - 7:11 PM
    My boss is a great person and I love her to death, We have had some very bad luck within the last few months at work and are constantly short handed. We had a employee come home from work and found her 81 year old mother brutally murdered, her throat slit from ear to ear with 15 stab wounds total, one worker has had 3 family deaths within the last 2 months, another was found with kidney cancer and had her kidney removed so to say we are always short handed is the understatement. I would fill in for everyone when they were out. Now that I am going to be out 4 to 8 weeks I think she has now realized just how much I do at work. She never did call me in the office just popped her head into my office and said I shocked the H3## out of her when I told her about the surgery and said we would talk Monday and not to worry. Things will work out. It will be easy to find a replacement for me due to the fact I work for a large network and other billers can log into my account and do my work. Its the in house workers she will not be able to find replacements for. My surgeon is telling me i can be back to work in 4 weeks if all goes well. That kind of shocked me, 4 weeks to recover from lower back surgery?? Has anyone else recovered so quickly?
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    Sorry I forgot to answer your question in my post above. I have had a spine infection since last Oct. I have done the antibiotics IV and oral ever since. I was lucky that I never had any abcesses till now. I guess a abcess makes a huge difference in wether you are taken into surgery I have learned
  • Susan
    Sorry to jump in late on your issues. A friend of mine follows your threads and talks to me about them.
    First dont worry about a cervical and lumbar fusion being a issue.
    I am fused at C 5/6/7 and then at L 4/5/S1.My body later on it's own fused L3 to L 4
    Granted it's not the best thing to have done but it works.
    I have some pretty good range of motion and if you ran into me anywhere you would not know from my actions.and motions that I have been fused in both areas.
    My problems now are not fusion related but have been caused by waiting to many years
    for these surgeries. If all goes well and you have no permanent damage to nerves and or Spinal cord you have a good chance of being almost normal again. Going back to work in four weeks may be cutting it short but not impossible. You will know when you get there.
    I did a stupid thing and had there cervical laminectomys done the same day has the lumbar fusion. My recovery from that was more like four months then four weeks so we cant compare that to yours.
    Plan for the worst and Hope for the best.
    There has been some major issues at work but remember it's not your fault and you need to be taken care of ASAP to avoid more issues later that could be for the rest of your life.
    Work can wait they will survive.
    Good luck
    You may always PM me if you have questions.
  • Your office has been through a lot! Hopefully after your surgery the last of the hard times will be over for yall, at least for awhile. I think 4 weeks does seem a little quick for a fusion, but who knows, you might breeze through it and be ready to go back to work by then. Good luck to you. Hopefully this will be your last spine surgery.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    This has to be my last surgery as far as Im concerned. This will make number 8. I wouldnt do this one but the ramifications that can happen if I do not are too great. I was told to call Friday for my surgical date but the scheduler was out for personal reasons. So I was told to call Monday. I know the surgeon said one to two weeks but I cant see it being before 2 weeks due to the slow pace so far of getting the ball rolling. As for work I feel so guilty dumping this on my boss so quick. I really do have the most respect for her and want to retire from this job. I love it there. I did find out the real reason she is upset from another employee. While I was at the surgeon I received a phone call from my sister that she was at hospice and her husbands grandmother had just passed away. My brother in law and I are very close and the joke is im his second wife.. His grandmother raised him so he looked upon her as his mother. So after leaving the surgeons office i went back to work to tell my boss I needed to leave work for about a hour to go to Hospice to pay my respects. My boss was not there and left messages with the other employees that she was going to another practice. So i called that practice and they had not seen her all day. So I called her cell phone which she did not answer so I left a message explaining that i needed to leave to go to hospice for about an hour.As soon as I paid my respects I again called her cell phone and told her I was on my way back to work, she told me not to come back for the day. Here is my dilemma, I can be written up for leaving without telling her but I did everything possible to reach her. If I am written up I am going to refuse to sign and fight it. What would everyone else do?
  • Susan,
    As long as your boss knows why you left and how hard you tried to reach her, I wouldn't think she would write you up--unless there is some hard-line policy which requires her to do that.

    I'm glad to hear how much you love your job and respect your boss. Too many spineys here don't have that kind of work situation and that just adds to their stress in an already stressful time.

    8 surgeries? Wow, I'd forgotten how much you've been through. Don't blame you for vowing this will be your last.

    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
  • Sorry to hear about your condition. You should be covered and job guaranteed by the FMLA http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/
    As far as being short handed, your boss should hire a temp employee. Unless your job is very specialized, this should be easy to do and maybe they can start now so you can give some training. By using a temp agency, there is no formal hiring and they can either be kept or let go when you return, as needed.
  • As long as you tried to reach her and did it 'in good faith' she probably won't write it up. Sometimes we get stressed too and you seem to like her. Sometimes we are protecting people without them even realising it, if she likes you that is probably what she is doing.

    Bosses are people too and have lots of stuff going on in their lives, there were so many times I protected my staff and they never knew. Maybe she is being pressured from above - I also didn't believe in back pain until I actually got it. Explain to her it is your central nervous system that is damaged, which it is, and she might understand a bit better how much pain you have.

    Just be honest with her and she will probably tell you why she is so stressed. If she thinks she can trust you not to blab it round. It's hard for a boss sometimes - they have no-one to talk to as sometimes there is stuff that weighs on your mind that you can't talk to anyone about. Especially if is she is getting grief from above about absences at work - they can twist that to say she isn't a good manager and it's her fault. As a boss there are always people ready to knife you for your job, sometimes they lie about you, so try to look at it from her perspective.

    Go and talk to her - ask what happened.
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I was called into her office today and blown away, First off I go to the bank daily to make deposits and get change for the practice. Matter of fact I do the banking for 2 practices. She calls me in the offfice and asks where I was for 20 min, I told her the bank like I do everyday, she started going ballistic saying she didnt believe me??? I told her it was noon when i left it was now 12'20, it was lunch time and I had about 5 people ahead of me in line and I had 5 separate deposits.Would she like to see my receipts that are dated and stamped,That I had been no where else. Then she went on a rant that I had no business going to Hospice that this wasnt my family and it was considered unexcused. Then she began talking termination. Last week I was god to this woman and her right hand man, ever since I told her about the surgery scheduled for next Monday Ive been treated like crap. She then went on to say I missed 120 hrs work this year. Im like what are you ttalking about, I have called in one day in 2 years and all the other hours were vacation hours. IM NOT ALLOWED TO USE MY VACATION???? At this point the writing is clearly written on the wall, it is about the surgery and no one can tell me any different. The she starts in that she hasnt received any paper work from my surgeon.. I told her the 30 page packet he has to fill out was given to me Monday and I can pick it up on Wed. I offered to call my surgeon and have them fax something over until the paper work was done and she tells me that I cant work until she receives it. I call the surgeon, tell them what is going on and they immediately fax over a Dr note from my appt that excuses my work for that day, gives my surgery date and a copy of the FMLA paper work. I was then told the FMLA since it was faxed is not considered a legal document and according to company policy FMLA is not considered accepted until the paper work is returned and it is not in effect from the date the surgeon signed it, only from the date it was received. I am so stunned, hurt angry you name it I have that feeling right now. None of this makes sense to me. I had my yearly review 2 weeks ago and was praised about my work and how helpful I am with everyone even given a raise. And now BAM I am the worst person and employee to walk the planet.I have made up my mind now no matter what happens today, being terminated or written up I am done. I no longer want to work for someone that has done this. I dread the thought of even going into work today, not knowing what is gonna happen. I was even given a 1800.00 bonus in March for job well done. Im so hurt right now, I wanted to retire from this place, I loved my job. Never not one day in 2 years have I been late. Im so tired of my health always getting in the way of my employment. I honestly believe that she is hoping Ill cancel my surgery which I wont, I cant it is too dangerous. Im just speechless
  • Sounds horrible! I've always been blessed with good bosses... my husband, not so much. My husband told his office WELL IN ADVANCE that when I gave birth to my daughter he would be taking a week off (We have no family here) and he'd be using his vacation time. They said fine as long as it wasn't tax season... well... it wasn't (It was the day after....lol). He only got to take 3 days off... and I use the term "off" loosely as Monday (the day she was born on) he left work at 2:00 (born at 4:00), the next morning in the hospital his boss called my hospital room TWICE... THE NEXT MORNING... and spent forever on the phone with my husband, then he had to go in for 2 hours that afternoon, and the third day he went in for 4 HOURS.... but did they "credit" him this time, NO. Then one year for the annual Christmas Party at his work our baby sitter had a death in the family and called us literally like 30 minutes before she was suppose to be there. (again, no family here and this stuff happens and its almost impossible to get a sitter during party season). My husband went to the party without me and he actually get marked off on his evaluation for it! When his FATHER died he was given only 3 days off and we were traveling out of state having to see about EVERYTHING and there response was, "Can't your wife handle it, she's going to be home for awhile." (ie, I was 9 months pregnant with our son when he died and they thought I'd just be able to travel out of state back and forth with a new born after a C-section....) Anyways, after 5 long years he finally found a new job. This was Fall 2012. In Spring 2013 I had to have surgery on a Wed. He told his new company a few weeks before and said he wanted to take off Wed-Fri, which he did. When he got to work (early) on Monday they were floored saying they weren't expecting to see him for at least a week.... then when I had to have ANOTHER surgery 3 weeks later that we weren't expecting, they told my husband to not worry about it, to just go and take care of me, so he took another few days off. Now, my husband is a very honest/hard working man so he got everything he needed to do done. His company DIDN'T deduct this time from him at all, not from pay nor leave. Have I mentioned home life has been so much better/easier/smoother since his new job? lol... and he has to commute an hour each way (before he was 1.5 miles from our home). I'm just saying... maybe it is time for a new job.... some where you are appreciated and don't feel like you are on a continual roller coaster.... The last thing you need is to be worried about your job when you are trying to heal.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • What an awful thing to happen! I don't blame you for deciding to leave--this is craziness. Something doesn't make sense with your boss doing flip-flops like that--makes a person wonder if she's bipolar or has something serious going on in her life and she's angry or feels out of control, etc. Before you leave, I hope you can get your record set straight about her ridiculous accusations--accusing you of missing work for using your vacation time, for instance. The law is on your side in this, so don't let them walk all over you when you've done nothing wrong.

    So sorry that you're having this horrible stress just before surgery. :hug:

    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
  • Susan,

    If it was your boss telling you that a fax does not "count", I don't think she knows what she's talking about. Having worked at large corporations, faxes are definitely used and can be useful because they can have a date and time stamp. If you can, contact HR and get the straight story. Also let them know what your boss said. She sounds like a boss I used to have. I'm very sorry you're going through this. As far as FMLA, you are required to give as much notice as possible, and you have.

    Take care, KarenD
    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • AllieO2000AAllieO2000 Posts: 49
    edited 07/10/2013 - 3:13 PM
    Your employer does not have the right to tell you what she is and is violating laws. Immediately file a complaint against her with HR followed by contacting Labor Relations for your state. You may also want to take advantage of a free consultation with an employment attorney. Your boss EDIT needs to be fired.

    Post Edited for Inappropriate Language by The Spine-Health Moderator Team
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    My boss has no intentions of even trying to keep any of this under wraps from the other emplpyees. I get to work this morning and a MCR asked me what the he## was going on that my boss came flying out of her office after I left Tues. and asked her if she really needed change and was having a hissy fit as she put it. Which she did, which is what I told my boss she also proceeds to tell the same employee that I had a meeting scheduled with a patient Monday at 4;20 .and I was not there. First of all i would not schedule a meeting with a patient at 4:20, my work day ends at 4. So this is the reason she is now telling empoyees that I will either be teminated or written up and put in a step 2 corrective action. Which means you cannot miss work or be late for one year. She was waiting on a conference call from corporate to decide which is to be done. She then proceeds to tell everyone in the office that the call had been postponed and have me fill in for a employee that was leaving early and i was not to leave until 5. Not one word of this had been said to me from my employer. Fate was on my side because at 4;30 the very patient that my boss says that i had a appointment scheduled with calls to speak with me, I apologized to the patient with the confusion about the 4'20 meeting. Her exact reply to me was " Oh no there was no appointment I just stopped by hoping to talk to you, I didnt realize you left at 4. LIE! That is third lie since all of this has started that I have caught my boss in. I kept my mouth shut with everyone concerning this phone call because when she tries to use this as the reason I have her caught in a dead lie. There are to be 2 reasons for the corrective action one being going to Hospice and the other missing the so called meeting with a patient. I am so suppose to be at the hospital today for cardio clearence at 3'30 for my surgery. If I am written up I will not be able to go this appointment. I will be terminated immediantly. Im in a no win situation here. Im more heart-broken then anything. This will make job number 2 that I have been fired for having surgery.I give up
  • Susan, I'm so sorry this is happening to you. You do NOT need this stress right now. If your not relaxed, how are you going to get cardio clearance? Unless your boss is stressing you out on purpose so you DON'T get the cardio clearance. (sorry I can be a little paranoid at times).

    The only thing I can suggest for right now is document everything, dates, times, all of it, (it will come in handy later, trust me) Do NOT quit, if they terminate you, then first file for unemployment and when/if they deny it, appeal it, (I can give you more details on that later if you get to that point), then file a lawsuit, but wait until AFTER your surgery.

    I know your upset and you feel like you've been stabbed in the back, and you were, but you really have to worry about you right now, you can deal with your boss and work issues later. If you need anything, just let me know, we are all here for you OK. Sending you hugs and prayers.
  • They cannot fire you if you have approved FMLA. She is also breaking the law if she is sharing your personal info with others. I suggest callin HR right now. It won't do you anygood if she has grounds to fire you before you act.
    40 year old mom
    Tlif July 18
  • At first I figured you were a small company so FMLA didn't apply, but if you have a corporate office, then you should have over 50 employees... and I'd imagine she is breaking some laws if not rules for certain regarding speaking of any of this with your coworkers.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • I have to chime in here! You're boss is completely going against your rights! First of all....I have been on FMLA three times and have faxed documents and they are PERFECTLY LEGIT!! For her to tell you otherwise....she doesn't know crap and is spouting incorrect information! Secondly....to discuss your personal information with ANYONE is a violation of privacy and SHE should be fired! "paininohio" is right.....document everything! I worked in a government position several years back and my boss was a bio-polar maniac and the biggest liar I have ever worked for! I ended up needing all the information I documented to fight her and I won! Thirdly.....you need to find an attorney who handles unlawful termination suits.

    I know you haven't posted on this thread for a while so I'm not sure where you are at with this, but I wanted to let you know my thoughts. I hope all is well, God bless :)
    Your boss is breaking so many laws it makes my head spin!
  • and less stress in your life while you get through your next surgery. As many have said already your boss is way off base and has viloated several laws, the largest is Privacy. Disclosing your situation with other employees can result in personal fines to her. You are entitled to fair treatment, please register your complaints with HR.
    If they don't terminate you spend some of your recovery time working on a new job search plan. As soon as you get back to work put it in motion and hopefully you will find a more compassionate place to work.
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
  • So how did it go yesterday? Did you get to your cardio clearance appointment?
  • Susan, your boss is so wrong on so many counts that I cannot believe a termination would be upheld by management. You need to document, document, document (which I believe you're already doing) and if I were in your shoes, I would start a formal complaint against your boss. She may try to fire you but the law will still be on your side and you should be able to get your job back, with back pay. I know you don't want to work there any longer, just saying what is within your rights to expect. Your boss sounds mentally ill, not that this helps you at this point in time. I hope you were able to have your appointment yesterday. Do let us know how things continue in this soap opera from employment hell.

    Sending peaceful thoughts and prayers for you.

    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
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    edited 07/12/2013 - 12:32 PM
    I made it thru and still have my job, now we are arguing on already used FMLA time. I filed last year when I started my IV therapy. I worked everyday of the 7 weeks during treatment. I did leave once a week at half day for my appointment to change and clean the IV by the therapy nurse. That adds up to 28 hrs in my book. They are saying I used 80 hrs. On what documentation do you have that? So now we are arguing on how much FMLA I can have. I was approved but after I exhaust the FMLA I will be terminated if I choose not to return. I spoke with corporate many times within the last few days and I suspect my boss is in trouble for record keeping of my FMLA. I also suspect that is why all the nastiness, she was looking for a way out. You would think the major corporation I work for that has a time clock system that makes you choose from a catagory of hundred plus things,one option to choose when you leave early would be FMLA leave. Not on there at all, But we do have a sucide watch box we can hit for leaving early.lol. Im serious when I say that. I did talk to corporate about a transfer when I return, if I decide to, I havent made that decision yet. All this drama has me wore out. Im nervous about surgery Monday. I have been fortunate that after every surgery all 7 spine surgeries that I was able to return to work and I am afraid my luck is going to run out. I have avoided fusion of the lower spine now for 10 years but the infection leaves me no choice. cardio clearence went well, my blood pressure was up but after I explained why that wasnt a issue. Chest xray good I assume since nothing was said. So at 5;30 Monday morning I am on my way to surgery. As I was about to end this post the phone rings and it is my boss telling me good luck Monday and have someone call when surgery is over. That is the boss I know not the one ive seen this week. If she would just come clean with me what all this was really about I might reconsider my options. I really did respect and enjoy working for her. Who knows maybe she will come clean with everything.
  • I'm glad you were able to speak with corporate. Maybe if nothing else they will reconsider those boxes... suicide watch? Is that sick or personal leave? I taught at a school once where on the "Office Referral" sheet you could check off homicide. I don't know about most teachers, but I don't think I'd say, "Now look what you did! Go to the office and I'll send up a referral!" lol. I hope you are able to enjoy this weekend, eat good food, spend time with good friends/family and relax (as much as possible). Good luck on Monday!
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • I'm happy for you that you got to end this horrible week on a high note. Regardless of her past motives, mentally YOU can say, she called, we're good and you can go into surgery with a clear head...no worries, no negative thoughts, just concentrate on yourself and getting well. Everything else can and will wait. Like Allmetal said, enjoy your weekend, good food, good friends and good thoughts! :) Good luck on Monday, and I'll be sending healing prayers your way...
    42yr old mom, of 3 & 6 yr old boys
    Spondylolisthesis L4-5, Spinal stenosis,
    Left leg/foot radiculopathy, Khyphosis
    360 Decompression Fusion scheduled for 7/23/13
  • It sounds as though your Boss is trying to make you quit, or is building a case to lay you off.

    I know. Believe you me, I know. My husband was laid off 1 wk after returning from Family Leave. He had worked for the Company 20 years. Why 1 wk? That way his work could prove they had him back, working. They were tired of having to give him time off here and there, and when it came to the bottom line they could hire someone younger, pay the new guy less and not have to pay as much in benefits. Sad.

    Id say get a Lawyer, but as soon as you let your work know, your working enviroment is going to be toasted. I am pessimistic. I hope to gawd its not going that way for you.Honestly, I wouldnt wish the stress on anyone, especially when the stress from surgery is enough to crush you.

    Document times, dates, everything.
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