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Fusion in 3 days & now THIS bad news!

MusicgirlMMusicgirl Posts: 19
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:18 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I just got a letter from work today. After working there 26 yrs, for the state government, they are informing me that my sick leave w/pay ENDS tomorrow. I will be out of work for 3 months, with absolutely NO pay. THe state does not pay disability. Not only that but I will be responsible for paying my monthly health insur. premium at full price, $400 a month, when my FMLA is up in 2 weeks! I can't believe this news the last weekday before my surgery!! I was nervous enough about having this operation and hardware. Now I have to worry about losing my house and car, and being able to feed my children! I'm a single mom w/3 wonderful, High Honors kids. I have a good job and work hard to provide for them, even though my back had me in pain most of the last 20 years, and I had to take daily pain meds and wear my brace and my TENS unit and keep on going so I can have a retirement some day. Many times my doctor has told me I would qualify for SSD, but I never wanted to do that. I LOVE my job!
I had no clue they would cut me off. I've only been on Sick Lv 2 mos, because I tried PT then ESIs before I saw a surgeon, who said I needed fusion. I've had back problems for over 25 yrs now, since my first Laminectomy in 1982. Then tumor resection in '87 (non-cancrs) then several bouts of severe back& leg pain, but I thought that more surgery would be the worst thing to do. (that's what surgeons told me in the 80's and 90's, before they had perfected the current fusion w/PSF where most now have very positive outcomes.)
I have taken sick time a few times for bad flare ups of back and leg pain over the years, but then this year the disc
ruptured,my leg collapsed, and I really could not move without screaming!I finally make it to surgery, then THIS!
I'm sorry to whine, but if you could please say a prayer for me, now I am fighting this stress &pain & now depression too. I actually thought today, it would be easier if I just didn't wake up after surgery. They really punish people for their injuries in this country. That's not right.


  • I am so sorry this is happening - the timing is not the best I have to say. You have so much going on - try and be strong for your surgery. You really need that to work out so you can stop the pain that is controling your life!

    I will keep you in my prayers!
  • Hi MusicGirl,

    Please I'm still awake and will be for about 2 more hours which will be 2:00 a.m your time, give me a call or I can call you? I don't want to wake you or the kids up. We just were talking abou this today, I'm so worried for you! Please, let's talk ok?

  • Hi Musicgirl,
    That is really, really upsetting! I am so mad for you! I used to work for the State of Florida as a social worker and I lost my job too on June 30th. I was lucky in a way because after I used all of my medical leave and vacation time my co-worker donated almost 8 weeks to me to keep me afloat. Do you have an LTD or STD policy with your State? Does your State have a sick time donation program? My State payed for my insurance portion until the month of June and my last day at work was 11/14/07. Have you try to reach your HR person to see what options you have besides termination and paying COBRA so soon after? I just started paying for my COBRA this month and it is $425.84 but I am single. I hope that you can get some answers from HR soon, and I hope that something can be done for you.


  • I am so sorry to hear this. I know there is nothing I can say to ease your concerns, but I have a strong faith and believe in the power of prayer. I'll pray for you and send strong vibes your way.
  • I am so sorry to hear about your problems.

    Have you consulted a lawyer? Like you need all of this extra stress right before your fusion.

    Hang in there,

  • Millie, I spoke to MusicGirl earlier today and we were talking about this subject and she said that working for the State of NY, she is NOT ENTITLED TO STD OR LTD! I can't believe it, she's worked there 26 years and nothing! Heck I was on my corp. job's payroll for only 8 months and I am getting STD and LTD to 65 years old. IT'S NOT FAIR AND I'M GOING TO HELP HER IN ANY WAY I CAN. This is the last thing she needs. Unbelieveable, that's what you get working for the government, NOTHING! I've never heard of such a crazy thing! image
  • That is unbelievable! It's the government, they usually have the best benefits. What is up with New York?! It's not that way in other states...Is it?

    Oh, Music, I'm so sorry. I don't have any money to give you, but if I did have, I would help you out, truly I would. I do have 3 sons though and if you need anything, clothes, school supplies, whatever, please ask me and I'll mail stuff to you. If I can help even with some of the smaller stuff, it stills helps when there's no money. So don't not ask, OK? Really, anything you need.
    Don't forget, if you belong to a church or know of one that does alot of community service, you can get alot of help from food baskets to yard work. and young people who attend church or catholic school are often looking for Christian service projects and can help you out with all kinds of things.
    I will keep you in my prayers. God Bless you-
  • Hi Musicgirl,

    I am so sorry to hear about your job. Did you lose your job or can you go back after your surgery? (sorry if I missed something). That seems insane about no STD/LTS- Goverments are *******. That is a goos suggestion from Jen. Church groups can help. Also have you considered the Salvation Army or any other aid from groups. You definetly do not need this now, but try to focus on your surgery and road to a better life. Things have a way of working themselves out when you are focused. My prayers go out to you. Keep us informed.

    (Changed name when moved over to new site)


  • I just can't believe that! I too believe in the power of prayer and I am saying a prayer for you. Your kids need you to get well and that is what you need to focus on right now. Do you have any family that is close? This is the last thing that you need to be dealing with right now for sure.

    Hugs to you- please keep us updated!

  • Just got some GOOD news! I talked to the Sick leave committee and after researching my past absences (they had them all listed as "back related") they found one that had nothing to do with my back! (weird, yes, but apparently that's how they do it. I wish I never wrote the word "back" down on ANY of my Sick Leave applications!)
    they have credited me with an additional 4 weeks pay. I am hoping I can get a loan today to pay my health insurance and all my bills for the remainder of my recovery period until I can get back to work. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR YOUR PRAYERS!! I REALLY needed them and appreciate it!
    It is TRULY a miracle for me, because after yesterday they had said there was NO CHANCE of any more credits. THANK YOU!
    Now I can go buy my toilet riser, grabber, etc. and start to get things ready for when I get out of the hospital.
    YOU guys are the greatest, I am crying with joy now, at least it seems like a loan is "do-able" now to carry me thru!
    I am so honored and thankful for your friendship and prayers.
    Sincerely, Musicgirl
  • I'm glad you got a bit of good news after all. I've been worried about you since I read your posting this morning but wasn't really sure what to say. Does the doctor say how long you will be off of work? Mine is set for 12 weeks but I find out Monday if it's going to be longer, and although I'm recovering pretty quick I anticipate it being longer because sitting is the hardest and like you that is what I do at my job...I sit all day long!!!

    And when I'm not sitting I'm traveling, my boss actually wanted to schedule me to leave on a business trip the day I return and to be gone 3 days...hauling luggage, a laptop and everything else....the day I return....she's lost her mind I think!!!!!

    I am going to PM you my cell number....call anytime chica!

  • Thank God Musicgirl.

    I was having a a lot of anxiety for you last night.

    My NS nurse who did the pre surgery stuff told me that the hospital would send me home with those things (except the grabber). They will give you a prescription that can be filled at the hospital directly to your insurance.

    Good Luck,

  • Hi Musicgirl,

    That is just wonderful

    I am so happy for you- the news came in the nick of time. Prayers do work :)

  • Hi MusicGirl,

    I just called you and left a message. I didn't read your updated posting. Unbelievable! You have been bless with a miracle girlfriend. We will all continue with prayers for you.

    You know Jenn made some excellent suggestions about the church community, etc. Also alot of those places will work with you on paying your utility bills, etc. You are in the government, perhaps you can access those community services. You know what? Don't be too proud to take the help. I know your probably feel that since you have a roof over your head, you are not a candidate for assistance. But you wouldn't believe how many funds are out there for people in your situation to use, especially with 3 kids and a single mom. Take advantage of those programs. I know it's hard being a strong single woman with your pride, but sometimes that gets in the way. You could even food stamps, well they are not called that these days, but since the government is screwing you take advantage of all the government public assistance you can get. I know our pride gets in the way sometimes, but get over that and sign up when you get back from surgery. It's better to have the assistance available in a month when you need it and not have to use it than have to apply for it down the line and wait. You have to keep up your health insurance, especially now. Also you said you have to go out and buy grabber, potty, etc., doesn't your insurance cover those things? Get a RX from your dr. and they should pay for them.

    Ok that's my pep talk to you for the day.

    See God will always provide, you just have to ask but more importantly listen to him and let him answer your prayers. Just like Melcor said, there is power in prayer!

    Love you so much and we will not let you go through this

    P.S. Also can't you apply for unemployment or SSI?
  • Hi Hun,
    I am glad that you had a bit of good news today! That is unreal that a State agency won't have benefits like STD or LTD!! I could expect that from 7-11 or place like that and I believe that they offer great benefits too! About your post-op equipment..why are you buying it if the insurance will cover for durable equipment? That should be a benefit, but what do I know????? You might want to check into that before going to spend your money in things that insurance can cover most of the time. Good luck to you!

  • Hi Musicgirl,

    I am so glad that at least you get the extra four weeks of sick leave. But you surely have to watch your money, so is there any way you could borrow those items like toilet riser, grabber. etc. instead of buying them? I know you must be way younger than I so you can't do what I did, namely borrowed them from a senior center equipment loan program. But my brother who lives in Canada borrowed them from the Red Cross loan closet. Ask a social worker at the state, city or county level, if such program exists where you live. Then you could save your money without spending it on somethings you only need for a while.

    Good luck,

    Kin :) :) :)
  • Hi Musicgirl,

    I am so glad that at least you get the extra four weeks of sick leave. But you surely have to watch your money, so is there any way you could borrow those items like toilet riser, grabber. etc. instead of buying them? I know you must be way younger than I so you can't do what I did, namely borrowed them from a senior center equipment loan program. But my brother who lives in Canada borrowed them from the Red Cross loan closet. Ask a social worker at the state, city or county level, if such program exists where you live. Then you could save your money without spending it on somethings you only need for a while.

    Good luck,

    Kin :) :) :)
  • I am so happy that you were able to get 4 weeks of pay credited back to you...that's great news. You could always check at a local mobility store and see how much it costs to rent the items you need. I know my mom rented my walker and it wasn't that expensive at all. Good luck with everything--I'm praying for ya!
  • I'm so glad to hear that! I agree that if you can borrow the items or see if your Doctor can write a script for them it would be a lot better on the $$$. Best of luck to you

  • I work for New York State too and they do have reasonable STD and LTD you can buy. I was able to use both while I was out for 11 1/2 months. What agency do you work for?What union are you in? Look in your contract to make sure your getting everything you should. Also talk to your personel dept. They should be able to set you up to get time donations from co-workers as well. Are you eligable for sick leave at 1/2 pay? These things are available in my agency, hopefully something similar in yours too.

    Good luck,
  • Thanks, Maggiemae~
    Our union does offer some private disability insurance policies, but they are very expensive and they would not cover my back as it is considered a "pre-existing condition". I checked it out already. As for SL at 1/2 pay, or donation of
    SL, we used to have that, but our union lost these benefits
    the last time we had negotiations for a new contract. Believe me, I checked out everything available, and I've spoken to HR. I'm surprised that you still have these benefits, I thought every agency had similar benefits for this state.
    What agency do you work for? (you can PM me w/this info)
    Thanks for your suggestions~
  • Hi Music,

    How are you doing today? Did you get my voicemail. Please, I want you to know you can call me at anytime, especially since Monday is just around the corner. I promise you, you are not alone ok?

    Love you!image

  • MusicGirl,

    I noticed you haven't posted all day, I really hope you are doing ok. Maybe we can talk tomorrow (Sunday) to help calm your nerves down.

    Love you!

  • Hey MG,

    I don't know your situation, but with lots of positive thoughts etc, you may not need the full 3 months off work. If you do office work, you might feel up to going back sooner ?
    I had a ALIF in Feb this year and came home after 5 days in the hospital, and was back at work, doing the invoicing of the con notes 2 days later. I guess I was lucky as sitting didn't trouble me.
    I just did what I could and intergrated myself back into the "real world" to feel normal again and it really helps your mental outlook and I'm sure thats half the battle in healing.
    Wishing you a quick recovery and hope everything goes as good as it possibly can tomorrow
    Sending you healing vibes from Australia

  • Good Morning, Music

    How are you doing today? You probably have been cleaning like a mad woman. But there is only so much you can humanly do ok? Did you speak to your sisters about helping you?

    Ok, well my phone is always open for you. Maybe I can call you later if that's ok.

    Love you!

    image Remember you are not alone!
  • Good luck tomorrow Music Girl.

    I will be thinking of you.

  • I'm so sorry Musicgirl. If I were you, I'd try for the SSD since you were told by your doc to do that. SSD benefits are for this very reason. You may not be able to do ita all my itself. I'll be praying for you and your family.
  • Hi MusicGirl,

    I'm so worried we haven't seen you post in a few days. I know you must be a basket case with surgery tomorrow. I din't want to bother you today, but I will have my phone on over night if you need to talk to someone. Please if I don't speak with you, my prayers are with you and know that God will be gently guiding the surgeon's hands and the nurses will be your Angels on earth.

    Godspeed and see you on the other side of recovery. Remember you can call me anytime if you need anything. I will PM you my phone # again in case you misplaced it.

    Love you!

    Pebbles image
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