This lower back pain (and associated problems) is doing my head in!
I was told today at work that I will be having an interview in 2 weeks due to reaching the 'trigger points' for absence because of sickness. It seems I've had 3 separate episodes off within 2 months, hence the verbal warning I'm going to get. Total days off are 5 since January. Although each time I have written the [different] cause of time off, to be honest, it's either related to back pain or the side-effects from the medications I'm taking (I won't go into detail because you might be eating your tea and it'll put you off!!).
I'm on the waiting list for a 2-level PLIF (which may be done July/August/September I don't know) and if I can just hang on till mid-July, then the school Summer holiday starts for 6 weeks. They are aware of my impending surgery, but there's not much I can do to stop lbp apart from taking stronger doses of morphine patches/solution - but that would mean I can't concentrate, will make mistakes and would feel like falling asleep all the time - either way, I just feel that for every step I take forward, I move back two! Do you know what I mean?
I need my job - my hubby and I just barely scrape through each month after paying all the bills (which of course only go up). The only answer I can see is to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING at the weekends and evenings to be positive of being fit enough to work. But as you know yourselves, just bending to put on your shoes/tie your laces can give you painful 'twinges' some days.
I know they cannot sack me (but this is the first stage in their absence policy). With all the talk about the Government cut-backs in spending here in the UK, I feel very vulnerable at the moment and am worried about the possibility of losing my job at some point in the future as the schools I work for are run by the State. I would also mention that the subject I teach is NOT part of the National Curriculum - in fact, I'm not even qualified to 'teach' as such, but that's a different story!
I suppose some of you with chronic pain will have gone through similar situations before. Have you got any advice for me? Should I be asking to see their Occupational Health Team, or would this just give them more fuel to burn me with?
By the way - when I completed the application form for this job I did confirm that I DID consider myself to be disabled (even though it goes against the grain). I was surprised when they passed me fit for work without having an occupational health appointment first. I completed their health questionnaire truthfully and I told them about the facet joint and epidural injections I've had on my spine over the last 2 years, but they didn't flag this up for further investigation to ensure I was fit for work - perhaps they should have done.
Any advice you can give me would be useful as 'forearmed' is forewarned in my opinion.
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 !!