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Hurtin so much today - I'm going in!

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Chronic Pain
I have been reading numerous articles on our website about how our OPM director is pushing flexiplace work, etc., he is in Washington - so I decided to send him a letter! I included everything - put my heart out there and send both my request to my boss to work it every morning till my pain meds kick in, and his response that I could stick it... I went on about being a dedicated gov employee for over 30 years (which I am and have been) and how this is not too much to ask. Half of our workforce does it already just because they can!
ANyway, back to the hurting part - holy mother of pearl. I have one more hour till I can take another perc and I am just about ready to take it now. Our weather has been all over the place and we just got rid of the cold and rain, and I would say it must be coming back - I feel it everywhere!


  • I'm guessing that is like working from home part of the time? That would be awesome. I can't wait to hear what happens when they see your boss's response. If anyone deserves it you do.

    Well it's 3:30 now so hopefully your day is almost over. Must be 5 o'clock somewhere!!
  • Hi Mouse,

    Sorry to hear of your employer's unwillingness to try and accommodate you. Some people use strange and unfair reasoning to make decisions.

    I'm wondering if the stress of this negative encounter isn't aggravating your pain. Stress causes tension and tension in the back translates into muscle spasms and pain. Can you use a heating pad on your back? I couldn't live without my heating pad for various pains. It stays plugged in right beside my bed. Also, getting your mind off of what you cannot change might help, especially if you can add laughter to the mix. Whenever I manage to have a good belly laugh, I always say wow, that ought to be good for about 2 hours of pain relief! We have DVDs that we've watched dozens of times but we still get a good laugh out of the best ones. :)

    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
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  • I hope your pain levels get under control and your Boss some how listens and helps you out. Do you have a heating pad at work? While I was working the last 3 months of my job I used a hot water bottle On my back while sitting and find moist heat helps. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • If your boss does not approve your request, maybe you should submit a disability request to OPM. They must try to accomendate your physical problems prior to approving you for disability. Flex time would be one accomendation. With 30 years of service he should bend over backwards for you. Counting my military time i now have 37 years in federal service.
  • He let me work from home for 2 months after massive shoulder surgery and it was unbelievable the difference I felt - even after major surgery. However, all the hags at work were pi$$ed off about it big time! They were so mad, many of them still don't speak to me, not that I care. I asked him about letting me work just a couple days a week from home (I could work fulltime from home if he said o.k. because I am a non-bargaining employee). He said he did not want to deal with the hags at work and so he said no. We went back and forth, finally he told me to submit a reasonable accommodation thru OPM and EEO. I did, he still denied it and said he didn't want to deal with the pe'od women here. So recently I sent him a new request and asked to work from home every morning for a few hours and then come in to the office. Again, he denied it. He is a jerk, and I do deserve better than this!
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  • I do have heated seats in my truck and go out every hour and a half to have a cigarette and turn them on when it's chilly. It does feel good, a heating pad is a good idea - I think I'll get one for here. I use one at home all the time! Gosh, why hadn't I thought of that.. :)
  • I have siatic nerve pain running down my butt and leg, my toes are numb except for some nice shots of electricity shooting through them every so often. I haven't had problems with muscle pain or spasms, but my big joints just kill! I have rheumatoid arthritis too. I know your right about stress, it is tough to sit here all day working when nobody talks to you, and everyone hates your guts. I hear their comments and whispers on the days I come in late because I can hardly hobble in the morning and my boss used to make sure he told me who said what about me just about everyday, until I blew a gasket and told him I didn't give a "F" what they said about me and I was sick of hearing about it. I could have got in big trouble for letting the "F" bomb fly - but I'm pretty tall, 5 foot 11 inches and he was probably afraid I was gonna deck him, I was pretty damn mad. He is an idiot. He is such a two faced pile, it's sickening. In my position, I must ensure nothing in disclosed, therefore all the crap they tell him in confidence and privacy that he repeats to me and whoever he is talking to on the phone - I can't say a word about it. Yeah, it's tough. If they had any clue who he is or what he does - they would just die. Likewise, they talk plenty of crap on him too - he just doesn't hear about it - because I don't play that way. I don't gossip - period. Even about that moron...
  • I sent some other documents with it, but it is heartfelt and it is the truth. Watch - I'll end up getting $hitcanned over it! LOL! I edited parts of it to put on here - but honestly - what do you all think?

    Dear Mr. B.......

    My name is Marion "" "". I have been a dedicated public employee of the " " for over 30 years. I recently received my 30 year plague for years in service. During my tenure in Government, I have always gone above and beyond to provide top notch service to my customers. I have always valued my job and used to feel valued as an employee with a wealth of knowledge and experience.

    About 12 years ago, I suffered an injury that required spinal fusion, cadaver bone being put in my back, metal, pins, screws and hardware. For the past several years, I have been suffering from sciatic nerve pain that runs from my back, all the way down one leg and into my toes. Additionally, I have spinal stenosis and severe arthritis in my joints. My toes on both feet are numb and have no feeling and this condition continues to worsen with time.
    The reason I am writing this letter, is in hopes that someone can help me. I see a pain management specialist once a month and take pain medication, in addition to joint injections, and other medications to help alleviate the arthritis pain. I have made numerous requests to management to be allowed to work telework (from home) and it has been denied.
    Approximately 18 months or so ago, I had a major shoulder surgery and was allowed to work from home for 2 months using a laptop. It was a Godsend for me. Even though I had just had major surgery, I felt better than I had in a long time because I did not have to get up, take my pain medications, wait for them to start working and struggle to get ready and come into the office.

    During that period of time, I received numerous e-mails from my manager and fellow employees, thanking me for the great job I had done for them (while working from home). I completed every aspect of my job, including spreadsheets, powerpoints, payroll, personnel actions, ordering supplies, etc. I did an excellent job and I can do my job very well from home.

    I asked my manager to be allowed to work a day or two from home each week and was told to go through EEO and seek Reasonable Accommodation (RA). I completed all the paperwork, had my doctor complete her portion, yet it was denied. My manager told me on a few occasions that he knew I did a good job, but the other people in the office would be mad at him if he let me work from home, and he knew they were very upset that he let me work from home for two months after shoulder surgery and he did not want to deal with it. I reminded him that I do have a current FMLA letter and medical information from my pain management doctor on file. I told him that if I could alleviate myself of this pain, I would happily skip to work everyday, and would look forward to it, but that is not going to happen. He did not care. I elevated the issue to his manager and she suggested that “I go to one of these university hospitals and have something put into my back – because they do that now you know”. I was extremely insulted. I have checked into the Spinal Cord Stimulator, I have checked into every option available. I have seen specialists, neurosurgeons, etc. There is nothing that can be done medically to take care of my pain or to stop it, other than medication to control as much pain as possible.

    I have severe arthritis that pushes on nerves constantly. It feels like a painful shock of electricity zapping and screeching down my body with every heartbeat. It is there 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every second of every minute of every single day.

    I have given up almost everything in my life that I love to do, and it breaks my heart. I will never, ever, ride my beautiful black stallion again; it used to be my favorite thing to do in life and I relished every moment we spent going through the mountains on gorgeous pine trails. I will never experience that in my life again because of this pain. I will never be able to take care of my gorgeous walk through flower garden and fishponds the way I used too. I cannot lift up my only 15 month old grandson because it hurts too much.

    I am attaching the most recent request I made to management asking to be allowed to work from home for a few hours each morning, then come into the office ever day. My manager says he needs me here, but I’m not sure for what. I can do my job from home, and do it well, however it would be extremely beneficial if I could at least work from home in the mornings and then come in to the office after my medication has started working well for the day.

    As a dedicated employee with over 30 years of Service, I do not feel that I am asking for too much. I know that you support telework, and I also know that the President of the United States supports this option for Government employees. I have held a straight 5 evaluations for over 10 years (that is the superior performance evaluation here at IRS). I AM doing my job, and I give it everything I have, I always have. It was suggested to me also that I apply for a disability retirement. I do not feel I should have too because I simply do not feel that I am asking for anything ridiculous. Many employees work from home just because they can. In looking into a medical retirement, as a CSRS employee I would lose over half of my pay. I cannot afford to do that. I have 6 years left before I am eligible for a full CSRS retirement. Is there NO-ONE in our Government that really cares about their employees that can help me? I want to continue to do a great job for the Government! I want to do the right thing, but I need some help and I do not think I am overstepping the boundaries in my request. To be honest, I am shocked and hurt that an organization that I have given so much of my life too, cares so little about their employees that such a ridiculously simple request will not be granted!

    Any information at all that could be provided to me would be very much appreciated. There has got to be someone that can help this meager civil servant of 30+ years to continue to do a quality job; continue to provide excellent service; yet do it with so much less pain and stress. It is not too much to ask.

    In his response, my manager mentioned that he had offered me an ergonomic chair. I already have an ergonomic chair that is very comfortable, but that has little to do with my struggle to make it in to work each day. I have also asked my manager for specifics on just how my working from home for a few days a week, or just a few hours each morning would affect him or the staff. He has yet to provide an answer.

    I have little contact with the staff, other than e-mail, which can be done from any location. We do not have weekly or monthly staff meetings and even if we did, I could be here for those. I am willing to do whatever it takes to work things out.
    The one reason I could understand he may need me here at all is that once daily I walk to the mailroom, gather the mail and distribute it. This takes about 20 minutes per day. Other than that, my duties could all be completed from home very easily, but I am not asking to work from home full time, I am simply asking for a few hours in the morning and that is reasonable. If I were a lousy employee that had maybe only worked here a few years, then maybe there would be an issue. I am a good employee that has been here over 30 years, has provided excellent service and wishes to continue to do so. I just need a little bit of help from my employer!

    When I was told originally to seek RA through EEO, my doctor filled out her portion of the packet. It was reviewed by an IRS doctor somewhere and in his review he decided that I did not need to work from home at all. He did however continually refer to “Her” (My doctor) as a He. There are no men in my doctor’s office. My doctor also stated that she never spoke to him, even though he said spoke to her. He may have spoke to someone else’s doctor, but it certainly was not mine.

    I will look forward to a response,
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