I must be honest, I haven't posted for a while although I have still continued to read the topics on SH on a regular basis.
I don't know where to start (or how much of my history you can remember as some of you will obviously be new members).
I've just come on again to up-date you and to find out if anyone has had similar issues since their fusion surgery?
I had the fusion in July 2010. Went back to work (in a primary and secondary school) in October. 2 weeks later I was sent home 'cos my line manager (with no medical experience at all) said "I wasn't fit to work" - and this is after my local GP and my employer's occupational health doctor said I WAS!
Anyway, I've been off work, on full pay, EVER SINCE! It's so depressing. I don't feel settled at all because no definitive decisions are being made yet. I'm seeing my occy health doctor again next Tuesday and, hopefully, he will say I'm fit to return. Then we'll all get together (again) for a 'case conference' where everyone involved sits round a table to discuss me. I've attended one so far and it was like an interrogation!
My problem is this. My back/leg pain has blimming well returned (six weeks after the surgery actually). I've tried various medications since then and am now back on the Butrans patches and extra Oramorph liquid as/when I need it. My surgeon said when he last examined me that there's tenderness (it even hurts just to press it) at the S1 left screw and the right sacro-iliac joint. He has booked me in for 2 spine injections which I understand won't happen until May now. I had to send a copy of his letter to my Occy Health doctor which explains all this. What I'm worried about now is do you think, with this new information and stronger pain meds - my employers now might say that working with small children (and all the bending that's involved) means I'll have difficulty going back to work?
To make matters worse, at the last case conference, my line manager handed everyone a copy of my timetable. I noticed there were two jobs/duties I hadn't even done before, that is to work with babies and toddlers. One of her direct questions to me was: How will you manage working on the floor with these children? It took me by surprise and my honest answer was that I've never had to work on the floor before or since my fusion surgery, so I don't know how I'll manage. Between you, me and the gatepost, I cannot see myself working (at their level) on the floor, I'd never be able to get up again, ha! Thank goodness my Union man was there because he said it doesn't state on my job description that I would be required to work with babies/toddlers or on the floor and that he felt they were putting up barriers before I'd even had a chance to return to work. Good for him!
Incidentally, I wasn't very happy this week when my doctor told me that he thinks the back/leg pain I'm currently experiencing will never go away - that I'm stuck with it for life now. This is even before I've attempted to go back to work for a second time.
I just feel that I'll never get back to work and being off all this time is really playing havoc with my confidence.
I'm going swimming now twice a week, I go for long walks on the days in between and have tried (once) to use my daughter's rowing machine (though I'm not sure if this is such a good idea at the moment).
I really thought have having the fusion surgery would put an end to the continuous use of strong pain meds, sort the pain out for good and allow me to do the things I've wanted to do for the past 6 years without having to worry about how it would affect my back all the time. But it just seems that I'm back to square one, after all that. I do realise that there was never any guarantee of complete success, but after the first 2 weeks after the fusion, I did have 3 weeks of no pain, no meds, it was amazing.
I'm sorry if it sounds like I'm having a pity party - I'm quite up-beat and positive most of the time, it's just lately that these things are getting me down.
Should I just try and accept that my job MIGHT make things even worse for me back-wise. NO!!!!! I won't give up that easily. At least they should give me the opportunity to go back to work, resume my duties, and only then can anyone say I'm not fit if I continue to have problems - I at least want to try and find out first before giving in. However, in the back of my mind, I feel they've got a hidden agenda (always have) because of the all the Government cutbacks that are happening at the moment, I think they would be happier if my job didn't exist at all. The longer I stay off, the more I worry that it proves they don't 'need' me - if you see what I mean?
What do you all think?
Has anyone got any comments?
Have you been in similar circumstances and were your issues ever resolved - how?
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 !!