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Pain meds after surgery and how long to return to work.
I want to start by saying I'm glad I found this forum and I have done a lot of reading on here. I am a new member and thought I would ask a few questions.
I work at a very laborious demanding job doing demolition. I am 30 years old. I have worked at this job for 10 years. A few months ago I had really bad back pain and the owner of my company sent me to the Occupational Health that they go through. When I got there the workman's comp doctor figured I just had a pulled muscle. He told me he wanted me to do physical therapy which they have a physical therapy in that building through workers comp. After going to physical therapy about 15 times and getting an x-ray and seeing Chiro and finally seeing a surgeon and getting an MRI the conclusion was I needed surgery for a significant herniated disc L5 S1. I had been on light duty sitting in a chair at the warehouse where we work out of from the end of July until the middle of October. I had my microdiscectomy surgery October 20th. Tomorrow will be 2 weeks since I had my surgery. Now here is my questions.
After doing a lot of research online for the type of work I do which is very labor-intensive regularly lifting more than a hundred pounds and also doing puff back and fire cleanup and water damage almost everywhere I looked said I should be waiting 8 to 12 weeks at least before I can go back to work. I also had a friend who worked at Servpro for a couple of years and had the same exact surgery L5 S1 and came back to work after 6 weeks because my company told workman's comp they had light-duty work for him. Although nothing at my job is completely light duty and he's a herniated his back and had to have a spinal fusion. He came back after that and decided it would be best if he found a different job. My question is when I go see my doctor tomorrow for my 2 week follow up I need to make sure he fills up my workman's comp paperwork and I can't return to work. I live alone therefore it's been hard doing things since I can drive and I've been trying to get people to do stuff for me as much as possible as well as working with the nurse case manager over the phone that the AIG Insurance hired. If the doctor writes I can go back to work, which I'm assuming you want because I'm still swollen and in a lot of pain I wouldn't be going back anyway. I'm just looking for other people's opinion on what the doctor will do and say. This isn't the same workman's comp doctor that I went to originally it is the surgeon they did my surgery. My mother actually had neck surgery but the same guy and she told me he's really good and always err on the side of caution. I just have to make sure he keeps me out of work I'm hoping for 12 weeks because if he says I can go back I won't get paid unless I go to work. And after my buddy re-injuring himself doing the exact same stuff I will be doing I don't want to chance it because I just recently acquired my CDL driver's license taking a 2 month class for 6500 that I had to save two years of extra money of my income to be able to do that . and went back to this job until I could find a driving job and I need to make sure my back is totally healed because I'm hoping to look for a new job after all this is taken care of. And like I said I'm single and I'm the only provider for bills so any input would be great
The other question is I'm taking my Percocet 5 325 2 every 6 hours. I've never had pain medicine other than when I had my wisdom teeth when I was younger . I got a refill last Thursday so I've gotten my pain medicine twice. My second question is I'm afraid to ask the doctor for my medication because I know they're such a big drug epidemic in my state. I just don't want him to think I'm some druggie and I don't want it to affect my workman's comp claim. I am still in a significant amount of pain especially at night trying to sleep and my back is quite swollen still. Especially when I try to go for a small walk today. Do you think it's normal to ask for medication two weeks after surgery?
So sorry for it being so long but if you got this far thanks for taking the time to read. And any information or comments would be greatly appreciated