I am looking into being accpeted for FMLA at work. I was wondering if anyone else has been approved for FMLA through work for bipolar diagnosis? I am close to being in real trouble at work for absences (we are only allowed 5 a calender year, which i think is bogus. all of them have been completely lagit most because of altering meds and such) so my fear is that it has been 9 months since I last had what i call an "episode" meaning that i am due for one anytime (because i know normally how often and how far apart my cycles are). I really would hate to lose my job over something i cant always control. my new doc is being a pain in my A**. I asked him about the FMLA and he told me that with meds we will have you functional. I told him i am very functional but no matter how well i am medicated i still have "episodes" and i really dont think that anything will ever completely rid of that. He doesnt even know me yet after 2 weeks and 2 visits and he talks like he knows all he needs to know. I think i might need to see someone else...what do you think?
Have some patience, BP is difficult to deal with, and like any doc, it takes time to figure it out, especially if you can only see the pdoc for short visits. Meds are a fact of life with BP, there are multiple studies that prove that your chances of being healthy are pretty much zero without meds.Relapses will get worse with age. Meds can't cure BP, but make it more managable. It's important to work on behaviours yourself as well, negative thought leads to negative actions, like anxiety/hypomania and some depression. It will be there to some degree but you can calm the storm down.
I'm highly functional because I take my meds and starting to work on my behaviours. I still have rough days with low energy, but I'm not suicidal and/or frozen with anxiety. I'm also not as cranky, which was a major factor at work and caused issues. I'm on sick leave until this has fully settled down and stable for longer periods of time. My pdoc has really helped get a grasp on the BP and supported me, but that didn't happen for the first 3-4 visits really, she was trying to get me stable first. So be patient okay?
Let's look at your situation regarding FMLA. I am a Human Resource professional and was an advisor to the commission that instituted the FMLA in 1993. From a medical standpoint you will qualify for FMLA (providing your compny has enough employees to be liable for this Act). You will qualify 12 weeks of unpaid leave. This 12 weeks can be either a lump of time or intermittent days or even hours of leave. To qualify you must be off for at least three days and be undergoing a regime of treatment (medication and a doctor visit). A lot depends on your doctor, get a note from him stating that you are being treated for bipolar disorder, and make a written request to your HR department for leave under the FMLA. IT is up to the company whether to grant this leave, nut if you do what I recommend, they will have no choice, if they deny it, see a lawyer, but I doubt they will deny it (unless they do not understand the law). It is important that they have 50 or more employees.
OMGoodness! I always wonder about the FMLA laws. Not only am I blessed with bipolar I also have other medical issues. I am at the bottom of the gene pool LOL. I have been on Vicadin for almost 6 months with my headaches which is not a great mix with all my Bipolar meds. I am having surgery on Tuesday and I know they will give me stronger pain meds. When all is said and done, I will have to "come off" of all the opiates. I was just asking my hubby if I could take FMLA during my withdrawl period and we were not sure. I gave up the idea until I saw this post. When I spent my time in the hospital for my bipolar I took medical leave. I'm thinking FMLA would look better in my files. (maybe they are the same thing?)
FMLA is only better if your leave of absence policy is a paid leave, if not FMLA is the way to go as the rules are that you return to work in the same job, or one very similar at the same rate of pay and benefits as when the leave started. AS for the opiode dependence. When you need to get off of them you should go to turntohelp.com, this is a structured medical solution to get you off those rotten opiates, do you now how many people are now addicted to them, millions. I stated in the post to lost oneself the way to go with FMLA, you should do the same thing. Good luck.
Thank you for your return comment. The information you provided helped me to make the decision to take FMLA. I will also go to the site you suggested too. Doctors say you cannot get addicted if they are taken as directed. I disagree. As stated, millions of people are addicted to them. I notice w/d symptoms on days I don't feel the need to take Vicadin. You are a very resourceful contact. Again, thank you.
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