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Monday - Going back to work and a little anxious

Jun 11, 2010 - 5 comments

I am returning to work Monday.  It has been nearly 2 months since I have been out off work due to an infection that then turned into a relapse and an unexpected surgery.  I'm returning part-time the first week and if all goes well, I'll be back full-time the next week.  I will be coming back using a walker and that will probably cause a bit of unwanted attention.

My doctor in the rebab unit wrote the medical release to return to work letter.  She discussed with my neuro and they both came up with the following accommodations:

1. Return to work part-time the first wee and full-time thereafter if tolerated.
2. Recommending working from home 2-3 days a week due to commute that will likely cause significant physical fatigue.
3. Fully accessable facilities (bathroom, workspace, entry to building) for a wheelchair or other assistive device.
4. No lifting of more than 20 pounds.
5. No long distance walking without the ability to take frequent rests.  

I have no idea why she put in 4 and 5.  She could have just as well added "no ditch digging".  :)

They want me to take my wheelchair.  I am so determined to minimize all this as I feel I can get by with the walker and be careful.  My PT has put in her notes that I am not to walk anywhere alone.  Yikes, I don't want to have to take someone to the bathroom with me. I am so glad they didn't put that in the letter.  

My boss want this letter in hand when I walk in the door.  That was stated very clearly to me.  I am not sure how they will take the recommendation that I work from home 2-3 days a wekk, but the reason that was that summer is just around the corner and I have pretty significant heat intolerance.  Getting to work on public transportation or even waiting on paratransit will cause heat fatigue.  We'll see how it goes.  

I am ready to get back to work, but not sure how I'll be received by my co-workers after being off so long  Well, I will soon find out.  Monday is only a few days away.  Got my fingers crossed all will go seamlessly.



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Avatar universal
by essdipity, Jun 11, 2010
Hi, Julie. We have been out of touch for too long! First you had your horrible relapse and hospitalization, which sounded truly terrible, especially when you then needed surgery. I do hope you're much, much better.

I've just come back from a wonderful if tiring trip and am still getting my bearings, and am out of the loop with so many on the forum. I'm just wishing everyone well, and trying to find out what's been going on.

Good wishes to you on going back to work. I wouldn't worry about the co-workers' reactions to your assistive devices, because you've been out a long while and have had a bunch of attacks over the past couple of years. They obviously know something's going on, and they'll be glad to see you back.

I do hope you can be accommodated according to the doctors' orders. Please take it easy and don't push yourself, but go with the flow as best you can. And of course, keep all of us here posted.

many hugs,
ess

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by Sarahsmom46, Jun 11, 2010
Thanks so much Ess.  I feel I am at least 80% recovered now.  That 20% still left is a challenge but things are coming along.

Well, I've been hearing all about your trip from Laura.  Since I have no annual leave left for like a year, I will be living vicariously through everyone else who is traveling and having vacations. I would love to hear about your stop over in Russia.  

I am so happy to hear it all worked out.  It sure gives hope to the rest of us who want to get back into if a lot more confidence.  There are places I want to go and see and I have to admit, most are outside the Continental US.  Laura has her cruise later this month and again, I'll waiting to hear all the details.  

Thanks again for your kind message.  Take care.

Julie

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by Dragon1973, Jun 11, 2010
Hi Julie,

I remembered reading a bit about your relapse some time ago, or I think I remember reading about it - in any case, I am wishing you all the best with your return to work, I know that it is an anxious time and some of the unknown with respect to all these conditions can be stressful.  Remember, you come first - do only what you can and try not to over do it.  From what I read in your journal, you sound very motivated and the type of woman where nothing will stop you.  You should be commended for this.  I know many people who wouldn't even try to go back to work, and in this day and age it is easy to just use health as an excuse not to work.  I applaud you for your integrity and desire to get back at it.  But, please do take care of yourself, there is only one of you!  Hopefully your employer will consider the work from home if that is something you want to do.  I think it is a great idea, if they don't want you to over exert yourself and also so you don't have to suffer from fatigue and heat issues.  Keep on them about it, if they can modify your work to accommodate you, I say that is wonderful.
Please do let us know how Monday goes and if things went well.
I will be thinking about you and hoping you feel great!

PS - Thank you for your recent support regarding my loss... It was so very much appreciated!

Sincerely,
Sandi (Dragon1973)
MedHelp Genetics Community Leader;
Down syndrome Community Leader & Ds Group Forum Founder/Moderator

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by Lulu54, Jun 12, 2010
Julie, Your coworkers are going to welcome you back with open arms.  Its time to check the vanity at the door and accept any and all suggestions to get you through the transition back to work.  If that involves a wheelchair or a potty guide, then so be it.  These things don't change who you really are or the talents you possess.

You have too much to offer your employer (yes that's me, the taxpayer!) to be sitting on the sidelines.

good luck, Laura

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by shoshin, Jun 12, 2010
Julie,

I hope Monday goes well for you and that your employer and co-workers are understanding. Although my situation is not so extreme, I think I can empathize with your trepidation.

I recently went to one-day informal conference where for the first time I whipped out my folding can in front of a bunch of my professional colleagues as we had to walk to lunch and back. There was no way I could've done that without the cane. It's not only the distance in the humid heat, but the fact that without the cane I weave a lot (which is not helpful when walking with other people) and I can't turn my head to converse with anyone without my balance getting much worse. Anyway, no one looked at me funny and people were very thoughtful and accommodating. My worst fears did not come true (I always like to keep in mind Mark Twain's quip that there have been a lot of terrible things in my life and most of them never happened. Or something like that.)

I hope that your colleagues are also supportive and that everything goes smoothly.

sho

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