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Hysterectomy and FLMA Hysterectomy and FLMA

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  #1  
Unread 07-31-2020, 10:20 PM
Hysterectomy and FLMA

I am 9 weeks post op and am supposed to return to the classroom as an art teacher in one week! I am extremely fatigued and have had numerous issues since my surgery ranging from a UTI for 4 weeks, high blood pressure, swollen legs, and anxiety. I have asked my doctor for FLMA from 8/10 (when my school starts) to November 2nd. He said the FLMA has to be from the date of the surgery which was 5/27 so he signed off until 8/27. I have been off for the summer so my initial recuperating time has been during that time. I don't feel ready to go back to work and would like the extra time to rest and get my energy back up. My central office is telling me that I am entitled to it. Am I crazy for asking my doctor for this extra time. He thinks I am recovered and is uncomfortable signing off for the time I am asking.
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  #2  
Unread 08-01-2020, 05:27 AM
Re: Hysterectomy and FLMA

FMLA eligibility is not determined by your Dr (government link below). He/She just writes the notes for it t justify time off. Sounds like they just don't want to do it.

Remember - someone could have a car accident and need to use FMLA at any time or run out of regular leave and flip to FMLA (family medical leave act for those non Americans...it guarantees your job if you have to be on unpaid leave)

Were you simply off or using some of your other leave hrs as well?

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/fmla/final-rule/faq

Aside from that - what type of hysterectomy did you have (since its not in your profile) - 12 weeks is a longer recovery period than most before return to work, complications aside - physically - the first days back to work are rough in general no matter how prepared - your stamina will be built back up regardless. Are you able to be more active in personal habits - like longer walks, more housework...things that require more energy than initially? Have your iron levels been checked, are you on replacement hormone therapy - if not ...could be something low and contributing to lack of energy there as well?
  #3  
Unread 08-01-2020, 07:41 AM
Re: Hysterectomy and FLMA

The fatigue at 9, 10 weeks or longer is not unusual with this surgery, but it's not something for which a doctor could extend your leave without an underlying chronic health issue. If you're doctor is signing off on your recovery, it sounds as if the UTIs, high BP and swollen legs are behind you. The anxiety, if this is something you've been treated for in the past, you may need to discuss this with your therapist or GP. Hormones can be out of whack for a number of weeks even if you kept your ovaries.

A little more on post-op fatigue: it can be an issue for weeks and months, and seems to be the last thing to leave us. Our article Fighting Fatigue After Hysterectomy goes into the reasons for it, and also includes some other possibilities (also outlined in Feeling Tired Months After Your Hysterectomy? Here Are 10 Reasons Why), but at this point your body is still healing. At the end of the article is a link to a survey study (rather dry and technical), which notes fatigue lasting 10+ weeks to 6 months, with some experiencing fatigue up to 12 months. I hit a notable fatigue wall at 10 weeks where I was in my jammies by 7pm and had no brain power for anything but a jigsaw puzzle. I also hit a period of fatigue at 7 months which really couldn't be explained by anything else since I'd been getting plenty of sleep.

My thoughts are along the same line as Udella's - returning to work is exhausting for most of us because we're used to more rest and short bouts of activity rather than extended days. Initially, we often come home and crash, and it's not advisable to take on extra projects, outings, or volunteer efforts just yet. Some tips for returning to work along with what you might expect:Use your evenings as downtime and weekends to recoup. Don't take on too much outside of work.
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  #4  
Unread 08-01-2020, 12:02 PM
Re: Hysterectomy and FLMA

Thank you for your replies ladies. I appreciate your advice.I had the surgery during the time which is my normal summer break from teaching so I have not had to use any of my leave. I had a vaginal laparoscopic surgery. My doctor felt I could drive at day 4. I didn't drive until after two weeks. I am 52 and typically take longer to heal from things. I tried HRT but I believe that is what made my legs and joints swell. I was even put on BP medicine but had side effect from that as well in terms of swelling. My insulin went up and I am trying to get that down as well. I did have low potassium and was put on a potassium supplement. I have been to so many doctors since my surgery because of my symptoms. My body feels anxious all the time thus a rapid HR throughout the day. I have checked into the FLMA regulations so I am up on those. My county was telling me one thing and my doctor another. I know my body will level out over time. I think I was hit with the fatigue and fog more than others. I am just worried about teaching on my feet all day, having to now wear a mask all day, and feed my anxiety even more with all of this new teaching situation. I went into work last week to start setting up my classroom and was fatigued within a few hours and had to go home. With teaching, when I get home it's more planning time and grading so some of that resting at home will not be easy. I just wanted the option to try to go to work but if I wasn't cutting it, be able to take additional time off. I will probably try my GP if I get to that point.
  #5  
Unread 08-01-2020, 08:31 PM
Re: Hysterectomy and FLMA

It is common to experience the symptoms and set backs post surgery, and it takes a few months to “feel normal” again.

Delaying will not help, you need to rebuild your stamina, and yes, you will more than likely hit a wall at first, but delaying your return to work will only push the problem
  #6  
Unread 08-02-2020, 09:09 AM
Re: Hysterectomy and FLMA

  Quote:
Originally Posted by dkolb View Post
Thank you for your replies ladies. I appreciate your advice.I had the surgery during the time which is my normal summer break from teaching so I have not had to use any of my leave. I had a vaginal laparoscopic surgery. My doctor felt I could drive at day 4. I didn't drive until after two weeks. I am 52 and typically take longer to heal from things. I tried HRT but I believe that is what made my legs and joints swell. I was even put on BP medicine but had side effect from that as well in terms of swelling. My insulin went up and I am trying to get that down as well. I did have low potassium and was put on a potassium supplement. I have been to so many doctors since my surgery because of my symptoms. My body feels anxious all the time thus a rapid HR throughout the day. I have checked into the FLMA regulations so I am up on those. My county was telling me one thing and my doctor another. I know my body will level out over time. I think I was hit with the fatigue and fog more than others. I am just worried about teaching on my feet all day, having to now wear a mask all day, and feed my anxiety even more with all of this new teaching situation. I went into work last week to start setting up my classroom and was fatigued within a few hours and had to go home. With teaching, when I get home it's more planning time and grading so some of that resting at home will not be easy. I just wanted the option to try to go to work but if I wasn't cutting it, be able to take additional time off. I will probably try my GP if I get to that point.
You know your own limits and it sounds like you are clear that you need more time. If FMLA is available to you then take another week or two. I wonder if you could speak with or see a physical therapist that might help you work towards getting stronger with some specific exercises to help you recover gently and easily?

Our western culture often pushes us to just get better, even when we know better. Listen to yourself and don't let others (even your doctor) bully you into something you are not ready for.

I'm sorry you are going through this and I hope you will get clarity and know what to do.
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