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Back to Work-Advice? Back to Work-Advice?

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Unread 12-06-2004, 04:13 PM
Back to Work-Advice?

I will be heading back to work this week. Hystersisters has been a tremendous help/relief and loving place to visit.

Can any of the sisters give me any good advice for starting back to work? Will I feel more tired every evening for a while? What can I do to make it easier at first? I almost feel like I've forgotten a lot of my job! Sure hope not-I don't think my co workers want to retrain me!

How long does it take to feel back in the groove? I don't know why I'm so nervous about it.

Hugs to all and I don't know what I would have done without Hystersisters.
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Unread 12-06-2004, 04:25 PM
Back to Work-Advice?

Hi Robyn

First of all, take a few deep breaths. I promise you, everything will be ok.
I was also so anxious, nervous, had alot of anxiety about returning to the work place. I felt so good when I walked through those doors almost five months ago. I am sure you haven't forgotten how to do your job. After a good week you won't feel like you ever left.
I guess the worst part is all of the questions and comments coming from co workers. Just answer them as vague as you can, then try to change the subject. I felt that I had already told those of whom I wanted to know about the details. The others can just settle for I feel much better now.
I was tired when I drove home and had to crank the stereo to keep me alert. It is stressful and tiring and wore on me for a couple weeks. I also had to unzip the pants, because swelly belly came back from being on my feet so much. All and all I was so glad to be back into a normal routine. I felt better than before I left, because I was now in better shape physically. The severe anemia was making my job very hard on me.
Have very simple meals at home for a while. No need to overdo it. You are still healing and still need to get extra rest. Try to get to bed a little earlier than before.
I wish you luck and am here to ensure you that everything will go ok.
Good luck!
Unread 12-06-2004, 04:34 PM
Back to Work-Advice?

I'm also starting to stress about returning to work. My hyst was 11/8/04 and I'm still recuperating at home and will not return to work until first week of January. However, my job is a letter carrier and I will be expected to carry a mail bag that weighs up to 35 pounds and to walk at least 10 miles a day. I'm scared to death that I won't be able to do this. I have been walking every day for the last 1 1/2 weeks, today I did a little more than a mile. But I'm so exhausted all the time! Any hints from other mail carriers or others with quite physical jobs? Any hints to help prepare me for the return to work?
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Unread 12-06-2004, 05:28 PM
Back to Work-Advice?

I too am a postal worker, but no longer carry mail. I hope you will be ok because I know how brutal everyone can be at work. There has got to be some light duty they can help you with if you have trouble physically when you return, if you come from a good size office. Submit your request if needed in writting to the PM with a cc: Union Official. Always keep a copy for yourself. They are obligated to assist with reasonable accomodation for health reasons even if it is not an on the job injury. Even if you put up the route and can only carry one or two hours in the beginning, it is helping them get the mail out. They can use you to help on another route, or mark ups or anything. My office would work with us, I hope yours helps you.

Good luck,
Unread 12-06-2004, 05:29 PM
Back to Work-Advice?

When I went back to work at the first of June, I found that it just was not possible for me to come straight from work and start dinner the minute I walked in the door. I had to take 15 minutes, put up my feet and put an ice pack across my swelly belly. Then, the first few weeks I used a tall stool in front of my stove so that I didn't have to stand there while I stirred things. That helped a lot.

Don't be surprised if you find yourself adhering to a pretty regular, early bedtime. Especially if you've grown as addicted to afternoon naps as I did during recovery, it's really tough to give them up cold turkey.

Those first few weeks back to work, don't hesitate to ask someone else to lift things for you if they're over your doc's lifting limit for you.

Note to wolfsister - A Mail Carrier - wow I can't carry 35 pounds very long even now, but I was never accustomed to it in the first place. Any chance you can use a cart to carry your bag at least til you're back in the groove? Or is there "light duty" that you can be assigned to until you're healed?

Just stay in tune with what you can and can't do. Eat as healthy as you can, take your vitamins and keep drinking water, water, water.
Unread 12-06-2004, 05:40 PM
Back to Work-Advice?

(((robyn2800))), I see from your profile you work in a clerical position, which should be easier to adjust to than a physically demanding job. But still, you should try to "take it easy" as much as possible, and "ease into it." For example, if you usually go out for lunch, see if you can rest and eat lunch at your desk -- don't hesitate to ask co-workers who go out to pick up some take-out food for you. And do plan on being a "couch potato" for a while when you arrive home at night...maybe eliminate optional recreational activities for a while.

(((wolfsister))), you have a very physically-demanding job...but you're probably already in good shape from doing it before! My advice to you would be: don't be shy in asking for help from co-workers, if needed, and/or to ask your employer to make some adaptations to accommodate you in your first weeks back to work.

Many s and Best Wishes!
Unread 12-06-2004, 06:44 PM
Back to Work-Advice?

Wolf: If you are not up to lifting/carrying anything that heavy by January, won't your doctor request light duty for you????

I had to complete paperwork for my employer and got my doctor's part back when I was at my appt today. My surgery is 1/4 and she says, according to the paperwork, that I can return to work 2/14, no restrictions, no half days, nothing. For me, too, I was wondering if that is written in stone, or if it depends on my recovery. Will my employer say that my doc gave them my return to work date and too bad if I'm not healed??? Not that I don't want to go back to work and I know I'll be more than ready come February, but, like you, I thought to myself...what if?....what if something goes wrong or my recovery is slow...will I have to push myself to go to work when I'm not healed????

I hope you are resting and having a smooth recovery.

Take care

Unread 12-06-2004, 06:55 PM
Back to Work-Advice?

Hi Aimster

I just read your reply and wanted to let you know the disability paper your dr. filled out is not written in stone. I turned my paperwork into work a day before my surgery. My dr. had said no work until recovered. He wrote in 8 weeks from surgery date. I ended up with a open incision which did not heal quickly and also ended up with depression. There was no way I was up to going back to my job in a mental institution at eight weeks. My dr. filled out a disability extension paper. He gave me two more weeks to get myself together and be able to return to work. He could have filled out another one if I still needed more time off. He asked if I wanted light duty when I returned, but I said no. There is a section on the disability paper that can request light duty and mentions lifting and pushing restrictions.
If you don't feel up to returniong on your estimated date, please let your dr. extend it. It really did a world of good for me.
I wish you a uneventful recovery. Sometimes some unexpected things do come up, so just let your dr. know how you are feeling. They have no problem extending your disability.

Good luck with your surgery
Unread 12-06-2004, 07:03 PM
Back to Work-Advice?

I was more worried about the emotional fallout, not the physical. How can you trade such an extended period of relaxation for the stress and BS of a job?

Today was my first day back and it wasn't bad at all. Around 3pm I stood up (I have a desk job) and my belly felt swollen and weird, like the guts are gonna fall out, but without pain.

Wolf, if you are already pretty active, you might find by the 6th week that you are feeling pretty much normal. You may not be able to do 8 hours of carrying that 35lb bag (doesn't it get lighter by the end of the day??), but you should feel a whole lot better than you do now!

Best advice I can give: wear something loose the first day!
Unread 12-06-2004, 07:06 PM
Back to Work-Advice?

Hi girls,

The Federal Government, which the United States Postal Service is part of, operates totally different form the private sector. Unfortunately, we do not have "disability" as you may. We have to use our sick time and vacation time for any time loss at work due to a surgery or a non work related injury. If a postal employee does not purchase a private disability plan on their own, one must hope they have accumulated enough time to cover themselves if you are not fit for duty. For extended leave for medical, there is Family Medical Leave Act, but again if you have no time saved, you will not get paid. On the job injuries are covered under the US Dept of Labor. Social Security, if I am not mistaken, can help financially if you are out past one year and can not return to work, provided the employee has paid into social security benifits. Believe it or not, USPS employees at one time did not pay into social security either.


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