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Going back to work full time Going back to work full time

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Unread 05-22-2005, 11:15 AM
Going back to work full time

Well tomorrow I go back to work full time, and I sure am dreading it. I have been working half days for the last 3 weeks and when I leave to go home I am just dragging I cant imagine lasting a full day and being productive. I wish we had a couch in the board room where I could lay down and rest but no such luck. Does anyone have any advice on how to make the day a little easier. I still have lower back pain and just cant imagine sitting at my desk that long. Also, members come in and can say some of the stupidest things, they all want to know where you have been and why, I just dont care to go in to details about my medical history. I will be 6 weeks post op tomorrow and I know alot of people think that when you are released from the dr that you are 100 percent healed and will expect more, so I hope that I can handle all that pressure and try not to let it get me down. I just want to be prepared and not caught off guard.
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Unread 05-22-2005, 11:28 AM
Going back to work full time

I read your post with interest and will be looking for other sister's input as I have the same concerns about working full time. As a deputy sheriff my job is very physical at times involving alot of turning, bending, pulling and it is important that I be alert so don't want to be distracted by pain or protecting my belly etc. In addition, I have to wear a 16 lb. duty belt with lots of things hanging down and banging on my abdominal area. My work called me at 4 weeks wondering when I was coming back. As a female in a man's profession I get the feeling that a hysterectomy is a "female problem" just like periods and PMS. My supervisors wanted to know what kind of surgery I was having and when I said hysterectomy several said their wives had one also but didn't tell me how they felt about their wives recovery, handling menopause or how long it took to fully recover so am wondering what their reactions will be toward my return or even if they think I am not up to doing the work now that I am in menopause.

I can go back and do light duty but in my career light duty involves not wearing a uniform, carrying a weapon etc. so you are relegated to fill in duties like filing for Records, data entry for UCR or answering phones for a district. It is boring and you feel guilty for not filling a zone or working like a certified deputy. It is also difficult to go back to work after being on "vacation" and resting for so long. As you said, people expect if you are back to work then you are 100% recovered which isn't true yet you want to carry your own weight at work so you don't get fired either.

I dread people's questions also. Today is the anniversary of the birthday of our firstborn that died at birth in 1982. Afterward everyone at church, neighbors etc. wanted to tell me how sorry they were and asked questions etc. I understood their concern but got tired of having to face grief each time someone talked to me. Now we have menopause issues to deal with at work so I guess its just something that comes with surgery and we have to adapt and hope our workplace adapts with us.
Unread 05-22-2005, 11:44 AM
back to work

Oh, I don't blame you for worrying. Just remember you are important too. I didn't go back until 8 weeks (I work in a school so had the summer off). It was still hard that first few weeks.

Getting up and walking around-up and down the halls, etc every hour is very good.

If people ask you where you have been, you don't have to explain, just say you took some much needed leave time.

Also, if you talk to your boss, and explain that you might need to leave a few hours early some days to go home and stretch out to help your back, that might help. Just knowing you have that option can help.

When I did start back, I made sure I did a good long walk when I got home to get everything moving. Then I plopped myself on the couch, put my legs up and resting all evening. Heating pads work great too for those tired sore muscles. I didn't feel really really great until about 5-6 months post op, but was totally doing everything long before that. It really does take time.

If you look in Checkpoints-Week 5/6 there are some good exercises to increase back and abdominal strength.

's, I am sure you will do fine.
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Unread 05-22-2005, 06:46 PM
Going back to work full time

Make sure you continue to drink your water and eat properly when you start back. It will help with the swelling and fatigue that will surely come.

I found that I could work all day, but when I got home I was wiped out. If you have a family to feed at the end of the day, you may want to consider take-out and eating from plastic plates the first couple of weeks. Let the dust bunnies grow. It is very difficult to resume both work duties and home/family duties.

Although I understand and admire your desire to get back into full duty, this is your only chance to heal properly. If you have the opportunity to do light duty, accept it. Someone has to do those duties. It might as well be you while you recover. Let someone else be Super Woman right now. In the long run, your recovery is more important than who is sitting at the desk.

Unread 05-22-2005, 07:40 PM
Going back to work full time

I took a full 6 weeks off. At 7 weeks I returned a few hours a day. I just went in and worked what I could, left when I felt tired. At 8 weeks I started working full days, but added in a two hour lunch break. Luckily I live close to work so I could go home and rest. I'm still working a short day (only about 6 hours now, instead of my previous 9-10 hours). I am saleried and my employer has been very supportive, as they know in the past I've put in my share of extra hours. Some of you may not be able to ease into work, but if you can, I really suggest it. You will not realize how much it takes out of you, after having been out of work for so long. I also found it really helped to move in different positions as much as possible. For me, sitting to long hurt . . . standing too long hurt . . . walking too long hurt. I had to change positions frequently to not put strain on any one area.

I can understand how you feel about not wanting to talk about it all. I had planned on returning to work at 4 weeks post op and anticipated a fairly uneventful recovery (as we all hope for) but unfortunately had a lot of complications. When I returned there were a lot of questions. . . . and as you mentioned a lot of stupid comments. I didn't like talking about it either. Most people will ask how you are doing. I found if I responded fine or good they would usually accept that, especially if I didn't elaborate anymore. That was easiest for me. Didn't really want to go into details about bladder problems and honestly they probably didn't really want to hear it either! The bad part about being fine, however, is that you are right, they then expect you to be 100% when you really aren't. I think it's best if you have a good relationship with your supervisor and can keep him/her apprised of what's going on, then try not to worry too much about the others. It's none of their business!

Unread 05-22-2005, 08:18 PM
Back to work

I had surgery in February tvh with bladder sling. Went back to work 8 weeks later after some doozy complications that kept me on my back holding my belly most of the time.
I'm a special ed teacher and it requires a lot of physical work.
Since surgery, I feel like I have a bottle brush in my vagina and the anal area hurts too. I went to the doc so often and he always says nothing looks abnormal, it takes from 6 months to a year to completely heal and a woman my age (60) may have difficulties.
If I lift, it really hurts for days, if I climb stairs it really hurts for days and the only time there's no pain is when I'm lying down.
I use a heating pad and it helps. My abdoman pulls where my ovaries used to be. I tried a vaginal hormone and after 3 days, I felt a deep itch and dizziness so I quit taking that. I'm wondering if the nerve endings are what's causing the trouble or if the lifting continues to stretch the abdominal muscles and they can't heal.
I'm really tired of hurting and being told nothing is wrong.
Unread 05-22-2005, 09:54 PM
time off

I took off 8 weeks of sick leave and had an extra week of Spring Break. So, I was off a total of 9 weeks.
When I did go back, the first week was kind of hard. I am a secretary, but I had been used to taking short cat naps in the afternoon so the first week back I got sleepy in the afternoon.

So, I tell everyone to take off as long as they can, if they have the time.. I know its hard if you don't have a lot of sick leave.
But, your body has to heal.

As far as smart comments go from people in the office. I have one lady who always asks the most personal questions. Instead of giving her the true answers, I have gotten to where I give her a very exaggerated funny answer, which usually shuts her up.
For example, one time she said to me I was lucky to be married to a man who makes so very much money (he is a letter carrier).
I was walking out the door and I said very seriously, "Why, yes it is nice to be married to someone who makes $75 an hour" That shut her up for a few days. (My husband does not make that, but you see what I mean)
If someone asks where you've been, say "I needed a break so I went to my summer home in the Caribbean. That should shut the person up"!

Nosy people.... If they would mind their own business everyone would get more work done!

Unread 05-23-2005, 01:45 PM
Going back to work full time

I am 4 and a half weeks' post-op today, and I went back to work part time this morning. I am completely useless this afternoon and I don't know how on earth I'll go back fulltime next week. But I've heard the old saying "take it a day at a time" and I think it surely applies in this case. Let's listen to our bodies and obey our best instincts - if my body tells me to rest, then by golly, I'm going to rest!

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