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What are the guidelines for returning to work? What are the guidelines for returning to work?

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Unread 12-03-2007, 06:20 AM
What are the guidelines for returning to work?

I had a TLAH with TVT (Tension Free Vaginal Tape for bladder leakage) on 11/07/07. I went back to work 19 days post op. I brought a cot, pillow and blanket and informed everyone that I would be unavailable between 1 - 2pm every day for an indefinite period of time. My phone is unplugged, I am hanging a "Quiet - NO NOISE" sign on my door and it has worked out wonderfully! I get a mid-day rest and I feel great!

On the home front, my DH and DS wont let me lift a finger. They understand that something has to give and if I am going to work they need to pick up the slack at home. All last week I was asleep on the couch by 8 PM.

I dont think that I made a mistake, I actually feel better getting out of the recliner and back into the real world.
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Unread 12-04-2007, 10:53 AM
What are the guidelines for returning to work?

Thanks everybody. I'm not subject to FMLA because we do not have 50 or more employees witin 75 miles of each other. We do have 720 hours of salary continuation available, per company policy, for a one-time medically necessary leave of absence. I'm only at 68 hours right now because I used accrued vacation at the beginning of the leave.

I see the doctor today at 2:30. My boss e-mailed me again stating his expectation of my return tomorrow. I'm going to plan on going back, at least part-time. If it's not going to hurt me or impede my healing, then I will gladly go back. However, if the doctor advises against it, then I'll dig my heels in and be strong in following his instructions.

Again, thank you all.
Unread 12-04-2007, 02:48 PM
What are the guidelines for returning to work?

Hello ladies. I think all of us face the same issue: balancing our job responsibilities (and perceived fears about job performance) with our healing bodies. I had a SAH hysterectomy on Sept. 12 and went back to work on Sept. 17, returning to work full time on Sept. 21. (Seven-inch incision from the surgery) That's incredibly atypical, but it was my choice. My issue is that I am very social and would really have subsequent mental health issues if I felt "left out" of society for too long. I also am single with no kids and have a desk job where I could come and go. (Please read: I could lay on the couch all evening long if I chose and leave work if I was feeling bad.) Finally, I'm somewhat of an athlete and really didn't have any issues with pain, fatigue, etc. after my surgery. Therefore, I had a very ideal recovery.

Having said all of that, I'm also an employer and I firmly believe that returning to work is dependent on so many things in balance and feeling well enough to resume normal activities. I'd ask you this question: can you lay on the couch at night? or do you have children to take care of? If so, you may need extra rest time. Are you dealing with a difficult diagnosis? The emotional effect is incredibly draining and you need to give your emotions time to heal. Is your recovery not ideal and you're experiencing problems? All of our bodies heal differently. Consider all of these factors. Then, decide for yourself. Idiots like me who go back to work very soon can make it awkward for others. I literally told one of my employees exactly what I'm saying to you: that I had it too easy to return to work. If she needs the full six weeks, go ahead and take it. That's what you should do - listen to your body and work with your physician to make the right choice.

However, and I say this only with a little "tough love" in mind: please also consider issues such as your mental health, long-term recovery and to a very lesser degree the impact that a long delay from work may have on your career and your coworkers. I'm not encouraging anyone to be like me. However, I also once worked in an office with a woman who took eight weeks off for her hysterectomy (she had a LSH). The fact was that several people saw her playing with her kids at the playground, shopping at the grocery and department stores, etc. In the end, her coworkers lost a lot of respect for her and felt that she had taken advantage of them and the system. She was hurt and angry and didn't understand why. To this day, people remember that issue and it has marked her career. In addition, I have another friend who had to take three months off of work after extremely painful heel surgery and she was confined to a wheel chair with extremely limited mobility (her foot was casted and couldn't be extended down the whole time). The isolation she felt and subsequent depression she faced was horrendous. Now, her other heel is doing the same thing and she's refusing surgery because she can't put herself through it again.

I'm not sure if this helped, but I wanted you to have many, many things to consider. The choices we all make have such a long-term bearing on our physical, emotional and social beings. Good luck and please believe me, I am not judging. If it takes you 12 weeks to get back to work - if that's what your body demanded - then you did the right thing.

Good luck!

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