Going back to work FT and worried

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BigLucy
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 413
   Posted 3/20/2008 10:13 PM (GMT -7)   
After being hospitalized (two weeks) in Nov. 06, five months of medical leave, and the last year working PT five hours a day, I'm going to try to work FT--and I have to admit I'm apprehensive. I'm in a FT position and should go back or give up my job and the biggest issue, I need to maintain my health insurance--oh, I really like my job and spent many years in post grad/training to do it. I have ulcerative colitis and IBS, over ten years now, on a bunch of meds, including oxy SR and perc for BT--I have pain pretty much any time I eat something (well, maybe 80%) and even sometimes when I drink, chronic headaches, body aches, chronic fatigue--well, hopefully you get the picture. As it is, I now need minimum 9-10 hours sleep a night, I'm worried that my life will turn into working FT and resting/sleeping to be able to go back to work. I'm not back to pre-hospitalization energy level even after all this time--something I've been hoping to regain--so I'm starting to suspect this may be the best physically I am going to get.
I'm not sure what kind of responses I'm trying to get here, but for some reason I felt compelled to reach out. I don't feel well most days and that makes me feel apart from the rest of society, know what I mean? If anyone can relate to my story, let me know how you do it. Thanks.
P.S. No one is pressuring me into going back FT, I have a great MD, who's been very liberal with allowing me to dictate my medical leave status and work has been very understanding/accommodating.

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 3/20/2008 11:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Lucy,
I can relate, although more to the fear of whether I could or will ever be able to return to full time work. I've not yet tried. And I'm not sure I have any answers for you except to say I totally understand. I took a bad fall in 2004, and struggled to work part time up until last Sept. (07) when I had back surgery. Then I was laid off from my pt. time job which carried my health insurance, and am only working a few hours/wk. to keep my hands in my field. I'm a professional, also, as well as alone. I'm collecting unemployment right now, but that will run out soon.

I don't yet know the answer to the question "will I ever be able to work full time again"? In my case, I'd have to get hired by a new employer which is even more challenging, especially at age 58. Since this is a job that you already have, and it sounds like you may have an understanding workplace, is it possible for you to try some full days along with pt. time days, and see how it goes? That may be the only way you can answer the question.

My heart is with you, and I would love to hear how you do. Sometimes I think we have to try some things in order to find out what our limits truly are. I don't know what mine are yet. Maybe you need to learn yours.

Hope this helps some.

BigLucy
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 413
   Posted 3/21/2008 12:56 AM (GMT -7)   
PAlady--great reply, thanks. Sometimes I feel peripheral to what's going on in society, the "normal" routine, the expectations (oh, yes there are), the live your best life every day, seize the day, etc.......We had this new employee at work I really had no need to talk too, ever, different job, area, etc., but passed by each other on occation. Well, about two months after returning from medical leave, still fatigued, still have my illness (because there is no cure!) this new employee took me aside and told me she felt "offended" by me because I appear to ignore her and don't make any effort to say hi or get to know her. I was so shocked that I began to cry and apologized to her and disclosed to this stranger that I have a medical condition, blah, blah, blah--much more than I would have normally said but I was weak and very vulnerable. You see, on some days, especially at that time, it takes all my energy to make it through a work day, I'm not ignoring anyone, I'm just trying to get through it. I guess one could make the argument that I need to make an effort towards others, being attentive or "giving" would in turn make me feel better, etc. Work is weird; these are not friends, you are paid to do a job, but there is this personal interaction that is expected around birthdays, pregnancies, marriages, holidays, etc. I mean, once I thought about it, I was truely stunned that someone would let their feelings get hurt because they thought I was ignoring them?? And what's really going on in my head is, "I hope nobody's in the bathroom."
Whoa, maybe OT, but going back to work has me thinking. And it's 1 a.m.

Chutz
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 3/21/2008 8:17 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Lucy,

I think you're braver and stronger than you give yourself credit for. Even trying to go back full time is a huge leap of faith. I do think that lady was out of place talking to you the way she did. I don't go out of my way to get to know everyone where I work and no one gets their panties in a knot over it. The problems isn't you...it's her. Sounds like she a bit controlling and also insecure. Don't let her worry you. Take care of you! I know that feeling of having just enough energy to make it through a work day and I only work part time.

Bless your heart!
Chutzie
Co-Mod Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Forums
~~~
Fibromyalgia, Ulcerative Colitis, Insulin dependent diabetic, collapsed disk, dermatitis herpetiformus, osteo arthritis in spine and other locations.
***************

The only difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has it's limits. Albert Einstein: (1879-1955)


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 3/21/2008 11:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Lucy,
Gramps and Chutz are so right about taking care of yourself. My two cents is that if you have any chance at all of working full time, you will need to put yourself first, do your job as best as you can under the circumstances (which may not be as good as you were able to do it before, but we can't always do "A" work), and learn to sidestep and ignore those who aren't supportive or understanding of you. You will need all the energy for yourself and that's not selfish that's realistic. Most others in the workplace won't understand, but as long as your supervisor or employer think you're doing ok enough work to keep you hired, that's all you need to concern yourself with. That and that bathroom! (Oh, how I understand that one!!)

Gramps - I love your point about who sent cards while you were off. It took two months before I heard from any of my co-workers after my surgery, and then I only got cards from two, and one of them was a friend I had before we worked together. After I was laid off, I got a card signed by a bunch of them with things like "hope you're ok". That to me is a cop out. The one woman co-worker I THOUGHT I was closest to never called me, and only wrote in that group card "you're in my thoughts". They all knew I lived alone, and was losing my job and income and health insurance, and this after having been out on medical leave from back surgery. So yes, Lucy, who did send you cards or call? Those are the people I'd give attention to, if I had any energy leftover!

BigLucy
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 413
   Posted 3/22/2008 10:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks guy and gals, you're the best. Know how life throws you interesting coincidences, the person I posted about previously, who was "insulted" by my lack of attempt to get to know her better, she gave her two weeks notice yesterday!!!! Yep, going somewhere else, she's been at our work for approx. two years. Maybe I should get her a going away card devil
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