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Screaming Eagle
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   Posted 2/22/2010 11:49 AM (GMT -7)   
It is so madding, that employees that deal with the scheduling and all of the communication can not do their jobs correctly. I have in my hands multiple pieces of paperwork, and all of them show a different Surgery date. None of these folks are talking to each other! I have had to take off work today to do everyone's job. It looks like that my surgery is on the 5th of March after all.

The insurance office did not know that I was even having surgery, and the FMLA office doesn't have a clue as to whats going on. It is a good thing that I'm the type of person that double, and triple checks everything.

SE
DDD (Degenerative Disk Disease) S1-L4-L5, Heart Attack 2002, Angioplasty to clear blocked Artery and to implant Stent. Six Epidurals, Disocgram, Melanoma Cancer 07, Lumbar Fusion March of 2010, Four cortisone injections Tendinitis in Elbow.


PAlady
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   Posted 2/22/2010 2:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Michael,
The health care system doesn't work smoothly, by any means. Neither does the health insurance industry. Your surgery date is determined between your surgeon's schedule and the hospital's schedule, and there can be a glitch if a change is made on either end. Sometimes the insurance company isn't called for auth. until a week before, but that's always something to follow up on with any major procedure.

What FMLA office? I thought you had just sold your business? BTW it's your job to get the FMLA forms from your employer and get your doctor to complete them, and you definitely want to make sure that's done if you qualify for FMLA. When I was working a PT job I didn't have quite enough hours in to be covered by FMLA.

Good luck with it all.

PaLady

Screaming Eagle
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   Posted 2/22/2010 2:49 PM (GMT -7)   
PaLady, your right again! I did sell my business, but I also work a full time job, with a major aircraft company, and have done so for 32yrs. I filed FMLA with them, and did so correctly, and have copies of the paperwork to prove it. They also have shown that I am eligible under the terms set forth. However when I start checking to see if everybody has done their job, I find out that they have not. I do double check everything as much as possible, and have been on the phone since I have started this precess.

I have my ducks in a row, but they do not. I did make sure that my Dr/Surgeon sent in the correct paperwork to the FMLA office. The ball got dropped by FMLA, as it is their responsibility to contact the short term disability office to start that process. We were to be scheduled for a pre/admin. registration class prior to the surgery, and they had the surgery date wrong. Which threw a kink in everything. All is well now, after around 20 phone calls today, and actually driving to surgeons office. They said it was their error, as was the FMLA's office.

SE
DDD (Degenerative Disk Disease) S1-L4-L5, Heart Attack 2002, Angioplasty to clear blocked Artery and to implant Stent. Six Epidurals, Disocgram, Melanoma Cancer 07, Lumbar Fusion March of 2010, Four cortisone injections Tendinitis in Elbow.


bsjaguar
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   Posted 2/22/2010 3:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Michael, do make sure to contact your insurance company to verify that your surgery has been precertified. It is normally the doctors office that does this but it is still your responsibility that it is completed. Maybe your insurance doesn't require this but most do. Also, do you have to wear a back brace after your surgery? I did and that needed a pre-cert too.

You have some strange set up at your employers. I didn't set up anything for FMLA before my surgeries because I was eligible for short & long term disability through my employer. Why do you have to file paperwork for FMLA? Guess maybe the FMLA is for your wife so she can take care of you if need be.

You think you've been busy today just wait until after your surgery when all the bills start rolling in. Between the hospital, radiologist, anesthesiologist, hospital, and whoever else tries to get a piece of the action, I needed a full time secretary. Keep a close eye on things and keep every piece of paper sent to you. There were instances where I could have been overcharged if I hadn't stayed on top of things.
---Jag---
 
DDD, osteoarthritis, facet syndrome, fusion surgeries C-5/7 & L-4/5 both in 2006, torn meniscus surgeries left knee 2000 & 2002, buldging disc L-2/3


PAlady
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   Posted 2/22/2010 4:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Michael,
Ok, that clarifies some things re: your job. But do you know that FMLA time is unpaid leave? Depending on your employer's policies, and their short term disability plan, you may have to use up your FMLA time (up to 12 weeks), which is unpaid, before your short term disability will start paying. So they're different systems, and one may not kick in until the other is used up. Depends on your employers policies, and/or if you opt to use up your FMLA time first (if your employer gives you the option of moving right into short term disability). You may also have to use up all your sick and/or vacation days first. You probably need to get this all clarified with the person who works with it in your employer's HR dept. It is confusing.

Sadly, like Jag says, this is just the beginning. Get yourself a new filing cabinet! LOL

But I sure understand the frustration and need to vent!

PaLady

Screaming Eagle
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Date Joined Sep 2009
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   Posted 2/22/2010 4:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes Jag, you too are right! on the responsibility falling on me to make sure it is getting done. I knew this going in, and know how many of my friends have had the same trouble with the company getting the paperwork to the right places. I also will have to wear one of those braces. My buddy in my shop just had the same surgery done, and came back to work today after being out 7 weeks. He is still wearing it, and he said his surgeon requires him to wear it for 3 months. He hates it with a passion!

I could not believe they let him come back already, but I noticed that my surgeon told the company that I could be expected to come back in 6 to 8 weeks too. Wow, I think I will be lucky to be able to come back that quick.

The reason for the FMLA filing is so that an employer can not fire you for a serious medical condition, and of course there are many more reasons for it. We are required to file for FMLA and Short term disability both. I thought this was a requirement for most company's, but evidently not according to you. My sister works for another company and is in the same shape as me, or worse, and has had to follow the same process.

Lucky for me at this point, my insurance company pays for everything in full for me. So there should be no out of pocket expense. I know that to be true, because several of my friends at work have had surgeries, and did not have to pay for anything at all. When I had my Heart Attack, it was the same thing. I'm very grateful for this, and am sure in the future this will not be the case, as company's are requiring their employees to divi up some of the cost.

I have at least 6 more years before I can retire, at least I'm hoping so anyway. I'm have been planning for this surgery, and it is one of the reason that I sold the business. I was lucky to exit when I did, and took the profits at the height of its worth or hope I did. The competition was nipping at my heels all the time, and was getting too large to run for my wife and I. We had the time of our lives, and met some wonderful people, who are now friends for life. The business experience was something I will never forget.

Jag, I will take your advice, and keep on top of things as best I can here. Thank you so much for your reply, you are such a positive person, and a good friend. I'm so scared right now, as I realize that this surgery is a serious one, and the outcome will determine my future. None of has a guarantee that things will go well in life, but we have to face the cards we are dealt and do the best we can with the hand.


SE
DDD (Degenerative Disk Disease) S1-L4-L5, Heart Attack 2002, Angioplasty to clear blocked Artery and to implant Stent. Six Epidurals, Disocgram, Melanoma Cancer 07, Lumbar Fusion March of 2010, Four cortisone injections Tendinitis in Elbow.


Screaming Eagle
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Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 2/22/2010 4:28 PM (GMT -7)   
PaLady our company requires that you use all of your sick leave and or vacation up to 80hrs. When you come back from your leave the most you can have left is 80 hrs. Also, they will allow us to file an extension, for an additional 12 weeks, but only based upon the Dr advice or request. We do not have long term disability, only short term, and it is good for 26weeks. Of course you have to build up your hours to receive them per year. Does this make any since to you? I hope I have not caused any confusion for you here.

SE
DDD (Degenerative Disk Disease) S1-L4-L5, Heart Attack 2002, Angioplasty to clear blocked Artery and to implant Stent. Six Epidurals, Disocgram, Melanoma Cancer 07, Lumbar Fusion March of 2010, Four cortisone injections Tendinitis in Elbow.


skeye
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Date Joined Mar 2008
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   Posted 2/22/2010 4:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Sorry Michael,

I know that waiting even another 4 days will be tough on you (not to mention how this screwed up your schedule). Hang in there! It sucks to have something rescheduled. It's happened to me before too (more than once). But at least you found out now & didn't find out your surgery was canceled the night before.

hugs,
Skeye

Post Edited (skeye) : 2/22/2010 5:55:10 PM (GMT-7)


PAlady
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Date Joined Nov 2007
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   Posted 2/22/2010 5:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Michael,
Sounds like you're keeping on top of it with your company - but I'm not surprised that you need to help show the right hand that the left even exists! LOL The devil is always in those details.

I know my doctor had initially given me a 6-8 week return date, and of course I was thrilled at that prospect. Well, even with a minimally invasive surgery it was 6 weeks before I even opened my car door and sat in it, and had the courage to drive around the block. I was hoping to get back to work because I had no sick time or disability insurance, so being out mean zero $$ coming in. My doctor readily extended the date to 3 months, but obviously the hospital I worked for wasn't happy with that as I got laid off in between those dates, and even though I filed the FMLA paperwork to protect my job, I wasn't technically covered by it and they knew it. I had also fought their denial of my WC so I'm sure that played some role in them finding any excuse to lay me off.

I hope your company is understanding, and that you don't try to rush back to work too soon. I never needed to wear the hard brace some people have, but did have a velcro support belt that I still use from time to time if I need to do something like shovel snow (sometimes I have no choice).

What I was told was that it was good to get these "appliances" ordered while I was an inpatient as it was more likely insurance would pay. So I insisted on having them order the raised toilet seat (that was invaluable, although I think I read you were borrowing one), shower chair, and a cane. Even though I had good insurance at the time, they still denied coverage for everything but the toilet seat, calling the others "comfort items"! A cane? But those things I still use -especially the shower chair as I can't trust these numb feet standing on the tub floor. So get whatever you can while you're in there and your insurance should pay for most of it - but there will be surprises. Makes life interesting, I guess! (Oh, how our lives are SOOO interesting! LOL)

It will work out. One day at a time!

PaLady

Mrs. Dani
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Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 2/22/2010 5:42 PM (GMT -7)   
 
 
 
   Dear Michael,
 
      Good evening. I hope right now you are relaxing as much as possible. I dont have much time, but I did want to say im terribly sorry you had to take the day off to do everyone elses jobs. That has got to be frustraiting. *hugg* You ve done a great job of taking care of some much in just one days time. Stay strong! You are in our hearts here.
 
*huggs*
  dani

 

 

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood

 

 


Screaming Eagle
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Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 2/22/2010 8:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello! My Dear Skeye! :) and Dani too! :) Love you both! You two are so gracious! Bless you all here! Yes is was a disappointment to find out about the delay, but really it was a blessing in disguise, as I had not realized that the lines of communication had a break in it somewhere, and I needed a little more time to get things ready here. I had the oil changed in my Jeep today as well and the wiper blades replaced too. So I can mark it off my long list of things I wanted done. Dani, I know that you are a very busy girl, and you are right on top of it with your little bumblebees. Skeye, know your still in school right? I know your laughing at me! And we both know why! :) Just remember to refresh my memory for me! :) Bless both of your Little Pea Picking Hearts! You make me feel so good, and I appreciate you all.

PaLady, my boss has been very good to me, and it is up to the desecration of my manager as to how far they can help me out, and still stay inline with the company rules. I used to be a very hard worker there, and got the nick name as being a member of the A-Team for years. Nobody, could out produce me, and I came up with several designs that the company implemented as their own. My strength was well known for, and I could out lift almost anyone in the shop, when it came to lifting parts into the tooling fixtures. That is where some of my back problems came from I think. I was a Machine! And a strong one! At least I thought so! :) I'm now paying for it! Dearly!

My Boss told me today to just take off, until my surgery date and he would cover it for me. While I want to, it won't pay the bills, and yes, we have bills! It's just knowing that your company will stand by you, that makes me feel good.
I was supposed to go out to dinner with my daughter tonight, and I canceled it because I just did not feel well. I hated to do that, ans she feels so bad for me. I love her! Sweet little thing! It brings tears to my eyes thinking about my daughters.

I must give out a big Thank you to Privey, as she has been a real champ in my life too! You would never dream that, the little woman, had that much Tanitansy. OH..no...don't let me get started to rambling here tonight! :)

(SE)
DDD (Degenerative Disk Disease) S1-L4-L5, Heart Attack 2002, Angioplasty to clear blocked Artery and to implant Stent. Six Epidurals, Disocgram, Melanoma Cancer 07, Lumbar Fusion March of 2010, Four cortisone injections Tendinitis in Elbow.


Blessedx8
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Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 2/22/2010 10:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Michael...

You have bills, too? LOL But, seriously, I wish you could take the time off before your surgery... but I know just knowing that "you could" makes you feel good.

I'm glad you were on the ball about everything, and double checked. Unfortunately, from first hand experience, that's the best thing to always do.

I'm sorry you missed having dinner your daughter; but I'm sure she understands... I can tell you love your girls :)

Finally, I'm glad you have a good support system; and, yes, I'm glad you have Cathy (privey); she does seem amazing! - and I think it's awesome that your families have met! The internet is an amazing thing, huh?

Mostly, I just wanted to check in with you and say hey. I'm sure you are biting your nails trying to get to your surgery... Hang in there, my friend!

--Tina
Main Health Problems: Dysautonomia/POTS; CFS/Fibromyalgia; Severe Hypertension; Hypothyroidism; Hypoadrenalism; Mixed (Obstructive/Central) Sleep Apnea - on Auto BiPap; Depression/Anxiety; Severe Vitamin D Deficiency

Pain Issues: Cervical/Thoracic back pain; migraines; carpal tunnel syndrome; widespread joint/muscle pain, nerve pain in hands/arms/feet; Future Plans: Intrathecal Pain Pump; already completed trial (Sept, 2008); awaiting my decision for implantation

Meds: MS Contin; Dilaudid; Actiq; Soma ; Neurontin; Atenolol; Midodrine; Phenergan/Zofran/Reglan; Effexor(depression)/Ativan(anxiety); Synthroid; Prednisone; and on the list goes...


skeye
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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 2/22/2010 10:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Michael,

Yes smilewinkgrin Just over half a semester left before I graduate! Yay (just don't remind me about all the work I have to get done before then)!

hugs,
Skeye

Blessedx8
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 2/22/2010 11:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Michael...

Just e-mailed you back, my friend... :)

I'm off to bed... Hope you get a good night's rest!

--Tina
Main Health Problems: Dysautonomia/POTS; CFS/Fibromyalgia; Severe Hypertension; Hypothyroidism; Hypoadrenalism; Mixed (Obstructive/Central) Sleep Apnea - on Auto BiPap; Depression/Anxiety; Severe Vitamin D Deficiency

Pain Issues: Cervical/Thoracic back pain; migraines; carpal tunnel syndrome; widespread joint/muscle pain, nerve pain in hands/arms/feet; Future Plans: Intrathecal Pain Pump; already completed trial (Sept, 2008); awaiting my decision for implantation

Meds: MS Contin; Dilaudid; Actiq; Soma ; Neurontin; Atenolol; Midodrine; Phenergan/Zofran/Reglan; Effexor(depression)/Ativan(anxiety); Synthroid; Prednisone; and on the list goes...


bsjaguar
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Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 974
   Posted 2/23/2010 4:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Michael, I know it is probably too late for this but before my surgery my doctor took me off of work early due to my pain levels so my company short term kicked in early at this date. I would hold off using the FMLA unless you really need to. FMLA is only good for 3 months per calendar year (I'm pretty sure it's calendar year and not 12 month period). So if you use it up early in the year and you need it later in the year you are screwed.

If your job is physical, I really can't see you returning in 6-8 wks but maybe I'll be proven wrong. I had a very physical job with alot of bending, lifting & twisting and was off for 4 months.

If you have your brace learn how to put it on now!!! I didn't do this beforehand and it was a challenge in the hospital trying to get it on to go to the bathroom (I didn't have to wear it when lying in bed). The PT showed me how once and then I was on my own and when you are under the influence of drugs it can be tricky.
---Jag---
 
DDD, osteoarthritis, facet syndrome, fusion surgeries C-5/7 & L-4/5 both in 2006, torn meniscus surgeries left knee 2000 & 2002, buldging disc L-2/3


Screaming Eagle
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Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 2/23/2010 10:21 AM (GMT -7)   
Jag you are right! FMLA is per calendar year, at least it is with our company. It is a good point to make! My Boss has told me, if the Dr will release me with restrictions, he will find me something to do, like office work. My original job requires me to do all of those things you mentioned, so that will be out of the question. The gentleman that had his fusion, came back yesterday, and they basically have him doing only paperwork.

We have a great boss, and I'm also in good standing with the higher up bosses as well. My plan at this time is to come back to work as soon as possible, and leave some FMLA left over in case I need it. My boss also told me they would approve a extension in case I needed it.

Jag the chest brace that you are referring to, is a real pain I know, because the friend who just came back to work, said it is the worst part of healing, and that it gets heavy at times. He also said that he has to take it off, when he has to go potty, When it comes off for a shower, he said it is a very odd feeling, and feels like his spine is floating around. I'm guessing that is because it has not fused yet?

(SE)
DDD (Degenerative Disk Disease) S1-L4-L5, Heart Attack 2002, Angioplasty to clear blocked Artery and to implant Stent. Six Epidurals, Disocgram, Melanoma Cancer 07, Lumbar Fusion March of 2010, Four cortisone injections Tendinitis in Elbow.


bsjaguar
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Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 974
   Posted 2/23/2010 11:13 AM (GMT -7)   
If I remember right I only wore mine constantly, other than when in bed or showering, for a month. I would still wear it when I'd go walking by myself though because I was so scared of falling. I also used my walker for along time when outside walking alone to because I walked straighter & faster with it. Everyone and every doctor is different.

I don't understand why you will have to use any FMLA. Hopefully, you will have sufficient short term disability to cover your absense. This way you will get paid the whole time your off.

Enough about FMLA, I do hope your surgery goes well and it will take care of your lumbar pain!
---Jag---
 
DDD, osteoarthritis, facet syndrome, fusion surgeries C-5/7 & L-4/5 both in 2006, torn meniscus surgeries left knee 2000 & 2002, buldging disc L-2/3


Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 2/23/2010 11:53 AM (GMT -7)   
Tina, it is my understanding that if you do not have time to cover your absence, a company can fire you for being gone. FMLA protects the employee from that action, by the company. Every company is different in the rules that they set up for their employees. Lets say that I had 80 hours of vacation, and I was going to be gone 120 hrs, when I used up the 80 hours, the company may let me go after that amount is used up by me. FMLA prevents a company from doing that.

It is a federal law, and protects the employee. Our company allows you to retain up to 80hrs of vacation or sick leave, which ever comes first. In my case the FMLA will not kick in until I have exhausted my hours of vacation or Sick leave, up to the 8ohr's they allow an employee to retain for future use.

I think we are talking the same talk, but it is difficult for me to explain to where it makes some sense. You are correct that I do not have to be on FMLA when I take off for surgery. It will only kick in when I meet the requirements set forth, by my company.
The STD will kick in the same way, as I will have to exhaust my extra hours of vac/sick first.

(SE)
DDD (Degenerative Disk Disease) S1-L4-L5, Heart Attack 2002, Angioplasty to clear blocked Artery and to implant Stent. Six Epidurals, Disocgram, Melanoma Cancer 07, Lumbar Fusion March of 2010, Four cortisone injections Tendinitis in Elbow.

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