Disability from work?!

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peacesoul
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Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 2446
   Posted 4/23/2007 4:49 AM (GMT -7)   

For those of you that work full time, have any of you taken disability (time off) due to your Lupus? If so, what amount of time has the Dr allotted?

I've taken very few days off per year b/c of my illness, but I am not at a point where I feel I may break due to increased stress and "flares".In the past 4 months, I've been sick much more than usual.

When I see my Rheum this wed, I was going to ask for a week or 2 off to rest. Is this unreasonable?!

Do you all work through your stress and flares? Am I being a wimp?

I'm 40 yrs old and have worked since I was 18.


hippimom2
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 5403
   Posted 4/23/2007 6:47 AM (GMT -7)   
peacesoul, I definitely don't think it is unreasonable to ask for a few weeks off of work, especially if your health is suffering. If your rheumy writes the orders, you should have no problems at work to be able to take the time off. Whether or not you can collect short term disability from work or not depends on your workplace policy. Some places, the disability doesn't kick in unless you take a certain amount of time off.

You are definitely not being a wimp - this illness is terribly hard on our bodies and the more we try to push through it the more the disease attacks us. When I was still working, I finally had to cut my hours back (even though I only worked part time to start out with). When my health continued to suffer even with the reduced hours, I finally had to resign. I'm also 40 and have worked all of my life and it was a very difficult decision to make.

I hope your appointment goes well on Wednesday and the doctor will write some orders for you to be off work for a while. Don't be afraid to ask for more than 2 weeks if you feel like you need it.

Take care and keep us updated.
Diagnosis:  UCTD (lupus) 2006; Raynauds 2006; Sjogren's 2006; lupus symptoms began 2003; CFS 1991; Mono 1985
Meds:  Plaquenil 400mg; Prednisone 5-10mg; Tramadol 100mg 3-4x daily; Amitriptyline 10mg; Neurontin 300mg; Prevacid; Steriod Cream and Mouth Rinse for tongue and mouth ulcers; Hydrocodone 5/500 prn for severe pain; Restasis eye drops

 

Clickable:  LUPUS INFORMATION & LUPUS RESOURCES.

Please allow HealingWell to continue helping others by donating: http://www.healingwell.com/donate/

 

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Kookla
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 401
   Posted 4/23/2007 12:59 PM (GMT -7)   
I personaly have chosen to be on FMLA. Stands for famliy medical leave act. Its a nationwide LAW... Your entiteled to I think 12 weeks a yr... Mine is set up to be intermittent... so I can call in sick for a day or two or however long my flair lasts and then come back to work with no questions asked. You will have forms from Human Resources. Every company by law has to offer it. So your doctor will have to fill it out.. I just continue it every year... get a new form and have it filled out... The days off work on a rolling calender year.. So you get the days back when that same day rolls around the following year.. It works for me. I would NOT have a job right now if I did not have that and I am seriouse. I moniter my days because I could easily go over the time amount alloted... You should look into it. It is a great program and remember its a LAW.. so look into it today. Get the papers before your appt and have your doctor fill them out for you. Make sure you have it filled out for intermittetly... so that means you have all that time to use when ever you need it... You could be sick for a week or two if need be. Please look into it.. It sounds like just what you need.. I know all about it so if you have any more questions just ask me about the FMLA...
5 seperate skin Biopsies 01/05
Diagnosed SLE, Lupus Anticoagulant & Lupus Nephritis 02/05
Kidney Biopsy 2005
Hospitalized 2005 for Transverse Sinus Thrombosis (Blood Clots in my Brain)
Hospitalized 2005 for Rectus Sheath Hematoma and Supratherapeutic Anticoagulation.
08/2006 Back Surgery for Herniated Disk, Right L4-5 Hemilaminotomy & Microdiskectomy
Vasculitis
Spinal Stenosis and Arthritis in my back
Fibro and Insomnia
The list goes on and on and on..... and on
Current Meds: Prednisone, Cellcept, Coumadin, Lisinopril & Ativan


Barbara Lee
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2003
Total Posts : 2889
   Posted 4/23/2007 6:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Peacesoul:

Hippi and Kookla both gave you good advice. I would recommed you look into the FMLA and see if you're doctor will fill out the paperwork for you right away. I know several ppl who use the FMLA and have had no difficulties with their employers. They didn't have sick leave the whole time, so it was a bit tough as far as finances go, but they've gotten through it.

I wish you the best and hope that you begin to feel better really soon.

Take care,

Barbara
dx fibro, SLE, glaucoma, cateracts, bells palsy, depression, migraine headaches, gastreopaersis, chronic anemia, MDS (Blood Cancer). Mediport and tons of meds.


peacesoul
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 2446
   Posted 4/24/2007 4:28 AM (GMT -7)   
hippimom2 said...
peacesoul, I definitely don't think it is unreasonable to ask for a few weeks off of work, especially if your health is suffering. If your rheumy writes the orders, you should have no problems at work to be able to take the time off. Whether or not you can collect short term disability from work or not depends on your workplace policy. Some places, the disability doesn't kick in unless you take a certain amount of time off.

You are definitely not being a wimp - this illness is terribly hard on our bodies and the more we try to push through it the more the disease attacks us. When I was still working, I finally had to cut my hours back (even though I only worked part time to start out with). When my health continued to suffer even with the reduced hours, I finally had to resign. I'm also 40 and have worked all of my life and it was a very difficult decision to make.

I hope your appointment goes well on Wednesday and the doctor will write some orders for you to be off work for a while. Don't be afraid to ask for more than 2 weeks if you feel like you need it.

Take care and keep us updated.

Hi, thanks for the reply. I do have a great insurance plan at work (I work for a world wide large company) that offers a wonderful disability plan. They will pay 80% of my pay. I think more than anything I feel like a failure to take this. I work with all men that think it's "weak" to take time off when sick. The only reason I care is because if I ever want to continue to advance at my job, I need to prove I am strong. I know, very stupid, but that's the reality of it.
I know I need some time off before I go "batty" though.
I will speak with the rheum tomorrow about taking a week or two off and see how it goes from there. What I'm woried about is taking more than 2 weeks off and to realize, wow, I really enjoy not working..hehe!
 
Thanks again....much appreciated :-)

Jen

peacesoul
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 2446
   Posted 4/24/2007 4:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Kookla said...
I personaly have chosen to be on FMLA. Stands for famliy medical leave act. Its a nationwide LAW... Your entiteled to I think 12 weeks a yr... Mine is set up to be intermittent... so I can call in sick for a day or two or however long my flair lasts and then come back to work with no questions asked. You will have forms from Human Resources. Every company by law has to offer it. So your doctor will have to fill it out.. I just continue it every year... get a new form and have it filled out... The days off work on a rolling calender year.. So you get the days back when that same day rolls around the following year.. It works for me. I would NOT have a job right now if I did not have that and I am seriouse. I moniter my days because I could easily go over the time amount alloted... You should look into it. It is a great program and remember its a LAW.. so look into it today. Get the papers before your appt and have your doctor fill them out for you. Make sure you have it filled out for intermittetly... so that means you have all that time to use when ever you need it... You could be sick for a week or two if need be. Please look into it.. It sounds like just what you need.. I know all about it so if you have any more questions just ask me about the FMLA...

FMLA? Never heard of this. I'm in Canada and not sure they have this here. I will have to check this out!
This is very interesting! So these days off would be paid in full?
I'm going to check this out now......Will let you know
 
Thanks so much
 
Jen
 

peacesoul
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 2446
   Posted 4/24/2007 4:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Barbara Lee said...
Hi Peacesoul:

Hippi and Kookla both gave you good advice. I would recommed you look into the FMLA and see if you're doctor will fill out the paperwork for you right away. I know several ppl who use the FMLA and have had no difficulties with their employers. They didn't have sick leave the whole time, so it was a bit tough as far as finances go, but they've gotten through it.

I wish you the best and hope that you begin to feel better really soon.

Take care,

Barbara

Hi Barbara......I will check this out....this is very interesting!
Thanks for the good wishes. I hope to feel better, it's been 12 yrs carrying this monkey on my back.
 
Thanks
 
Jen

peacesoul
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 2446
   Posted 4/24/2007 4:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Ok, just gave a quick googles and found this

Synopsis of Law
Covered employers must grant an eligible employee up to a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons:

for the birth and care of the newborn child of the employee;
for placement with the employee of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care;
to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition; or
to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.


So it's unpaid. There is no way I can take unpaid since I live alone and have many bills. I would be in the poor house! My company does give me 5 paid sick days a year (which is not much) so will see if I can get the disability from my rheum tomorrow.

peacesoul
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 2446
   Posted 4/26/2007 4:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi all, so here is a quick update. I went to see the Rheum yesterday and he confirmed my diagnosis as low grade lupus. All my tests came back ok, showing no sign of organ damage.
He gave me a script for Paq. I've been ANA 1.32 positive for 12 years and only the last 6 months have shown more symptoms.
The Dr felt stress was causing more of my symptoms than lupus (NO REALLY...being sick and having to work every day would make anyone stressed)I asked for 2 weeks off and he said I would have to go see my GP to get a short term stress leave b/c he felt my insurance company would question why only 2 weeks off for lupus and not more.
I've been sick for 12 friggin years and never took time off. In fact, I have just shut my mouth and was sick. I never run to Dr's and now the last 6 months of my life has been plagued with sickness (horrible joint pain, vertigo, hair loss etc) and he thinks it's stress. Anyway, can't blame him, he can only go by what the tests are saying.
It's days like today I just want to pack it in and hide in bed FOREVER!
Ok so I will start this Plaq this weekend. I am very worried about side effects since I already have bad stomach troubles.
What am I to expect from this Plaq?!

hippimom2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 5403
   Posted 4/26/2007 7:45 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm sorry that your rheumy wouldn't write something for your time off and now you have to go through the hassle of seeing your GP. I really understand your frustration. I think sometimes that doctors forget that even if we don't have organ damage and our lupus is "mild", that the pain and fatigue can still be completely debilitating. Honestly, I don't think the word "mild" should be put in the same sentence as lupus. Can you tell that I am frustrated for you?

Plaquenil will take quite a while to build up in your system and start to take effect. It can take up to 6 months (and for some people up to a year) to really reach full benefit. Everyone is different though - I think I began to notice a difference within about 2 months. I had a decrease in both pain and fatigue. It was still there, just not as bad. Initially Plaquenil can cause stomach problems. It really bothered my stomach for about 2 weeks, but then that side effect went away. Make sure to take it with food, but it still might upset your stomach some. Just give it some time though to see if the stomach upset goes away - for most people it does.

Hang in there and know that we are here for you.

Take care
Diagnosis:  UCTD (lupus) 2006; Raynauds 2006; Sjogren's 2006; lupus symptoms began 2003; CFS 1991; Mono 1985
Meds:  Plaquenil 400mg; Prednisone 5-10mg; Tramadol 100mg 3-4x daily; Amitriptyline 10mg; Neurontin 300mg; Prevacid; Steriod Cream and Mouth Rinse for tongue and mouth ulcers; Hydrocodone 5/500 prn for severe pain; Restasis eye drops

 

Clickable:  LUPUS INFORMATION & LUPUS RESOURCES.

Please allow HealingWell to continue helping others by donating: http://www.healingwell.com/donate/

 

Co-Moderator: Lupus and CFS Forums



peacesoul
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 2446
   Posted 4/26/2007 6:23 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Hip.......thanks so much for your reply and input. Just knowing how helpful you and others are is very comforting.

My GP is very cool so she will get me some time off. The Rheum was just nervous the insurance would wonder why I only wanted two weeks off and may question me. Not sure, but least of my worries!

As for the Plaq. I PRAY I don't get the stomach upsets. I live with stomach pains all the time and cannot imagine having more...ugh! I will take it with food..thanks for the tip :-)
I would be thrilled if it took away my fatigue. I hope it does kick in within 2 months like yours did.

I'm going to go see an ND to maybe see if I can do some natural stuff also. Have you ever done that?

 

Jen


Barbara Lee
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2003
Total Posts : 2889
   Posted 4/26/2007 6:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Jen:

Sorry to hear about your rheumy, but I'm glad that your GP is good and will give you the time off. I've been on Plaq since 2001, in the beginning I had some diaherra, but not to much. It took about 2 to 3 weeks for my body to adjust to it. I believe I started feeling results from it after about 6 months. I managed well with my plaq and a very low dose of prednisone at first.

I hope tht you get the best results ever from the plaq and I hope you get time off too. Welcome again to the forum and I'm looking forward to getting to know you better.

Take care,
Barbara
dx fibro, SLE, glaucoma, cateracts, bells palsy, depression, migraine headaches, gastreopaersis, chronic anemia, MDS (Blood Cancer). Mediport and tons of meds.


peacesoul
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 2446
   Posted 4/28/2007 7:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Barbara Lee said...
Hi Jen:

Sorry to hear about your rheumy, but I'm glad that your GP is good and will give you the time off. I've been on Plaq since 2001, in the beginning I had some diaherra, but not to much. It took about 2 to 3 weeks for my body to adjust to it. I believe I started feeling results from it after about 6 months. I managed well with my plaq and a very low dose of prednisone at first.

I hope tht you get the best results ever from the plaq and I hope you get time off too. Welcome again to the forum and I'm looking forward to getting to know you better.

Take care,
Barbara

Hi Barbara....Thanks for the welcome. You guys ROCK!
Ok, so went to see my GP yesterday and she was very sympathetic to my issue. She's been my GP for over 12 yrs and has been through all the hell with me. She knows I am not one to take time off for anything so when I discussed with her about needing some time off, she did not hesitate to fill out my insurance papers. She gave me 4 weeks off (I only asked for 2) but she feels I need to rest. I have worked not stop (rarely taking vacations) in 20 yrs. I think I'm going to be lost the first week. I guess it's now time to take care of me.........hmm, what will I do first?! SLEEPPPPPP....haha!
I will start the plaq tonight so hoping I don't get too much stomach upset. I will keep you all posted on my all my gross details....hehehe!
HUgs to all
 
Jen

mom46
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Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 8198
   Posted 4/28/2007 8:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Jen,
   I'm glad your GP gave you 4 wks off to rest and take care of yourself. I hope this time helps you feel much better. I also hope once the plaq gets in your system your energy will improve greatly. Please keep us udpated and take care. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.
                                                                 Babs
 Co-Mod: Lupus Forum
 Lupus,RLS,RA,Asthma,Fibro,Sjogren's,Raynaud's,Divertic, Stroke,Atherosclerosis,Seizures,Sensory Polyneuropathy
Meds:Arava,plavix,aspirin,protonix,gabitril,zanaflex,xanax,
mirapex,advair,foxamax,donnatal,folic acid.
 
JOB 5:18 For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.


MomofC&C
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 4/30/2007 7:10 PM (GMT -7)   

Hey Jen!

I hope the Plaq works for you!  Your story reminds me a lot of myself.  I also "pushed through" and went to work sick.  I was an Administrative Assistant for 7 men and I always felt I had to prove myself.  I left work 18 months ago when my Doctor told me I needed to medically retire (I am 39 years old).  Do not feel guilty for taking time off, this is the best thing you can do for yourself right now.  Stress can bring on flares and actually make this disease worse.  Take care of yourself and rest!  You are in my thoughts and prayers.

 

Steph


Seronegative SLE '06 - IBD '06 - Kidney Involvement '07
 
Meds:
Sulfasalazine, CellCept, Topamax, Elavil


peacesoul
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 2446
   Posted 5/1/2007 5:49 AM (GMT -7)   
MomofC&C said...

Hey Jen!

I hope the Plaq works for you!  Your story reminds me a lot of myself.  I also "pushed through" and went to work sick.  I was an Administrative Assistant for 7 men and I always felt I had to prove myself.  I left work 18 months ago when my Doctor told me I needed to medically retire (I am 39 years old).  Do not feel guilty for taking time off, this is the best thing you can do for yourself right now.  Stress can bring on flares and actually make this disease worse.  Take care of yourself and rest!  You are in my thoughts and prayers.

 

Steph


Hi Steph, thanks for the encouragment. Nice to know I am not alone. I'm a senior buyer for a large firm and the stress of this job is overwhelming b/c of time pressures and a constant flow of people at me all day.
When I went to work yesterday to get some papers and help me boss prepare for my 4 weeks off, my boss responded with such coldness. He did not wish me luck or tell me to relax and get well, he responded with "Why do u need so much time off, just to adjust to meds. Doesn't make sense"

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I wanted to punch him right in his face. What a jerk! No compassion. He doesn't take into accont I've been there sick and have been an outstanding employee. All he was worried about was having to now take over my work load.

So today is my first official day off to heal and I am overwhelmed with guilt. This is no way to rest.

Oh rant over....haha!

Thanks again

Jen


MomofC&C
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 5/1/2007 9:03 AM (GMT -7)   

Jen,

That is terrible what your boss did!!! I went through something very similar.  I tried to go back part-time after being off for the first few months and I was rewarded for my efforts by the following:  I was moved to a different part of the building away from everyone (My original office was "Grand Central Station", my hours were reduced to practically nil and all of my benefits were taken away.  It was at that moment I realized that work is not about "who" you are but "what" you do.  I always looked at my job as being "who" I was.  Without it, I was no one, my identity was gone. i mean who was going to pat me on the back and give the "aata-girl".  For some reason I was sold a bad bag of goods that says that if you are not always at the top of your game and stressing yourself out to get it all done you are somehow less than a good, responsible person.  This is so not true.  I am not trying to be dramatic but you are taking time off to fight for your life! You are showing signs of a flare and if you don't take care of yourself this could do some serious damage to organs. If you continue to show up sick and push through you could end up in a real mess like I have.    At this point, I can never return to work.  I have too much damage in my liver, kidneys and joints. The amount of meds that I would have to take in order to function in the workplace would be a tremendous strain on my already compromised system.  And guess what?  That job I was so worried about...............I have not seen or spoken to any of them in almost a year.  I am a wife and mother of 2 wonderful children (18 and  12) and I cannot tell you how many days I would come home from work so tired all I could do was collapse into bed.  There was literally nothing left of me for them.  It all went to that "important" job and my bosses. 

I know I am ranting now but I want you to get the picture that YOU are important! YOU need to take care of yourself!  YOU deserve a chance at life without organ damage!  YOU deserve time to adjust to medication!  People have no idea about this disease and how crummy it can make you feel. Please don't feel guilty, it only adds more stress. 

Steph


Seronegative SLE '06 - IBD '06 - Kidney Involvement '07
 
Meds:
Sulfasalazine, CellCept, Topamax, Elavil


MomofC&C
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 5/4/2007 9:17 PM (GMT -7)   

Peacesoul:

How are you doing?  Are you resting like you should? How is it going with the new meds? I hope you are feeling better.  Just letting you know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Steph


Seronegative SLE '06 - IBD '06 - Kidney Involvement '07
 
Meds:
Sulfasalazine, CellCept, Topamax, Elavil


peacesoul
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 2446
   Posted 5/6/2007 8:17 AM (GMT -7)   
HI Steph.....am I resting? The million $ question. I am trying! I have no clue how to relax. I seem to pushing myself to get lots of spring stuff done (yard, pool etc) and I'm trying so hard to keep getting to the gym.
I made a promise to myself that this coming week I will REST! Just watch movies, sleep, eat well and maybe take walks.
My first week on Plaq has been rough. I eat then in 20 mins I run to the bathroom. Lots of runs and sore stomach.
I started taking All Natural Gravol.
So the first week was rough.
I PRAY that the side effects from this plaq go away soon.
And yes my work called 2 more times.

How is life with you?
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