when to go back to work?

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

sammies
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 493
   Posted 3/16/2009 8:23 AM (GMT -6)   
I am struggling with when and if to go back to work. I am a teacher whose job involves a LOT of physicality. When my surgery was supposed to be a resection, I was originally thinking April 6--which is 6 weeks from my surgery date. But now that I've had the proctocolectomy and ileostomy, my family thinks I should take the rest of the spring off.

I am now realizing how big this surgery was.

I'm 3 weeks from my surgery date. I am 5'2" and 97 lbs but with still a lot of water stuck in my calves/ankles/feet so my "Real" weight is probably somewhere around 90lbs. I am extremely anemic and still malnourished--but coming along. My open rectal wound is 10cm by 6cm.

Am I still in denial thinking I could go back to work this school year? Should I "invest" in the future by taking the spring off to get stronger? Or will the next three weeks bring a big healing curve? I have to decide very soon.

Any thoughts appreciated!!
24+ years with Crohn's/colitis; fistulizing crohn's; ileostomy and proctocolectomy; propranolol and xanax; been on a ton of crohn's meds; praying to get through each day.


suebear
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5692
   Posted 3/16/2009 8:26 AM (GMT -6)   
It might be wise to take the additional time off. It sounds as if you had complications and surgery wasn't quite what was anticipated.

Sue
dx proctitis in 1987
dx UC in 1991, was stable until 1998

1998 started prednisone, asacol, pentasa, nortriptylene, ativan, 6MP, rowasa enemas and suppositories, hydrocortisone enemas, tried the SCD diet, being a vegetarian, omega 3s, flax, pranic healing, yoga, acupuncture, probiotics

2000 lost all my B-12 stores and became anemic

2001 opted for j-pouch surgery- now living life med-free


moreglorydays
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 3/16/2009 8:59 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi sammies. I am a teacher, too. I had the same surgery as you - mine was an open surgery. Everyone has said not to go back to work too early. I was feeling so good that I thought six weeks would be a good stretch of recovery - until I fainted yesterday. Now I am thinking that it might be best to wait eight weeks I am one of the 25,000 teachers who have received pink slips in California, so I would like to go back and finish the school year off, if for no other reason than to prove to myself that I can teach with an ileostomy. I look forward to reading what others have to say.
scheduled for permanent ileostomy surgery 2/19 proctocolectomy with permanent ileostomy 2/19
tried asacol, rowasa, remicade, humira
currently on 40 mgs.10 mgs  5mgs. prednisone, 20mgs and tapering every ten days
51 years young


jblue65
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 381
   Posted 3/16/2009 3:03 PM (GMT -6)   
stay home! I am also a teacher - just got my ileostomy ( still in hospital) I had a lap surgery and everyone keeps telling to stay home.
You need to rest- teaching is a very demanding job as you know and you much get healed.

:))))
Jackie, 43
Pancolitis, DX October 06

Lexapro, Synthroid, Protonix,
Tapering prednisone from 40 mg


Surgery March 13th- Total Colectomy
Jpouch surgery to be done in 3 steps


LittleE
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 137
   Posted 3/16/2009 4:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Sammies-

Boy, there sure are a lot more teacher-ileostomates that I thought...! I too am a teacher (this is my 3rd year of teaching) and I too had a proctocolectomy with ileostomy. I had my surgery last year, in May. I purposefully scheduled it then so that I would have 6 weeks of school left, so I basically had the whole summer to recover.

Looking back, I was MAYBE ready to go back after 8 weeks, but if you can afford it, I would definitely wait longer. The wound on my bottom took a LONG time to heal and was annoying--you don't want to have to sit in a meeting at work if your bum is still draining stuff. Also, as others said, teaching is a stressful, fast-paced job! You only get one body--take the time to heal it Very Well before going back to work.

My surgeon said I would feel 80% normal after 8 weeks. He was right. I would wait until you are 100% if money is not an issue. Good luck! I never thought I would return to work and not be conscious of my bag, but you will completely feel normal and even forget about your bag eventually!!

Keep healing! :)

nene205
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 302
   Posted 3/16/2009 4:26 PM (GMT -6)   
I am a teacher,also. This condition goes with the job. After many years of working at a job I truly loved, I decided to retire. Recently, I substitued at a local private school and loved it, but even after 2 years of recovery, I still get tired. But that may have a lot to do with the fact that I am over 50. However, if you are just starting out in the field, I think you should get back in there. There are many students needing you! Please make sure you are 100% before returning.

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 3/16/2009 5:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Well, I am not a teacher, but I did work in a "real" job for most of my surgeries...DON'T push it...it sounds like you've had a difficult time, especially before your surgery, and really need to get your body back to where it can take care of itself! Take the extra time off, you won't regret it, and you can start the next year at 100%!! Like LittleE said, the bottom will take longer to heal, and the more rest you can get the better off you'll be.

NEsailor
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 3/16/2009 7:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Advice I didn't take (Type A much?!!) was not to push it and go back too early. I had surgery at the end of June (after a month in the hospital while they tried not to have to operate) and, against my surgeon's recommendation, went back to work part time in late August. I handled it ok, but there were times I was totally exhausted. The problem is once you are back, you're expected to continue to be back. A set back is not looked at fondly by most boss types and co-workers who get to take your workload back again.

So ... if you CAN take the time, do so. Get healthy at your pace. Don't push yourself past comfort or sense, it makes the whole healing process take longer.

flchurchlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 3/16/2009 7:23 PM (GMT -6)   
I took 12 weeks off work after my proctocolectomy and was glad that I did. If you can take the rest of this school year off, you should.
Cecilia
Dx'd Crohn's in '99 at 28. Proctocolectomy and ileostomy in '06.
Disease-free, medicine-free, and very thankful to be healthy again.


RobinByrd
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 511
   Posted 3/16/2009 7:36 PM (GMT -6)   

I agree...you should really take as much time as you can.  Though you may be feeling better before long, you still need rest. 

I wish you a smooth recovery!!!

smurf
: )  Robin
 
28 year old Mommy of an amazing 1 year old and Wife for 2 years!
Dx-May 2007 Moderate/Severe Pancolitis - failed all medications
 
Proctocolectomy w/ permanent ileostomy on 02/06/09!!!
 
"Your mind is like a parachute, it only works when it is open."  -Unknown


peggy113
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1998
   Posted 3/17/2009 1:23 AM (GMT -6)   
I agree with all of the above posts - take the time off. If you are underweight and malnourished, it will take you quite some time to get back up to "fighting" weight. Just when you think you are back to 100 percent, get up and get yourself ready for a full day BUT stay home and stay on your feet doing stuff. You will see just how tired you get and how quickly. I recommend recovering completely after your surgery before going back to work. I speak from experience and wish I would have taken my own advice that I am giving you. Your body will thank you in the end.
Peggy
      
Diagnosed with CD in 1979, many resections and meds
Perm Ileostomy July 1984 at Cleveland Clinic
Disease free since surgery 
 


sammies
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 493
   Posted 3/22/2009 5:16 AM (GMT -6)   
thank you all for the responses--so, so helpful. Good news--I am on leave through the rest of the school year. My school was amazingly supportive. I'm going to concentrate on being well.

In some ways, being off from my breaks my heart as I am so close to a few of my colleagues and I love this senior class. I was looking forward to spring on my campus and all that goes with it. When I go back in September, it will have been 8 months since I will have taught. However, I hope and pray to go back healthy.


Any advice on dealing with the psychological effects of giving up a job you love? I have been teaching 16 years--it's such a big part of me.
24+ years with Crohn's/colitis; fistulizing crohn's; ileostomy and proctocolectomy; propranolol and xanax; been on a ton of crohn's meds; praying to get through each day.


jblue65
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 381
   Posted 3/22/2009 7:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Sammies-
I feel the same way.I have been teaching high schol for 21 yrs. and love it. This year I became the reading coach and also teach 2 sophmore classes. I started at a new high school this year. It is amazing how wonderful everyone has been to me. I love that place and yes I miss the students and my colleagues.

My last day of work was Feb. 16th and I may go back in May ( I had step one surg. March 13th). I crave a routhine, but I have to see how I feel.
Remember you aren't GIVING up the job. You are taking a hiatus. You will a summer to recover and then you will be back.

Are you having a jpouch eventually?

If you need talk let me know--- I know I need support when It comes to this also.
Jackie, 43
Pancolitis, DX October 06

Lexapro, Synthroid, Protonix,
Tapering prednisone from 40 mg


Surgery March 13th- Total Colectomy
Jpouch surgery to be done in 3 steps


Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 3/22/2009 7:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Sammies--glad to hear it, you made the right decision!! Can you go back for a visit to your class to say "good luck" to those graduating? That might help ease your mind, especially since you care so much about your students!
New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Friday, October 20, 2017 5:37 PM (GMT -6)
There are a total of 2,884,986 posts in 316,541 threads.
View Active Threads


Who's Online
This forum has 157647 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, reconstruction.
388 Guest(s), 7 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
bhorvat, Kent M., teddy9, iHope4Grace2Laf, Tall Allen, WV Mike, iPoop


Follow HealingWell.com on Facebook  Follow HealingWell.com on Twitter  Follow HealingWell.com on Pinterest
Advertisement
Advertisement

©1996-2017 HealingWell.com LLC  All rights reserved.

Advertise | Privacy Policy & Disclaimer