Way to much pain!!!!

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 1203
   Posted 11/13/2008 6:33 AM (GMT -6)   
cry  I know some of you know my story. I have ddd of the neck and lumbar.I also am still working a full time job and yesterday was a long day.I started at 6:30 am and worked ti'll 5:30 pm and came home in extreme pain. My job is pretty physical and i really don't know what i'm going to do. I woke up this morning and still in extreme pain so painful it brought tears to my eyes and i hate having to work like this you know co-workers asking you all day whats wrong just don't have the energy for it. I wanted to seek help for my pain but the woman in our hr dept. is a witch and i've applied for fmla due to some of my other chronic illnesses.This woman won't approve my fmla and i know i have severeal conditions that fall under the approval of fmla i had it approved for the past 4 years . this woman is causing me alot of greif and pain and emotional upset. Because of her i can't seek the help i need and i really don't know how much longer i can endure this pain. Sorry for the rant but i'm at my wit ends here and without approval of fmla it will be jan. before i can get the help i need. Thanks for listening and any ideas i'd be so thankful for. God Bless

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 637
   Posted 11/13/2008 8:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Im sorry your going through so much pain. Have you tried heating pad or hot baths to help your pain.? I hope this helps.
Lortab,ambien,elavil,reglan , neurontin,zyrtec and soma.
spinal conditions: Scolosis,herniated discs,spinal blockage,Spinal stenosis,bursitis ,Fibro,and arthritis

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 329
   Posted 11/13/2008 9:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Is the woman in your HR the only HR person or can you go to her boss? A company cannot really deny FMLA if the doctor fills the form out correctly. What was her reason for denying you?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 11/13/2008 11:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Ekkrose is correct. I assume you're in the USA. If your doctor is filling out the forms correctly, you are entitled to FMLA. It's unpaid leave. You can even take it in hourly increments. If you continue having trouble, and even supervisory level people keep denying you, I'd consult an attorney. Or if you're in a union, your union rep. should be able to help.


Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 315
   Posted 11/13/2008 11:46 AM (GMT -6)   


First I want to say that I am sorry that you are in so much pain every day. I can definitely relate, plus I can relate to working full time while in agony. I personally had severe lumbar spinal stenosis (with DDD and multiple disk herniations & bulges). I got to the point that I really couldn't walk anymore. I could only go about 20 to 30 feet before I would totally have to collapse from the pain. I also could not longer walk upright, but stupidly I was stubborn and didn't want to use a cane or walker, though I should have. I've also suffered from horrible pain in my neck and left shoulder, as well as other body parts. I've not had my neck area checked out, but I probably have something similar going on in there as I did in my lumbar spine. During all that, I still worked full-time because I had to support myself. Everyone told me I should be on disability, but that would never pay me enough to live. So what is one to do? We just have to get through each day, minute by minute and use up every single ounce of energy we have to get through work. Then once we get home, we are completely done. So I really want you to know that I sympathize for you and completely understand what you are going through...and you are a real trooper for getting through each day.

Secondly, just as the others posted, you cannot be denied FMLA if your doc filled out the forms correctly and you have a legitimate reason. It is a federal law. You also don't have to take it all at once, it can be taken intermittently or you can take it as a reduced work schedule..all for a total up to 12 weeks. What your employer can do is to request a 2nd medical certification from another doctor if they really wanted to (like a 2nd opinion) but they cannot deny you if you have just cause. FMLA is enforced by the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Dept. of Labor's Employment Standards Administration and you can bring civil action against your employer for denying you FMLA leave (of course you need all your proof, etc. and having a lawyer would probably be a good idea as well). Maybe you can call this Federal Department if need be.

Also...I'm sorry that I don't know your history, are you currently seeing pain management at all? Or is your current doctor trying to work with you to try to control your pain at all?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 639
   Posted 11/13/2008 12:28 PM (GMT -6)   

I'm afraid I don't know your story either, but I have to agree with everyone else. If you've followed the protocol established by your business and the FMLA law, you are well within your rights to take this to the next level - be that a corporate office or an attorney. The first thing I'd suggest is that you make sure you have documentation of each and every request you've made for the leave and also documentation of her denials. If you take that information to a lawyer who is familiar with this area of law, I would think you would have a strong case.

I am so sorry you are feeling so terrible. I do understand a little of what it is like. I, too, am trying to work right now, but thankfully I have a job that is much more accommodating to my physical needs and limitations. Even with that, I am in terrible pain and exceedingly exhausted by the end of my work day. I have been forced to take days (like today) where I call in sick just because my body is too beaten down to carry me out the door in the morning. I can't imagine having to do physical labor.

I think FMLA is a good first step. Unfortunately, you may have to consider as a next step either disability or trying to find a different type of work that will be more forgiving to your spine. I know it stinks. It is part of that death of the life we knew once upon a time, isn't it? It hurts to give up those little pieces of ourselves - to lose the battle with pain in any little part of our lives. I am so sorry that you are going through this too.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2317
   Posted 11/13/2008 12:46 PM (GMT -6)   
So sorry to hear of your struggles.

Here are the guidelines to know if you qualify:

Q: Which employees are eligible to take FMLA leave?
A: Employees are eligible to take FMLA leave if they have worked for their employer for at least 12 months, and have worked for at least 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months, and work at a location where at least 50 employees are employed by the employer within 75 miles.

Website: http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/fmla/

Assuming you qualify for FMLA, it seems like you have a couple of steps to start to get the protection you need.

1. Demand (firmly, but nicely) in a written letter to the HR rep a written response explaining the reason the FMLA protection was denied [maybe it's something simple -- the first time I was denied, it turned out to be just because my dr. did not list the exact number of days per month I was expected to be absent (hint: better to guess high than to guess low). All he had to do was put change "intermittent absences" to "up to 20 absences per month" and the FMLA was approved. Another time they denied it & it turned it to be because they claimed my dr's handwriting was illegible. I typed the same words & had him re-sign it & it was approved. The FMLA people never gave me a reason either time until I demanded one in writing, so see if just being conscientious & persistent won't get you the approval - or at least a rationale for the denial. Worst case, the explanation of denial of coverage (unless you don't meet the req's above) will be a good starting place for bringing litigation.

2. Tell your co-workers that you appreciate their concern, but that you prefer not to talk about your health in the workplace. Remind them once after that. If the continue, you can talk to your manager about the co-workers. Technically, it is harassment for them to keep bothering you if you asked them to stop & is considered to cause a hostile work environment. I wouldn't use those words if at all possible, but explain to your manager that it makes it difficult for you to re-focus on your work when you have to respond to inquiries about your health. Tell him/her that it is upsetting & makes you feel uncomfortable. If it still continues after that, start writing your complaints down on paper or in an email (and keep a copy for yourself) & send to your manager & HR.

One other little tidbit for you, in my company at least, people who list multiple conditions on their FMLA paperwork are more often denied than those that list only a single condition per application. It shouldn't be that way & probably isn't legal, but if there's any sort of simple remedy to get you FMLA coverage, it would be a far easier & less stressful option than litigation.

Another option for you might be to get some sort of job modifications under the ADA. I'm always surprised at how many things count as "reasonable" accommodations. It might be worth looking into.

Best of luck getting coverage & I hope you can find some relief from the pain soon.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 315
   Posted 11/13/2008 1:04 PM (GMT -6)   
You can also go to your local Department of Vocational and Rehabilitation Services office for help and/or guidance regarding work accomodations. You fill out an application, then set up an appointment with a counselor. Then you have to get copies of your medical records to give to them, they review it, then decide if they can help you or not. They are much less strict in their guidelines than say, SSD. They can help anyone with a disability, you do not have to be in Worker's Comp or anything like that. Anyone with a disability can walk in off the street and apply. They may be able to help you get work accomodations as well. I personally have multiple medical problems, along with pain. My last job was very accomodating and understanding, but,unfortunately, they went bankrupt and out of business. Then I had to go to unemployment, etc...one of the re-employment counselors of course noticed I had something wrong, as I walk slow and with a limp. He asked what was wrong, but I didn't want to tell him because on UE, one is supposed to be ready and able to do any work, which there are certain things I cannot physically do. But he was very nice, and he brought me upstairs to DVRS (which I had never heard of before) and told them they might be able to help me. So the process went from there for me. After they got all of my medical records, my counselor called and said I was definitely qualified for their services. So it sounds to me like you would probably qualify as well.
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