Jump to content


Photo

Returned To Work After Medical Leave


  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 shallow_water

shallow_water

    Member

  • Members
  • 75 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Pennsylvania
  • Interests:The lights of my life are God,my husband, my sons and of course my dog jake!

Posted 08 May 2008 - 07:17 PM

I returned to work after short term disability and am being watched like a hawk! I work as a secretary in medical records. I have worked for this company for more than 2yrs and since I have come back to work i feel as iff my bosses are constantly checking on me.

Before I left for leave I posted in my cubicle information on Narcolepsy from symptoms to effects on life in general so that others would be able to read it instead of me repeating the same thing over and over. This was hanging in there for 4 mths and the day I returned I was told it was not appropriate and it was taken down and put in a drawer. I felt crushed as if what I experience on a daily basis isn't important- Did it really matter since it was in my personal space?

The next day I had a bad sleep attack so I walked outside and briskly walked around the parking lot then went back to my desk and worked standing up until the excrutiating sleepiness faded. I was watched the last 2 hrs of the day by my boss walking by my desk 15 times.

Day three I was extremely exhausted - I went to bed late due to my DS's sports game, in order to be to work on time I wore jeans instead of dress pants as I did not have time to iron or put them in the dryer for a minute. I was told that jeans are for fridays. I have worn jeans to work at least 2-3 days a week before my leave. I replied "ok" and left it at that only to realize 5 min. later my co-worker also had jeans on but nothing was said to him.


Everyday they have something to say or pick at. I was so upset I cried today at work. I did NOT ask for this strange sleep disorder, I am NOT making my symptoms up, oh how i'd love to be just normal but this is what god has given me so I must make the best of it.

How can I deal with bosses who choose to ignore this disabling disorder and make the best of the situation? The saddest part about this is that my bosses are educated and intelligent nurses!I have not asked for special accomodations at this point as I am trying to be as "normal" as possible and not create any hostility with others thinking I get special treatment.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Treading in "shallow water"

#2 Chuck Z.

Chuck Z.

    Member

  • Members
  • 150 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Philadelphia Area
  • Interests:Music, Photography

Posted 08 May 2008 - 07:41 PM

To be blunt, you may just be hyper-sensative right now? maybe, if your coworkers are medically "aware", they are simply concerned and are monitoring you to see if they should offer help?

I am concerned to hear that they did ask for you to take down the lit., but maybe they did it more for *you* than them? The less you dwell (and having it visible to you *will* make you dwell rolleyes.gif ), I'm sure, the more productive you will be!

Drawing from my own experience, I ask myself, what's in a label anyways? eg N, depression, fibro, etc, etc. As long as you find a treatment that makes you feel better and improves your quality of life, that's all that should matter, right?

#3 shallow_water

shallow_water

    Member

  • Members
  • 75 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Pennsylvania
  • Interests:The lights of my life are God,my husband, my sons and of course my dog jake!

Posted 09 May 2008 - 06:14 PM

Blunt is what I needed! Yes, I do believe I am overly sensitive at this point.

I also found out that some co-workers thought I was just on vacation and were a bit upset because they've worked there forever and never got a vacation that long!

Thanks for the reply-

#4 Chuck Z.

Chuck Z.

    Member

  • Members
  • 150 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Philadelphia Area
  • Interests:Music, Photography

Posted 09 May 2008 - 06:23 PM

rolleyes.gif

#5 Toph4er

Toph4er

    Member

  • Members
  • 139 posts
  • Location:So. Cal
  • Interests:Narcolepsy, chemistry, soccer, video games, sleeping

Posted 09 May 2008 - 09:22 PM

QUOTE (shallow_water @ May 9 2008, 04:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Blunt is what I needed! Yes, I do believe I am overly sensitive at this point.

I also found out that some co-workers thought I was just on vacation and were a bit upset because they've worked there forever and never got a vacation that long!

Thanks for the reply-

lol, I hope you are feeling better about it then smile.gif

Chris"Toph4er"

#6 sleepylama

sleepylama

    Member

  • Members
  • 33 posts

Posted 09 May 2008 - 11:11 PM

Hey, I wanted to chime in here. It sounds like you probably are sensitive and emotional, you are going through a lot, but it also sounds like some of what you are feeling is justified.

I have been in this boat w/disability for a long while, I am now on long term disability, but for years I had FMLA available, though I only really used it in the last year. My use of disability was for myself and my son for another condition, until the Narcolepsy really hit and then was diagnosed. I have a friend who also has a condition qualifying for FMLA/disability. Since she was born w/her condition, I learned a lot from her experiences over the years.

My advice is to document everything you are feeling. Keep a "journal" of sorts, with the date/time and incident. Give a description of the event, how you felt and what was done/said. Also, in situations like the jeans or being asked to remove your information from the cube wall, I have found it beneficial to follow-up conversations w/management w/an email "confirming" what was requested of you, on going expectations, etc and then to save the email and responses you receive.

The journal doesn't take very much time to keep track of once you get used to it and if things did turn out negatively, you will be thankful for having the documentation. If it is truly just sensitivity due to having been out and your own emotions, then it will have been just a few minutes here or there to jot the info down and nothing really lost.

If management asks what you are doing, just explain that you keep a log of all requests and how they were handled. It is not illegal to do that and is the honest answer to the situation. It will probably also help them to understand that you take all of this seriously as well.

Good luck to you on your return to work. I truly hope it is very successful!!

#7 caroline

caroline

    Member

  • Members
  • 31 posts
  • Location:Tennessee
  • Interests:I just found this site today, and am very thankful that I did. Today, I have been feeling overwhelmed by this disease; so, it is good to know that I am not alone. All my life, I have been easily tired and needed more sleep than most people, but I just thought it was my metabolism or that I was just lazy. I am 59 years old, and only got my diagnosis of narcolepsy less than a year ago. I can remember complaining of feeling tired all the time, but the doctors usually recomended a healthier life style ie lose weight. I did, then found it was the eating all the time that had kept me awake to drive, to work,even to read a book.

Posted 10 May 2008 - 08:02 AM

I am a registered nurse who works in state government, for DMRS, which is all about disabilities; so, I did not think there would be any problems with any accomandations that I would need. When I discussed my diagnosis, everyone seemed supportive, and I did not even worry too much about having my doctor write the limitations down for me. At the time of my diagnosis, my job probably only required 25% driving, which was my major issue, but things have changed! Due to budget problems, we have been asked to take on more and more task, and I do not mind the extra work, but the driving issues are beginning to take a toll. We were asked to monitor some state mandated classes given at agencies that receive funding; some of these classes are given at night and on weekends. Anyway on Monday, I monitored a class that was from 5-11 pm, and had a 2 hour drive to my home after the class. I had to take extra medication-just to stay awake, and the drive home was very scary. I do not need to be driving this late, it is dangerous for me and for others. My doctor has advised me that I should stop every 30 minutes while driving, walk around, etc for at least 5 minutes. I am supposed to pull over immediately upon feeling sleepy-the problem is the trip to my house is dark, country roads-with not many stops along the way. I love my job, my co-workers, and my boss; how do I tell them that I can no longer do this? I know that I have to, and that I must have my doctor write up my limitations, but I almost feel that I will be letting the whole team down.
This is my very first post! How much it has helped me to read the writings, and realize that I am not alone with this disease.

#8 WakeChallenged

WakeChallenged

    Member

  • Members
  • 17 posts
  • Location:Missouri

Posted 15 May 2008 - 01:39 AM

I don't think you are being overly sensitive. I agree with Toph4er's advise that you should document things that happen like the jeans incident. I don't see how they can justify telling you not to wear jeans, but then say nothing to the next person that has jeans on.

Even though you work with medical people and nurses, that does not always mean they know what Narcolepsy/Cataplexy is or how it affects a person. Since I have been on medical leave, the "registered nurse" that was working my case had to turn my case over to a doctor because she admitted she knew nothing about the disorder. I am finding that is more the rule than the exception. My neurologist told me that most doctors know very little about Narcolepsy and did not even know what Cataplexy was.

#9 Toph4er

Toph4er

    Member

  • Members
  • 139 posts
  • Location:So. Cal
  • Interests:Narcolepsy, chemistry, soccer, video games, sleeping

Posted 17 May 2008 - 01:15 AM

Err, that was lama's suggestion not mine, but thanks anyways smile.gif

Still hopin your doin alright there!
Chris'Toph4er"

#10 shallow_water

shallow_water

    Member

  • Members
  • 75 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Pennsylvania
  • Interests:The lights of my life are God,my husband, my sons and of course my dog jake!

Posted 20 May 2008 - 05:52 PM

Thank you all for your comments. Just to update I am feeling more comfortable at work and being treated as I was before. I think alot had to do with the understanding of what it was going to be like having me back.

I do not hide the fact I am tired or when I am having a bad sleep attack. I explain what it feels like and what I have to do to cope with it. I explain that I need a nap on my lunch hour and if I am not back in an hour please call my cell phone! I think because I am not making a big deal out of it and am open with how I feel or what I need it has made things a bit easier.

Now if I could only get rid of the BRAIN FOG!!!!!!

#11 maggie

maggie

    Member

  • Members
  • 13 posts

Posted 22 July 2008 - 07:43 PM

QUOTE (shallow_water @ May 10 2008, 12:14 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Blunt is what I needed! Yes, I do believe I am overly sensitive at this point.

I also found out that some co-workers thought I was just on vacation and were a bit upset because they've worked there forever and never got a vacation that long!

Thanks for the reply-



My situation is different. I was a school bus driver and when my manditory drug test came up positive for amphetamines ( I take Adderall) I had to stop driving, not because of the meds but because of the diagnosis, Narcolepsy. Using the Americans with Disabilities Act I was kept on as an employee but given a job with more hours and less pay, $9.00 less per hour! I was very bitter and feel that I'm being watched constantly and the first time I screw up I'll be canned. I always worry that I'll doze off although I'm not cataplectic. Paranoia is a goofy thing. I am trying to stay positive because I wouldn't have been given this condition if God thought I couldn't handle it. I know I'm a good worker and my new job involves about 4.5 miles of walking every day, which is ironically harder than driving a bus! The challenges we face.

#12 doscious12

doscious12

    Member

  • Members
  • 18 posts

Posted 23 July 2008 - 01:08 AM

I had the same situation at my place of employment.They complained that i had special treatment because i had Fmla.I think u should apply because they can't fire u if u got fmla ,Unless it is something none related to N.