How will I know when/if I'm ready to go back to work?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by HeavenlyRN, Feb 19, 2010.

  1. HeavenlyRN

    HeavenlyRN New Member

    I was put on STD on December 23rd due to severe back pain and what was most likely a fibro flare. Sine then I've had cortisone injections in my sacro-iliac joints, am going to aquatherapy and acupuncture and have pretty much just been hanging around the house.

    I'm still exhausted. My back pain has subsided significantly. My sleep is, well........horrible. Just was diagnosed yesterday with a nasty kidney infection and I have an appointment on March 22nd to see a nephrologist. My moods are extremely labile - fine one minute and sobbing the next.

    I miss my job (hospice nurse) but know that I will not be able to continue in that role. I will most likely have to take a desk job - but hopefully in the same organization.

    I have just been informed by my employer that it is time to apply for LTD.

    I am scheduled to see my doctor on March 2nd. Obviously I will be honest with him and tell him how I am feeling emotionally and physically. My concern is that he will say, "Well, do YOU think you're ready to go back to work?"

    I just honestly don't know. I could probably sit at a desk (as long as I could get up frequently to walk around a little bit) but I'm afraid I'd be asleep by noon.......head on my desk and drooling! So - what about a part-time job? Well, they usually don't come with benefits and right now, even though I'm on disability, I am the one who holds the medical benefits in this family.

    I'm sure some of you have been through something like this before. Any suggestions for me before I see my doc on March 2nd?

  2. JLH

    JLH New Member

    Is there any way that you can get up at the time you would have to if you were going to work, and do things around the house to "mimic" like you are at work all day, just to see how you feel and how sleepy you get?

    Go to a friend of relatives house and help them out (like you would be on your job), etc.

    I don't know what else to suggest!

    Sometimes, it's not a matter IF you are able to go back, but it's just a matter of fact that you HAVE TO go back if you are your family's only source of medical benefits. But then, do you have children at home, or a sick spouse that need a lot of benefits? You know how many times you have to go to the doctor, fill scripts, etc., and need the benefits.

    If you file for LTD, will you still receive your benefits?

    It's a big decision for you. In the long run, YOU are the only one that knows if you can make it on the job all day, whether or not it's a desk job or your former position.

    Good luck.
  3. HeavenlyRN

    HeavenlyRN New Member

    Thanks JLH, for the suggestions. I've tried the getting up early and staying busy all day routine, but that was a month or so ago. I'll give it another try.

    Unfortunately, I DO have a spouse who is waiting for an answer from a judge as to whether or not he will be approved for SSDI. Between the 2 of us, life is not cheap! Last year alone, we spent all $5000.00 of my flex spending - and that was on doctor's visits, meds, etc - AFTER my insurance had paid their part! I can't even image what life would be like if we didn't have health insurance or the flex spending. My 30 year old son was born with a birth defect and required 17 surgeries before the age of 18. Luckily we had health insurance and I vowed that I would NEVER be without health insurance. So, that is actually my # 1 concern.

    I will still receive health insurance through my emplyer if I go on LTD - but I will have to pay for it. Right now, on STD, that amounts to the monthly amount I receive from STD. Easy come- easy go!!

    It's a conundrum for sure (I like to use at least one "big" word a day just to make sure my brain is still working!!). You're right, I'm the only one who can make THE decision, but I was just curious as to how other people have handled the situation.

    Thanks again