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Thread: Return to work - easily flustered?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    197

    Return to work - easily flustered?

    Just wondering if, on returning to work, you had any difficulty transitioning back? I feel easily overwhelmed by the deadlines and information I'm supposed to be picking up (my job was changed while I was gone and I have new clients and a new group to work with) and snapped at my boss last week. Now I'm having a come-to-Jesus meeting this week when I'm in the office and am really dreading it. I was doing okay but she caught me when I was really in the weeds and feeling like I couldn't get anything right and I just popped and mouthed off. I know I was out of line, but sometimes I feel like a 2 year old - I know what I am trying to say or do, but I can't get my brain to do it. I still feel like sometimes I'm crawling through mental mud when there are instant messages, deadlines, email notifications, etc. all happening at the same time.

    Is this just me?
    Female, age 38
    4 years of bracing, concluded at 42*upper/38*lower
    currently 64*upper/40*lower
    Fused T3-L4 on Feb 23 2011
    now 32*upper/18* lower

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    213
    How long has it been since your surgery?

    not sure how large a company you work for but if it has an HR intervention or employee counseling organization, you may suggest in the meeting you need to meet with these organizations since it is obvious the trama of the surgery is still affecting you. It sounds like you are a business professional and the emotions and your reaction are proof you are still on the mend--and not 100%.

    Because of this, you need to work with HR regarding still being technically "disabled" albeit, temporary.

    Refer to the EEO laws: http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/accommodation.html

    Your employer must provide reasonable accomodation.

    My two cents.
    Discovered scoliosis when 15 years old.
    Wore Milwaulkee Brace for 1.5 years.
    Top curve 85 degrees, bottom curve 60 degrees

    Surgery completed August 23, 2011 (during an earthquake, can you believe that?)
    Dr. Charles Edwards, II
    The Spine Center at Mercy Hospital in Baltimore, MD
    Before and after xrays:
    http://www.valley-designs.com/myspine

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    177
    We're only a few months apart recovery-wise, and I can definitely relate, and I only work from home! I feel like I have "surgery brain"...some days I have a harder time retaining numbers/info/names etc than I did pre-op. And if it's a new procedure, I sometimes need more time to figure it out. Generally I feel normal, but some days I swear I have the patience and stamina of a 3 year old lol. I definitely feel the stress of deadlines a lot more right now, and busy days are absolutely exhausting. Thankfully I can take it easier on those days, and can keep my frustrations pretty well hidden in the privacy of my home office. And I'd much rather be exhausted than in pain!

    But I can't imagine having this surgery and then returning to a whole new job! Give yourself lots of slack!!!

    I think our bodies are still primarily focused on healing at this point, and so our brains get the short end of the stick lol. I sometimes can't remember if I've washed my hair, two minutes after I've washed it lol.
    Rebecca
    Age: 28
    Dx w/ scoli @ age 12 S curves T-40* L-42*
    wore night bending brace as teenager
    Curves changed to 50's plus or minus
    herniated disc L2-3, Discectomy October 2007
    fusion L2-3 November 2008
    Revision L2-3 Fusion, Removal of hardware August 2009
    Curves measuring 52 T&L September 2010
    Fused T4-L4, all posterior December 27th 2010
    gained almost two inches in height

    Before and After Exterior
    Before and After X-rays
    My blog: http://herscoliosisjourney.blogspot.com/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    197
    Oh and good luck being on a conference call and waiting for a break in conversation to ask a question or make a point - by the time it gets to me I've forgotten and/or fumble for the words. SO ANNOYING.
    Female, age 38
    4 years of bracing, concluded at 42*upper/38*lower
    currently 64*upper/40*lower
    Fused T3-L4 on Feb 23 2011
    now 32*upper/18* lower

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,443
    Quote Originally Posted by Lilysaidwhat View Post
    Is this just me?
    Nope.

    I had my x-ray icons setup on my desktop so I could quickly open and explain what it was that I went through. Most donít have a clue, but after they realize how serious this stuff really is, they cut some slack....

    The transition back to work can be daunting. I guess the best way without melting down is to put one toe in at a time. Part time truly is the best way to do this.....I know if I didnít feel comfortable dealing with boatloads of e-mails was to shoot those off to someone else that can help handle with some of the mental logistics.

    A full recovery can take years....this includes getting your mind back on the tracks again. Try not to derail, just go a little slower for now.

    Take a deep breath....recovery is one day at a time.
    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 62, the new 63...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PSA T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    197
    Thanks for the validation you guys. My meeting is this morning at 11:30 and I am dreading it. It's hard to explain to someone what sort of mental gymnastics I'm still going through, because they look at me and say, "You look fantastic and so tall and straight!" but by 3 in the afternoon, I'm beaten, exhausted, feeling that 5 lb bag of sand on my upper back and easily flustered.

    I'm supposed to be back full time in another week. I don't see that happening. It doesn't help that I was already in a semi-toxic work environment to begin with...the stress was high even with a fully functioning brain! Now? I just don't know what to do.
    Female, age 38
    4 years of bracing, concluded at 42*upper/38*lower
    currently 64*upper/40*lower
    Fused T3-L4 on Feb 23 2011
    now 32*upper/18* lower

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    312
    Your meeting is long over by now. I do hope it went well. I'll be watching for your post-meeting post.

    Everything is just harder when you're recuperating from a big hit like this surgery. But, like you said, it's hard for people to understand that. I think that most people think that people are up to/almost up to 100% by 2 or 3 weeks, and maybe have a little "way to go" after that. That's just not the case with a (long) spinal fusion surgery for adult scoliosis.
    Fused T-3 to L-3, Aug 25
    Hardware removal surgery, Nov 2, 2010
    Fused T-10 to L-2, osteotomy, Feb 22, 2011

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern CA
    Posts
    2,267
    I do not work but I certainly relate to your situation. I have to write everything down and hope that I do not lose my list. When I make a phone call , if I am put on hold, I cannot remember what I was calling about

    Good luck


    Melissa
    Melissa

    Fused from C2 - sacrum 7/2011

    April 21, 2020- another broken rod surgery

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,263
    "When I make a phone call , if I am put on hold, I cannot remember what I was calling about"

    That happens to me and I have no excuses.
    Surgery March 3, 2009 at almost 58, now 63.
    Dr. Askin, Brisbane, Australia
    T4-Pelvis, Posterior only
    Osteotomies and Laminectomies
    Was 68 degrees, now 22 and pain free

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern CA
    Posts
    2,267
    Quote Originally Posted by JenniferG View Post
    "When I make a phone call , if I am put on hold, I cannot remember what I was calling about"

    That happens to me and I have no excuses.
    Great .. Now I do not feel so bad

    Melissa
    Melissa

    Fused from C2 - sacrum 7/2011

    April 21, 2020- another broken rod surgery

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    416

    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by mabeckoff View Post
    Great .. Now I do not feel so bad

    Melissa
    LOL, not only do I forget what I was calling about, but I forget WHO I was calling! I've been blaming it on my age...
    May 2008 Fusion T4 - S1, Pre-op Curves T45, L70 (age 48). Unsuccessful surgery.

    March 18, 2010 (age 50). Revision with L3 Osteotomy, Replacement of hardware T11 - S1 , addition of bilateral pelvic fixation. Correction of sagittal imbalance and kyphosis.

    January 24, 2012 (age 52) Revision to repair pseudoarthrosis and 2 broken rods at L3/L4.

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