Author Topic: 6 Week PostOp Sugeon's Visit / Work Issues  (Read 12294 times)

epodjn

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Re: 6 Week PostOp Sugeon's Visit / Work Issues
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2009, 12:10:16 pm »
You are doing great! You are doing all the right things for you!! Your first job from surgery until recovery (and that's a long time) is YOU! I am amazed that how well you are dealing with all this. I am nearly twice your age, my kids are raised, and I have had a lot of life experiences and this has still been such a hard road. I can't imagine doing this a a younger person, with small children.
NO ONE except the people here have a clue about what this is really like. There is no way to explain it to someone even if they wanted to know.
You described your feelings very well and I could total relate. I felt just that way at 6 weeks post-op. I just want you to know that time heals not only a lot of the physical problems but also the emotional one. I'm 11 months post-op and I feel so much better about myself and all I have been through. Give it time. This will all get better.
Left side 3.2cm AN/FN removed 12/8/08 Dr's. Shelton and Reichman. SSD, facial paralysis,taste issues, lateral tarrsoraphy 6/25/09,scheduled for eye and nasal valve surgery 6/22/11 life is GOOD!

Nickittynic

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Re: 6 Week PostOp Sugeon's Visit / Work Issues
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2009, 07:36:06 am »
It's been another 6 weeks since my first post in this thread and just wanted to give an update -

I'm still not back to work. Though the surgeon thought I could go back anytime after Nov 6th (after seeing me for 5 minutes), my PT (who I've seen 2-3x/wk since surgery) thought it best to wait until Nov 22nd, when my short-term disability ran out anyway. She recommended starting with reduced hour shifts and working up to full-time.
I went back to work on Nov 23rd and got approved by employee health (they just sign a paper saying you're good to go, don't take vital signs or do an exam or anything) and talked to my manager, who was happy to accommodate part-time status. Then, on Nov 24th, I had my Executive Functioning Test with a SLP, and she said "Is there anyway you can postpone your return to work until we're done testing?" The formalized testing ended up okay I guess, but there were some sheets that my husband, my mom, and I were supposed to fill out, and my PT talked to my SLP as well, and between all that stuff it showed issues with memory, attention, and multi-tasking. Kind of important things for nurses.
I also started seeing a therapist who is working with me on my depression. At this point I'm having a rough time taking care of myself some days, so I'm not sure how I'm supposed to take care of patients. Whether this is all AN related or just my own long-standing craziness gone worse, I don't know. Probably both.

Anyway, at this point I can't go back to work without a dr's note saying I can, but I haven't had disability pmt for the last month because I don't have a dr's note to be out, either. I thought my SLP was taking care of talking with the surgeon and all, since she was the one who said to stay out longer, but the short term disability people called me yesterday and said the surgeon "won't approve anymore time off". I haven't been able to get in touch with my SLP (was out since tuesday and had a sub in for therapy). My regular therapist said if the SLP started a statement of recommendation regarding work, she would add to it with support from a mental standpoint.

So, I'm stuck in a limbo land where I'm not sure what to do.
I'm just trying to follow everyone's directions but yet I feel like I'm being made into some sort of liar! It's not like I like having zero income for my family, and it's not like disability pays that much anyway. I mean hello, we're not having parties over here to celebrate no working or something.  :-\  As far as my own personal readiness - I don't even know anymore. I'm 'chalenging' myself with holiday baking, and frequently find myself standing in the middle of the kitchen - flour and dishes everywhere and the oven alarm beeping, not 100% sure what to do. But I haven't burned anything yet so that's good!

I scheduled an appointment with my primary care so she can give me a note one way or the other. I feel sorry for her because it's been a couple years since I've been in for a physical (they had my charts under my maiden name and I've been married 4.5 years) - won't this all be a surprise!

Thanks for letting me vent/whine some more. This has all been such drama.  ::)
« Last Edit: December 12, 2009, 07:55:50 am by Nickittynic »
25 year old OBGYN nurse, wife, mother of two
5.5cm x 3.1cm left side AN removed via retrosigmoid 9/09 @ Hopkins
SSD, Tinnitus, Chronic Migraines, Facial paralysis (improving!)
Resolved - Left sided weakness, Cognitive issues
Gold weight, upper and lower punctal plugs, tarsorrhaphy

pjb

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Re: 6 Week PostOp Sugeon's Visit / Work Issues
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2009, 08:18:43 am »
I am so sorry for you that is just horrible that the surgeon's won't fill out your disability form I think that it would make them look bad and that the surgery wasn't a success.. Yes maybe the tumor was taken care of and the surgery site was a success so that is all they care about. But they are not very sympathetic with post-op issues that are real and do not admit to other problems that can be associated with the surgery.   I have been lucky with my surgeons with the disability forms but they are not very concerned with post-op issues as a real concern, my GP has explained in detail issues that does come along with this type of surgery.

I hope things will be sorted out you, you definitely do not need the extra stress,

Pat
Diagnosed with a 1 cm. AN had Retrosigmoid
Approach surgery July of 2009, several problems after surgery.

Jim Scott

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Re: 6 Week PostOp Sugeon's Visit / Work Issues
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2009, 03:14:51 pm »
Hi, Nikki ~

Boy, you've really been on a roller coaster dealing with your post-op problems and work-related issues.  No wonder you sometimes feel confused!   Who wouldn't? 

The temporary loss of the disability income may not be crucial to your standard of living but I'm sure it would be helpful.  That your surgeon won't approve you taking more time off but the hospital administration (via the SLP) not wanting you back quite yet is definitely frustrating.  It appears as if your only real option is to get along without the disability income until you can be cleared for a return to work, albeit at less hours and/or without performing patient-critical functions for awhile.  Healing does take time, as many of us can attest.  It's obvious (from your post) that you aren't fully healed and ready to resume your nursing duties at the same level you once did, at least for some time.  That doesn't mean forever.  At your age (24), I'm sure you'll recuperate fully in a few more months. 

That your challenging yourself (in the kitchen) is a good sign, even if you end up feeling a bit adrift at times.  It shows that you're willing and ready to do what you can, even if it isn't always 'perfect'.  That kind of motivation is crucial to seeing a return to full function mode.  I trust that your PCP will give you that clearance to return to your nursing job, soon.  As for venting, if not here, where?  Besides, we don't mind a little drama every so often.  ;) 

Jim

   

4.5 cm AN diagnosed 5/06.  Retrosigmoid surgery 6/06.  Follow-up FSR completed 10/06.  Tumor shrinkage & necrosis noted on last MRI.  Life is good. 

Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is.  The way we cope with it is what makes the difference.

gingerbread6

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Re: 6 Week PostOp Sugeon's Visit / Work Issues
« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2009, 05:52:37 am »
Hi Nikki,

I've been reading your posts and really feel for you. I think the forum folks have given you some good advice. Take it easy, keep the faith and everything will work out for you. You are a young, strong person and things will get better for you. Hang in there!! Stay positive.

Take it easy in the kitchen! Have fun over the holidays with your kids and family. We are all here for you, anytime you need to vent about anything. I agree with Jim, A little drama once in awhile on the forum keeps us on our toes!!

God Bless you,

Gingerbread 6

ombrerose4

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Re: 6 Week PostOp Sugeon's Visit / Work Issues
« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2009, 07:05:37 pm »
Hi Nikki,
Just catching up with some forum news and have been reading your posts. Do not let yourself or others make you feel guilty about not feeling ready to return to work. I am about 11 weeks post op and can't imagine going back to work yet. Brain surgery is not like riding a bicycle! There are so many issues all of us have, but because we may 'look' okay, others think we are back to our old selves. I used to work full time and go to school in the evening for nursing. I worked in case management dealing with nurse and insurance companies (mostly computer and phone work). I can not imagine taliking on the phone with an insurance company, while answering questions from the case manager nurse and looking info up on the computer, all at the same time. Being a nurse is a stressful enough profession when you are strong and healthy, so do what is best for you and take the time you need to recover. I know it can be difficult financially, I am on disability and it doesn't pay much, but I know I need more time. I think you are doing amazingly well, with young children this is a real challenge!. My children are grown, so I don't have that issue, but there are days when I get up at 8AM and before I know it it's 12 and I haven't even taken a shower. It like I lose time. I have been very lucky because my doctor has been great at giving me time off and filling my disability forms out. I am going to return to school at the end of January and hope my brain can still deal with the pressures of nursing school. As for work, I don't know yet. I wish you all the best.
Retrosigmoid 9/24/09
AN 2.4+ cm left side
Mount Sinai Hospital, NYC (Dr. Bederson and Dr. Choe)
BAHA surgery 1/4/2010

pjb

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Re: 6 Week PostOp Sugeon's Visit / Work Issues
« Reply #21 on: December 16, 2009, 08:46:00 am »
Hi Nikki,
Just catching up with some forum news and have been reading your posts. Do not let yourself or others make you feel guilty about not feeling ready to return to work. I am about 11 weeks post op and can't imagine going back to work yet. Brain surgery is not like riding a bicycle! There are so many issues all of us have, but because we may 'look' okay, others think we are back to our old selves. I used to work full time and go to school in the evening for nursing. I worked in case management dealing with nurse and insurance companies (mostly computer and phone work). I can not imagine taliking on the phone with an insurance company, while answering questions from the case manager nurse and looking info up on the computer, all at the same time. Being a nurse is a stressful enough profession when you are strong and healthy, so do what is best for you and take the time you need to recover. I know it can be difficult financially, I am on disability and it doesn't pay much, but I know I need more time. I think you are doing amazingly well, with young children this is a real challenge!. My children are grown, so I don't have that issue, but there are days when I get up at 8AM and before I know it it's 12 and I haven't even taken a shower. It like I lose time. I have been very lucky because my doctor has been great at giving me time off and filling my disability forms out. I am going to return to school at the end of January and hope my brain can still deal with the pressures of nursing school. As for work, I don't know yet. I wish you all the best.

I am not a nurse but I to work with the Insurance Companies and Case Managers I am an Accounts Receivable Bookkeeper and I went back to work for about 3 weeks and could not handle the phone conversations and also handling of the payments made by insurance companies and other clients to overwhelming and had to go back out again.  I feel that in some way I have failed and maybe I am overreacting because I read some posts that people have gone back to work and everything is going smoothly for them. Also as you said people at work looked at me and said look okay but no one sees the internal side of our healing.  But I have to convince myself everyone heals differently at this and it does take time and I cannot stress over it.

I hope everything goes well for you when you return to school in January.

Regards,

Pat
Diagnosed with a 1 cm. AN had Retrosigmoid
Approach surgery July of 2009, several problems after surgery.

Mei Mei

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Re: 6 Week PostOp Sugeon's Visit / Work Issues
« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2009, 01:25:47 pm »
Dear Nikki,
I really sorry to hear your story of Dr. T. as we share the same doc. and I have an appointment to visit him for the first time on Monday morning.  I was going to bring disability forms to my post op visit at the suggestion of my Employee Assistance Program but reading all of these posts this is a real disappointment.  You might want to try getting a second opinion neurosurgeon that is not so sensitive about putting his career on the line in signing the disability papers.  It's sad that it gets down to personalities and legal issues and not wanting to help the patient.   Take good care of yourself and use your EAP Office;  they are there to help you.  You are lucky to have your PT and Manager on your side.  That's half the battle. 
Sincerely,
Mei Mei

1 cm Tumor RetrosigmoidSurgery on Jan 12 at Johns Hopkins
Drs. Niparko and Tamargo
35dB loss pre surgery and now SSD
Post surgical Headaches and Tinnitus
Dr Ducic Georgetown Excision Surgery May 2011
Dr. Schwartz GW  Titanium Mesh  March 2012
Drs Kalhorn/Baker, Georgetown Removal of Titanium Mesh

moe

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Re: 6 Week PostOp Sugeon's Visit / Work Issues
« Reply #23 on: December 21, 2009, 10:37:17 am »
 As far as my own personal readiness - I don't even know anymore. I'm 'chalenging' myself with holiday baking, and frequently find myself standing in the middle of the kitchen - flour and dishes everywhere and the oven alarm beeping, not 100% sure what to do. But I haven't burned anything yet so that's good!

Hi Nikki,
Actually challenging yourself in the kitchen is a great multi tasking exercise. ;) (Boy I know what you mean about that!-sounds like me all the time) You just have to give yourself more time. It  takes a while, sometimes a long while. I hope that you can get the time off that you think you need from work...
Just keep going, girl, slowly things will improve...
I remember trying to play the piano months after my surgery, and couldn't quite get the notes out as easily as I used to. With practice it all came back.
Once you DO go back to work,  you are exercising your brain on things that you know and that come naturally. Just ease into it.....
You also have the multitask of mothering. It is all so emotionally draining but it does get better. Hang in there.
I hope this helps. The TIME factor is such a tricky thing. Everyone is different. Some go back to work, others have to wait.
Maureen

06/06-Translab 3x2.5 vascular L AN- MAMC,Tacoma WA
Facial nerve cut,reanastomosed.Tarsorrhaphy
11/06. Gold weight,tarsorrhaphy reversed
01/08- nerve transposition-(12/7) UW Hospital, Seattle
5/13/10 Gracilis flap surgery UW for smile restoration :)
11/10/10 BAHA 2/23/11 brow lift/canthoplasty