Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => All In A Day's Work => Topic started by: ebrochu on April 13, 2012, 02:53:56 PM

Title: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update 106!
Post by: ebrochu on April 13, 2012, 02:53:56 PM
Here's the background. It's going to be long, so thanks for reading!  :P

My coworker was off for 8 weeks due to "can't reference it cause she could look it up and find this and i'd be in trouble"  pain in her hands and legs. It's a "flaring" pain. You can be in pain from it all the time, but the flare ups are 100 times more painful. And hers seems to be linked to her emotions. Her boyfriend has a terminal disease, and while he's still mobile now, he's not going to be cured. So whenever he has a bad day, she gets upset, and her pain flares, and she needs to call in sick. But when it's not flaring, she can work.

I have absolutely NO issue with this. I am sorry that she is sick herself, and i'm incredibly sorry that her boyfriend is sick. I've always been happy to cover her shifts, and help out whenever she needs it. Except for a few instances, I've been the one to cover for her. And I was the only one who covered for her the 8 weeks she was off, as our only other worker who could do the work was off themselves due to illness. And there was NOONE else in our place of work who could do "our" job. The only way I was able to get ANY time off was to pull in other people from other "offices" so I could have rests. So while I did have "time off" it was very regimented, and I had to cancel my OWN appointments, dr visits, etc, to make sure the work was done each day. Otherwise, I literally would have been working for 8 weeks straight, 7 days a week.

When she came back from being off, I was eager to see her, because I genuinely missed her. I was tired, yes, but I was happy to have her back, and be working with her again. I have never given her ANY indication that I was negatively affected by her being off.

End Background

During that time, I discovered that I had an ovarian cyst. It was hurting me, but I soldiered through. (and it was growing, and becoming more painful).
 Our work is very physical, and it was getting more and more painful for me to work. To the point that I was on very strong pain meds just to get through the day. And it was affecting my work. Either being off the pain meds, and working through a pain haze, or being on the pain meds, and working through THAT haze. I was becoming really incapable to do my work to any positive degree. The product I was greating was poor, and not usable. It's obvious that I cannot work through the pain, or the meds.

After discussing it with my boss, she agreed that it would be best for me to go off work (onto a work supported disability program) until I was treated for the cyst. I've still been in pain even not working, and I'm incapable of bending over, picking up any object of weight, or sometimes even dressing myself properly) And it's also come to light that there may be something else in the cyst, and the word cancer has been used. But that hasn't been comfirmed yet. And if there's ever a day when i'm not in pain, i'm battling extreme nausea.

I have told my coworkers (all of them) this. I believe in being open with my life, and since my being off does affect them, they deserve to know. And my boss is keeping everyone informed with my progress, but I cannot control what she says / doesn't say.  And they've all been supporting and comforting.

Except this one woman. Who herself was off for 8 weeks, with her own illness.

She even has the other person at her disposal to take over for her. I did not. So, while they have had to pull in the same worker from another "office" to help out, this woman still has an "in office" helper who is trained in our job, and can work for her if she needs another day off.

This woman is now rather mad at me, for my being off with this cyst. She has told me that "every woman gets them, they just go away on their own, you don't need to have surgery"

But even so, I'm still in pain. It's growing, not going away. And given our work, if it was going to break, it would have. And I've been to a gyno, who, after examining me, reviewing my records and such, is talking surgery.

So, (finally) my questions are these: Is it rude of me to be off, even though it's not convenient for another coworker? It does affect her life at work. And she never knows when she is going to have a flare.

Would it be rude of me to say to her "it's alright for you to be off sick, but not me?" I feel rather upset with this whole situation. I'm not well, and she's mad at me because she can't be off whenever she wants / needs to be, in her eyes. Almost that my illness isn't as important as hers.

Finally, does anyone have any ideas as to what I can say to her when I do go back? I don't want to start a scene, but I deserve to defend myself if she attacks me. And she's the only one there that isn't ok with my being off.

If anyone has any questions, or needs clarification, I will, but this became a novel already! Thanks for any help!

Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining...HELP!
Post by: FauxFoodist on April 13, 2012, 03:03:23 PM
Nope, not rude to be off due to medical reasons.  Inconvenient for the others?  Yes...but certainly not rude.

If your boss doesn't already know, I'd take this up with the boss to shut down any further complaints from her.  If your coworker continues to take it up with you, I wouldn't even bother discussing my condition, just tell her, "If you're so concerned, I suggest you take it up with boss or HR" then beandip her.  I wouldn't bring up her eight weeks off as it doesn't matter whether or not she had been off herself; you're still entitled to medical leave (and she sounds so special that it seems difficult to fathom she doesn't remember she was off eight weeks herself).

I'd been having to deal with many multiple staffing issues due to illness, and I work in a hospital where my dept is directly involved in patient care so there is no working short on a regular basis (a few minutes here or there they can handle).  Anyway, while the multiple simultaneous illnesses is inconvenient, I wouldn't dream of telling people they aren't entitled to time off due to illness (and that would just open up huge problems for my dept anyway if we tried that).
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining...HELP!
Post by: Secret on April 13, 2012, 03:06:16 PM
 "Is it rude of me to be off, even though it's not convenient for another coworker? It does affect her life at work. And she never knows when she is going to have a flare."

This quote really bugs me.  Sometimes you have to put yourself first.  I have someone in my office who takes time off (probably more than required), the other person cancels their own apts, changes their own schedule around, makes alt arrangements at a tremendous inconvienience to herself.  I just want to say, "why are others illnesses more important than yours all the time?"  You've done your part in helping out other people now someone can help you in a pinch.

as for the rest, there are wiser minds than me on this board!
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining...HELP!
Post by: Firecat on April 13, 2012, 03:06:30 PM
Ooooohhhh...I am furious on your behalf right now  >:( >:( >:(

Let me put it succinctly:

You are not being rude. You are ill, in pain, and not capable of working. You are using what sounds like the exact same work-supported program your coworker used, for a legitimate medical reason. Just as she did.

She is not your doctor, and not all cysts are the same.  Diagnosis and treatment are for you and your doctor to determine.

When you get back, if she does say anything, I think I'd suggest refusing to engage and reporting her behavior to your boss or HR, if that's a possibility. She's so far out of line that she couldn't see the line with the Hubble. But be specific and try to keep your emotions out of it, and without mentioning your covering for her cheerfully - your boss already knows that, I'm sure. And as infuriating as it is, that's not really the issue. The issue is that she is behaving inappropriately over your taking needed medical leave.

Or, if you must say something, perhaps a look of utter astonishment and something like: "Coworker, are you accusing me of exploiting our benefits? I can't believe you have such a poor opinion of me!" And let her sputter or dig herself in deeper...her choice.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining...HELP!
Post by: Outdoor Girl on April 13, 2012, 03:20:55 PM
You are not rude!  Take care of yourself, first and foremost.

And I agree with reporting this woman further up the chain if she continues to harp on you.

I would be very hardpressed not to say, 'I can't believe you, of all people, are giving me a hard time about this.  I will be off until I'm recovered from surgery.  Do not talk to me about this issue again.'  And anytime she says something to you, turn around and walk away.

And call me petty but when I came back to work, I sure wouldn't be jumping to help her out unless expressly told to do so by my boss.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining...HELP!
Post by: DottyG on April 13, 2012, 03:26:39 PM
Quote
Ooooohhhh...I am furious on your behalf right now

This was my response to the story as well.

Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining...HELP!
Post by: That Anime Chick on April 13, 2012, 03:40:28 PM
Ooooohhhh...I am furious on your behalf right now  >:( >:( >:(

I'll join in as well. Having had to deal with various health issues over the years, I really hate it when someone starts making a fuss about something and thinking that they know better than you do with your own body.

That being said, if you are genuinely concerned that she will kick up a fuss, it might be a good idea to start a paper trail with your boss and HR so that if/when she does start in when you get back, they'll know she might do something. Or if she starts saying things while you're out, they can try to nip it in the bud before it gets out of hand.

And btw, not all cysts "go away". This is from personal experience as a teen.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining...HELP!
Post by: MrTango on April 13, 2012, 03:55:50 PM
snip...(for brevity)
And I agree with reporting this woman further up the chain if she continues to harp on harass you.

I agree with your post, with one little edit.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining...HELP!
Post by: O'Dell on April 13, 2012, 03:58:14 PM
Nope, not rude to be off due to medical reasons.  Inconvenient for the others?  Yes...but certainly not rude.

If your boss doesn't already know, I'd take this up with the boss to shut down any further complaints from her.  If your coworker continues to take it up with you, I wouldn't even bother discussing my condition, just tell her, "If you're so concerned, I suggest you take it up with boss or HR" then beandip her.  I wouldn't bring up her eight weeks off as it doesn't matter whether or not she had been off herself; you're still entitled to medical leave (and she sounds so special that it seems difficult to fathom she doesn't remember she was off eight weeks herself).

This is what I would do as well. Especially the bolded but I wouldn't bother with beandip. You are entitled to be a bit curt in response to this sort of comment.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining...HELP!
Post by: Bales on April 13, 2012, 03:58:33 PM
As far as being rude for taking care of your own health - heck no!  Please stop thinking that way.  Even without the background of you covering for her, the point is you are unable to work due to your current medical condition. 

You are kind to share those details, and now you may be realizing why some people don't - to avoid the judgement.  It's neither helpful nor appreciated and I'd be so tempted to respond to her comments with sarcasm and condescension... but to try to avoid that while still getting the point across, you could try this: 

"CW, I shared my private medical issues as a courtesy.  I need to ask you to refrain from commenting on what you think my capabilities are or should be and what my treatment plan should be.  You are not my physician.  If I continue to hear these comments, I will need to ask boss or HR to address that with you directly.  Thank you for respecting my wishes."

Good luck to you.  I hope your diagnosis turns out to be benign and you can recover quickly from the surgery.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining...HELP!
Post by: MamaMootz on April 13, 2012, 05:21:35 PM
I POD the other posters. and want to add that I have PCOS and I get painful cysts quite frequently. Not all cysts are painful but the ones that are are TERRIBLE. I can't believe co-worker said "everyone gets them all the time and they go away on their own." Good thing I wasn't in the room with her because I would have set her straight in no uncertain terms.

Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining...HELP!
Post by: ebrochu on April 13, 2012, 08:03:20 PM
I truly appreciate all these responses. You've been mirroring what I thought my reactions and responses should be, but given how I'm feeling right now, I wasn't sure I was necessarily thinking correctly. The hormone imbalance that comes with these cysts is in FULL swing.

I know I'm worth putting first as far as health goes. I'm the best one to know what I do and don't need. I guess I was think more along the lines of her having already established a precedent with being off, and then I stepped all over it. But one can't control when they are going to get sick!

I appreciate the recommendations of taking it to HR. I do have a chain of command to follow, so i do have to go to the boss first. But if she continues the harassment even after that, then it's to HR I go. Because you're all right, I shouldn't be treated like this because I'm sick enough that I can't work.

As to MamaMootz: I'm appreciative that you have an idea of what it feels like, and I sympathize with you. Right now, it feels like I've got a football sitting on my thigh when I sit even remotely forward!

thank you all! The recommendations are great, if you can keep them coming, that's awesome

Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining...HELP!
Post by: kherbert05 on April 13, 2012, 08:20:32 PM
My sister had one of these.

My sister.....
 tried to walk on a dislocated knee.
Went 4 days with an untreated broken wrist.
Went 2 days and a plane flight with an untreated broken foot.

The cyst had her doubled over crying. Your CW needs to get over herself.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining...HELP!
Post by: gramma dishes on April 13, 2012, 08:24:47 PM
Good grief!

Take care of yourself and don't worry one tiny second about that coworker!  Geesh!  You would think that she, of all people, would "get it". 

No, cysts do NOT always go away on their own.  You very well may need the surgery.  Just do what you have to do and don't let other petty people stand in  your way of taking care of YOU.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining...HELP!
Post by: Trellia on April 13, 2012, 11:06:29 PM
Ebrochu, first off, I hope all goes well with you for getting the cyst taken care of.

POD to everyone saying that you need to take care of your health first. As someone with a chronic illness that flares, I can say that we do NOT get a precedent for being off first. The time off is there for everyone who needs it. Yes, flares can be awful with stress and being unexpected, but that is our job to prepare for one and work with the boss.

I'm wondering if she is lashing out because she might be worried that she might flare up again on your time away and not be able to take time off, but even if that would the case, it's something that she would need to discuss with boss or HR and not you. I hope your boss will stop the harassment, since that is something no one needs when handling medical issues.

(If you don't mind a recommendation for the nausea, I'd suggest some mints or a wonderful product called Quease Ease that uses essential oils to be inhaled. I get some horrific nausea that comes out of nowhere. They work in seconds and don't mess with medications.)
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining...HELP!
Post by: JoyinVirginia on April 14, 2012, 12:20:43 AM
Take care of yourself and do not discuss it at all with cow-irker. Silence is best response to any complaints from her.just pretend you do not hear the comments.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining...HELP!
Post by: shhh its me on April 14, 2012, 05:38:08 AM
As far as being rude for taking care of your own health - heck no!  Please stop thinking that way.  Even without the background of you covering for her, the point is you are unable to work due to your current medical condition. 

You are kind to share those details, and now you may be realizing why some people don't - to avoid the judgement.  It's neither helpful nor appreciated and I'd be so tempted to respond to her comments with sarcasm and condescension... but to try to avoid that while still getting the point across, you could try this: 

"CW, I shared my private medical issues as a courtesy.  I need to ask you to refrain from commenting on what you think my capabilities are or should be and what my treatment plan should be.  You are not my physician.  If I continue to hear these comments, I will need to ask boss or HR to address that with you directly.  Thank you for respecting my wishes."Good luck to you.  I hope your diagnosis turns out to be benign and you can recover quickly from the surgery.

I like the bolded answer the best. 

HUGs .  This might make you feel better.......I've had both kinds of cysts,(I;m not sure maybe 3 kinds)  At least one type does go away on it's own and at least one type will not.  To my knowledge they can't tell the difference before they can remove them and biopsied them, unless of course they just go away then obviously it was the type of cyst that self resolves.  I have had 2 surgeries. Once the cysts showed up while I was pregnant the cyst were not huge and were not giving my much trouble they were monitored for 18 months.  The second time the cyst was over the size limit recommenced for monitoring  and caused a great deal of pain and were removed ASAP.I also had 4 small cysts* caught via ultrasound that resolved on their own quickly.  *At least, that was how many grew and resolved themselves in 6 months of observation.  Based on how they feel  I'm sure I've had dozens but since I get both (3) types of cysts I don't go in unless I think I have a cysts for more then 3 months or one is real painful. The first surgery the doctor  thought cyst strongly but could not rule  out cancer. The second surgery the doctor knew cysts but would not absolute rule out cancer " It's a cyst but we can not say it;s not cancer until it is biopsied"   I felt better instantly after the surgery , the post op recovery was no where near as painful as the cysts.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining...HELP!
Post by: RubyCat on April 14, 2012, 09:06:38 AM
No, it is not rude to take time off to tend to your own medical issues. Your coworker is way out of line. Your health has to come first.  I cringed when I read how you cancelled you own appointments so you would be able to cover coworker's absence. You went above and beyond and I hope you employer appreciates

I was recently diagnosed with ovarian cysts and though they did not cause me much discomfort, because of their size & characteristics they had to come out.  It's scary stuff to deal with I'm furious with coworker on your behalf. Talking to the supervisor or HR would be wise. If confronted, I would probably say something along the lines of coworker is not your doctor, does not know your situation, and you would expect the same level of support during your illness the has been given to others. Beandip? Or maybe the icy stare would be more appropriate.

Fwiw, my cysts turned out to be benign. Try now to worry too much & focus on what you need for right now.  Sending good thoughts to you.  Keep us updated?
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining...HELP!
Post by: TootsNYC on April 14, 2012, 09:43:48 AM
I would also say that you can point out to her that you covered quite willingly and uncomplainingly for her when she was out.


"When you were quite ill, I tried to be very supportive. I've never said anything, but it did impact me pretty seriously. I handled a very heavy load, because I didn't have the extra help that you are going to have. So I've been in the position of doing your job for you because you were ill. I'm disappointed that you can't show me the same support."

Be frosty and aloof in your tone. And then walk away--completely away. Don't do her the courtesy of listening to any reply--this is not a conversation; this is a statement.

And then be really, really cool to her when you get back from the bathroom.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining...HELP!
Post by: ebrochu on April 14, 2012, 12:11:22 PM
Wow. You guys are making me feel SO much better about this! I'm feeling a lot more relaxed, knowing that i'm not "in the wrong" for feeling slighted at all. And you've given me a ton of great responses and reactions to work with. Thank you!

Yeah, the pain has been pretty dang awful. There's swelling all the way to my hip (which greatly concerned the Gyno) and i'm either up for 1-2 days at a time from the pain, or sleeping 16 hours a day.

I'll create a new post once I get the cat scan and the results.

Thank you again for making me feel SO much better about this, both coworker wise, and medically speaking!  ;D
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining...HELP!
Post by: Roe on April 14, 2012, 01:31:00 PM
Yep, I'm also quite upset on your behalf. 
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining...HELP!
Post by: DianeRN on April 14, 2012, 06:09:30 PM
No medical advise but definitely agreeing that your boss needs to know about this.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining...HELP!
Post by: ShanghaiJill on April 14, 2012, 06:16:33 PM
your coworker is an idiot.

Just sayin' ::)
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining...HELP!
Post by: artk2002 on April 14, 2012, 07:53:03 PM
Ignore her whining as best you can. You know that she's a hypocrite, criticizing you for exactly what she does, so why would you care one bit about what she says or thinks? Make sure that you're square with your boss and ignore the whiner.

Remember this: Just because she's unhappy, it doesn't mean that you're doing anything wrong.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining...HELP!
Post by: MindsEye on April 16, 2012, 08:13:55 AM
No, it is NOT rude for you to take time off for your medical issues.  Can I emphasize that enough?  Not rude!  You need to take care of yourself!

Co-worker doesn't like it and is complaining?  Well, too dang bad. 

If she keeps complaining, I would pull her aside once, tell her in no uncertain terms how much unsupported work you had to do to cover for her and how you put your life on hold to cover for her... and after that I would report every instance of harassment from her to your supervisor and to HR.  Honestly, pulling her aside and telling her to cut it out could be of benefit to her, as it could help her avoid disciplinary measures from HR.

When you do go back, I wouldn't say anything to co-worker.  I would also never again bend over backwards to cover for her.

And with that out of the way, now a quick note on  behalf of co-worker - sometimes people who have chronic conditions/pain have problems with empathy and have difficulty understanding that someone else's condition/pain is as important as their own.  However, this does not excuse her rudeness and nastiness.  And your boss and HR absolutely need to know how she is acting.

I hope that you feel better soon.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining...HELP!
Post by: Redsoil on April 16, 2012, 08:46:59 AM
Having had emergency surgery for an ovarian cyst myself (saw the GP at 3pm, was in surgery at 5pm), do NOT feel you should keep "managing".  I've had multiple surgeries since (not trying to scare you, as yours may be a one-off thing) so please don't neglect this.  Your co-worker had no idea what she's talking about, and in this instance I'd be very tempted to say a few home truths to her.  However, your call.

Please make sure your GP (and any specialist you're under) is fully aware of the increasing pain and debility.  You most definitely do not want to go through anything more complex than need be - good luck and take care!
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining...HELP!
Post by: Dindrane on April 16, 2012, 09:39:03 AM
I agree with everyone else.  There is nothing in the world that is rude about taking care of yourself.  Your health is not subject to the rules of etiquette -- only your interactions with other people.

That said, one other comment that I think might help you deal with this -- you have been talking about your situation at work as though it is your job or your co-worker's job or your other co-worker's job to ensure that there is adequate coverage for your function when one of you is unable to be at work.  It's an admirable trait as an employee to be cognizant of and feel responsibility for keeping the flow of work going.

However, it's not your job to make sure it happens.  It is your supervisor's job.  Part of the responsibility of managing people means making sure that their function at work can happen even when they are not there.  So while it definitely shows an excellent work ethic to feel responsible for helping to make sure things are covered, it isn't ultimately your job, and you shouldn't think of it as such.

That goes double for your co-worker, who apparently thinks it is her job and therefore her right to criticize you for making it harder to get all the work done.  It isn't her job to make sure things happen either -- it's her/your supervisor's.  And if she has a flare up and can't work, then it's her/your supervisor's job to figure out how to get things done in her absence.

I definitely think that you should talk to your supervisor, and make sure that he/she is aware of the comments and how they negatively affect your ability to work with your co-worker.  I also agree with Toots' suggestion for talking to your co-worker, if you need to.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining...HELP!
Post by: wyliefool on April 16, 2012, 10:49:56 AM
No, it is not rude to take time off to tend to your own medical issues. Your coworker is way out of line. Your health has to come first.  I cringed when I read how you cancelled you own appointments so you would be able to cover coworker's absence. You went above and beyond and I hope you employer appreciates
Quote
You have been talking about your situation at work as though it is your job or your co-worker's job or your other co-worker's job to ensure that there is adequate coverage for your function when one of you is unable to be at work.  ... However, it's not your job to make sure it happens.  It is your supervisor's job.  Part of the responsibility of managing people means making sure that their function at work can happen even when they are not there. So while it definitely shows an excellent work ethic to feel responsible for helping to make sure things are covered, it isn't ultimately your job, and you shouldn't think of it as such.

All of this. Frankly, if there was only one person to do the job, who very nearly spent 8 weeks working nonstop, then management dropped the ball. That's what temp agencies are for. For crying out loud you were already getting sick--you put yourself thru a lot for the company, and I guarantee you that if they'd decided in the midst of it all that it would make 'business sense' to fire you and send your job to Albania then they'd have done it without a second thought. DON'T make yourself sick or miserable for your job. It's just not worth it and won't be appreciated.

I mean really, it sounds like you're grossly understaffed. There was only 1 employee to do this job for 2 months and it didn't occur to anyone to hire help??  ::) and  >:(

As for your coworker, I think you should definitely remind her that you covered for her with no help and therefore she can suck it up and do her job. Through pain like you did, if necessary. Or else take it up w/ boss about hiring help.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining...HELP!
Post by: Reason on April 16, 2012, 10:58:26 AM
This woman is now rather mad at me, for my being off with this cyst. She has told me that "every woman gets them, they just go away on their own, you don't need to have surgery"

You could respond with -"Funny, my doctor doesn't seem to agree with you... "

Not that something so far over the line even deserves a response.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining...HELP!
Post by: amylouky on April 16, 2012, 11:19:02 AM
CW is way out of line, and I would have a hard time staying e-hell approved as well. Ovarian cysts can be incredibly painful, and can be life-threatening.
I like Toots' response, and I would also talk to your boss about CW's comments, who knows what she will be saying to others while you are out.
By the way, I have a friend who had a huge cyst removed surgically. She'd been putting it off for months, and afterward said that she felt so much better that she didn't know what she was waiting for, the recovery was a lot easier and less painful than dealing with the cyst.
Best of luck to you!
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining...HELP!
Post by: Ginger G on April 16, 2012, 02:46:16 PM
Wow, this just infuriates me as both an HR person and a working person who has had medical issues in the past requiring time off from work.  If she says anything else, she needs to be shut down immediately.  What Bales said about her not being your physician was perfect.  I would definitely document everything that has been said so far and let your boss know, what she is doing is pretty close to harassment. 

Not quite the same, but she reminds me somewhat of our payroll person.  Since October of last year, she has missed about 12 weeks on and off due to health problems.  She's actually out right now for the 5th week in a row, and I'm the only one who knows her job, so I'm basically doing both of our jobs right now.  I'm rally not complaining about that, I actually like being busy at work and I know her health problems are legitimate.  My complaint is that every time one of our employees goes out on disability, she gripes and complains about it and acts like the employee is "stealing" from the company.  I thought she would stop being like that after she came back from being out for surgery last year, but she still has no empathy whatsoever towards other people.   I had minor eye surgery back in January and was out for 3 days, and it got back to me later that she made snide comments about that to someone.  Of course, she can go out and take all the time she needs, but heaven forbid someone else do that.  I've managed to be polite and professional so far (bean dip!!), but sometimes it's really hard not to tell her how ridiculous and hypocritcal she is.
Title: time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. update post 31
Post by: ebrochu on April 19, 2012, 06:34:26 PM
Well, I've gotten the date for my Cat scan. It's on May 14, about 3 weeks from now. It's a bit of a wait, given how long I've already been waiting, but I can deal, considering that in the "Big City" near me, people are having to wait MONTHS for a scan (up to 6!)

The only thing that's getting me down right now is the company that's providing me with my benefits. I'm "up for review" since i was only given 3 weeks of benefits. My case was passed along to another worker (I didn't even know that!) and I need to go through a telephone interview. But the new caseworker has had my file for over a week now, and I've heard absolutely nothing from them.

That being said, I can't return to work, because I'm even worse than I was before. And I'm not on benefits, since they are "over" until my review is over. So, I'm not technically bringing in any income. That's got me really worried.

I know that things will work out, since everyone on something like this needs to be reviewed, and my Boss does care about me, so my job isn't at risk (unless someone above her decides to chop me, but we're not an "at will" company, so I would have recourse) And by the next pay, all of this should be figured out.

But given everything thus far, it's just one more thing that adds to the stress and makes it hard to get better.

So I won't have an update until at least mid may. Loads of time to fret and chew my nails!  :-[
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 31
Post by: Shakira on April 20, 2012, 05:42:56 AM
((((hugs)))) for ebrochu. I'm sorry you have to wait so long! Maybe you can use the time to catch up on old tv programs? I hope all this gets cleared up quickly!
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 31
Post by: Corvid on April 20, 2012, 06:34:02 AM
I've known people who were emotionally invested in an identity of "the fragile, sick one" and didn't like any competition for the title.  Could that be contributing to your coworker's attitude?

Has your coworker gotten comfortable with calling in sick because you've been there to cover for her and she has, perhaps subconsciously, started to think of  covering for her as part of your job?  If that is the case, she might feel your being out sick is a personal inconvenience because, even though there is another person who could cover, calling in won't be quite as carefree as before.

Just a few ideas off the top of my uncaffeinated head.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 31
Post by: Stormtreader on April 20, 2012, 11:39:52 AM
I've known people who were emotionally invested in an identity of "the fragile, sick one" and didn't like any competition for the title.  Could that be contributing to your coworker's attitude?

Has your coworker gotten comfortable with calling in sick because you've been there to cover for her and she has, perhaps subconsciously, started to think of  covering for her as part of your job?  If that is the case, she might feel your being out sick is a personal inconvenience because, even though there is another person who could cover, calling in won't be quite as carefree as before.

Just a few ideas off the top of my uncaffeinated head.

Exactly what I was thinking as well.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 31
Post by: ebrochu on April 20, 2012, 04:52:27 PM
Mrs CrazyPete: I've been very busy at home catching up on fave movies, books and crafts. I've finished a few paintings, scrapbook pages and drawings that have been floating around. I've also been doing all chores that my husband will let me do that don't involve standing for long periods, lifting or bending over. I've become the queen of folding, and online bill management.

Corvid and Stormtreader: I'm not exactly sure if that's how she sees herself, but I do agree that she likes to be the centre of it all. If it's not with sicknesses, it's with the work we do. When she did actually come back to work, she wouldn't step back into the job initially, because it was too much for her. She was able to do other work, but I was still the only one doing this specific job, and not able to take any other days off, or have a break from the work. But she had no issues with telling me how I was doing it all wrong, and how she would have done it differently. Even to the point of throwing some of what I did out.

After 8 weeks of working like I did, I was getting burnt out. I was tired, and beginning to really feel the negative aspects of my cyst. I wasn't performing my best, but I was exhausted. I did (very politely) tell her that she was more than happy to take over. I got a "no, I'm just not ready!"

*Well, then maybe you should have just stayed off until you WERE ready, so you're not making me feel like scum then!* said evil ebrochu mentally when she said that.

Yeah. I've not returned to work since I've been off that much. Only to talk to my boss, and hand in paperwork. But i've made sure to go in when she's not there.
Title: Re: time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. update post 31
Post by: QueenfaninCA on April 20, 2012, 05:34:10 PM
That being said, I can't return to work, because I'm even worse than I was before. And I'm not on benefits, since they are "over" until my review is over. So, I'm not technically bringing in any income. That's got me really worried.

Wait a moment: You worked insane hours to cover for a colleague until you worked yourself sick for a company that doesn't even give you decent health benefits?
Title: Re: time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. update post 31
Post by: Lady Snowdon on April 20, 2012, 05:47:31 PM
That being said, I can't return to work, because I'm even worse than I was before. And I'm not on benefits, since they are "over" until my review is over. So, I'm not technically bringing in any income. That's got me really worried.

Wait a moment: You worked insane hours to cover for a colleague until you worked yourself sick for a company that doesn't even give you decent health benefits?

I'm guessing ebrochu is on short term disability, where you are approved for a certain amount of time and then additional information is needed to continue approving you.  You don't just get approved for large amounts of time off - I work in the short term disability side of things, and I still have to request medical information and approve for a short period of time even for people who clearly need to be off!  It sucks, but it's the way the system works.  That being said, my company has a policy that we reach out to people within a day or two of their current approval ending, so the over a week with no contact doesn't fly with me. 
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 31
Post by: ebrochu on April 20, 2012, 06:13:49 PM
Lady Snowdon:

I've NEVER used the short term disability for the whole 11 years I've been with this company. I have no idea what Is right and wrong with procedures. I knew that my review needed to be done, and I was OK with having to wait. But I am glad that I'm not the only one who finds 13 days of waiting (at least; hopefully I'll hear from them after the weekend!) a bit off.

My benefits had ended April 9Th, which was right around Easter. I wasn't able to get my specialist appointment until April 5Th. I told them this, and had the information all faxed off by the 10Th. I don't know if this means that I'm not considered "valid" for benefits anymore or not, since I didn't get my info in before the cutoff date. But it was the first day everything was open after Easter, and my appointment was the day before Good Friday, when everything would be closed! Not a good situation, all round.

 If I haven't heard anything from them by Monday, would it be OK if I sent an email or phoned to my initial case manager asking if I can have a e.t.a on when I might get my review? I don't want to seem like a pest, or negatively affect whether I get my extension, though.

QueenfaninCA:

My company does have some awesome benefits, thankfully! 80% coverage on dental and prescriptions, 70 to 80 % coverage on "non medical" visits, like physio therapy, massage therapy, psychiatrists, etc. semi private to private rooms.  Which I will be taking full advantage of when I finally DO get my surgery!

I'm again so glad to know that my issues aren't snowflakey or prissy of me. It does make me a bit calmer. Now if I get a call from my new worker on Monday, I'll be ecstatic.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 31
Post by: kkl123 on April 20, 2012, 08:16:25 PM
Yes, it would definitely be ok if you call and ask for the eta on your review.  We just had a similar situation here (I was a family caregiver), and the company would call about two days before the expiration of the disability period to see if the new paperwork was here, and if it had gone to the MD for signature.  Sometimes there were additional questions about progress, but all in all, it was pretty seamless.

Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 31
Post by: Bales on April 20, 2012, 08:54:55 PM
I work for a company that processes STD (short term disability!) claims and it's definitely OK to call them for an update and ask if there is anything else they need.  Perhaps they didn't get the fax from your doctor or needed additional clarification / confirmation on something and are waiting to hear back from your doctor.  If that's the case, you can help facilitate that.  If it's just the information is there and hasn't been reviewed, then definitely push back on that - typical review times for STD once the updated medical is received should average 5 business days (and that's generous.)

To help the process go smoothly in the future, be sure you tell them - and your doctor's notes and anything s/he sends to the disability folks also state - why you are unable to perform your job duties (level of pain, unable to sit for extended periods, medications and their side effects of x,y,z, etc.)

Good luck to you!
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 41
Post by: ebrochu on April 26, 2012, 08:00:15 PM
My computer ate my last post, so I'll be a bit more short and sweet with this one.

I've been completely antsy about getting the extension on my Short Term Disability coverage. After a little bit of praying last night, what ended up in my mailbox this morning? A form from my insurance company, asking me to call them for the telephone interview!

I grabbed the phone and dialed right away. After some back and forth,she asked me the needed questions, and then asked how I've been dealing with this for so long. And then the blessed words I needed to hear: "Your extension is going to the end of may for now, with another interview scheduled for then. And let's get you paid, my dear!

Sweeter words never spoken!

It's not necessarily all about the money (although I need to pay the rent and bills, so it's helpful!) but more the fact that I've been validated by the insurance company as being legitimate. That someone other than a friend or loved one has said "my goodness, you need help, and I believe you!"

Thank you SO much to everyone here who was so helpful to me,both publically and privately. Your suggestions and advice was instrumental in helping me find the paths i needed to move along.

Next update will be when I've gotten the cat scan.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 41
Post by: stargazer on April 26, 2012, 08:20:02 PM
GREAT update!  I'm so glad for you that they approved you with no problems.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 41
Post by: Winterlight on April 26, 2012, 08:27:57 PM
Hurray! What a relief for you.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 41
Post by: Gyburc on April 27, 2012, 05:12:53 AM
I'm glad that your insurance issue is sorted! I just wanted to add as well that I think your co-worker sounds very unpleasant, honestly. I wouldn't pay her any more attention than you need to in order to do your job.

I hope you are soon recovered!

best,

G
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 45
Post by: ebrochu on May 16, 2012, 10:35:05 AM
GOOD NEWS!!!!!!

Cat Scan results are in, and so far, NO CANCER!

They still need to perform the surgery, and biopsy the mass, but there's no sign of cancer in ANYTHING. None in other organs, no free floating tumors, nothing in the surrounding nodes or bones.

YYYYAAAAHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And have my own personal caseworker, so I'm guaranteed to be able to get an answer asap!

I can finally relax! Surgery will be a breeze compared to how I've been feeling!
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 45
Post by: O'Dell on May 16, 2012, 10:58:33 AM
Excellent! So glad to hear it! :)
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 45
Post by: BeagleMommy on May 16, 2012, 11:30:40 AM
OP, glad to hear the positive results of the cat scan.

I had to deal with my Annoying Coworker who had the same attitude as yours when I was going for surgery on my shoulder last summer.  She actually asked if I was positive I needed three weeks off.  She's not my boss or our HR person, she was just annoyed that I was getting a lot of attention and well wishes.

My response to her was "I will be doing exactly what my doctors recommend."
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 48
Post by: ebrochu on May 31, 2012, 11:54:36 PM
Surgery has been booked for July 28th.  :o

It's not so bad. The next date available was way into September. And since I've been hurting still, my doc is going with the July date. And she's also got me into another Hospital, for a referral, because they have far better equipment, and would be better able to operate on someone of my Size.

She said that if I was accepted, I might be having a panniculectomy as well as the cyst removal. I'm losing the right ovary completely, no saving it. They won't really know if they have to do a complete hysterectomy until they're in there, so to speak. (meaning there's another cyst on the other ovary!  :P and if that one is too bad, then they'll have to take everything.

So prep time, and trying to stay destressed.

Yeeee

Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 48
Post by: Winterlight on June 01, 2012, 08:16:09 AM
Glad to hear that things are looking up!
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 48
Post by: rashea on June 01, 2012, 10:19:50 AM
Deep breaths, and message me if you want my surgery tips.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 48
Post by: TootsNYC on June 01, 2012, 12:29:58 PM
If you've never have abdominal surgery, here's my tip for how to sit up after one: Roll onto your side first, then you can push yourself up from the shoulder using the uppermost arm.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 48
Post by: katiescarlett on June 01, 2012, 01:08:34 PM
If you've never have abdominal surgery, here's my tip for how to sit up after one: Roll onto your side first, then you can push yourself up from the shoulder using the uppermost arm.

This.  I am dealing with that right now.  My surgery was last Friday.  Getting out of bed would be a chore if I didn't do it this way.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 48
Post by: zyrs on June 03, 2012, 05:35:26 AM
If you've never have abdominal surgery, here's my tip for how to sit up after one: Roll onto your side first, then you can push yourself up from the shoulder using the uppermost arm.

This.  I am dealing with that right now.  My surgery was last Friday.  Getting out of bed would be a chore if I didn't do it this way.

Sometimes holding a pillow carefully against the incision can help relieve the discomfort when yu are rolling over
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 48
Post by: ebrochu on June 03, 2012, 05:18:32 PM
I appreciate the abdominal surgery tips! I've never had ANYTHING done down there, so I know that trying to make sure I don't hurt myself after the surgery is going to be the thing that's going to stress me out the most.

The pain has been far worse the past few days, but nothing that would indicate it bursting or anything. I think that if that does happen before the surgery, I'll be on the floor, screaming.

My coverage needs to be extended again, but my insurance company is telling me that "people go back to work while waiting for surgery" Um, I can't. I can't do a single thing in my work. PLus, the pain was the reason I went off, and it's not gone away.  I can't lift, bend or walk fast. Nothing in my job description is doable. I've told her this, and I've asked my doc to send a letter again. I asked her 3 times to write me one while I was seeing her, and she didn't. I don't know why. This time, I had to cal her and ask again.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 48
Post by: EmmaJ. on June 03, 2012, 05:20:19 PM
I second the pillow, it was my best friend after my hysterectomy.  I found a small "airline size" pillow and carried it everywhere.  It was very useful to press it against my incision if I had to cough or sneeze, and I would put it between me and the seatbelt when I was driven to the store.

Good luck, it all sounds very encouraging!
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 48
Post by: itsmeforever on June 03, 2012, 08:46:40 PM
I third the small pillow being held against the stomach. My 17 yr old DD gave me her mini monkey pillow pet and it was a life saver! Also, really try not to bend and twist, if possible. And listen to the dr. for after care directions.

Good luck!!
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 48
Post by: DoubleTrouble on June 04, 2012, 12:20:36 AM
One trick my MIL told me after my c-section was to slowly walk upstairs sideways while holding on to the banister. It doesn't work your abdominal muscles as much as facing forwards & by golly it worked!
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 48
Post by: Lynda_34 on June 04, 2012, 02:26:32 AM
I know we're not supposed to give medical advice on this site, however, I have to say as a post operative nurse for many years, all the incision advice is excellent.

The other day I was taking care of a woman who had a long abdominal incision and she started to cough.  I automatically grabbed the pillow and pressed it over the incision while she was trying to get me to stop.  I held it there and said, "Ok, now cough."  She did and looked up in amazement.  For the rest of the shift every  time I walked past her room she was sitting there with the pillow across her abdomen.

Good luck with your surgery and try and get your MD to see that because of the pain this is not really elective and see if they can schedule it sooner.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 48
Post by: JoyinVirginia on June 04, 2012, 02:19:53 PM
One tip if your insurance is requiring a letter: do a memo to your doctor,  give it to her in writing so she can dictate it and get it done. Be specific with address, what activities you cannot do or are prohibited to do, and reason why surgery will be at that date at that hospital.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 60
Post by: ebrochu on July 04, 2012, 12:24:33 PM
I am so unbelievably sad and angry right now.

With 3 weeks to go, having done everything they asked of me, waiting forever in pain and discomfort and swelling, Being the best patient I can be, they cancelled my surgery.

I saw the anesthesiologist, and She examined me, and pronounced me incredibly healthy, and saw no real issue with putting me under. The only issue she saw was my weight, and that "you're working on that, so everything else is awesome!"

She then told me that she needed to confer with my gyno, and they would let me know from there what was going on. That was a week and a half ago.

I got a call this morning, letting me know that the "anesthesiologist has declined to do the surgery, and therefore we will not be operating on you here. We have called your G.P to inform them, your treatment is in his hands now." No possibility of appeal, no changing their minds. It is a smaller hospital, but they do perform surgeries there. I guess I'm just that much too fat for them to want to operate on me. I personally think the surgeon didn't want to do the operation, since my anesthetist was happy with my health and prospects. But if that was the case, if she was feeling at all hesitant about operating, why not tell me that from the beginning, and refer me then? Even after the cat scan, at the end of May? Why wait till 3 weeks before the surgery? Why get my hopes up?

After all this waiting, all these tests, all this pain, I now have to start all over again. I have to find a gyno again. Go through all the exams again. Tests again. Waiting again.

If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go off and cry. Again
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 60
Post by: Bethalize on July 04, 2012, 12:47:32 PM
Hugs.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 60
Post by: Winterlight on July 04, 2012, 05:43:53 PM
*hugs* I'm sorry. That really sucks.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 60
Post by: MyFamily on July 04, 2012, 09:17:12 PM
Oh, no, that is awful.  I hope you find someone to do the surgery asap.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 60
Post by: MrsVandy on July 04, 2012, 09:49:28 PM
Thats terrible! Very gentle hugs. Hopefully your GP will be able to find you a new team to get you speedy help. Good luck with everything!
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 60
Post by: Kiara on July 05, 2012, 07:51:56 AM
I'm furious on your behalf.  Call the gyno and ask specifically what the anesthesiologist said to turn you down.  And say "Because I'm confused...she told me there was no problem, so what changed in a week?"  It's your health, you have a right to know. 

And big *HUGS*.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 60
Post by: Petticoats on July 05, 2012, 07:52:30 AM
That's terrible! And obviously they haven't read the studies about how people who are carrying some extra weight recover *better* from surgery.

I'm so, so sorry.

And yeah, what Kiara said!
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 60
Post by: Gyburc on July 05, 2012, 08:34:37 AM
I'm so sorry! ((((Hugs and more hugs))))

I agree with Kiara - do follow this up. This really is inexcusable.

I'll be thinking of you,

G
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 60
Post by: gramma dishes on July 05, 2012, 08:42:42 AM
I'm yet another one seconding what Kiara said.  To tell you everything was fine and then to just arbitrarily abruptly change her mind is inexcusable.  You deserve some straight answers.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 60
Post by: ebrochu on July 05, 2012, 11:32:43 PM
there's no real update per se. my G.P. is putting out a rush to all the neighbouring hospitals in the next town over (larger town) and he's working furiously with my Short Term Disability co-ordinator to have my benefits extended yet again.

More importantly, he was (1.)  very apologetic towards me, telling me that he was so very sorry that I was going through this, giving me the apology I wanted.
(2.)  Very pissed off at this gyno.  A doc he's worked with in the past. He feels almost as let down as I do. Almost.

I have begun the process of getting the answers I need and deserve from the original gyno. I've typed up both a letter to her and the hospital administrators / human resources / head of personnel outlining the way I was treated, and how I feel. I need to research the people involved before sending anything off.

I'm not currently able to go speak to her face to face just yet, because if I was to see her, I'm not sure I could contain my temper, and my getting lead away by security wouldn't be beneficial. Writing out the letter to her though was rather cathartic.

I have at least an awesome G.P. who is working his butt off to help me. That's something. I just wish she had told me from the beginning that there was ANY issue or reservation about operating on me, so I could have found someone else in April, and potentially be DONE already!
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 60
Post by: peach2play on July 06, 2012, 10:19:55 AM
Do you have a patient advocate you can speak to?  I think every hospital has one.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 60
Post by: rashea on July 06, 2012, 11:58:43 AM
Sounds like they may have tried to pawn their issues off on someone else. I get why they might hesitate, but be honest about that fact. It's possible that the anesthesiologist wasn't honest with you to your face. It's also possible that the hospital balked. Or that the anesthesiologist thought the surgery was further off and you'd have more time to work on your weight.

You may want to check and see if you can find someone associated with a bigger hospital. That way you're more likely to have people willing to take the risk, because they'll have the experience and equipment to do it right.

If you need a happy thought to get you through, at least if they weren't confident in their own abilities, they didn't operate on you. Would you really want someone who had concerns about their skill in getting your safely through operating?
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 60
Post by: gramma dishes on July 06, 2012, 12:43:32 PM
...    at least if they weren't confident in their own abilities, they didn't operate on you. Would you really want someone who had concerns about their skill in getting your safely through operating?

Rashea makes a very good point!
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 60
Post by: kkl123 on July 06, 2012, 01:24:37 PM
I'd be concerned about a medical records mistake, given the anaesthesiologist said no after earlier basically saying yes.

Can you ask your GP to review the records from the anaesthesiologist and the ob/gyn to see if there is something anomalous?  This is the sort of thing you want to get corrected if there is a records problem for a number of reasons -- insurance/pre-existing conditions, getting the surgery now if it is safe, and someone basing further medical treatment on bad data.

Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 60
Post by: ebrochu on July 06, 2012, 06:50:59 PM
There was no mix up with patient info, unfortunately. I was sitting close enough to the anesthetist that I could see my paperwork, and every page had my full name at the top. The folder had my name on it. And she even asked me to outline my surgery needs to her as well, so she could make sure it lined up with what she had in front of her. and double checked the date. Not saying it in a negative way, so no offense meant, but I've been incredibly thorough through all of this. Giving them every piece of info that matters, I thought mattered, and even stuff that was very loosely connected, just so they were helped along as much as possible.

There are a few people I can appeal to, but like it's been said here, I wouldn't want her operating on me now, anyways. The most it can do is try and keep someone else like me from being treated so poorly. Although monetary compensation would be appreciated, since I've been on short term disability through work, and while I've been OK, the fact that I have to now do all of this over again with no warning to the fact will be rather difficult to get through. But somehow I think that won't be forth coming.

Also the hospital is small enough that there isn't really someone who "approves all the surgeries" above the surgeons themselves. They make their decisions, the anesthetist makes theirs, and they operate, or not.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 60
Post by: QueenfaninCA on July 09, 2012, 02:13:56 PM
I'm really surprised that an anesthesiologists gets to decide the medical necessity of a surgery. Isn't their job just to make sure you are properly anesthesised during the surgery? I can certainly understand if they refuse for reasons related to that. But how can they decide that you are too healthy to have the surgery? Isn't that what your GP and perhaps a specialist in whatever field is appropriate should decide?
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 60
Post by: EMuir on July 09, 2012, 02:59:12 PM
So I'm guessing this hospital doesn't do gastric bypass surgeries, ever? How ironic that most doctors recommend that surgery for fat people but won't do other surgeries.

Keep this in mind when you read about fat people having more health problems... it's because we're denied care!

Good luck to you OP!
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 60
Post by: rashea on July 09, 2012, 03:02:28 PM
I'm really surprised that an anesthesiologists gets to decide the medical necessity of a surgery. Isn't their job just to make sure you are properly anesthesised during the surgery? I can certainly understand if they refuse for reasons related to that. But how can they decide that you are too healthy to have the surgery? Isn't that what your GP and perhaps a specialist in whatever field is appropriate should decide?

They aren't deciding if it's medically necessary, they are deciding if it's safe to do the surgery. Surgery can be dangerous if you have risk factors. Anesthesia is generally safe. But, someone who is overweight can run more than average risks.

I had an anesthesiologist who wouldn't sign off on a surgery until I had an up to date echocardiogram, because I have a heart murmur.  It didn't matter that I had one a few years ago, they wanted to see a fresh one. I also had a surgeon who, because of the type of surgery, insisted I have a psych eval first (suicide is a common reaction if this surgery fails).

ETA: Actually, some doctors do insist you lose weight before gastric bypass surgery.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 60
Post by: ebrochu on July 10, 2012, 12:19:06 AM
**Please be aware, i'm not searching for medical or legal advice, or offering medical or legal advice in any of my posts, just communicating**
(I'm not saying anyone has said anything that could get this into locking territory, just covering bases. I need this thread very badly right now)

Just rambling on, not directed to anyone in particular. I just needed to talk with people who understand, and you guys are the best!

When someone is overweight, there are sometimes a multitude of issues that can come up that will endanger them if they need surgery. From breathing issues (which would affect blood oxygen) to thickness through the neck from fat (which will affect how far back they can bend your head to put the tube down your throat) If I had diabetes, It might affect it (i'm not sure how on the "putting under" side) although I know it would affect healing. Basically, all the health risks of being overweight also affect you when you need surgery, and many anesthetists have to have the unfortunate job of denying someone because it would just be too dangerous to put them under.

That's what gets me. My breathing is awesome (don't smoke) I don't drink, all my own teeth, clear throat. Blood pressure 115/65, heart rate mid 70's. Neck bends well (chin right down to chest, base of skull in back right down to spine. ) NO diabetes, heart disease, any disease, actually. The anesthetist had actually said "if you weren't overweight, you'd be perfect" I don't have any of the medical issues that come along with being overweight, except the weight! And I'm wanting to change that, with medical supervised weight loss program and exercise, except I can't exercise because of the pain, so I can't lose weight to have the surgery, but she denied me the surgery because i'm overweight...

*breathe*

I want to thank you all for being so awesome though. It's been wonderful to have a spot here where I can vent, cry and just get everything out. Your advice, hugs and general caring attitudes have really helped get me through some dark times. I don't think I'll ever be able to adequately thank you all.

Oh, and just cause it's come up in one or 2 PM's ..I'm Canadian, not from the States. So Doctor recommendations that have been P.M'd to me are much appreciated, but unfortunately, are WAY too much of a commute for me!  :D  But thank you all the same!
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 60
Post by: rashea on July 10, 2012, 07:25:48 AM
ebrochu,

I'm really sorry this is happening. I know how tough it is to try again when you've been knocked back like this. But you will get there. Keep on fighting and holding your head high.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 60
Post by: ncgal on July 10, 2012, 11:43:31 AM
~~HUGS~~~.  Sorry you are having to deal with all of this.  As for exercise, until you can have the surgery, have you thought about water aerobics?  Just a thought if possible. 
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 60
Post by: Alpacas on July 10, 2012, 04:04:06 PM
I'm really sorry that this happened to you.
I know it must be really painful to wait again but i hope that you go to another doctor and that you won't have to wait so long for another surgery.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 60
Post by: ebrochu on August 04, 2012, 06:58:53 PM
No new updates. Still off work on disability, still looking for a new surgeon to perform the surgery.

I'm slowly losing my mind (it feels like it, anyways) I've talked to a therapist, and they say that I'm suffering from severe anxiety and stress, which is more than understandable. I told her i've been doing a lot of crafts and colouring to try and keep my mind focused on something simple and easy. She said that's the best thing I can be doing right now.

Doc is calling daily for updates and requests for surgery for me. I just didn't think it'd be this hard to get some surgery here in Canada. I'm not trying to open up a can of worms here, but if I was in the states, if I had the money to pay for the surgery, I'd more than likely have had it by now.

*sigh* I'm trying to hang on. I really am. It's just getting harder and harder each day.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 61
Post by: ebrochu on November 02, 2012, 12:25:32 PM
FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!

I finally have a surgery date! I've been off for 8 months, and in pain for 10. I've been waiting and waiting, been through 2 doctors, and now finally have a surgery date.

In December. On the 11th.

It's another month. I've had to wait this long. Well, I was dropped in July from the first doc, and found a second doc in September, so it's not been that long, considering (from the first meeting to the surgery it's been only 2.5 months. But it's been a real trial for me.

But I'm finally booked. Now it's nerves time!

YAY me, I guess?
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 61
Post by: O'Dell on November 02, 2012, 12:28:58 PM
Oh my goodness! That's crazy how long it's taking! Glad you have a date now. Fingers crossed that it goes to plan!

Has your insurance still been treating you well?
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 61
Post by: Jones on November 02, 2012, 12:30:08 PM
It's crazy that you've had to wait this long! But very glad you have an end in sight.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 61
Post by: gramma dishes on November 02, 2012, 12:42:06 PM
What a relief.  Glad you finally have a definite day to mark on your calendar.  Hopefully, having a specific date set will take away some of the frustration you've been feeling.

Hope the little over a month remaining goes quickly for you. 


Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 61
Post by: peach2play on November 02, 2012, 02:46:04 PM
CONGRATS!
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 88
Post by: ebrochu on December 10, 2012, 12:46:45 PM
Just called the Hospital, Surgery is booked for 9 am.

Have to be there for 7 am, and have to travel over an hour to get there. Suffice to say, we'll be leaving home about 4 am, to make SURE i'm on time. Last appointment we left 2 hours early, and I JUST made it with 2 minutes to spare!

So, finally everything is coming to a point. I'm very thankful for all the support and encouragement I've gotten here. You all have been a real mountain of support in very scary times. Thank you.

I'll hopefully be able to post within the week as to how my surgery went. But if you can spare any good thoughts for me tomorrow, (at any time, no need for time zone specifics!)  ;D  I'd truly appreciate it.

Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 88
Post by: JenJay on December 10, 2012, 12:50:08 PM
Best wishes for a successful surgery and quick recovery!!
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 88
Post by: Outdoor Girl on December 10, 2012, 12:50:58 PM
I'm sure everything will go well tomorrow.  A good Christmas present for you.   :)
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 88
Post by: MamaMootz on December 10, 2012, 02:18:26 PM
You've got good thoughts, hugs, and prayers - along with a virtual hot chocolate. I'm so glad this is finally getting handled!
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 88
Post by: Calypso on December 10, 2012, 02:49:04 PM
You are an amazing lady who has had to endure far too much this year. I'm sending energy for the best possible procedure, outcome and aftercare. Soft tummy pillows and cheerful company (of many sorts, including books and music) to you.

And I foresee a spectacular 2013 as you adjust to that novel treat---Life Without Pain.

(((((hugs)))))
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 88
Post by: gramma dishes on December 10, 2012, 03:00:59 PM
Ditto Jen Jay and everyone else!

What Calypso mentioned will be the best Christmas Present of all -- freedom from pain.  Can't beat that! 

We'll all be thinking about you! 
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 88
Post by: figee on December 10, 2012, 03:22:56 PM
Sending virtual good thoughts, white light, healing vibes, happiness, good TV shows or decent DVDs, whatever it takes to help you out.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 88
Post by: buvezdevin on December 10, 2012, 04:03:33 PM
Sending best wishes, and looking forward to hearing of a wonderful outcome!
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 88
Post by: JacklynHyde on December 10, 2012, 04:36:02 PM
Semi-lurker me is coming out to wish you well.  Here's to a pain-free 2013!
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 88
Post by: Firecat on December 10, 2012, 05:27:20 PM
Many good thoughts for a smooth procedure and easy recovery
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 88
Post by: peach2play on December 10, 2012, 07:06:25 PM
Lots of thoughts and prayer coming your way!
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 88
Post by: Hmmmmm on December 10, 2012, 08:02:19 PM
Best wishes for a steady recovery.  Glad you will finally be getting some relief.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 88
Post by: Lindee on December 10, 2012, 08:08:04 PM
Sending best wishes from Australia.....
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 88
Post by: Reika on December 10, 2012, 08:13:54 PM
May you have an excellent surgery and a speedy recovery. *hugs*
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 88
Post by: Gyburc on December 11, 2012, 05:42:25 AM
Yes, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you! All the very best,

Gyburc
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 88
Post by: blue2000 on December 11, 2012, 06:10:09 AM
Good thoughts and hugs - and a pain-free 2013!!!! :)
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 88
Post by: Kiara on December 11, 2012, 08:15:12 AM
Good luck today!!!!!!    :)
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update # 88
Post by: JoyinVirginia on December 11, 2012, 12:34:19 PM
Best wishes to you, that everything goes well and that you will be feeling better soon!
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update 106!
Post by: ebrochu on December 13, 2012, 10:21:50 PM
Well, I'm back home, and I'm feeling just amazing!

They were able to do the surgery laproscopically (there was a huge chance I was going to have to be opened right up) And I've just got 5 little incisions in me. I'm hurting, but the pain now, versus the pain before is just night and day. I can handle this pain. It's the pain of healing.

It turns out that it was a endometrial cyst, and it was adhering to everything in my lower abdomen, which my surgeon told me explained why I was in such constant pain. As she put it "Once I saw that, all your pain issues just made complete sense."

I was just in overnight, and was "sprung" the next day. I'm covered in Bruises (there was one failed I.V. start that ended up leaving a huge bruise on my arm, and 2 heperin injections that messed up my arm, and the incision bruises,) but beyond that, I feel fantastic. My stomach isn't swollen out from the cyst anymore, I don't need a cane to walk - 2 days after abdominal surgery, and I walk normally!

I just want to again thank everyone here. The advice in the beginning of this all, the comfort and support as times got dark, and the human compassion that was in every word really touched my soul. I don't think I could have gotten through this without you all, and for that, I will be forever grateful.

I'll be heading back to work in a month (heavy lifting is my job, I want to make sure I'm completely healed!) And then my little saga will be over. 10 months of pain, is just gone. I cannot believe it took this long to get me to this point, but if I learned anything along the way (and I learned a ton, believe me!) It's that you can't give up on yourself. Just because one person pushes you down, and makes you feel worthless, it doesn't mean that you are. Their perception of you means nothing. It's only what you feel about yourself that matters. I know I'm worth it. I'm worth healing, I deserve to feel good, and I believe I'm worth everything in the world!

Again, thank you. Thank you all.


P.S. If anyone ever has any questions about lapro- surgery, feel free to ask!
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update 106!
Post by: doodlemor on December 13, 2012, 10:39:19 PM
What a delightful update, ebrochu!  I'm so glad that everything went so well for you, and that you feel so much better already! 

Be sure that a month is sufficient to heal - you have been through a lot. 
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update 106!
Post by: Lindee on December 14, 2012, 12:19:19 AM
What wonderful news!  Best of luck with your recovery.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update 106!
Post by: rosiegirl on December 14, 2012, 12:40:46 AM
I am so glad everything went so well for you.  Isn't it amazing how surgery can be done now and how great you can feel after it!?!

Just make sure to keep on taking it easy, despite how great you feel.  Take that month and get totally better.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update 106!
Post by: Nora on December 14, 2012, 01:31:41 AM
So so happy for you! I know what it feels like to finally get better after a long period of soul crushing pain, and it's the best feeling ever! (((HappyHugs)))
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update 106!
Post by: ClaireC79 on December 14, 2012, 02:22:15 AM
I had laproscopy surgery a month ago (I'm assuming not as bad as you as only had a few adhesions and my uterus had already healed before the problem was worked out) I did go back to work too soon really, but within 8-9 days I felt back to normal with just the odd twinge now and again.  Stitches dissolved after 3 weeks, so glad you are feeling better now but don't over do it
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update 106!
Post by: Stormtreader on December 14, 2012, 03:51:22 AM
I had a lapro exploritory a few years ago - laughing may be sore for the next few days!
Also I found the surgery or the anasthetic meant I was a bit emotionally random for a month or so - just to reassure you youre not going crazy if you suddenly cry your eyes out over nothing! :D
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update 106!
Post by: Gyburc on December 14, 2012, 05:23:18 AM
What wonderful news! Take good care of yourself and recover well!

All the best,

G
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update 106!
Post by: peach2play on December 14, 2012, 06:01:50 AM
Hooray!!!!!!!
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update 106!
Post by: blue2000 on December 14, 2012, 06:11:11 AM
Yay! Great news!
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update 106!
Post by: Firecat on December 14, 2012, 11:10:05 AM
I'm so glad for you! I would suggest that, if you do heavy lifting, you talk to your doctor about when it's appropriate to go back to work. 
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update 106!
Post by: gramma dishes on December 14, 2012, 11:31:41 AM
Best new ever!  What a difference a day makes,  huh?   :D

Take care of yourself for the next few weeks. And you're right.  You are SO worth it! 

Edited because I can't spell.  Meant to say "Best news ever!" but since I'm sure you feel like new, maybe it is a forgiveable slip!   ;)
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update 106!
Post by: Hmmmmm on December 14, 2012, 12:42:59 PM
Very happy for you. 
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update 106!
Post by: EMuir on December 14, 2012, 12:50:55 PM
So glad the pain is less and you're feeling better!
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update 106!
Post by: jedikaiti on December 14, 2012, 01:33:44 PM
Yay! Yes, be sure to take it very very easy - now is the time to heal, not injure yourself due to over-enjoyment of the absence of pain. :-)
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update 106!
Post by: buvezdevin on December 14, 2012, 04:04:45 PM
Wonderful update, and so happy for you!  Definitely give yourself time and permission to heal well and fully before returning to work or physical exertion.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update 106!
Post by: Redsoil on December 16, 2012, 12:31:40 AM
Glad it all went so well!  However, be really careful not to push yourself too soon.  Even with keyhole surgery, there can be a risk of adhesions, and you really don't want those (veteran of adhesion ops here).  And unfortunately, adhesions are the gift that just keeps giving.  So, if you're doing heavy lifting, make sure you have sufficient time to heal, and be careful when you go back to work. 
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update 106!
Post by: MyFamily on December 16, 2012, 10:22:21 AM
Such wonderful news!!!!!  I am so happy for you.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update 106!
Post by: AfleetAlex on December 17, 2012, 03:08:40 PM
There is nothing like that first moment of feeling better after you've been ill or in pain. It's like heaven! Congrats on a successful surgery and good thoughts for quick healing!!
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update 106!
Post by: RegionMom on December 18, 2012, 10:45:51 AM
I went hiking a couple of weeks after surgery, and even though I felt fine, the not dissolved yet stitches poked out and rubbed against my clothing so I had to cover it with a large band aid.  I now have a larger scar where the rubbing occurred, but not a big deal. 
So, that is to say, take it easy and be super careful.

Glad you are on the road to recovery, and that you have answers!!

You will truly have a wonderful new year to begin!
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update 106!
Post by: Elisabunny on December 18, 2012, 11:45:40 AM
I'm so glad you're feeling better!
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update 106!
Post by: Jaelle on December 18, 2012, 06:47:29 PM
Whoo hoo! Glad you're feeling better, OP! :D
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update 106!
Post by: thedudeabides on December 18, 2012, 09:33:29 PM
I'm glad that it went well, and I hope you heal quickly.  Don't push yourself too hard too fast and good luck with your coworker when you get back.
Title: Re: Taking time off work for medical reasons and a coworker complaining. Update 106!
Post by: TOLady on December 20, 2012, 10:57:48 AM
Glad things turned out well for you. I had similar surgery a few years back.

I have one piece of advice to yourself and anyone else having similar surgery - do not, under any circumstances, watch anything or read anything remotely funny (especially British comedies!). It tends to hurt like the dickens when you laugh!  :)