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Time off is unjustified

Posted by Valerie S on 3/27/01 at hrmin (042647)

Hi. I am now into my 2nd week of 2 off from work. Yesterday, I saw the the PT and the Podiatrist, both of whom think that I should plan on going back to work next Monday. Each used a different logic.

The PT said that I wasn't really improving in my resting pain level, and that he didn't see any real improvement (even though I had one whole day without pain!), so recommending more time off work would be unjustified. He said 'tendons can take 6-8 weeks to heal... what are we gonna do, give you 8 weeks off work? What if that doesn't work?' Good point, but...

The Doctor said he thought I was getting better, and could go back to work. 'I can't keep you off work forever...' He is monitoring my progress closely, he says; I have an appt next week Monday. I asked if I should be expecting to go back to work on Monday; he says 'We will see... but plan on it, yes.'

I cannot believe that they both think the best thing could be to go back to being on my feet 42 hours a week! I feel like I have been improving with rest and PT. I have already tried all the treatments the doctor had to offer, each combined with working on my feet, with no success. He is still trying to get my orthotics to fit me right.

I have worked hard all my life, always on my feet, and now my work is crippling me. I don't want to be treated like I am just being lazy. Without a doctor backing me up, I can't take time off from my job. I can't quit RIGHT NOW, either. I know that going back to work could hurt me even more in the long run (if it is not already too late!), but I don't seem to have a leg to stand on. No one is offering me a solution, just telling me that this one is not going to work.

I have an appt with a new doctor, and orthopedic surgeon, next Friday. If she also tells me that I need to be working, then I don't know what I will do. My boss has pretty much told me, in essence, not to come back until this problem is taken care of. (Not that he doesn't care, he just doesn't want to be giving me intermittent time off... I agree with him, but can't seem to find the solution).

I'm sorry for being so long-winded all the time... I am at such a loss.

Thanks.
Val.

Re: Time off is unjustified

Beverly on 3/27/01 at 13:54 (042664)

Valerie,

My heart goes out to you. Clearly, neither your pod nor PT is taking your pain seriously! I find it incredible that they think two weeks is enough to be back on your feet.

What great loss is it for them to reccomend more time off? It's not like they're funding your pay check! I hope your new doctor is more helpful.
One suggestion: document for the new doc what you've tried and how it helped or did not help. And like a resume, this is a time for you to talk yourself up. In case, the extent of your pain.

Keep us posted and don't ever worry about being long winded. God knows, I've posted a blue streak when I've been upset.
Take care,
Beverly

Re: Time off is unjustified

ellen on 3/27/01 at 14:07 (042668)

I am so sorry that you are going through this. I can't offer a solution for your doctors and PT's lack of understanding -- maybe showing them some of these posts, especially from people whose problems are longstanding would help.

If I remember correctly, you work at a hotel, with lots of getting up and down to move from customer service stations to computer and credit care equipment sites. The graphic designers in our art department have barstool height chairs on casters, and zoom around from their Macs to different printers. Would your company either buy you such a chair, or allow you to bring one in, if the physical layout would accomodate it? It might allow you to sit while still waiting on customers. If your hotel has a whirlpool for guests, would they allow you to soak your foot in it at lunch? It may be naive of me to think they would, but who knows? Would they consider cross-training you for back-of-the-house assignments, so that you wouldn't have to be on your feet all the time?
ellen

Re: Time off is unjustified

JudyS on 3/27/01 at 14:09 (042670)

Wow, Valerie! This seems, on the surface, to be totally unacceptable! If you have a job that has you on your feet, on a hard surface, 42 hours a week, then it's likely the job is the cause of your PF and you should be eligible for workman's comp. Laurie R here qualified - maybe she can give you more information on that.
But it's very distressing to hear that BOTH your PT and your doctor say you can go back to work! How long have you been treated? Everybody here, and every doc I ever met with says the real key to relief is to be off your feet as much as possible! It's incomprehensible that these 2 professionals are saying this!
I'm glad you're going to a new doc - keep taking charge and keep reading here because many will give you very good advice regarding your recent post.

Re: Time off is unjustified

Laurie R on 3/27/01 at 16:44 (042682)

Hi Valerie,
Ok it is time for you to get a new doctor and a new Pod. Thry are both WRONG..... How can two weeks cure your PF.Have they lost their minds??? You don't need this on top of everything else you have been through. So you have from now Tue. until next Monday right?? Here is a plan for you. Go find a new doctor ,even if it is a GP anyone that will listen to you and understand.

Now for Workmans comp. If you feel you hurt your foot or got PF due to your job in any way ,You should file a workmans comp claim. They will pay all your medical for your foot and also pay you 2/3 of you wages.

I know you are very frustrated right now an din pain . My heart really goes out to you Val ,but you do have a say so in your treatment. I don't think anyone has been cured in two weeks ...

If I can help you in any way PLEASE feel free to ask me.

Laurie R

Re: What's at stake?

Steve P on 3/27/01 at 17:17 (042687)

Well said, Judy! I absolutely agree.

Valerie -- After reading this & your past posts, I'm troubled about what is really at stake here. In my opinion, the worst-case outcome of this is not simply that you might have to give up 42 hours per week on your feet. Rather, it is that you could reinjure your feet so many times that they will no longer respond EVEN WITH REST.

We've seen plenty of examples of people on this board who have underestimated PF until they have a chronic, long term problem. Please don't become one of them!

The statement that 'more time off work can't be justified' strikes me as ridiculous.

Re: What's at stake?

Pauline on 3/27/01 at 20:17 (042721)

Having had PF three time, I feel somewhat of an expert in its debilitating effects. During the first two rounds, I was working and I can tell you first hand my experience was certainly more pain and a longer recovery time. This last time I was not working and my pain level and the amount of inflammation was a lot less because I was able to be totally off my feet. I was able to exercise, ice and do all the other things at will all day long.

I wish there was a way to make the medical world understand that staying off one's feet is the first and best treatment for PF. If I ran the world I put everyone with PF on medical leave for at least a year. We know your problems all too well.

Re: Time off is unjustified

Julie on 3/28/01 at 01:57 (042750)

Val, I agree with what the others have said: it's appalling that the medical people have taken this attitude, and I hope you'll be more fortunate with the orthopaedic surgeon on Friday.

Steve is right where the docs are wrong: you cannot expect to go back to working 42 hours a day on hard floors and recover. That is the bottom line. You will end up with a long-lasting case of plantar fasciitis that may never get better. It certainly won't get better while you're doing this particular job, so the job may have to go - or change.

If it is really impossible for you to quit now, you need to negotiate a temporary shift of duties. That means engaging your boss's interest and sympathy. This will be difficult, given his attitude so far, but you must try. Would Ellen's chair suggestion be a possibility in the job you are doing now? If not, be pro-active: you know the company so try to think of jobs you might be able to switch to temporarily, jobs that would allow you to sit. Decide what might be possible, and ask for it.

Have you investigated ESWT? As several of us have said, it would be wise to go for the non-invasive option before you consider surgery.

When you see the new doctor, take with you printouts of some of the posts - present and past - that have been made about the contribution working on hard surfaces makes to foot pain.

As Laurie advises, and she knows what she is talking about, you should certainly investigate workmans' compensation

Val, I know you've struck unlucky so far with just about everybody: your doctor, your PT, and your boss. That's unfortunate, but I think that part of the answer is going to have to come from you, from a change of attitude. In all your posts, I hear you saying 'I am helpless in this situation, and at the mercy of my doctor, my PT, my boss and my job.' But you are not helpless. This is your situation, not theirs, and you do have power in it. It's up to you to use your power and make decisions. The first step is to consider the reasonable suggestions you've been given, and follow some of them up.

The choices, particularly about the job, may seem stark, but as I think you now realize, your future is at stake, and the real choice is between a real, pain-free life and the life of an invalid.

Re: Time off is unjustified

Valerie S on 3/28/01 at hrmin (042762)

Hi, and thanks for all your suggestions and help.

Unfortunately, I do not work in a hotel; I work in retail at a hectic copy center, surrounded by machines and electrical wires. Wheeling around is not an option. I am the assistant manager. There is a list of 'essential functions' for my position, and at the top is: 'The ability and stamina to be able to stand throughout entire shift.' There are NO sit-down jobs where I work. The only office jobs are in other towns, and until my husband graduates, I am stuck in Grand Rapids. If I quit, I lose my health insurance.

I am hoping and planning to get at least another week off from my pod. This way I will have the 2nd opinion before I go back to work.

There is another girl at work who has had the PF surgery, and she is trying to push me to get it also. I wonder how workman's comp will affect my workplace, her, etc. I am reluctant to make a claim.... I will ask Laurie for her opinion.

I don't mean to play the helpless child here... I can take accountability for my actions and emotions. I appreciate the support that I get here, when I feel like it is me against the world. I tend to be the kind of person that will just take what she gets, won't stand up for herself (and always be polite about it). It is hard for me to challenge a doctor (he went to school for 12 years, so he should know more than I do ... ) I guess it is time for me to stand up and fight for my own health and welfare.

Thanks again for your support.

Val.

Re: To Laurie

Valerie S on 3/28/01 at hrmin (042764)

Hi Laurie.

How did you get approved for workmen's comp? It seems that they could just tell me to find a new type of occupation. The company I work for does not offer me a position that allows me to sit down. Everyone works on their feet.

I am not trying to abuse the system, just trying to get better. I have a short-term disability plan through my work, which kicks in after 2 weeks; another motive for me to continue this leave instead of starting a new one.

How many doctors did you see before you found someone to really help you? I have an appt with an ortho next Friday. It's hard to get in anywhere so quickly. When I go to my pod next Monday, I will insist on at least another week off (since he did acknowledge that this is finally helping me... nothing else has yet).

Thanks for your help - any inside info you have would be great.

Val.

Re: Time off is unjustified

Valerie S on 3/28/01 at hrmin (042765)

Hi ellen.

Thanks for the great idea... but that was Paula A that worked in the hotel. I work in customer service, but around machines and electric cords are all over the floor. Wheeling around won't work. No one sits down. There is no back of the house. Oh well.

Although you did make it sound like fun!!!

Thanks...Val.

Re: Time off is unjustified

ellen w on 3/28/01 at 08:44 (042778)

Val,

One other thing I thought of last night. If you wind up having to show up for work next week because of your current doctor, could he at least write a note indicating that you should be on 'restricted duties' -- specifically, no standing? That might help your boss understand. I agree with everyone urging you to find a new doctor, one who understands that you need to stave off a potentially long-term chronic problem. I have had good luck with my doc, who is a sports medicine specialist, as well as an orthopedic surgeon. A number of posters have noted that sports medicine docs seem to be more pro-active about PT.
Ellen

Re: Time off is unjustified

JudyS on 3/28/01 at 10:29 (042786)

Hi Valerie - are you talking about Griand Rapids, Mich? I grew up there -in fact I was just there - but I live in San Diego. I'm still curious about your job. It's true, as in Laurie's case as a bartender, that 'on-your-feet' jobs are a very common cause of PF. Is your copy center part of a chain, i.e., corporation? And a coworker has experienced it also? Go for the big push on that workman's comp!
I don't recall how long you've had PF - have you had it long enough to consider the surgery?

Re: Time off is unjustified

Julie on 3/28/01 at 10:55 (042789)

Hi Val

A doctor may have studied for 112 years, but still can't know your body better than you do - no-one does.

I know how hard it is to challenge a doctor - it's hard for me too, probably for most of us, but there is a lot at stake here and perhaps it's time for you to be more assertive - as you say, to stand up for your own health and welfare.

Thanks for describing your job. It sounds horrendous for anyone with PF. And the message in the list of essential functions is abundantly clear!

Are there really NO other office jobs in Grand Rapids? Almost anything would be better for you than the one you have.

What does your husband think and say about this difficult situation?

Julie

Re: Time off is unjustified

Beverly on 3/28/01 at 14:19 (042816)

Valerie,

Now that I know you work in retail and are on your feet constantly (and I'll bet it is on hard floors) I see no way any ethical doctor could send you back into that environment until you are healed. That can take a long, long time. A year later and with work that is done entirely on my butt in a chair, I am still only partially better.

But I see one hopeful thing in your post. I may be making an incorrect assumption, but I'm going to guess that an assistant manager in retail does not make much money. Now, here is the good thing about that. If you had a really well paid job like say as a hospital nurse in ER, it would be much harder to duplicate your old salary in a new job. But I'm going to guess that there are many office jobs you could do and get paid just as well as what you are doing now.

Here again, it would be very helpful to have your doctor on your side. In Texas, we have Texas Rehab. (I think most states have something similar.) It pays for retraining in a new field for a person who has been disabled from their current work. And if nothing else, there are always student loans.
Here are some ideas for what you could get trained to do that would be foot friendly and take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to complete:

office manager
book keeper
webmaster
networker
administrative assistant
receptionist (If you can type a little, you could probably do this without any training, but it is not as well paid as skilled office jobs.)
legal assistant
graphic designer

I'm sure other people could think of more stuff.

If you have a background in sales, I'm sure there are sales oriented jobs that don't put you on your feet all day. Things get that sold more from an office/over the phone.

This probably seems overwhelming. I'm so sorry you are getting so little support. It seems to go with the territory.
Beverly

Re: To Laurie

Laurie R on 3/28/01 at 15:05 (042822)

Hi Val,
You asked me how I got approved for workman's comp? I twisted my foot on an oven rack at work. I was a bartender and have been for almost 17 years. But not only did I twist my foot that day ,I must of twisted it about 100 times on the mats behind the bar. But on that day I started getting shooting pains throw my foot and ankle . I told my boss and I waited 2 days before I went to see a doctor. I worked with my foot like that for 3 months (that was the worse thing I could of done) . I needed the money to live and I knew if I took time off they would fire me. And they did. Even though it is agaist the law . I have been off now for 17 months. Their are no sit down jobs there either . I tried to go back part time to see if I could do it back in Jan 2000 ,but my job said no way .

It took 4 months to get to see my Pod ,I guess their was a mix up with WC and the paper work. I was so scared to see him at first. I thought he was going to make me work through the pain . On my first visit with him he put me off for a month . It has been month to month ever since . My Pod said I can never go back to that type of work. He also has PF and he understands the pain all to well.

You asked how many doctors I have seen ? Two before my Pod ,then my Pod sen tme out to see three different doctors for their opinions on my foot. They all agree on my POd diagnosis .....I now will be having surgery at Stanford hospital with a foot specialist and my Pod......The problem I am having is my WC insurance company went bankrupt ,so now I have been waiting for almost 9 weeks to get it approve ....I have PF but I also have tenosynivitis in the flexor longus tendon (the one that runs from our big toe to our ankle).

My advise to you is get an attorney to help you with this. I have a good attorney ,she has helped me so much with the BS that goes with WC.

If you really feel your PF is due to your job you are entitled to the WC benefits . Also if you get an attorney they will get you a doctor . Their are people out their to help you.

My feelings Val are ,if you go back to work your only going to get worse . As you can see their are a lot of us here. I only wish I would of took the time off from the start maybe I would not be in the mess I am now.

PLEASE let me know how I can help you .That is what we are here for .

Laurie R

Re: What's at stake?

diane on 3/28/01 at 20:21 (042869)

i have gotten to the chronic stage. and have tried everthing.including surgery. i had 1 orbasone treatment and wish i had more to see if it would nip this crap in the butt. i have rested. since the last week of oct. i haven't been on my job. does your job have short term disability? if so take it.also do you family medical leave. thats 17 weeks of paid off time. i have been blessed to have this. so check in to it. goog luck to ya. we all know what you are going thru...... di

Re: Time off is unjustified

Valerie S on 3/28/01 at hrmin (042872)

Hi Judy.
Yes, I work for a large corporation that makes copies 24 hours a day. (I think you know the one). My coworker had the surgery and swears by it - the magic cure in her eyes (except now she has it in her other foot and her first foot still hurts anyway...)

I have had pain for about 7-8 months now. It came on gradually and I thought it would go away. No dice. I waited until I could take no more before finally going to the doctor. I surrendered to the pain a week and a half ago. I can't go back to work now. A mere trip to the grocery store has me in tears.

I'm not sure I really have a case for workman's comp. I might talk to a lawyer... I really am concerned about getting doctor to back me up on my decision to take time off work.

My doctor tells me that you should wait at least a year before considering surgery, but they also tell me I am running out of options. I will wait and get ESWT before I opt for the surgery, I think. I must find a way...

Thanks.

Val.

Re: Time off is unjustified

bg on 3/28/01 at 22:07 (042873)

Valerie, you are not too far. post a message if you are interested in trying different orthotics and or shoes. At least having them evaluated

Re: Where are you?

Valerie S on 3/29/01 at hrmin (042924)

Hi bg.
Do you mean that I am not too far from you, or that I am not too far into having PF to lose hope? Where are you located? I think you are asking me if I want a second opinion on my orthotics and shoes, but I'm not sure...

Thanks... Val.

Re: To Laurie: When is it too late to file for WC?

Valerie S on 3/29/01 at hrmin (042932)

I have been off work for 2 weeks... I have been using my FMLA time to get this time off. There is a separate box for WC or for WC/FMLA combined. I did not claim this as WC claim before I took the time off.. does this mean that I have sacrificed my rights to make this claim?

I wish I could find a doctor who has had PF... my mom works at a hospital, and one of the doctors there has PF; he has closed his practice for a year so that he can attempt to get rid of the PF. At the end, he was wheeling himself around on one of those little stools, going from room to room (he worked in the ER.) Quite a testimony...

Thanks again.

Val.

Re: To Laurie: When is it too late to file for WC?RE

Laurie R on 3/29/01 at 15:28 (042950)

Hi Val,
First of all ,my heart really goes out to you. I know your frustration . Now I am in CA so our laws are different then yours. Try to find a WC web site for your state . The CA WC has a really big site with good info ,anything you need to know.

Like I suggested to you yesterday ,call an attorney . They will guide you on what to do. If they feel you have a case they will take your case on contingency (SP) ,which means you don't pay anything until you get a settlement .... Just llok in the phone book in the yellow pages. I would do this as soon as possible ..The attorney will tell you on the phone whether or not it is due to your job.Now if you don't like the first attorney you call ,call another one. Look in the phone book under WC attorney..... I think this will help you until you get your ssecond opinion....

I am having such a hard time understanding your Pod . It is your foot and you are the one in pain.

I had to get an updated note to be off work for WC . So I called my Pod office yesterday and they had it ready today for me. He has me month to month off work. So now my note says off until 5-01 . His nurse told me they should make it 6 months ...Here in CA it is month to month. I know and my Pod knows I will be off for a long time. He has to go by what WC wants.....

Val for piece of mind call a attorney ...... Let me know if I can help you. You will find someone who is going to help you . I feel so bad for you. It is bad enough you got PF and you are in so much pain ,you don't need to be dealing with all this other stuff right now.....

Laurie R

Re: Where are you?

bg on 3/29/01 at 18:01 (042969)

yes i am north of detroit, about 2 hours from gr. i can look at your orthotics if you like...let me know

Re: Time off is unjustified

Beverly on 3/27/01 at 13:54 (042664)

Valerie,

My heart goes out to you. Clearly, neither your pod nor PT is taking your pain seriously! I find it incredible that they think two weeks is enough to be back on your feet.

What great loss is it for them to reccomend more time off? It's not like they're funding your pay check! I hope your new doctor is more helpful.
One suggestion: document for the new doc what you've tried and how it helped or did not help. And like a resume, this is a time for you to talk yourself up. In case, the extent of your pain.

Keep us posted and don't ever worry about being long winded. God knows, I've posted a blue streak when I've been upset.
Take care,
Beverly

Re: Time off is unjustified

ellen on 3/27/01 at 14:07 (042668)

I am so sorry that you are going through this. I can't offer a solution for your doctors and PT's lack of understanding -- maybe showing them some of these posts, especially from people whose problems are longstanding would help.

If I remember correctly, you work at a hotel, with lots of getting up and down to move from customer service stations to computer and credit care equipment sites. The graphic designers in our art department have barstool height chairs on casters, and zoom around from their Macs to different printers. Would your company either buy you such a chair, or allow you to bring one in, if the physical layout would accomodate it? It might allow you to sit while still waiting on customers. If your hotel has a whirlpool for guests, would they allow you to soak your foot in it at lunch? It may be naive of me to think they would, but who knows? Would they consider cross-training you for back-of-the-house assignments, so that you wouldn't have to be on your feet all the time?
ellen

Re: Time off is unjustified

JudyS on 3/27/01 at 14:09 (042670)

Wow, Valerie! This seems, on the surface, to be totally unacceptable! If you have a job that has you on your feet, on a hard surface, 42 hours a week, then it's likely the job is the cause of your PF and you should be eligible for workman's comp. Laurie R here qualified - maybe she can give you more information on that.
But it's very distressing to hear that BOTH your PT and your doctor say you can go back to work! How long have you been treated? Everybody here, and every doc I ever met with says the real key to relief is to be off your feet as much as possible! It's incomprehensible that these 2 professionals are saying this!
I'm glad you're going to a new doc - keep taking charge and keep reading here because many will give you very good advice regarding your recent post.

Re: Time off is unjustified

Laurie R on 3/27/01 at 16:44 (042682)

Hi Valerie,
Ok it is time for you to get a new doctor and a new Pod. Thry are both WRONG..... How can two weeks cure your PF.Have they lost their minds??? You don't need this on top of everything else you have been through. So you have from now Tue. until next Monday right?? Here is a plan for you. Go find a new doctor ,even if it is a GP anyone that will listen to you and understand.

Now for Workmans comp. If you feel you hurt your foot or got PF due to your job in any way ,You should file a workmans comp claim. They will pay all your medical for your foot and also pay you 2/3 of you wages.

I know you are very frustrated right now an din pain . My heart really goes out to you Val ,but you do have a say so in your treatment. I don't think anyone has been cured in two weeks ...

If I can help you in any way PLEASE feel free to ask me.

Laurie R

Re: What's at stake?

Steve P on 3/27/01 at 17:17 (042687)

Well said, Judy! I absolutely agree.

Valerie -- After reading this & your past posts, I'm troubled about what is really at stake here. In my opinion, the worst-case outcome of this is not simply that you might have to give up 42 hours per week on your feet. Rather, it is that you could reinjure your feet so many times that they will no longer respond EVEN WITH REST.

We've seen plenty of examples of people on this board who have underestimated PF until they have a chronic, long term problem. Please don't become one of them!

The statement that 'more time off work can't be justified' strikes me as ridiculous.

Re: What's at stake?

Pauline on 3/27/01 at 20:17 (042721)

Having had PF three time, I feel somewhat of an expert in its debilitating effects. During the first two rounds, I was working and I can tell you first hand my experience was certainly more pain and a longer recovery time. This last time I was not working and my pain level and the amount of inflammation was a lot less because I was able to be totally off my feet. I was able to exercise, ice and do all the other things at will all day long.

I wish there was a way to make the medical world understand that staying off one's feet is the first and best treatment for PF. If I ran the world I put everyone with PF on medical leave for at least a year. We know your problems all too well.

Re: Time off is unjustified

Julie on 3/28/01 at 01:57 (042750)

Val, I agree with what the others have said: it's appalling that the medical people have taken this attitude, and I hope you'll be more fortunate with the orthopaedic surgeon on Friday.

Steve is right where the docs are wrong: you cannot expect to go back to working 42 hours a day on hard floors and recover. That is the bottom line. You will end up with a long-lasting case of plantar fasciitis that may never get better. It certainly won't get better while you're doing this particular job, so the job may have to go - or change.

If it is really impossible for you to quit now, you need to negotiate a temporary shift of duties. That means engaging your boss's interest and sympathy. This will be difficult, given his attitude so far, but you must try. Would Ellen's chair suggestion be a possibility in the job you are doing now? If not, be pro-active: you know the company so try to think of jobs you might be able to switch to temporarily, jobs that would allow you to sit. Decide what might be possible, and ask for it.

Have you investigated ESWT? As several of us have said, it would be wise to go for the non-invasive option before you consider surgery.

When you see the new doctor, take with you printouts of some of the posts - present and past - that have been made about the contribution working on hard surfaces makes to foot pain.

As Laurie advises, and she knows what she is talking about, you should certainly investigate workmans' compensation

Val, I know you've struck unlucky so far with just about everybody: your doctor, your PT, and your boss. That's unfortunate, but I think that part of the answer is going to have to come from you, from a change of attitude. In all your posts, I hear you saying 'I am helpless in this situation, and at the mercy of my doctor, my PT, my boss and my job.' But you are not helpless. This is your situation, not theirs, and you do have power in it. It's up to you to use your power and make decisions. The first step is to consider the reasonable suggestions you've been given, and follow some of them up.

The choices, particularly about the job, may seem stark, but as I think you now realize, your future is at stake, and the real choice is between a real, pain-free life and the life of an invalid.

Re: Time off is unjustified

Valerie S on 3/28/01 at hrmin (042762)

Hi, and thanks for all your suggestions and help.

Unfortunately, I do not work in a hotel; I work in retail at a hectic copy center, surrounded by machines and electrical wires. Wheeling around is not an option. I am the assistant manager. There is a list of 'essential functions' for my position, and at the top is: 'The ability and stamina to be able to stand throughout entire shift.' There are NO sit-down jobs where I work. The only office jobs are in other towns, and until my husband graduates, I am stuck in Grand Rapids. If I quit, I lose my health insurance.

I am hoping and planning to get at least another week off from my pod. This way I will have the 2nd opinion before I go back to work.

There is another girl at work who has had the PF surgery, and she is trying to push me to get it also. I wonder how workman's comp will affect my workplace, her, etc. I am reluctant to make a claim.... I will ask Laurie for her opinion.

I don't mean to play the helpless child here... I can take accountability for my actions and emotions. I appreciate the support that I get here, when I feel like it is me against the world. I tend to be the kind of person that will just take what she gets, won't stand up for herself (and always be polite about it). It is hard for me to challenge a doctor (he went to school for 12 years, so he should know more than I do ... ) I guess it is time for me to stand up and fight for my own health and welfare.

Thanks again for your support.

Val.

Re: To Laurie

Valerie S on 3/28/01 at hrmin (042764)

Hi Laurie.

How did you get approved for workmen's comp? It seems that they could just tell me to find a new type of occupation. The company I work for does not offer me a position that allows me to sit down. Everyone works on their feet.

I am not trying to abuse the system, just trying to get better. I have a short-term disability plan through my work, which kicks in after 2 weeks; another motive for me to continue this leave instead of starting a new one.

How many doctors did you see before you found someone to really help you? I have an appt with an ortho next Friday. It's hard to get in anywhere so quickly. When I go to my pod next Monday, I will insist on at least another week off (since he did acknowledge that this is finally helping me... nothing else has yet).

Thanks for your help - any inside info you have would be great.

Val.

Re: Time off is unjustified

Valerie S on 3/28/01 at hrmin (042765)

Hi ellen.

Thanks for the great idea... but that was Paula A that worked in the hotel. I work in customer service, but around machines and electric cords are all over the floor. Wheeling around won't work. No one sits down. There is no back of the house. Oh well.

Although you did make it sound like fun!!!

Thanks...Val.

Re: Time off is unjustified

ellen w on 3/28/01 at 08:44 (042778)

Val,

One other thing I thought of last night. If you wind up having to show up for work next week because of your current doctor, could he at least write a note indicating that you should be on 'restricted duties' -- specifically, no standing? That might help your boss understand. I agree with everyone urging you to find a new doctor, one who understands that you need to stave off a potentially long-term chronic problem. I have had good luck with my doc, who is a sports medicine specialist, as well as an orthopedic surgeon. A number of posters have noted that sports medicine docs seem to be more pro-active about PT.
Ellen

Re: Time off is unjustified

JudyS on 3/28/01 at 10:29 (042786)

Hi Valerie - are you talking about Griand Rapids, Mich? I grew up there -in fact I was just there - but I live in San Diego. I'm still curious about your job. It's true, as in Laurie's case as a bartender, that 'on-your-feet' jobs are a very common cause of PF. Is your copy center part of a chain, i.e., corporation? And a coworker has experienced it also? Go for the big push on that workman's comp!
I don't recall how long you've had PF - have you had it long enough to consider the surgery?

Re: Time off is unjustified

Julie on 3/28/01 at 10:55 (042789)

Hi Val

A doctor may have studied for 112 years, but still can't know your body better than you do - no-one does.

I know how hard it is to challenge a doctor - it's hard for me too, probably for most of us, but there is a lot at stake here and perhaps it's time for you to be more assertive - as you say, to stand up for your own health and welfare.

Thanks for describing your job. It sounds horrendous for anyone with PF. And the message in the list of essential functions is abundantly clear!

Are there really NO other office jobs in Grand Rapids? Almost anything would be better for you than the one you have.

What does your husband think and say about this difficult situation?

Julie

Re: Time off is unjustified

Beverly on 3/28/01 at 14:19 (042816)

Valerie,

Now that I know you work in retail and are on your feet constantly (and I'll bet it is on hard floors) I see no way any ethical doctor could send you back into that environment until you are healed. That can take a long, long time. A year later and with work that is done entirely on my butt in a chair, I am still only partially better.

But I see one hopeful thing in your post. I may be making an incorrect assumption, but I'm going to guess that an assistant manager in retail does not make much money. Now, here is the good thing about that. If you had a really well paid job like say as a hospital nurse in ER, it would be much harder to duplicate your old salary in a new job. But I'm going to guess that there are many office jobs you could do and get paid just as well as what you are doing now.

Here again, it would be very helpful to have your doctor on your side. In Texas, we have Texas Rehab. (I think most states have something similar.) It pays for retraining in a new field for a person who has been disabled from their current work. And if nothing else, there are always student loans.
Here are some ideas for what you could get trained to do that would be foot friendly and take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to complete:

office manager
book keeper
webmaster
networker
administrative assistant
receptionist (If you can type a little, you could probably do this without any training, but it is not as well paid as skilled office jobs.)
legal assistant
graphic designer

I'm sure other people could think of more stuff.

If you have a background in sales, I'm sure there are sales oriented jobs that don't put you on your feet all day. Things get that sold more from an office/over the phone.

This probably seems overwhelming. I'm so sorry you are getting so little support. It seems to go with the territory.
Beverly

Re: To Laurie

Laurie R on 3/28/01 at 15:05 (042822)

Hi Val,
You asked me how I got approved for workman's comp? I twisted my foot on an oven rack at work. I was a bartender and have been for almost 17 years. But not only did I twist my foot that day ,I must of twisted it about 100 times on the mats behind the bar. But on that day I started getting shooting pains throw my foot and ankle . I told my boss and I waited 2 days before I went to see a doctor. I worked with my foot like that for 3 months (that was the worse thing I could of done) . I needed the money to live and I knew if I took time off they would fire me. And they did. Even though it is agaist the law . I have been off now for 17 months. Their are no sit down jobs there either . I tried to go back part time to see if I could do it back in Jan 2000 ,but my job said no way .

It took 4 months to get to see my Pod ,I guess their was a mix up with WC and the paper work. I was so scared to see him at first. I thought he was going to make me work through the pain . On my first visit with him he put me off for a month . It has been month to month ever since . My Pod said I can never go back to that type of work. He also has PF and he understands the pain all to well.

You asked how many doctors I have seen ? Two before my Pod ,then my Pod sen tme out to see three different doctors for their opinions on my foot. They all agree on my POd diagnosis .....I now will be having surgery at Stanford hospital with a foot specialist and my Pod......The problem I am having is my WC insurance company went bankrupt ,so now I have been waiting for almost 9 weeks to get it approve ....I have PF but I also have tenosynivitis in the flexor longus tendon (the one that runs from our big toe to our ankle).

My advise to you is get an attorney to help you with this. I have a good attorney ,she has helped me so much with the BS that goes with WC.

If you really feel your PF is due to your job you are entitled to the WC benefits . Also if you get an attorney they will get you a doctor . Their are people out their to help you.

My feelings Val are ,if you go back to work your only going to get worse . As you can see their are a lot of us here. I only wish I would of took the time off from the start maybe I would not be in the mess I am now.

PLEASE let me know how I can help you .That is what we are here for .

Laurie R

Re: What's at stake?

diane on 3/28/01 at 20:21 (042869)

i have gotten to the chronic stage. and have tried everthing.including surgery. i had 1 orbasone treatment and wish i had more to see if it would nip this crap in the butt. i have rested. since the last week of oct. i haven't been on my job. does your job have short term disability? if so take it.also do you family medical leave. thats 17 weeks of paid off time. i have been blessed to have this. so check in to it. goog luck to ya. we all know what you are going thru...... di

Re: Time off is unjustified

Valerie S on 3/28/01 at hrmin (042872)

Hi Judy.
Yes, I work for a large corporation that makes copies 24 hours a day. (I think you know the one). My coworker had the surgery and swears by it - the magic cure in her eyes (except now she has it in her other foot and her first foot still hurts anyway...)

I have had pain for about 7-8 months now. It came on gradually and I thought it would go away. No dice. I waited until I could take no more before finally going to the doctor. I surrendered to the pain a week and a half ago. I can't go back to work now. A mere trip to the grocery store has me in tears.

I'm not sure I really have a case for workman's comp. I might talk to a lawyer... I really am concerned about getting doctor to back me up on my decision to take time off work.

My doctor tells me that you should wait at least a year before considering surgery, but they also tell me I am running out of options. I will wait and get ESWT before I opt for the surgery, I think. I must find a way...

Thanks.

Val.

Re: Time off is unjustified

bg on 3/28/01 at 22:07 (042873)

Valerie, you are not too far. post a message if you are interested in trying different orthotics and or shoes. At least having them evaluated

Re: Where are you?

Valerie S on 3/29/01 at hrmin (042924)

Hi bg.
Do you mean that I am not too far from you, or that I am not too far into having PF to lose hope? Where are you located? I think you are asking me if I want a second opinion on my orthotics and shoes, but I'm not sure...

Thanks... Val.

Re: To Laurie: When is it too late to file for WC?

Valerie S on 3/29/01 at hrmin (042932)

I have been off work for 2 weeks... I have been using my FMLA time to get this time off. There is a separate box for WC or for WC/FMLA combined. I did not claim this as WC claim before I took the time off.. does this mean that I have sacrificed my rights to make this claim?

I wish I could find a doctor who has had PF... my mom works at a hospital, and one of the doctors there has PF; he has closed his practice for a year so that he can attempt to get rid of the PF. At the end, he was wheeling himself around on one of those little stools, going from room to room (he worked in the ER.) Quite a testimony...

Thanks again.

Val.

Re: To Laurie: When is it too late to file for WC?RE

Laurie R on 3/29/01 at 15:28 (042950)

Hi Val,
First of all ,my heart really goes out to you. I know your frustration . Now I am in CA so our laws are different then yours. Try to find a WC web site for your state . The CA WC has a really big site with good info ,anything you need to know.

Like I suggested to you yesterday ,call an attorney . They will guide you on what to do. If they feel you have a case they will take your case on contingency (SP) ,which means you don't pay anything until you get a settlement .... Just llok in the phone book in the yellow pages. I would do this as soon as possible ..The attorney will tell you on the phone whether or not it is due to your job.Now if you don't like the first attorney you call ,call another one. Look in the phone book under WC attorney..... I think this will help you until you get your ssecond opinion....

I am having such a hard time understanding your Pod . It is your foot and you are the one in pain.

I had to get an updated note to be off work for WC . So I called my Pod office yesterday and they had it ready today for me. He has me month to month off work. So now my note says off until 5-01 . His nurse told me they should make it 6 months ...Here in CA it is month to month. I know and my Pod knows I will be off for a long time. He has to go by what WC wants.....

Val for piece of mind call a attorney ...... Let me know if I can help you. You will find someone who is going to help you . I feel so bad for you. It is bad enough you got PF and you are in so much pain ,you don't need to be dealing with all this other stuff right now.....

Laurie R

Re: Where are you?

bg on 3/29/01 at 18:01 (042969)

yes i am north of detroit, about 2 hours from gr. i can look at your orthotics if you like...let me know