Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

Need Info Please

Posted by Mike Murray on 8/25/01 at 09:05 (057907)

Hi Group, I have posted here before. But now am looking for some info.
I had surgery Feb 7th - 2 operations on right foot. Had a third surgery June 22 - scar tissue removal.
This week I tried returning to work LIGHT DUTY - 4 hours a day five days a week with restrictions from my doc (pod)
My employer has allowed me to return to work, but since Im on light duty, has changed my work days and hours. One thing I am not to do yet, is steps, climbing, ladders, etc. Just two days ago, I had a 'alarm' condition at work, was alone, and had to go up and down six flights of steps 8 times in one hour. When I voice my concern, Im more or less told its my job.
Light duty? Yeah, right.
Gee, guess what I am now scheduled 8 straight days four hours a day.
My main concern is this -
I can not get thru one day at work, on those concerte floors, in the damp humid environment I am in without pain. In fact, my foot, ankle and even leg will hurt so bad that I am taking more pain pills.
I have a family (2 kids), house, bills like everyone else.
I really dont know what to tell my doc when I see him in two weeks.
Do I truthfully believe I can handle four hour days?
Not in the environment I have been put in at this time.
However, when one has used up 6 months of sick leave, vacation and comp time you do need a paycheck.
I was told we have a Disability Policy at work, however no one in management wants to share the policy with me so I can read it.
Just venting my continuing frustration here.
Thanks,
Mike

Re: Need Info Please

Ed Davis, DPM on 8/25/01 at 13:50 (057942)

Tell us more about the problems you encountered, type of surgeries, post-operative care, etc.
Ed

Re: Need Info Please

linda A on 8/25/01 at 13:54 (057944)

hello mike ! i know what you have been going thru . i went back to work after having two diff. operations on both feet ( ttr & open p.f ) after a two month recovery time for the lt.foot and only one month for the rt. foot . doc had said it would be a long recovery , but a year is almost up and still in alot of pain . i work on a concrete floor in the surgery dept . i am anesthesia tech , who helps out the the anesthesia docs w/ many diff. task . i am sometimes on my feet a good 5 hrs before the first break in the day . somehow i manage to make it thru the day w/ my feet screaming at me to say , ENOUGH ! when i am at home the poor feet do not even want to move . i have a very high arch and the throbbing pain radiates along the medial side of arch , pulling sensation on the bottom of foot on lateral side along w/ back of heel . doc had cut fascia at the middle part of the foot . oh, i forgot the zapping sensation i sometimes receive at site of TTR . i was able to try out a TENS unit for 30 days luxary from health insurance . no, i did not claim workman's comp , because i did not know what caused this problem . by the time i saw the pod. the fascia was so tight it looked like cords . next week i will be going to a pain clinic . i do not wish to take narcotic meds , because it makes me sleep . i can not go on disability , because i recently bought a new house . disability would not even cover the house payment . i hope this letter gives you some support that their are people out their suffering like you . very depressed that i have not been hiking or biking in 2 1/2 yrs and wt gain ( trying a diet pill prescribed by internist to loose wt , which my pod suggest ) . current wt 175 lbs and holding for about two months . my hope is pain clinic or winning the powerball lottery at 200 million . wish me luck ! linda

Re: Need Info Please

Mike M on 8/25/01 at 17:05 (057961)

Two surgeries Feb 7th - PF and TTS
Off work until April when I tried going back Light Duty - on my normal, regular schedule of daylight working with another person
Third surgery June 22nd was for scar tissue removal on the longer incision up the side of the ankle - the 4' one.
Between those and even before the first one I had cortisone shots, Naprosyn EC, celebrex, motrin 800 mg, physical therapy and then scar management PT.
My employer tried talking me out of the thrid op saying they needed me at work.
I tried, and in fact cancelled it the first time it was scheduled.
However, the pain (the ankle area would hurt so bad even to the touch) then the feeling of electricity in the ankle and like someone drove a pick thru my heel.
After no let up in the pain, I called and reseen the pod and rescheduled the scar tissue removal and had it done.
Now my employer is giving me the 'Cold SHoulder' treatment, letting me work light duty, on second shift, by myself with NO help. As I stated, sometimes I have six flights of steps to traverse, and in an emergency (alarm) condition Ive done it six or eight times in one hour.
This foot, was broken several years earlier - the fifth metatarsal was broken completely off.

Re: Need Info Please

Mike M on 8/25/01 at 17:10 (057963)

I know what you mean.
I work for a city government, at a water plant, usually taking care of the computer systems, network, process/control instrumentation.
I also do part time PC repair and webpage authoring at home on the side.
Working at a desk is no big problem.
Until I sit too long and my right foot goes completely asleep.
It is the concrete floors, standing, walking, etc that bugs the hell out of me, and the steps.
Being like you, I used to bike ride alot. In the spring I would be in a river in a light falling snow trout fishing. Now I wouldnt even try walking on rocks just yet.
I know what you mean about weight gain. Before surgery I was a 32 waist. Sitting around Feb and March all I did was eat. Now Im fitting a 34 waist.
That just isnt me.
Oh, and dont ya just love the meds?
Motrin and I do not get along, Voltaren is just as bad.
Naprosyn EC doesnt upset the stomach, but doesnt seem to do much either.
You never really know how much you put your feet thru until something happens.
Hope somehow we all return to semi normal soon.

Mike

Re: Need Info Please

Chris M. on 8/25/01 at 17:14 (057964)

I was wondering too, as to what surgery you had. Were all three by the same doc? Not to be nosey, but the scar tissue removal made me curious. Was the scar tissue very visible from the surface or was there an internal keloid mass? Was the scar tissue reduction successful? Sounds like work will slow your healing. I would explain to the doctor how difficult it is to you and then ask him/her what can I do to heal myself. In other words, I am thinking you don't want to say'gee you said I can work and you are sooo wrong' Instead say 'I tried it and it is disabling me and what should I do, elevate the foot and ice it?' How do I care for myself in order to survive those 4 hours? Wow I hope things turn around

Re: Need Info Please

Mike M on 8/26/01 at 01:07 (057989)

Scar tissue was right under the incision, kinda worm like when you pressed on it. So I take it the mass would be correct. The same pod done all 3 operations.
He says the nerve, in my case lies very close to the skin.

Re: Need Info Please

DENNIS on 8/26/01 at 14:21 (058037)

HAVE YOU TRIED YOUR HUMAN RESOURCES DEPT. TO GET THE DISABILITY INFO? IF YOU ARE IN A UNION ENVIRONMENT, TAKE THE ISSUE UP WITH THE STEWARD. IF NON-UNION, CONTACT YOUR CORPORATE HUMAN RESOURCES OFFICE OR YOUR STATE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

Re: You Just Might Want To Read This

Mike M on 8/26/01 at 22:18 (058060)

This seems like a bad nightmere for me, and I am not joking here. I have worked for my current employer for almost 15 years. I had enough sick time and vacation to cover and pay me for every day I lost while laid up with surgeries, recovery, etc. (1st surgery Feb 7th)
Now my employer has taken my job duties from me, the days and day shift I used to work and stuck me on night shift for four hours cuz Im on light duty.
I had several run ins with supervisors, and administration who said they stand behind the scheudling, duties, etc.
I was also told Friday, that after my next appointment with my surgeon, my position will be reevaluated. When I asked several times what does that mean, I was told, we dont know if we can carry you more than 30 days on Light Duty, and we may need to hire someone in your position.
Now, being a college educated person, although not a law major (computers here) to me this seems nothing short of harrasment because I am on light duty.
My doc did not want me to return, but after 3 operations and six plus months, there comes a time when YOU need to know what YOU CAN DO.
Oh, I just completed day six of 8 days straight working - Welcome back, Mike.
How has the pain been?
Im keeping a log, for my next doc visit, two days not bad when I could stand 25% of the time, 2 days in pain 50% standing, moving, and 2 days in utter misery over 75% of work time spent standing, up/down steps, etc.
I wouldnt wish any of this on anyone.

Mike M

Re: To Mike - and ATTENTION GLENN

Julie on 8/27/01 at 01:47 (058072)

Mike, Glenn started to post a message to you yesterday saying that your employers are way short of requirements in accommodating your disability. It got posted before he finished. (GLENN, if you're listening, could you please elaborate?)

I'm sure Glenn is right. I don't know the situation in the US regarding legal rights in the employment situation, but you should find out. You are being treated very badly, and you fear you're in danger of losing your job. This is just not on. If you've worked for your employer for 15 years (and even if you hadn't) you are entitled to human consideration and help while you recover, as well as legal protection. I agree that what you're getting instead could be harassment for a purpose, so you do need to find out what the legal position is and what your rights are.

Start by following Dennis's advice. And if Glenn can add to his truncated post, I'm sure he will have his usual clear-headed sensible thoughts to offer.

Re: Need Info Please

DENNIS on 8/27/01 at 16:04 (058130)

THE MORE I THINK ABOUT YOUR SITUATION, THE MORE I FEEL THAT YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY CONTACT YOU STATE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR. IN THE EVENT THAT YOU SHOULD BE TERMINATED, THE ISSUE WILL BECOME IF YOU WERE TERMINATED DUE TO A 'QUIT/FIRE' SCENARIO OR OTHERWISE. THIS WAY YOU WILL GO ON RECORD PRIOR TO THE EVENT, SHOULD IT OCCUR, AND IT MAY BE OF ASSISTANCE TO YOU IF YOU GO BEFORE ARBITRATION TO RECIEVE UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE.

Re: To Mike - and ATTENTION GLENN

Glenn X on 8/27/01 at 17:12 (058139)

Mike: Don't know what happened to my truncated post.

You have rights all over the place. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against someone because they file a work comp claim. It is as protected a class as is racial, ethnic, or gender discrimination. Have you filed a work comp claim with your employer? If not, I strongly suggest you do so right away.

Outside the work comp arena is an entire other body of law working for you: the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). A disability is defined as any condition that interferes with a major life activity. You are covered by this act, and need to contact a nearby office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). They will help you understand your rights --- of which you have plenty. (You might find a location at 'eeoc.gov.')

You might also try a heelspurs search on the word 'EEOC'. I penned some thoughts a couple of weeks ago about 'reasonable acommodation' that may be helpful. (I'm having trouble getting hits on searches of the last three months. If you do too, or if you want more info on this, post a message back to this one and I'll get more to you.)

Your state may have a Bureau of Labor and Industries that can help. Try them.

Does your employer have an Employee Assistance Program? Also worth a try if they do.

All of these laws are basically designed to regulate thoughtful, civilized behavior. In a perfect world everyone would treat each other with good intentions and good deeds and we wouldn't need these regulations. But we're not perfect, and they are there to help you.

You sound like an exceedingly conscientious employee, and 15 years is a lot of loyalty that deserves better. Be kind to yourSELF . . . reach out and assert your rights.

Re: You Just Might Want To Read This

linda A on 8/27/01 at 18:12 (058146)

take a look at the family and medical leave act 1993 . all state, local , and federal employers have to abide by this rule , along w/ the private sector that hires more than 50 employees . you had to work for your employer more than a yr and worked 1250 hrs in that yr . you are entitled to 14 wks unpaid time to take off from work for a child , parent , spouse or for your yourself to take care of . you are also entitled to have the same position before you took off for leave or have and identical position in pay be offered to you . you are also entitled to health benefits . the only excemption is if you are one of the highest paid management workers and it would cause the company great economic hardship for your absenteeism , where then they could post your position . type in family and medical leave act in altavista search engine . i had to use this same act when i was off for a mental illness . i was off for 3months on 3 diff. occassions in the same yr . i know several other employees who use this act , because they have asthma or a child who has problems thru the yr and they do not wish for them to be punish for absenteeism . because you can use it for intermittenly , meaning the 12 wks does not have to be used up all at one time .

Re: Need Info Please

Ed Davis, DPM on 8/25/01 at 13:50 (057942)

Tell us more about the problems you encountered, type of surgeries, post-operative care, etc.
Ed

Re: Need Info Please

linda A on 8/25/01 at 13:54 (057944)

hello mike ! i know what you have been going thru . i went back to work after having two diff. operations on both feet ( ttr & open p.f ) after a two month recovery time for the lt.foot and only one month for the rt. foot . doc had said it would be a long recovery , but a year is almost up and still in alot of pain . i work on a concrete floor in the surgery dept . i am anesthesia tech , who helps out the the anesthesia docs w/ many diff. task . i am sometimes on my feet a good 5 hrs before the first break in the day . somehow i manage to make it thru the day w/ my feet screaming at me to say , ENOUGH ! when i am at home the poor feet do not even want to move . i have a very high arch and the throbbing pain radiates along the medial side of arch , pulling sensation on the bottom of foot on lateral side along w/ back of heel . doc had cut fascia at the middle part of the foot . oh, i forgot the zapping sensation i sometimes receive at site of TTR . i was able to try out a TENS unit for 30 days luxary from health insurance . no, i did not claim workman's comp , because i did not know what caused this problem . by the time i saw the pod. the fascia was so tight it looked like cords . next week i will be going to a pain clinic . i do not wish to take narcotic meds , because it makes me sleep . i can not go on disability , because i recently bought a new house . disability would not even cover the house payment . i hope this letter gives you some support that their are people out their suffering like you . very depressed that i have not been hiking or biking in 2 1/2 yrs and wt gain ( trying a diet pill prescribed by internist to loose wt , which my pod suggest ) . current wt 175 lbs and holding for about two months . my hope is pain clinic or winning the powerball lottery at 200 million . wish me luck ! linda

Re: Need Info Please

Mike M on 8/25/01 at 17:05 (057961)

Two surgeries Feb 7th - PF and TTS
Off work until April when I tried going back Light Duty - on my normal, regular schedule of daylight working with another person
Third surgery June 22nd was for scar tissue removal on the longer incision up the side of the ankle - the 4' one.
Between those and even before the first one I had cortisone shots, Naprosyn EC, celebrex, motrin 800 mg, physical therapy and then scar management PT.
My employer tried talking me out of the thrid op saying they needed me at work.
I tried, and in fact cancelled it the first time it was scheduled.
However, the pain (the ankle area would hurt so bad even to the touch) then the feeling of electricity in the ankle and like someone drove a pick thru my heel.
After no let up in the pain, I called and reseen the pod and rescheduled the scar tissue removal and had it done.
Now my employer is giving me the 'Cold SHoulder' treatment, letting me work light duty, on second shift, by myself with NO help. As I stated, sometimes I have six flights of steps to traverse, and in an emergency (alarm) condition Ive done it six or eight times in one hour.
This foot, was broken several years earlier - the fifth metatarsal was broken completely off.

Re: Need Info Please

Mike M on 8/25/01 at 17:10 (057963)

I know what you mean.
I work for a city government, at a water plant, usually taking care of the computer systems, network, process/control instrumentation.
I also do part time PC repair and webpage authoring at home on the side.
Working at a desk is no big problem.
Until I sit too long and my right foot goes completely asleep.
It is the concrete floors, standing, walking, etc that bugs the hell out of me, and the steps.
Being like you, I used to bike ride alot. In the spring I would be in a river in a light falling snow trout fishing. Now I wouldnt even try walking on rocks just yet.
I know what you mean about weight gain. Before surgery I was a 32 waist. Sitting around Feb and March all I did was eat. Now Im fitting a 34 waist.
That just isnt me.
Oh, and dont ya just love the meds?
Motrin and I do not get along, Voltaren is just as bad.
Naprosyn EC doesnt upset the stomach, but doesnt seem to do much either.
You never really know how much you put your feet thru until something happens.
Hope somehow we all return to semi normal soon.

Mike

Re: Need Info Please

Chris M. on 8/25/01 at 17:14 (057964)

I was wondering too, as to what surgery you had. Were all three by the same doc? Not to be nosey, but the scar tissue removal made me curious. Was the scar tissue very visible from the surface or was there an internal keloid mass? Was the scar tissue reduction successful? Sounds like work will slow your healing. I would explain to the doctor how difficult it is to you and then ask him/her what can I do to heal myself. In other words, I am thinking you don't want to say'gee you said I can work and you are sooo wrong' Instead say 'I tried it and it is disabling me and what should I do, elevate the foot and ice it?' How do I care for myself in order to survive those 4 hours? Wow I hope things turn around

Re: Need Info Please

Mike M on 8/26/01 at 01:07 (057989)

Scar tissue was right under the incision, kinda worm like when you pressed on it. So I take it the mass would be correct. The same pod done all 3 operations.
He says the nerve, in my case lies very close to the skin.

Re: Need Info Please

DENNIS on 8/26/01 at 14:21 (058037)

HAVE YOU TRIED YOUR HUMAN RESOURCES DEPT. TO GET THE DISABILITY INFO? IF YOU ARE IN A UNION ENVIRONMENT, TAKE THE ISSUE UP WITH THE STEWARD. IF NON-UNION, CONTACT YOUR CORPORATE HUMAN RESOURCES OFFICE OR YOUR STATE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

Re: You Just Might Want To Read This

Mike M on 8/26/01 at 22:18 (058060)

This seems like a bad nightmere for me, and I am not joking here. I have worked for my current employer for almost 15 years. I had enough sick time and vacation to cover and pay me for every day I lost while laid up with surgeries, recovery, etc. (1st surgery Feb 7th)
Now my employer has taken my job duties from me, the days and day shift I used to work and stuck me on night shift for four hours cuz Im on light duty.
I had several run ins with supervisors, and administration who said they stand behind the scheudling, duties, etc.
I was also told Friday, that after my next appointment with my surgeon, my position will be reevaluated. When I asked several times what does that mean, I was told, we dont know if we can carry you more than 30 days on Light Duty, and we may need to hire someone in your position.
Now, being a college educated person, although not a law major (computers here) to me this seems nothing short of harrasment because I am on light duty.
My doc did not want me to return, but after 3 operations and six plus months, there comes a time when YOU need to know what YOU CAN DO.
Oh, I just completed day six of 8 days straight working - Welcome back, Mike.
How has the pain been?
Im keeping a log, for my next doc visit, two days not bad when I could stand 25% of the time, 2 days in pain 50% standing, moving, and 2 days in utter misery over 75% of work time spent standing, up/down steps, etc.
I wouldnt wish any of this on anyone.

Mike M

Re: To Mike - and ATTENTION GLENN

Julie on 8/27/01 at 01:47 (058072)

Mike, Glenn started to post a message to you yesterday saying that your employers are way short of requirements in accommodating your disability. It got posted before he finished. (GLENN, if you're listening, could you please elaborate?)

I'm sure Glenn is right. I don't know the situation in the US regarding legal rights in the employment situation, but you should find out. You are being treated very badly, and you fear you're in danger of losing your job. This is just not on. If you've worked for your employer for 15 years (and even if you hadn't) you are entitled to human consideration and help while you recover, as well as legal protection. I agree that what you're getting instead could be harassment for a purpose, so you do need to find out what the legal position is and what your rights are.

Start by following Dennis's advice. And if Glenn can add to his truncated post, I'm sure he will have his usual clear-headed sensible thoughts to offer.

Re: Need Info Please

DENNIS on 8/27/01 at 16:04 (058130)

THE MORE I THINK ABOUT YOUR SITUATION, THE MORE I FEEL THAT YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY CONTACT YOU STATE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR. IN THE EVENT THAT YOU SHOULD BE TERMINATED, THE ISSUE WILL BECOME IF YOU WERE TERMINATED DUE TO A 'QUIT/FIRE' SCENARIO OR OTHERWISE. THIS WAY YOU WILL GO ON RECORD PRIOR TO THE EVENT, SHOULD IT OCCUR, AND IT MAY BE OF ASSISTANCE TO YOU IF YOU GO BEFORE ARBITRATION TO RECIEVE UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE.

Re: To Mike - and ATTENTION GLENN

Glenn X on 8/27/01 at 17:12 (058139)

Mike: Don't know what happened to my truncated post.

You have rights all over the place. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against someone because they file a work comp claim. It is as protected a class as is racial, ethnic, or gender discrimination. Have you filed a work comp claim with your employer? If not, I strongly suggest you do so right away.

Outside the work comp arena is an entire other body of law working for you: the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). A disability is defined as any condition that interferes with a major life activity. You are covered by this act, and need to contact a nearby office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). They will help you understand your rights --- of which you have plenty. (You might find a location at 'eeoc.gov.')

You might also try a heelspurs search on the word 'EEOC'. I penned some thoughts a couple of weeks ago about 'reasonable acommodation' that may be helpful. (I'm having trouble getting hits on searches of the last three months. If you do too, or if you want more info on this, post a message back to this one and I'll get more to you.)

Your state may have a Bureau of Labor and Industries that can help. Try them.

Does your employer have an Employee Assistance Program? Also worth a try if they do.

All of these laws are basically designed to regulate thoughtful, civilized behavior. In a perfect world everyone would treat each other with good intentions and good deeds and we wouldn't need these regulations. But we're not perfect, and they are there to help you.

You sound like an exceedingly conscientious employee, and 15 years is a lot of loyalty that deserves better. Be kind to yourSELF . . . reach out and assert your rights.

Re: You Just Might Want To Read This

linda A on 8/27/01 at 18:12 (058146)

take a look at the family and medical leave act 1993 . all state, local , and federal employers have to abide by this rule , along w/ the private sector that hires more than 50 employees . you had to work for your employer more than a yr and worked 1250 hrs in that yr . you are entitled to 14 wks unpaid time to take off from work for a child , parent , spouse or for your yourself to take care of . you are also entitled to have the same position before you took off for leave or have and identical position in pay be offered to you . you are also entitled to health benefits . the only excemption is if you are one of the highest paid management workers and it would cause the company great economic hardship for your absenteeism , where then they could post your position . type in family and medical leave act in altavista search engine . i had to use this same act when i was off for a mental illness . i was off for 3months on 3 diff. occassions in the same yr . i know several other employees who use this act , because they have asthma or a child who has problems thru the yr and they do not wish for them to be punish for absenteeism . because you can use it for intermittenly , meaning the 12 wks does not have to be used up all at one time .