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When would you go back to work?

Posted by Jeff H. on 2/12/04 at 15:37 (144199)

Had TTS Release 12/29/03. Had allergic reaction to pain meds. Have not taken any pain meds since Day 3. Walked only for absolute necessity first 3 weeks. Foot turns purple at all times when not elevated, although it seems to be improving. Was told to do hot/cold water contrast, which is sheer pain. Walk only as tolerated with walker since Week 3. Still wearing surgical shoe. Heel feels as though knife is inserted when I put pressure. Doctor says I am exhibiting hypersensitivity and still have tinel's sign, along with partial numbing of arch and heel. Started PT this week. All they will have me do is electrical while my foot is in a water bath, which is one step below torture. I have been given 4 home exercises which are also painful. Have an awful time sleeping, although I am in bed about 12 hours a day due to the electrical storm in my foot.

The thing is I really want to go back to work, but the problem is that my normal job includes walking about 3 miles a day on concrete floors. Before my surgery, I was given a work note that said I should be ready to come back to work in 6 weeks. While I am mentally ready, I don't think I am physically ready. Where I work you are not allowed to have a wheelchair, crutches, or walker, but they want me back at work. My work has called to tell me that they will accomodate me. As this is an occupational disease, it is in their best interest that I be back at work. It is in my best interest, mentally, to go back to work. Unfortunately, all I keep thinking of is the time after my last surgery (PF) when I went back to work with restrictions and they told me they would accomodate me. That lasted for two weeks because two people in my normal job retired and I was forced back on the Factory floor. As I am only 37, and want to advance my career, I had to do it or risk my career.
I think my doctor would allow me to go back with strict restrictions, but if I were to start doing poorly and need to be off work again, I am again in a bad position. I know I would be happier going to work as I have no family and only busy married friends. I am alone all the time. I actually like going to PT and the doctor's office just to have someone to be around. I think I could heal better if I were happier. Has anyone faced a dilemma like this? What do you think I should do?

Re: When would you go back to work?

Lari S on 2/12/04 at 21:09 (144218)

While it is hard emotionally to be cut off from your work environment, the first part of your message definitely indicates that you are not ready to be back at work. Have you discussed this with your doctor? If you are not sleeping, your foot turns purple when not elevated, and you are in so much pain, how can you be productive at work? Are you willing to take the chance of doing yourself more harm by going back to work? You said they only 'accomodated' you for 2 weeks the last time. You said that you would be in a bad position if you went back to work then had to be off work again. Why put yourself in that position? Are you in jeopardy of losing your job if you don't rush back without letting yourself heal? The decision to go back to work is up to you, but if your job will still be there, I would say take the time to get back on your feet.

If you are feeling isolated, check in on the boards here. Everyone is very supportive, as we've all been through/are going through foot pain.

Hang in there and keep us posted.

Re: When would you go back to work?

lauriel on 2/13/04 at 16:18 (144282)

Jeff, I do not think you are ready to go back work if your jbo is on your feet. I had TTS surgery 12/02. I was not able to be on my feet for any length of walking until April. And if you do too much too fast you will get worse. I am lucky to have a desk job where I went bakd to work after 2 weeks, but again, I sit all day. Has your PT worked on PT patients before? I think you may be doing a little to much too fast with PT. YOu need to keep your foot elevated as much as possible and ice to keep the swelling down. PT is very important but I have read it has made people worsworse if it is not done right. I started 60 days after my surgery, they did light stretching and massaging so you dont get scar tissue. They also did the tens and ultrasound along with stretching excercises I have never heard of doing the water thing with electricty you talk about, I would get the Dr to give you more medical leave, you dont want to become permantently disable by being back on your feet too soon, this is a very slow healing process, some are faster than others, but you have listen to what your body is telling you.
good luck

Re: When would you go back to work?

REPLY on 2/20/04 at 21:49 (144871)

Are getting Workmans Compensation from your TTS. I had surgery on 10/14/03. Im just about healed up now .