There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

The main site has all the formal medical articles and videos for you to research on.

Returning To Work Issues

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,002
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:23 AM in Depression and Coping

I have been released to return to work next week and I'm finding myself very depressed. It isn't so much that I'm not ready, I think I am physically but not mentally.

I suffered so much with pain the year before I had surgery that I took a ton of pain meds which did not make me the most accurate and easy to get along with employee.

We hired another person the year before I left and all she knows is the way I was during that time, not the 4 years before that when I was on my game mentally.

Bottom line I am anxious about returning afraid that they will have noticed the amount of errors made and are just waiting to pounce. We also got a new boss during my 8 weeks away from work.

I've used all of my leave and then some so I won't have any time off for a long time unless I hurt myself in some way and mess up what the surgeons did. I've talked to my husband about maybe quitting this job and finding something less stressful and he has a fit because he knows it won't pay as well.

Maybe I just need somebody who has had this surgery, been in pain for 5 plus years to listen.....



  • Hi Tigger. I suffered back pain for years and in the last year before my surgery it did affect my work and it was noticeable to my colleagues. Finally I had surgery and was off work for a month, before returning on a part time basis for several weeks, finally returning full time.

    Before I returned to work I was feeling guilty that I was having so much time off work and was putting additional burden on my colleagues (due to the size of my company and the nature of my work it was not feasible to hire a replacement for me). When it came time to return to work I was feeling anxiety and stress - how would my colleagues react to me coming back? Would the company have found that actually they can do without me? Would I actually cope or would I need more time off? ...lots of negative thoughts. When I did return it was all quite the opposite - I got a great reception and found that everyone was very caring and compassionate, and wanting to make sure that I took it easy during the first few weeks back. Everyone was wonderful.

    Your feelings are quite normal but I think that you will find that when you do return, those feeling will rapidly disappear.

    All the best with your recovery and return to work... Bruce
    Keep positive!

    Bruce old timer here and ex-moderator

  • i think what you're feeling is pretty normal.

    to tell you the truth,after being out of the work force for so long i know that i would/will be afraid to start over.i'm on permanent disability..but i never feel secure in that.

    i do feel fortunate that my b/f is so understanding.we could be doing better financailly if i were working i suppose..on the other hand my medical bills would be through the roof.i just try to live within my means and that means not too many extras,but i'm pretty low maintainence anyway.

    don't worry too much about what other people think at work-or anywhere else for that's a mantra for you:

  • advertisement
  • dilauroddilauro ConnecticutPosts: 12,609
    After any extended period of time, there are always anxious moments anticipating what it will be like.
    In the 30+ years of dealing with spinal surgeries, flareups, etc I have had about a total of 3 full years of not being at work. My company has been great about all of this and for the most part same with the co-workers. There are always a few that show some resentment, but I think thats because they see you had extended time off and they didnt.
    I think a lot of this depends on the size of company you work for. But even with a company with over 500,000 world wide employees, you still have to deal with your immediate department and co-workers.
    The bigger problems I had to deal with was not work related but more off work, I could participate in golf outings, couldnt go on hiking trips, etc...
    All I believe anyone can expect is for you to do the best you can and that is something we always try to strive for, even with spinal issues
  • Tigger,
    That transition for being restricted infer at times more capability that reality when you return to work and you are understandable projecting the expectation of other on your performance. Some will always assume that in returning to work you are fully operable and cannot see the unseen of continuing issue that have unseen restrictions.

    As has been said most of this is normal and I would be more surprised in you were not feeling apprehensive, you have a realistic notion of the impact of change this will have and retuning to work is only the initial step. It is important that you evaluate and monitor how it is going and discuss this with the relevant individual, post her and tell us how it is going, many other are trying to do what you have done with the same concerns and understandable adaptation.

    I did not work for many years and the work environment itself had shifted, I adapted to my new situation well and used my downtime as I like to call it for self development in the notion that my short term objective would assist me in seeking alternative employment when the time arose.

    The daily acumen to survive chronic pain exceeds any employment and we have that capacity and the confidence thing will come, we are different people because of the pain we endure, stronger and more attuned to who we are and reflective of the things we need to do. Pace well.

    Chin up, deep breath, you can do this.

    Take care and be kind to yourself.

  • I think the mere fact that you are concerned shows that you are someone who takes what you do seriously. That will shine through and you will be back in the groove in no time. Just remember to take it slow and pace yourself. You will do great!

  • advertisement
  • Thanks to all of you. I'm preparing to return to work tomorrow. Last week on top of the surgery I lost my father after a long illness (he was in his 80's). Been a long haul...

    The support of this group has been phenomenal in my recovery, both physical and mental.

  • I do hope things go far better than you expect in your return to work, Tigger! Sorry to hear you lost your Dad during this time as well! We are hear for ya!

    I lost my dad a few years back. He was 97. They adopted me when I was 7 years old and they were 50. I remember being in the court room with the judge asking me if I wanted them to adopt me. They had taken care of me since I was 13 months old. I saw my birth mom a few times between 13 months and 7 years but was scared of her and didn't know her.

    Anyway...the loss of a loved one causes a lot of heart ache!

    Take care!

    Ken GreyEagle
Sign In or Join Us to comment.