Hi everyone. I need some advice regarding returning to work after disability. Long story short: I've had a hell of a time. 9 years ago, I developed a migraine--and it never went away. I graduated from nursing school
in 2006, and managed with this migraines until last January, when my boss told me, in careful terms, that I could go out on disability or be fired. So I went out on disability. In May, I had surgery: an occipital nerve stimulator. It all but cured my headaches. I was off all narcotics, ready to go back to work, excited...and then after 7 weeks, my implant developed a massive infection. After two surgeries, it was removed. The headaches returned almost immediately--and now, because of the nerve damage from multiple surgeries and the infection, they're worse.
Because I'd been out so long, exhausted my FMLA and my short term disability, I lost my job. Thank god I paid for long term disability insurance. COBRA ain't cheap.
Good news: the stimulator is going to be replaced in December, and believe me, I am counting down the days. Here's my question: how on earth do I go back to work? I left the unit on decent terms--yes, I'd had a lot of absences, but they were due to headaches--once the new implant is in and the headaches are gone, the reason for my call-ins is gone. Shouldn't have any more sick days than a "normal" nurse. That being said, I don't know if they'll hire me back.
So I developed a new plan: go back to school! Critical care NP, there's a great program here...but I can't get in until May. I'll be long-healed by then...hell, I'll be healed by January...so what do I do for 5 months? See if my old job will hire me back perdiem? Try to get a new job(for 5 months???) Wait around, study, get ready for school? See if I can take classes as a non-matriculated student? Ideas, anyone?