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LovingLife123 LovingLife123 (Member)

Possible career ending injury

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I was dealing with neck pain for a while. I chalked it up to my fibro and kept pushing through. It eventually went to my shoulder, then began weakness and numbness in my left arm. I had to go on the little FMLA I had.

Its taken a month to get my official diagnosis of a C5 and C6 nerve root compression. I also have shoulder issues but the neck is overtaking the shoulder at the moment.

I see a neck doctor this Friday which is eating up more of my time. I'm concerned I may need a lami. If that happens, I will for sure lose my job. I don't know how you recover professionally from that.

Has anyone lost their job, recovered, then found another? If I need to work another 25 years, I need my shoulder and neck to be functioning. I'm just worried how it will look.

I love my current job and would be devastated to lose it.

I hate the fact that I can't properly recover because I'm so stressed about losing my job. I'm very frustrated.

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Why would you lose your job over having a laminectomy? Because of the time off you'll need? It certainly isn't a career ending injury in any way, shape or form. The recovery time is about 3 months.

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Why would you lose your job over having a laminectomy? Because of the time off you'll need? It certainly isn't a career ending injury in any way, shape or form. The recovery time is about 3 months.

I'm with Wuzzie on this a laminectomy may correct the problem and with proper recovery and PT you may be able to return to full function. Trust me - I have been through many life changing events. I had Fibro and chronic pain so bad I was advised to go on disability and quit working. I took a non-bedside job in a Psych hospital years ago and have made a great career of it. Recently after decades of chronic pain and insomnia I had a surgical experience with many complications and was off for about 3 months time. My work welcomed me back without hesitation. I just bough an adjustable bed and my chronic pain just left me overnight from a simple change in sleeping position. You are letting your anxiety get the better of you. See what the physician says and take one step at a time.

Hppy

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Why would you lose your job over having a laminectomy? Because of the time off you'll need? It certainly isn't a career ending injury in any way, shape or form. The recovery time is about 3 months.

My FMLA runs out in a couple of weeks. I only got like 7 weeks because I had a baby last year. 7 weeks was all I had accumulated. It's taken me a month to get this diagnosis.

I've not been alllowed go work because I've been on a lifting restriction. Only if it's workman's comp can you work on light duty.

So, if I need a lami, I will lose my job. My concern is, the research shows that these aren't always successful.

I really don't want to go into case management but I'm worried it may be my only option st this point. I love the bedside. I love critical care.

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I'm with Wuzzie on this a laminectomy may correct the problem and with proper recovery and PT you may be able to return to full function. Trust me - I have been through many life changing events. I had Fibro and chronic pain so bad I was advised to go on disability and quit working. I took a non-bedside job in a Psych hospital years ago and have made a great career of it. Recently after decades of chronic pain and insomnia I had a surgical experience with many complications and was off for about 3 months time. My work welcomed me back without hesitation. I just bough an adjustable bed and my chronic pain just left me overnight from a simple change in sleeping position. You are letting your anxiety get the better of you. See what the physician says and take one step at a time.

Hppy

I agree I'm letting my anxiety get the best of me. It sucks being at home. It ends up being all I think about. I'm in extreme pain and can't do a whole lot around the house. I have left sided weakness. I've started dropping things now with my left hand. I see the spine doctor Friday.

I have fibro as well. I was diagnosed at the age of 15. It's why I didn't go to the doctor when I started feeling pain months ago. I chalked it up to fibro. I only became concerned when I started feeling weak on the left side and my hands went numb. I knew at that point it wasn't fibro.

I just know the outcomes aren't necessarily great. I really don't want to leave my hospital and unit.

I'm hoping nerve blocks will help.

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I just know the outcomes aren't necessarily great. I really don't want to leave my hospital and unit.

The outcomes on lower backs are iffy. You are talking about the cervical spine. Totally different animal. I injured my neck almost 20 years ago. It affected C3-C7 to varying degrees including multiple bulges, one herniated and one herniated/ruptured disc. My spinal cord was compressed to the point that I lost a great deal of function and the canal was blocked so badly I developed hydrocephalus. I also had a clay-shovelers fracture and severed the posterior spinal ligament. I thought I had a bad case of Torticollis so I ignored it for 4 months until I started falling. When I finally took myself to the doctor a STAT MRI revealed the damage and I had an emergent ACDF for decompression and stabilization. I was off work for 3 months and went back to full duty...in the ED. I have subsequently worked as a Flight Nurse and now I am in a clinic strictly for the hours, pay and holidays off. This all happened back in 2001. I bet the technology is even better now. I have not missed a day of work related to my neck issues post-procedure. I understand your concern but this is not a career-ending procedure. I do have a persistent radiculopathy. It can be quite painful at times. But you know what I do when it kicks in? I go to work. Rather than sit at home stewing about the what-ifs you need to talk to your manager and find out what recourse you have.

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Back pain can be serious and life long but I have never had anyone lose their job because of it. FMLA is for up to 12 weeks, if you have used all your FMLA you will have to wait until the new year and then the clock resets and you get another 12 weeks. You do not have to use your FMLA all in one lump amount of time, you can use your FMLA for a day here and a day there--spread those FMLA days out. With that said and with open enrollment I recommend you get the short and long term disability form your job as well. Just an extra layer of protection should you need it.

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Look into steroid injections. I have only needed two in five years (C6-7). They have saved my career as I was told that if I had an ACDF and continued to work the floor that I would just herniate in a different area simply because of the way my spine is naturally curved.

I also could not afford to be off work...

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They have saved my career as I was told that if I had an ACDF and continued to work the floor that I would just herniate in a different area simply because of the way my spine is naturally curved

Yeah, I was told that too. :whistling:

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I am sorry for your troubles. You have received some good advice here. I would speak to your manager because you may be worrying for nothing, you might be able to just come back after the surgery. Check into your FMLA, you may have had acute but can also apply for intermittent. FMLA does not pay you (only holds your job for so long or extends your sick time etc) so do check into disability options (state, private, work etc) you may already have something. I also had surgery while working and it was not an issue, just talked to the manager and came back after (sick policy did not apply for surgeries etc.), I had some complications and didn't even come back when I told them but still wasn't a problem. I would try to think that everything will work out the way you want (think positive), but also have a back up plan (just in case) if that will calm your nerves a little. I have ongoing health issues that have changed my career path as well but I try to make the best out of the situation and keep moving forward. I hope that everything works out the way you want it to but you will be OK either way. But until you know otherwise just assume it will, because you are right that the stress will affect your health. Wishing you well!!

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I'm getting nerve blocks hopefully Tuesday morning if I can push through the approval al from my insurance company. C6-T1 on the left. Doctor says they take 2days to 2 weeks to take effect so he won't follow up until the two week mark.

I'm working with our FMLA people to make sure it's all being calculated properly as it will run out right around this time. By my calculations, I have until the 24th of November, they are showing the 22nd. I think they were adding an extra day in the very beginning that I clarified yesterday.

I'm really hoping this works. I'm so over the pain. And god forbid you ask for pain meds these days. You're immediately considered drug seeking.

I haven't slept more than 3 hours a night in over 3 weeks due to the pain. I'm a complete grouch right now.

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You might check on taking an unpaid leave of absence. It might keep your job. Maybe not wheee you are now, but at least keep your job.

Also AFLAC or similar gives you cash for days in hosp and many other situations. Might not hurt to check into that.

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