Why now?

it’s been two months and for my surgery and now all of a sudden I’m getting these monster headaches that I didn’t have before. Probably because I started work again and being a sped teacher is a lot of stress. Having a lot of intestinal issues as well. I’m not sleeping and I feel like I want to cry.
Where did this come from? Im so tired of telling people I’m fine when I’m not .
sone days I feel great and I can smike and laugh and other days I cry at the drop of a hat. I am not sleeping. 2 well Up and down like a hill and valley.

Talk to your surgeon, but it may just be part of the healing process where the neurotransmitters are finding their reconnections.

i feel like it does not take much to get me sick. it’s like my immune system took a dive.

That may be it as your body is still in recovery mode.

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I talk to my doctor yesterday and she wrote me a note to stay on FMLA for a little bit longer. She extended it out for two weeks and told me to rest and go for a little walks in the sunshine and try and take some of the pressure off. I’m waking up in the middle of the night with panic attacks and migraines. She said it’s just that your brain is in the healing process and it’s been overworked by the kind of stressful job that you do. So I’m gonna go in Monday and make sure that everything is put together. It’s funny, I thought I had all this time to get better over the summer. I think it was about that week five I went back to school. But because I teach in special education, it’s extremely stressful job, and it was just very taxing .

Everyone recovers differently no matter which procedure they have. For those of us who rupture, it can take a good bit longer. Check your FMLA, if she’s already put you on it, I’m unsure if you can go to school on Monday. There are a lot of rules to FMLA. I was on it for the full 12 weeks I think when my brother was dying. It’s been 20 years, so hard for me to recall. My supervisor wanted me to call in everyday and she’d call several times a day, talking about cases and pretty much demanding I return to work. Our HR person found out and called me. She asked what my supervisor and I were discussing and I told her. She told me not to answer the phone when she called. She explained that when an employee is on FMLA, they can’t have any interaction about work or the FMLA ends, BH who is pretty high up in the company says it depends on what the doctor put on the paperwork and you might have to just focus on the HR person. BH also suggests you speak to your HR person before showing up.

HR wrote my FMLA to start on Wednesday because I asked them to. I was already under FMLA until the end of September intermittently. But this one means I’m gonna be out until October 9. I was approved.

Now I’m just dealing with the state about trying to get my PFMLA.?approved.z I want the one on Monday so that I can do my observation that needs to be done but it makes sense now that nobody speaking to me. I don’t even have to tell them why I’m going out on FMLA or that I am according to HR. They just have to hand them the paperwork and say here she’s going out and legally she can. But they all know why. But as a courtesy, I sent them an email and said hey, I’m going to be out for a couple of weeks and I just wanted to let you know and that I have everything taken care of. I have all of my work set up I have my Substitute set up and so everything‘s taken care of on my end. And I never heard anything from any of them . No one ever said oh you can’t be here or oh, you can’t do the observation. They just ignored me. Which I have to say kind of hurt my feelings. Maybe that sounds juvenile but I was just thinking that maybe somebody might say hey, I hope you get better soon or some thing, but not a word was said to me from my powers that be in my building. since I went through the appropriate channels, I don’t think it’s like they can fire me. In accordance with what HR said your jobs protected. They have to shut it off for a week or two so that the state and the place that you work doesn’t overpay you. I’m not quite sure how that all works. I thought I was doing just fine but my best friend who knows me inside and out says that he hasn’t seen me this bad in a while. He says that my moods are up and down that I am kind of erotic and I’m having horrible headaches sitter keeping me up all night. so I guess it’s the best thing to do. Although, I really hope I did not screw my career by doing it. I am not sure what a couple extra weeks of FMLA is going to do for me, but the doctor seems to think that it will give me time to at least get my sleep under control and get some help. Ibam concerned but I also feel isolated. Maybe I should have left Bloobo alone.,

Hey Abby,
Please, don’t be 2nd guessing yourself in regard to “maybe I should have left Bloobo alone.” I think we all need to weigh up the mental stresses as well as the physical impacts of any procedure and from our previous conversations I think you did that. If the medicos did not think it was warranted, they wouldn’t have operated, they don’t do brain surgery on a whim. So don’t be thinking ‘I should have left Bloobo alone’, but rather think if you’d left blobbo and he’d ruptured. Then what?

I can understand your ‘hurt’. I’m unsure what the rules regarding FMLA are in the states, but I know here in Australia we had an incident where someone took family leave. The boss called the worker at home and berated them for taking time due to a big order needing to be dispatched. The worker’s father had died, so he was stressed. The boss berating him added more stress and he returned to the workplace with a gun, shooting the boss and the workers, then himself. The rule here is that the boss cannot call you if are off. They can if its agreed by both parties, but if you are off on medical grounds they can’t be asking for details or anything like that. I’d often need a medical certificate from a Dr to present to my employer, but where it asked for the reason the dr simply wrote “Medical Condition” disclosing no details.

I know here they can’t fire you whilst you’re on medical leave BUT that’s not to say that they can’t make your position untenable by overloading you. The employer can easily deny such behaviour as the ‘shifting pressures of the job’ and you being unable to adapt to such pressures. I’ve seen this done before. It’s a way employers can skirt around the laws in a devious manner.

I know I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again “Take the time your body NEEDS and not just the time your mind thinks you need.” I don’t say this as ‘I told you so’ but rather from experience. I did exactly the same thing, repeatedly, and I’m paying for it now.

Merl from the Modsupport Team

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Yes, you are correct, an employer is not allowed to fire you while on FMLA. Here’s their website Family and Medical Leave Act | U.S. Department of Labor. There’s a lot of information in the FAQ section.

I was unsure what PFLMA is so I looked it up, nice to have a State with that! There’s also an Ombuds that can help if needed. https://paidleaveombuds.wa.gov/faq

It sounds as if your doctor has suggested you speak with your therapist, Psychiatrist or PCP to perhaps get some medication for you to sleep and/or help you stabilize your Bipolar symptoms.

I don’t think your reaction to their non reaction is juvenile. When I was eventually fired after my rupture, my employer didn’t tell anyone what had happened or why I was no longer working, when I first started with the Agency, things were different. No HIPPA rules to follow back then and we were a pretty tight knit group. We got together at least once a month at someone’s home or a small bar if we wanted to go dancing. As management changed, things changed within the group and the new management was firing just about every CPS SW over 40. I called them on it a few months before I ruptured as there was only three of us left over 40. It made it hard on us “old folks” because they expected us to help the new inexperienced SWs and keep our case load. We used to be one of those Agencies that implemented new strategies in working with families and not only other counties, but other States would follow those changes. It takes experienced leadership and experienced line workers to do that, but we became a thing of the past with the new Director and the PMs and SWS that took the retired ones place. Anyhow, the week my accrued time was finally exhausted, the FMLA for the rupture, my comp time, vacation time, sick leave, we had gone into my office and cleared everything out. I got a call from the lead SW who told me I wasn’t allowed to come into the building unescorted. I was confused and told her I had not been fired. We had brought everything from my office at home and returned it. I knew I couldn’t be On Call anymore but it took a long time for me to understand I wouldn’t work again.

A few days later, I received a letter telling me I was terminated. No phone call, no exit interview as was done with the old guard, just a letter. I was supposed to do stuff over the phone with an automated computer system but it couldn’t understand me. It’s still hard for me to swallow that the department I worked in for so long couldn’t have the decency to tell me to my face.

BH had to drive me the few miles to the County personnel office as I wasn’t able to drive but half that and was there as a translator and explainer. Charles whom I’d know for years talked to the Personnel attorney and he did break down what I had to do in shorter sessions about 15 minutes and I was done even with BH explaining things. I owe Charles all my gratitude for taking it upon himself to get me my State disability without conferring it with his boss first. That extra check helps out a great deal. Yes, I know I was owed it for the hours I put in, but the County was doing everything they could to stop any benefits due to all us “old folks”.

Listen to Merl! You made all the right decisions in my mind. Every member here who has ruptured will tell you it’s much better to find an aneurysm incidentally and have it repaired before it ruptures. Your surgeon felt that the best thing for you was to have your aneurysm dealt with or you wouldn’t have undergone a craniotomy. I also remember you saying endovascular method wouldn’t work for where your aneurysm is located. We have many members who just have to have their aneurysm checked which is really nice and I do envy them.

If HR says your FMLA starts Wednesday then it really doesn’t start tomorrow. HR is there for you and to ensure the school follows all the rules of FMLA. No entity wants a lawsuit nor the Federal government dinging them.

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