Back to work

My NS told me to plan on being back at work in 4 weeks…um, after week 5 there is just no way. When did y’all go back to work?


Everyone is different. Some people go back in a very few weeks but most cannot. How are you feeling and what kind of symptoms are you having? I have never heard of a NS telling someone after Decompression surgery you will be able to return to work in such a short time. Please do not get discouraged. I know it's hard not to, just remember if you do too much or try to go back to soon it will be worse on your recovery.

Thanks for your responses. My symptoms are: super tired, no motivation to do anything, memory problems, and more recently sever headache. I originally told my boss I’d be back full time, then after 4 weeks I had push the date back, then push it back again. Thankfully I have an amazing boss, she said to take as much time as needed (phew), but I’m worried about my husband. Any work I miss from here on out is unpaid, and while we can afford it( so grateful) I know hubby us starting to become uneasy. He got the info from me that 4 weeks should have been enough, and now he is wondering what kind of hit this gonna take on our financial goals. He’s also disappointed every day he comes home to find out that I have next to nothing all day. He’s a great person but having his own adjustments to this weird time, and not inherently the most flexible person. I wish I would have asked you guys this Q before surgery! Thanks again, you all are THE BEST

I had decompression surgery back the end of sept. the surgery lasted 9 hours. I was on icu for 2 days and then moved to another room for observation. Came home oct 3. I was readmitted on October 15. Had spinal fluid leakage from an incision. They did emergency surgery. A jp drain was placed also a lumbar drain. An I and d was preformed . I had MRSA. When the Foley catheter was removed, I went to the bathroom . The lumbar got disconnected and went on the dirty bathroom floor. The nurse came in and reconnected it . Needless to say cultures were taken from my spinal fluid and I had gotten another infection. I had to go and have another lumbar drain placed. This was a total nightmare . Finally on Halloween I went to surgery and had a shunt placed. Was in icu for 19 days. I have not worked since mid September. My employer dismissed me from where I had worked for 18 years. Recently I was notified that my insurance ended feb 28. I received notification on march 6. COBRA INS just for me is $652.00 a month. I carried med, vision, dental and life ins on my whole family and now we have nothing. I applied for disability and was denied. Something is very wrong with this whole picture. I was told that o had been transferred to a light duty dept. there is no such thing. Any advice? I am still very sick. Headaches , right sided weakness, feels like brain fog, ringing and buzzing in my ears, can barely move head and neck, can not lift and short term memory is terrible. You would think that working at a hospital they would try to help you and your family. Please give me your input.

Sheree, it sounds like a total nightmare. I don’t know much about disability but I would suggest hiring a lawyer who only deals with disability appeals. Once your on the disability you can take a breath of relief and concentrate on really healing. Sounds like the hospital made some really bad moves on your behalf. I hate to hear your storie, cause the chiari seems like enough bad luck to last a lifetime. I’m gonna say some prayers for you if that’s ok? I’m gonna concentrate on you getting disability. Just a thought, how about applying for temporary disability? I think that temp disability is less likely to be denied automatically. Hang in there girl! Know that this not to be the rest of your life- good news is on the way!

My surgeon said 4-6 wks, I'm at almost 8 weeks and prob won't be back for at least another month. What I have found is that some surgeons give you a typical time for surgery healing, but not for rehab/PT, etc. My NS released me at 6 weeks for PT. My NL and PCP said no to going back to work for awhile for many reasons. Prior to surgery, make sure you have a good relationship with everyone in your care "team". Be vocal about what you want and need, and realistic about what you can and can't do. ALSO, some people can go back to work earlier due to their job types. Such as a receptionist could most likely go back to work quicker than a registered nurse (me!). I still get headaches everytime I bend over and if I'm on my computer too much. I agree that 12-16 is more reasonable to expect.

Thanks mmrob, I’m an x-ray tech, so not exactly a low energy job. I’m just gonna have to make myself relax and be sure to do the right thing for my poor, torn up head instead of getting pressured into going back too soon. Ps i still have a lot of pressure when bending over too. Hope you continue to heal into a pain free life!

I was scheduled to return to work at 6 weeks...but I had swollen lymph nodes and was exhausted so they gave me two extra weeks. At 8 weeks I returned to my office/desk job and still was pretty tired for a long while, even 5 months out I get a lot of neck fatigue by Thursday and Friday. I think 4 weeks was unrealistic.

I wasn't even allowed to do housework until 6 weeks out per my NS so don't feel bad about not doing much during the day. You should concentrate on resting and getting better! :)

I never did go back :(

I had my surgery 12/11/12 and still haven't been back. If I don't go back soon I run the risk of losing my job, but that's a story for another thread.