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Have You Ever Considered Taking Time Off Of Work?


yogini
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Have any of you considered taking time off work to recover from POTS? My POTS is moderate, but I feel like working is such a struggle for me. I can do it, but it keeps me from doing much else. Although I feel lucky to be able to work when many others can't, it has really taken its toll on me. It has been especially hard over the past few months - I worked really hard in Dec and have been in a POTS hole since. I have been interviewing to try and find a less stressful job, but finding that my current job may be as good as it gets. I had a "light bulb" moment the other day and started wondering why I am doing this to myself?? Since then I've started thinking about taking some time off. This is a scary thought, but the idea is sounding better to me every day. I think I can manage it financially for a little while. And I know my health would improve a lot - if it could go back to what it was in December I would be thrilled. Just wondering, for those of you who work, whether any of you had thought about doing this or had any advice?

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I've had to take several medical leaves in my career. Each time, I discussed it with my doctor first, got my letter from him/her before approaching my boss and human resources. 2 of the 3 leaves, I was able to get some disability pay from my state. I don't have any stellar words of wisdom on how to present it to your place of work--for as articulate as I may seem in writing, face to face I fell apart each time and cried at the meetings. It was a mental struggle with the fear of giving up my identity as a working person. I've been fortunate to be able to return to each job, but others here haven't been quite as fortunate.

Nina

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I was unable to work for 3 semesters. I was able to swing it between the Family Medical Leave Act and accumulated sick days. But if I'd been off any longer, I would have jeopardized my job and my insurance.

The thing for me was to make sure I had a plan for how I was going to get strong enough to return. I don't know about you, but I need a plan and a vision of where things are going and where I'd like them to go.

My first two semesters off were after back surgery and before my eds diagnosis. I ended up going through a pain management program, which taught me strategies to manage, and let me return.

The second time around, I'd injured both ankles and my back, so I could neither sit nor stand. I had ankle surgery and some more rehab. I was able to get ADA accommodations to return.

My job is pretty flexible, and even if I get stressed, I really love much of what I do, which means I really want to keep at it. Sometimes I've had to go ahead and pay for things out of pocket--scooter, new desk chair, recliner--so that I could keep at it.

Can you brainstorm with your doctor and maybe an occupational therapist about what the short and long term plans might be?

I haven't had to take time off from ncs/pots, though I've had my moments when I've wondered how I could manage. It does sometimes feel like I don't know how much more health obstacles I can handle being thrown in my path!

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Thanks, guys. I am covered by long and short term disability through work. I'd have to check, but not sure I'd qualify right now. I was out on short term disability for 3 months in 2004 and for a few weeks earlier this year. I've been back at work for several weeks and am able to go to work these days...it just doesn't leave me energy for much else. It is making me sad, especially since I was much more active just a few months ago.

People are leaving my company left and right, so they would probably grant me a leave of absence. It's just that if I went out on leave, people would stilll be calling me about work, so I wouldn't get the total break I need. People in my office usually work intensely for a few years to get training and then move on to something else. I've stayed longer than I planned because of my health. It's time to transition to something else, I think I just need a long break first. I'm not one to make rash decisions, so I'm just mulling this idea over...though it's sounding better and better. If anyone else has any ideas or advice, I would love to hear them

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I have also had a number of times when I needed to take a medical leave to gain strength after a flare up of symptoms. I found that I was able to focus on getting better. Resting when I needed it and slowly gaining strength by doing floor exercises and walking. Some days after exercise I ended up back in bed, but slowly I was able to gain stamina.

It sounds like the reason you are considering a leave is because of your health. If you have a supportive doctor, I would suggest that you try and apply for STD and FMLA. If you go out on a personal leave you may end up without STD and LTD coverage until you return to work. This will protect you if your symptoms become worse and you are unable to return - I would hope that would not happen.

Good Luck. I know this is a tough decision.

Rhonda

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It made me sad too :( even the times when I knew I'd probably be able to go back. During the times when I was home, I had to find ways to stay connected to things that made me feel productive...which is how I ended up volunteering here :) oh, and maybe got too much of a fondness for the smaller creatures of the world :) , like BUGS, because doing the online research to find out about them took away from my other problems for a while.

For those who've been home a lot longer, it can be really, really tough...and, moreso those who can't go back to work at all. It's a complete life changing experience. There's been much discussion here about the practical and the emotional parts of the process so if you (or others reading this) want to go over old posts, maybe you can find some more insights.

Nina

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Actually, it's the other way around for me. Right now my morale is low because all I do is go back and forth to work and have little energy for anything else. If I don't work full time, I will be able to do other activities, volunteer, spend time with friends and family, light travelling, etc. I'm not planning to be homebound if I take time off! Part of the reason why the disability route probably isn't appropriate.

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