I have been holding off talking about my new job on the blog. I am super excited about the job, so I’m not sure why I haven’t been sharing that excitement. Maybe because in the back of my mind, I know that things just haven’t been going my way this year, and I didn’t want to get too excited about anything.
Well…I guess I shouldn’t have gotten my hopes up. Let me back up. After two years of nursing school and months of filling out applications and going on interviews, I was offered my dream job. I got a part time position in the operating room of a local hospital! I was beyond thrilled.
I was offered (and accepted) the job two weeks ago. After that, I had to quickly schedule my pre-employment physical, so that I could get into the orientation class that was scheduled for the 18th. I was able to get the physical scheduled for the 11th.
I drove over to the clinic and they did some fasting labs, took my vitals, and had me talk with the nurse practitioner. Then I was sent to physical therapy for the back evaluation. I was nervous about this part. It is essentially a fit-for-duty assessment. The therapist has me perform a series of exercises: lifting, bending, pushing, pulling, etc. to be sure that I am capable of fulfilling the job description. I talked with her about my back pain and about the ablation. We talked about proper body mechanics and some of the ways I have been compensating to deal with the pain. She was satisfied that I could handle the job requirements. After that, I was excited and ready to start orientation the following week.
Fast forward to Friday of that week (three days before I was scheduled to start orientation). I received a call from Employee Health. She told me that they weren’t able to clear me to start work without a note from my doctor at Bone and Joint stating that I had no restrictions and that I could start work. I received this phone call at 2:00 pm. I freaked out. I called Bone and Joint, but (naturally), the doctor had left for the day.
I eventually talked to one of the nurses and gave her the contact information of the person I talked to in Employee Health. She was able to get a copy of the job description and said that one of the nurse practitioners in the office would review it and fax a form over to the hospital. Ok. Great.
An hour or two passes and I get another phone call from Employee Health. She informs me that I will be unable to start the orientation class on Monday because I was only cleared for sedentary work until my follow up with the doctor. What?!?!?? Devastated.
I hung up the phone and cried. It was already 5:00, but I quickly called Bone and Joint to see if I could move up my follow up appointment. It was scheduled for the 26th, but I was able to move it and get in to see the doctor yesterday afternoon.
The appointment was not what I had hoped for. Obviously, I’m still having pain. I’m not getting the relief I had hoped for from the procedure. I talked to the doctor and she told me to “be patient” and “keep waiting” and “sometimes these things take time.” At this point, I’m not sure if I should believe her, or if she is just Pollyanna-ing me. I like her less each time I see her. She explained to me that she deals a lot with my type of pain. She told me that 80% of her practice is procedures like mine. She expects the pain relief to take a while. I don’t actually care about 80% of her practice. I want her to focus on me, not what everyone else goes through. I don’t feel like she is listening to me.
She did write me a prescription for some lidocaine gel to apply topically to the spot that is burning. I guess this is a side effect that a small percentage of patients experience. I have another appointment scheduled in 4 weeks. Hopefully there will be more pain relief at that point. I asked her about physical therapy and she said that I could start if I wanted to, but that I needed to take it easy. She gave me a referral. I’ll probably drop that off at the local therapy center this week and see if I can get something scheduled.
As for the work situation, we talked about it and she said that she would fax something over to Employee Health stating that I could be put on ‘medium duty.’ I don’t know exactly what that will mean to Employee Health. I am hoping that Employee Health will get that form by the end of the day today and that I will hear something from them regarding when/if I can actually start working.
This whole situation has really made me wonder if I will ever get a ‘win.’ I thought I had one when I got the job. I was the happiest I have been in months. Then, as has happened often this year, the floor was dropped out from under me. Nothing is going right. I just can’t get a break. All I want to do is crawl into a deep hole and disappear.