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Wednesday, June 30, 2010


So. About an hour after posting my last blog, in which I was so happy and excited that surgery is drawing near, a bomb is dropped on my parade.
It was Monday afternoon. I called my supervisor to follow up on the fact that I'd never heard back from her regarding having a few hours off for my pre-op physical. She said she hadn't gotten back to me because it wasn't going to be possible. There was no one to cover for me. (Never mind the courtesy of calling either way, right?) I told her I was sorry, but that I couldn't reschedule it because I had to start my pre-op diet a few days afterward, and this had to be done first. That's when she said, "Actually, I don't have anyone to cover for you at all. You're not going to be able to have surgery." I was silent and then stammering... I know for a fact we have a float who isn't getting any hours right now and needs them. I was like, "excuse me?" when was she planning on telling me this? The day of? I was instantly burning hot, sweating, the room spinning, speechless... what do you mean, I can't have surgery?!?! (She doesn't know what the surgery is, and due to HIPAA laws, she can't ask). She said "there is just absolutely no authorized time off right now. we don't have the coverage." Could she have said this 3 weeks ago when I told her about it? Or any time since then? I told her, "I don't know what to say... I need surgery...". She had the nerve to say, "Doesn't your surgeon understand that you have a full time job which depends on you?". I said "yeah, but when a doctor decides you need surgery..." (trailing off)... "and I guess they thought 6 weeks advance notice should be fine for my employer." BOSS: "well first of all, it wasn't anywhere near 6 weeks... maybe 4." ME: "well it was a little over 5 1/2 weeks, but anyway...". Finally I said, "is there someone above you whom I can call and talk to regarding this?" And she said I could call her manager, but that I'd get the same answer.
So I called her manager and left a message. Then I called the Labor Board. I didn't think it was legal to deny me medical leave. Turns out, if there are less than 50 employees in a 75-mile radius, they can. Crap. Her manager calls me back and I explain the situation and say, "I was under the impression that it wasn't legal to deny me leave for surgery. Can you clarify that for me, please?" She said she'd call me right back. In the mean time, I'm calling my parents, husband, in-laws, etc., freaking out. My husband actually suggests I quit if they won't give it to me. But we totally can't afford that. My world is spinning and I'm doing my best not to start crying or have a panic attack.
I never heard from the manager again, but about an hour later, my supervisor called and asked if my life depending on having surgery. I said yes. She said they'd do everything they could to get coverage and that they'd have HR send me a packet about medical leave. I thanked her profusely and told her I know it's bad timing for her because we're understaffed and going through the process of being bought out by another company, but that it was absolutely necessary for me to have surgery now. I think the words, "is that legal?" freaked them out... I felt a lot better, but not 100%. But the next day, I got my signed time off request faxed to me. However, I'm still having my doctor put me on FMLA to help assure I don't get terminated...
Only those of you who've had WLS can imagine what horror I experienced! Imagine- 3 weeks before surgery! After all that work and planning! Thank goodness I'd already been on Xanax for a full week (see post before last), or I would have lost my mind.
SO, my pre-op physical with my primary doctor and my pre-op consult with my surgeon are both tomorrow, with xrays and bloodwork in between. It will probably be my last weigh-in, and then I'll have 4 days before my strict pre-op diet starts. In that 4 days, I plan to have half of my favorite burger, half of my favorite carne asada burrito, half of my favorite breakfast burrito, and some ice cream :) It's been months... and it'll be many more... so I am going to splurge (but in moderation) for those few days. Then it's on to my 2-week clear liquid & protein diet, during which I'm supposed to lose about 7 more pounds. The purpose of this diet is to shrink the liver so they can get to the stomach easier.
Til next time...

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you got them to let you have the surgery! That is horrible of them not to tell you sooner and to act that way