January has been what I’m describing as a crappy month. Right after the new year, my employer announced that we had required over-time of 4-hours each week, no exceptions. If we didn’t work the hours, we would suffer disciplinary action. This meant attendance points which would eventually result in potentially losing your job after so many down the line.
So, I got a doctor’s note to excuse me from the required OT, since I can now make it through my 40-hour work week, but having to work an extra 4 hours a week would not fly with my exhaustion. Thanks to the Savella, I’ve been doing better, but there are still days that after working my regular shift, all I want to do is lay down and take a nap. Fibro has a funny way of making your life harder.
I was informed that the doctor’s note was not acceptable, and that I needed more to excuse me from the required OT. So, thus began I back and forth chat with my company’s HR Department. Nothing I could say helped my case of getting the required OT lifted. That first week, I did the 4 hours, and I’ve since been suffering from it and the stress the situation brought on.
Stress can cause a flare-up, and boy did it. I had the hardest time the following week, as I worked to get what I was told an FMLA exception in place. Now, I had FMLA last year, but it was to be used during my regular workday, so I honestly wasn’t sure why we had to go that route. But, it seemed it was my only option.
Fast-forward to this week, and it’s been a roller-coaster. My family practice doctor, who gave me the note and has worked with me on getting onto the Savella doesn’t want to deal with the FMLA paperwork. I have seen a Rheumatologist last year, twice, but they left me with a bad taste in my mouth after refusing to take me off of Cymbalta and all. Seeing as how I’ve been a patient of my general doctor for like 30 years, so I always go back to them for most of my health care needs. It’s difficult to find a good doctor who listens, and they have been great. The paperwork for FMLA to excuse me for these four-hours is so long that they referred me back out to a Rheumatologist.
It took me until today to finally get with the specialist that they recommended. I found out that they have no open appointments until March 13th. Over a month away! I need to get this FMLA paperwork done by February 11th, so that’s a problem. At this point, I doubt that’s going to happen, but I definitely cannot wait until March.
After crying my eyes out, I got back on the phone today and called around in search of a new Rheumatologist on my own. These days, you have to be your own advocate and take care of yourself, period. I thankfully found a doctor who could take me on February 13th, a whole month before the recommended doctor could. It’s still a potential issue with the impending deadline of February 11th, but I’m hopeful they can extend that for me.
This whole month has been rough because of this stress I didn’t expect to have to deal with. I had been doing pretty well without a flare-up for awhile, nothing through the holidays. That all changed with the stress having to deal with getting medically excused from the over-time requirement. I have felt discriminated against for having a chronic illness, and that truly sucks.
I’m going to do my best to calm my body back down, and hope I can get this flare-up to take a hike. Especially since I’ve got a half marathon on the 10th. Praying that things go a lot better in February than they did in January, because I don’t know if I can take another cruddy month right now. I need to remember that with faith in God, I can get through this.