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THR Hipster64's Recovery Thread

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Hipster64

Hipster64

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Hello: Sorry to be AWOL, but not much to report until now. I did have my PT re-evaluation today and they agreed I need more work-at least another month's work. They also agreed that my back is aggravating the left hip; that I had issues when I came in that were outside the norm; and that my left hip is still stiff and causing me to feel unsteady. I told them that I have a sensation of the left leg being longer and the right one being shorter, and that the right one is standing on a cardboard box. This is the opposite of what I felt when the right hip was operated on first. The re-evaluation note, which CIGNA wants, will be ready next Tuesday and I will pick it up after my OS appointment on that day.

My OS did mention in his notes about my possibly returning to work part time. However, after going out for dinner a couple of weeks ago with my co-worker (who happens to be my team leader) and mentioning this, she told me that since I've been out they are actually cutting out the part-time option for people now, and that they will not take me back on a part-time basis; that it's going to be "all or nothing". And like I said in a prior post, I am completely set-up to work from home as I do so every other Saturday and work holidays-have been on that program for 7 years now-and they won't allow me to do so because "others can't do it so neither can you". They have already told me "See you in January" and have accepted the OS's note for a 1/6/20 return to work date. So there you go. The saga continues!
 

Layla

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Hi @Hipster64
Sorry that your back is aggravating your hip. Just one more thing, huh?
I have learned during my time here that the sensation of one leg feeling longer than the other can take months to resolve itself, which is what happens in most instances.

Give it 3-4 months before you do anything. This allows time for everything to balance again. If you still have the feeling at that time you might want to see a physio or podiatrist who will measure you to confirm an LLD. Here's an article from our Library Leg length differential - LLD.

Have a nice day and a Happy Thanksgiving!
 

Elf1

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Sorry you're having back issues and that is aggravating the hip. Hopefully another month of with the PT will bring you some relief and improvement.

Not so good news about the job but I think I would want to double check that phased return to work with the HR, just to clarify. You aren't "technically" working part time, you're phasing back into a job carefully. Most companies are more than happy to do this, they don't want to take the chance of something happening to you and then being responsible. At least in my case that was how the company looked at it. Good thing is you're able to stay out until after the first of the year.
 
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Hipster64

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@Layla: Thanks for the link regarding leg length differential. My left leg was actually shorter pre-surgery than my right one-now it feels longer! Go figure. I will keep an eye on it. I mostly notice the sensation when I am standing in the shower, if that makes any sense.

@Elf1: I am not averse about phasing into work but I know my employer is not a fan of it. I am assuming, based on my dinner conversation with my co-worker, that others before me have requested this approach and have failed. I definitely know for a fact that people without the equipment asked to work from home and were immediately shot down. I know they like you to return to work full time with no restrictions; probably because if anyone else sees you working part-time, they will ask management why some can do it and others can't, disability be damned. I am already expecting pushback from certain busybodies when I park in the disabled spot in the front of the building, and mouths running as to how and why I have a placard. The questions and gossip already started in June when I had special permission from HR to park in a front space (not disabled) normally reserved for walk-in customers as to why my car was parked there as opposed to the back employee parking lot.

There may be a slight possibility that my return to work date could be pushed up and I will deal with that issue if it happens as I already paid my employer my out-of-pocket health insurance expenses for the entire month of December and will need partial reimbursement. I look at it this way: at least if I return to work after 12/10, it's the holiday season; I will be returning to a world of holiday lunches and gift exchanges, everyone will be in a festive and lackadaisical mood and very little will be expected of me until after the New Year anyway. So either way, it's a win-win and a good run. No worries regardless of what happens!
 

Barbaraj

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Happy Thanksgiving to you, @Hipster64! By the way, I am not sure of your state's laws, but certainly the federal ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) does require employers make temporary accommodations for folks with disabilities so having you work less than part time for awhile seems like something that would be a reasonable accommodation. Sounds like you are resigned to whatever happens and I think that is probably a sensible approach as you seem not so stressed out. Happy Thanksgiving to you and, yes, all of us hipsters on the recovery path are grateful that surgery is over and done with and we're well on our way to a great 2020. And you, like me, are DONE with all things hips as we've had 'em both done so no more hip surgeries to worry about. Hang in there, and have a great day tomorrow.
 
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Hipster64

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@Barbaraj : You as well!

Believe it or not, my company would prefer I stay out and remain on short term disability until I can return full time with no restrictions, which would be 1/6/20 according to the OS's note. It's not that they won't make allowances for part time return and probably would if push came to shove, but they would rather not do that and wait for me to be as 100% as I can be.

Resigning myself to whatever fate hands me at this point is my best approach to deal with it because quite frankly, I am tired of being stressed out over it. Regardless, I have been approved for short-term disability to at least 12/10. Since my employer would likely prefer I start back to work on a Monday and the employee handbook states that folks on leave of absence must provide at least an approximate two-week return notice, the earliest I could see myself returning to work is 12/16. Of course I would love for CIGNA to agree that my disability should be extended to 1/6, but if they feel otherwise, I can live with it. We'll see next week what the OS says as PT feels I need therapy until at least 12/26. I have already called CIGNA and informed them of the latest PT development.

Like I said before, the holiday season is really not a bad time to return to work. No one will expect too much as everyone is either acting festive or lackadaisical, or simply out on vacation time themselves. And besides, if I return early, it will be a "Christmas miracle"!
 

CricketHip

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I am just now catching up with your thread. Goodness! How is a gal supposed to recover when all of this is going on?? Glad to see your tenacity resulted in getting the disability paid up into December.
I agree with you about returning in December.. the pace will be slower, for sure and that may be favorable to resuming full time in January. ugh.
Regardless, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow.
Keep your chin up!
 

Barbaraj

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Hope your Thanksgiving was a pleasant day for you and your family, @Hipster64, and now the grand push to the Christmas holidays begins. Nice thing about being a recovering hippie is no pressure to get out there and do Black Friday shopping, huh? I realize you're now resigned to perhaps having to return to work in December, but my fingers are still crossed that the Christmas Miracle will be a postponed return to work for you. But, as you said, if you have to return it shouldn't be too bad for you--and I'm betting co-workers will be thrilled to see their colleague back.
 
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Hipster64

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@Barbaraj and @Layla : Yes, my Thanksgiving was very nice and I hope yours was too. On Black Friday, I attended my sister's wedding to my brother-in-law (they were married in 2015 by a justice of the peace but had their prior marriages annulled so they could remarry in the Catholic church) which was also nice. I thought I would be able to have a lazy Black Friday this year-I've worked it every year since 2002-but it wasn't to be. Oh well, I have this weekend and since we're getting crummy weather over the next couple of days, plus Lifetime Movie Club is free on Comcast until 12/5, it's the perfect time to be lazy! I've been doing a lot of online shopping though for Christmas as well as for my family. And since the Black Friday online deals are now being released as early as the day before Thanksgiving, it's a win-win!

Yes, some of my co-workers have expressed missing me which is nice. There are some people I really do miss seeing and talking to on a regular basis. I've worked there for 19 years so I have cultivated some friendships with certain people. Of course, there are others in that place that if I ever saw them again it would be too soon.

I'm hoping that the PT order until 12/26 (PT has been very sympathetic) will postpone things a bit in the eyes of CIGNA. My employer doesn't expect me back until 1/6 and I really don't have to return until then since I already submitted the 1/6 OS to them, but the loaded question is whether or not CIGNA will pay me for the time out. See what happens on Tuesday when I see the OS.

Enjoy your weekend!
 
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Hipster64

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I am happy to report that the OS appointment this morning went very well. The PA agreed with PT's recommendation of one more month of physical therapy due to the back issues that have complicated my left hip pain. He further agreed that I should be seen again at the OS office right before my 1/6 return to work date for good measure. So, my next appointment with him is 12/31, the week before my scheduled return.

I also picked up my PT re-evaluation notes from last week to send to CIGNA for further review. I lucked out because we had such crummy weather this AM and there were a ton of cancellations. I was supposed to start my new PT session tomorrow, but due to the cancellations I was seen today right after my OS appointment. That was nice because my appointment for tomorrow was at 8 AM, so now it can be cancelled and I can sleep in!

Just scanned everything over to CIGNA so we will see what they say this time. Fingers crossed!
 

Barbaraj

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Yay, great news about the continuing authorization for PT! This paperwork and coordination has been such a pain--but good for you, @Hipster64 , for staying on top of it and getting what sounds like, finally, so good results from all your work! I hope PT is really helpful so that by the time you do have to return to work you'll be feeling much better, despite the holidays which take a toll on us even if we're not recovering from hip replacement. Let's hope CIGNA does the right thing and authorizes whatever you need--sheesh!
 
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Hipster64

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@Barbaraj : I already notice differences in my hips, body posture and stamina from the year before. It really showed when we put up our Christmas tree on Sunday. My husband will set it up and put on the lights, and I do the tinsel and the ornaments (except for one ornament that's my son's favorite which I insist he hangs each year). I also decorate the house with Christmas stuffed animals, a ceramic tree and a nativity set. Last year, it seemed like it took forever to decorate and I remember having to sit down and stop several times while placing the ornaments on the tree because I had difficulty standing and my back was in such pain. This year? Thanks to my double hippie status, I sat down only once-and that was on a little low stool to place an ornament in a difficult to reach spot toward the bottom of the tree! Both my husband and I agreed that this was the fastest I decorated the tree in years. It was painless all around!
 

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Wonderful news! Isn't it great to feel 'human' again after suffering for so long?! I have had my share of flashbacks to how I was a year ago and I am just amazed and sooooo thankful for modern medicine and THRs giving me my life back. :yes!: Glad you shared your holiday accomplishment with all recovering hipsters. Gives everyone hope for a better future. :SUNsmile:
 

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