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FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act)


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#1 barefut

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 06:46 PM

Well I finally jumped off the cliff Wednesday and told my doctor and my employer that I need to take the rest of my FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) allowance as a complete leave of absence instead of trying to carry on with part time work. Scary but necessary. Strangely though, I have been at peace with it and not too worried about the other shoe falling. I guess I'm all worried out in that department (i.e. how will I pay the mortgage and other bills? - What will I do for health insurance?) I am mainly worried about my health right now and focused on taking care of myself and my boys (I have some new stuff going on with myositis). I guess I will cross the 'health insurance/how do I pay my bills' bridge when I get to it.

Free falling can be quite exhilarating. I like the free part best. I am free to take naps, free to pick up my kids from school and take them to practice. Free to make doctor appointments whenever I want to. Free to wear whatever I want to. Free to make and eat a family dinner around the table. Free to help with homework and free to listen. Free to take a long hot uninterrupted bath and free to stay in my jammies, and unshowered all day if I want to.

Also free to feel vertigo 1/2 the day today and spend the other 1/2 the day on the toilet. Free to be nauseous and unable to get out of my chair. Free to go sleepless at night and be irritable and brain dead all day. Yipee! But I am FREE to do this! I don't HAVE to go to work feeling like all that.

Yes, free is great! Falling is....not so much. I'm sure I will wake up from this honeymoon euphoria stage and go 'splat' here any day now. And I'm sure it won't be pretty either.

Stay tuned for the *splat*

#2 ladyhawke

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 04:42 AM

Good luck Barefut....thoughts your way from here. It's a very hard decision to have to make. I think that you made the right one. I had to leave work 3 years ago. I was lucky enough to have LTD (long term disability) for those years, but just now had to make the decision to retire as the LTD ran out. I did get a disability though, lost money for sure but still it's better than not getting anything and more than I thought it would be. Hang in there and just deal with things as they get to you. Don't look too far ahead, don't put the cart before the horse. I had to learn that. Not having to go to work and put those horrible days in, being able to stay home when you feel so awful is such a relief! You still feel it alright, but you can at least make yourself comfortable, without having to deal with everything (and everyone) in a work environment. Sometimes a (hostile) work environment where you have to deal with "the arrogance of the healthy".....Good Luck my friend! - love Lisa
Life is NOT meant to be a struggle. Life is meant to be joyously abundant.

#3 annkd

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 05:47 AM

Hi Bareful - congrats to you, my friend. I know how difficult that decision was for you. Been there, done that. I think you are going to see things differently now. Being able to choose is huge! Being with your children is the best. Maybe with this new found freedom, you will have the time to heal your body in a way that being stressed with work, etc. had not allowed you. Best of luck and I have a feeling that 2010 will be a great year! Hugs, Ann :happy-day:

#4 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 02:07 PM

Hello Barefut

Welcome to my world...it's great!

I am so glad you no longer have to struggle into work whilst trying to bring up 2 children and live with scleroderma...and now myositis!

Just make sure you don't start overcompensating by thinking you have to have a spotless house with freshly cooked meals on the table morning, noon and night because if you could do all that you'd be at work! Although you will now have all the time you need you still have scleroderma and now myositis so remember to pace yourself and be realistic with your expectations.

Most of all spend at least one 24 hour period in your jammies, don't wash, do nothing except eat and watch T.V...now that's more like it!

Take care.
Amanda Thorpe
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#5 bookworm

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 11:57 AM

Good for You, Barfut!
I don't see how anyone carries on and deals with scleroderma at the same time. My fatigue alone would make that a nightmare!

Best of wishes to you!

Mary in Texas

#6 Jeannie McClelland

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 01:33 PM

Hi Barefut,

Congratulations on being a free woman! How long does your FMLA last? Are you going to investigate going onto permanent disability? I can't imagine trying to raise kids and cope with scleroderma at the same time.
( At my advanced age, I can no longer imagine simply raising kids. :lol:) You have my sincere admiration and very best wishes!
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#7 judyt

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 01:44 PM

Hi Barefut,

On the bright side of having to leave work is that it is cheaper to stay home. Not so many clothes, not so much transportation cost, fewer refills of your lipstick, home cooked meals can be cheaper when you have the whole day to cook a casserole, do your own baking, mend the kids clothes instead of replacing them, and so on and so on.

Best of luck in your new role, enjoy it while you can. Best of all is just what somebody said about sideways looks from co-workers - you bust a gut to look good for work, then they just think you are faking when you nearly faint rushing round the office.

HOT hugs from NZ

Judy T

#8 Snowbird

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 02:21 PM

Best wishes to you Barefoot

I have no doubt you made the right decision for yourself as I can read the relief in your note and I'm very happy for you as well. I'm sure it wasn't an easy decision and was likely a very long time in coming. I agree with the others, it will be important to try to pace yourself so you don't overdue anything...you'll be so excited to be home, you'll just want to get to work at all the things you never had time to do while working. Just remember though, if you do happen to have a splat moment or two, we'll all be here for you... :flowers:
Sending good wishes your way!

#9 barefut

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 05:21 AM

Thank you all for your support and understanding! I can't tell you how good it feels to have that understanding. You really know how I feel! It's like each of you have have been there done that. ;)

That was going to be a blog but I was having technical difficulties so I posted in the fourms. I am glad I did. You all make me feel more secure about my decision as it was a hard one to make and a long time coming.

I have to 'go to work' today here at home to finish up my bankruptcy papers and then go to the DSHS office to see what I may qualify for in the way of help.

I have missed you guys and am looking forward to having more time to spend on the forums catching up with old friends and getting to know new ones. I am here for you guys too!!!

Love yas,

#10 susieq40

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 12:29 PM

Dear Barefut,

Congrats in the decision to be barefoot all day if you want to...although warm socks are nice :happy1-by-lisa-volz:
I stay home with the kids, have for the last 5 years. Didn't know that being tired and needing a nap with the kids was the fatigue of sclero. But I'm glad I've had this time with them, because now it's even harder to spend more quality time with them.
Keeping the house up is hard too..you'll find you pick and choose what can wait til tomorrow. I am so glad for every moment I have with my family and I hope you'll enjoy that too.

Warm HUGS
susieq/vickie

#11 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 12:35 PM

I'd forgotten all about that until I read Judyt's post! We save money each month now that I no longer work because I don't buy a large latte everyday or shop in the nearest to work but most expensive supermarket! The perks of being at home go on and on...
Amanda Thorpe
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#12 Buttons

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 11:11 PM

Hi

It is not easy making that decision to stop work as I found out a 18 months ago but boy what a difference it has made to how I feel. My job was very very stressful & I worked very long hours and it was only when I stopped did I realise how it was making my health so much worse. I now feel more human and when I'm fatigued I know I can stop & do nothing but rest, the housework will always be there so I do what is absolutely necessary & the rest waits until I feel OK to do it. It is true what the others have said about it being cheaper on clothes, food etc so you do find you can live on that little bit less.


Just remember that your health is important so you need to look after yourself.
Barefoot
Take Care
Buttons

#13 Deb1million

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 09:48 AM

Good luck, Barefut. You won't regret your decision. Although I felt guilty at leaving a job I really loved, and the friends I had made in 8 years there, I now look back at photos taken at the time I left, and I looked really ill and exhausted. Since Ive been at home, 3 years now, I look a lot better and am comfortable in myself if I need to stay in bed late, or not worry about the chores. The company didn't collapse without me, and we manage on reduced income. Your health is worth more than all of that.

sincere best wishes from Debs
and I must say how much I love your blogs!

#14 Sweet

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 07:54 AM

Hey Barefut, good for you! Sometimes the worst part about a situation is not making a decision. Once the decision is made, whether it is the right one or not we feel better. In this case I think you made the right one.

Be free my friend!
Warm and gentle hugs,

Pamela
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