Senior Member (male)
Join Date: Nov 2006
| | Guys, I am at my wits end. Need your help!!!
Hello everyone. Just when you think things couldn't get any worse, they do. I will try to make this as short as possible, but I really need to vent, so here goes-
OK most of you know my situation, but for those who don't here's the "readers digest" version. I have had 2 back surgeries in the past 12 years (laminectomys (sp) for herniated disc at L5/S1, in September of this year, I woke up to severe back pain that radiated down to my left knee. Went to Doctor, then to specialist, had MRI, EMG, and discogram. As a result of all te tests, Level 2 fusion L4/L5/S1 was recommended. Surgery was initially scheduled for Dec 14th. 2 days before my surgery I was notified that my surgeon had taken a "Leave of absence" and that my surgery was canceled. They said they would find me a surgeon ASAP, which they did (5 hours from where I live) anyway I met the surgeon, he conquered that a level 2 fusion was needed and scheduled the surgery for Jan 10th (that was the quickest he could do it) anyway, although I was totally depressed about this situation, at least I knew that it would be done and at the same time I had a second opinion. I applied for and was approved for FMLA, so I was relieved that I would still have my job when I recovered. I also applied for a benefit through my employer, The State of Kansas, called Share Leave. If your not familiar with it, it basically allows other employees to donate sick and vacation leave to employees that are experiencing health problems that keep them from returning to work for extended periods of time after they have exhausted all thier leave. It is truly a terrific benefit for someone suffering from a disability such as this while waiting in limbo land for SSD or LTD.
Anyway, after fighting with my human resource manager about them not sending my application to the committee for 2 weeks, I finally had my wife fax the application to the committee personally. A week later I was notified that my application was denied. No reason was given. After a dozen phone calls, I was told it was because my Dr, did not fill out his portion appropriately. So it was disapproved. I asked what it was that he did not fill out, I was told that although he had stated that I would have a Level 2 fusion, and that my recovery would be at least 8 weeks after the surgery, he did not describe what exactly my recovery would entail? I was flabbergasted, I tried to explain what I would be going through with physical therapy, but that was not good enough, that information needed to come from my physician. Now they want that information to be given to them AFTER my surgery, not before. Here's the real messed up part of all of this- FMLA is good for 12 weeks, my FMLA was approved Oct 18th, I may have counted wrong but my FMLA will expire on Jan 10th, the day of my surgery, therefore I will be subject to termination! I am terrified that I will lose my job because of all of this. I have ten years invested with my job, and in Sept 07 I will be vested in the State retirement benefit, but if I am terminated...? I can not believe after 10 years, that they would do this to me. I have appealed thier decision to deny my application, but thier time limit to review my appeal will exceed my FMLA expiration date. I have to pay my insurance premium myself now, the state no longer has to pay thier share. I wonder how they expect someone to pay that much without an income? My wife paid it once, but it completely broke us. Because she has an income, we are not qualified for any state assistance (we do not meet the federal poverty level) what a crock!. I know it sounds like I am having a "pity party" for myself and I know that I am surely not the only one going through the "ringer" so to speak, but I really needed to vent to people who I know understand what this type of disability does to a persons life. Not only physically, but emotionally and financially. I dont Know how people are supposed to survive while waiting for SSD, or LTD to become effective during this lengthy ordeal.
I sent an e-mail to the Governor, explaining my situation and asking that she review the policy to see if indeed I qualify for approval. I pray that she will look into it as I am sure I meet the requirements per the policy. Again I apologize for whining, but had to get it off my chest, and this is far better then calling the people in charge, and chewing them out (which is really what I want to do) I am sure this would have the exact opposite effect that I want to happen. Sorry this is so long, so I will stop. I ask that you pray for a favorable outcome in my appeal to the Governor.