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prolificus's avatar

Any suggestions for first day back to work (see details)?

Asked by prolificus (6492 points ) January 18th, 2011

Recouping from a serious health issue and have been on short-term disability (STD). Easily exhausted. Not accustomed to staying awake and active for a full work day since the start of STD.

Obvious answers to me are: get a good night’s sleep (mostly difficult considering I have intermittent insomnia), pace self throughout the day, drink plenty of fluids, eat regular meals, rest as needed, move around as needed, etc.

Anything else I should know? Do?

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11 Answers

lynfromnm's avatar

You’ve listed all of the most important physical things to remember, in order to take care of yourself. In addition, seek out those who may have had a heavier workload because of your absence and thank them.

BarnacleBill's avatar

See if you can come back at half-day for a few days, then ¾ days, then full days. Use the first few days to get caught up on where projects are, read e-mails, etc.

Kayak8's avatar

I agree with @BarnacleBill , when I returned to work after ankle surgery, my doc wanted me to gradually “build-up” to a full day. Most work-places that offer short-term disability will require a letter from your doctor indicating that you are ready to return to a full day (or will list any appropriate restrictions until you are ready for a full-day).

bkcunningham's avatar

Your boss obviously knows what is going on with your health issues. Don’t forget though, they are only human and may have other things on their mind. But a very polite reminder to your boss at the beginning of your work day wouldn’t hurt. Let them know you are glad to be back, but it might take a while for you to be 100 percent and you’ll do the best you can under the circumstances. That way if you do need to leave early or you aren’t able to meet a deadline or whatnot, they won’t be taken off guard. I hope you get to feeling 100 percent better soon.

Kardamom's avatar

Would it be possible for your boss to assign you to some light duty work for a week or two? My brother had heart surgery in July, went back to work in September and is on light duty until February, then he will resume his regular work. This is all because the doctor said it was necessary. Can you get your doctor to suggest (in writing) something like that? Otherwise, I think the idea of working half days for awhile would really be beneficial. If you end up hurting yourself, or making yourself sick, that won’t be useful to you or the boss. Good luck, feel better.

prolificus's avatar

@lynfromnm – great idea! I will follow through with donuts as well.

@BarnacleBill and @Kayak8 – Oh, I wish I had thought to ask for half days this week. Oh well. Leaving early won’t be an issue, though, if needed.

@bkcunningham and @Kardamom – Yes, doc filled out a return to work form, to include light duty. So I’m set there. @bkcunningham – good idea about the polite reminder to my boss (if needed).

majorrich's avatar

Before returning to work start to get accustomed to being awake for longer periods. Losing the first nap after lunch was the most difficult for me. This took about a week or so. I still get real sleepy about 3 to 4 pm and get a second wind. Drink lots of fluids as you said, and walk around a lot.
In addition to thanking your coworkers for taking up the slack for you, talk to people ‘downstream’ from your workflow and let them know of your return and condition. This will also get you re-accustomed to your workplace and get used to more physical activity. Plus it will get people used to seeing you again. If/when you get tired, rest. It will take a while to get back, but it will happen.

lynfromnm's avatar

@prolificus – love the donuts idea. And don’t be too hard on yourself – you don’t want to relapse.

Cruiser's avatar

I would learn to do the Sun Salutation series in Yoga. Nothing awakens my mind and spirit better than those simple poses. Do them to the best of your ability and 3 x’s on each side and you will be in your best form for the better part of the day! Even just once on each side will be a major boost to your day.

faye's avatar

Can you take frequent rests? Walk outside if you have a desk job, go sit if you have a physical job? Make sure you are full up on Vitamin B complex.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I’ll add one more bit to the already good advice you received.
Consider going back to work as part of the therapy for complete recovery. It will shorten your convalescence and make you stronger.

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