Thanks for all of your comments on my last post. My doctor told me that I should expect to be able to go back to my normal activities after 4-6 weeks, and that a full recovery could take even longer. (In particular he told me that the numbness, caused by nerve damage, could last years.)
Of course the reality of work is that “4-6 weeks” was read as “not quite 4 weeks.” That’s what I was approved for from FMLA, and that is what I took. Unfortunately on my last day before my leave, my coworker was offered a much better job out of state, so during my leave she was pretty much just preparing for her departure. That left my director holding the bag when I returned to work lo these two weeks ago, since there are only the three of us in the office.
I have been working significant unpaid overtime since I’ve been back, just trying to stay afloat. There has been no possibility of easing back into things. I am being asked to “just help us through this crisis” until we’re able to hire a replacement for my coworker. So I’m doing my job, her job, and the huge backlog of work that built up while I was on leave. This is part of why I’m so tired and so frustrated, and it’s why I am impatient with my recovery. I need this job (since I’m washing out on my search for a new one so far), but I honestly don’t know how much longer I’m going to be able to sustain this pace.
A lot of lip service has been paid to allowing me to do what I need to do to get better. I’m not supposed to be working through lunch, I’m not supposed to be working overtime, I’m not supposed to be walking from building to building. In practice, though, there is no one else to do these things. Either I do them or no one does. I am feeling really stuck, and I’m just not physically ready for it.