My surgery is four weeks away, and it feels like I’ve been waiting forever. Not that I’m anxious to go through the ordeal – quite the contrary – but having exhausted every alternative, the unanimous consensus of all of the health professionals involved is that this is the appropriate way forward. That was my conclusion two months ago today, after meeting with an orthopedic surgeon for a second opinion, and I remain resolved to get past this pain and get on with the rest of my life. That’s step one.
As if it’s not enough to focus on getting better, there is plenty of red tape to contend with. While the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) guarantees one’s job for up to 13 weeks, it’s up to the employee to apply for it. Our HR department is very helpful, but they don’t administer FMLA leave. I was given the toll-free phone number of a third-party insurance company to handle the dirty details, and they would be the ones in touch with my surgeon to provide the medical details only surgeons could provide. Except that when they don’t, it’s back to the employee to make sure that they do. All of which leads to lots of time on the phone with people who seem hell-bent on making sure that what is already a painful experience can be miserable as well. I do my best not to lose my patience while remaining efficiently persistent, hoping that if the bean counters can’t do their jobs because they’re supposed to, they do it to avoid having to speak to me. See how fun this is?
first step —
what I learned
from the daylily