four weeks and counting


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


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3 Responses to four weeks and counting

  1. an mayou says:

    i’m sorry to say how much i can relate to this as my husband is having a major surgery in 4 weeks. very best wishes to you dear. just keep making fun of the world meanwhile. (that’s for my benefit) xo

    • Thanks for the comment. I take some comfort in knowing that the technology has improved over the years, and that there really may be some light at the end of the tunnel. Best to your husband – I feel his pain!

  2. Mary Kendall says:

    I love that you can take the nightmare of ‘red tape’ and turn it into a haibun like this. I hope things get sorted out for you so you can focus on healing and regaining strength. Major surgery is nevrer fun, but there is always a lot to learn about yourself in the process. All the best ~ Mary

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