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    Going back to Work

    Put this off as long as I could, in fact got a 2 month reprieve, but back to work on April 1. Same job, desk work, mid-sized office (150 folks) informal environment. I know everyone, although close to only a few, but dread this like the devil...just can't bear the thought of all the small talk, questions, etc. Any thoughts on how to handle this/ease the transition? I'm t-7 complete since Aug 1

    I recently went back to work about 6 months ago after sustaining a T6 injury. I was kind of leery of it also, but my company did a couple of weeks of part time for me on the recommendation of a rehab counsoler, that seemed to help to get back into the swing of things. As far as small talk, I found that everyone knew the why's of what happened, but they steered away from the questions of SCI and all that intrusive questioning. I think most people would feel odd asking such personal questions, so by my reasoning the same should apply to your return to work. Good luck!


      Do you have a sense of humor? Make something up with Word like a news article to post at you desk. It would be funny seeing people "sneek" to read it but dont want to talk to you. Sorry, Guess I have a morbid sense of humor. [img]/forum/images/smilies/frown.gif[/img]

      T-10 complete

      T-10 complete
      "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO HOO' what a ride!"


        I went back to work in Nov. I had a guy walking into my job trailer today laughing and saying, "never seen a handicap ramp to a construction trailer." He felt like a real dumbass when he open the door and seen me in there reading a set of blueprints...lmao He shook my hand twice when he left.

        [This message was edited by TIGGER74 on 03-24-04 at 08:11 PM.]


          I've found most people don't care one way or the other, 4now. You might get a few oddballs asking strange questions, but most likely not.

          I don't think you'll have any problems being as you've worked there already. After the first day, the problem won't exist anymore [img]/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]

          I might add for me it's harder hangin' out with people I knew pre-injury compared to people who didn't know me back then.

          -peace [img]/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]
          Please donate a dollar a day at
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            A suggestion.

            Does your office have a large conference room or cafeteria?

            If so, why not have a "welcome back" lunch (hosted by your employer) or morning coffee cart where everyone can get together, see you, talk to you in an informal environment. It may ease the transition for both you and your co-workers and be fun at the same time.

            Good luck and congratulations to your recovery and re-entry into the workforce.


              I'm thinking it probably won't be as bad as you fear. As far as the SCI I agree there's probably already been more info circulating through the office grapevine than you know. Bet most of your co-workers will just be really glad to see you back and functioning at your job again.

              Good luck. [img]/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]

              "The only true currency in this bankrupt what you share with someone else when you're uncool." - Almost Famous
              "The only true currency in this bankrupt what you share with someone else when you're uncool." - Almost Famous


                I went back to work 14 months after my injury C 6/7 incomplete; I had that much sick leave and vacation leave on the books. Coming back to work was a godsend. Sitting around the house and feeling useless was horrible. My first day back to work was scary yet exuberating. I have work for the organization for 23 years and the employees went out of their way to ensure that I felt comfortable and relaxed. Sure there were a few hurdles to get over like getting locked in the building the first day because I did not know how to unlock the automatic door; getting in and out of the restroom and wondering how I was going to get up the stairs if I had to. I live in North Dakota and the winters are brutal but the ramp was always shoveled as well as a path from the parking spot to the ramp. My coworkers made sure I was able to get in and often waited at the door to help if I needed it. On those mornings that the weather was unusable nasty the office would call and say wait a while before you come in as we don't have the snow removed from the ramp yet. Or the morning I over slept and was late someone came to the house to make sure I had not fallen or was in trouble. Granted this is a small organization and I have many years with them but they knew that I was still an asset to the organization and welcomed me back with open arms. I hope that your fellow employee's will do the same.



                  ditto going back for 4 hours a day for the first 4 weeks or so
                  cauda equina


                    Wow Nevada! It seems you work with a great group of people. I am sure you are equally wonderful. Nice post. Uplifting.

                    4now - I hear you. Just put up with it (small talk and ?) and deal with it as best you can. No need to provide EVERY detail. Come up with a friendly/joking way to dismiss/avoid answering things you'd rather not discuss.

                    Point is - Get it over with up front and hopefully, once people's curiosity is satisfied, you'll just be another employee!


                      When I went back to work I used humor to ease other peoples anxiety about how to talk and/or relate to me. I spared no ones feelings either. I told them about bowel/bladder accidents etc.

                      As a general rule most people will very accepting and welcome you back.

                      My only caution - If possible, don't ever put yourself in the position where others might "think" you are less productive than they are. This will certainly create animosity and jealousy. Many will also be very envious of your "convenient" parking spot. You will also be surprised (annoyed)to see how many "able" bodied prefer to use the handicap stall (even when other stalls are empty).

                      Have fun. You'll be fine.



                        In my experience, the people who are nice will still be nice, and the people who are jerks won't improve, because you're in a wheelchair. Given time, people will see you for who you are and judge you purely on your performance. I would suggest that you get a rehab. tech. eval. VR should pay for it. You may need a designated parking space, curb cut, wider bathroom, raised desk, new work station, computer or lap top, if you don't already have one. The RT might also explore the possibility of having you perform some tasks at home when the weather is bad or you're have a bad SCI day.


                          Thanks to all...sounds like I'm making a bigger deal of it than need be. I find that some days I'm really fired up about it and others I'm in deep dread. Guess we'll suck it up and see.


                            You are lucky you can get your job back. Here most of the jobs doesn't fit somebody in a wheelchair. Steps and no lift and no toilett for disables. And the bosses don't want you back because they think you are going to be sick half of the time.

                            So the people ends up with money from the state. Even if they can do the same job as before.

                            Strange, it is forbidden to discriminate for colour, religion and sexual preferrence but it is not forbidden to discriminate a person with a disability.
                            TH 12, 43 years post