Tuesday, September 7, 2010

can I have 12 weeks' unpaid non-maternity leave under FMLA?

Because I think I need it.

Sometimes it seems as though the world is falling apart, even though, objectively, it probably isn't. I have a colleague with whom I cannot deal and although my boss (who really is good at this stuff) seems to have come up with an arrangement that will basically deal with the problem, I feel like I need a vacation just to decompress from that (and I just had a four-day weekend).

And I'm so tired of my husband being forever away. Our marriage does just sort of run on autopilot a lot of the time (and most marriages seem to when not in active crisis, right?), but give it enough time with him away, and I realize that it does not really function that way all the time. There are things I need to discuss with him for which email does not cut it.

And speaking of communication issues - guess who called me on Monday AND Tuesday last week? If you guessed that the office manager called me Monday (after a nurse called Monday morning to tell me that the office manager would be calling) and Dr. B called me Tuesday (the day that same nurse let me know he would be in - all in a tone of real concern), you would be WRONG. They haven't called AT ALL. No voicemails. No missed calls. Nothing. This morning, I left a message asking to be connected to the Patient Ombudsman. I don't expect a call back from that, either. I note that I also have not yet received the results of the thyroid bloodwork done in mid-July. I told them two weeks ago that I was increasing my dose of thyroid by 50% if I didn't hear differently, and I have done so, but it would still be nice to get the results, you know?

Also, I have an appointment scheduled with Dr. L/C this Friday, which should be awesome. I'm thinking of calling the records gal Thursday morning and telling her that I plan to pick up a photocopy of every shred of paper in my file when I'm there Friday - and she can just include the thyroid results in the stack. What do you think? Too confrontational? Not confrontational enough?

Also, at my physical on Friday, I meant to get a referral for an RE at the local hospital, but forgot. I'll call the internist and leave a message asking for a referral (complicated, of course, being that I'm asking about treatment other than IVF or IUI, but that's what I get for forgetting). I'd love to know if there's even anyone to whom I could be referred.

Oh, also also: at my physical appointment - at which I expected a referral to a dermatologist (check) and nothing else interesting, I got - something else interesting. Allegedly I have a congenital heart defect that causes intermittent tachycardia and really no other problems. (To be confirmed by a cardiologist, to whom I also have a referral.) I've definitely had that intermittent tachycardia, you know, intermittently - I just assumed that everyone did :). Isn't that exciting?


  1. I don't know all what qualifies for FMLA, but 2 years ago my mom came down with a serious illness and was in the ICU and I checked with our benefits dept and I would have been allowed to take the 12 weeks unpaid. We worked out another arrangement, but it was nice to know it was there. That being said - I don't know what you have to put down for reasons.

    In regards to tachychardia, did they give a name to it besides "intermittent". I was diagnosed with Inappropriate Sinus Tachychardia about 4 years ago and was on beta blockers for about 1 year, but then went off it because I read somewhere that it might get in breast milk and since I was getting married in 6 monhts (after being on it for about 1 year), I figured I should go off of it. Ha!!! Yeah, obviously that shouldn't have been a concern! ;) That being said - mine is asymptomatic (sp)...I have a fast heart rate, but it doesn't bother me, but I do remember the doctor saying that pregnancy would be a pain and that I should take that into consideration? Ummm...what kind of statement is that? Do I or don't I have a serious heart ailment? If you are telling me it is not that serious - just fast and that people can live well into their 90s with it, don't just turnaround and in the next breath say to watch out for pregnancy. Okay, sorry, it is still raw - even 4 years later! I haven't had any other issues with it since then - I just know that when I workout, my heart rate goes really high and I just need to pay attention and not go too extreme. One last cardiologist quote "You are not going to be running any marathons or anything like that." Well, let me go cross that ONE of my list of things to do! (Yes, I say that with a bit of sarcasm...but his beside manner wasn't the greatest.) Good luck with the cardiologist and hopefully it is not a big deal!

  2. I think asking for all your files (copies of them) is not at all unreasonable, or confrontational. It's just a good idea. Period.

    That appt should be interesting.

  3. JBTC - because I have learned nothing from internet blogging, it didn't occur to me that someone else might have a similar heart issue and I should be specific! I (probably) have WPW Syndrome; the electrical wiring in my heart is backward or diverted or sideways or something. Most of the time this causes no problems, but (for me) once a year or so my heart will race for a few hours, maybe over a few days. Apparently some people go to the emergency room for this (presumably theirs is much worse), but mine is not bad, and I don't think I'll need to do that. My resting heart rate is about 70 (has been since high school), so I think that in the non-tachycardia periods, I don't really have a problem. (She said I didn't need to worry about a heart attack or problems during exercise - I asked specifically.)

  4. I don't have anything profound to say. I just want to say that i am listening and I want to offer what ever comfort can be offered through blog comments. I am sorry your doctor's suck.

  5. A 12 week leave sounds reasonable to me!

    You definitely should have a copy of your medical records – whether you are getting good “service” or not. I get a copy of every test that is run on me. I always have to ask for it, but it is never a problem. They give me my results the same day over the telephone, but when I go back to the office (which is frequent), I ask for a hard copy. I have a release of medical records authorization form on file (expires every year and I sign a new one). There is ONLY one nurse who ever ask if I have it on file. The others just give me the records I ask for, but this nurse will go a look for the authorization first. There is nothing confrontational about wanting your medical records.

  6. Oh how I wish I could take that 12 weeks of FMLA as well...that would be nice. I am sorry you still aren't having any luck with the doctor business; wish I had some sort of advice but I got nothin'

  7. Oh my gravy!!!! I can't believe that no one has called you!!!!

    You deserve to have all of your medical records and then some -- perhaps some free office supplies or something???

    I wish I could be a fly on the wall during your appointment. I'd love to hear the excuses from your doctor!!!

  8. I can't believe you haven't stormed down to that office and yelled at someone yet! That is so completely unacceptable behavior on their part. I don't think it's confrontational to ask for all of your records - I would tell them they should provide them for free though, if they try to charge you. They obviously don't want you as a patient...
    Sorry about the work stress - I don't know what qualifies under FMLA, but if you do qualify...well, I say take the time off!

    Can't wait to hear about your appt :).

  9. Get every single copy and give them no way out. Have copies of their stupid medical release forms at the ready. Tell them you need them for cordinating phyisicans. Make your own boiler plate, I hereby authorize the release of my medical records and blood test and ultrasound results to myself. I set up a fax machine by my bed and if I did not get at least one fax of blood results faxed to be a day I screamed my head off. Oh, yes, I won quite a few medals for screaming my head off. Yep, yep, yep. I had tachcardia when my hyperthyroidism was off the charts. Well, I healed my hyperthyrodism and it went away. Having heart stuff is stressful, but if they say it is not a cause of major concern, good.

    A few endocrinologists tried to put me on beta blockers, I said no way! They also told me I would die if I got pregnant. Sometimes we just have to get up and walk out these offices.

    I have learned to do it OFTEN!

    PRAYERS for you and 2 rosaries being prayed for you tonight!!!

  10. Joann has some great suggestions. I hope your appointment goes well (or at least you can get what you need before you get out of there).

  11. Hi there - I continue having problems commenting from the road. (Perhaps it's my browser - I use chrome.) I am without words on the behaviour of the doctor's office. I think it's important to keep it together and keep it polite until you get your files in your hands. Beyond that, I can't offer any advice because I am not familiar with the options open to you in your geographic area. Thinking of you!