advice after surgery

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by PerplexedChef, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. PerplexedChef


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    Hi everyone,
    I'm a long time listener, first time caller.
    I've always enjoyed reading the advice on this forum and this is not what I wanted for my first post.
    What I really wanted was to ask a million questions about my first year as a chef; staff problems, dealing with absentee management, balancing all my tasks etc.

    Instead I need advice on something else.
    I am a chef at a medium sized place, small staff. I work the line and prep in addition to my chef resposibilities.
    About a week and a half ago I had surgery for an umbilcal hernia. I was given two weeks off to start and I know I can't lift anything heavy for at leas two months.

    My doctor won't, or can't, give me a straight answer about when to go back to work.
    I'm araid that if I go back too soon I might fall into old patterns and do damage to myself. I'd feel silly and useless asking somone else every time I had to move a box or bend over.

    I know we all recover at a different pace but any advice would be appreciated.

  2. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Retired Chef
    I don't have any advice but I have a wish for you. Get well soon and take it easy. Your first day back at work could be a half day. See how it goes from there.
  3. someday


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    Professional Chef
    I would talk to your staff and get them on board. Let them know that you want to be there to work, you aren't trying to be lazy, but you'll need help with some things in the short term while you heal. What's the big deal? If you have a good team and your cooks and sous chef's have your back, should be no problem.
  4. Jayvader


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    CIA Sept '99
    reminds me, i had a coworker she was always asking me to pick stuff up for here and carry things, after about 1 1/2 days of this i finally said WTF why cant you do it? and she told me she was pregnant and i was then jumping at the chance to help her.

    everybody knows you were out hurt and will be sympathetic, as long as you are up front and clear about why and the timetable

    talk to the management, they may not even let you come back until your doctor writes a note to say its ok , i wouldnt let you come back without a note from your doctor
  5. chefwriter


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    Professional Cook
    Great advice so far. I'll add that since working for a couple of corporations over the past four years, I've learned that there are multiple reasons not to be lifting anything heavy, you should learn and practice safe lifting habits to prevent numerous physical issues and the days of kitchen weight lifting competitions were stupid to begin with and ended or should have ended a long time ago. When faced with cases of anything I break it down into smaller sizes, ask for help, get a cart to put it on and ask some young person to do it. All of the above, sometimes all at once.
    A case typically weighs anywhere from 30 to 60 pounds, some less. Whatever it weighs, I'm not risking injury to anything by trying to be a hero. It's pointless and no one really cares. Plus I'm just sick of working hard for no good reason.
    A gallon of milk weighs eight pounds. I'll only carry that on the way to the cookies.
    Coincidentally, when taking the physical for my current job, (in a hospital) the doctor discovered i have two hernias. Losing weight is a big help for letting them heal on their own. I've lost ten pounds so far. But you can bet I make sure everyone knows I have two hernias when I'm faced with lifting something.
    Lift a few low weight items at home to see how it feels. Nothing over five or ten pounds.
    Go back to work as soon as you can. But don't feel guilty for a second.
  6. left4bread


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    I'd hire someone to fill in on the line for a couple months. Probably not in the budget though, eh?
    Now would be a great time to re-check your pricing, portion control management, work on new menu ideas and specials for the future, coding inventory, get on the floor and talk to customers as they enter or leave, help with payroll or other bookkeeping, make spreadsheets-prep lists-inventory guides-employee contact lists-etc, flirt with FoH, play flash games at Kongregate, uihhh... come here and reply to every single thread (it's R&D if anyone catches you). Stuff like that. Busy work.
    Sorry, I kind of lost track there at the end. Meant to be humorous.

    I'm wondering if I can ask how much that procedure cost you. I have no insurance and need that same surgery. I checked it out a few years ago and it looked like it was ~$7,000. Is that accurate?