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Working for the railroad


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Just another silly question, I guess mostly directed to anyone who has had or still has a labor job.

My dad is a railroad carman. He usually walks about 2-5 miles a night (quickly), and has to bend down under the trains to connect and disconnect hoses. He works in the frigid cold (Were in Chicago-brutal winters), and also in the blazing heat (again-we have extreem high and lows).

He had to go on short term disability when dx'd because he just couldnt do it for now. He would be so short of breath, and go into coughing fits and end up throwing up.

My question is... What now? Has anyone here had a lobectomy and went back to doing a labor job?? The dr. said after recovery my dad should be able to breathe better than before because he removed dead lung and also scraped the scar tissue from radiation, making it easier to breathe.

Also, the railroad will be waiting to hear from him because in the books it says 6-8 week recovery time for surgery, and they want to know if he will be coming back or filing for long term disability.

I know everyone is different, but how long did it take before you went back, if at all???


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I don't know whether you would consider lifting a pulling people and equipment as labor but sometimes my back sure does. I went back to work 3 months after surgery and a month after finishing my second round of chemo. Donna G

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All physical restrictions were removed by my surgeon one month after surgery. He said that I should not lose any breathing capacity from surgery because he bad lung tissue would be removed and if I exercised and did what they said, I should be in fine shape. I did do all that and I have to say, I feel really really good.

Could be a tiny bit longer for your dad because he has a physical job and he is a little older than me, I think. But, that walking will be so good for him.

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Guest HerSon

It all depends on your dads condition. Some people are able to resume their regular job, others are not. Physical work requires effort, and that increases the bodys demand for oxygen. With damaged or missing lungs, the body has a much harder time of providing oxygen to the cells, so it really depends on the individual person and case.

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Hi Jamie, I'm mostly a lurker but thought I'd answer your question as best I can. (BTW, I was shocked to hear how many people had their epidural come out - I thought that was an unusually weird thing that just happened to me - and because it hurt so badly to breathe I ended up on a Bipap machine, just short of being put on a respirator, until we found the problem and got me on pain meds that allowed me to take breaths - apparently it's not that uncommon - but it SHOULD be!)

Anyhow, I frequently have to walk several miles a day in my job, although I can usually pace myself some and stop briefly if I need to, and I often carry things and/or push carts, tho admittedly not particularly heavy ones. Maybe not as strenuous as your dad's jobs, but I just wanted to say that just after surgery I was very afraid that even a LITTLE walking would be out of my reach and I could never go back and function in my job. I just want to reassure you and your dad, and to say, DON'T panic if the slightest exertion brings on extreme shortness of breath. It's very temporary! I had 2 lobes removed, and at 9 weeks out from surgery I can do anything I want to do short of major exercise sessions. I worked very hard with the spiro-thingy inhaling to move the balls, and it paid off. I have excellent blood oxygen levels and with continued work, I expect to be able to do most anything I did before. I'm betting the same will be true for your dad, but remember not to panic if he gets very short of breath just at first! I'm sending lots of healing thoughts to him. He's lucky to have you there with him - my daughter/best friend moved TO Chicago last fall- it's the first time we've been really apart, but she came and was my caregiver after surgery, bless her. I know your support must mean so much to your dad!

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