Medical Leave Advice Requested

Hi AF members, I was hoping to get some feedback regarding medical leave and advice on how you would spend the downtime if you were in my situation. Quick Background Stats: Mid 20’s; great job/pay; happy with career path; CFA charterholder; w/o going into the details I will have fairly serious surgery in anywhere from 5-9 months which will keep me out of work for about a week and out of the office for six weeks. I’m feeling down on my luck and not very sociable for the foreseeable future. With the background out of the way here are my questions: 1) Has anyone here gone on leave or know anyone that has? I’m particularly interested in hearing how the transition back to work was; advice on when to notify HR and/or your boss; and interactions with your colleagues pre- and post-surgery. 2) I’ve been moping around for a few weeks since the news hit me, but now I want to do something productive. Some ideas I’ve been kicking around include personal goals (learning another language; do more reading, primarily history & self improvement books; spend more time in the gym; eat healthier meals) as well as professional goals (in order of practicality on my current career path: add to my body of knowledge; learn VBA or SQL; GMAT and putting application together). If you were in my situation, how would you spend your time leading up to the surgery? Now that football is over, I think I’ll have 10-20 hours/week to pursue these goals. Thank you for any relevant information.

Oh, it happens all the time, particularly to women (babies, you know). It’s just that people don’t speak about it all that much. Six weeks isn’t all that long, it’s not like you’ll be having oceans of time… Your colleagues will barely have time to notice you’ve been gone. It’s not longer than a normal European summer holiday (six weeks). Some colleague or consultant will have to cover for you, obviously, so crack the news to your boss as soon as possible. Do whatever you like the best. I like languages so maybe I’d go for that; you could prepare in advance by getting hold of some good course books, audio books, newspapers, DVDs, web addresses to local newspapers, television stations (with local programs in streaming video) etc. Then you can celebrate your successful surgery by going to that country on a holiday later on. I would not go for anything work related like learning VBA or C++.