As some of you know, I was injured at work on 09/27/07. After 5 weeks of the run around, I finally got an MRI and it showed impingment in my left rotator cuff and 2 (maybe 3) herniated cervical disks. I am doing pt for the impingement, but they say it could be related to my disk issues. I am awaiting approval by work comp for an epidural injection into my neck. I had a cortisone shot in my shoulder already. My neurologist says he doesn't think I'll be able to ever do my job without restirctions, and my company has a history of "terminating" workers in my department who are injured and can't go back on full duty. They give us the 12 weeks of fmla and then another 12 weeks after that. I know all states have different laws, but I'm so scared I'll be one of these "terminations". The company has already "laid off/terminated" the three other people who've been hurt like me this year. I contacted a lawyer to find out if the company would have any obligation to me if this happened (because I think they were negligent) and he said that state law in Montana recently changed; that someone from the company would've basically had to punch me in the face for me to prove it was their fault I was injured at work. If anyone wants to know what happened, message me back and I'll tell you. What happens down the road if I don't ever feel better? Can they release me for work and if I can't do it, can they fire me? What about medical expenses down the road? Does anyone have experience with this? Seems like lawyers here don't want to even bother with me. Thanks in advance. -R-
Your injuries are basically the same as mine, and even more weird.. the date.. I injured myself at work 9/28/05.. LOL. I have been thru sooo much with WC. I think you need to speak to a different Lawyer.. he doesn't seem to thrilled about the case. Maybe you could explain and then I'd understand. Just know, I feel your pain.. and I completely understand. When you don't get better.. they try to say you have reached maximum medical care and then dismiss you. I lost my job, and had to fight to prove it happened at work.. You will find a Lawyer that will help you, and it will take time. The way I look at things.. something has to go right sooner or later. I also just had the cervical epidural.. and go for my second on Friday.. so I could give you a "heads up" about it.. Let me know. Good Luck!!
What happened to me is I was lifting a heavy object with a coworker per the company's policy. When we set it down, I just started to feel the burning pain in my neck and left shoulder. We have a PA right on site and he tried to dose me with ibuprofen and ice, but it didn't help so he sent me to see an orthopedic surgeon. The ortho doctor said I pulled a muscle and ordered PT and took me off work. I was in the most debilitating pain of my life and not sleeping - I'm sure you know all about this. They gave me a muscle relaxer which did not help at all. After 4 weeks and not feeling any better, they seemed to be doubting the legitimacy of my claims. They said, "Well just take the ibuprofen, we don't want you to have any side effects from stronger meds." I couldn't function at that level with the pain. The other 3 people that were let go for similar injuries by my company this year were my friends and one of them said, you know if this is nerve pain, ibuprofen and muscle relaxers won't help. Even the WC adjuster said I should try to "direct my care" and get an MRI. The doctor told me it would be a huge waste because they "wouldn't see anything." After fighting with the doctor and finally having a complete melt down with the Health and Safety person at my work, I was granted the MRI. I really had to fight the urge to choke the doctor when he told me what they saw. In my opinion, the biggest waste was the 6 weeks I spent in pain with no one believing me, not even my husband. In several conversations with management at my workplace, I came to find out that they had a lifting apparatus that they never installed because they didn't want to "waste money" and that if they had installed it, I would never have had to lift what I did. I wouldn't be hurt right now. The lwayers tell me in my state, big industry companies are protected from lawsuits by injured workers because they have the umbrella of WC insurance and that I'm entitled to no more that what they are giving me (biweekly benefits) until such time as I reach MMI or am released to work. Anyway, thanks for listening. IT really does help to know there is a whole network of people here going through what I am. Was the epidural scary at all? Must have helped if you're going for #2? I'd be interested to know how you've benefitted from it and if you've had any problems with it? Thanks
The epidural did help with the headaches, somewhat. I don't have the shooting/electrifying pain as often.. just an aching sensation. It was happening a few times a day, and now its been about 3-4 times in 2 wks. All of my other symptoms are the same, but now my legs have been hurting.. mainly my left one. I know how you feel, when no one believes you.. and then you get "OMG" when you tell them there is something wrong and it's pretty serious. I still don't get sympathy.. not that I expect it all the time.. but I have never gotten it.. even after the diagnosis.. That is another story.. hehe. I got a call this afternoon from my neurosurgeons office, they want to set up an Anterior Cervical Discectomy with Fusion for the 18th of Dec... so I'm praying this second epidural helps. But It reminds me of a story I was told by my DR when he first told me I needed surgery " that(epidural) is like putting a bandaid over a deep cut that requires stitches.. it does the trick, but eventually you will need to get stitches. So I will have to have the surgery, just was hoping to postpone it a little longer. I have already put it off for a year, so now things are worse (like the DR said they'd be) and I have no choice but to have it.
My accident happened at a job I was only at for 4 days. I had gotten laid off from one job (Medical Billing.. don't think any injury like this would happen there.. lol!) and so I went to a cleaning company while I was sending out my resume. I have 4 boys.. so I NEED to work, and so that is why I went there and didn't wait... now I wish I would've. Just think of how different things are for me now, compared to before this injury. I've already had my shoulder cut open, and now I will have my neck (the front) cut, my hip cut (for bone to replace the 3 discs they are removing).. and WC doesn't pay any extra for scarring unless it was part of the injury.. not part of fixing it. Doesn't make sense?! It is a big deal to me, but I guess I am just being vain. I should be grateful that my injuries are fixable... I just hope the pain will go away. I have been on almost everything you can be prescribed... and I still have alot of pain.. as I am sure you know. You just some how adjust, or learn to deal with it.. and that is why (I think) people don't believe me. I'm not screaming and crying in pain ( well occasionally.. hehe!!) Like u said, and I will say it .. its nice to talk to someone who is pretty much going thru the same thing, but I do feel bad for you.. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy... ehh.. maybe I might.. haha.. j/k! How are you feeling today? OH, have you seen a Neurosurgeon yet? I have an Ortho DR, but Neuro is the one who would really tell you what exactly is going on with your neck, what you can or can't do about it. I also would think because of that equipment they had, but didn't install.. you could possibly have more to claim (negligence on their part?) That would be something to look into. Most of the stuff I have learned about WC I looked up myself. There is also a website where you can ask legal questions, and a lawyer in your area will respond.. they are pretty quick and accurate. If it is too much to explain, or if they need more information.. they will ask you to contact them. I'm not sure if we can post a link in here.. but the website is lawguru.com. Click on knowledge base, and scroll down to WC. Let me know how that works!
I have seen a neuro doc last week and he suggested the epidural and possibly some traction - have you done that? I liked the neuro doc because, unlike my ortho doc, he spent alot of time explaining how the disks work and what goes wrong. He was pretty adament I won't be able to do my job without restrictions, but my company has no light duty or anything, they just kick you out the door. So I'm thinking of going back to school when I reach my MMI or the end of the fmla - others have told me that WC will pay for 2 years of school or something like that. My neuro doc told me surgery is only for people with impingement of the spinal cord, but it sounds like that's not neccessarily true by reading posts on here. How about you? Is it just a last resort because nothing else has really worked? Some people I've talked to say their problems/pain are even worse after surgery (sorry, not trying to freak you out). I'll check out that website you suggested. I've had good luck with www.freeadvice.com before (for other things), but not for this problem. Out of curiosity, what did they do in your shoulder? Well, it was great talking with you. I hope you'll keep me posted and I'll do the same.
Yes I did the traction, that was horrible.. and seemed to worsen my symptoms. I have a friend who has done it.. and it worked well with her. I don't understand how it is legal for that company to dismiss you because you had been injured while working for them?! If they do not have a position for you, then yes WC will have to pay for schooling.. since you will now have to find a new occupation due to this injury. These are all reasons why you have to have a lawyer.. or WC will do as little, pay as little as they can. I think surgery is a last resort, most of the time it is used to relieve the symptoms (arm pain/numbness/shoulder pain/headaches (Cervical) Usually you get these symptoms when you have stenosis.. or impingement as your doctor called it. I have tried everything, and everything just seems to be getting worse. I swore I would never have surgery on my neck when they first mentioned it to me.. now I don't think I have a choice.. between the pain and other stuff I have going on because of it.. So now I think I must do it, if I want my life back. I had a torn rotator cuff, but by time they went in to fix it (2 yrs. later) It had already begun to heal.. so they did the arthroscopy..and fixed what they could. I have heard both positives and negatives about the surgery.. but I can only hope something will work at this point. The best part about my story is I already went for my disability rating and then was referred back out to all the Dr's from my primary care because of these severe headaches I started to have.. plus my pain, symptoms were worsening, and I started having problems controlling my bladder (never thought problems with my neck would cause that?!) I hope that they can make a plan that will work for you, physical therapy.. TENS unit..helps alot, those heating pads that stick to you are a godsend too! I use the heating pads, TENS unit, pain meds on a daily basis.. and I'm barely getting by. I hope this is not the case with you.. OH.. I was suppose to have the second epidural today, but they had messed up the schedule.. so I don't know if I will even have it done. I have heard alot of good things about the epidurals. My brother-in-law had it done (and he was suppose to have surgery) but he felt great after it.. and is still doing good. I will check out that website, I need to find out something.. I'm having a problem with my lawyer's office returning my calls.. bet he won't be missing my calls when settlement rolls around.. LOL!!
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