Heres my story, any advice would be greatly appreciated. I am about to be 30yrs old, and I work(ed) in a warehouse. I had barely statred this job and not even 2 weeks later I was was driving a Tugger Machine (that pulls carts) I had got to my aisle to unload boxes and stepped off the machine to pull the brake up when the machine malfunctioned,and went in reverse crushing my tibia and shattering my fibula. I was pinned up against 7 stories of shelves while the machine continued to run over the top of me. I am on workers comp, and was taken to ER,(8-2-2007) treated by surgeon on call, who did not want to do a surgery at that time, instead had me in a full leg cast, and told me to follow up with him, so I did. Almost 3 weeks later (8-22-07)the dr. told me the bones were not healing the way he wanted and insisted on surgery, so I ended up getting 8 screws and a metal plate in my right leg. After my dismissals from the hopsitals he had me on Darvocet for pain, and it was not helping, so he switched me to Hydrocodone 7.5mg. The instructions were to take 1-2 pills by mouth every 4-6 hrs for pain, which I was in alot of. He prescribed me 20 pills at a time so it was a 3 or 4 day supply. I had continued to see him, and still to this day have alot of pain (though some days are worse than others) however after a while he stopped treating my pain and refused to give me anything, just told me to take ibuprofen, so I did~It did not help. I was taking sometimes 8 or 9 of the a day, but no relief. I tried to talk to him about this and how much I was hurting but it was as though he was hearing me, but not listening to me. The pain got so bad at times, I was taken to the ER for treatment, though I had a treating dr. for this injury. I've been going to appts now for 5 months and at least the last 4 everytime, I was in and out of the exam room in ten minutes tops, he would take an x-ray, and dismiss me. He explained to me there is NO way I am in any pain because MY LEG IS HEALED. I know how much pain I have, but he did not seem to care. I then got a letter a few days ago to go to a different Dr. for my impairment rating, not knowing what to expect. However I went to see that Dr. and he was in shock that I had been in NO kind of Physical Therapy (though I had even asked my treating dr. that several times, and he told me it was not needed) Imp. Dr had my medical records (which I had also gone to pick up before my imp. rating appt.) and he said that "HE WOULD HAVE TO DISAGREE THAT I AM HEALED, AND I AM NOT AT MMI. HE STATED IT WOULD BE AT LEAST ANOTHER 9 MONTHS TO A YEAR BEFORE I AM COMPLETELY HEALED." He advised me that I should consider finding me another Dr. who is going to treat my pain, and get me into therapy and make sure that I am taken care of. After reading my medical records, I called my treating Dr. and my attorney and I requested another Dr. However, in my records Dr. M (treating Dr.) stated false accusations about me, for 1 saying that I had lied to him about having to go to the ER for treatment,(I had the discharge papers for proof) he also stated that I was abusing narcotics by taking too many of them, though I took them as directed on the bottle. I have been reading up on some things that my attorney had told me, and I never knew it existed, but my Dr. was blacklisting me, which is illegal. I was not only mad as hell but I was hurt and felt betrayed. I did everything he asked of me as a patient, and he never discussed any of these matters with me in person. Him and the staff would smile in my face and obviously talk behind my back. So my attorney found me another Dr. but I had to drive today for 3 hrs to get there because of my insurance (Network Dr.s) and that alone was a task in itself to get there, and once again, I was handed IBUPROFEN, and told to come back for therapy in 1 week~I AM IN SHOCK! How can this happen to patients? I understand that yes, there probably are people who misuse a narcotic, but I AM IN SEVERE PAIN, and its as though my Dr. has ruined me for a fair treatment. I was not taking them for the fun of it, but because I can barely even stand up to get out of bed sometimes, and if the weather is cold, I can not go outside because it hurts even more with the hardware in my leg. I have NEVER had any problems with any drug or alcohol problems in my life, because I choose not to do those things, I've seen what it does to people. I dont even like to take a tylenol when I have a headache, but I have no choice when my leg is swollen 3 times bigger than it should be, and in pain 10+ on a scale. I have worked in corrections for many years, and been in the military~so why am I being treated this way? It's just not fair, and I don't know what I need to do next. All I want is to be treated like any other patient, and get respect from a Dr. that I am comfortable with, but that Dr. has ruined my judge of character, and I am furious because it seems as though I am crying out for help,and only getting jerked around from not only my Dr. but my workers comp insurance as well, I would give anything to not have a broken leg but I can't change it. Now I am stuck with this hardware in my leg, ugly scars, and not to mention by self being, depression, stress, and will never be able to do all of the things that I did before. I feel helpless, and just need some advice from any dr., or someone else who may have gone thru something similar... I am about to just give up but its not fair that this can happen to patients, especially those who have no history of abuse and who really are hurting. They are getting paid to treat me, but I barely even get 5 minutes with them~What do I do?!? Please help! Thank you in advance for reading my story. Hope you are starting off 2008 better than I am!
Yes, you are one of many very unlucky people stuck in the worker's comp system. You also have the double-whammy of having a legitimate pain problem that is going untreated because of the stigma associated with narcotics. You're right: it's not fair, and it's medically unethical. It's how to get the treatment you need that's the problem. You may have to go outside the worker's comp system and have your attorney sue them for damages at a later date. What does your attorney have to say about all this? I think he could at least write a letter of complaint to the AMA about your original doctor's malpractice and unethical behavior. Your medical records are legal documents, and the doctor falsified those documents.
I know from my own experience that bone pain is some of the worst pain a person can experience, and it seems to last forever. Ibuprofen never touched it, but Aleve did a great job. There are plenty of other anti-inflammatories to try both over-the-counter and prescription. At least you're finally going to get the badly-needed physical therapy you should have had from the beginning. Unfortunately, it's going to HURT - even worse than the original injury. I don't want to discourage you from going, but rather give you an idea of what to expect. You have to get those muscles built back up to where they can help take over the job of supporting your body and thereby take some of the stress off your bones. Successful rehab is not for the faint of heart. When the therapist gives you exercises to do at home, you can't crawfish out of them because of your pain or you won't ever get better.
I'm really sorry the medical system has scr*wed you over so badly. All you can do is keep trying to get the treatment you need. How sad that you have to pay an attorney to accomplish that. :-(
Talk to your attorney and make sure he/she knows what is happening to you. Pain conrol is to be treated just like any disease and I recommend you speak to the attorney, visit this site which will give you an idea of who to contact for help. I do not use this clinic but have found it very useful as far as info. tampapainclinic.com
Hope this helps
Reading your story is very unnerving, depressing, but most of all; reminds me of the past 4 years of my life dealing with the evils, contradictions, and hypocrasy of our countries work comp system.
Just so you understand where I am coming from...I am 26 (not much off from you)...injured on the job in 2004 with a severe inguinal hernia. When my employers did not report my injury, I was forced to get treatment through my work-provided private insurance; Kaiser Permanente of So-Cal.
What started as a right hernia turned into...a left hernia, two hernia operations...which led to; one year of increasingly disturbing pain (groin/genitals/thigh/hip), large amounts of vicodin (although being regularly prescribed, was never taking away enough pain), injectional nerve blocks...
My work comp attorney was not going to bat for me, my employer was constantly trying to hide what went down, and the work comp insurance would not even have me treated through their system...
I had to continue with Kaiser...big mistake. I had a correctional pain management surgery in early 2006 (inguinal neurectomy) in which my right side groin nerve structures were literally removed. That was meant to help...
Long long story short...two years after that surgery, the pain has increased nearly ten fold (absolutely not kidding), I have gone through probably 30 medications, and my work comp case is more complicated than rocket science.
Listen...I can honestly say that I feel for you. I couldn't even imagine what having my leg crushed would be like. Furthermore, I would not be able to put up with doctors who refuse to treat my pain properly.
Doctors in America are upheld by the law to do either one of two things with pain treatment...1)TREAT IT PROPERLY and quickly and 2)make sure not to OVERTREAT IT. Obviously, you were not being overtreated, especially if the doc stricltly instructed you to take a certain amount.
Many people live under the assumption that injured workers milk the system by avoiding work and abusing meds...that is a load of ****. Yea...there are many fraudulent claimants out there, but, why do the people who are really going through hell get treated like common scum? The answers are probably so embedded in corrupt politics, medical restrictions/benefits, and greedy work comp insurers...the answers are scary.
At this point in my work comp claim, I have undergone 7 major operations through Kaiser and my 8th operation (the most recent) was actually performed by my treating work comp physician...thank god someone finally got the idea right.
I have 20+ large incisional scars through my groin and have a peripheral nerve stimulator implanted in my abdomen...it is roughly 3 inches in diameter round by 1 inch thick. My friends call me the bionic man ;) My current pain is probably under about 40% reduction/control. I take anti-convulsants (for nerve pain), methadone, valium, ritalin (for pain actually), wellbutrin (for nerve pain), reglan (to relieve the extremely painful constipation), use lidoderm patches (nerve pain), and about once every two months (used to be weekly)...end up in the ER with uncontrollable pain that needs a very large dose of meds to stop the flare.
I can barely engage in sex because it causes such bad pain in my penis, genitals, and groin that I usually break down, stop, cry, and spend the next few days trying to nurse the pain down to a controllable (3-4) level.
Sometimes knowing what other work comp claimants are going through can be uplifting, sometimes opens your eyes to the system, and sometimes just makes you feel much worse. I hope you understand that I am not trying to upset you by telling you things might get a lot worse, but I need to be absolutely honest with you...
If you do not take the bull by the horns right away, they (insurer, doctors, attorneys) take control of your WHOLE LIFE!!! You are in too fragile of a situation to let them do this to you. Sorry to say it, but you need to kick them all in the jewels; right where it counts. It is not to say that you need to take advantage of the system or become unreasonable and rude, but common...who is the injured person in the situation? Who is the person who is supposedly being protected by the law? Who is the person who has extreme and untreated pain?
YOU are the victim...you have obviously been through tough times/situations in life. You have held tough jobs, served your country...you deserve the treatment that the president would get if he had his leg crushed...ANYONE does.
Listen, I can tell you an extreme amount of helpful advice regarding pushing forward PROPERLY in your case. There are so many pitfalls that you cannot get out of very easily...I can show you how to avoid them.
A couple of quick bits that can give you some immediate PULL with your attorney and force the work comp insurance to take action...
You are entitled to 3 QMEs or Qualified Medical Evaluations (per side-3 for your side and 3 for the defense/employer) side. So you know, it takes roughly 3-4 MONTHS to secure an appointment for a QME. It could take you over 5 years to go through all 6 appointments. The key is to find a doctor who will take care of your needs properly.
If you are in severe pain that lasts more than 6 months, it can be considered chronic. Now, chronic pain can quit, but while it lasts; it should ONLY be treated by a qualified PAIN MANAGEMENT physician.
I recommend you request to be seen by a pain management doctor. Remember, you are in control. That first doctor might have given you a bad review, but, the proof is in the putting. He screwed up in your treatment and that will easily be seen by more qualified specialists.
You might not be able to see a qualified pain doctor for a couple of months while the insurer reviews and approves the referral, however, you can ALWAYS go to a local hospital or ER and seek treatment. If you are in pain---GO TO THE ER or urgent care. Have a doctor prescribe you 1 MONTH (usually the max allowed at ER) of reasonably suitable pain medicine.
Listen, I can keep writing...probably for the remainder of the day...but I want you to review what I have said and think it over. Please get in touch with me because there is plenty more that I can share with you. Our injuries might be very different, however, our situations are extremely similar. I would be more than happy to discuss these issues over a phone call, but, I want you to give it some thought.
Hang in there...don't get upset when the system lets you down; it is made to do that.
My husband is in almost the same situation. He had a loader bucket fall on his tib/fib in February of 2007. He is STILL in a great deal of pain and is not healed. He has had two MRI's and a cAT scan of his bone. Just last week he was diagnosed with "bone marrow edema" but in the under-side of his bone, near his heel. They never caught it before because they were just doing X-rays. Seems like they could be doing more as far as testing is concerned. X-rays just do not cut it sometimes.
I'm so sorry you have to deal with what I'm sure lots of people here have had to deal with. I hate the system the way it is, & whoever says our system is the best in the world, has never had to really deal with "this system". We live in a country where, depending on what state you live in when you become pain ridden, that state decides how your pain is handled. Doctors in States like Texas, IL, etc, are afraid (IMO) to handle patients like us because of the "triplicate script system" thats states run, in oder to bully doctors & patients to keep them in line. If you live close to the boarder, go across, whether it be another US state that doesn't play doctor, or Mexico, & find a doctor there. Believe it or not there are good doctors in Mexico. Your insurance might not cover that cost, but its worth paying a good doctor who has "compassion" for people suffering. And Blacklisting has been going on for years, & years. Emergency rooms do it, clinics, & pharmacies do it. Its their way of covering their butts when someone commits suicide because they can't get pain management.
Thats very unfortunate what you are going through, and I am so sorry to hear of it. I myself,am a Pain Mgmt specialist working in TX in the metroplex area. Let me give you some advice, until you get settled in with a PM treating dr. for your pain, I would advise you go to the local ER everytime you have pain involving your leg and you have no pain meds. I know sometimes the patient gets tired of having to do this, and that is understandable, but that is one thing that Physicians will look at, to compare your pain that you state you are in and how you are treating it in the meantime. If you are ever given a RX that does not help, or is making you sick, not treating pain, its important that you tell your Dr. so that he or she can try you on something else. Alot of my patients are on the Hydrocodone 10mg, and it does great for their pain, and some patients it doesn't put a dent in it, and they need something stronger such as oxycodone, or oxycontin, either way, inform your Dr. of what works for you. I had a pt of mine who was in a similar situation as yours and they told me what had happened after I already knew because I read their records, but I was upset that the previous Dr. acted as though he could look at someone and tell if they were or not in pain. I would advise you to just be honest with your new dr. when you go, because more than likely they have your records, and this will be a start to building trust with them, but in the meantime go to the Hospital ER so they can have it in your records and get treated for your pain, afterall thats what they are there for. I wish you the best of luck, and hang in there, it will get better for you!
I would maybe sue your (old?) workplace, or take out a lone, and seeing as you may not be able to continue working there, I would use the money you obtain to help you get an education, or to help start your own business, or help you invest in getting a job that you would like to do.
Also, for the pain meds, I would try to wean yourself off of them, raise your leg for however long it takes until it is no longer swollen, maybe start physical therapy. Eventually, you will no longer need them.
OMG! I have to agree with bjbds. I have been in the WC system since 2001. I had cervical surgery with fusion and plating in 2004 that now has caused 3 more levels of herniation. I currently am under a PM's care and have gone through the gammit of pain meds. I have been through 6 Independent opnions, numerous EMG/NCV tests, MRI's, PT, and on and on.......I get paid not one red cent from WC because they finally paid a second opinion Dr. enough to say that I am able to return to work (w/restrictions). I do get a minimal amount from Social Security which accepted and paid me for my disabilities on the very first try. And everyone knows how hard it is to get on SSDI. I am currently awaiting my deposition with a court date in Feb. before an Adminstrative Law Judge. All I ever wanted out of my claim was for WC to pay my for my medical because as far as money.......let's just say you don't get rich on WC money so I don't know anyone who wants to live with constant pain, take medication that does a number to you system, and have your total life turned upside done because you cannot do the things you SHOULD be able to do (especially if you're still young). EVERYONE you know suffers....and for what? WC money???? I think not!!!!
I am sorry to hear about your pain and misfortune. We can relate. However you commented on a very old thread. The members may no longer be active. I suggest you begin a new thread if you would like comments or have questions.
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