Injured on the job-very sad - page 3

by nurse.sandi | 7,115 Views | 22 Comments

I was injured on the job several years ago. I am now considered partially disabled. I have a lifting restriction which is holding me back from getting a lot of jobs. Plus now I can not stand on my legs for hours at a time, get up... Read More


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    I have been going through a battle with a back injury for over a year now, worse today than I was before I had surgery. I just keep my eyes on the lord and know that he has a plan for me and yes, I have my days that I cry and feel useless, I just keep praying for strength and endurance. I just want to mention to everyone who thinks I am young it won't happen to me, I am in my early 30's and it happened to me!!

    I actuall am reading this post trying to figure out the direction to find work. I have been told that I can not return to work as and RN and am seeking different revenues of work. I loved being an RN, have been looking into the NP field but due to the weight restrictions of employers will not be able to get a job if I went to school for it. Guess I will keep on searching.....

    To Felec do not trust anyone not even the people you work with. The nurse case manager is assigned through the industrial commission but is paid by your employers insurance company. They are going to call and question you and try to twist words around, be very cautious of everyone.
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    felec, a field nurse case manager is a nurse who works for an insurance company coordinating care, evaluating responses to care, educating the patient and the insurance adjuster in charge of the claim about the injury and treatment modalities, educating physicians and therapists about jobs and their physical requirements, and often making recommendations for referrals to specialists (physicians or therapists).
    emilyrain, i did this work for more than 15 years and it's a great way to positively influence the outcome of a work injury. i was not employed or assigned via the state department of industrial accidents; i was an employee or an independent contractor of the insurance carrier.
    one of the first things i said to a new patient was that i knew they or someone they knew was gonna say, "you don't care about me, you work for the insurance company, you just want to save money."
    and i would say, "i was a nurse for a long time before i took this job and i am still a nurse. it would be unethical for me to do anything i knew would harm you, or by doing nothing to allow harm to come to you.
    there's nothing inherently wrong with saving money. if we didn't have to worry about saving money it would be because we were all independently wealthy, and then neither of us would be working and we wouldn't be here today. so. are you getting paid more or less money on comp than you had in a regular paycheck?" (less, of course) "and on comp you're not accumulating seniority or vaca time, either. so you get more money if i help you get better faster, right?"
    hmmm.
    "you understand that work comp is a health insurance plan that your employer buys, like you buy car insurance, right?" (discussion) like with your car insurance, if you make a claim for an accident and the insurance pays for repairs, your rates go up. so does your employer's premium if he has a lot of injuries that the insurance company has to spend money on. so yes, he saves money if you go back to work, plus he doesn't have to spend money to hire and train a new person."
    "and of course, if you get better, the insurance company saves money."
    "so yes, i do help everybody save money. except me, i'm on salary." (this usually got a smile)
    did i have injured workers who were fraudulent? sure, but they were the teeeeeny minority. most people really were injured, really did want to get better, and really did go back to work. there were always a few who would queer the deal for everyone else, and of course it was part of my job to figure that out. most of the time, though, if i recommended a specialist or a diagnostic test, the insurance company would approve it, because i was supposed to know what i was doing. as a nurse. doing assessment, diagnosis, planning, and implementing. nursing process, just not wearing scrubs.
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    and emilyrain and others with back injury, do not think me harsh when i say that pain needn't stop you from work. i have a ten-inch lumbar scar so i know what you're going thru. it's important to know that surgery cannot be expected to cure back pain *( the physicians don't usually make that too clear), it's only to stabilize unstable things. that said, people who bull through their pain, keep moving in spite of it, and do not fear do better in the long run.

    most people who have back surgery for disks are in about the same place at ten years postop as someone who didn't have it (assuming structural stability). "ten years!" i hear you cry, "i can't live like this for ten years!" and the point is, you won't. the first year or so will be hard, but less so every month, a little bit at a time. if you keep moving and realize the difference between dangerous pain and nondangerous pain, you will get better. people who do less and less due to pain because they fear it get shorter and shorter muscles, they have more pain because their muscles are tight (not dangerous pain) so they do less and less, their muscles get shorter and more painful, and then normal activity hurts and scares them, and they do less....and they start getting into a real hole.

    my goal postop was to have five minutes being pain free. just five lousy minutes. it took a few months, but then i got those five minutes. then my goal was ten minutes, then thirty, then sixty. i kept moving, kept doing what the pt made me do even though i thought she was gonna kill me, and walked for longer and longer distances. (the first time i went out for 1/4 mile and damn near had to crawl back to my car, couldn't move the next day. but the day after that, i went out again. for 1/4 mile. aaarghh.) by the time i was 10 months postop i was walking 3.5 miles in an hour and whistling. my goal was to have a day free of pain. then it was two days. then a week. sometimes it was a long time between pain-free days, but then they started to string together.

    most people are told they have to be at an endpoint at 6 months postop, and that's ridiculous. you'll make yourself crazy if you think that how you are at 6 months is as good as it will ever get. give yourself permission to not be afraid; in europe they give people two years, and that's about what it takes.

    my long-term goal was to forget i had ever hurt my back at all. then, "hah!" i said to myself, "that'll never happen. i ain't never gonna forget this." but you know what? now i go months and months without ever remembering that time. today's probably the first time in a year or so. there are days i get a twinge and it used to scare me, but then i remembered, "this is not dangerous pain," and ignored it. and it lost its grip on me, i got stronger and more flexible and....my pain went away.

    i absolutely know how scary it is to think you will never be normal again, never work at your chosen life's work again, never get up off of the damn toilet without pain again.... but you can. good physical therapy and a good physiatrist (rehabilitation physician) with an interest in back pain will make it possible. and a good attitude.

    after i got my back fixed, that's when (but not why) i started doing comp work. i used to say to my injured workers that if a fat old broad like me could get better from back surgery and carry a 40# backpack with scouts, they could too. so can you. well, if you like camping.:d
    jtmarcy12 likes this.


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