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Work Injury, need advice

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by Babs0512 Babs0512 (Member)

Babs0512 has 20 years experience and works as a 4 yrs Med Surge, 13 years Critical Care, now lovin.

4 Articles; 12,601 Visitors; 846 Posts

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Hello, just looking for some advice on how to go about following through with a work injury.

I was wiping down a stretcher between patients and felt a "stab" directly into my lumbar spine. The pain worsened over the next hour or two, and when I would move certain ways, it would cause me to involuntarily "groan" or "gasp" out loud.

I told my manager, she sent me to employee health, they sent me to the ER. Treated me for a generic back injury, but the Doc felt it was probably a herniated disc.

I've been "resting" it for two days now, taking valium and percocet, icing it as well. It doesn't seem to be getting any better. I'm really not feeling it a muscle pain, really feels like an injury to my spine with intermittent spinal "pressure".

Anyhow, other than following up with my PMD, he'll probably order an MRI, where do I go from here? Work will NOT willingly cover a comp injury out of the "goodness of their hearts", and I, more than anyone else, can't believe this happened just washing a stretcher, but it did.

I would appreciate any suggestions on how to proceed. I've never been in this position before - potentially facing a long term injury.

Thanks

Blessings

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5,423 Visitors; 362 Posts

I recommend calling a WC (worker's comp.) attorney. They will advise you on your rights. WC varies state to states.

I currently work as a WC paralegal and see people getting treated horribly by insurance companies and employers everyday.

Look up worker's compensation attorneys in your phone book, or ask around for referrals.

Good luck to you!

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SICU Queen has 16 years experience and works as a RN/Mother/Housekeeper/Vet/Should I go on?.

1 Article; 13,375 Visitors; 543 Posts

They don't have a choice BUT to cover it! It happened while you were at work, therefore it's a work-related injury. Period.

I suggest you seek legal advice, at least to let you know what your rights are. I was injured on the job in November of 2007, and someone on this forum suggested the same to me. I chose to ignore that advice, thinking that my injury was fixable and that I'd be back at work in no time. Well, here I am a year later - and I'm wishing I'd have taken that advice because I'd be in a lot better position.

Do not let them walk all over you. Get what you deserve.

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annaroseannadanna has 29 years experience and works as a CNA/CRTA.

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I hope you filed an on the job injury report with your employer (you only legally have 10 days to do so). If not, hire an attorney and get that filed now. Most will give you a free 30 min meeting to see if they can help you. They do not charge unless you win & then they get 25% of all monies paid out to you thru the wc insurance. Trust me...u do not want to go thru this workmans comp maze on your own. Whether or not your employer is 'playing nice' or not...get a lawyer.

I worked for the same employer for 16 yrs. thought I was a valuable employee, after all I trained most of the new CNA recruits on top of doing my job as a restorative aide. One serious injury and i was nothing but dirt on the floor to be swept out with the trash. So much for being a valuable employee!:cry: at first I wasn't going to hire a lawyer. It was just 'back spasm's" or so the nursing home dr said. The dr took me off work for 30 days. My DON told me they couldn't hold my job for me for 30 days, could I possibly get the dr to change my restriction to light duty and they would have me answer the telephones & help her secretary. I had been a trusted, reliable, do-anything-they-tell-me employee for 16 yrs and they can't hold my job for me? I went home and let my fingers do the walking...thru the yellow pages that is. I hired a WC lawyer and that facility ended up holding my job for me for 18 months! my simple back spasms turned into a pre-existing condition DDD (degenerative disk disease) that has never got better to this day (Jan 28th 2009 will be 2 yrs). the nursing home tried to get out of paying because it was a pre-existing condition ( a condition caused from being a cna taking care of 30 patients by myself with no lifts at this very same facility!). However Kansas allows pre-existing conditions so they had no choice but to pay. I was awarded $98,000 which was negotiated down to $45,000. It evened out to what I would have earned had i worked those 18 months.

after everything I went thru, I would never recommend someone filing workmans comp. It is a nightmare and I wouldn't wish it on my worse enemy. However if your facility is not willing to hold your job for you while you are off work or if you feel you need to be off work and they won't allow it. Or if you feel they are not doing everything medically necessary to take care of your injury, I would definately walk (or drive) as fast as I could to the nearest attorney's office and hire them.

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Babs0512 has 20 years experience and works as a 4 yrs Med Surge, 13 years Critical Care, now lovin.

4 Articles; 12,601 Visitors; 846 Posts

I did do an injury report, I'm currently on "sedentary" duty - basically they have me doing desk work all through the hospital. Workman's comp is covering everything, I'm going to PT. Truthfully, nothing seems to be working. Three of my lumbar vertebra keep "locking up" and my pelvis is slightly rotated.

My concern now is, I'm worried I may not be able to do bedside nursing anymore, so I'm wondering, do they have to find a position for me that I can do? I can't live off of disability. I can tolerate desk work, but by the end of the shift, I can't wait to get home and lie down - the pressure that builds in my low back is just awful. Laying down relieves the pressure.

Standing for ANY length of time is painful. This totally sucks, I'm telling ya! If it ends up I can't do my regular job, do they have any duty to find me a desk job?

Blessings.

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AnnemRN has 22 years experience.

6,588 Visitors; 286 Posts

i did do an injury report, i'm currently on "sedentary" duty - basically they have me doing desk work all through the hospital. workman's comp is covering everything, i'm going to pt. truthfully, nothing seems to be working. three of my lumbar vertebra keep "locking up" and my pelvis is slightly rotated.

my concern now is, i'm worried i may not be able to do bedside nursing anymore, so i'm wondering, do they have to find a position for me that i can do? i can't live off of disability. i can tolerate desk work, but by the end of the shift, i can't wait to get home and lie down - the pressure that builds in my low back is just awful. laying down relieves the pressure.

standing for any length of time is painful. this totally sucks, i'm telling ya! if it ends up i can't do my regular job, do they have any duty to find me a desk job?

blessings.

the worker's comp doctor determines your work status based on the objective/subjective findings. it's up to your place of employment whether they can meet your restrictions. so far, it seems like they are able to find adequate work for you, but it worries me that you're having so much pain. i'm sure you're just taking otc pain meds while at work and understandably it's not managing your pain very well. i hope you're letting the worker's comp doc know how much pain you're still having.

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Here's the final word on my thankful minor work injury:

-I could not find a lawyer who would take my case wihtout me racking up expensive medical bills-orthopedist, cat scans, MRI, then PT-its from the medical bills that the lawyers get paid! If I lost I would be left wiht the bills ($2-3000)

- My doctor, DOCTOR, who is the medical specialist, told me all of that was unnecesary and the radiation from CT and MRI-unnecassary exposure to radiation-wait til you really need it.

-Went to court to represent myself. Judge told me I "would not win my case wihtout a lawyer"! So I had to let it be.

What a racket!!!

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Babs0512 has 20 years experience and works as a 4 yrs Med Surge, 13 years Critical Care, now lovin.

4 Articles; 12,601 Visitors; 846 Posts

Things are progressing really slow. My back has good days and bad days. Mostly bad.

I am in PT, on "sedentary" duty at work. So I'm basically doing grunt work for whomever needs help - hey, it's a paycheck!

Finally, the doctor agreed to an MRI. He doesn't feel we will find a problem. So I asked him "what is the problem then?" He has no idea. In PT, three of my vertebra in my lumbar spine "freeze" up in varying degrees. The pain now travels into my bilateral buttocks, in fact, it hurts enough that leaning against a desk, for example, is too painful.

I can stand still for approx 15 min, all the while feeling pressure build and then the pain starts. I can sit fairly well with lumbar support. I walk, but it hurts to do so, especially on my right buttock - so I kinda have to walk with my right foot turned laterally.

I have been the recipient of "arse massages" - kinda uncomfortable, physically and emotionally LOL, I try to do my stretches as often as required.

My co-workers think I'm FOS at this point. Hell, I almost believe I am! I can't, for the life of me, figure out why this injury hasn't healed. I've gained TEN pounds due to the inactivity - in a short period of time.

I still can't comfortably do dishes, vacuum etc... without pain and pressure building rather quickly in my back.

That's an "update". Awaiting the date for the MRI, hoping this gets better. Thinking about getting a lawyer. Just a feeling I have that I will probably need one.

blessings

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AnnemRN has 22 years experience.

6,588 Visitors; 286 Posts

Things are progressing really slow. My back has good days and bad days. Mostly bad.

I am in PT, on "sedentary" duty at work. So I'm basically doing grunt work for whomever needs help - hey, it's a paycheck!

Finally, the doctor agreed to an MRI. He doesn't feel we will find a problem. So I asked him "what is the problem then?" He has no idea. In PT, three of my vertebra in my lumbar spine "freeze" up in varying degrees. The pain now travels into my bilateral buttocks, in fact, it hurts enough that leaning against a desk, for example, is too painful.

I can stand still for approx 15 min, all the while feeling pressure build and then the pain starts. I can sit fairly well with lumbar support. I walk, but it hurts to do so, especially on my right buttock - so I kinda have to walk with my right foot turned laterally.

I have been the recipient of "arse massages" - kinda uncomfortable, physically and emotionally LOL, I try to do my stretches as often as required.

My co-workers think I'm FOS at this point. Hell, I almost believe I am! I can't, for the life of me, figure out why this injury hasn't healed. I've gained TEN pounds due to the inactivity - in a short period of time.

I still can't comfortably do dishes, vacuum etc... without pain and pressure building rather quickly in my back.

That's an "update". Awaiting the date for the MRI, hoping this gets better. Thinking about getting a lawyer. Just a feeling I have that I will probably need one.

blessings

Hi Babs,

Sorry to hear things are not getting better. I wanted to give a little advice if you don't mind. First of all, keep all of your medical paperwork including your return to work slips from the WC doctor. Make sure you get a copy of any testing done, doctors reports etc. Secondly, in addition to the MRI I would ask that an EMG be done to find the point of origin of your pain. Thirdly, you should not be vacuuming at all right now, it exerts too much pressure on your back and doesn't help with your recovery. Lastly, in addition to your pain meds your doctor should consider adding a muscle relaxer if he hasn't already.

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Babs0512 has 20 years experience and works as a 4 yrs Med Surge, 13 years Critical Care, now lovin.

4 Articles; 12,601 Visitors; 846 Posts

Oh, your absolutely right, I'm not really vacuuming, just now and then I "test" if I am progressing in any way, so I'll try to vacuum a 5x7 rug for example or I'll wash a couple of dishes (ouch, just that standing still and very slight bend forward prohibits me from doing so)

We adopted a 6 y/o basset hound (long story) and we are picking him up today. I was hoping that this will encourage me to walk more and, if nothing else, stop my weight gain and lift my spirits - providing he won't "pull" me while on the leash. I'm not sure if this will hinder my case if I am seen walking the dog - but I seriously have to do something. I'm getting depressed because I go to work and no where else, and I'm lying down the majority of the time I'm home. So I was hoping this might help. If he pulls too much, I won't walk him until he's trained properly.

Your right about keeping copies. I don't like muscle relaxants. Frankly, they don't work. I've tried skelaxen, and flexeril in the past for my neck problems, without help. Even valium, doesn't work - and that use to work very well for me when I strained my trapezius muscle in the past.

I'm beginning to believe that bedside nursing may be a thing of the past for me. I'm really Okay with this, but it leaves me worried about what I will do for a living. I don't want to lose my home and life. My employer will NOT go out of their way to find a desk job for me - so I'm very worried. Starting to have intermitten nightmare's from the stress.

Thanks for your advice and listening.

Blessings

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AnnemRN has 22 years experience.

6,588 Visitors; 286 Posts

Oh, your absolutely right, I'm not really vacuuming, just now and then I "test" if I am progressing in any way, so I'll try to vacuum a 5x7 rug for example or I'll wash a couple of dishes (ouch, just that standing still and very slight bend forward prohibits me from doing so)

We adopted a 6 y/o basset hound (long story) and we are picking him up today. I was hoping that this will encourage me to walk more and, if nothing else, stop my weight gain and lift my spirits - providing he won't "pull" me while on the leash. I'm not sure if this will hinder my case if I am seen walking the dog - but I seriously have to do something. I'm getting depressed because I go to work and no where else, and I'm lying down the majority of the time I'm home. So I was hoping this might help. If he pulls too much, I won't walk him until he's trained properly.

Your right about keeping copies. I don't like muscle relaxants. Frankly, they don't work. I've tried skelaxen, and flexeril in the past for my neck problems, without help. Even valium, doesn't work - and that use to work very well for me when I strained my trapezius muscle in the past.

I'm beginning to believe that bedside nursing may be a thing of the past for me. I'm really Okay with this, but it leaves me worried about what I will do for a living. I don't want to lose my home and life. My employer will NOT go out of their way to find a desk job for me - so I'm very worried. Starting to have intermitten nightmare's from the stress.

Thanks for your advice and listening.

Blessings

Babs,

I used to be a worker's compensation nurse case manager. The majority of clients were back injuries, that's why I suggested the muscle relaxer. In combination with the pain meds it took care of the problem in many cases. Another suggestion would be to have a referral to a good physiatrist. The one I worked with put one of my long term clients on an exercise program that helped him tremendously. I was able to discharge him with great results.

Good luck.

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I don't like muscle relaxants. Frankly, they don't work. I've tried skelaxen, and flexeril in the past for my neck problems, without help.

I once had a pinched sciatic nerve after a two man transfer of a patient whose hospital gown "caught" on the arm of the chair during the transfer. It actually took about a week for the symptoms to start. Once they did, i tried many muscle relaxers.... Flexeril, Parafon Forte, Soma, Zanaflex, etc. Out of all of these, only one worked at all, Zanaflex (tizanidine). It was great. The others just knocked me out, without much effect on the pain of my overworked compensating muscles, but the Zanaflex worked wonders. It certainly brought me relief during one of the most painful episodes of my life. Good luck!

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