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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    8

    Unhappy Doctor Not Listening, He's Trying To Send Me Back To Work Too Soon

    Hello,

    I injured my wrist at work. I lacerated my finger when it got caught in a machine at work. As a result, my tendons were tore on the right side of my wrist and forearm, the cartilage was torn on the front side and I had tendon reconstruction on the palm side. In all, I had three surgeries to my right wrist in one year. The last surgery was two weeks ago. My Worker's Compensation is being paid and they made a request to my doctor to send me back to work 3 days after surgery. My doctor agreed with a restriction that I couldn't use my right hand. Since I couldn't use my hand, my employer, said stay home and I'd continue to get my WC paid. Well, in the meantime, I get occupational therapy three times a week for the next 6 weeks and I saw my doctor again last week, where he said I have to go back to work and my restriction is that I can lift up to 5 pounds with my right hand.

    I work in a manufacturing plant, that makes car parts. I can't lift 5 pounds, I can't even comb my hair, pop my fingers, tear open a bag of candy, open a door, make a fist, let alone lift 5 lbs, the equivalent of a bag of sugar. I told him him this, and he said, "Come on now, you should be able too. People who have had your surgery should be able to." I said, did they have 3 surgeries on the same wrist?" He said well, no. But you should atleast try it." If that was the case, I'd comb my own hair and put on some dang makeup and stop wearing sweats, cause I don't have the strength to zip up my jeans.

    I call my job, the WC insurance company and asked what happens if I reinjure myself or someone else because I can't lift that weight adequately, they both said, if you hurt yourself or someone else because you tried to lift something you weren't able to, then that's your doctor's fault. Not ours.
    He would be the one that was liable because your health is his responsibility.

    My job is great, but they play by the rules. They told me, if I injure myself I can't go the emergency room like other workers, or see the company doctor b/c I'm WC. I can only see my doctor who did the surgery. So, if I'm in pain and I leave, it's terms for termination b/c I would've abandon my job. If I refuse to lift 5lbs, I could lose my job for refusing to do my job.

    The insurance company sent me to another doctor for a second opinion. That surgeon said after all the surgeries, I would never be pain free and I need to get a different occupation. I told him to tell my job and the insurance company, he said he planned on it. He said there is nothing else to be done and I will always have problems. So then my current doctor said, well, that's true, there is nothing else that can be done. But if you want another job, that's up to you to do.

    This doctor is making me so depressed and upset. I'm slated to go back to work in two weeks. My doctors said, I'll give you two weeks, and then you'r going back with a 5lb restriction and he won't give me any pain meds beside Motrin. Even his staff says he's more interested in doing whatever the WC insurance companies say, instead of listening to his patients. They said I'm the only one that speaks up, and that's not saying much, cause I try and hold my tongue so things don't get any worse.

    What can I do about this doctor? Should I tell him what the insurance company and my employer said about my health being his responsibility? I'm at a loss as to what to do about him. WC insurance said after OT, they hope to close my case. What does that mean? I was told, that they'd probably offer me a settlement when they close it. I'm scared, depressed, tired and need advice.

    Thank you in advance for all your help. And I'm so sorry for the long message.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    2,165

    Default Re: Doctor Not Listening, He's Trying To Send Me Back To Work Too Soon

    LaLa, hopefully Steel will be along to help...

    In the meanwhile, you do have the right to change your PTP.
    http://www.legislature.state.al.us/C...975/coatoc.htm

    Section 25-5-77

    "If the employee is dissatisfied with the initial treating physician selected by the employer and if further treatment is required, the employee may so advise the employer, and the employee shall be entitled to select a second physician from a panel or list of four physicians selected by the employer...."

    Once you get the list, then there are ways to find out if the four Doctors are "WC-friendly" or "Injured Worker-friendly" so you make a better "informed" selection(local APPLICANT/Injured Worker attorneys in your area WILL know "who's who at the zoo", trust me).

    THe IC can NOT force you to settle, and you should NOT settle, because if it is ulitmately deemed that you can NOT return to your job, then you may be entitled to Vocational Rehabilitation.

    Further, if your hand injury requires Future Medical treatment, you may NOT want to settle your claim, but keep your medical benefits open.

    FinallY, PLEASE go to this link and READ EVERYTHING aobut the signs and symptoms of RSD www.rsds.org . IF this seems to "fit", then you MUST be evaluated ASAP, as early diagnosis and treatment is CRITICAL.

    Lala, you NEED to consult with several EXPERIENCED WC attorneys. The inititial consultations are free.
    Last edited by Charles Stevens; 02-17-2008 at 01:04 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Doctor Not Listening, He's Trying To Send Me Back To Work Too Soon

    Thank you. I looked at the links and I'm going to go see my rhumatologists this week and see what he says about the RDS. My WC doctor still isn't listening. But my employer said, that I couldn't come back anyway until I could lift 10lbs. So now my doctor seems ticked off. I don't know why he wants me back at work so soon. He's not losing money out of his pocket, I am. But I'd rather go back when I know I can handle it. I know my body.

    I thought about writing a letter about him not listening to me to the Physician Adminstrator, because now he's refusing to give me pain meds. What do think? Write the letter or not? Atleast this way my complaints are on record and if I re-injure myself at work when I finally do go back, there is a "I told you so." on file as well.

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