I just found out that I have won a small victory in my WC case and I wanted to thank everyone who posts on this site. I may not post much, but I do read everything that is here. Without the information that you all share, I probably would have stopped fighting a while back.
I injured my back on the job twice last summer. I was sent to an orthopedic doctor that treated me like I was not injured and in pain. He told me that I sprained my lumbar muscle and sent me back to work. When my employer did not have a position that met my restrictions, he changed them so they could find me one. I had a physical therapist who could not understand why I was not getting any better. Every recommendation the PT made to the doctor was ignored. He didn't want to give me any medication for pain, because he thought that I didn't need it. He made me feel like a junkie because I asked for pain meds. He eventually gave me the option of spinal epidurals which I thought were for my muscle spasms. On my first visit with this new doctor I was confused when he mentioned a bulging disc. I told him I knew nothing about a bulging disc. When I went back to my ortho doc, I asked him about it. He looked surprised and said he had to check my records. When he came back he was like it was just a "tiny" bulge and was not the cause of my back problems. I accepted that because he was the doctor and why wouldn't I trust the doctor? He told me that I was at MMI and ordered a FCE.
I was so frustrated that I was not getting any better, and no one would listen to me when I told them that I could not do the job that my employer had for me(carrying and delivering metal parts in a factory) that I just stopped going to work. I knew that I was risking my case and my ttd payments, but at that point in time I didn't care anymore, I was tired and broken. I lost my job and eventually received the dreaded Form-24 in the mail with a stack of documents(medical records) trying to prove that I was indeed able to do the job.
My attorney sent me to another ortho doc for an IME. I had to take him the films of my MRI and x-rays. After 2 hours with this doctor he showed me that not only did I have the "tiny" bulging disc, there was another one much larger that was pressing against nerves that led to weakness of my right foot and leg, and it also was pressing against a nerve that made it hard for me to hold my urine. I was totally shocked! I could not believe that the first ortho doc kept this info from me and every other medical professional that tried to help me. He even put in his notes that he was upset that the pain management doctor even said anything to me about the tiny bulge in the first place. I really hate being his patient. I wanted to tell him that I knew everything that he kept from me and every negative thing he wrote about me in my records, but I saw no point in doing that because he would probably just write more negative things about me. So I decided to let the other medical opinions and FCE speak for me. (The FCE was such a disaster that I didn't even come close to finishing it. The PT stopped it early on due to his safety concerns.)
The IME concluded that I was not at MMI, that I could not be given a permanent rating, and that I was disabled from doing that job or even a mild job at the present time due to the bulging discs and muscle spasms. Apparently the NCIC agreed because they disaproved the request to stop my ttd payments.
I know that I have a long way to go before this thing is over with, but this little win has given me the strength to hang in there a little longer. Now I am trying to get a new doctor because my ortho has released me and I still need medical care. Nothing has been done about my back even though other doctors have made their own recommendations for further care. He has even ignored the recommendations from the PT that gave me the FCE and they work in the same office! I really do not see the IC authorizing a new doctor so I'm guessing my fight continues.
I wish everyone good luck on your recovery from your injuries and this whole entire process. I had to learn that no matter how bad things get, to keep going. People should not be mistreated in their pursuit to get their lives back to normal. God bless and thanks again for all of your support even though you didn't even know you were giving it.