My name is N8,
I injured my back at work in June 09, performing a task that was not in my job description as IT instructor. I was ordered by a VP to inventory all of the equipment (cable boxes, modems and the like), even though the warehouse supervisor who was perfectly capable of performing the task (it was also his responsibility) was present. The problem was the the warehouse computer was down and I had the expertise and know-how to fix it and after doing so I was instructed to complete the inventory which consisted of over 25,000 pieces of equipment, I was advised that I would have help but it never materialized.
While conducting the inventory, which took about 6 hours, I picked up a box of equipment and while carrying it to the computer to scan it into the inventory, I felt and heard a 'Pop' in my back (like knuckles cracking). I continued to complete the entire inventory although I knew that I'd hurt my back. By the time I was done, all management personnel was gone for the evening so the next morning, I advised my VP that I'd injured my back conducting the inventory, he documented it but did not send me to the doctor to be seen. I continue to work that day (Friday) and was asked to come in on Sunday (my normal day off) to perform other mundane tasks so I didn't get to rest my sore and aching back.
On Monday, I couldn't even raise myself out of the bed so my wife made me stay home and call my PCP. I did so and went in for treatment and she immediately sent me for an MRI that revealed damage to my L4, L5 & S1 discs. When my doctor got the report, she immediately advised me that I needed to get and complete FMLA paperwork with my employer. She also started me on a regimen of prescriptions that continue to increase in strength and quantity (hydrocodone, oxycodone, skelaxin, dalaudid, methylprednison, clarisoprodol, darvocet, morphine and the list goes on and on, including a host of pain meds that the doctor knew I was allergic when he prescribed them to me.
I saw an Orhopaedic surgeon who started me on physical therapy wich did me no good and had to be stopped because it was causing me more pain. One thing I noted was during my PT eval, I was advised that I'd most likely have to choose a new profession as the demands of my job as an IT instructor (lifting and carry 100 lb. ladders, 50 lb. reels of cable, tools and the rigors of being suspended high in the air from a linesman's belt would be too much for my back to handle in the future). Because I was getting worse (couldn't hold my bladder, pain in my right leg and groin), I was referred to a Neurosurgeon who set me up for and gave me an epidural to help relieve the pain or so he and I hoped. He advised me that if it didn't work, he wouldn't do a second as it could cause further damage to my back. Because it didn't help relieve my pain, I was set up for surgery that consisted of the following (laminectomy, discectomy, fusion and foraminotomy of my L4-L5-S1).
Funny thing is, the IC (AIG or whatever name they're going by these days) refused to authorize my surgery because their "Board Certified Occupational Surgery Doctor" disagreed with my doctor so I had to continue to live in pain for another month. The even funnier things is that the IC sent me for an independent examination by a doctor of their choosing, and in his medical report, he also stated that he believed I needed surgery. Because of the contradiction between both of the IC's doctors, my surgery was authorized adn performed by my NS.
I started surgery again and needless to say the pain continued to increase exponentially despite the increased pain meds and strength and my PT's best efforts. Now I can't lift my right leg when in a prone position at all, it hurts to stand, sit, walk, lie down, you name it.
I had a Myelogram because the NS believes there is still nerve damage in my spine, my Physical Therapist has already contacted the NS and advised him that he doesn't believe that further sessions will be of any benefit to me.
I haven't worked since June 14, 2009 as I've been on TTD which stops and the most inconvenient of times I'm receiving $1446 every 2 weeks id TTD payments which translates to $723/week. My regular weekly wage was $1100, so you can imagine that my family is in a serious financial crunch. I was 38 when I got hurt and it's been nearly a year that I've been on disability. I was supposed to start work hardening but because of the pain that I'm in, that was cancelled.
I'm wondering now, how the "powers that be" are talking about a $100,000 settlement when I'm still under medical care. Is this a fair amount and does it include a provision for future medical care which I'm certain that there will be.
I'm fighting off depression because I just don't feel like my best interests are being looked out for. More than that, I was planning to buy a house for my family as we've been apartment living for almost 10 years. I can't do that now because my savings are all but gone due to my injury at work. I hate the fact that it comes down to dollars and cents but I hate more than anything that I can't provide for my family as I used to be able to.
I need help, answers and advice and I appreciate any and all responses. I'm glad to be here, part of this forum and I'm glad to meet all of you.