Neck and Shoulder Injury On The Job
6 Years and 6 Inches to the right.
That's all I have to do to feel like a human being again.
Go back to December 1996 and step 6 inches to the right. PAIN FREE and everything goes back to normal. Once we found the right carrier I was able to receive proper treatment and am continuing to get treatment. 2 surgeries (possible 3rd), constant therapy and at times feeling like I an guilty of something creates a story I bet is much like yours.
I managed a large auto repair facility and was gathering information from a towed in motorhome/pickup. This vehicle sat low to begin with but had a broken axle and listed severely to the right. I retrieved the info necessary and shut the glove box and stood up.
I sank to my knees and sat there for awhile. The owner was in having his knees replaced so coverage for me was out of the question. We were very busy. I worked for several weeks with tremendous pain radiating from my right side of my neck, down around my shoulder blade, top of my right shoulder, down the tricep into my middle three fingers.
I was unable to turn my neck to the right. After about 3 weeks I was sent to a chiropractor who believed in snapping the neck. For the next year and a half I was being snapped (bad pain for a few minutes then relief for a day or so.) The owner and I parted ways and I inquired about continuing my treatment. No more treatment allowed. I was still hurt and no one has even looked at my shoulder - just the neck injury.
I called work comp and requested a claim#. I was informed that one was never opened and they recommended a list of lawyers (which they sent). I was referred by a friend to a lawyer and took his advice. That was the best thing I ever did.
The work comp info provided by the employer was his new one who denied the claim since it didn't occur on thier watch. Lawyer dug some more and uncovered Fremont. I'll be frank. I am not allowed to talk to them but they have for the most part held up their end.
I was finally diagnosed properly and had disc issue at C7 and was advised they shoulder should be checked after the neck has been resolved. Fremonts doctor who performed my neck evaluation agreed it was industrial and recommended epidural(2)based on nerve testing.
At this point the strength and coordination in my right hand was 50% diminished. I was knocking cups over and it hurt just to get a bowl of ice cream. Neck was really stiff and shoulder blade muscle was restricting my breathing. I didn't want to move or go out anywhere. The doctor I had found was keeping me working without snapping my neck. He said we should try the epidurals. I thought it was a miracle cure for about 1 week. Pains came back. Then Fremonts doctor recommended neck fusion. NO WAY. I worked with my doctor who found another doctor in N. Cal who performed percantaneous discectomys. Fremont sent me up for eval, I was impressed and scheduled surgery- which was approved. I live in socal so this required a few trips.
This surgery did the trick. I did not even go to sleep and felt like the pain was going away during surgery. I was warned due to the length of time from injury to surgery(4 years) there may be some residual loss of strength and coordination. I believe I was almost at 85% recovered when they scheduled another defense evaluation with one of their doctors. They were finally going to look at my shoulder.
After one of the worst visits to a doctor I ever encountered I came away 5 hours later with his agreement I would benefit from shoulder surgery as well. His staff re-injured my neck during a torture session testing my strength. I called the lawyer from the doctors office. At one point during the testing I was provided weight with an extended reach. As soon as I applied pressure my neck and shoulder went on fire!
So now I have to get shoulder surgery. I did on 1/7/02. It was a good move and the shoulder is feeling better but therapy on it is causing my neck to get worse. Fremont authorized and eval on the neck (prior to shoulder surgery) and was informed that yes I have neck issues again. I expect an uphill battle regarding the neck again but their doctor hurt it and I really don't know if another surgery is wanted by me.
I now have another eval scheduled with the same Fremont bonehead doctor as before. I will not do their strength tests again. I may end up walking out as terminal patient.
I do not understand why injured (verified) workers have to be financially strapped, treated like your a crook or ruin our marriages. I think once you are verified they should change their tunes and provide what is necessary and proper. I expect to close my case and return to life with what ever I can salvage within 7 years of the injury date. When I first started I was told a typical case will take about 18 months.
If you don't have a lawyer you need to get one right away. The slightest hic cup and Fremont gets contacted and typically responds quickly when an attorney is involved.
I have left volumes out but we all are pretty much in the same boat. We got hurt and we want to get well and continue being productive people.
Hell I will trade it all in if I could just sleep through the night without pain med... Good luck.