Superman no more..................

I was once Superman. Able to leap tall hurdles, faster than a speeding six year old, more powerful than the average person. Then came the day I met my match against an unassuming thirty gallon water heater. What was supposed to be a simple task sent bolts of lightening shooting down my legs and fear into my mind. Today, two years later I found myself in a doctor's office crying like a baby as the doctor wrote up a script for an antidepressant.

Damn, I thought I was doing fine. I had my surgery and rehab is underway. I've learned the basics of web design and have been looking forward to going to school to learn more so I can support my family again. I have a wonderful, special wife and my children are a gift from God. I am strong and have no weakness other than my physical limitations.

Still, there is a cloud hovering over me and it's not of my doing. The shadow of depression has crept into my life and I never recognized the symptoms. Little things bother me. I'm frustrated often. I'm grumpy towards those that I love. I don't sleep well. Some mornings I want to close my eyes and my mind, to hide from the challenges of life. I want to cry. Why do I feel that punching holes in the wall would make me feel better? I wish for a drug that would hide my despair.

I'm going to be ok. Although I feel a bit defeated having to take a medication to control my emotions I realize that my present situation, constant pain and an uncertain future has caused a chemical imbalance in my brain and it is not something I have any control over. I though I was fine, I'm not but I will be.

I write this for you, the injured worker who's life has changed and presented you with situations you never were prepared to face. If you are feeling despair, anxiety, anger, frustration and all you want to do is close your eyes so it will go away...........see a doctor and realize although life may be not what it used to be, there are blessings all around us if we choose to look past the pain.

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Responses

Thank you so much for putting in words how most of us feel when facing a life changing work related accident. My injury has left me in constant pain in my neck, arms and back 24 X 7. It is difficult with this injury because its not something someone can physically see. So when you try to explain it to someone they don't understand. If I had a broken leg with a cast then someone could understand but this injury is of the unknown for most and I don't wish it on my worst of enemies. The depression I suffer with is a combination of the pain and the feeling of losing control of my life. I just wanted to say thanks for finding this website and seeing my feelings expressed so well and true.

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I totally understand your point and case as I am suffering the same thing. In Jan.of 2003 I was injured in an oilfield accident . In a fall down ten metal steps on my back, head first. I was diagnosed with four herniated discs in my neck and a shoulder injury which required surgery. As far as pain management goes, there is none. Ever since this accident. I have been suffering pain of 7 on a 1-10 scale, EVERYDAY. I was sent to have my mmi set and it was set @ 19 %. the insurance company appealed and guess what? It was reduced to 6% using the same data and criteria. Before it was reduced I was told I would be sent back to school for retraining , however since my disability benefits were reduced, even for more percent than the carrier had offered , as they offered 10 %. As a result I found myself without income and unable to get a job because I had filed for compensation. Depression? I have it on a daily basis now to the point I have even contemplated suicide just to end the pain and the misery that this injury has cost me. What sucks is that when I was reduced to below 15 % I lost all kinds of benefits. Also if your not aware of it there is a group in Texas called FixTWCC.com I would strongly suggest anyone in the state of Texas to join this group.

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That's me too, a superman. I too was hurt on the job! I thought I was the strong one in my house but I lost touch in life. My wife said that it was like living with the devil when they stopped paying me. I couldn't look at my kids and say I can't buy that for you, then my new saying was added "Jesse James did it I will". Then one day I snapped on everybody and I thought my kids and wife were getting ready to leave me so I too went and got help from my doc. My son told me the other day that's it was the first time he'd seen me smile since I left work. Only if you could see it coming The injured worker would have a half chance to still feel human and useful in their time of need. It's nice to know there are people like you out there!
God bless you. I hope your words help more people like us.

Thanks. Hurt in Illinois

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I would like to also thank Superman....

I am a woman, who was injured on the job by a car hitting me in the back of the right knee. My job? I was a flagger/pilot truck driver for a road construction company in Iowa. Ii was screwed over by 2 lawyers...ended up with very little money out of my case, no medical....and now am filing bankruptcy.

29 years old, 3 children ages 8, 4 and 1. I have RSD, Fibromyalgia, and Severe Major Depression Due to Chronic Pain with Suicidal Tend. As of 2-18-03, because of the depression....I am scared to death, but, am leaving my family to go and commit myself....and hopefully will get the help I need.

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Superman: Thank You for this page in your life. Many of us have been so beaten down by the Work Comp system that we don't realize what this new malfunction with our brain is all about. We get so involved in the battle against those who wish to financially, and emotionally break us, that we don't realize old Mr. Depression is sneaking in the back door.

I was crushed in the door of a mining truck 15 months ago, and then the vehicle ran over both of my legs full length after I fell to the ground unconscious. My injury's include, and included all right ribs broken, front and back, burst right lung, broken right collar bone, broken lower left rib "healed improperly/w/nerve impingement, broken rt knee cap, loss of sensation rt arm elbow to ring finger & little finger "ulner nerve", sensory loss front of both legs, knee's down, and left ankle, skull fracture/forehead/scar from fall to ground, also scaring of both legs.

The Insurer, had discontinued my benefits Nov 5th,02, but was ordered to reinstate, and continue benefits by a Work Comp Judge. The insurer actually brought up at the hearing that I was researching Work Comp on the internet, and that he felt I was trying to work the system. "The Judge slapped him down for that one, and basically the Insurer won my case for me. So for the time being, the checks should start again, and I should feel a little bit better while I continue on with OUR battle. This also takes such a terrific toll on our family's. Reading your letter caused me to see what was happening to me, and I shall be making an appointment with a Therapist, or someone of that nature tomorrow morning. Thank You for the wake up call. and God Bless

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Boy, you hit a home run!! I'm going though depression, anger and only God knows What! I feel like two people are holding me and the other keeps on hitting me. It's going on two years in Workers Compland, and I am still in the court system and trying to get help. I am looking for a group and others to talk to in my area. No luck so far. I am doing my homework and getting ready to start contacting the Media, about my case. If you know of any articles to the Letter to the Editor type, please let me know. It's so nice to find others that are and/or going though this BS. May God be with you and yours and keep on writing.

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Superman. ....... THANKS. Pain is so real, I'm thankful for this computer my better half got me. You touch my heart.....I sometimes think I am alone with my problem. I also have been through two surgery's and putting up with W/C INS. is a pain in it's self. I Took medical over the lump sum of money and fight like hell to see Dr's.... ELEVEN YEARS come April 2001 and still in pain. Yes I hurt but thank GOD for my family an people like you....

patty.

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Superman,

I really know how you feel. I'm in constant pain. My family is great also, I really don't know what I would do without them. My girls, 10 and 13, do so much for me . I feel so lucky to have them. At the same time I feel very guilty for not being the person I was a few years ago. My life has changed so much that at times I wonder if that person I remember was really me. I was a fitness instructor and a mental health tech. I also did a lot of community activities. runs, walks and work out. I will never be able to do those things again unless some new medical techniques come along. With the pain I'm in all the time I can not help but think if I was paralyzed it may feel better. Then I remind myself that at least I can walk even if it is for a short while. I can do some things I wouldn't be able to if I was paralyzed. The pain is very bad but I'm still here. I tell myself not to feel sorry for myself because there is always someone worse off than myself. Seeing my children do their activities remind me when they look over and smile to see if I'm there that I'm still very much needed by them. So I really do understand what you are going through. I have tried to hide the pain in public because I hate the look of pity from people who once admired me for the person I was. It is very hard but I remember what my grandmother said to me. God does not give out any more than you can handle and God only knows that I'm trying very hard to handle this.

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Unexpected Conflict - Unexpected Hope

Such a cheerful friend
who warms the hearts
of all of us...

yet, depression attacks
even the most cheerful of us
and swirls around our minds -
playing tricks on us...

one moment, all is fair weather
within our souls ~
next minute, thunderstorms arise
within every inch of our beings...

oh, friend, I wish for you
Peace and tranquility ~
not the horror of depression
and all its chaos...

may God be ever with you
and may His Peace fill you,
so that you may know that
He loves and protects you
as you keep your heart
open to Him...

By Dolores A. Treadway
Written May 23, 2000

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I am much like you superman. A police officer for 12 years with all the answers and awards that many police officers don't get in a lifetime, but then my injury occurred. I have a brain injury from a car accident and from being the cop in control, I've become a person who has no control of his own life. My life has been taken over by doctors, attorneys, Insurance Companies (who do not want to pay), and depression. I can no longer control my own emotions. I cry at the sight of of things that I wouldn't have even noticed previously. Depression is an far worse than any injury that I have ever sustained. I pray for you, for me, and for anyone stricken with this ailment. We all need to lean on God through our difficult times and have him lift us through this.

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Just read the post from Super Man No More. I think you described about 99% of us. Do not despair. And of course compensation really helps our depression along. I was a super women. Took care of my house , went to work, and was able to handle the world. now I am lucky I can handle my life. Do to a work injury that has left me with daily pain and no longer able to do things I use to. The depression left me with not wanting to deal with my family or friends. I finally ended up going to pain management. And I feel that helped me alot. it helped me deal with the pain and depression. Along with meds I feel almost human again. I am looking forward to the day I feel like me and not some one else. I say this because before I went to pain management and got new meds I was not the personality I was before my injury. So hang in there superman, you are not alone. There is hope for us.

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Don't know who wrote this but I Thank You for taking the time to write it ! I felt every word - I've lived and relived for six years everything you've described - at times it's overwhelming - yet the gratitude constantly surfaces above everything - I still have my family - my real friends - and the incredible support from the Prairie Law web site's forum - material things disappear - who we are can't be taken away unless we give up on ourselves.

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Superman no more? Superman oh yes! Because of your strong and beautiful story you lifted my spirits. You also put my pain on hold, with music. I just received another "Batch" of antidepressants, and pain reduction pills yesterday. I have a wonderful Doctor who just about gave me the same feeling you have. To have this sort of glow two days in a row must mean that I have met two more "Angels" in this world. Someone is looking over me. That's something I have been praying for, for a very long time.

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I am happy to hear you are feeling better. The worst part I think is not knowing what is happening. I have RSD, and as you know not many Drs. know about RSD. I went from Dr. to
Dr. I think I really felt the lowest key is when a Dr. told me it is in my head. I guess maybe I am just witty at times, but as angry as I was I said yes, that is where my pain goes. I was angry. I knew I had pain. The second was when the depression hit. I did not know myself and I went from surgery to therapy to meds and depression. I did not want the pain I did not want to be and feel so empty and angry. I did not want my family that I love very dearly. I felt they were against me. I did not want to even talk to my friends. I felt they had a life of love and laughter, and what did I do wrong to have my family not care for me.

Going for my therapy, one day my therapist said would you try pain management? She explained it was not that they thought I was crazy but therapy was not helping, and maybe I needed to learn to cope with the pain. At this point my husband said to me you have got to do something. He said, I did not realize but even my dogs were afraid of me. my dogs that I love so much afraid of me? I knew at this point what was happening , the pain was to much to handle and with RSD depression is also a side kick. And I was in such a depression I thought I would never come out. I did go to pain management. I learned how to deal with my pain. And with that I just learned how to deal with the depression.

Do I still get depressed? YES !! But now I have it under control. Instead of it controlling me. I
went to a new Dr. finally that understood my pain and what I was going through. he put me on a pain pill plus antidepressants and a nerve pill. Do I have pain? Yes but I am able to deal with it much better. I am doing things with my family again and laughing with my
friends. Although my family is raised and on their own, my other family ....MY DOGS are no longer afraid of me. It is sad when you get to a point of depression that your own pets don't know you!!. Yes, If I can help someone through this hell I went through use my story on your web. I have been going through this for 11 years.

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Webmaster's note: This is a wonderful example of how sharing with each other and lending a hand when needed can change circumstances usually requiring endless effort. So you know, "superman" is doing very well due in part to these caring people who reached out to him.