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  1. #1
    joni Guest

    Default A Spouse's Perspective

    My husband, a tree trimmer, fell 20 feet out of a tree two and a half years ago, pulverized his L1, and has been in constant pain ever since. He loved his work and loved TO work. He's gone from being a big, strong, strapping hunk to a miserable, suicidal old man. He has aged at least 20 years and is scared and worried about the future. He is 49 years old and cannot walk far w/o stopping to rest, is gaining weight, has been denied more physical therapy (which helped). He has been unable to do rehabilitation schooling because it would require commuting 120 miles a day. He has to be near a bed to lie down periodically. His lower leg is constantly swollen now and painful because some idiot therapist the insurance co. sent him to made him try to walk on his knees after J. repeatedly told him he couldn't. He was seen by one G.P. who said that the injury was caused by the therapist, then lost the x-rays, so, you can guess the rest. Anyway, I could go on and on, but the bottom line is, he is scared to death the insurance co. is going to screw him, his lawyer doesn't communicate what is going on, and he's getting nastier to me by the day. Our lives will never be the same. We were very active, my kids had a couple of grandbabies for us shortly before the accident, and life was fun. It's getting very hard to live with an a__hole! I try to be understanding, but find myself just leaving the house and staying away. The one time I wrote and spoke my mind to his lawyer (as tactfully as I could) was the only time he got fast results on things that needed to be done. He had his deposition recently and sees an important (to his case) doctor tomorrow (insurance co.'s). He went ballistic when I told him I had written to his lawyer, but it worked and now I would like to know if my account of our life as it is now would be a help or a detriment. I feel the need to let them know that he would love to be back to work, that he didn't ask for this, he was doing his job and now the insurance co. should do theirs without all the crap. I would appreciate any input on this and maybe how to put up with an a..., well, you know. Thank you so much for the chance to vent.

  2. #2
    anonymous Guest


    No, it would not make a difference. It's not about whether he loved to work or his life has gone to hell, or the therapist made a mistake or things that matter to you.
    Sounds like you both could use some counseling. Loss of a job, probably money problems, let alone the health issues take a toll on relationships. Whether the carrier pays for it or not, a trained professional can make it easier to deal with such difficulties without trying to blame someone- including each other.

  3. #3
    tina Guest


    Actually it could make a big difference. I am in a very similar situation with my husband. He is a police officer and we are coming up on the two year anniversary of his accident. We are also preparing to have his foot amputated due to comps delay and denial of treatment. We are hoping to find a way to prosecute these criminals and its starting to look like maybe we can.

    You can and should talk to the attorney about the case. You have insight and have probably attended appointments with your husband so you have info about the case no one else has, including your husband. Mine can be a horses rear too, he is on some very powerful painkillers and doesn't remeber half of what he does or says. That means I need to be his eyes and ears and sometimes, whether he likes it or not, I have to speak for him. I do not let his anger dictate what is right and wrong. I have tried being tactful, negotiating, arguing, and explaining. Nothing mattered, so now I just do what needs to be done and try not to worry too much about his attitude. He's going to be mad no matter what I do anyway, so I might as well do it right. And he doesn't seem to understand that its all for his benefit. Sometimes I think he just enjoys being angry.

    All states are different in how they handle cases. We are going to petition to have the injury deemed catastrophic and that opens up many, many more benefits. Your husband may also be eligible for psychiatric help if the ATP will prescribe it. Thats where you can speak up and let the doctor know just how bad it is. The feelings your husband is dealing with in his injury are "normal" when associated with a devastating injury. Your lives will never be the same and thats through no fault of your own. You both just need some help in dealing with so many life changes all at once. Its not easy. I wish I had some wonderful advise to offer you. I know you are already doing your best to just keep up. Its exhausting. Are you able to get some personal time to relax and recharge? You have to take care of yourself in order to continue caring for others. Where would they be without you?

    I have learned so much about comp in order to help my husband. I talk to the doctors, the lawyers, the therapists. I would advise you to do the same. Light a fire under some of those behinds and get them moving on your husbands behalf. If you are unsatisfied with your present attorney, talk to a few others. Most offer free consultation and you can definitly take your pick.

    There are some great people here who are knowledgable about comp. We can try to understand what you and your husband are going through. Good luck to you and keep us informed. God Bless.

  4. #4
    joni Guest


    Here's a belated "thank you" to anon and Tina for your input. I do think counseling might help, but can't afford it right now.

    Tina, I appreciate you taking the time to help; and I pray things will go better for you. How awful for your family and shame on these companies who ruin so many lives. How can they look themselves in the mirror? I wonder if they have mothers who know how they treat people? If you get the chance, please let me know how YOU are doing.

    Thanks again and thank you to everyone at this site for all you do.

  5. #5
    beth Guest


    Joni-I can empathize with you and you will probably not believe this but I am an adjuster for an insurance co. As you and tina have experienced the comp system in this state is out of control. Due to the economy, cut backs, the paper mill, fraud and what I call milking the system, both adjusters and attorney

  6. #6
    tina Guest


    Beth - that is some good advise!! We had a nurse case manager and she was wonderful! She had the pleasure of dealing with a witch of an adjuster and setting up dr. appointments, finding a qualified physical therapist and psychologist. It took a long time to trust her but eventually we did.

    Joni - Try anything you can think of to get your husband psychiatric help or counseling. I'll see if I can find some type of free services and let you know. Personally, I can't keep up with it all anymore. I work a full time job and a part time job and of course all the housework, finances, etc. that goes with running a household. Throw in dealing with my husbands injury, dr. appts and temper tantrums and I'm drowning here. There is no help of any kind from comp for the caregiver. They simply assume that the spouse will do all the work and care for the injured but has no needs of their own in dealing with it all.

    The ortho doctor is setting up the appointments for the amputation. Bob is not dealing with it well, but he has not dealt with any of it very well. He's overly needy and is deep in a self pity well and trying to drag us all down with him. Some of it is understandable given his situation, some of it is just being nasty. I truly believe that this amputation will be in his best interest. Hopefully it will relieve the pain from the RSD and the prosthetics that they have now are incredible. He'll be able to do normal everyday things he can't do now, like run, walk unaided, ride a bike, etc. And get off all the drugs. And we would have never come to this but for the denial and delay of treatment by workers comp.

    I've had a real education in the last two years. Comp is basically a corrupt system that no longer meets the basic criteria of its own reason to exist. I learned that I'm stronger than I ever wanted to be and my children are a God send. We will end up in divorce court, its inevitable, but there were alot of issues before the accident so we would have anyway.

    Hang on Joni. I understand how hard it can be as the caregiver. What are you doing to help yourself with the stress?

  7. #7
    joni Guest


    Tina and Beth--I've been working my rear off lately and coming home and dropping--am trying to get caught up. Thank you both for the info. I'd never heard of a nurse manager! That would be great if we could get one.

    I understand where you're coming from, Beth. It's too bad budget cuts, etc., affect the most people who can least afford it, while the fat cats just get fatter and greedier.

    Tina, I've been clearing vacant lots of knee-high weeds for the past couple of weeks straight in weather that's getting hotter and hotter. I think I'm sweating a lot of my stress out. Please let me know how you are.

    Gotta get! Thanks again!

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