Chronic Tendonitis of the Upper Arm
In July of, 2001, I was injured at the Office Furniture Manufacturer Factory that I currently work at in Northeast Arkansas. I work in the Panels Fabrication Department building office panels. I complained to my previous supervisor for 2 weeks that my upper right arm and shoulder were burning and that my hand and arm swelled. Before I turned the incident in to workers comp, he kept telling me to go ahead and keep building the panels and it would go away soon.
On July 17, 2001 I filled out the necessary paperwork and filed and injury report with workers compensation. That report was turned in over eight and a half months ago) I went to the company Dr that day and was told I had upper right arm shoulder sprain/strain and was put on light duty this continued for several weeks and he then sent me to physical therapy, and orthopedist and a spine specialist, all of these people were treating my back and neck.
For five months I told the various Doctors that my back and neck were fine and that it was my arm and shoulder that hurt, they would not Dr.'s to me, I complained to the environmental safety coordinator about this and he threatened to close my workers comp case.
I appealed to workers comp for a change of physician in October and was finally granted this in January of 2002.
Within 2 weeks my physician determined that I have chronic tendonitis, all around my right shoulder, upper right arm, and elbow, not to mention the numbness, pain ,and swelling of my arm and hand, along with the violent popping of my shoulder that go along with the injury. Because this injury was mistreated for almost 6 months my doctor through various treatments and examinations has determined that the injury is now permanent and irreversible.
I am now being harassed by my supervisor, human resources, and the environmental safety protection person at the place in which I work. Recently my supervisor tried to make me sign paperwork for a verbal warning because my arm was hurting and I clocked out signed the paper in the clerks office, as I have always done in the past when I needed to leave and go home. He tried to write me up for leaving the plant without telling my supervisor and for leaving the plant without clocking out. I have several witnesses that saw me clock out Up until recently my attendance record was great. In fact on my last evaluation in October of 2001 I received a rating of 35 out of a possible 40 points. I am 35 years old and have 7 children to support, and with permanent injury’s to my right arm ( I am right handed) what do I do now?
I cant take medication for pain at work as it makes me drowsy, and yet if my arm is hurting or swollen I cant go home without using personal time or vacation time, which has to be approved in advance by my supervisor
I am being released MMI (maximum medical improvement has been reached) and will receive permanent restrictions. When my employer receives these they will eliminate the job that they created for me to fit with in the restrictions I have, Resulting in I will no longer have a job.
Is this fair? Is this Just? I say no it isn't although I do not believe any one can help me (the company I work for is too big) I wanted interested parties and persons associated with the company in which I work to know what happens to people in my situation, and could happen to you also.
It is June 2002 and my saga continues:
In April of 2002 I was released MMI and give permanent restrictions of no lifting of more than 20 pounds and no repetitive work with my right arm.
On May 1, 2002 my employer put me off work for the remainder of my FMLA leave and I was to draw STD.
I was told that at the end of my FMLA leave I would be contacted by my employer and a meeting would be scheduled to discuss my options.
On Tuesday of last week June 4th received a certified letter saying that as of June 20 my job with the company that I work / worked for is being terminated. Along with it go my insurance benefits and income for me and my 5 children.
What do I do now ? I have tried to find another job but with my restrictions there is no one that will hire me.
I am in process of applying for ss but that will probably be denied also and anyway that takes 120 days so what do I do in the meantime?