Dazed and Confused

September 13, 2007

Being back at work is very difficult. By the time I get home, I am totally drained, and in quite a bit of pain – a lot more pain than I’ve had to endure in a long time. It’s all I can do to get dinner on the table. Most of my energy is now devoted to my job, and there is very little left for my family and friends, or for myself. This is a terrible way to live.

Yesterday, I had an appointment for an Independent Medical Exam, set up by the Worker’s Comp insurance company. This doctor is a neurosurgeon, by the way. He reviewed all the films I brought, and was particularly interested in the flexion/extension x-rays. He remarked that there is increased movement in my spine, which can indicate instability. He also saw something that could be a small fracture. This independent medical examiner expressed surprise that surgery has not been recommended.

I was stunned and overwhelmed to hear this doctor’s take on things, especially since I had never heard about the increased movement and possible fracture before. I find it incredible that I had to learn about these things from a doctor who is supposed to be working against me, rather than for me.

Dr. IME strongly feels that I should have a bone scan, and is going to recommend that in his report. I don’t know who is going to write the actual orders for the bone scan, though. The three doctors I’ve been seeing have been pretty dismissive…

There is a Physician’s Assistant that has been very good to me, so maybe I’ll make an appointment to discuss this with her. However, I don’t know how much good that will do. She’s not a surgeon, unfortunately. Still, she might have the authority to send me for the bone scan…

I just don’t know what to think or do anymore.

Song of the Day: Dazed and Confused by Led Zeppelin

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16 Responses to “Dazed and Confused”

  1. Fay said

    I’m so sorry your pain is so bad.

    I have a question, which is not intended to be a slam: don’t you have other family members, who can get dinner on the table, or at least help? I truly hope so.

  2. yaketyyak said

    Fay, thanks for your comment. It is much appreciated. I do get help at home – my husband does most of the housework. (Bless him for that!) However, no help is forthcoming at mealtime, except for the clean-up. I’m the designated cook!

  3. Amy said

    Yowsers. Best of luck with getting proper treatment. It’s ridiculous what you’ve gone through so far.

  4. LeAnn said

    I just don’t know how you are doing it!! You shouldn’t be at work right now. I hope the neurosurgeon figures out the problem once and for all.

  5. Sunday said

    Man! See, THIS is why I’m constantly suspicious when it comes to doctors! I swear, yes, they’re human, but dammit! If they were lawyers, wouldn’t they be helping you get the best representation possible? Why isn’t this the case with doctors?! NOT ONE doctor noticed ANY increased movement?! GAH!!!

    If I were you, I’d go back and give those doctors working “for” you what for! What are they going to do? Put it on your permanent record? (ala Seinfeld)

    I hope you can work with these doctors that are “against” you–perhaps they can give you the help you need!

  6. Betty Lou said

    It’s too bad you had to go back to work to be able to get a diagnosis that may eventually help. I surely do hope that the answer and relief will come soon.

  7. Gee, this just keeps getting worse, I hope it gets better.

  8. Bex said

    Yes, pour out your heart to the P.A. They do much more work than the M.D.’s. And maybe she will get some results for you.

  9. RubyShooZ said

    I’m new here and happened on this one post and have not looked back to see what the deal is here but I did want to say that the PAs seem to be the ones who actually help most of the time and are available to talk and answer questions.

    “Medical practice” – that’s why they call it practice – they are just humans who have a bit more knowledge than we do *sometimes*.

    I wish you all the best, truly.

  10. Sasha said

    I know your husband is doing a lot around the house for you so to hear that just getting a meal made is a chore must mean you are really feeling badly. I have to agree that you should not be working. I know you need to but I worry about the strain it’s putting on you. 😦

  11. Oh, I’m so sorry to hear this, Stephanie! Do talk to the PA — they have a lot of authority, so she might just be able to order the bone scan for you.

  12. Joan J. said

    The first few weeks back to school are always tiring, but to have to also deal with pain, I know you must be exhausted! You must do whatever you can to make sure you get that bone scan. Maybe you really shouldn’t be working – maybe you should be allowed to go out on disability. These things need to be addressed so that you can live a pain-free life.

  13. goatbarnwitch said

    Oh Stephanie, you need to get that bone scan. Talk with the PA. Get on the phone and talk with the docs who have been dismissive and let them know they missed something and if they don’t help you get to the bottom of the problem that you will be forced to seek legal advice. Scare them into paying attention if you have to. If all else fails see if the WC doc can give you a referral to another doctor or call one of the area hospitals and get a referral. Call up to Albany if you have to. Teaching hospitals often have more extensive programs available than local hospitals. I am not trying to lecture you here, I just want you to be pain free.

  14. Jim said

    Stephanie, I know what something bursitis in one shoulder feels like (annoying but bearable), so I cannot imagine how you can survive the kind of physical torment your problem inflicts on you.

    Maybe the PA could order the bone scan, but then who would interpret it and act on the results? I wonder if any of the doctors who were dismissive of ordering a bone scan for you in the past would want to review a test that might show that they had been wrong — or if they did review it, would they interpret it correctly? Perhaps that Worker Comp neurosurgeon could refer you to someone who could do that? Maybe an actual competent (and compasionate) doctor in NYC?

  15. Sunday said

    RYC: I suppose the “indoctrination” began before birth! My great grandmother, grandmother, and father were/are Stooge fans, as well as my grandmother and mother. My mother never missed any of Moe’s appearances on The Mike Douglas Show, and my parents were lucky enough to live through the time where there was this yooge Renaissance of all things Stooge. Sadly, now only 60-70% of youngsters can recognize the Stooges, compared to 30% recognizing the vice-president. Imagine if those 30% could come over to “our” side! 100% Stooge Recognition! 😉

  16. terri T. said

    Don’t know about WC in your area but in Indiana, the IME dr is working for you….the injured party. Also, the IME dr’s recommendations are usually ordered by the WC Board. And…in our state, you don’t have to pay the WC attorney that you hire to represent you….his pay comes out of the final stipulation….which is ordered by the WC Board. Check if you have similar attorney arrangements in your state. Call your WC board to see if they have an Advocate Group to help YOU. And check the Yellow pages to see if there are WC attorneys in your area that will talk to you. The consultation should be free.

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