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Our story, Please any advice?

papillonpluieppapillonpluie Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in New Member Introductions
My name is Krystle, my fiance of 5 years recently hurt his back at work. He had a slip and fall and reported it to L&I in December 2009. His GP put him on vicodin & ibuprofen (which he is still on 5 months later) and sent him to PT, we did the PT route, but the director told him after trying everything that it wasn't working and he needed to go back to his GP for a MRI, March 23 was the MRI found out the next Monday that he had a bulging L4/L5 disk about 6mm. Got a referral to a pain management specialist but it took a month to get in to see him.

This process has been long and grueling, Brendan has been on full duty at work as a Lube Tech store manager, and his store has suffered due to his debilitating pain. He now walks with a limp and makes audible pained noises if he has to bend, or lift anything.

The Pain Management Dr. finally saw us this past Friday April 30th 2010. He noticed as well as the bulging disk that he had a "pimple" there is another word for it but that was all he would say about that matter, and he could tell that when Brendan bent wrong he could be pinching his S1 nerve on the right side hence the limp, pain, and numbness in his right leg. He preformed a nerve study and decided that the nerves weren't dying so he was not a candidate for surgery at this time. Brendan is scheduled for an ESI on May 11th. But other than putting Brendan on light duty he did nothing to change Brendans medications.

The same day we went in for his appointment, Brendans boss decided to demote him, dock his pay and hours! To say that things took a major turn for the worse is an understatement. And now that he is on light duty there is no work for him, he is still being scheduled but he is the first person sent home every day. It is discrimination for them to be doing this, and we are fighting this through L&I as well as Human Resources.

While I am not worried that L&I will be able to cover 65% of our expenses, I am worried how long they will be able to do that, I know they can only cover temporary time loss for such a time, and then what do we do? This is going to be a long term problem, does anyone know when we are able to become disabled? Because as long as he is unable to lift, bend, or twist he cant work at his current job, and he cant get a new job because then we lose L&I coverage. Then there is all the legal crud dealing with the discrimination and the demotion. They docked his pay 3 days before they told him that he was getting demoted! And technically he hasn't been officially told he was demoted a new manager showed up and took over his boss told him over the phone and wont talk to him face to face, we are so lost and scared.

Our lively hood has been destroyed due to this injury not to mention the fact that Brendan is not the type of person who deals well with stress and pain, which is not managed at this time. He is very timid and quiet and our relationship not to mention his job is suffering, Brendan has become withdrawn, easily angered and saddens. I feel so bad for him but there is nothing I can do for him our son is too young to understand what is going on and why daddy spends so much time in his bed.

Everything is toppling down around us, and getting treatment is taking so darn much time... plus not knowing what is going to happen with his job, L&I and if we need to get a lawyer or not (I highly doubt his company is going to roll over and admit fault or say that they did anything wrong!)

If anyone has any advice or anything please keep in touch we are drowning and I know we are just getting started. Keep in mind we are not in control of our treatment, we have to go through all the channels and proper steps we are being lead around because we cant afford to tell L&I to go stuff it.

Krystle & Brendan


  • Sorry to hear all you and your fiancé are going through right now. Is it possible for your fiancé to go on Short term Disability at work? That way he's paid the last 15 weeks or more of his former job rather than wait with this lower paying job if he needs time off to heal or go to Physiotherapy. It sounds like he was demoted because of his injury so I would seek legal advice. I hope this gets better for you and he heals soon from this injury. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. it sounds as if it is time to seek some legal advice before your husband is given the boot for good!! the sooner you protect yourself the better!! you will need one for disability anyway! find someone who can advise you on this as well as it sounds as if this could be an ongoing problem and the sooner you start your disability, the sooner you will get it!! good luck and your husband is so lucky to have you by his side!! :X you take good care of yourself as well. he needs you now i know and so you must be in good health!! take care and get your rest!!! stop by anytime!! Jenny :)
  • Welcome to Spine-Health.

    My suggestions is that you seek out a fellowship-trained spine surgeon (specialist), either ortho or neuro, but someone who only works on spines. I personally wouldn't trust a pain management doctor to tell me if I'm a surgical candidate or not. Their job is handing pain, not determining if there is something surgical that can help Brendan's spine problems.

    Get more opinions. Don't stick with this one only and consider it rule. It makes no sense that Brendan is supposed to walk around in debilitating pain until something can be done, so don't give up. And please don't assume that if you make an appointment with a spine surgeon that surgery will be the only choice the surgeon will make. They'll generally try all conservative measures first.

    I was lucky enough to find my spine surgeon in a clinic where they have physiotherapists and physical therapists so there's a whole team that helps to determine my needs. My specialist is a neck guy, but you can find spine specialists that specialize in lumbar problems.

    Like I said, don't give up. Find another opinion from a spine specialist/surgeon and take the MRI films there. Multiple opinions are very common with spine problems and I suggest you get another one or more, if necessary.

    Good luck and please keep us posted.
  • I don't have a lot of experience with Workmans Comp cases. It sounds to me like you have 2 problems. Your husband needs better medical care than WC is providing and his job is not necessarily abiding by some of the laws that should be protecting him.

    If he was injured while on the job there are certain accomodations they should be trying to adhere too. Of course they are within their rights to say they can not accomodate his restrictions but then they must pay him a percentage of his pay. Unfortunately it gets complicated and if you don't know your rights they will take advantage of you. For example, You do have the right to seek your own medical doctors opinion if you are unhappy with theirs after so long. This is not something they will tell you.

    I would strongly suggest seeking legal counsel.

    Cath is right you need to seek better medical care but it sounds like your hands are a bit tied.

    Many attorneys will give you a free counsultation. See what you can get from that. You don't have to committ to anything. It's worth a try!

    Keep us posted.
  • :D Thank goodness your fiance has you to support him during this difficult time.

    Everyone has given you good advice -- seek a spine specialist to review the MRI and get an expert opinion and try to contact a worker's comp/disability attorney to learn your rights in this situation. Your employer is at an advantage because they know the rules and, therefore, can work the loopholes to their advantage. The first consultation is usually free or you might try legal aid.

    I was in your fiance's position last year and had to give up a contract position in May of last year. I was so stressful trying to keep up with my work obligations when I was in so much pain. I know your fiancee is just stressed about your financial situation and his job and at the same time dealing with debilatating pain. Also , being in constant pain really does lead to depression so don't be surprised if he's in a bad mood or feeling blue and sullen. Once his pain is under control, he'll start to feel like his old self. I had severe sciatica that lasted for almost 10 months (had 3 epidurals, lived on pain killers, heating pad and ice packs and lyrica).

    There's a lot of information on this site that was a godsend to me when I went through my rough patch and everyone on the forum is hear to listen and support -- anytime.

    Take care and drop in to chat anytime.

  • Hi Krystle

    I can't add any more advice but sending you and Brendan >:D< >:D< >:D<

    Keep fighting for what Brendan is entitled to even though it's a difficult path.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
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