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