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Return to Work

Dec 23, 2015 10:57 AM

I am on benefits, income from long term disability insurance. I was injured on the job, as a floor nurse in an ambulatory behavioural and dementia unit, in Dec 2013. I wasn't healing and experiencing all over body pain.
I insisted something else must be going on that is preventing my shoulder injury to heal. I survived Nerve conduction tests, shock wave therapy, cortisone shots, acupuncture, muscle strengthening, TENS, deep tissue massage etc etc only to come away practically crippled in pain.
Through all of this I am dealing with my employer and LTD who want and expect me to return to my physically demanding job.
I attempted a 6 werk work return in April 2014 which ended in a trip to the emergency room at end of May and copious amounts of dilaudid and ibuprofen on top of the copious amounts of Tylenol 3 ( codeine) I was already taking.
I am 48. Too young to retire but in too much pain to hold a full-time job.
How have you all handled working? And Are you working?

Dec 23, 2015 11:50 AM

I'm not really old enough to have a job yet, so I don't know much about working except through my family. My mom and dad have only really had short term jobs. I think one of the most stable jobs my mom had was real estate management, but there was only one really big season, the rest of the year was pretty laid back.

My dad and grandpa have both done a lot of fencing and construction. Grandpa pushed through it until he was old enough to retire.

Several of my Aunts, and my mum are now on disability. One aunt can not walk, and the meds that help have turned her into a zombie. Another aunt worked, but can no longer lift weight, and can only use one or two fingers. Her docs suspect MS, but she's also hyperthyroid. She doesn't want to do chemo or surgery yet.

I go to school, which is hard, but only 8:20 to 4:20. Almost dropped out last year from disability.

I'd say, find a less demanding job, one that doesn't land you in the ER, pressure like that from your employer just seems...ignorant.

I plan to finish school, and hopefully start working by 16, but I'll have to wait and see.

Dec 23, 2015 12:05 PM

Elqe, I do work when I'm not trying to recover from a surgery or procedure. This year has had very short intervals of not having to be poked or prodded already. So yes, when I can I do work.

Dec 23, 2015 3:33 PM

Elqe, I took FMLA in 2010 for what I thought would be simple surgery, short recovery and return to work. The surgery turned into major 5 in 1 with a year recovery. Only I didn't recover because the pelvic mass & surgery caused further complications. Now I've developed fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, sjogrens, and many other problems. I also now require a cane to keep my balance, or walker, or an electric cart. Sometimes, our plans get derailed and its hard to even see the tracks to move forward. I've learned to take life one moment, one hour, one day at a time. I accepted my disability status last year, but it was still shocking to hear my PCP say I'd never work again.

I'm not telling you to hire a lawyer, but just suggesting you consider it. I was injured at a previous job and got screwed totally with a back injury, which has caused me problems now for 15 years, & worsening. I didn't get a lawyer. Like you my daughter was injured on the job, breaking her humerus and injuring her back. She was 3 mos from a paramedic position & 9 mos from becoming a nurse. Her career was changed in the instant she fell. The business sold out but I encouraged her to hire a lawyer. She wasn't able to go to work or school for nearly two years. It took another year or so for the company's insurance to settle with her. No amount of money is worth the cost to your body, that's for certain. But it will certainly help you financially, especially if you aren't able to return to your previous career. I will keep you in my prayers, and hopefully you will start to feel improvements soon. πŸ™‚πŸ™πŸŒΌπŸŽ„

Dec 24, 2015 5:39 AM

Hello, former (/retired) nurse here. We have tough jobs, it takes a toll on our bodies. I had to stop working. I just had to. Continue your rehab and get a lawyer. The administration at the place you work will not look out for your best interest. They are only concerned with their bottom line. Take care of you!! Just thought I would add my nonprofessional opinion... Love and Blessings, Terri

Dec 24, 2015 9:14 AM

Elqe, you are in a very, very difficult situation. I think I understand where you are at. I may be wrong. Am I correct that if you don't try to go back to work, you will probably be fired and lose your benefits unless you find a doctor who says that you can't. You have to prove you can't in order for them to continue to pay you long term disability for the rest of your life or retirement age. I have Unum. I had an accident. Now they pay me every month til I turn 65. I hope this situation can be resolved for you. Maybe you need to find a doctor who specializes more in the area where you are having problems. Maybe the one you are seeing is not seeing the problem you are having. That happens. When I had my accident, I fell 20 feet off a ladder. I came down and demolished my ankle and broke my lower leg, then fell on my back. I couldn't sit for three months because of my lower back. But the doctors didn't see anything even though I could only lay on my side. My pain was a 8 or 9 if I sat on my butt. But they said nothing was wrong. So I think sometimes you need a better doctor or a better X-ray to see the problem. But I hope you get the answers you need. I hope you can get this disability back. And not have to work at that job. Best wishes to you.

Dec 24, 2015 1:02 PM

Thank you everyone, I have union support at the moment and legally can not hire aa private lawyer while the union is still behind me.
I'm in BC, Canada.
I have documented everything though, so am ready if it comes to it.

Dec 24, 2015 1:13 PM

Yes Profiler , I have to jump through the hoops. If I don't they take it as refusal. Refusal means I'm cut off. I've had a physiatrist, multiple Physiotherapists, kinesiology, traditional acupuncturist, massage therapist, rheumatologists , too many "ists" to count. I see Myoclinic Feb 1st. I see my family doctor every 2-3 weeks.
I had a very rude and conceited coworker ask me smirkingly how my "vacation" was going. I asked the union to nail his ass with harassment. I've had a few idiots comment on how lucky I am to have the summer off and just recently a comment "must be fantastic to have Christmas off" .
These are health professionals talking.
Too them my pain is a joke. My 3-5 medical appointments each week is a "vacation".

Dec 24, 2015 3:16 PM

Nurses are brutal with each other..I definitely understand your plight. You must feel betrayed ,too, by the team you work with. I am sorry ,I really am. I hope you feel better today and tomorrow for the holidays. Love and Blessings, Terri

Dec 24, 2015 3:32 PM

Thank you Terri same to you.

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