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Back Problems Message Board


Back Problems Board Index


Hi Brenda ~

(hehe) No...I'm not a lawyer :D but I've worked for several in my lifetime. I've had 14 years of sales & marketing (corporate level) experience...so I KNOW how to research and ask the 'right' questions (or at least ask ones that lead to the right questions ;)). The last 8 years of my working life was dedicated to databases and then the internet. mmmmm....good combination. Imagine...every person (w/c too) who has treated or even seen me has stated the fact that I am disallowed...forbidden to hold a job that requires anything to do with a keyboard. hehe :eek:

But enough about me. :D Intra-Discal Injections. Yes, I had 2 of the set of 3 done. They were done at Kaiser and the needle was placed in the L3/L4 area (not where the problem was) and I was sitting up... like I was going to have a baby (that's how they wanted me to remain while they placed the epidural needle). It was OK after a couple of days (I generally don't do well with needles), but then the 'regular' pain returned. Had the 2nd one before the 3rd month (not a good idea). The doc decided to place in my THORACIC region! Egads! It sent my back into such spasms I was on the floor quivering and shaking like I was having an epileptic attack. In fact, hubby thought I was & started appropriate procedures (holding tongue down with depressor, restraining arms ...bla bla bla). Luckily, I was aware and not having an attack of that nature so I told him to forget the tongue depressors and help me up off the floor. BE CAREFUL OF THOSE EPIDURALS! The proper method for an epidural for your back is the patient should be prone in a fetal-like position (exposing the lower lumbar region). Slight sedation is given and the epidural needle should be exactly AT the injured sight.

Here's a thought, what if you have the discogram/CT scan and WHILE they are in there, they can inject the epidural stuff (there is actually even better stuff they can put in the disk)? My surgeon asked me if I wanted this option to help with the pain. Because that 2nd epidural was still in my head...I refused the "epidural injection" during my disco/CT. They need that CT scan so they can determine EXACTLY the right spot to enter to fix the disk. Just giving you an epidural is a cheesy way to go...it's like you go into the dentist to get your teeth whitened, and he gives you a tube of "Brite White" and says your teeth will be just as white in 6 months and won't cost you nearly as much! It's all just too generalized (for me anyway)...how is he going to know where to place the Perc-D wand? Talk to your surgeon about this, what if the tear is on the opposite side of entry? They will have to "poke around" almost...not liking it. Make w/c pay for a disco/CT...do it RIGHT. Well, that's my opinion anyway.

OK..back to your questions. P&S=Permanent & Stationary QME=Qualified Medical Examiner (much like an IME but not as "important") hehe

How long do they have to get you your back-pay? I couldn't find anything on this and my logic says to look at your "win papers". It should say in that document the time-frame w/c has to give you the back-pay. It is unusual they are paying this...from what I understand, "they don't do that". But there are always exceptions to most rules. Get a copy from your lawyer...and BTW, get to know your lawyers assistant very well. THEY get things done much more thoroughly and quicker!

Your primary care doctor does NOT have to be w/c related whatsoever. My primary care doc was my parent's chiropractor back in the 70's...so I've known him since that time. Not a problem. HE recommended my surgeon...not a problem. THEY recommended my PT... not a problem. When I did finally go to THEIR doctor (the QME), I was 6 months post-IDET. Which is P&S in industry standard. He stated that fact, and since there were no liable issues (they know they are at fault) he said I cannot have a job where I sit for extended periods of time, nor lift anything. And there you go...my doctor, my surgeon, my PT, and their doctor all said the same things.

Let me quote a paragraph directly from worker's comp.

"Thirty days after reporting the injury you can switch to your own doctor. If you switch, choose your doctor carefully--most people don't have a family surgeon, for example. Report your choice as soon as you make it so the bills will be paid for you."

See whomever you want....just make sure you notify w/c prior seeing the doctor so your bills will be paid!

Oh my gosh...the mileage. You should send for the brochure "Facts about Workers' Compensation"... actually w/c was supposed to send it to you many times already. You get reimbursed to see every and all doctors, therapists, therapeutic massage sessions (pre-approved by w/c), acupuncturists, etc. If you are in water therapy, you can get a YMCA membership for up to 6 months and get the mileage to and from the Y. When you see your lawyers, their doctors, or hospital for your back....w/c must pay mileage. It's at 34cents in CA...it adds up let me tell you!

The TENS unit was paid for by w/c (about a thousand worth of stuff). It shouldn't be used pre-surgery, it will cause muscle spasms rampaging through your back. The TENS is meant for POST-surgery...and no less than 4 months post (at least for my multi-level procedure). It stimulates the muscles which keeps your back from getting "tired". The ONLY way to get w/c to pay for ANYTHING...meds, assistive devices, etc. is to have your primary care physician write a prescription for it. Plain and simple. The doc can write a prescription for a lifting recliner or a "tush-cush" pillow or even for reachers (so you won't have to bend).

Here is another exerpt from a w/c brochure.

"After you recover to the fullest extent possible, the doctor who treated you will evaluate the permanent effects of your injury. You and your employer may agree to rely on the treating doctor's report to establish your permanent disability payment. If you have questions about the report you may contact an information and assistance officer at the Division of Workers' Compensation. If you don't agree on the treating doctor's report, and you aren't represented by an attorney, you must choose an evaluating doctor from a panel of 3 independent doctors provided by the state. If you are represented by an attrorney and you don't agree on the treating doctor's report, the attorney will arrange the medical evaluation.

Your Permanent disability payments will be based on the results of the doctor's evaulation and factors such as your age and pre-injury occupation. The weekly benefits it 2/3 of your income, subject to minimums and maximum set by the state which vary according to the date of injury."

Other benefits you may not have heard about. Vocational Rehabilitation. There is a $16,000 fund specifically for VRM (Vocational Rehabilitation Management). Out of this comes your lawyer's cut, your tuition-books-supplies, etc., the cut for the vocational rehab counselors who help you research possible new careers, schools, etc. The mileage to and from school AND your "lost wages" supplement... ALL comes out of the VRM fund.

It is such a crying shame this information is not readily available. Try talking to one of the Information & ASsistance consultants at the nearest office of the State Division of Workers' Compensation. They're available at no charge to answer questions and review problems. Call 1-800-736-7401 or check the local listing in the STate Government Offices section in the front of the white pages of the phone book under "Industrial Relations Department."

Let me know if you need anything else (after you recuperate from this one!). teehee

A deposition is done usually 3-6 months after filing w/c. It is when the w/c attorney gets to size you up so-to-speak. They ask you questions (your lawyer is present--it's usually done at your lawyers office) and record your answers. You get 10 days from receipt of transcript to agree/disagree, make changes, etc. sign and return it or it becomes written in stone--as is. Their lawyer will try to trip you up like... "do you reach for things, like a can of soup in a grocery store?". My answer was..."if I really have to I can do it, but it hurts to move that way so I try not to...but my children DO have to eat". (hehe...the devil made me say that). Turns out they had me video taped shopping for food. I never faked a thing. Never went out (due to pain, not because I was getting filmed) and all they could get on me was bending very slowly to retrieve a can of soup in the store. hehe Sorry guys...not only am I not faking this, but I'm smart too.



------------------
successtory
Oct 2000: Repetitive Stress Injury-Inverted Hernia
Feb 2001: MRI. Shows only slight bulge at L4-L5
Dec 2001: Discogram/CT scan shows Inverted Hernia at L5-S1. L4-L5 & L5-S1 ruptured in all 4 quadrants. Unable to walk.
Feb 2002: IDET, Nucleoplasty, Intra-Discal Injections
Sept 2002: Rated in the top 10% for successful patients. Retraining for new career.





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