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wasrn
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 11/4/2010 2:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Just wishing to introduce myself to other forum members. I'm a middle-aged RN, worked in ICU for the past 20 years or so.
Was injured several months ago at work.  Spent most of that night working with another nurse, lifting, turning, cleaning, repositioning a very large patient (well over 400 lbs) who was hooked up to all sorts of monitoring devices, intubated but not completely sedated, so he kept fighting us.  Anyway, in the wee hours of the morning is when my back finally gave out.
The hospital cut me off from everything, no wage replacement, no health coverage; the only thing they haven't done yet is fire me.  When I called the case manager to approve a doctor's visit, she never did answer.  Called her for nearly a week, 2 or 3 times daily, and was ignored.  Finally went to see my own doctor, was in terrible pain; he said "You're not going back until you see a neurosurgeon" - and that's when they stopped all the "medical and financial benefits".  Call me cynical, but it looks to me like that was their plan: ignore me until I could no longer wait for them to bless me with their doctor visit approval, see my own doctor, and give them "reason" to quit their responsibilities. 
Had an MRI that shows several  damaged discs and spinal canal stenosis.  I have nerve pain, mainly on my right leg, incontinence, and yet their expert doctor (whom I've never seen) claims it's nothing, that I can manage with OTC meds; he even insinuated that it's all psychosomatic... the nerve!
As soon as the hospital occupational injury doctor (that I never got to see after his report and recommendation - they're probably mad at him for his conclusions!)  wrote his report, indicating signs and symptoms of nerve compromise, as soon as he wrote that I need to see a neurosurgeon, that is when the hospital put everything on hold, and later had this expert doctor (a doctor who obviously gets paid by them) pronounce it's no big deal, that I can go back to full duties, no restrictions whatsoever.
 
Then I read Rebel_Rhonda's post, and it sounded so similar to mine, I went ahead with the membership, and I'm glad I did.  This is a great place for sharing, for support, and one can learn a lot also.
These days I go through a mixture of emotions, I get depressed, angry; I feel horrible watching my husband work 7 days a week; I really feel useless and often feel like crying at the drop of a hat!  I am not ready to hang my hat, so to speak.  Though clinical nursing may no longer be an option, I still have other options, so intellectually I know I need to focus on that, not my losses, but it sure is hard to do that!
 
Ok, sorry for the long post, and thanks to the moderator who suggested I introduce myself.  Good to be here.   

MIKEL99
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 914
   Posted 11/4/2010 3:20 PM (GMT -6)   
   Hey WASM , Welcome to the Chronic Pain Forum , sorry you have to be here but very glad you found us , the folks here are some of the best people I've ever met . They care sincerely and will support you thru thick and thin , they did this for me and I've made friendships here I treasure . Wow it sounds like you really got a raw deal with your employer , I hope you seek legal advice , they shouldn't get away with treating a person so shabbily . Nursing is an honorable profession , its about helping people and that speaks very well of you , I hope your able to heal and feel better and that the doctors can help you too . Reach out here whenever your feeling unsure and let us support you thru your rough times , we've all had them and we know how it feels and we'll help you . Welcome again , stay stong and look foreward to getting to know you friend . Mikel 

wasrn
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 11/4/2010 4:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you so much for the welcome, Mikel99.  See, I'm such a mess that I started crying while reading your post.  Just can't believe that you give and give to your employer for so many years, you work chronically short-staffed (and management tells you to never, ever give the impression to patients and families that staff is short), with no proper equipment to do your job, they send you home in the middle of the night if census drops; then when you're the one who needs help, that's it, you get discarded to the curb like garbage.
 
wonder what, if anything, nurses at my place of employment (and perhaps at other hospitals/nursing homes) can do to improve things.  I know for a fact than in less than a year 9 nurses, including myself, injured their back at work... and these are ICU nurses, who knows how many other nurses got hurt on the medical floors! 
How can they say it's all in my head; would an MRI lie?  The MRI shows a large disc protrusion at T2-L1 that completely cuts of the cerebral spinal fluid, actually deforming the ventral cord margin and producing canal stenosis.  The MRI shows another protrusion at L1-L2 with severe canal stenosis and only minimal posterior cerebral spinal fluid maintained. The MRI shows moderate disc protrusion at L2-L3 with moderate canal stenosis.  Another disc protrusion at L3-L4 with mild canal stenosis, and another mild disc protrusion at L4-L5.
The hospital "experts" claim that it's degenerative (how many people, especially nurses do NOT have degenerative changes?), that it's a pre-existing condition - I'm getting sooo tired of hearing this term! Does that mean that it disqualifies me for care? That it absolves them of any and all responsibilities? The first doctor I saw (their occupational injury doc) told me that it has little to no bearing that I may have had this degeneration because it never bothered me and I was able to function perfectly well.  However, after a 12 hr. shift of nearly continuous straining, the resulting injury is what brought everything to a head, so yes, it was work-related.... well, this doctor isn't allowed to see me anymore; I hope I didn't cause too much trouble for him confused
Again, thank you for the welcome, Mikel99.  i will be seeing a neurosurgeon in a couple of weeks; hopefully he will agree with me that it's not "all in my head".

MIKEL99
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 914
   Posted 11/4/2010 5:21 PM (GMT -6)   
    Gosh WASM , Thats so hurtful to be treated like that , I'm really sorry . I woild advise you not to tell your doctors from now on about how this happened , they sometimes stick together . I would try to get a lawyer and use HIS doctor so you can get a fair diagnosis , its obvious thr place you worked is doing something wrong concerning its employees and probably has more to hide . This is a tough situation for you , maybe you could talk to a pain therapist , I do every week . They can help guide you thru this emotionally , you sound understandably upset . You have rights though , excercise them to care for you and maybe  tell only folks you trust about this for now and no one from your job . Best of luck and keep posting , we'll help you along my friend . Mikel

antbuggey
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 594
   Posted 11/4/2010 6:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear Wasrn,

I am so sorry that you had to seek us out but I am glad you found us! You have already been welcomed by one of our most caring members and wonderful friend Mikel! I am also very sorry to hear how you were treated by your employer! My back problems started with a work injury and have turned into a nightmare! Please get an attorney! Certainly do not compromise your care for them! I am sure this was their plan! Somehow, after I got released back to work, my job found a reason to fire me! I am sorry if I am talking in circles....I have a fibro fog going on! Anyway.....welcome and we Look forward to getting to know you!

Take care of you!
Beckey
Spinal Stenosis L3/L4, L4/L5 & L5/S1 with Nerve Impingement, Fibromyalgia, TMJ, GERD, Severe Depression, VERY Large Cyst Right Ovary causing mild twisting, Small Cysts Left Ovary & 3 Large Cysts Uterus and Possible RA

Medications - MS-Contin, Cymbalta, Famotidine and currently Prednisone

Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 11/4/2010 8:01 PM (GMT -6)   

  Dear Was RN,

     Good evening. My name is Dani. It is ever so nice to meet you. I am so glad you decided to post an introduction so that we could get a chance to know you better. As you can see, we have a wonderful group here. The Healing Well community is a wonderful place for friendship, knowledge and support.

     I am terribly sorry to hear of all the trouble your back injuries have caused with the hospital. I do hope you know that seeking legal assistance is well within your rights. At this point, you might want to get everything regarding your injury, medical tests, doctor statements and your place of employments "response". It would be a good idea to ask that your place of employment make their stance known via written statements and correspondence so that there is a "record" of sorts. Here is a good place to start to get your medical needs back on track...

~~> http://www.patientadvocate.org/

     Again, it is very nice to meet you. I look forward to knowing you better as time goes by. Stay strong!

*hugg*
  dani


TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood

Chronic Pain Moderator
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wasrn
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 11/4/2010 9:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you all for the warm welcome, it means a lot to me. The hospital case manager, and occupational injury depts. are basically ignoring me, keep repeating they cut me off from all benefits because I went to see my own doctor; they also say this is a pre-existing condition.... as I said in my previous post, they'll say anything to exhonerate themselves from any and all wrongdoings, but I am going to fight them! I will keep you updated; my appt. with the neurosurgeon is on the 17th of this month. Thank you; so glad to have found this forum; I no longer feel so isolated. :-)

mylifewithfibro
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 101
   Posted 11/5/2010 1:31 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi wasrn,

Welcome to our family nice to meet you.

Stacy
Dx: Fibro, IBS, Severe Migraines, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, High Blood Pressure, Low vitamin D levels, Anxiety/Panic Attacks, Severe Depression, ringing in the ears, dizziness, impaired coordination, constant chronic pain all over my body.

Meds: Lyrica twice a day 75mg, Neurontin 300mg twice a day Elavil 25mg at bedtime, NUCYNTA 100mg 1 Tablet 4x's a day

damouthy1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 663
   Posted 11/5/2010 5:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi wasrn, welcome to our family. I am so sorry to hear how crappy you are being treated. That is horrible! I agree that it's really sad that we put so much of ourselves into our jobs then if and when something happens to us, we are treated so bad.

I hope that you can start getting some relief soon. Keep posting here, it helps alot! Once again, welcome to the family. Take care.
Gentle Hugs,
Shannon

Fibromyalgia, Chronic daily headaches, Migraines, Possible Graves Disease, GERD, High blood pressure, Depression and Anxiety

Oxycontin, Lopressor, Lexapro, Omeprazole, Promethazine as needed for nausea, Ventolin inhaler and Vitamin D3

MsBunky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1097
   Posted 11/5/2010 8:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi WasRN...just a quick note to welcome you to the forums. I'm so sorry your employer is treating you like this. I am on disability from work and have had the complete opposite response. My employer has bent over backwards for me - what a relief!

I hope that you are able to get the help you need to force your employer into doing the right thing. I'm not exactly sure how that's going to pan out, but I'll keep you in my prayers for an excellent outcome for you.

Glad you're here, enjoy the forums!

Hugs,
Pam
DX: Fibromyalgia, Severe Myofascial Pain, Chronic Pelvic Pain, Surgical Adhesions, IBS, IC-PBS, Carpal Tunnel (both wrists), FAI, Diabetes (just diagnosed), Reynauds, Opthalmic Migraines, Drug Related Hot Flashes, Hard Start for IV's, Unable to vomit due to surgery.

Meds: Oxycontin, Tramacet, Cymbalta, Cesamet, Flexeril, Clonidine plus Vitamin D + Multi dail

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16301
   Posted 11/5/2010 1:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Wasrn hello and welcome to Healing Well's chronic pain forum. I am so glad that you decided to do an intro post so everyone could pop on and welcome you aboard. Otherwise, not many would have seen your post on RebelRhonda's thread. Wow, I just get so burned reading one more time how these hospitals handle their worker's comp claims. Most of the hospitals in my area are self insured, and dealing with those morons is nearly impossible. I do hope that you will consult with an atty to assist you in this, please don't take this lying down and let them walk all over you. If you can find an atty that handles strictly worker's comp claims that is the best one to consult with. Don't mess with an tty tht is a jack of all trades and master of none. I worked in the legal field over 20 yrs and we did worker's comp for many years. Makes a big difference when your atty knows all of the ins & outs, not someone in there just punting. We had to revamp the practice once they did the reform on comp laws back in 1991. You should be able to find an atty willing to take your claim on a contingency basis meaning you pay nothing up front and when he wins your claim that is how he is paid.

Don't let them throw out the pre-existing condition as their reasons for denying the claim. Granted stenosis is a pre-existing but you can have an injury superimposed on a pre-existing condition it does not matter. If you have not had any recent care for your back tell them tough rockos. We use to have ins company's throw that little comment out, well as long as the person had not been seeking current or recent care for the condition the ins co had to bite the bullet and accept the claim. But, the bottom line is what they are doing to you is so typical of a hospital. People walk around every day with bulging disc and never know they have them because usually until there is some trauma or injury they may never know they are there. Ok, let me get off my soap box, lol.

I do hope you will keep an eye on the depression, don't let it get out of hand. If you think you may need to get your dr to put you on something by all means do so. The last thing you need right now is something else on your plate, its pretty full. I do hope you can get this all taken care of as quick as possible. You need care and money coming in by way of weekly benefits from the hospitals insurance. Try not to let this tear you down, I know you are hurting and you are scared. Thats why I suggested hiring an atty and let him do all the fighting for you.

Please keep coming here and posting. By coming here at least you will know you are not alone. Sometimes that can go a long ways with a person. Pain seems to make us feel alone. Anyway I wanted to pop on here and welcome you aboard.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3695
   Posted 11/5/2010 9:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Wasrn

Welcome to Healing Well Chronic Pain Forum! I am super sorry for all that you have had to go through! May I ask what type of medical insurance did your hospital job give you? Do you have long and short term disability with your job? I would think you would have some kind of recourse to your situation. Is there a state nusrsing association that you might consult for advice and help? Unfortunately so many hospitals treat their employees, like dirt, and try to take advantage of their employees situation. Please do not let them do that to you! I am also an RN and am on disability, and they did not want to give me my long term disability, but they would not let me work either. Well I persevered and finally got it. I think I would definitely be checking with a workmans comp lawyer ASAP. I am not certain that I understand why they are concerned about what doctors you see??? It sounds like they are trying to cover their back sides! Was there adequate help available for caring for that patient? I think I would thoroughly document, every thing that occurred that led up to your injury. But definitely get some legal advice. What is with them not answering your calls????? Have they given you adequate medical treatment??? It just about sounds like they are posturing, for the posibility workmans comp suit or something. I would encourage for you to be a little wary and seek help!
Please keep us informed on how things work out for you!

Again I Welcome YOU! I do wish you all the best!

White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!

Chutz
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 11/5/2010 10:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi and Welcome!~

You've already had such great suggestions that I won't add to them but I did want to stop by and give you a warm, Healing Well Welcome!

Hugs,
Chutzie
Moderator on the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain forums

“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” Albert Einstein

wasrn
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 11/5/2010 11:11 PM (GMT -6)   
And a big thank you to each and every one of you.  I had posted a reply, but for some reason my computer stopped working for a few minutes and I ended up losing my post.
So let me try again.  The place where I work(ed) does not subscribe to the State Work. Comp. insurance; they have their own, "in-house" deal, which means you must see their own doctors, use their facility, use their pharmacy, etc. etc.
I did have long term and short term disability, but I was informed I could not collect from either one because it's a work-related injury, and the long term/short  term insurance they offer covers only non-work related injuries.
No, I do not feel I received adequate medical care; if I had I don't think I'd be in this pickle today.  As soon as the doctor mentioned the very high probability of nerve compression/damage, that's when they put everything on hold and after several weeks they got back to me telling me that their "expert" doctor (Someone I've never seen or heard of before) said it's no big deal, I can deal with the pain using OTC meds, and I can return to full-time RN duties with no restrictions whatsoever.
 
My own doctor warned me to NOT do that. He said that if I'd be foolish enough to go back and then extend the injury, it'd be entirely my fault; in essence, by returning to work I'd be agreeing with them, that there's nothing wrong with my back... nope, it ain't going to happen.
was turned down for disability, but apparently most people get turned down the first time, so I'm appealing.  The letter of denial states that although my medical condition is severe, they don't expect it to last over 12 months (I'm already at 7 months with no relief in sight).  They also said that in spite of having requested my medical records from the hospital (I gave them permission, of course), their request was ignored... surprise, surprise!
 
We work short-staff on an ongoing basis.  The night I got hurt it was just me and another young nurse caring for this large patient, no equipment available to help us do our job more safely.  However, some months ago a nurse told me the hospital finally bought a lift for the Intensive Care Dept. but - listen to this - it has a max weigh capacity of 180-190 lbs!  It wouldn't have done us a bit of good with a 400+ lbs patient smhair
 
well, sorry for this long post, I do lean on verbosity.
Thank you all again for your support, advice, and the warm welcome wink

Retired Mom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 11/6/2010 5:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi WasRN,

I just got around to reading and responding to your post. I absolutely NEVER make such a suggestion, but you may need an attorney and need one quickly!

My old job treated me very poorly before I "medically retired" and would have let me go after 20 years of excellent evaluations and really good work. I found out they even started making allegations of me "intentionally attempting to sabatage a comprehensive audit" (sp?) like that would be possible :( This was particularly stupid because everything done was done under a persons login on the computer...easily tracable and impossible to mess up. It was nuts how people could turn on you like that.

I was very blessed to get my medical retirement and I did use the short term disability that I purchased through my employer. You may need a really good attorney along with some really good Dr's ASAP. I know you don't feel like the extra effort, but they are counting on that.

Good luck and God Bless.
Retired Mom

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16301
   Posted 11/6/2010 10:48 AM (GMT -6)   
WasRn, have you consulted with an atty in this matter, not trying to be nosy just helpful. When they don't subscribe to state comp, what they will usually get is what is called an OA policy, Occupational Accident. If this is that type of coverage you are really limited like you say in their drs and such. When you went to work there did they tell you they did not carry comp and had this type of ins? Do you have a booklet from this company that tells you your rights? Do you even know the name of the company? Sorry, I know too many questions. I have dealt with this OA policies before and you should be able to get an atty to help you out.

I have also dealt with STD and LTD and if you have your booklets from them you may want to discuss this with an atty as well. I know people will bad mouth attys, well guess what, cases such as yours, if the insurance companies did what they are suppose to do people would not have to get attys involved. But, how many times have you ever seen one do the right thing? I guess thats why I loved my work so much was getting to help people with their cases and getting them what they were entitled to and deserved, that was very rewarding.

Anyway, just wanted to ask about the above.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3695
   Posted 11/6/2010 10:13 PM (GMT -6)   
wasrn
Have you checked with JACO, what you are describing just infuriates me! Your former employer is taking advantage of there employees, and putting your health at risk. I am including a link to JACO they do have a section to file a complaint against a health care organization, I don't know if this applies to you or not, but it doesn't sound like it is maintaining JACO standards.  Anyway something to look into. http://www.jointcommission.org/
 
Good Luck to YOU!
 
White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!

wasrn
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 11/6/2010 10:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you, Straydog and White Beard. I realize that I'll probably sound like a jaded person for typing this, but these days I trust very few (if any) organizations, including JCAHO. They're supposed to conduct "surprise" visits, but in some 20 yrs. I have yet to witness such surprise visits. They give hospitals -well, the hospitals where I worked - at least a month's notice. Then you see all the managers scurrying around, making sure charting is up to par, looking in cabinets to see if there are any "forbidden" stashes; for example,the cupboard under the sink must be empty, no cleaning products, nothing. They give orders to keep all floors clean and shiny, temporarily increase staffing... all in all, they do some house-cleaning, lol After the inspection, it's business as usual. Oh, listen to this, because you may know more about it than I do...

The hospital requires nursing staff to check patients' charts for a variety of errors. I'm not talking about checking orders for the past 24 hrs. (something we all do). No, I'm talking about going through the entire chart to make sure that nursing, medical and other health professionals signed their orders/notes. We're supposed to check charts and report if prohibited abbreviations were used; for example, you're supposed to write "every day" instead of "QD", you're supposed to write "morphine sulfate" instead of MSO4, etc. Then you fill out the report, give it to your manager, and the "guilty" nurse gets counseled (they don't counsel other professionals, I guess they just let them know - if that!).
Many of us complained about it. We feel that we should not be watchdogs, the chart police. We feel that doctors, physical therapists, nurses, etc. have their own license and they take responsibility for their own charting. But management said that we are the ones who must conduct chart audits because "It's a JCAHO requirement"; is it? I find it hard to believe, but I very well could be wrong.

I did contact an attorney fairly recently; the attorney has past experience with this hospital (actually it's a chain of hospitals) and has very little use for them. They strive to look spotless in the eye of the communities, the patients/families, etc., and then there is so much dirt beneath the shiny, polished exterior. The attorney said there is more than enough for a class action suit, but most employees are afraid to speak up, scared of losing their job. I cannot speak for other health professionals, but when it comes to nursing it's not as if it's difficult to find another employer. But then I can also see that for many the attitude is a mixture of apathy and hopelessness (why go somewhere else? It's going to be more of the same...) I don't think that way, but I'm in the minority. More than one doctor tried to persuade us to fight back; most of them see what we deal with on a daily basis. We're really stuck between patients, administrators, doctors, etc. etc., in a constant balancing act - no wonder most new nurses leave the profession in less than 5 years!

Regarding the long term and short term disability, it's offered and administered by the hospital, so they make the rules. Found out the occupational injury plan booklet they give to injured employees isn't exactly like the "big one" (expanded version) they keep at their headquarters. So if you read that you're covered for work-related injuries, even if you have a pre-existing condition, their "Big Book" (which they never mention and I've never seen) apparently says otherwise! This is definately stuff for an attorney.

Sorry it took me a bit to answer, today was one bad day for my back; now the other side is hurting, probably because I try to compensate and it's all getting even more messed up; my leg gave out twice today and I can feel it's beginning to tingle now, and the back is beginning to give me that deep, gnawing pain, so I'd better take something. Would like to mention the freaky spasms I experienced, but I really have to go; the pain is getting worse really fast. Thank you all.

White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3695
   Posted 11/7/2010 11:54 AM (GMT -6)   
wasrn
I am sure you know the saying that "the squeaky wheel gets the grease" if you have lost your job anyway, why not start squeaking? Go to JACO and file complaints, who knows maybe they will make one of those surprise visits. Even the big boys have chinks in their armour you just need to find it. They just might fix you or give you disability just to keep from having to deal with the problem?? If you can not work because of your back and it is there fault because of the working conditions, ( I know well what it is like to be understaffed, and then have to deal with not only heavy patient loads ( as in lots of patients) but also heavy patients (weight wise) with insufficient help!  I ended up on the floor with my patient, and then I was in the ER because of lack of staff!  It is a nightmare! These big chain hospitals are really bad about that, don't let them do that to you, it only take one person, then pretty soon others will follow, and then maybe things will change! But untill someone stands up to them, they will just continue to do what they are doing! I find it so odd, that so many places treat there nurses so bad, when they  are really their most valuable resource! When patients fill out their satisfaction survey forms, ( all hospitals have them, and all hospital read and pay attention to them! Because they want those patients back at their facility!) Most patients judge their hospital stay, on how their nurse treated them, or lack there of! Nursing care is a biggy! If they have a good nurse, that really goes all out for their patients, they will usually give that hospital very high marks!  If their nursing care was marginal the survey will be rather poor! But yet these hospitals, often treat their nurses very  poorly! It really does amaze me!  Anyway I would be filing a complaint, I mean, what the heck what have you got to lose? If JACO does nothing with it, then what did it hurt, other than taking a few minutes of your time? But if they really do follow-up on it, well that is what you want them to do anyway, Isn't it?
 
I do wish you well wasrn, and I hope you can get some relief with your back, you know last year I had a dispute with my neurologist, he just wanted to let things go and not do anything for my arm pain, well my spinal pain doctor disagreed, and he did epidural injections, and sent me to a surgeon, I ended up having a C-5/6 ACDF done and when I awoke from the surgery the arm pain was gone!  I told that neurologist that he was just blowing me off, and I fired him!  If I would have listened to him I would still be having severe arm pain! And who knows how much worse it would be by now??? Your the one that has to live with the pain, and surffering, not the Doctor! Only you can determine when enough is enough, and fight to get it treated properly! I just wouldn't do anything that could make it worse or wait to long!
 
Good Luck to YOU!
 
White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!

wasrn
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 11/15/2010 5:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello
just wanted to give you all an update. Well, more than an update this is a request for some encouragement or proverbial kick in the butt.  I am going to see the neurosurgeon tomorrow, I am nervous.  Neurosurgeons are interested in opening you up, for the most part! One thing I know: I don't want to have ESI.
 
I also heard from my employer that they want me to see their IME.  What a joke to call them "Independent" when they really work for them, not us mad    I've never been to an IME; what should I expect?
One other thing.  If I type here some of the more pertinent MRI results, could some of you tell me if you have/had the same problem and what was done about it? Thank you.... Here it goes:
 
"MRI of the lumbar spine:  The lumbar vertebrae are intact.  They have normal height and normal alignment.  No significant marrow signal abnormality.  Conus has a normal appearance and it is normally located.
T12-L1: There is a large posterior right paracentral subligamentous disk protrusion that completely effaces the ventral CSF (cerebral spinal fluid) and abuts the ventral aspect of the distal cord, slightly deforming the ventral cord margin and producing moderate canal stenosis.
 
L1-L2: Relatively broad-based posterior subligamentous disk protrusion. Mild facet arthropathy.  Complete effacement of ventral CSF with only minimal posterior CSF maintained.  Moderate to severe canal stenosis.
L2-L3: Small to moderate-sized posterior central subligamentous disk protrusion and mild facet arthropathy and enlargement of the posterior elements. There is moderate canal stenosis with compromise of both lateral recesses."
 
This is a summary of the MRI report.  It also mentions a minimal posterior disk bulging and severe arthropathy at the L4-L5, and mild canal stenosis at L3-L4.
 
Yesterday I had what I call "a good day", and felt hopeful, so to speak.  Then a shifted my weight on the right leg to put something in the kitchen cabinet and suddenly a felt a shooting pain, like lightening, go from my hip, butt, down my leg; also felt it on the outside of my lower leg.  I just leaned over the sink for several minutes, tried to take a few steps but was limping because of this stupid pain; eventually it went away.  Now - and pardon my nurse "humor" - can you imagine if this happened at work while there's a code blue pending?  The poor patient would have all the time to die 'cause I wouldn't be able to get there fast!
 
I have so many questions, I hope I will not exasperate the neurosurgeon tomorrow.
Some of my questions are: they say laying flat is the best position, but if I do, it hurts. I lean over the carts (that really makes me feel like a misfit!).  Some of the most mundate chores cause pain, things like standing at the sink, leaning a bit over while brushing my teeth, sweeping floors is hell.  I can sweep a small room and I start feeling the pain, so I tell myself to keep sweeping (I try to convince my head that I need to "toughen up").  The more I sweep and the deeper, more insistant the gnawing gets and I just have to quit.
Also, why is it easier for me to bend down a little but not straighten up?  Which disk problem would be causing it? The T12 or the L4-5?
And which disc problem would cause pain that starts at the top of my right hip and moves to the front, in the groin area?  It's a sharp, burning pain, and when it hits the groin it is next to impossible to walk.
 
Sorry for the long post.  Will let you know what the neurosurgeon tells me tomorrow. Thanks for listening!

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16301
   Posted 11/15/2010 7:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Wasrn wow what an MRI report indeed. From what I read you have multiple bulging disc at several levels and yours start very high up, that is kind of unusual. Most disc problems in the low back start at at the last two levels at L4-L5 and L5-S1. Jeesh, yours start at the bottom thoracic disc and at L1 which is up there high. The amount of stenosis that you have is what is causing alot of this pain you speak of, like when shifting your weight on your legs. That is called radiculopathy coming from most likely a pinched nerve due to the stenosis. Pinched nerves cause that lightening pain you speak of, please be sure you tell the dr this tomorrow. Make a list of questions to ask this dr tomorrow too. Don't get paranoid because he is a neurosurgeon, that does not always mean surgery, seen that many times with a neurosurgeon. A good neurosurgeon will tell a patient if surgery is an option or not. I don't know who told you laying flat is good for bad backs, but that is some bad information. Most people with bad backs cannot lay flat, we lay on our sides many times with a pillow tucked between our knees getting the pressure off of our backs. Laying flat is totally out of question. I am betting the L4-L5 level with the severe arthropathy is causing you lots of problems in the lower back too. It will be interesting to see what the neuro says tomorrow. You have enough on that MRI to make anyone hurt.

Sweeping floors is not going to toughen you up, it will only increase your pain, there is no toughening up here. The L4-L5 level is what is making it easier to bend a little I am thinking, but lets see what this dr thinks. I cannot stand up straight even with a cane and my dr says most people lean like I do when their facet joints are bad and mine are.

Yes, I use to laugh when the insurance company would send our clients for IME's too. We know who is paying their bill and we know what he is going to write in his report too. He is not about to bite the hand that feeds him either. You can bet they use the same dr over and over for their IME's too, the insurance company's did. The IME's would never tell our clients one thing either, they always said we will send the insurance company a report. I bet he says he will send your employer a report.

Did you by chance ever consult with an atty about this mess with your employer? Let us know how the appt goes.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Retired Mom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 11/15/2010 7:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello again,

I can't answer many of your questions, but the pain you are talking about sounds like L4-L5 to me. I had/have a problem with that one and with L5-S1 (where my fusion was done). I don't mean to scare you but the results sound like you may get the surgery recommendation very quicky.

Good luck with whatever you decide and I hope you pain will improve soon. Please be VERY careful with trying to push yourself too hard because there could be even more damage if you are not careful.

All my best!
Retired Mom

breezyP
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 85
   Posted 11/15/2010 7:36 PM (GMT -6)   
What a very disheartening thing to read. How awful is this! For you to dedicate yourself for 20 years to have people turn their backs on you :( I hope you find some peace and help with your situation.
Lyrica-tramadol hydrochloride-Zopiclone
Waiting for bone scan 23rd nov
Waiting for epidural cervical injections
Not yet diagnosed.

wasrn
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 11/15/2010 8:04 PM (GMT -6)   
A big thank you to each and every one of you; I am so grateful to have found you, really am.
Ok, one more question; should I tell the neurosurgeon about my bladder problem?  It started weeks after the injury and I never said a word because I was (and still am) embarrassed.  Eventually I told the female physical therapist assistant.  I'm sure she said something to the physical therapist, because he brought it up at the following appt.  Oh, if the floor would have just opened up and swallowed me!  I must have turned red as a beet.  He told me there was nothing to be embarrassed about, and he urged me to tell the doctor because "it's serious".  Of course I took my sweet time confiding in the doc, I was hoping it'd get better and go away.  When I did tell him, he said "You need to see a neurosurgeon".
 
So how am I going to find the nerve to tell the neurosurgeon that I pee my pants?  A close friend of mine asked me when it happens.  Well, if I knew I perhaps could do something about it (like run to the bathroom, lol).  It's not stress incontinence - you know, brought on by coughing, sneezing, etc - but now I wear pads and change them at least twice a day, and I think it may be getting worse... used to change once daily.  Look, I am glad no-one can see me here, or I'd never, ever be able to mention this.
 
Do you think it's possible that something higher up in my back could also be out of wack?  I'm asking because a distant relative of mine is very good friends with a doctor - forget her specialty - she's the type of doctor who performs EMGs, NCV studies, she also leads refresher courses for doctors, physiatrists and surgeons - she knows her stuff. 
Anyway, she read my report and said I'd better forget about nursing.  She said "No more pushing, no more pulling, no more lifting..."  Wonderful, and what am I supposed to do with my life now?  Nursing is all I know and I do miss it (don't miss the politics of it, the management BS and so on).  But what has me worried is that she said "chances are" I may have caused injuries higher up in my spine and that if I were to have an MRI of the cervical, it'd probably show something amiss.  Oh, joy cry    Yes, I am having pain in my neck, especially on the right side, sometimes it goes down my right arm but it stops at the biceps level. Then I occasionally feel a burning sensation and a feeling of something crawling at the base of my neck (posterior), but I think it's all probably due to my trying to compensate for the lower back....... or am I in denial? shakehead
Please tell me if I'm becoming a nuisance, ok? 

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16301
   Posted 11/15/2010 8:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh yes, do tell the neuro about this bladder situation, that is very important Wasrn. All I can tell you is this, you must forget about being embarrassed at this point. This bladder problem is related to your back injury and a very important part of it. You will have paper work to fill out and you should have a place on there to list it but regardless be sure to tell the dr you are now incontinent and it started after the injury. None of us are drs here and you know no one can tell you if there is anything going on in the cervical spine without something like another MRI. But, I bet if you say your neck is hurting and you never listed it before they will tell you to take a hike.

I too think your nursing days are over after seeing what you wrote about the MRI. Best case scenario is if you did only administrative work like a head charge nurse, then you delegate all the work to the other nurses. Meaning no on hands patient care any longer. My neighbor did this the last 10 years of her nursing career but it was a high stress job too, because the hospital administrator was always calling and telling her too many beds were in use and they needed to decide which patients could be discharged because they were over budget, can you believe that. Over the budget so they kick patients out of the hospital.

I have crohns disease and I only wish peeing my pants was my problem. I have the other. Think what it was like for me to tell my new gastro all my bathroom troubles starting with that one. After dealing with crohns these years heck nothing bothers me anymore, I can tell my gi anything now. Most of the time he is the one that gives me better care than any of my drs. At some point modesty goes out the window, lol.

Keep asking questions, thats how we learn.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum
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