Mexximelt, yes its all a game of intimidation. But, what is so surprising is this person at your work is really helping you unknowingly, you are being told everyhing they plan to do. I am quite sure if the higher ups knew what this person was doing they would be in hot water because of liability issues. That part is funny.
My questions on the release to return to work, was meant for back when you had your surgery in 2002. Since its been quite some time since surgery and I gather you returned to work after surgery with little problem, it will make this claim really easier on your part. I say that because you will have a paper trail from your old surgeon, if you have not seen him a long time, thats good. That way the ins co, cannot say "well you were still seeing your dr on the old claim and obviously still having problems". That kind of thing will muddy up the waters, trying to separate two claims.
From what I am reading, if the employer presses the ins co to deny your claim they can, although legally they are not suppose to. The ins co will want to see your old medical records too, that usual. Then again, it may all backfire on this employer with the ins co and your claim may not get denied. If the ins company wants a recorded statement from you, alot of them do these days, by all means give them a statement, it will help you and let you give your side of the story.
Yes, it is a good idea to have your old MRI handy for comparison. Don't know what your dr is thinking. Did you say you are being treated by a chiro? I don't know where you live, but here in Tx ins comp hate chiro's cause they run the bills up and keep the people coming forever & ever. Under comp, ins co only pays usual & customary for the area. They are a real thorn in their sides. Some have caused more damage than what they started with. For you, I would be very careful since you have already got one surgery under your belt. I am not anti-chiro by no means, alot of my friends are chiro's but, I have seen the diff on a claim with an MD versus a chiro.
Regardless of what shows on your new MRI, as far as degeneration, you can have a new intervening injury super imposed upon the old injury. It happens every day to people. The fact that you have injured your back once does not mean you can not have another injury to it. How long does your WC ins have to make a determination on your claim? I think here its 10 days.
I have never belonged to any forums except HW. I stumbled upon them by accident after having a resection and being dx'x with crohns disease in 02. I am so glad I found them, because I was a babe lost in the woods when it came to crohns disease. I learned so much and got so much support its unbelieveable. We are a very unique group here at HW I think.
Let us know how things go and if I can help you in any way, let me know. Susie