Friday, August 5, 2005

Things you learn with a Bad Back - Volume 3

I was called at about 1:15 pm about the non-invasive procedure that was to be performed on my back in 45 minutes, and was rather alarmed that, I knew nothing about it. I had been trying to contact the doctors about it and they knew nothing about it. They supposedly had tried to contact me all week about it (and the caller ID did say that they were full of it), and somehow managed to dial the wrong number, from what was their wrong number to get me this time. Now in a span of 45 minutes I had to find a ride, and be in another town for this non-invasive procedure. The non-invasive procedure being a long needle poked directly into the disk in my spine. Sounds pretty invasive to me. On top of that, the whole concept that I couldn’t drive myself also made it sound a little more than non-invasive.

Now what I learned today is three things that I am pretty sure that some of you already know, but a few things you might not know. Being the purveyor of harsh reality that I am, I am of course here to explain it to the best of my ability. I will of course start with the things you probably already know and work my way toward the grand finale of sorts, the things that actually shocked me. Some of these first few things are conjecture and schizophrenia, but I will mention them anyway, and take my lumps for them afterward.

First and most importantly! The workers compensation people ARE NOT your friends. They are out to make money, and to do this they need to keep their costs low. We all knew this, but the way about it gets kinda sketchy. First off they will do whatever they possibly can to get you OFF of your claim. This is a given, and a lot of employers will become willing participants to this. I am NOT allowed to use any of my personal time, or vacation time until I am off light duty. The excuse is because the Comp people will drop me. I am in a sort of slavery to the workplace now. They will also send you to the cheapest medical people possible, and this already low quality care will be supplemented by lower quality than usual service. I pretty much knew that was the case, since it is about the same as when you get into a car accident. The good news to some of these things will be detailed later. Last but not least, your employer will probably do whatever they can to get you in trouble too. If they can they will give you jobs that just barely fit the guidelines of your light duty, and write you up immediately when you step out of line a little bit.

Ok … we have listed today’s givens, so let’s move on to the ones that have taken me by surprise. First of all, the quacks that you have been assigned to see will try this sort of JedI mind game with you like I detailed earlier, the whole hide and seek attitude when it comes to your appointments. I can only come to the belief that they desperately want me to fail in my ability to get to these things, and leave it at that. I have been unable to get a strait answer on any of the appointments they set up for me at all, and they often try to make me confused. If they only knew that they could probably do that more effortlessly, then they would save even MORE money!

Second, and more humorous, as you catch on, the quacks that are in charge of your care really are less than able to actually deal with you, so they have to send you to specialists, who usually tell you the truth, and in ENGLISH. The funny part of that is that the real doctors (the specialists) and the quacks (the people workers compensation send you too), absolutely hate each other. With hardly any prying the specialists will call your doctor names in front of you, and the quacks treat you like dog crap if you bring up anything that the specialists say. I have found the one thing in this whole procedure that is enjoyable. Ruining the day of the inferior doctors even if they are in charge of how miserable my work life is. Good news is I have found out that they are going to make it miserable anyway regardless to appease the workers compensation people. The specialist yesterday actually went as far as to call my doctor “An over glorified Kinesiologist, who should follow around a sports team putting band aides on their Boo Boo’s” now that was worth the needle in the spine. I totally agreed. Of course I was already kinda angry at the other Doctor for telling me that my pain and loss of strength was in my head, but the specialist (who hates the quack remember) always shows me what to point out to him on the MRI’s, probably just to make the quack feel stupider.

Lastly, and certainly not least, I have discovered another great commodity that is available to me when all of this stuff happens. THE FEAR OF LEGAL ACTION! I mention the fact that a man who has been divorced 3 times, has connections in the legal community (hell yeah I do, I put a kid through college on my legal fees at least) and things always get a little better for a while. Not that they are really tipping their hands or anything. ;8o)