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Thursday, April 7, 2011

What's in a daybility part 1

A friend had asked me the other day - what do I do all day long? So, what is it, that I do ALL day long. I will tell you right off the bat, that I do NOT have the homemaker gene at all. I don't cook and cleaning has been very limited due to a work related injury. It has been 6 years and I am still suffering, but I am learning everyday how to cope and to try to manage all of my old tasks. Things take much longer. So, much of my day is consumed by my own demons and thoughts of old ways vs. trying new, longer, and sometimes painful way of doing chores.

It was a cold ice biting evening, but I loved working. I might have loved the independance, the seeing other individuals and having adult conversations, but I really did enjoy my work, my job. The month was March of 2005 and it was a bitter cold night. I arrived 30 - 40 minutes early like every night - I took pride in having my truck ready before the official start of the shift. I hated backups and having to clear jams and I had the busiest truck in the complex. I had helped a few new people in how to check, set-up and start their shift as my supervisor had asked me to. It came time for me to set up my truck and I had no idea that setting up my truck would change the rest of my life forever.

I did all the necessary checking and safety checks and unlocked my stack of rollers (they weigh over 400 lbs) releasing my life changing event. The whole stack of rollers fell about 3ft (400lbs) pinning my left foot to the metal scaffolding. There were 5 or so men, who heard the stack of rollers fall it took all of them to get my leg, out from underneath. It wasn't until several weeks later (after an MRI was done) I was finally diagnosed with a severe crush injury and prognosis was questionable depending on treatment plan. My first surgery was scheduled in October of 2005 (already on 3rd doctor) and all this time I was non-bearing weight (crutches ONLY with a removable cam cast). Thank goodness for workman's compensation (WC) they were so on top of my treatment plan (um, for those who don't know me - this is a sarcastic comment). Finally, in December I was able to take my first painful steps.

9 months of no walking or physical therapy I think sealed the fate of a bleak prognosis. You really can't fix a crush injury, to begin with. My bones didn't break, they gave in (stayed crushed, they didn't bounce back into place) to the force (of 400lbs) and my whole body has to bear weight (that kept increasing by the day) on a very weak foundation that couldn't be rebuilt. There was supposed to be a second and possibly a third surgery to fuse as many bones together in my ankle and foot to create a stronger foundation, but WC kept switching from one doctor to the next, to the next in a 3 year span there were over 10 specialists involved. There was only 1 doctor that thought I was completely faking the injury. Praise the Lord, nobody considered that quacks report, there was too much medical evidence to prove differently.

There was a court case, but no money could replace what was lost that fateful night. The so called case sucked the life out of me, a once active mother of 3 boys was forced to sit on the side line of life to keep watch. I don't live life - I am forced to watch it. I can't make my own medical decision to "make" my life better - WC has to and that money I settled on wouldn't cover the anesthesiologist if I choose to pay for my own treatment, but the reality is; it is too late - these options were offered earlier on - you have to wait for approval and if the next doctor didn't mention the same treatment plan, I had to go along with the new doctor and forget about the doctor that really wanted to help me.

So, here I sit, gaining weight by the minute (probably seconds) and watch the world go by and not a thing I can do about it. My fate was sealed that day, I went to work March 2, 2005. I am on so much medication for every malady one could have. I have aged nearly 40 years in 6 long years. Common things like showering and sleeping are tough and taking on those tasks are difficult. To describe how painful it is to shower (does NO justice) but, a woman can probably compare it to a bikini waxing lasting 15 minutes (just the hair pulling out part, depending on the day, it could make my eyes water). I don't look forward to any day - I wish I could stay asleep for more than 2.5 - 3 hours at a time. I tell people all the time just put an IV in; trank me enough for 6 months - put me in a box and on a shelf - I dream of hibernation.

Up next, Daybility part II. What is in my day? What do I do ALL day long? Has anything changed? but more importantly I will be talking to my readers; here in NJ and how they can help make changes to current WC laws. Right now the law protects the insurance companies, not the patients. You never know if or when a life changing injury will happen, while you are working; are you and your family prepared? Until next time...

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