Monday, February 11, 2013

Feeling vindicated

I had to laugh at myself today.  Today was the first day I had to work with the splint the doctor gave me after my treadmill incident on Saturday.  I wore it yesterday but it was easier not having to work.  Check me out.

Insert the middle finger jokes here ;-)  Some of you already have after seeing this pic posted on Facebook or seeing me today.  It gave me a good laugh because after everything I've been going through lately with all the medical stuff, this just seemed so ridiculous!  I had so many people asking me what happened that I finally would say, "I had a fight with the treadmill and it won."  Truly, I'm thanking nothing was broken or sprained.  I have decided that I'm going to wait until I'm completely healed before signing up with the personal trainer.  I know that he or she is going to have a lot to work around with my medical issues that I don't need to add one more.

On to my vindication.  As I posted before, I received the medical report on my work injuries back from the doctor on Friday.  While I haven't finished reading all parts of the report yet, I did speak with my attorney today about where I stand.  It has been a long haul for me with all of this.  These injuries and dealing with the worker's comp system go back a couple of years.  I have dealt with people who have accused me making my injuries appear bigger than they think they are, questioning why I'm still getting medical care and even being harassed.  I won't go into too many details until everything is settled, but trust me when I say that there has been an immense amount of stress on my shoulders in dealing with all of this.  I have worked for my district for 24 years and I was simply doing my job, so to have to deal with the negativity from a couple of key players has been pretty difficult.  My attorney went over the report with me and told me the final percentage of my disability since I am now being declared "permanent and stationary", meaning my condition will not improve from where I'm at right now.  Because we went with an arbitrator, that decision on my status is the final one.

So now we're looking at settling the case, which involves a stipulation of future medical care.  I was clear with the attorney that the biggest issue for me is that I will be receiving future medical care, coverage of all expenses incurred for my various medical appointments/procedures and having the attorney's fees covered.  She explained to me everything that this would cover and was clear to tell me that the doctor's finding completely vindicates me of any questions around the severity of the injuries.  Having her put it that way to me was such a heavy weight off of my shoulders.  It's not as if I have to explain anything to anybody, but my integrity has been questioned during this process and I sort of feel like flinging the report in the face of those that acted that way towards me.  Maybe this is where the middle finger joke should be inserted!  In addition to the medical coverage is also a monetary award that is based on the level of permanent disability.  The attorney's fees will come out of this settlement amount.  As I've said before, I was never after money - I just wanted the medical care.  I have decided that I will not be discussing the dollar amount with my mother.  While it isn't a huge amount of money, it may be in her eyes and, as much as I love her, she has a problem with handling money.  She's the one that you will always find at the Indian casinos on the weekends and spends all night playing blackjack whenever we go to visit my brother in Vegas. Once she finds out that there is a settlement, I know she'll be asking me about it. 

The attorney did express that while this is the ending of one part of the process, it does not mean it's over because I've got the right to the medical care.  If they find that my condition is getting worse, the doctor will reevaluate to determine if the level of disability should be changed.  The attorney will still be involved.  I'm so grateful for the help from them that because I couldn't even imagine doing this on my own without their expertise.  Now I have to continue walking forward and dealing with the emotions that all of the stress of this has brought up for me.  Hopefully I can breathe a little easier knowing that the truth has come out.  I can definitely use a little less stress in my life.


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