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Old 02-10-2011, 06:41 PM   #1
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1st Visit to Physical Therapy after Lumbar Fusion

Hi All:

Went to PT for 1st time today and was going through everything with my Therapist which was the director of the facility. We were going through my work history where I explained that I started as a commerical plumber in Atlanta, then promoted to field superintendent. In the 80's I left the plbg field and went to work as a Superintendent for a commerical General Contractor building hospitals, retail i.e. Bloomingdales, Rich's, etc. I took a period off for personal reasons and went to work for Lowe's where I injured my back (PLIF, Lumbar Fusion with hardware) I asked him how long would it be before I could go back to work as there was a project coming up in the near future that I was interested in being the Supt. on. He stated to me that the main thing PT was attempting was to get me where I could function on a daily basis without so much pain (which I am having alot of, 15mg Roxicodone 4xday) He stated that I have quite a bit of nerve damage and that it would be very doubtful that I will be able to return to work as a Supt. and also doubtful that I would be able to return to Lowes, and no way to return o the plbg industry. What am I to do as this is all I have ever done. I am 54 yrs old and have been doing this work since I was 18. If I can't do this I can't work. What am I to do for income? These piddly WC checks won't pay the bills. HELP WITH SOME ANSWERS/ADVICE. Am I done with any strenious work?

Russ

 
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Old 02-10-2011, 07:12 PM   #2
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Re: 1st Visit to Physical Therapy after Lumbar Fusion

Just to be safe you may want to start the process of applying for SSDI (Social Security Disability Income). You can find out more at www.ssa.gov It's not an easy process but better to start now in case it takes a while for approval. Your age plays in your favor in regard to SSDI.

Is WC providing you some income? Do you have a spouse/partner who is working?
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Rt&Lt thumb arthroplasty 2012 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS 2011
Fusions: L5-S1 (87), L4-S1 (93), C5-C7 ('06), L3-S1 ('10)
C5-C7 foraminotomy 08

 
Old 02-10-2011, 09:20 PM   #3
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Re: 1st Visit to Physical Therapy after Lumbar Fusion

Russ,

There is a separate forum called Disabilities where W/C and SSDI are discussed a lot. You might want to post on there also to get more feedback.

It's bad enough we have to deal with the medical problems, pain, and surgeries, but then we also have to deal with the financial issues. It's like being kicked while we're already down.

I sincerely hope you can get some pain relief soon, and that you'll be one of the lucky ones who can get SSDI quickly if you aren't able to return to work.

I've been out of work for 3 years now, and it's unlikely I'll ever be able to return to work. Even though I deal with physical limitations and pain daily, life isn't bad, it's just different. It's a process that you go through to get to the point where you settle into a new reality, and you'll be tested in every way you can imagine along the way. The more positive you stay, the better your life will be as you travel this journey.

 
Old 02-11-2011, 06:48 AM   #4
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Re: 1st Visit to Physical Therapy after Lumbar Fusion

I would like to respond to your post in a slightly different way. Not being familiar with your case, I cannot say whether or not the PT was correct in what he told you. Is he indicating that there is no way you will recover from your surgery, or recover sufficiently that you could work again?

Again, not knowing your specifics, I can only speak in generalities, but it is not unheard of that a patient is able to recover beyond the point that he was originally told he could not get beyond.

I have no idea what being a superintendent entails. Is it more of a supervisory position rather than one where you'd be doing heaving lifting or very physical work?

I just wouldn't let one physical therapist's opinion define who you are and what you can do in the future, after you are healed. He may turn out to be right, but I doubt you know that for sure at this point.

 
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