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Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) (CRPS) Message Board
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Old 07-12-2012, 12:13 PM   #1
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So Far So Good With Workers Comp

Well, I've really been sweating getting worker's comp to approve paying my time off, getting a diagnosis, and getting treatment.

After over 3 weeks of waiting for my IME report, I am happy to say that the worker's comp doc agreed that my doctors have been correct and there is a probable diagnosis of RSD and the treatments they have requested are reasonable and he recommended that I receive them. I have to say that I am flabbergasted at this and my attorney said that this is VERY rare that this IME doc would say this especially on the very first IME. I know my doctors have been doing an extremely good job with documentation, so I have to hand it to them. He did say that I can go back to work with a sit/stand option, but I really don't think they will find a position for me with that option since I am a cashier in a grocery store and I work 40 hours a week, but you never know. Right now I can't even stand to have shorts on my leg, but I wouldn't mind working some if I find I can.

While I am glad and it is a huge relief to be put through this first hoop, I know now that 3 doctors and 2 PT's are pretty sure of my diagnosis. I am not so glad about that. The next step is getting in to the pain management clinic for the PM doc for an official diagnosis and I assume nerve blocks.

I think my biggest advice to anyone going through this with worker's comp is to make sure your doctors are doing a very good job (and thorough) with their documentation and that EVERYTHING is being sent to WC. When my docs have had to send more info in they always say something to the effect that "I am repeating this again" or "this is the second (or third or fourth) time I have written this same note". I think it has made all the difference in the world.

 
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:28 AM   #2
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Re: So Far So Good With Workers Comp

Hi everyone. I just knew all of this was a little too good to be true. I really don't know how everything works with WC. They apparently have now changed my adjuster and I didn't know it so I've been patiently awaiting a check from last week--but nothing. Now my attorney calls and says they need an updated work slip. Hah!! It does make sense but last time they just took what their doc said and called me back to work with his restrictions. I can't do anything about it right now because my doctor is out of the office until next week.

In the meantime, what started in and around my knee is now from the top of my thigh to the bottom of my ankle and yesterday I started getting the aching and sensitivity in my foot as well. This is so frustrating. My last PT session was yesterday until my doc approves the plan of treatment and then WC also approves.

 
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Wiired (07-20-2012)
Old 07-20-2012, 03:30 PM   #3
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Re: So Far So Good With Workers Comp

Hello,

Welcome to Workman's Comp, aka "The Organization from Hell that will dedicate their lives to screwing up yours". I have been playing their game for over a year so I know how you feel.

When I had my IME, he also agreed with the diagnosis & treatment, then put that I could return to work anyways. That's what they get paid for. Luckily for me, I had my PM doctor write my off work slips for a month at a time. I learned the hard way, as you did, that if you miss one day with those slips, they will cut you off until you get it to them. My old Doc used to do it a week at a time only, so I ran into this problem multiple times. Luckily(?) for me now, I just got approved for Social Security Disability so I dont have to send anymore of those stupid notes Sorry that you have to go through this, I feel for you - really. Try talking to your Doc about a monthly script, it makes life much easier.

Its funny about the PT issue - I got called once by my adjuster who proceeded to chew me out for missing a PT session. Problem was that my initial PT sessions had been used up and the adjuster had not authorized more yet so therefore I didn't have any appointments scheduled - a fact that the PT manager was happy enough to slap back in the adjuster's face.

My advice to you:

Document EVERYTHING. I refuse to even speak with my adjuster on the phone, Email only so I have record of every conversation.

As stated, ask your doc for monthly scripts for off work status - its not like you are going to all of a sudden wake up tomorrow with no RSD...

Do everything they tell you to (as long as your Attorney OK's it), they will look for ANY reason to stop paying by saying you are refusing to cooperate. I have received about 5 different Dispute Notices due to little things like changing a Dr. Appointment without notifying them, missing a PT day due to getting the Flu, etc.

If you have not yet spoken to an Attorney, DO IT NOW! Find one in your area who knows what RSD is - you will need him eventually. You may be missing out on other money that they will not voluntarily pay you. (another $270 per month for me)

Keep your chin up - take life day by day so you dont go insane. I know your pain, and sometimes it can overwhelm you. Don't let it - Vent Here with those of us who understand.

Research RSD/CRPS until you get tired of doing it, then do it some more. Knowledge is power.

Get ready to file for Social Security Disability - talk to your lawyer about the timing with that. Even though RSD is not a listed ailment for SSD, you CAN still get it. Same goes for age - I am only 39 years old.

Good luck, I wish you the best!

 
Old 07-20-2012, 08:00 PM   #4
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Re: So Far So Good With Workers Comp

I do have a lawyer. They have not had to file for a hearing or anything. It's just a monitoring situation and they do a great job. I am not "officially" diagnosed.

The adjuster called my doc today and told them to set up the bone scan so I go Monday morning. It scares me because if it does not show positive proof that I have RSD then I am almost sure they are going to deny everything from here. I know the bone scan is not definitive proof of RSD and is only one tool in the bag of diagnostics.

I do wonder about disability down the road. I am only having problems in my left leg (although it has spread from just the knee area to all the way from the top of my thigh to the top of my foot now). I can't see doing a job where I have to stand all day. That is what I do now. I do have a degree in medical assisting and I am sure that it will be said that I can do coding or billing or reception work. The problem with that is no one will hire you in that profession when you take any kind of medications that could affect your judgement or anything like that. I hit that road about a year ago when I got hired as a medical assistant but the day before I was to start they told me I couldn't because I was taking some medications they did not think were appropriate in that setting (for fibromyalgia).

I know all I can do is wait and see. It's scary because I am single and have no family that can help me financially right now. I've had one of the worst pain days ever today. The closest thing I can describe this to is that my leg feels like it is in labor plus the sensitivity. I just can't imagine--I am in the early stages of this.

 
Old 07-20-2012, 08:04 PM   #5
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Re: So Far So Good With Workers Comp

By the way, Wiired, I know my info says I am in Georgia but I am in MI also. I tried to change it and couldn't.

 
Old 07-21-2012, 10:24 AM   #6
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Re: So Far So Good With Workers Comp

The lawyer will just need to make sure that Comp is paying you correctly, as long as they are there is nothing for the lawyer to do right now. It is just nice to have one from the start who can help keep track of everything.

The bone scan will most likely be inconclusive as you are in the early stages. My bone scan was just done recently, about 5 months after my diagnosis and it does show osteoporosis and some other stuff. Problem is that develops over time and is usually not instantaneous. Personally, I think they should do the scan, then another in 6 months to compare in order to be fair. Ask your Doc about this.

I do laugh at the whole finding another job issue for multiple reasons: #1 - You are on drugs that will instantly flag you on any drug test. #2 - Those drugs can make it illegal for you to drive on, depending on your local laws (I have friends who are cops here, they tell me that i could get a DUI for driving on Narcotics), and #3 - Jobs are hard to find as it is even if you are NOT disabled, especially here in Michigan.

Talk to your disability attorney s to the timing on when to file for SSD. You can file early if you are able to prove your injury will keep you out of work for at least 1 year. If you cant do that yet, just wait for the max 1 year to expire then apply. It gets backdated 7 months anyways: your first 5 months of disability dont count, its like a waiting period and you done collect for that. The rest you will get in 1 lump sum payment for the backpay if approved.

As always, hang in there and keep coming here to keep your sanity with those who know what you are going through.
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I am not a Doctor - Please DO NOT construe anything above as medical advice. Everything I post is from my own personal research and/or experiences.

 
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