Hi - I have been reading all posts on this board for sometime and I can't seem to find anyone writing about "not working" because of RSD and its diabling ways. I started out wrkng full time + for a solo lawyer and my primary job was transcribing; this inturn led to bilateral carpul & cubital tunnel syndromes, and in 5/02 I was placed on Work Comp Temp Disability. All (4) individual injuries needed "release" surgery. I had all 4 nerve release, plus 2 nerve transpostions (@ elbows - re: cubital) within 1 year. I was diagnosed w/rsd after my 3rd surgery (which at that time I had NEVER heard of "rsd" or "crpsII" or anything like it before in my life, its not one of those "warnings" they pitch right before you go under) and was told that either I would definately have "perm damage" if I don't "release" the last trapped nerve (Left carpul @ wrist) - but I was afraid of the pain that wasn't going away in my Right hand & arm and I am LEFT handed and my left hand was not yet in "rsd pain". The dr.s said there was a slight chance (up to 50%) that rsd would be prevelant; but it was a 100% that if no surgery - pain and perm damage. Stupid me, had the surgery & guess what? Yup - wouldn't you know now fully diagnosed with RSD in ARMS, FACE, BTWN SHOULDER BLADES & TOPS OF MY FEET. I've had 11 bloks (only 48hr max of some relief) - i ve been told by my drs that the only things left to do "MIGHT GIVE SOME RELIEF", but that I will live with this PAIN for LIFE, AND I NEED TO LEARN TO "COPE"! The remaing procedures offered too me now are: IV LIDOCAINE INFUSION; MORPHINE PUMP; EPIDURALS (at neck); and SPINAL CORD STIMULATOR. How does one choose? I am trying to find out how RSD / CRPSII suffers having got their initial injury(ies) then RSD from a work related injury fan out at the end. Social Security Disabiliity - has found me to be 100% disabled and I am receiving "SSDI" in addition to TTD (temp total disab) - so will the Comp Board and "Comp Disability Rators" find me 100% too?
Can anyone tell me how their work comp case eventually came to an end or settlement offer ($value) if any etc..... any info would be appreciated.
So tired of the terrible pain RSD causes me. So sorry for all who suffer. Sorry for such a long "into" or "vent"ing (as I would call it).
hi lisa ive been curious about the same thing workmens comp. ive been out of work since june and worked for my employer 18 years. they filled out an accident report aug.18 but my doctor sas how do you know its work related?"you woke up after a double shift and couldnt bend your knee" well what the so i havent even called the workmens comp people how do they determine if its work related or can they ?as of right now ive been paying all the bills.if it is work related will they back pay me and the bills? then probably fire me i couldnt perform my job right now anyway. hope to hear from you soon in southcarolina.
Hi Lisa & welcome to the site. You'll fiond alot of helpful hints, advice, support & a good place to vent as well.
I too, was a work comp case from an injury in 8/99. Social security found me disabled in 9/00. According to ss, you are either disabled or not. Work comp is different. They send you to IME Dr's, who will say it's all in your head, & try to rate you. Their rating is different than social security. To answer your question regarding will the work comp people find you disabled at a 100% is a whole new animal. My attorney told me parts are parts. They rate each part seperate. I was rated at 64% permant partial disability (PPD) in the upper left extremity, 17% PPD in the neck, 7% physcological PPD, = 87% PPD. My RSD is in the shoulder & neck. If you've had surgery in a part, you will get a lower rating. I had neck surgery. I took the medical wash, because I heard 2 many horror stories of them not paying your bills after you close your case, where you have to hire another attorney to get them to pay for it, plus your subject to more IME's, & they could rate you lower. A medical wash adds another 15% to your rating, so mine came out to 103%, WHERE 100% IS DEAD!
To make a long story short, I closed my case in 2/04, because I was tired of playing a wicked game of chess, and got a nice settlement. I paid off my condo, credit cards, car & still had money in the bank, which I hope to invest. I turned in my lump sum award to social security, & they increased my SSDI from 610 a month to 1387 a month. Yes I have to pay for my meds still, but Medicare pays for alot of my doctor bills. I pay $11-20 a visit. My prescriptions are around $300 amonth, but some base it on income, not assets, & you can get some meds for free.
Sorry to hear about the RSD and all the surgeries and nerve blocks. Try seeing if there is a support group where you live. Medical Research has come along way, & they're still making progress for us RSD sufferer's.
I recently was diagnosed with bone cancer in my neck where they did the surgery. But I was talking to my voc rehab lady today, & she deals with a lot of wc cases, & she has had clients who had cancer after their injury, and they got less money because they can claim the cancer was always there. I just hope you have a good attorney, and your doctor's document everything. RSD cases can run anywhere from 50K to 900K, I am told. Just closing my case was such a big relief, like a huge weight dropped of my back, that I was less stressed out. Hope this helps. Aloha Skooze
I am also dealing with the w/c nightmare. I had bilateral carpel tunnel releases done Aug 03. All started with headaches, neck & shoulder pain, lower back pain and numbness in both arms and hands. Used keyboard 8 hrs a day, worked from a broken exceutive chair with no back, keyboard was on credenza that was about 3 inches too high, paperwork that I used to enter my work was about 2-3 feet away from my keyboard and placed to the right of me. This caused me to have to turn and bend my head about 10,000 times a day. And no I did not realize the damage it was doing to my body. I had ask for a computer workstation and also a better chair, but was ignored. Did good to get a new pencil when needed. TRUTH. One girl in office controlled everything like that and we didn't get along so she made my life miserable. Supervisor also ignored all of it. Anyway w/c dr. did surgery without even checking to see if any problems with my neck, even after my initial complaint was neck and back pain. After 1st surgery I told him my pain was unbearable, he just keep saying it takes time. So I did next hand in two wks. Anyway was released back to work in 10 days. When I went back it was very ackward, you could tell they wanted me out because I had filed a claim. Everyone silent when I would walk by and so forth. After about a week my headaches, lower back and the pain in my hands were just unbearable. My neuro told me to stop doing that kind of work. Job said had nothing else for me. To make this shorter, MRI's showed two large herniations compressing cord in neck, and three in lower back. Nerve damage in both arms, hands and siatic nerver left leg. RSD in both hands, bottom of left foot, all toes and both ankles. Just received my second epidural. Was on methadone, made me to zombie, switched to morphine 30mg 3x day, 1200 mg neurotin day, elevil at bedtime. Last epidural has helped alot or maybe it is the morphine. but I have gone from a 9 to about a 3. Anyway after w/c seen MRI's they have now denided any further treatments with anything. Never did accept neck or back.. Just changed attorneys. Had IME from w/c dr and he did put me permantly and totally disabled. been denied first time from SSI. now next hearing scheduled for Nov. It has been pure hell, have done most all my drs. on personal insurance. No choice had to have some relief. let me know more about your case. maybe we can help each other.
I had been working in data entry before my rsd started. Typing, typing and more typing. But after a badly done blood test that damaged my nerves in my right arm, the rsd developed and I haven't been able to write, let alone work, since.
Some days I can type, I've tried to keep my fingers moving, but I can type at 40wpm with just my left hand now. It's taken 4 years, but I've got there!
I'm on disability pension here in Australia. They review me again in two years, a five year gap in all between reviews, and that will probably go through without a problem as I'm far worse now than I was three years ago! I only had to fill out some papers and have one 20minute IME for that, where there wasn't any physical exam done as she didn't want to hurt me, she just asked me about my pain, disability etc. That was the easy bit!
I had a medical negligence case, not workers comp. It went on for three years and was so stressful. My lawyer said at the start that we had a case, but it was harder than we expected. IME's were hard to get, because no dr's wanted to speak against the main pathology collection company in the country as they all work with them. And my lawyer was following the lead that the nurse had done the procedure wrong, but it turned out to be just "one of those things", like your rare complication.
Later we found out that if she'd have acted on their procedure for overintense pain during a blood test, I could have been treated and the nerves could have healed. But she dismissed me as overreacting and told me I'd be fine. But it was too late in our case to get new reports, so we settled. It was agreed at the start that the lawyer would get $10,000, and the barrister would get $5,000. This was presuming I'd win over $200,000 (Australian dollars, probably about $150,000 US), and nothing if I lost. I got caught on this, because we ended up settling for 20,000, which was better than nothing (at first they offered 10K). But they took their 15K, then medicare took 2,500 for their expenses, so I only saw less than $2,500!! It was such a waste of time. I could go to a magazine or a current affair show and get more money than that!!
But like with Skooze, I just wanted it over by then, so I didn't care about the money. I just wanted the stress gone so I could concentrate on my RSD and treatment, not the legal issues.
Anyway, that's what happened to me. I dont' think I could work again. Even with the pain gone, the disability is too far gone with my muscles etc, and the side effects of tablets make things hard. But I am doing a Human Resources University course from home in my own time. Even if I never get to work again, at least I've kept my brain going. Three distinctions and two credits so far!!
My name is Gabby and I have had RSD in my left arm for two years now. I haven't worked since the day of my accident. I just recently filed for disability, so I really cant tell you much about that yet. From what I hear, you usually get turned down the first few times, but just keep appealing and eventually, you'll get it. You also get a back pay for the time that you couldn't work and weren't receiving benefits. It takes some time, but things should work out for you before long. I know how frustrating it can be, waiting on a workers' comp. check just to pay the bills. They're not always on time, and then you have to deal with late fees or pushing something out another week or so. I'm dealing with all of that now. I hope that things start to fall in to place soon, for all of us. Just hang in there!
Just found out today I have RSD and after reading these boards I'm scared!
I'm on WC now and when I filled out the claim I initially complained about my shoulder but also mentioned I had numbness and tingling in fingers of both hands. It turns out I have a bad rotator disc of the left shoulder (possible tear) and carpel tunnel in both wrists. The company I worked for laid off 45% of us, me included so I'm on WC. (Put in claim in October of 2003, laid off January 2004). After going thur test after test the insurance company finally ok'd the surgeries. I'm right handed so the Dr. decided to do the carpel tunnel surgery on left hand first which was done July 2004. My left hand has been swollen and last 2 fingers have been in constant pain with the icy burn/stinging nettles ever since. Dr. suggested physical therapy and the therapist is the one who said I have RSD.
However, I have also read that RSD can happen with CT surgery and therefore not considered malpractice. That's fine but, now I'm afraid to have any other surgery done and am wondering if I'll lose my WC if I refuse and cannot yet comprehend having to live with this pain the rest of my life.
I'll be happy to pass on any information I gather and believe me I'll be checking around the internet. All I can think of now is that I may never have use of my left hand and how much this really sucks.
The scariest things about RSD are finding out about it, then thinking what your life will be like. I've been there too. At first I was glad for a diagnosis, but then scared by what I read and saw.
But one thing to remember is RSD is different for everyone. My RSD is in my right arm, from fingers to shoulder. It started four years ago. But I've worked hard to keep using my arm, so I've still got good use (most days!) and it doesn't look any different. We don't all get all the symptoms of RSD. And the sooner its diagnosed, the sooner it can be treated and contained. So it doesn't have to be a timeline of stages over your head, there is a lot of hope and some good dr's out there who know a lot about RSD.
There are a couple of members here who've had carpul tunnel surgery, so they'd be better at answering your fears about future surgeries. I do know that RSD can be a complication of CT surgery, its not that they might have done something wrong.
The worst thing you can do for your hand is stop using it. I've kept myself typing and bending my fingers, and in the early stages, even held a flat piece of plastic in the palm of my hand to keep my fingers straight, so that they didn't curl in and stay that way.
There are lots of treatments for the pain, so hopefully your dr can start you on something soon to give you some relief.
And ask us all the questions you like, we're happy to help you. The more informed you are of RSD and treatments etc, the better you can adjust to living with this.
And by the way, the prognosis for treatment of RSD is GREAT when its caught within the first six months. So don't see it as a life long thing, that won't do you any good mentally. It may not be that way for you at all. Keep positive and see a pain doctor as soon as you can. They can help advise you about future surgeries too, from an RSD perspective.
This situation has been a painful slow journey. I have had to fight for over a year in order to get RSD added to claim (was prevented from getting any treatment except medication). My RSD is my right dominate hand and it radiates up my arm to my face. After having RSd added to my claim, I able to recieve treatment after battling a year while my conditions get severely worse. Now, the only roadblocks that I have now are so far with scheduling, i with my doctor, ineffective medicaitons, and late TTD checks. If someone could have told me that I would end up this way, I would have laughed in thier face.
THANKS FOR ALL OF THE REPLIES FROM ALL OF YOU! I'VE LEARNED THINGS I DID NOT KNOW - THIS IS A "GOOD" THING! SO MANY SAD STORIES. I THOUGHT "RSD" WAS SOME REALLY RARE DISEASE OR SOMETHING ONLY I (or a few others) HAD. I WANT TO SAY "IT'S NICE TOO KNOW THERE ARE OTHERS OUT THERE" - BUT THAT WOULDN'T COME OUT RIGHT, BUT I THINK YOU ALL KNOW JUST WHAT I MEAN!!
TO UPDATE YOU ALL RIGHT NOW (just last week) I WENT TO THE "DEFENSE QME" (insurance co choosen - qualified medical examiner) - WHO WILL WRITE A PERMANENT & STATIONARY (P&S) REPORT; on 9/24 I GO TO THE "APPLICANTS QME" (my atty choosen qualified medical examiner) WHO WILL DO THE SAME - WRITE A P&S REPORT (which will be 2 of the 3 p&s reports that will be "rated"); and FINALLY GETTING MY PRIMARY TREATING DR. TO WRITE A "P&S" REPORT ISN'T EASY, AS HE DOES NOT BELIEVE THAT I HAVE ACTUALLY REACHED A PLACE WHERE 6 MONTHS CAN GO BY WITHOUT ANY CHANGES IN MY SYMPTOMS; AND HE ONLY WRITES P&S REPORTS ONCE 6 MONTHS OF NO CHANGE HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED. UNTIL SUCH TIME THAT I AM "P&S" - NOTHING HAPPENS (as far as concluding my case) - LIFE JUST PASSES ME BY - IT DOESN'T EVEN SLOW DOWN ANYMORE.
I HAVE BEEN TOLD THAT RESOLVING MY CASE - WILL MAKE ME "FEEL" SO MUCH BETTER. I THINK I WILL FIND THIS TOO BE TRUE.
MOST OF YOU ALL SEEM TO HAVE A SEMI POSITIVE ATTITUDE ABOUT THE OUTCOME OF YOUR RSD. WHERE DOES THIS COME FROM? NO ONE, NO DOCTOR, NO ATTY, NO MEDICAL ANYTHING HAS LED ME TO BELIEVE THAT ANY OF THE "TREATMENTS" OUT THERE, TOGETHER WITH LOTS OF MEDICATION (something I forgot to mention - i am on 180mg MS contin per day; 1800 mg neurontin; 3 tylenol/codine #4 per day, paxil & klonopin & i've gained 90 lbs since 5/02) IS 100% EFFECTIVE - I'VE BEEN TOLD QUITE THE OPPOSITE - MEANING THAT - ALL OF THE TREATMENT IS TEMPORARY; AND LETS SAY FOR EXAMPLE - MY DR SAYS THAT WITH "IV LIDOCAINE INFUSION" TREATMENT THE PAIN RELIEF IS GREAT UP TO 85%, BUT ONLY LAST A MAXIMUM OF 6 MONTHS; AND A HUMAN BEING (health wise) SHOULD NEVER HAVE MORE THAN "2" OF THIS FORM OF TREATMENT IN A LIFE TIME. SO TO ME - EVERYTHING THEY OFFER ME - IS ONLY A "TEASE" FOR LACK OF A BETTER WORD.
CAN YOU ALL HEAR MY FRUSTRATION OR WHAT? I'M SORRY. HERE I GO VENTING AGAIN! HEY GUYS, BELIEVE ME I COULD GO ON AND ON, IF I WASN'T IN SO MUCH PAIN (right now) FROM JUST TYPING ALL THIS - BUT WHEN I THINK ABOUT WHAT I USED TOO TYPE (72wpm) AND NOW I AM "CHICKEN PECKING" - I GET SO ******!!!! THIS "RSD" WASN'T SUPPOSE TO HAPPEN - IT SHOULDN'T BE!!! I WAS SUPOSE TO GO "BACK TO WORK" 3 TO 6 MONTHS AFTER MY LAST SURGERY (in otherwords be out of work temp for only 1 year) THEN MY LIFE WOULD BE "BACK TO NORMAL"! I WOULD ABOUT DIE, I THINK, IF I COULD COME CLOSE TO "NORMAL" AGAIN!!!! SORRY HEAR I GO AGAIN, VENTING. I CAN'T TYPE ANOTHER WORD (it hurts), SO YOUR ALL LUCKY - I HOPE I AM NOT TO INTRUSIVE - IS ANY ONE IN CALIFORNIA? GOODNIGHT & THANKS FOR LISTENING!!! LISA
Another aspect of WC that I forgot to mention is the IME/QME. I hated going through all those things. I am glad its over. The worst part is when the state doctors start examining you and then send you a bogus report.
Now, I am praying that my upcomming stellate blocks are effective. So, I can begain receiving my OT/PT . Hopefully, after a series of blocks and therapies, I will be able to return back to a normal standard of life and put this damn RSD into remission.
Hi everyone! Wow reading these lasts posts, brings me back down memory lane.
First welcome Samora to this site! We all try to help everyone & ask we'll all try to help, or vent & we'll all try to sympathise & help. If you had carpal tunnel surgery in 7/2004, & have RSD, get the nerve blocks approved ASAP. The first few months are the most critical time to get them, for a good chance for it to go in remission. My w/c ins. denied them for 11 months, & it was too late. Also like Kate says, is to move your hand as you can tolerate it. I have a nerf football that I gently squeeze, especilally when driving, if the pain is too bad. As far as surgery goes, yes more surgeries can spread the RSD. Try the nerve blocks first & be persistent.
And Hi Sandson, I've never met you yet, although I'm fairly new here myself. You're definitly right about the IME. I had 6 before I closed my case. When they found out I had RSD they started spitting out 3 a month. A shrink, an ortho & a neuro. The neuro IME(my 5th & 6thIME) said I had RSD & ordered the nerve blocks, but it was too late. I have RSD in the left upper extrmity & spreadin now, into the left leg, & the stellegate nerve blocks HURT. I screamed litterally. I had a good Dr. do them, but after 2 , all my doctor's agreed no more. It just proved that I had SIP(sympathetic independent pain) VS. SMP(sympathetic maintained pain). Which is good to know. And wc is notorious for giving you late TTD checks. Mine always did at Xmas. I just wrote a letter to the State Ins. Commissioner and filed a complaint against the ins. co. The wc Ins. co. praysthat you either go on welfare, die, or close your case, & they do everything they can to make your life miserable.
Last Lisa, you poor thing. I know how hard is it too not be able to type. After I closed my case, I bought a brand new custom built computer with voice activated software installed. The software's not that expensive really. You just speak into your headset & it types for you. Glad you're making some progress in your case. The QME/IME report will come back crooked, saying it's all in your head, your MRIs aren't that remarkable, etc. Don't even worry about that. I saw a physcologist for 2 years, who really helped me through all this mess. My doctor's wanted me to see a shrink that specialized in chronic pain, but wc denied that. Finally they found a shrink that treats adolescents, to take my case, & I really liked him. When the insurance companies found this out, they started referring more cases to him. Pretty soon, when a new case was offerred his 1st ? was, who is the ins. co? the 2nd ? was, who is the adjuster? After a year of this he quit taking wc cases, cause he wasn't getting paid either! Go figure. But try & see if there is one in your area that specializes in chronic pain, get their resume & have your attorney approve it first. It really helps. About your weight gain, there are other threads on this board that say the neurontin will cause weight gain. I went off of it, because it disagreed with me, so check out the other threads for a different antiseisure med. And the lidocaine injections--iffy too. 2 a lifetime? You're only supposed to have 3 cortizone shots a year, & I've known people who get them every 3 weeks. My physical therapist said those people will end up like most football players. Sure it numbs the pain, temporarily, but it also shortens their career big time--they have big bucks & a permnately destroyed physical condition. And don't worry about going back to work right now. Work on getting the RSD under control, seeing a chronic pain shrink, & hopefully it will put you in a better frame of mind to deal with the wicked game of chess that you're in
I''ve rambled enough. Take care-- Aloha Skooze
I have had Bi-Lateral Carpal Tunnel since 96' had a right release 97' returned 2 mths later but not as severe....Fell May 00' left with RSD/CRPS in both feet...Also have Cervical Spondylasis (bad bad neck). The first 2 were work related...I have been out of work since May 00'...Still do not have SSD...Can you believe it...Very tiring...Linda in AZ
To Skooze, sorry to not reply to original post but I HAVE to ask Skooze how on earth did you get SSDI increase when you turned in your lump sum??? I've been told that if/when hubbys gets lump sum it will be taken away (his little $172 a moth) he would have gotten more but they offset it because of permanent total disability from w/c...how did that happen??? please answer and does where your living make a diff? I thought the SS was standardised in the US????
Hi Boaz I'll try to answer your questions in order the way they happened to me. I never got a permanant disability award from work comp. I got a lump sum award to close out my case. Does this make sense? I didn't keep my medical open with them, because I was TIRED of them denying me treatment. I got a FAT check & when I reported it, my one attorney told me not too, but I like to sleep at night. My disability was through social security not through work comp. I said if the Federal government can see me as permanetly disabled why can't you guys. I was only getting about $600 a month in SSDI, & when I reported it,(I'm a single parent raising 2 kids), they upped my payments up to $1387 a month.( it was before offset by wc disabilty payments) I know it's different if you are married, and different if you live in Alaska or Hawaii (I think Florida should be there too!)
With social security you either ARE disabled Or you ARE NOT disabled, and it depends on if you're married. Right now, I'm working with an Estate attorney to put some of my money away in Trust accounts, so Medicare doesn't get it all. I paid off my house, I bought a new car & now I have to put X amount in my kids name, then I can go on Medicaid. Last month my meds & dr.s alone were $2K, & if I have cancer, I don't want to lose everything I got. I'm only allowed to have $3K in countable assets, and a home and cars don't count. In about 4 months I'll be eligible. Attorney's are a necessary evil. Hope that helps. Aloha Skooze
I guess you can say I am new here. Wow, what a bummer way to get here too.
Yes, Diana, you need to get you a hire powerful attorney, like yesterday. I've been on w/c temporary disability for more than 2 years now. I was terminated after the w/c doc said I could no longer perform my job that I was hired for. Guess what??? There's a relatively new law that says employers are allowed to do that!!! The adjusters attempt almost once a week or so to cut me off everything. Financially, medically, any way they can. As soon as I think I can go back to work, things go bad again. I refuse to get my hopes up anymore.
I think I had this RSD thing for about 9 months now and no one was willing to confess to it, just pump me full of drugs. I believe it came in after the 3rd surgery for carpal tunnel and ligment repairs. I'm not a fan of stellate blocks because THEY HURT and they DON"T work. I now have an excellent doctor who has done what they call a Britylium block in my arm and I do get good relief from that. This doctor told me he will do them so long as they work, no matter what the adjusters say. It took a court order to get it, but, thank god for it.
I am learning alot as time goes by, things I wish I had known 2 years ago. I have found that a Paraffin wax machine is great for pain relief. The use of a bubble spa in the tub really helps too, with Lavender Therapy soak. Both can be bought at the local Wal-Mart for under 40.00 each. Yup, workers' comp does have to reiumburse you for them when the dr writes the order. I've seen several posts now where people talk about the itching and so forth which is hard to deal with when you already have a sleep disorder. Consider going out and buying sheets with a higher thread count, the higher the better.
When you talk to an attorney, make sure you leave nothing out. Good luck and take care. Get mad if you have to and just say sorry to the attorney, but let him know your in dire need of his help!!! And, remember that stress is the worse devil in this RSD crap!