It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Open to All Other Health Topics Message Board

  • Am I disabled? I'm so confused!

  • Post New Thread   Closed Thread
    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Old 02-05-2006, 07:55 AM   #1
    brownowl
    Senior Member
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Feb 2005
    Posts: 235
    brownowl HB User
    Am I disabled? I'm so confused!

    In July, I had an accident and dislocated and broke my elbow and crushed my hand. 5 days after surgery they sent me to physical therapy and wound care so that the fingers would not stiffen up and never move again while the hole in the arm and hand healed. In September, I was getting tired of going to Physical Therapy because I saw no improvement, so I asked the Physical Therapist am I getting better. He got all upset and said that no it's not getting any better and you must accept your disability. When did it go from it's hurt to your disabled? First, I was stunned. Then, I was mad, why were they yanking my chain when they knew it was not going to be better. When I went back to the doctor, he said, use it as much as possible and we will evaluate it in January. In January, he told me that I was using it too much, it cannot take it. I told him that he said I was supposed to use it as much as possible -- he said he was wrong. I can slowly move the fingers; however, I cannot feel them. So, holding things and typing is extremely difficult. Since September, I've been asking the question, am I disabled? What determines if you are? Some say I should know; others say that the doctor has to say it. Since day 1 after the accident the car insurance company has attached this Case Worker to me -- I ask her what her job is, she really doesn't tell me and when the doctor asked, she really wouldn't tell him where she was from, so I told him -- she is from my car insurance company. It was funny because he didn't miss a beat and said the accident wasn't her fault -- why are you here, but she never answered -- has anyone had a case worker and what is she supposed to do. She hears what they tell me and I asked her -- do you think I'm disabled -- she is silent -- but then she says that you may have to accept this. Am I disabled? What determines if I am disabled? Are there tests? I've had an EMG (it shows Mild to Moderate Nerve Damage) and since I have no knuckes (because the hand was crushed) extensive scar tissue has grown in my hand and pad of my hand so bending them is difficult and numbness is massive. The right hand has 72 lbs strength -- the left had 27 lbs and is now down to 9 lbs. It is getting weaker by the day. How do I find out, who do I ask? If I am, what do I do now. I'm so confused....

     
    Sponsors Lightbulb
       
    Old 02-06-2006, 06:23 PM   #2
    HeyKD
    Member
    (female)
     
    HeyKD's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Oct 2005
    Posts: 78
    HeyKD HB User
    Re: Am I disabled? I'm so confused!

    This appalls me. Your doctor should have explained this before you went to physical therapy. To at least give you the choice of whether or not you should go. And now your doctor can't decide if you should use it more or less? Much less that he even said it in the first place? I would go to another doctor. I don't know what health field, but you need someone who deals with this all the time.

    And get rid of the car insurance case worker. She's only there to make sure you don't sue your insurance for disability. She's defineatly there for the company she represents.
    __________________
    Karen
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

     
    Old 02-06-2006, 08:13 PM   #3
    kehorner
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    kehorner's Avatar
     
    Join Date: May 2004
    Location: Michigan
    Posts: 1,718
    kehorner HB Userkehorner HB Userkehorner HB Userkehorner HB Userkehorner HB Userkehorner HB User
    Re: Am I disabled? I'm so confused!

    The problem with asking if you are disabled is that there is no standard definition or agency. The definition of disabled depends on who's asking and why.

    So for your own personal purposes of mental recovery... Are you disabled? That is entirely up to you. You can call it a disability and then accept that disability, as your physical therapist said. Or you can just call it the way things are, and accept the way things are without labelling it a disability.

    For other purposes, such as insurance or work... If you went to court you would probably sue whoever it was that you determined was at fault for the accident because the accident left you "permanently disabled" or whatever language the lawyers want to use. If you are unable to work because of the injury, then you would file for social security disability and then be classified as disabled under their standards. Or, if you do work, but need special accomodations because of the injury, then that would fall under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    From the way that you describe your injury and nerve damage, it doesn't sound like your hand will ever fully recover, and will probably not even mostly recover. So for the purposes of benefits relating to the injury, you would probably be classified by whatever agency providing the benefits as disabled. But that doesn't mean that you have to think of yourself as disabled. You do have to accept the fact that your hand is never going to be the same again, but you don't have to call yourself disabled if you don't want to.

    I also agree that you might want to get a second opinion, especially if your doctor doesn't really seem to know what else to do for you. It might be that there isn't anything that can be done, but it never hurts to have a fresh pair of eyes look at it, especially if your doctor doesn't seem confident in your treatment plan.

    If you find that you are having trouble dealing with things, you could also ask for a referral to a psychologist for a few visits. There are probably some that specialize in this sort of thing. They might be able to help you sort out your thoughts and feelings, if you are having trouble with that. There's absolutely no shame in wanting to talk to somebody about it.

    Let us know how things go.

     
    Old 02-08-2006, 03:52 PM   #4
    brownowl
    Senior Member
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Feb 2005
    Posts: 235
    brownowl HB User
    Re: Am I disabled? I'm so confused!

    Thank you for the replies. I'm trying very hard to do what I need to everyday like the hand is not hurt, but it is getting so hard to do. I have no one to sue -- the lady that hit me, had no insurance. I don't see it as disabled, incredibly hurt -- yes, disabled no. I don't think I've changed much since it happened, but others seem to think so. I prefer to stay away from crowds because I've found that people either stare or make crude remarks. Then on two occasions, two women actually came up and started touching the scars on my hand (very weird). I'm afraid what other people think and are labeling it -- some have referred to it as my "life altering event" or my "crippling accident". I'm afraid that my current employer -or- any future employers will look at the hand first and what it cannot do; rather than what I can do. Even though I don't see myself as disabled, it worries me that others will and do. Am I a fool and don't realize that it is and I should stop fighting those that believe it is when I do not? I have two orthopedic surgeons -- one for the elbow and shoulder and one for the hand. On Monday, I saw the one for the elbow and he asked if I was right-handed or left -- I said right -- he said good -- people actually survive with left arm injuries that you have, you always have the right arm/hand to get by. I thought, gee thanks. I realize the accident was bad, but that is over, I need to get going and I am so confused. Tomorrow, I see the hand doctor. I don't know what to ask him -- do I ask him if he thinks I'm disabled? What do you think? Thank you.

     
    Old 02-08-2006, 04:49 PM   #5
    Sunlover
    Senior Veteran
     
    Sunlover's Avatar
     
    Join Date: May 2004
    Location: New Jersey
    Posts: 1,064
    Sunlover HB User
    Re: Am I disabled? I'm so confused!

    I'd say you are disabled if you cannot lead a normal life now - if you had some kind of job where you had to use your arms/hands and you cannot work now, that would be considered dibabled and you can collect disability, however if you did this to your left arm, and you are right handed and you are an accountant or something, then no, you aren't disabled technically. Or if you couldn't drive anymore - things like that. That's what I was always lead to believe, I may be wrong.

     
    Old 02-09-2006, 11:39 AM   #6
    electricwind
    Newbie
     
    electricwind's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Nov 2004
    Posts: 1
    electricwind HB User
    Re: Am I disabled? I'm so confused!

    Whoa...terrible experience! Mindset is SO important when it comes to rehabilitation. Besides, how many thousands of people who were told they would never walk, did so just by sheer determination!

    I'd ditch this guy and take up yoga (hot yoga, like Bikram would be ideal for that kind of injury). Also, I've used E-3 Pain Relief Lotion from Subtle Energy Solutions that they say acts like "needleless acupuncture," so that might be worth a try.

    But, most of all, stay positive and keep control of your own body--don't let useless naysayers get you down!

     
    Old 02-10-2006, 02:54 PM   #7
    brownowl
    Senior Member
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Feb 2005
    Posts: 235
    brownowl HB User
    Re: Am I disabled? I'm so confused!

    I just got back from the Orthopedic Surgeon and now he says -- stop the splint, stop the Physical Therapy, stop the cortisone shots, and I don't need to come back and see him anymore. It's done, over, it is as good as it is going to get and never get any better; though it may possibly get worse over time and how the scar tissue keeps increasing until nothing is left. To say the least those words hit me like a ton of bricks!! It is tearing me apart. How can this be? This was actually one of the appointments the Insurance Caseworker chick made it to. (oh, joy!) I am a computer programmer, have been for 20 years, and now I can hardly use my left hand at all, the right one is doing all the work, most of the time. So, I was asking him alot of questions and I was asking what can I do now. He in turns says that if I find it too difficult to type, think about changing careers. That is fine for him to say, but I answered him back, this is my life, that is what I do. This careless attitude just rips me to my very soul. Does anyone know what a Permanent Partial Disability is?? He said that in addition to the Cubital and Carpal tunnel, I have Compartmental Syndrome from the cuts they made on the back of my hand because they had to wait so long for surgery, because the original hospital they took me to wanted to amputate it on the spot. I asked the ambulance people to take me to the hospital I ended up at, but because it took them so long to get me out of the vehicle, the fire people I had definitely need training, they had no idea what to do and actually after the vehicle got pushed up a little, I had to crawl out myself using my good arm and hand. To say that I'm upset is an understatement, I'm crushed. I don't understand a comment the Insurance Caseworker said -- she said that she would let my insurance company know. Know What?? The lady that hit me has no insurance. I asked her what am I supposed to do next? Her big response was you live with it. I guess that is easy to say when it is not you and when it is all said and done, she can still type, pick up a glass, have people return change in her hand, I can't, and it is killing me.

     
    Old 02-10-2006, 03:02 PM   #8
    midniteangel
    Inactive
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Jan 2006
    Location: South FL
    Posts: 51
    midniteangel HB User
    Re: Am I disabled? I'm so confused!

    There are 2 types of disablement. Temp or permenant. One can determine the extent by what the loss is. Is it something that will eventually heal or heal to at least usage or it is something that will never heal or be cured. I have hernia disc disease and altho i look "normal", i have constant pain...I cannot sit, stand or walk for any extended time period. I also have leg and butt pain...I was told by a surgeon that he could do surgery but it would be temp and would return with a vengence with age so i got disability...

     
    Old 02-12-2006, 07:13 AM   #9
    brownowl
    Senior Member
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Feb 2005
    Posts: 235
    brownowl HB User
    Re: Am I disabled? I'm so confused!

    The doctors have now put a label on it -- you are Permentally Partially Disabled. I've looked on the internet, first if there was a term like this, and to my surprise, yes there is. But, it doesn't indicate what my future may be. What happens to people that are labeled this? Do they get better? Will I get better? I'm trying to get a handle on this, but there are more questions than answers.

     
    Old 02-12-2006, 08:02 AM   #10
    kehorner
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    kehorner's Avatar
     
    Join Date: May 2004
    Location: Michigan
    Posts: 1,718
    kehorner HB Userkehorner HB Userkehorner HB Userkehorner HB Userkehorner HB Userkehorner HB User
    Re: Am I disabled? I'm so confused!

    Well, no matter what label you use, your doctor seems to have made it clear that it's not really going to get better. Sometimes an injury is just too severe, and you can't get better. If you are not satisfied, you can get a second opinion, but it sounds like your doctor is probably right, from your description of things.

    As for your job, there are things that can help. If you work for a company, this is where a label can help you. Since you have been labeled as having a disability, they now are required to make "reasonable" accomodations for your disability under ADA laws. So maybe you could get software that would allow you to dictate things, rather than type.

    Do you have any family or friends to talk to about this? If not, I would really recommend finding some sort of mental health professional who is familiar with this type of thing. Seeing them a few times might help you to wrap your mind around things, because this is huge stuff. It's okay that you are confused. It's okay to feel mad or upset or sad. But they might be able to help you work out the answers to some of your questions.

     
    Old 02-12-2006, 02:39 PM   #11
    brownowl
    Senior Member
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Feb 2005
    Posts: 235
    brownowl HB User
    Re: Am I disabled? I'm so confused!

    I've talked to my family, friends, co-workers about this and they all know I'm not happy about this. I'm not hiding anything. The doctors etc. say you have to deal with it. I tell them I deal with it every moment I try to move my hand and fingers -or- look down at the scars -or- get these stares or tones of voices from people, I don't even know. Is this it? I feel the doctor just yanked my chain with the chance it could get better, whatever changed, I don't know, but now they tell me I'm done, when did it happen??

     
    Old 02-14-2006, 11:44 AM   #12
    AllysHeart
    Registered User
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Aug 2005
    Location: Texas
    Posts: 203
    AllysHeart HB User
    Re: Am I disabled? I'm so confused!

    Perhaps you should consider a consultation with a personal injury lawyer. The initial consultation should be free, in order to determine if you have a good case with which to proceed. Your situation sounds complicated, and it might take a professional to help you determine your level of disability. But, remember, once you consult an attorney, you'll not be speaking directly with the insurance company any longer.

    I believe you have some level of disability, and I can tell you are exhausted after speaking to everyone. There should not be any fees for the attorney until the case is settled, and they can also give you loans against your potential settlement to help you manage your finances for the extent of time it takes to come to a settlement.

    I wish you luck. Please let us know how you are getting along.

     
    Old 02-17-2006, 06:43 AM   #13
    Mortician
    Member
    (female)
     
    Mortician's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Jan 2006
    Location: Miramichi NB canada
    Posts: 72
    Mortician HB User
    Re: Am I disabled? I'm so confused!

    sounds like your doctor doesnt know his A** from a hole in the ground.
    id get a second opinion. if you can move them now.....there is possibilty to get better.
    ....dont give up, theres someone who can help you, you just have to find them. theres people worse off then you who have almost fully recovered.
    just dont let your joints seize before you get some help....

     
    Old 02-17-2006, 08:37 AM   #14
    brownowl
    Senior Member
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Feb 2005
    Posts: 235
    brownowl HB User
    Re: Am I disabled? I'm so confused!

    This is the confusing part -- I do have some feeling in my fingers (though it is like when your feet are asleep -- you know -- tingling) but the top side and the hand itself are numb. So, trying to grasp or hold things is incredibly difficult and most of the time -- I drop the item. I can move my fingers, but they move as one, like making a fist. If I try to move them individually, they are stiff and do not bend, and two of them usually scare people because they shake so much. It has been a week now and I have yet to hear from the doctor's office regarding the percentage of usefulness I have. Though from my use -- it is no too good. I just wish I could do more for them. It is majorly the scar on the back of the hand holding everything tight. I'm not sure what the doctor called it -- but they made 3 cuts on the back of my hand to relieve the pressure; and finally the doctor said last week that it went wrong -- the first cut because of the swelling tore into the second cut
    and it is now stopping my three fingers from moving individually. Plus, it was crushed. They look like little sausages from the swelling most of the time.
    Does anyone have any further insight of what I can do?

     
    Closed Thread

    Related Topics
    Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
    "Disabled Adult Child's Benefits"? Steven45 Disabilities 14 10-06-2009 05:43 PM
    Stimulus checks for the disabled NOTSONUTSO Disabilities 18 04-11-2009 07:34 AM
    Difficulty starting relationships if you're disabled disabilitdating Relationship Health 15 03-07-2009 02:51 PM
    if disabled, does one qualify for medicaid? NY 1009 Disabilities 11 07-07-2008 08:05 PM
    Disabled but don't qualify Shogirl Disabilities 9 01-12-2008 09:27 PM
    Officially Disabled ???? hessie28 Disabilities 1 06-01-2007 11:22 AM




    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Search this Thread:

    Advanced Search

    Posting Rules
    You may not post new threads
    You may not post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is Off
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are Off
    Pingbacks are Off
    Refbacks are Off




    Sign Up Today!

    Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

    I want my free account

    All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:47 AM.





    © 2022 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved.
    Do not copy or redistribute in any form!