OK, so some of my new readers are lost. . .right? And for what it's worth, some of my long time readers, have totally forgotten me since it's been so long. . .I know, I forgive you if you forgive me! So, to bring you up to speed here is the timeline of the events that lead me to my NEW normal:
- September 2009 - I'm a stay at home Mom, enjoying the blessed life that I live, taking care of my hubs, our home, and our three beautiful boys. Hubs is a career Union Iron Worker running large jobs in the Detroit area. He is respected by his crews, and well liked by his boss!
- End of September 2009 - Receive an early morning call from hubs, telling me that he has hurt his back at work and that he thinks it is bad considering he sat down and was having trouble getting back up. He was afraid they were going to have to call an ambulance.
- End of September 2009 - October 2009 - Doctor upon doctor upon doctor visits, including MRI's, nerve tests, surgical consults, research, etc. The verdict? Hubs has completely blown out his lower back. . .including torn disks, and possible nerve damage. Surgeon recommends surgery that includes putting rods in his lower back.
- Early November 2009 - Workman's Comp. finally steps in and begins paying medical bills and paying hubs a percentage of his regular wage every week. This eases some of my stress considering he is our sole source of income! We are still in limbo regarding hub's future in his career line of work.
- Mid November 2009 - Hubs and I decide that it may be a smart move for me to start looking for a job, considering the uncertainty of the future. Many tears were shed during this time since I am a control freak and hate to not have all of our ducks in a row!
- Mid November 2009 - Out of the blue. . .seriously, without me even pursuing anything. . .I was offered a job as a substitute teacher at the school where our boys attend. I take the job, informing them that this is a temporary thing for me. We were still hopeful that the hubs would be able to go back to work.
- Late November 2009 - Come to our own conclusion that hubs will probably never be able to be an Iron Worker again. We have immersed ourselves in research about his back, figuring out if surgery will be best or if, with time, his back injury could get better, without the surgery.
- Early December 2009 - I was offered, and accepted, a long term, substitute Office Administrator, position at the school. This assignment is expected to last until approx April 2010, while the current Office Administrator is on medical leave.
- Mid December 2009 - early March 2010 - Lots of rest and doctors appointments, and physical therapy for hubs. Things are going OK for us considering I'm now working full time, and hubs is still bringing in a weekly percentage of his wage from Workman's Comp. insurance. All the while, we have the support of hub's boss (and owner of the company), who wants him to get better so he can get back to work. Hub's back feels about 30% better but he still has daily pain.
- Mid March 2010 - Receive a letter from Workman's Comp. stating that hubs is scheduled for an independent medical exam. In layman's terms. . .he has to be evaluated by a Workman's Comp. doctor.
- Late March 2010 - I go with hubs to his IME. . .where the most arrogant, dishonest doctor, "evaluates" him. The report comes back stating that the Workman's Comp. doctor feels that hubs has only "strained" the muscles in his lower back (What? What about the MRI report. . .that he read?). This yahoo, against the recommendation of my hub's 3 other specialists, and hub's boss, clears him to go back to work. Workman's Comp. officially turns off all medical benefits as well as the weekly percentage of hub's wage.
- Early April 2010 - We decide it best to hire a lawyer. Lawyer recommends that hubs just try and go back to work, so it can be proved to Workman's Comp. that he is truly injured. Hubs returns back to work. He comes home every day in complete pain. . .clearly Workman's Comp. doctor does not have hub's best interest at heart.
- Mid April 2010 - I am permanently offered the Office Administrator position at the school because the previous girl decided not to come back to work. I accept!
- End of April 2010 - Hubs goes right from work to his surgeon because he has lost some feeling in his left leg and it feels like he has an ice pick stuck in his left heel. He can hardly walk or move for that matter. All new problems since returning to work. Surgeon determines through another MRI that hubs has indeed done more damage by returning to work. Surgeon schedules him for surgery in three days.
- Early May 2010 - Have to cancel the surgery because Workman's Comp will not approve the surgery and the co-pays on our personal insurance will be more than we want to take on with my salary alone. Hubs is officially told by his doctors that he will no longer be able to return to his line of work. Hub's boss is 100% behind him and even tries to go to bat with Workman's Comp for us. . .no luck. We decide to find a neurologist since surgery is on hold. Hubs goes solely under the care of the neurologist to make sure that more nerve damage is not occurring.
- May 2010 - mid August 2010 - Hubs decides, with the approval of his neurologist, that he doesn't have to rush into surgery. No one can guarantee that surgery will be 100% effective. Neurologist tells us, that hub's back may get somewhat better, and possibly even bearable with time. He places a 45lb lifting restriction on him so further, immediate surgery, damage doesn't occur. We have started the process of suing Workman's Comp. We want wages turned back on, with back pay from end of March as well as all past and future medical bills paid. During this time. . .one court date for hubs has been pushed back. Our lawyer calls it a control date. The system is so bogged down with cases that it takes awhile to get a for real court date. The next date gets scheduled for the end of November.
- Late August 2010 - Hubs returns to college as a full time student. He decides to pursue his software engineering degree.
- Late November 2010 - Hubs back is feeling livable. His leg pain comes and goes. Although not "better", he knows that the year that he hasn't had to strenuously work, has helped his body heal a bit. We are glad he didn't rush into the "rods in his back" surgery. He has adjusted to his new normal, physically. His November court date turns into another control date, and his next court date is scheduled for mid February. We are making it on my salary alone, but we have had to cut back and go without a few things to make ends meet! I deal with my feelings of anger towards Workman's Comp. for not caring about my husbands well being and just caring about saving money. Our lives have been turned upside down. Hubs also had to go back for another IME - to the same Workman's Comp. doctor, who says the same exact thing as 8 months prior. . .this time, hubs had 2 MRI's to back up his injury. The IME doctor is a complete tool. I decide that the system is corrupt. . .our lawyer tells us not to worry.
- Present time - Hubs has just started his second semester of his Software engineering degree. Things are going well. I love my job, and although I believe that the entire Workman's Comp. system needs to be re-vamped, I have faith that everything will work out for our family. We are anticipating the upcoming February court date, hoping that it will not be another control date. If the judge decides in hub's favor at this date, Workman's Comp. will be forced to turn his weekly percentage of his salary back on, and back pay us for every week since the end of March 2010 when they turned the money off. They will also have to pay back our insurance company for all medical bills directly related to the injury and turn on future medical coverage for hubs. Then comes the fight to settle with the insurance company since hubs will never be an Iron Worker again. How do you put a price on a career ended abruptly? We are truly blessed to have the support of so many doctors and of hub's company and owner of said company!
I am ready now though!!! Ready to start blogging again! Ready to make some new blogging friends, and ready to re-connect with those of you that I have put on hold! Get ready for food. . .fun. . .fashion. . .and just some good old shenanigans!
I'm so happy to be back!