Not Ready to Work Yet

Back in December 9 I had a knee injury at work. I was unable to work for some time and had 6 physical therapy appointments and an MRI on my knee. However when I was released and the doctor faxed my work place and said I could work with no restrictions, I gave it my best effort but it was not the same as it was before. I still have some pain when I am just walking and lifting 40 pounds is something I can do but it does hurt my knees. It’s not just the right knee that was injured either, though it hurts a lot worse. I feel like my legs and arms are going to break. I did work two full days but as I did it hurt more and more and then I was walking slower than I was when I started. Every step hurt and when I had to push a streamliner with 400 pounds of files up the ramp it took me forever. I got it up there but it would take me almost a minute instead of 5 seconds like I used to be able to do. It hurt so bad and to make matters worse the fact that I am forced to wear a mask made me feel like my lungs were going to collapse because I can’t breathe enough oxygen.

I emailed my human resource manager about my problems and that I did not believe I should have been released back to work so soon. Apparently she must have said something to the worker’s compensation insurance company. I know because I got the following email:

“Your employer states that you are reporting that you are not able to work your regular duties.

I want to point out to you that your knee diagnostic test were completely normal. You should have been cleared by the doctor for work at regular duties the moment that MRI came back negative, but the doctor gave you the benefit of the doubt in so far as your subjective complaints of pain and kept you off a bit longer. The ODG disability and treatment guide indicates with a normal diagnostic study and the absence of objective findings that you should be more than capable of doing your regular job. You are welcome to contact the workers comp doctor who released you to voice your complaints and obtain feedback.

As for weekly benefits, you are cleared for full duty work and so you are not entitled to any additional TTD benefits. Therefore, if you choose NOT to work your regular job, I am not going to owe further TTD benefits to you.

Respectfully”

Respectfully? Seriously? She’s trying to say that there is nothing wrong and that my complaints of pain are “subjective”. But of course it’s subjective because it’s my body and my knee that hurts. I haven’t been this pissed off since the urologists who didn’t believe me about my testicles hurting. Of course the real issue is that the insurance company doesn’t want to pay any more money so they wanted me to be released back to work whether I was ready or not. Sure I was able to walk again without crutches but that does NOT mean I am back to 100%.

I arranged with Human Resources to take a personal leave of absence. I am scheduled to return to work on February 15. I am under a lot of stress right now because I have a time limit and must be able to return to the same abilities I had when I started this job. But the odds of that happening are not good. The mask mandate will probably never end and with my muscles being atrophied from not being able to even walk it’s going to take a miracle to get back to being able to run around a cave with 400 pounds of files and shelve 160 per hour.

Additionally there is the mysterious issue of my low bone density. I’m not sure why it is so low but sometimes I worry there is some kind of disease like bone cancer that would explain the bone loss.

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