I have had several search engine searches regarding workers’ compensation lead others to this blog. Because of this I am going to talk a little about my experiences with workers’ compensation doctor appointments.
I have talked about going to see the psychiatrists for my workers’ compensation case. I have yet to talk about some of the doctors the defense sent me to and how those appointments went. My first appointment aside from the psychiatrist was in February 2004 to a doctor who practices in internal medicine and rheumatology. His office was a 2 1/2 hour drive from my home and my appointment was scheduled for 10:15. The doctor arrived at 10:45 and I made it into his office at 11:00 a.m.
TAKEN FROM MY LETTER TO MY ATTORNEY AFTER MY VISIT:
I was told by Dr. ____ that he had a fan in his office and we were located near an exit door and the door could be opened if we needed to bring in air or we could go outside. I was becoming hoarse and told the doctor that as long as the symptoms didn’t get any worse I would stay inside.
Dr. ____ asked me to give him a history and I began the story of everything beginning my first day of work in May 1999. I talked about surgeries, osteomyelitis (bone infections), mold testing of the office, my testings, my reactions and my seizure like reactions. He had me explain what a reaction was like and I explained that I first get hoarse, then have spasms in my throat and then cannot breathe and my body goes as stiff as a board then when the spasm ends, I gasp for air and my body begins to go into tremors. I became emotional as I explained an anaphylactic reaction I had in June 2001 from a reaction to an IV of Primaxin. I was alone and I could not see, had difficulty walking to the phone ad then fell on the coffee table and was not able to lift my arm to get the phone and when I finally was able to get the phone I could not see the key pad. Dr. _____ then said that if it was too difficult he would just get the rest of the information from my files. (So why couldn’t he have just done it anyway instead of putting me through all that?)
The last complaint that I had listed was that I felt like I was suffering the “girl in the bubble” syndrome. The doctor’s response was that he had difficulty walking past the perfume counters in stores and had a mild sense of how I must feel. (Give me a break here. He had no clue.)
Dr. ____ then informed me he would be dictating a summary in my presence. Dr. ___ then said that there would be a brief physical exam and we could leave…..My husband and I followed him to an exam room in the far end of the building. I made a comment that there was no carpeting to bother me in there. He asked me to remove my outer garments and put on an exam gown. I asked if he had a paper gown because the cloth gown was too scented…..so I managed with paper exam cloths and wrapped two of them around me….First he took my blood pressure and pulse. He then examined my lymph nodes. He asked me to lie down. I began to tremor slightly on my right side and at first thought it was just because I was cold…….The tremors became worse and I was beginning to feel disconnected. My husband asked me if I was alright and I had a difficult time answering him. Dr.____ asked if I was alright and I had a difficult time answering him. I told him there was mold in the office. He looked up and said it was possibly the ceiling. I looked up and noticed a great deal of water spotting on the ceiling tiles.
…He directed me to a nearby exit. My husband helped me dress and I walked outside in a rush without putting on my shoes…….When Dr. ____ came out he said, “You have had these many times.” I replied that I had. He asked if there was anything he could do….I took my shot and Dr. ____ said that he would be in the office if we needed him.
I began to cry. My clothes were contaminated. I could not afford to keep this up. I couldn’t just go out and buy a new jacket, clothes and shoes….Before Dr.____ returned to his office he said that if I had any more appointments like this, I should demand that I be seen at home in my safe environment.
….I then went to my bed to lie down. I felt like I had the flu. I spent the entire evening in bed…..everything ached and I was having a lot of brain fog and disconnection….
Before you say, “It sounds like he has an understanding and is sympathetic to this poor woman”, wait until you read my response to his report in the next post. A side note is that when I searched the doctor’s name so I could verify the distance from my house to the office, I discovered that he passed in January of 2012.
The worker’s comp process is a hard one – physically and mentally. The process makes you feel alone because you know that some of the doctors you see are seeing you in behalf of your place of employment and you question their loyalties.
Absolutely! That is exactly it. It took me from 2002 (when I obtained an attorney) until late 2006 to get an award. It was a long, hard battle. When I think of all the time I devoted to keeping records, dealing with their doctors, etc. it makes me sad.
The scrutiny was hardest for me and the scrutiny doesn’t end with the award. They act like you don’t want to work. I wanted to work, but the chemical exposure made it impossible for me to work. Thank you for sharing the challenges involved with the system and MCS.
No the scrutiny does not end with the award. I was awarded lifetime medical and bills were eventually getting paid until an AME (authorized medical examiner) decided that the treatments I am doing weren’t the right treatments. He felt I needed to switch to a different ENT, see a traditional allergist, possibly an infectious disease doctor and lastly a psychiatrist. Needless to say, my lifetime medical now means nothing because I am staying with my ENT who works outside the box and his staff are very good at getting me in anytime and dealing with me (plus he is the only one willing to give my my IV’s), I refuse the traditional allergist in lieu of my doctor who does the LDA (low dose antigen therapy), I don’t need an infectious disease doctor at the moment and I refuse a psychiatrist.
It makes me sad and angry that I went through all that and then lost my medical because of his stupidity and lack of understanding of this illness. I will have to write about my visit with him someday soon. I still have my bi-monthly workers’ compensation disability checks but instead of using them as a small substitution for my loss of wages, they go to pay for my alternative medical treatments.
I felt it was accountants, not medical people, making my medical decisions. Good for you for standing up for your health. Although we need the money to live, money doesn’t buy health. Thank you for sharing your experiences.
That sounds just awful. It reminded me of one of my first anxiety attacks, which happened in a doctors office. None of the physical flu stuff, but the overwhelming feelings and the panic sounded similar. I’m so sorry that you had the physical symptoms along with all the awful emotional stuff. Hugs to you!