Wednesday, May 15, 2013
What a Difference a Day Makes!
It was a day pretty much like every other day. I found myself moving about freely at the speed of sound as a High School, Integrated Chemistry/Physics teacher, coupled with the unusual assignment as "Girls Choir" teacher. (Yes, I have one of those unfortunate, multifarious backgrounds and diverse endorsement packages that lands me assignments that either no one else wants, or the district does not wish to invest in one additional teacher.) It was Thursday, November 8th to be exact. Thursdays are a wonderful day for me, as I bring my ICP students down into the media center so that they are able to use technology to extend their academic experience. Not only was I given a bizarre assignment, I was given over 100 students of various levels, needs, and grade levels and responsible for teaching a lab science without one single bit of lab materials or space. So, being the committed educator that I am, I made due. I created every learning experience possible. This of course, required me to move up and down the stairs, 9 times before I ever made it to my 7th hour class, which is/was located clear across the building and on a different level. Yes, this is true, with only 4 minutes with which to move there, materials in hand and a mental mind switch from ICP to Music. That wasn't enough, I had to move at the end of 7th period to yet another location, books, water, and full bladder to boot! With only 2 minutes to spare as I had an issue with a student, I walked out of the 11th location of the day, (factor in the media center from my home room) and it happened! This vibrant, healthy new to 52 year old woman lost her footing as I moved from a carpeted floor to a slick tile floor. Imagine the surprise when my left leg slipped out and away from me, my right leg attempting to compensate for the loss of footing, only to realize I had no means to stop what was about to happen! My life changed in an instance. All of my weight with great force crashed down on bent knee. Then I fell with force as a result of the first impact onto my hip. How I managed to make it through the last hour of class is beyond me. No one came to my aid, no one released me from my duties. By 4pm on the 8th of November, my life in fact changed forever. My left knee was severely deranged, and I felt like I had been hit by a truck. I could not move my leg, I could not lift it, put my foot flat on the floor, I could not rotate my hip. My crime? I was injured on the job in the State of Indiana. From the moment I fell I became a ward of the State, a victim of a horrific Workman's Comp nightmare. They got to direct my care. They did a piss poor job at it. I have been for the most part allowed to rot. I have been called a cry baby, a psycho, a drama queen. I have been questioned, in spite of MRI's and physical therapists noting that my foot turns under, turns blue and they cannot manipulate my leg. While I have improved to some degree, the lack of intervention by the doctor hired to treat, not me, but my "body part" my left quad muscles have atrophied over 6 months. They refused to see me or treat my neuropathy that has developed as a result of their refusal to acknowledge the extent of my injuries. I was told to go to my own doctor for the loss of feeling in my toes, sensitivity up and down my leg, and yes, the sad reality that I am plagued with pain, 24/7. I still require crutches to eliminate some of the weight on my bulging discs. I found a new doctor who discovered that I have developed advanced arthritis in the knee that was injured. Why? I did not have it the night before I fell! IN FACT I DID 100 MINUTES ON THE TREADMILL AT AN AVERAGE SPEED OF 4.8MPH! When I was told this, and it was suggested that the arthritis is a normal aging process I began to cry out of frustration at which time I was told to stop feeling sorry for myself and that I was a cry baby! You may be asking why did I stay with a new doctor who would treat me like that? Well, because I took a the mandate of Workman's Comp, and found a doctor others recommended. Do I believe his course of treatment is finally working? Yes, but, why do I have to be labeled? Why don't medical professionals listen? Anyway, as a result of following WC, and refusing to go back to the doctor who was assigned by them, Workman's Comp, evidently has just stopped not only directing my care, but, paying for my care and providing me with my allowable 66% of my income. I am writing this because today I hit a point where I have to talk about it. I have to decide to make a difference so that no one ever has to go through what I have gone through. Something that should have not taken more than 2 months to get me healing has taken over 6 months. I do not know if I will ever run again, carry my grandbabies again, climb a sand dune again. My dream of being a school administrator is a distant fantasy now. I am permanently damaged, and I do not know to what extents. the saddest thing, Is it did not have to happen. None of it! Below are some before and after shots of me. One of Steve and I at a concert for my birthday the 4th of November, the other picture was of me in a musical production on the 28th of October, and the last time I danced with my grandbabies the same night of the musical. last one is of me attempting to sing at an I will fight back, but, it is hard to fight when you realize no fight was necessary.