Health

Back to Work

Workers CompI’m glad to finally be back to work at my night job.  I just wish this nightmare was over.  Turns out, it’s far from over.  The whole ordeal with this situation has been a disaster from the start.  It took a couple of weeks just to get the paperwork moving.  Then another couple of weeks to get the insurance company to put it together.  Nearly five weeks to get a check for missed income and an MRI to even look at my knee.  That whole time, if the meniscus in my knee had been torn, it would have likely healed incorrectly needing some serious surgery.  Thankfully it was just really tweaked.

Finally at that point I get Physical Therapy and some meds to take the swelling down quicker.  Things finally start moving and I’m almost at the end of my boredom rope by this time.  Total time off work was 7 weeks and 3 days.  I receive a couple of checks for income from the insurance company.  My understanding was they take the highest 39 weeks of pay and base my income on 66% of that.  Well for several weeks, I was working full time and even getting over time on occasion on top of working my day job.  I was a working fool until it started to really wear me down.  So I backed off to 3 – 4 nights a week at best.  And that’s where I’ve been since.  So when I got the checks, I assumed it was based on the time I was working like mad.

Today the insurance company tells me they over-payed me.  To the tune of almost $800 and they want the money back.  I just started working decent hours this week.  I was cleared to go back to work on July 27th.  Though for the first 11 days I managed to get a whole 4 hours.  I might have gotten 9 hours had I not already been doing paint work on my truck.  In any case, that’s horrible, but people didn’t want to give up their hours for me.  I get that.  Sucks, but I get it.  Now that I’m managing to get hours, I’m going to have to work more to pay the insurance company because they made a mistake.  They admit the mistake, but I have to pay for that mistake.  I wish I had more of a choice, but even if I get a lawyer, what would that do?  I’d just have to pay the lawyer too.  I can’t afford that.  If I’m lucky, I might be able to pay $50 every two weeks when I get paid from the night job.  That would take me nearly 9 months to pay off.  Providing I can keep the hours I’m getting.  There are people who had to step in for me while I was out.  They want hours too.  On top of that, while I was cleared to work, I still have some pain and swelling.  I still wear a knee brace to work.  A brace I’m hoping the insurance company remembered to pay for.  Can’t say I’m trusting this AccidentFund company much.  As my friends would say, they cocked it up from the start.

Why does something always have to fuck up Christmas?  😡

Seven Weeks Three Days

Denver PizzaFinally.  I finally get the go ahead to get back to work.  After 7 weeks and 3 days of a painful knee injury.  I have been reprieved from the agony.  Both the Physical Therapist and Physician have signed off that I can finally get off of Workmen’s Comp and make money legitimately once again.  So after being talked to death at one place and waiting forever in the waiting room at the other.  I get the green light.

I go see my boss.  Tell her the good news.  She says she has to talk to the owner to get the final approval.

I get a text about an hour later, saying I’m welcome back.  But can’t put me on this week or next weeks schedule.  The one after she can put me back at normal hours.

That’s 11 days from now.  After all this, I’m faced with no hours from my night job for almost two weeks.  Which also means I won’t get a check for another one to two weeks on top of that.  The night job is the majority of my income.  I can’t say I’m happy.  Not that there is much I can do but hope they call me in, or I find a new job.  Which would take almost as much time to get a check.

Feeling a bit…

…unloved.

Too Much Time On My Hands

The FutureFor those that will be paying any kind of attention, might see a few references in this one.  But hell…  I’ve had way too much time lately.  All because I wanted some time off, I got a whole lot more than I bargained for.  Most of it not so great.  Though I’ve done some minor things in the interim.

Changed web hosts.  Again.  Yes, this is the second time this year.  I switched because I wanted secure certificates for my sites.  Any site with a login, Google beats up now for being insecure.  I found a free way to get an SSL certificate via Let’s Encrypt.  However, the original host (A2) I found was very slow, held all resources hostage unless you paid over double the basic rates to get more.  I moved to Dreamhost who has been fairly speedy so far and they aren’t nearly as greedy in both monthly cost and resources.  So saved a few dollars per month and get what I need.  We’ll see how long that lasts.

Started Playing WoW.  Again.  Yeah I know but I’m so freaking bored!  Not working as much, can’t afford new games.  Besides, I have that same old issue of new games just don’t appeal to me.  Even if Legion is broken.  There’s a ton of prior content I have yet to explore.

Installed my new headlights on my truck (that I ordered prior to getting hurt).  Oddly was about the same as spending time and money on a restore kit.  Just over $50 on Amazon.  Though everything you do on crutches takes three times longer.

About two weeks prior to the injury I also installed a new taillight.  Just under $50 on Amazon.  Besides, this was a crack, with water and sand inside it.  There’s really no repairing that easily.

Sadly my parking brake broke.  Yes, I actually like to use it.  I’m sure many folks don’t, but I do.  Though I thought perhaps I would put off fixing it and confirmed with my cousin that in most cases it’s OK to do so.  However, something must be lose in the brake drum, it almost got me stuck in the car wash yesterday.  Trying to find someone to fix it now before I hit the roads again.

You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.  In this case good working legs.  In between Physical Therapy sessions, Chiropractic visits, MRI’s, X-Rays and just waiting in doctors offices, I’ve also been thinking about where my life is going.  Which honestly is no where at all.  Though looking back, I’ve done more before I was 30 than a lot of people do with their lives.  So I’m not upset that’s not much going on now.

Weirdly I don’t really expect to change it much.  These (going on 7) weeks have put me back months and possibly years from getting my own house.  But I’ve grown weary of my living situation and once my mom finds a house, I won’t be moving with her.  I’ll stay here.  Even if it means working my ass off to pay for it myself.  Unless by some miracle I can find a decent roommate.  I’ve never had any luck finding a good roommate.  Unless it’s via a girlfriend.  Though I have my sincere doubts about finding either of those.

Let’s face it.  I’ve grown comfortable with my jobs.  Try as I might I can’t think of any new career to replace my IT job.  Delivery work isn’t bad.  Makes decent money and to be honest, even through all of this they have treated me good.  A bit slow on the initial workmen’s comp thing, but I’m alright.  Can’t say Gaylord is where I want to be, but where else is there?  Petoskey is too expensive, so is Boyne City.  Everywhere else in this area is too small and Traverse City is just too far away from my kids.  Although getting out of Gaylord would put an ease on the freaking snow.  We always get the worst and it lasts the longest here.  I hate snow.

References:

Still Mending

Denny CrutchI’m not sure when this will end.  It’s been well over 5 weeks that I’ve been out.  Everything is taking so damned long to accomplish.  As of 3 days ago I finally got my MRI done and managed to finally get some income from Workmen’s Comp.  I did everything I was supposed to do the first day.  When I received any paperwork, I had it done in an hour, scanned to PDF and emailed.  Yet when it comes to the response of others, it’s been nothing short of painfully slow.  So much so, that my claim was put in dispute because of someone not doing their part in a timely manner.  So here’s where I sit waiting.  I’m sure it can be argued that I have nothing better to do.  Whereas they have to work.  To that I say, priorities.  Want me back on the job?  Make it happen Captain Tight Pants!

Hopefully today I get news of my MRI scan and find out what is next.  While I pray for not needing surgery, I fear it may be necessary.  As my knee seems to be at a point where it doesn’t want to get any better than it has.  I’m down to one crutch to take some of the weight off.  However, I’m only good for about an hour before it’s on fire.  So mostly what I do is sit, ice it and take anti-inflammatory pain medications.  Which I’ve been cutting back on because I don’t want to get dependent upon them.

If I need surgery, I fear it may restart my healing process from zero and be out several more weeks.  Putting me off work for the entire summer.  NOT COOL.  All because folks drag their feet.  Mostly the medical and insurance company I hold accountable.  Everyone at work has been doing all they can for me.  Except for one very important person who almost cost me having to get outside help to get things done.  They don’t work in the store, so I had to deal with them via proxy.

I just wonder when I will be good enough to go back to work.  I’m over this whole thing.  I just want to get things back to normal.

Be careful for what you wish…

Evil GenieMamma always said…  No I’m not going to quote Forrest Gump.  But I have heard that you should be careful of what you wish for, you just might get it.  Meaning not in the way you want.  That’s pretty much what happened to me.  Working two jobs has lasted far longer than I’d ever like.  It seems like all I ever do is work.  I generally work much more than 40 hours a week, especially since I don’t get overtime.  Fine, whatever.  It’s making money.

There are times I would wish, hope and/or pray for time off.  Just when I finally had as much as I could take, and started making plans to just get out of town for a weekend by myself…  I injure my knee.  All because I was rushing to pick up for someone who needed the night off.  I got to work, grabbed the orders and SNAP, SNAP!  I fall to the ground in pain.  Stubborn as I can sometimes be, I still finished the night out.  That was the last night I worked over two weeks ago.  Well at the night job anyway.  Thankfully my day job is a desk job.

I certainly got the time off.  In a good amount of pain.  I can’t walk without crutches.  I was hoping to be back at work by now.  Instead, my knee hurts worse today than it did the past couple of days.  I’m still waiting for the MRI I was told I needed.  Someone else who had a similar injury said he needed surgery and 8 weeks of recovery.  That scares the hell out of me.  Of course, someone is dragging their feet on authorizing the MRI.  Not helping at all.

I don’t know how much longer I’ll be out of working the night job.  All I wanted was a break from the relentless work hours and some free time.  I got it.  It’s more costly than a weekend getaway 😕

AAAAHH! OUCH!

MeniscusActually I think my first word after it happened was, “Motherfucker”.  With some serious exclamation points after it.  It started out so innocently.  I got called into work on Sunday the 4th.  I clocked in a 4:14pm and by 4:40pm, I injured my knee.

My first set of deliveries for the night.  Three of them, stacked in my arms.  All I was going to do was load them in the passenger side of my truck.  As I swiveled my body to the right, my foot decided not to follow.  Two loud cracks and I hit the ground in agony.  Dropping the hot bags of food on the ground.

A very nice woman in the parking lot heard my pain and went inside to get the manager on duty that night.  He and a young lady that works with us, helped me up and inspected the food.  All was good, and I limped my way to the first deliveries.  I call it dedication to my job.  Others may call me stubborn for not going to the clinic right away.  Though they closed at 4pm, so it would have to wait until the next day.  On my way back I grabbed my knee brace and continued to work the rest of the night, slowly but diligently.  That is until I couldn’t take the pain anymore.  About 9:30pm.  I didn’t realize I had actually injured myself more seriously than I had first thought.  I made an incident report, photographed it and went home to rest.

They took X-Rays of my knee at the clinic on Monday but didn’t really say what was going on other than that they didn’t see any broken bones.  I went back today and the physician on duty assessed it was a tear in my Meniscus.  While common, it takes weeks to heal.  Longer if it needs surgery.  Which they want to have me go in for an MRI in the next few days.

As you can imagine, I’m not thrilled.  Sure I have been complaining that I’ve been working too much this past several months.  Averaging 50 – 60 hours a week.  This isn’t how I wanted to spend my time off.  On top of which, now I’m losing money.  I am of course filing paperwork for Workman’s Comp.  Though that apparently doesn’t always go smoothly, otherwise we wouldn’t have so many lawyers that specialize in that category.  I guess I get to find out if the new owner is a good guy or not.  Pray for me please to not fall behind on bills and to heal quickly.

I was just planning a weekend getaway too.  Even if it’s just to a hotel out of town.  That and my plans to see my son and grand kids will be put off.  Can’t really play with kids when I can’t hardly walk.  I hope I don’t run out of food either, I don’t relish using one of those electric carts at the store.  {shutters at the thought}

The woman who got me help, left right away.  I wished she would’ve stuck around so I could properly thank her.  Maybe even buy her dinner the next time she comes in.  Maybe I’ll see her again some day.

My Old Friend…

InsomniaDear Insomnia,

Hello my old friend.  Of course you and I both know that’s simply the euphemism we use.  We only kid ourselves with what we know to be true.  We are one another’s archenemy.  We have been for many years.  So long in fact I forget why we became unfriendly with each other.

I propose strike an accord.  I think we should work together.

Hear me out.  You help me break the secret of creating Flying Monkeys.  We train them to attack the stupid and the environmentally inhospitable.  You can prey on those you find despicable as well.  As the sleep deprived are much easier to conquer.  Our strengths combined we will be able to reduce the human population while keeping those who would save our way of life and the planet of which we inhabit.  Once we accomplish that, we can then rule the world!!  [insert evil laugh here]

What do you say old friend?  You give me peace and I give you an equal share in world domination 😈

I’ve Given Up

I've Given Up Soda PopOn Soda Pop that is.  It’s taken me a very long time.  Years in fact.  I gave up marijuana decades ago.  While still in High School.  As I didn’t want to turn into my uncle who merely sat at home after work and smoked weed.  That was easy to do.

Shortly before I joined the Navy, I was up to 250 and needed to lose 60 pounds.  I managed to do it in a summer doing a stupid diet.  I don’t recommend this.  I rode a Mountain Bike everywhere in Petoskey.  From Brutus at first.  Which is roughly 14 miles from Petoskey.  (Well at least until I moved into Petoskey itself.)  I worked at a Hardee’s.  So I only had one meal a day.  My free lunch.  Outside of that, I spent all day biking.  For energy I drank Pepsi.  I wasn’t into coffee then.  That was a bad, bad idea.  While I did lose the weight, I got addicted to Pepsi.

During the Navy I got hooked on cigarette’s.  Did that for nearly 15 years.  Took forever to get off of them, now I find it easy to keep off of them as the smell is intensely gross to me.  Turns my stomach just to be near a smoker or ashtray.  However, during the Navy it was hard for me to keep the weight off.  Desk job mainly while I was there.  Smoked and was stuck at sea for months on end.  Crap food.  The crappier, the better it seemed.  So junk food became a staple for me.  After the Navy, my love of video games took over and I kept a desk job.  Still have it.  Just part time.  So a desk job, Pepsi, junk food and video games.  A recipe for how I became overweight.

It wasn’t until I got weighed at the doctor at 360 lbs.  My marriage was on it’s way out and I said enough is enough.  I had just quit smoking finally but the damage was done.  More than I realized.  I started walking around the outside of a local mall.  Between that and changing my diet to lower my cholesterol, I lost 20 pounds.  Then I moved and started walking around the Patrick Henry Mall outside and walking up to 3 miles a day at the least.  More if I could take it.  Sadly I only lost another 20 pounds.  I still drank Pepsi regularly and it all caught up with me.  My heart started to fail.

It took me several weeks to regain enough strength to start walking again.  Thanks to my dog Chase, I at least walked in a field with him at first.  Then back to my 3 miles a day.  I got down to just under 310 pounds.  This is where I plateaued until this past summer.  Between working two jobs and still drinking too much pop/soda.  I just couldn’t shake the weight.  In fact I gained 10 pounds.  I’ve given up smoking, never really drank, changed my diet a couple of times and put in exercise.  It just isn’t enough.  Especially since winter keeps me indoors and working puts me at walking only in the summer on my days off.  And my exercise bike isn’t getting used much.  Currently it’s trapped among extra chairs and boxes that are still in my kitchen.  So as of two weeks ago, I finally had enough.  If I’m to lose more weight, I need to cut sugar significantly.  So no more pop/soda.  No ice cream or sweets in the house for me.  Yogurt will be my treat.  Frozen fruit (and my low fat smoothies).  Now if mother nature would warm us up and stop with all this insane precipitation.  (It’s flip-flopping between rain and snow and it’s driving me nuts!!)  I sincerely hope this will help me finally achieve 220 in the next year or two.  Where I want to be.

So my cardiologist said…

DoctorSo I saw my cardiologist last week about the discomforts I’ve been feeling.  In the past two years I’ve had two angina attacks.  One per year.  On October 21st, I woke to having some rather radical heart palpitations.  Not to mention, my upper left shoulder has been numb for two weeks.

Thankfully a couple of visits to my chiropractor my shoulder is feeling better.  Still, I’ve been worried I may have more serious problems.  Of course waiting for a doctor appointment you think of all sorts of things.  Everything from medication adjustments, to having surgery to add a new stent, to open heart surgery or ending up unable to work.  None of which sound real good.

I spent a weekend wearing an ECG monitor.  They found nothing serious.  The heart palpitations were not any indication of a heart attack.  So I’m pretty much still just as I was.  So the doctor thinks.  We discussed my medications for Coronary Artery Disease.  My heart seems to be doing alright.  Still a bit enlarged.  So the doctor simply added a low cost cholesterol medication.  Even though I’ve been able to keep my cholesterol in check, he says the medication will help relax my arteries so that it may prevent palpitations.  He also switched me off Effient to Plavix to save me some money.  Thanks to Obama Care, the $250 Effient was only covered to an $80 copay.  Plavix should be a lot cheaper.  Though I haven’t tried it yet.  Still have 2 months of Effient.  Now if I could to something about the Ranexa I take.  It’s also $250/$80 copay.

While it’s not clear yet if I’ll need anything more, or if these new medications will help me as expected.  I’m assured some day I’ll need a new stent or two.  If I can avoid a more serious surgery, I’ll be happy.  I can say that the new cholesterol medication has made me feel sluggish so far.  I am told the effects can fade and I should feel more like I have the past 4 plus years.

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