I have suffered a
workplace injury which has reignited a pre-existing condition, Fibromyalgia. My
Fibromyalgia had been quiescent and symptom free for two (2) years prior to the
injury. (Not a small injury, soft tissue damage to back and hips lifting 200
pound wooden crate lid).
I was employed full time, played baseball on
the company team and even started a company Volleyball team upon completion of
the baseball season. Since the injury, I have been fired, my health has
continued to deteriorate (I am not even going to attempt to bore you with my
daily health complaints and I have been cut off of WSIB benefits as they claim
that my pre-existing condition is not their problem.
Meanwhile I have
been seeking help through several different avenues only to be told I cannot be
helped. My problem is that my physician, though being an excellent family
doctor is, in my opinion, is afraid of WSIB and will not back me up to them.
When he talks to me he empathizes with my situation but all of his disclosures
to WSIB are against me. WSIB should be covering me for this condition under the
"Soft Skull" rule but because my doctor is so inconsistent with his
conversations with me and them, they are getting away with cutting me off as no
one will take my case. Who do I turn to? Who will help me? There are literally
thousands of people like me, either without the physical or emotional strength
to keep fighting and looking... Who will help us? How many people, families and
lives have to be destroyed before someone will listen?
Do I have to do something totally and utterly ridiculous to
get someone to take a minute and say, "Hey did you hear about ?".
Examples of my doctor's "frightened" behavior:
I call him
repeatedly from LMR program crying and clearly distraught as I am in pain,
His response Play the game, do as you are told or
they will cut you off.
They make me suffer through entire LMR program, then
decide to put me to work
His response Play the game, do as you are told or
they will cut you off.
When they see that you are not capable of doing the work
they will re-evaluate
I ask my doctor to please tell them that I cannot do
what they are asking
His response .I can't send them anything on your
behalf or I will look biased I have to wait for them to ask for
information from me for this reason and because they would then pay for the
To which I ask, how much will this report cost? He
advises he can do it for $150, I tell him to go ahead I will pay for it, you
should look biased you are my doctor!! .He sends a duplicate report of my
medical file, never mentions the fact that I cannot complete the work placement
I ask my doctor for some kind of help with the pain
as we have both decided that I do not want to get addicted to the pain killers
I am on (percocet) He says he will refer me to a doctor for evaluation for
a pain management group
This so-called "specialist" talks to me for about 10-15
mins, his report to my doctor I am after financial gain wth?? What
happened to my pain management group??
My doctor's response .this report is not negative to
him as a doctor because the way he would interpret this letter as a physician
is the "specialist" meant that the financial strain was adding to my
condition's deterioration. We all know of course that this is not the way WSIB
will interpret it!!
Next my doctor sends me to another "therapist" for
pain management, one on one consults, now we're getting somewhere right? Of
course not, don't be silly...for you see this new "therapist", for all his
worldly knowledge...decides that because I move around a lot during the
sessions, due of course to pain and frequent muscle spasms that I must have
ADHD!! Ok, now my family doctor is having kittens and says that this
"therapist" is now adding more fodder to WSIB's case with yet another
pre-existing condition, which he assures me I do not have by the way, for them
to use against me...So much for my confidence in yet another "help" provider!
I seek help from the Worker's Advisory Board as per my doctor's
suggestion when my benefits are cut .I am asked if my doctor agrees with
my inability to work to which I respond of course, he advised me to come to you
and even gave me the number.
My doctor is sent a request for a letter
answering some of their questions about my case
His response I am a difficult patient. I've missed a
few appointments with him ( was having a bit of a confidence issue, d'uh), I
didn't see a specialist (appointment was with gynecologist as follow up for
endometriosis for which I had an operation and have not had a problem with
since, but he does not mention this fact in his letter which alludes to it
being a specialist for my present condition) he has sent me to, and I can work
if "not much expectation" is put on me (oh boy, I can now look for an employer
just dying to hire someone who "not much can be expected from!!') all
totally opposite from our conversations in his office where I am constantly in
tears and so obviously distraught and at the end of my rope and he is consoling
me to hang in there.
I seek a lawyer
She sees my case file and decides she will take the case
as she sees my condition with her own eyes and believes me, that is until she
gets a copy of my doctor's letter, she then drops my case
Since this last lawyer I have sent several e-mails and
left voicemails to lawyers only to have most not respond at all, (I do disclose
the fact that I have no money and would be willing to offer up to 40% of any
lump sum awards) or respond that I cannot obviously afford them.
now spend time searching and applying for work (I am lying my butt off to
employers about my health by the way, but my ruse is up once they meet me) and
searching the internet for the magic answer or my Knight in Shinning Armor
(gender not a factor). But of course all I see is people asking for large
amounts of money up front or more sad stories like my own.
Well we are
now not able to pay most of our bills and it is just a matter of time before my
phone blows up from credit calls or we declare bankruptcy. We actually finally
got up the nerve to make an appointment to declare bankruptcy last week but
wouldn't you know it, the trustee called to try to get us to come in earlier
for our meeting even though I had told his secretary the day before that was
impossible due to my husband being at work. When we couldn't accommodate him on
time he cancelled our appointment for 4:30 that evening at 3:00 pm. To add
insult to injury his secretary was to call us back the next day to reschedule,
but I guess because I was "difficult" and wouldn't reschedule earlier they do
not want to help us either as it has been 7 days since and no call...how sad.
I know there is a lot of sadness and extremes in the world and I do
constantly try to thank God for what I have, an amazing spouse who continues to
stand by me, healthy children, a couple of really good friends. Sometimes I
even feel kind of selfish when I think of poor children living in ramshackle
huts without even proper nutrition and I sit here crying because we have to
But I could not even express the emotional toll
this has had on me...Not only do I suffer from daily varying degrees of pain
and other side effects of this condition that would make a flu riddled 2 yr old
look good to you (think about it a second!), but I get to watch my personal
relationships with spouse, children, friends slowly deteriorate and suffer. I
keep hoping that I can stay strong enough emotionally to continue to appreciate
what I do have in my life but honestly some days it takes all of my energy. I
am so thankful that I have people who are important to me because if not for
the people I love and who love me who knows where I would be right now because
it is very clear that our government and others with the skills or power to
help us are way too busy making money to care.
All of my love and what
strength I can muster goes out to all others suffering for whatever reason. We
all need help at some point in our lives and my thanks goes out to all
"Helpers" little or small, helping the little old lady across the street could
be the best thing you do today :)