Monday, June 04, 2007

Ouch!

Just before my freshman year of high school, I had reconstructive chest surgery to correct a problem I'd had since birth. Basically, the cartilage that connected the ribs to the sternum continued to grow, pushing the sternum so deep into my chest that when I took a deep breath, my sternum would rub against my spine. The doctors had said it was one of, if not the worst case they'd ever seen...but like the Six Million Dollar Man, they rebuilt me.

Now that I'm getting older, the surgery is beginning to break down, and as things move around in my chest, the pressure on the ribs causes stress fractures. If you've ever had a stress fracture, you know how painful they are. So, today was the first day at Subway, and all the movement has caused severe fracturing in the lower left rib. So severe in fact, that when I got home from work, I laid on my couch for about an hour just trying not to move...because as long as I didn't move or breathe, I wasn't in too bad of pain.

I'm generally not a wimp when it comes to pain. I have a fairly high pain threshold...in fact, I stopped requesting pain medication 48 hours after they'd rebuilt my chest...and that was a five hour surgery.

I'm hoping that this is just something my body needs to adjust to, but if it's not, then I'm certainly not going to be able to do my job. I'm of no use to anyone if I'm doubled over in pain half the time. So, I may be forced into getting some kind of desk job, doing telemarketing or something...

More than anything, I just wish all the ibuprofen would kick in, because I'm not going to be able to sleep tonight with as much pain as I'm in, and I have to be back at work at 5 am again...

9 comments:

Marva said...

If you're not covered by insurance, remember you can claim this as an on-the-job injury and have your state workmans comp pay for medical. Matter of fact, you might want to document your claim immediately, then see how things go. If you get used to it, then fine. Otherwise, you'll want to be covered for whatever you'll need.

J Erwine said...

Actually, it's a pre-existing condition, so I can't file workman's comp.

Marva said...

Exacerbated by the working conditions. I'll ask my hubby when he gets home. That's part of his job: vetting workers comp claims.

Marva said...

From a comp attorney's website:

Will worker's comp cover a preexisting condition? Insurance policies often deny coverage for preexisting conditions, but workers' compensation insurance will cover them, with certain limitations. If a workplace activity or exposure aggravates a preexisting physical condition, workers' comp will most likely cover the claim as long as the injured worker was not being treated for the condition at the time of the incident that prompted the claim.

Marva said...

Hubby confirms that last quote as for Oregon. The point would be if you'd been fine if you weren't doing that type of work. I'd suggest a google search. I did find a Colorado lawyer who handles these type of claims. I'm not saying to sue, but to apply for the WC and see what happens.

J Erwine said...

Even if it's legally acceptable, it would go against my own ethics. I've always had this pain to some degree, and I knew going back into this kind of work environment would cause me more troubles...I just wasn't expecting this.

Shingles is the only thing I've ever had that hurt worse than this, and to make things even better, I've now developed a cough, which is a whole new experience in pain.

No, this is my fault, and I can't hold anyone else accountable for it other than myself...yeah, I know, how unAmerican of me...

Anonymous said...

Ethics?

If you're hurting, how good of a job are you going to do for Subway? How are you going to treat your co-workers and customers? You have to take care of yourself, or you'll become a much greater burden on society than if you accept the help that's available to you now.

Get checked out by a doctor. I injured the cartilage in my ribs as a wrestler and can guess what it's probably like for you now, especially with that cough. My guess is you're a prime candidate for arthritis, like me. If you don't treat it properly, it will make you miserable and screw up your life. If you let it screw up your life, there are bound to be consequences in the lives of others.

I'm with Marva on the worker's comp. Accept all of the help you need to get this condition taken care of, then start taking whatever steps you need to take in order to find the job that's right for you. By reaching out, accepting help, and trying to achieve your own full potential you'll be in a much better position to help others, and I think that's what being ethical is all about.

Robert Porter

Marva said...

I appreciate your ethics, question your sanity.

However, I would probably do the same thing as you.

Jim Shannon said...

I hope things work out for you J.