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Right shoulder injury....1st time WC
#1
I am new here to this forum and have decided to make a post.....believing it would be beneficial to me and also would help give me more knowledge on how to navigate WC. Here is my story.

I work as a CNA (certified nurses aid) and have been doing this for many years. I am 36 years old and have never had an on the job injury, other than the usual delayed onset soreness from using muscles that I have not used in awhile....but you usually know that it is temporary. I work for a healthcare agency and they do not guarantee you hours but certainly try to find you permanent work. I have been working for them since September of last year and had a case lifting a 190lb man who was full assist due to brain injury who could not walk but has started to gain some strength in his legs due to PT, but nevertheless, he still is heavy duty work with all his ROM exercises that are passive.

The problem is whenever I would help transfer the pt. with another man in the house, it was a full transfer using my arms and I would then experience a burning sensation in my arm and it became too painful to use. I thought maybe I had pulled a muscle but then my arm was constantly aching, so I started taking Tylenol and rubbing in Icy hot, which only gave temporary relief. I noticed too that I had limited range and pain whenever I would raise my arm above my head or reach behind my back and reach across my chest. I even had a hard time getting my arm in my clothes. The muscle was so hard and tight. I called my agency to report injury and saw a doctor that night on their WC list.

That doctor gave me an injection of an anti-inflammatory and sent me home with a bottle ibuprofen (600mg). She also took an x-ray which did not show anything related to bone. She told me to come back in 5 days if I saw no improvement and she put my on light duty for work......which for me is fine because I think in my mind all I need to do is stop doing the activity that is causing the pain and rest the area that is painful....you know, common sense.

Since the injection of Toradol, I have noticed some improvement with my range and the pain and especially the tightness in the muscle which to me clearly indicates injury because this is our bodies natural response to injury (swelling and inflammation) to start the healing process.

I went back 5 days later because I still had pain especially reaching across my chest. My strength is not where it used to be but I have seen improvement so the doctor gave me a steroidal injection with lidocaine and preformed a test to see if I had any pain and most of it went. Generally this test is used to determine a tendon tear or tendinitis. He immediately told me I was fine and that I did not have to come back and to continue light duty. I then told him my dad was a retired M.D. and I explained to him that I want to get an MRI done to be sure I do not have more significant damage that would require a longer recovery time and gradual return to normal funtion. Most of us know our own bodies and how we can gauge our recovery times even without a doctor.........that is if you know your body and your fitness and if you have some medical training. The doctor said that by law if I want to be seen again, he has to see me. So he has me coming back in a week to which I will and I will insist upon getting a MRI for my own peace of mind and so that I can properly time my recovery.

I know this is long but I want to cover all things. So I hope I will get some of you to respond. The case that I had prior to this one with the 190lb man was a case with a manual hoyer lift that I did 2 times a day, 7 days a week for about 3 months and I really think this contributed to the weakness and eventual inflammation and possibly tear in the tendons/muscles that are part of the rotator cuff. I can already sense the doctors dismissing my pain and concern and my agency has not found any light duty for me as of yet but it has only been 4 days so I really do not know what to expect other than I will still have faith in my employer and certainly by all means I will have faith and trust in God.

I just do not know where to go from here because everyday I do not work, is money I am loosing to pay my bills. I am still doing one case that I told them I could do because this woman is light assist and stands completely on her own, but it is only for 8 hours and that is all for the week.

Any suggestions I would really appreciate. Thanks
 
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#2
Hi and Welcome the the Forum! I didn't Notice Your State on here, and that's Important because w/c is State Specific, but after a Grace Period,(Usually 7 Days) You should be able to Receive Weekly or Bi-Weekly Monies to Help You until You Return Full Time! They are Working with You Medically, which is Good, and it's way too Early for a Lawyer, I Believe You just need to Talk to Your Employer or Nurse Case manager from w/c and See when Your Monetary Portion will Kick In! My Best to You, and Please Keep In Touch!!Wink
 
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#3
Thanks for replying still in limbo. I do appreciate it. I noticed that a lot of people have viewed my post, but have not responded, so I hope I have not scared anyone or upset anyone.

My state is PA and yes you are right that they are working with me and it is too early but it is nice to have to people encourage you along the way and also to have folks to talk with who are going throught similar things. But I still hope someone responds who has had perhaps tendinitis and understands that a little, especially if it will be a chronic problem whenever I try to do heavy lifting again after it supposedly heals.
 
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#4
cindy1sttimewc

Very nice detailed write up.

I know it's eailer in it's medical stage, but other than IB 600mg, has the doctor done anything to find the source of pain yet. Or are they still waiting for the inflamation to go down?
Reply's are intended solely for informational purposes. They are based on personal opinions, experience, or research and are "not to be taken as fact or legal advice", otherwise, always consult an attorney or a doctor.
 
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#5
Your Quite Welcome! I'm from Pa. also, so if You have any Specific Questions I will do My Best to Answer them for You! Have a Great Day!!Wink
 
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#6
i'm not sure in pa but usually they (wc) has to pay you if you are off more than 7 days.....maybe you working 8 hrs is going to go against you. not sure but you should check into it. good luck and welcome to the forum!
 
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#7
Thanks you guys for responding,

I believe the inflammation has gone down, because my arm feels so much better, but they may be due to the fact that I have not done any heavy lifting yet because I am still resting it. But I am concerned that as soon as I start to do heavy lifting again, the pain will come back and I sure the heck do not want to live on ibuprofen for the next several months.......I heard that causes stomach related issues and kidney related issues as well.

My goal is to not be out of commission for long. I am a distance runner and spring is going to be here soon and I want to resume that activity.......fortunately, you do not really use your arms when you run, so that is a good thing. But my job as a CNA will always require heavy lifting.......it is par for the course and it is the nature of the job. And I know you are no good to your employer when you can not fully funtion on a job which is sad to see this here in America!

My other concern is with pay. When the doctor saw me the first time, she did not check off on the sheet where it lists disability payments and for how long, etc. But rather as I said before, she put me on light duty. If I will not get paid, I will be in trouble and if my employer will not find me more work soon, I can not exist like that.....obviously. So perhaps I should just look for another job and get out of health care for good. But with the way the economy is going, that may not be a good idea.

The other thing is, I have not heard from an insurance adjustor yet. Hmmm.....wonder why. But either way, I will continue on my course and insist on getting a MRI next week, just to make sure there is not significant damage to the muscles, like a tear perhaps. I need to do this to gauge my own recovery time because the last thing I want to do is cause my damage to my arm and then create a disability. I am the only one in charge of that. I must take care of my own health, regardless of what the doctors say. Some of them act like they are living vicariously through your pain and minimize your pain.
 
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#8
The IC only has 21 days to accept or deny your claim. Unfortunately, during that 21 day period you are basically in limbo. Once the 21 days are over, if they have not accepted your claim, you will have to file a Claim Petition to protect yourself.
 
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#9
Thanks, Timothy for your response. I will just wait for now.

To Bad Bad Boy,
The strange thing is that I say too different doctors on two different days (this was in a emergency medical clinic), and both times, neither has given a diagnosis, but rather has just treated the pain and inflammation. But this is why I want a MRI done so I myself can know if there is any scar tissue or tear in the muscle so I can guage my recovery time. In the meantime I have been looking up tendonitis and muscle tears so I know what I have do to recover.
 
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#10
Hi Cindy! Sorry to welcome you to the wonderful world of wc, but if you have to be on WC, be glad that you found this site as the folks on here are fantastic, friendly, and knowledgeable!!

Don't hold your breath on getting an MRI quickly with WC. and it's not always due to the IC. I broke my ankle/leg Feb 08, had all sorts of complications and complained of severe pain for six months before anyone ordered an MRI. The amazing thing was it was a Nurse Case Manager who got me one! She came to an appointment with me and questioned the Dr. about several things but mainly over my never having had one. His answer, "figured you (WC IC) wouldn't pay for one" no concern that I might of actually needed one to figure out what the heck is wrong with me! Jan 09, New Doctor and a CT and MRI later-torn and permanently damaged ligaments and tendons and deteriorating shifting ankle joint! Still no great treatment plan, (just had the same type of caine injection.) but at least I feel validated that something was/is wrong.

It is a tough road you have ahead of you. My Mother was a nurse, and your body takes a lot of abuse, and injuries just worsen over time. I hope that you get everything sorted out, and the proper treatment for your injury. I am using Votarin Gel with some relief for inflammation, it also comes in pill form.

Good luck to you!
 
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