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Is this really how I'm suppose to be treated??
#1
I am very happy I found this place.I am in Michigan and my case seems to be different from the others I have read here. I worked for my company for 5 1/2 years. In the first few weeks I was there I started having trouble breathing and had to go to the emergency room. They told me I have asthma, treated me and released me. I returned to work and over the next 5 years my breathing got worse and worse. It got to the point that I was taking 8 different medications, breathing treatments, and the only thing that would work is high doses of steroids. I was hospitalized two other times during those years for acute asthma and unless I was on high doses of steroids I could barely get off the couch. In April of 09 I just couldnt take it anymore and told my doctor we need to do something else cause I'm getting worse. I ended up going to a center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine. The physician, after lots of test and referrals to other doctors, diagnosed me with Interstitial Lung Disease, COPD, Asthma from being exposed to Cobalt and Carbide dust at work.I had to immediately be removed from from the workplace in mid April 09. Workers Comp immediately disputed the claim and my employer told me I should get an attorney.(I didnt want to at first because my employers treated me like family and I didnt want to do that to them.)I recieved short term disability for a few months that was half what I made. That ran out and my health insurance ran out 30 days after I had to leave work. Now I am down to my last 2000$. Cant afford prescriptions I am suppose to be on. Doctor doesnt know how to continue treatment cause I have no insurance and no way to pay for testing. He has givin me some samples that he has to keep me with some meds. Is this how this is works? I am at financial ruin. I cant pay for my child support, rent, let alone medications. I have told my attorney this and he said that I have to pay for these things because workers comp is disputing claim. Can anyone give me any advice,insight. Is this really how this is?? Is this how I'm suppose to be treated?
 
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#2
Welcome and sorry to hear this and someone will be along who can help you,Lilly is from ur state and she maybe able to help you as well as 1171.
Each day is not a rite,it's a given.


 
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#3
In my opinion five years of illness in a cobalt environment before your DR figured it out ??? I think the fault lies there. Your employer is only acting in a safe, prudent, and legally responsible manner but perhaps they should have known better. Where was your plant safety team in all this ?

This copied from a Journal: http://www.thoracic.org/sections/clinica...case4.html

Interstitial lung disease that has been described to be associated with tungsten and cobalt is also called hard metal lung disease. Tungsten carbide, the "hard-metal" that gives this disease its name, is made by mixing minute particles of tungsten, carbon, and up to 25% cobalt, and then 'sintering' the mixture at high temperature to produce an extremely hard and heat-stable alloy. The component of hard metal causing this disease is thought to be cobalt. Even though tungsten alone is not believed to play a major role in the pathogenesis of this disease, the combination of cobalt and tungsten may be worse than cobalt alone [1] [2].

Repeated or chronic exposure to nickel carbonyl may induce pulmonary fibrosis. A rare interstitial lung disease resembling silicosis, also called vineyard sprayer's lung, is associated with copper exposure and is seen only among agricultural workers in Portugal. This disease appears to be related to inhalation of Bordeaux mixture, which is a 1 to 2.5% solution of copper sulfate neutralized by hydrated lime [3]. Bordeaux mixture is applied manually to combat mildew on grape vines. Even though 'siderosis' is described following chronic exposure to iron dust, iron fume and iron oxide dust, steel is not thought to be a major cause of lung disease.






maint314 Wrote:I am very happy I found this place.I am in Michigan and my case seems to be different from the others I have read here. I worked for my company for 5 1/2 years. In the first few weeks I was there I started having trouble breathing and had to go to the emergency room. They told me I have asthma, treated me and released me. I returned to work and over the next 5 years my breathing got worse and worse. It got to the point that I was taking 8 different medications, breathing treatments, and the only thing that would work is high doses of steroids. I was hospitalized two other times during those years for acute asthma and unless I was on high doses of steroids I could barely get off the couch. In April of 09 I just couldnt take it anymore and told my doctor we need to do something else cause I'm getting worse. I ended up going to a center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine. The physician, after lots of test and referrals to other doctors, diagnosed me with Interstitial Lung Disease, COPD, Asthma from being exposed to Cobalt and Carbide dust at work.I had to immediately be removed from from the workplace in mid April 09. Workers Comp immediately disputed the claim and my employer told me I should get an attorney.(I didnt want to at first because my employers treated me like family and I didnt want to do that to them.)I recieved short term disability for a few months that was half what I made. That ran out and my health insurance ran out 30 days after I had to leave work. Now I am down to my last 2000$. Cant afford prescriptions I am suppose to be on. Doctor doesnt know how to continue treatment cause I have no insurance and no way to pay for testing. He has givin me some samples that he has to keep me with some meds. Is this how this is works? I am at financial ruin. I cant pay for my child support, rent, let alone medications. I have told my attorney this and he said that I have to pay for these things because workers comp is disputing claim. Can anyone give me any advice,insight. Is this really how this is?? Is this how I'm suppose to be treated?
 
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#4
Sorry you are going through this. You need to go for state aid and any other organization who will help you with medical care , food, housing, etc. That being said yes WC can and does do this to people. Sad. I know nothing about your disease but there is an old forum member who isn't around anymore maybe you could PM. His name here is Collateraldamage. If you type that in the PM it will come up with hsi full user name. I'm not sure if he settled but I know his home was checked out also for possible irritants. He fought it all the way. His lungs are great now, no more pneumonias and other problems. Does your attorney feel you have a claim. Your Dr. knowing where you worked should have picked this up years ago. Cycler is right , this is where theproblem lies. It can be fought though, but will take time. Best of luck.
 
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#5
You need to do a search of resources that are out there and start applying for assistance.

Google 211 United Way and do a search or resources in your area.

Prescription Assistance Program
http://www.pparx.org

http://www.freemedicineprogram.org/

Most large cities have medical clincs run by non-profits.

Do you have a work comp attorney?

If you do not have one go to the top of this page and click on comp yellow pages
do a search of attorneys in your area. The consultation visit with an attorney is free.

Best Wishes!
Bummer Knees
 
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#6
Hi Capricorn,

I found 'Collateraldamage' on the injured workers forum. I sent him a private message, gave him some info so hopefully he'll pass on some advice to maint314

Take care,
BB
 
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#7
I am a bit confused. I read that w/c denied the claim. Is that right? If so it seems to me that getting an attorney is something you really need to do. It stands as being pretty obvious that this is work related, so you do need some help here.

But then maybe I just read the first post wrong. I do that a lot too.

I am sorry that you have found yourself in this position. I was told that I have underlying CPOD, didn't even know I had it until I was injured at work and then had surgery. Now that I am aware of it I see that I do have a regular cough. That was also workplace related due to cleaning materials....but I can't claim that. Still I was really grateful to find this site. When I was first injured I was so distraught. I had no insurance, got fired from my job, and had this incredibly painful injury. I was scared to death. But through all of the people here I gradually gained my own experience and confidence in dealing with w/c. This is a frustrating journey. You do need people to help you through it and light some of those darkened paths that show up along the way. I wish you all of the best. You will find the help you need here.
 
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#8
try
http://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/
 
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#9
Go here, scroll down for contact numbers'

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/wca_hc...9457_7.pdf

Ask your attorney about an emergency hearing, and rush on that issue.
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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#10
Thanks everyone for answering so quick. I'm only 34, have no family i can lean on , and have never been thru anything like this.I've been working since I was 15 and supporting myself since I was 17.Never had any troubles until now. It just blows my mind that I got sick because of work environment and I'm the one who is in ruin now. Even OSHA came in after this was reported and did air quality tests and fined the company. It was only a 750$ fine. But they found higher levels of cobalt and carbide then was allowed.Yet here I sit freaking out cause I'm not gonna be able to pay bills in the next couple months, and did nothing but go to work everyday. So thanks for the ear everyone. Here is the answers to everyones questions:
CYCLER- My plant was a small business.It doesnt have a safety team or union or anything of that sort.The stuff you wrote about ,cobalt,tungsten,and sintering is exactley what we did there. I was the maintenenace man. It is a Tungsten Carbide Manufacturer.
CAPRICORN- Thanks for the refferal. I will look him up. They have not checked my home for irritants but OSHA did inspect the shop and they were fined.
BUMMERKNEES- Thank you for the links, I am going to look at them here in a minute. I do have a w/c attorney and had a pretrial. We have another court date in a couple of weeks that the my attorney says so the magistrate can check on our progress.
FREEBIRD- Thank you for the link.
BADBOY- Thanks for the link.All that is there has been done.w/c is disputing the claim so they wont pay for anything right now.So my attorney says it has to come out of my pocket.
My attorney said this could go on for a couple years. If that is true how do people survive? The specialist wont release me to work, yet cant treat me anymore than he is because he cant run further tests. And worst of all how do I tell my 12 year old daughter that her father can't do his part to take care of her. I have never felt like less of a man than I do right now.At least I have a place I can talk to someone now, and i apologize if i come across as a whiner. Please dont think that, I have taken care of business and my daughter since I was 17. Ive never been in a position where I have no control.Thank you all for being here!!!!!!
 
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