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Between a rock no career
#1
Hello & thank you in advance for your input.

I have been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease and a pinched nerve in my neck that effects my right hand/arm. I (am right handed) It has been accepted as a work related/cumulative case by workers comp with the options of neurosurgery or seeking permanent partial disability. Since that time I have gone thru physical therapy and acupuncture which has helped but I have returned to work 4 times and the sitting and computer use keeps sending me downhill every time. I do not want the surgery because it's a risky procedure with the possibility of dangerous complications, while every time I'm away from the desk/computer I get slowly better and every time I go back I slowly get worse. The doctors see this and eventually I may have to come off the desk permanently, and seek some sort of disability.

The real problems are:
-Sitting at a computer is all I've done for most of my career, I'm middle aged.
-I don't have much in transferrable skills to market at this time.
-I have 7 more years of steep child support to go.
-I will lose medical coverage for my child.
-The estimates of my disability compensation WILL NOT cover bills & child spt
-Losing my apt would be devastating, my credit is still shot from my divorce.
-I do not have any family nearby for support or a place to stay.
-Need a career counselor, can't afford one, can't find any free programs for it.

I just don't know what to do.
 
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#2
cervical surgery is a snap its a overnite stay been there done that got the scar. But down the road you are gonna do it again as they domino down your neck. Talk to your Dr or PT about different ways to fix your chair and or computer area to be more friendly to your cervical injury. cervical injuries are common as dirt on here.and are second only to lower back injuries....if you would like go to "OFF TOPICS" side of the forum and ask for help with the cervical headaches we have ways of dealing with them without medication.
cervical surgery is a snap its a overnite stay been there done that got the scar. But down the road you are gonna do it again as they domino down your neck. Talk to your Dr or PT about different ways to fix your chair and or computer area to be more friendly to your cervical injury. cervical injuries are common as dirt on here.and are second only to lower back injuries....if you would like go to "OFF TOPICS" side of the forum and ask for help with the cervical headaches we have ways of dealing with them without medication.
........I love cats, I just cant eat a whole one by myself......







 
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#3
what's available and what options you have depends more then anything on your state and it's comp laws.
some offer vocational rehabilitation and have higher benefits rates.
when you want information you need to post your state.
Reminder :
........Each state has their own comp system; POST YOUR STATE to get accurate information. Use the search feature to find information from similar questions.
THANKS FOR POSTING.
 
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#4
(08-01-2013, 05:57 PM)jayne Wrote: cervical surgery is a snap its a overnite stay been there done that got the scar. But down the road you are gonna do it again as they domino down your neck. Talk to your Dr or PT about different ways to fix your chair and or computer area to be more friendly to your cervical injury. cervical injuries are common as dirt on here.and are second only to lower back injuries....if you would like go to "OFF TOPICS" side of the forum and ask for help with the cervical headaches we have ways of dealing with them without medication.
cervical surgery is a snap its a overnite stay been there done that got the scar. But down the road you are gonna do it again as they domino down your neck. Talk to your Dr or PT about different ways to fix your chair and or computer area to be more friendly to your cervical injury. cervical injuries are common as dirt on here.and are second only to lower back injuries....if you would like go to "OFF TOPICS" side of the forum and ask for help with the cervical headaches we have ways of dealing with them without medication.
Thanks for your reply.
Not going the route of surgery if staying away from a computer resolves most of the major pain & neuro problems.(I've gone on & off work 4 times and know from experience now) Glad your surgery went well but have come across too many horror stories in my research and talking with past patients. I have an ergo evaluation and quote for workspace redo to my employer, but the evaluator mentioned that some people don't get better no matter what changes are made, and I may be one of them. Have tried out some chairs/etc at office stores over the past 6 months but have not found any to make much of a difference. I'm doing this reply at a stand up desk and my hand is going numb right now as I'm typing.

I'm confirmed that getting away from the desk/computer is the remedy, just don't know what direction to go as 80-90% of my job market is computer/desk required.
The fact that I have other responsibilities, and little safety net or family network, makes this more challenging.

(08-01-2013, 06:47 PM)1171 Wrote: what's available and what options you have depends more then anything on your state and it's comp laws.
some offer vocational rehabilitation and have higher benefits rates.
when you want information you need to post your state.
Yes, correct. I'm in California.
My state did away with vocational programs and went to a community college voucher system, ironic that SF city college lost its accreditation this year. Was going to night school after work in the past but stopped about 3 years ago due to neck/back pain. Didn't think much of it at the time but now it all makes sense.

I'm a songwriter in my spare time, with some excellent local singers that are recording my songs for free just because they like my work, and I'll be putting out material even though it's just my dream and a pie in the sky thing. Have also put out some voice-over demos, I have that type of voice and have been urged to by many people, still not a solid bet.

Just can't wrap my head around a path away from computers, or a way not to "lose
the farm" in going the way of disability. Just tired of my hand going numb from typing as it is right now.

Thanks for your reply.
 
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#5
may not be your neck.may be carpal tunnel....My cervical was not successful and I don't advice it to anyone who can stand the pain but there are ways to help,from rice socks to ice packs to massage.But the most important is attitude.Try filling a mans tube sock with rice (not minute rice) tie a knot in it.you can now put this in the micro wave and heat it and use it on your neck start with one min and then go 15 secs at a time till it is hot do not over heat cuz if you burn the rice you have to throw it out.I put cinnomin and cloves in mine just cuz I like the way it smells.Remember not to overfill as then it wont wrap around your neck. My rice socks last about 3 months and then I remake them.
........I love cats, I just cant eat a whole one by myself......







 
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#6
there are generally a lot more unskilled and manual labor jobs available then those requiring computer or tech skills.
just because comp no longer provides vocational rehabilitation benefits doesn't mean their aren't professional resources for you out there.

you can start with EDD
http://www.edd.ca.gov/Jobs_and_Training/

another affordable source is DOR
http://www.dor.ca.gov/Vocational-Rehabilitation.html

if you've been off work for a year you can apply for Social Security Disability.

for help for your child:
http://www.insurekidsnow.gov/


there is help out there, you just have to keep searching. contact your county and city welfare services (listed in the front of your phone directory)4

child support requirement can be changed by the court: apply for a correction.


while relocating out of state can cause treatment problems with your claim there is no legal requirement that you stay in state so if you need to get help from relatives do it.
Reminder :
........Each state has their own comp system; POST YOUR STATE to get accurate information. Use the search feature to find information from similar questions.
THANKS FOR POSTING.
 
Reply
#7
(08-02-2013, 12:30 PM)jayne Wrote: may not be your neck.may be carpal tunnel....My cervical was not successful and I don't advice it to anyone who can stand the pain but there are ways to help,from rice socks to ice packs to massage.But the most important is attitude.Try filling a mans tube sock with rice (not minute rice) tie a knot in it.you can now put this in the micro wave and heat it and use it on your neck start with one min and then go 15 secs at a time till it is hot do not over heat cuz if you burn the rice you have to throw it out.I put cinnomin and cloves in mine just cuz I like the way it smells.Remember not to overfill as then it wont wrap around your neck. My rice socks last about 3 months and then I remake them.
Thanks for the suggestions.
Heat does work well, learned that from my Acupunture sifu, a good hot shower works better for me, plus I do all the physical therapy exercises pretty regularly. It's just the fact that sitting & typing aggravate the nerve, I wake up in the AM in OK shape but by afternoon I can barely sit down. Neck gets sore & fingers get numb.

Been tested for carpal tunnel, negative results, but the DR thinks I have tendonitis which I think is just one step shy of that.

Will try heat pads (or sock) to see if it makes a difference.
 
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#8
(08-02-2013, 12:45 PM)1171 Wrote: there are generally a lot more unskilled and manual labor jobs available then those requiring computer or tech skills.
just because comp no longer provides vocational rehabilitation benefits doesn't mean their aren't professional resources for you out there.

you can start with EDD
http://www.edd.ca.gov/Jobs_and_Training/

another affordable source is DOR
http://www.dor.ca.gov/Vocational-Rehabilitation.html

if you've been off work for a year you can apply for Social Security Disability.

for help for your child:
http://www.insurekidsnow.gov/


there is help out there, you just have to keep searching. contact your county and city welfare services (listed in the front of your phone directory)4

child support requirement can be changed by the court: apply for a correction.


while relocating out of state can cause treatment problems with your claim there is no legal requirement that you stay in state so if you need to get help from relatives do it.

Thanks for the DOR link!!! That's what I've been looking for. Will check out the kids insurance site too.

Manual labor is out of the question with my condition, unskilled jobs most likely won't cover things $-wise. Gotta be real savvy about this, a lot at stake.

The first thing I did when this happened was go to the child spt office to present to them my situation and ask what would happen if.... The lady looked at me like I was crazy because they're used to chasing down deadbeat dads and I was doing the exact opposite.

As for relocation, not in my plans now, I reside in one of the best areas of SF, everything is in walking distance. I've been advised to drive as least as possible by the doctors and eventually stop altogether. Moving to a rural area (the only relatives I have are in the country) and having to spend a lot of time on the road is not an option for me, plus it's farther away from the main job market that is a bus ride or walking distance from my house. The only reason I would move is to be closer to my kid, and that would take $$$.

I think the DOR thing might be the path to getting some career counseling, excellent reply.

 
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#9
Dear 1171
Thank you for your good reply with the links. Have tried DOR, I think I'm on a long waiting list due to my disability category, EDD is a mess & not much in the way of counseling, but will still try to get something out of it. Welfare won't touch me cause I make more than poverty level though much of it goes to child spt, after I go disability maybe they will.(?)

It's getting close to the point that I can't keep typing everyday & will have to do something. Just checking for any other ideas you might have.

THX!!!
 
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#10
I also have a cervical spine injury.

I have to pace myself when using the computer taking frequent breaks. I invested in a chair with a high back to give the upper back and head more support.

To help control the cervical headaches I frequently use a massage chair and heat with meds being a last resort.

I also use a tens unit which helps greatly with the pain.

The cervical injury affects the use of my hands and this can be very challenging.

If I do not stay on top of the pain with the massaging, heat, and tens unit the pain goes out of control, this happens more than I like to admit.

My cervical spine surgery was 2011, I will be having another cervical surgery in the near future.

Good luck with the resources 1171 gave you.
 
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