Have Carpal Tunnel? Keep suffering!

March 2nd, 2007

Man fall I am at a point in my life where things really peeve me. When something bothers me, I am becoming more inclined to voice (whether verbally or in this journal) my displeasure. Our family is dealing with an issue that although I don’t have any control over, I could just scream about.

My husband of 17 yrs. has been working for Big Blue for 7 years on and off. I say “on and off” because he has been laid off from them about what? 4 times now? Not due to bad performance. It is all “making the numbers look good at the end of the quarter” thing. He works hard and enjoys his job, for the most part. He has put in countless overtime hours and weekends to get projects done. Has it made a difference? No. Why? He is a contractor. Many Big Blue “official” employees think that contractors are paid more and treated better. Oh, how wrong they are.

On to why I am angry. Let me just say, we are honest people. Stupidly honest. My husband is the guy that found over $1K in a wallent once in the Price Club parking lot. There was no I.D. inside. He could have taken the cash (at the time we were newly married and could have REALLY used the money), but instead took the wallet into Price Club and turned it in. We found out later that the money belonged to a retired couple and that was their monthly living money. My husband is REALLY honest. I have never known him to lie or hurt others. He is always there when someone needs a person they can depend on. So….

On October 1, 2006 my husband started experiencing pain in his left hand/wrist. He is right-handed by the way. As he works for Big Blue and sits at a high table (not a desk) in a crappy chair (contractors get the crappy chairs), he thought it might be his work environment. He went to our family doctor and the doctor said he had a textbook case of Carpal Tunnel.

Here is where it gets fun. He contacted his contract firm and filed a Workman’s Comp. case. From then on, he was treated like a criminal. The W.C. adjuster made him sound like he was “making it up”. His contract firm wouldn’t return phone calls. You get the idea. My husband met with THREE doctors and had a nerve conduction study done (which I am told by many is painful). The verdict? Severe carpal tunnel in his hand and elbow.

Where are we now? Oh yeah! It has been FIVE MONTHS and my husband still hasn’t had any medication for his pain. We have gotten a letter from the W.C. saying “You might be in pain, but we don’t think it is from typing on the computer for 8+ hours a day at a table in a crappy chair. Suffer because we aren’t helping you.” We also got a letter from a third party saying that my husband definitely needs surgery but that W.C. won’t help us.

GREAT! Now what? On top of being honest, my husband is a really great dad and friend. He plays Lego with our son, he works on cars with his friends, he helps my in-laws with odd jobs around their house, etc. He can’t do ANY of those things now. About two months ago, his other hand started to hurt, badly. He wears wrist braces on both hands and takes the maximum amount of Ibuprofen each day. There is no relief. After only sleeping 3 hours this last Sunday, we had had enough. We contacted a lawyer and the Texas Board for protection of workers.

We came to the decision that my husband was in so much pain, we would just pay out-of-pocket for some sort of relief. Whether it be a shot in the wrist, etc. He can’t take the pain. My husband made an appt. to see the doctor and was promptly called back with a cancellation. Why? NO doctor can see or treat him until the agencies decide what to do. Can you believe that? We are looking at least 30-60 days out before he can get relief.

So, I want to warn all of the hard-working, honest people out there that do their jobs and are always there for others. It doesn’t matter. The system doesn’t care whether you are honest or a deadbeat. You WILL be treated like a criminal and denied relief. Makes you kind of wonder what would happen if you are burned or get a broken limb on the job, doens’t it?

We aren’t looking for money or fame. My husband needs relief from his pain so he can go on being a good employee, Dad, husband, and friend. Five months since reporting the pain and NO RELIEF. What a wonderful system we live in.

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