Count the Blessings by the Barrel: A Workers Comp Tale

Alright, lookin back at this I see it’s somewhat lengthy, thats ok with me.  Its what my fingers produced when gravity ran its course.  If nobody reads it, I dont care.  Its not for anyone else.  I just had to get it off my chest, put this out in the open.  Heads up though, its about to get real personal….

I’ve been depressed, like clinically fucking depressed.   And right when I felt like things had started to turn around for me at work and in my personal life, or when I felt like I was starting to truly be happy again.

BOOM

everything changes...

           I was working crazy amounts of overtime because I became the head order writer/main dairy clerk for a large grocery store Safeway just before Thanksgiving.  Anyone who has worked at a grocery store knows during the holidays and NFL season, everybody and their momma has discovered a new affinity for sour cream, cream cheese, butter, cheese, you know all the shit I have to order and work with basically no help, in a store that does a million a week in business on average (during the holidays think closer to WAY MORE).   Anyways, I got done workin like a 12 or 13 hour day, hit a friend up, had a few beers and an appetizer at our local pub went back to my place and I was done like dinner.  I passed out exhausted within like 20 minutes of being home.  What made it really bad was the fact I was supposed to give him a ride home when we were done chillin.

         Anyways, when I woke up on the couch I had that feeling in my hands of being “asleep”  like I fell asleep on it and all it had to do was shake it out or something for it to wake up and get the blood flow goin, get rid of that pins and needles sensation.  A goal which became increasingly more and more important to me as time went on.  For some reason this time it was the most intensely uncomfortable sensation I had yet experienced in my life.  If that wasn’t cause enough for concern, any time it felt like it was starting to go away and I would start to fall back asleep it would return with a vengeance and wake me back up again.  Alarms were definitely blaring when the sensation still hadn’t returned half-way through the following day.  Despite this “minor inconvenience”  I proceeded to work for close to two weeks before I said anything.

           That was the 15th of November and I still don’t feel the ring and middle fingers on my left hand to this second as I type these words.  To top it off, I had moved apartments & been working a physical job for several months earlier with a very painful or sore shoulder.  My life, “in a nutshell” since about June or July has been a regular, consistent 7-11 on the pain scale.  At times I can’t even pick up my water bottle because of my shoulder, even if I could get a firm grip with the affected hand.   Even though I wouldn’t have been able to afford all the physical therapy if I had gone through my own personal Dr. I wish I had never reported the injury through work.  Doing so was the biggest mistake EVER!!!!!  I can no longer even work at my store, where at least I’m comfortable in the sense of I know everyone.  No, its Safeway’s policy that they don’t allow you to stay at your store when you’re on workers compensation, at least until I’m fully cleared to come back without restrictions by the Dr. which is NOT looking promising anytime soon.  Especially since this new Dr. saw me for less than an hour and took one look at my MRI and scheduled me for a second one and wants me to see an orthopedic surgeon now. and wrote me off from work indefinitely.  I found this last part especially intriguing because the Dr. I saw the day before him said she was unable to write me off work because I “wasn’t totally disabled”….  She also said everything on my MRI looked fine other than the nerve damage and resulting loss of muscle bulk…..

Am I the only one who feels like their reactions were on opposing ends of the spectrum?

My life is now dominated by Dr.’s visits and BULLSHIT.  Receiving misinformation, when I receive any…. Getting the runaround or mistreated by people in distant corporate offices as if filing a claim relinquished any earlier claim I may have had, you know, like the one where I’m treated like a person who deserves respect.  My whole world is flipped on its head, and the not knowing whats going on from one week to the next, is stressing me out.  As if I don’t already have enough on my plate right now, Im forced to work at a new store with new people, on days instead of nights which requires an entirely different skill set.  I don’t know what I expected from the process, but it wasnt this.  Sometimes it feels like I’m right on the brink of losing whatever tenuous grasp I may still possess…And then what?

This whole experience has been the most de-humanizing experience I’ve ever gone through.  Between that and the pain, Im not gonna lie, there were several points where I’ve just been ready to check out, say fuck it and pull the plug, make it end.

I just know that I can’t live like this.

Cant let her see me this weak,

                 Can’t keep pretending that I’m OK

                                   Cant continue writhing in pain

                                                             OR

                                                      Relying on painkillers just to make it through the day.  I couldn’t tell you the last time I cried before this.  Now it seems almost like I’m crying every day.  My pride has most assuredly learned to take an Ali like  pounding.  The only problem is there’s no “dope” to rope but me.

It just feels like they’re never gonna get it together and at least patch me up to the point where I’m not in near agony on a GOOD day.  It took me 3 months of seeing a Dr. to get her to order an MRI and I shit you not, during my last appointment with the astute Dr. she said to me “I think you have something wrong with your shoulder”.  I mean, how do you respond to that?  Keep in mind, I had in fact told her this very same thing, EVERY SINGLE APPOINTMENT!  Sometimes I just feel like I’m invisible, or like she thought I was faking it, as if I had given just cause for my credibility to suddenly be in question.  I mean, the nerve, I should be questioning her own credibility, because certainly I would like to verify her crackerjack credentials!  Every time I told her that I needed a refill I got that condescending look, like I’m some sort of junky.  It couldn’t possibly be related to the fact that I wake up in pain, I go to sleep in pain, and that’s when I can even get comfortable enough to fall asleep any more because…..yep you guessed it.  I feel like sayin What has two thumbs and hurts like a bitch?  This guyyyyy…….  If anything its only increased from when I first filed the claim.  I’m still not entirely sure whats wrong with me, but at least it seems like this new guy “understands the words that are comin outta my mouth” to quote Rush Hour

Its times like this, I need to remember how lucky I am to still be here. (And by here I mean like HERE, on this earth here) Or just how close I came to that not being the case.  I gotta work more on appreciating the things I do have at this moment, even if good health is not among them.  When I take stock of the amazing people I have in my life, or how far I’ve come in some areas of my personal development, or how far I have left to go… When I look at it that way, and the ways in which I have grown from having experienced this.  I truly do count my blessings by the barrel

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3 thoughts on “Count the Blessings by the Barrel: A Workers Comp Tale”

  1. I like the valuable information you provide to your articles. I will bookmark your blog and take a look at once more here frequently. I’m slightly certain I’ll be informed a lot of new stuff right here! Best of luck for the following!

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  2. Love the way you ended this post. It’s vitally important to take stock of what you do have when you feel as though you’re losing control in other aspects of your life. Keep on counting those barrels.

    Like

    1. Yeah I have definately realized that certain people serve as my “anchors” and keep me grounded. Yeah it sucks that I gotta go through this and that these decisions get made with no thought of the individual but it could be worse….I could have to go it alone. I think I’m more surprised that anyone made it to the end of the post 😉 I appreciate the input!

      Like

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