In parallel to this situation I had gone to the hospital because my neck became swollen due to some bug I had caught and the doctor freaked out when I casually said that I was having a little difficulty breathing. I didn’t mean to alarm him but it did. He took it to be worse than it was. So I got the works and spent two days in the hospital with an IV antibiotic which was complete overkill. I learned my lesson about making such remarks casually. But when I was in there I talked to my doctor about my other situation, who was African American and much more honest than I am used to from a doctor, and he told me that I would never get cured as long as I was in the workman’s comp system because all they care about is putting me through the process that results in the documentation they need defend against a law suit. I had no idea that this was the case and I was glad he told me. I had no interest in suing but I believed this guy. So I asked him what I can do and he told me that it was my right to be able to be able to choose my own doctor after I had been to the ones the company suggested. That was right before I met the cashier who recommended the orthopedic surgeon.
While I was being treated by this doctor, which was on going for about 4 years, the company wanted me to see another one of their doctors. This doctor seemed to also be running a work injury factory. He came into the room where I was waiting, looked at my hands for a few seconds and without asking me any questions said to me that it looked like I was better now and would no longer be needing any more treatment. So I look at him straight in the eye and I told him “Don’t you even imagine that I don’t realize what you are doing and that it won’t have any repercussions for you.” He got flush in the face and left the room. I walked out after him and on the way out I told him. “You can report what you want but know that in about an hour that my company is going to get a complete detailed description of what went on in that room, which wasn’t much. You didn’t even make the least amount effort to make it look legitimate. And if you think this is too direct then you better get used to it because I’m just getting started.” I would have kept it private had he stayed in the room but since he ran off like a coward everyone else in his office area heard the end of the conversation. I don’t think he reported my condition as being cured as I continued with the other doctor for a few more years and my company stayed out of it from then on. But that was after I called the medical office and gave them a piece of my mind. This was the second time they had interfered and I told them it was going to be the last or I would seek council. They stopped, eventually I got better, and I never sued anyone.
Maybe you don’t see this kind of stuff in small towns.
The lesson I learned from all of this is to never ever tell a doctor that what I have is work related. I always say it was because of something that happened at home. Always.
One other thing I forgot to mention. After I had my repetitive stress injury several other people in the company started to get them. I was the first but the problem started to become more frequent because we were just switching over to computers on every desk and no one knew about the potential for injury if you sat there and hammered away at the keys all day long without taking any breaks. A lot of them were secretaries (office managers). After the experience with me they started to send all these people to the same doctor I was seeing. But since they immediately saw a doctor who was familiar with the proper way to treat this new and unfamiliar injury and didn't get misdiagnosed as I had been, their recoveries were much faster than mine. I’m convinced that had they been sent to the doctors I had seen they would have done no better.
When I eventually left the company several years later one of the things you had to do was go to the medical department and get signed off as part of the departure procedure. I found it interesting how they had lost all history of my medical records. It seems that the lady that was in charge when I was getting treated had left the company and apparently she didn’t want those files on record for some reason because for records to be missing like that is rare. Everyone seemed extremely perplexed. They were all afraid of nothing because I would never have sued. All I wanted was to get treated by the right doctor and the company’s interference with the doctors I was seeing was making it difficult for me to do that.
I also learned that there is an industry of work injury doctors out there that depend on companies to send them patients and then send those patients back with assessments that there is nothing wrong with these people. That doctor that advised me to get out of the work comp system told me that the doctors in it are forced to be corrupt and they really don’t have the patient’s interest at heart. You may find this hard to believe but after my experience I KNOW that it is true. I’m 100% sure of it. The doctor who advised me to get out of the workman comp system used to work in it and he told me he left it because he could not do what they expected him to do. He said it was wrong. I don’t know how it would have ended had he not told me all this because I was still naive thinking that these doctors were actually interested in curing me. I’m sure they did not want to do me any harm but they certainly were not interested in doing anything that would take more than a few months less they never get another patient from that company again.
But finally my company came to realize that these people with the RSI injuries were not faking anything and they were actually injured, they started to let the doctors take as long as it took. But this was after several high level people started to get the same injury and found out about the process themselves and were outraged as I was.