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Intimidation Tactics (01 March 2007 - 3:06 p.m.)

Last evening, I heard from an assistant principal who said she was calling to see how I was doing. I explained that I am waiting for the workerís comp insurance company to authorize an MRI, physical therapy and pain management. My jaw dropped when she said she didnít understand what workerís comp had to do with anything.

I met with this woman and another assistant principal the day after the injury. I reminded her of that, but she continued to express surprise. She went on to say that work-related injuries require proper documentation. I assured her that I filed an accident report with the nurse back in December, the same day I met with her and the other assistant principal. Ms. AP then remarked that I have been out of work since February 5th, not since December, so she didnít understand how this is related to the incident with the student. I was floored.

I have been in pain every day since December 13, 2006. I called my primary care physician on December 14th, but he wouldnít see me because I was hurt at work, and he doesnít handle these cases. Ditto my neurologist. I called my HMO and my benefits department at work. No one knew how to advise me. I was at a loss as to how to proceed, so I did nothing. After hitting one brick wall after another, I felt defeated.

The recent loss of my brother has left me in a fragile emotional state, and I havenít felt up to dealing with complicated issues, such as this one. So I let it go until February 2nd,
when I finally had had enough of the pain (which had become more acute after I sat in an uncomfortable position in a freezing cold room at work for a couple of hours). At that point, I called the physician who performed my spine surgery four years ago, and I am now awaiting the aforementioned authorization.

In the meantime, my physician told me not to return to work until further notice. What am I supposed to do, disregard doctorís orders? Going to work while I was in pain from December 13th through February 2nd could very well have made my condition worse. I donít want to risk doing any more damage.

When Ms. Assistant Principal called yesterday evening, she informed me that I would have to supply a doctorís note. I told her I would take care of it, and, first thing this morning, I called the doctorís office. The receptionist said I would have to come in for an appointment in order to get such a note, even though I explained that I was assured at my last appointment that I could have a note for work if I needed one Ė all I had to do was let the doctor know. The receptionist insisted that I had to come in, and gave me an appointment for tomorrow at 11:30.

Shortly after that, I got a call from the principalís secretary. She was calling to let me know that she had heard from the person who handles comp claims, and they need a doctorís note TODAY. I told the secretary that they would have their note TOMORROW, as it was outrageous to expect me to turn in a note today without having received prior notification that a note was needed at this time.

I then called the person in charge of workerís comp. She advised me that I only have 7 and Ĺ sick days left. I asked about the sick bank that I contribute to, and she said I would have to call my union president to find out about that. So, I called my union president, but she has not yet returned my call.

What bothered me most out of all these calls was when the woman in charge of workerís comp mentioned that my claim might be denied because the injury goes back to December. What does that have to do with anything?? The fact remains that I was hurt at work, and have been out of work as a direct result of that injury! Why am I being put in the position of having to defend myself? I have been advised to stay out of work by a physician! Before I saw the doctor, I went to work. What did that get me? More pain!

She also told me that, if my claim IS approved, it could take a long time before the workerís comp checks come in. I am very upset right now, and very worried about making ends meet. This is starting to be more than I can handle.

Song of the Day: King of Intimidation by Alanis Morissette

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