March 7th I was hurt at work. Not the best day I’ve ever had.
I had turned to lift a load of groceries into a shopping cart, and felt something excruciatingly painful shoot down my leg. I left work, after the over the counter muscle relaxers that I had took right after, wore off and went straight to get some help.
For the people who think being on WBC is fun, well think again. I was not at the park playing with my kids, or eating bonbons and watching soaps, and definitely not having intimate lunches with my lovely girlfriends. I spent 1 month hobbling around, drugged up, going 3 times a week to my chiropractor across Surrey to receive small adjustments and to my regular doctor here in White Rock once a week, trying to get the correct diagnosis.
I tried massage, acupuncture, acupressure, heavy medicine, swimming, hot tubs, sauna, walking, and the pain would not subside. WorkSafe does not cover extra costs outside of the one method you pick and it wasn’t cheap.
I had to hire a cleaning lady, and put the kids into full time daycare. I couldn’t do much at all in the first 2 months. And Alfonz took on a lot of the loads when he came home each day.
The doctors thought I had a soft tissue muscle injury. Finally after agonizing pain, I asked and asked and finally received my form for an MRI from my doctor. Thank the lord above. I have a friend that works there, and she had a last-minute cancellation the next day and called me. I was there in 5 minutes!
I had 3 slipped discs, and the bulge was pushing on my sciatic nerve. Yes! My diagnosis. My treatment changed from chiropractors to decompression therapy every other day until the 8-week mark of my claim. It was helping and would have helped, but because of the late diagnosis I wasn’t progressing fast enough for WSBC or my work but I still couldn’t go back to work, as I was barely moving. So they changed my treatment plan, and WSBC did the best thing they could have done for me.
Back in Motion Rehabilitation!
They assigned me an Occupational therapist, the lovely Robert, who walked me through my program outline, and sat me down and told me what to expect. Documenting my exact immobility, he mapped out my job requirements to the pound.
Kinesiology Tina or Jodi, not sure whose mine, but they are always helping out. They got me on a specific workout program that would get me back to my mobility before injury. They gave me on the floor stretching exercises, cardio and weight training. Then they incorporated a two day a week YMCA located pool program. This would be the bulk of my days on the program, and my team was never more than a few feet away from me.
My Physiotherapist Jessica, who happens to be a walking information booth, explained the mechanics of my injury, why it happened (you shouldn’t be doing my job at 40, just saying), and how to get the muscles, tendons, bones, and ligaments back to where they should be. Slowly, once they said I could, I started pushing myself to do more each and everyday.
Back in Motion has a doctor and a shrink on site (funny I didn’t talk to the Psychiatrist, you’d think right?), all at your fingertips during your program! A few times my injury flared up and I saw the onsite doctor. It was amazing to have all these specialists there for you. At times I joked with the other inmates that this is what jail would be like. Regimented, working out each day, them telling you when to eat and you get to leave early on good behaviour!
The program is 4-6 weeks with an optional 4-6 week gradual back to work modified program. But people really do vary. Some people had been off from work for years with broken bones, or knee surgeries, others were more depressed and couldn’t progress, but it was definitely a huge range of injuries all work related, but all with the hope of returning to work.
I forgot the best part. We get there by 7:30 each day until 1:30, 5 days a week. We got a 1/2-hour break for lunch and an hour information session. The information provided was on: pain management, the mechanics of pain, how to deal with claims, your doctors, how to progress emotionally, how your body works, the list is many deep. I went to 20 of them and found them helpful during my recovery.
Each day I start with 1/2 hr of cardiovascular, then 1/2 hour stretch with our group, followed by my custom Physiotherapy stretching program, then weights and more cardio. Within 2 weeks I was regaining mobility, and taking less pain killers. Within 3-4 weeks I was feeling strong and off all drugs. And now, although the pain is still there, I have learned to deal with it, and not let it immobilize me. I’ll have back pain the rest of my life, (manual labor jobs do that to you), but my view of the injury and pain have changed. Pain is the last symptom of an injury to go away. I now understand what ‘work through the pain’ means, and why it actually works. Fear is the worst thing with any injury. Worrying about re injury and not moving much at all is very common.
The staff at Back In Motion is amazing, from the first phone call from Stephanie at the desk to my going away party today at the centre.