Career Ending Operation???

Discussion in 'The Drivers Lounge' started by pro1driver, May 29, 2014.

  1. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LAST

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    Hello all.

    I have been on this site, nearly day and night, for the past month or so, as some have noticed.

    No, I am not fired, or laid off from my job.

    I had a somewhat severe injury back in April.

    I only PM'd one person, who I have been friends with for a long, long time.

    We didn't start out as friends,(due to my openness and opinions and such, and he had his, and would freely tell me about how wrong I would be on certain subjects) but in time, well, we have become good friends through this site.

    The injury happened when I was putting into place a portable loading dock ramp, at my first stop. You all know what a portable dock ramp looks like, but some here may not, so a pic should be below. These ramps can be heavy. And by the way, my job, we work all alone, no help, no fork lifts, only an electric pallet jack, which does not fit under the ramp. The ramp has to be manually moved.

    Well, after reporting the accident asap, was told to go home, asap, or go to the hospital, which I told my boss, I can be waiting till the cows come home, before they see me. Boss told me to call him in the AM, and I will be told where to go to get checked out.

    They sent me to a Concentra, in my city.

    Ok, first doc say's "from what you are explaining to me, you have a bad #5 disk"
    She gives me powerful meds, and to come back in one week for therapy.

    Following week, another doc see's me..(this one is a bonafide quack), he say's I have a "back spasm".....but gives me more powerful meds.

    Well, the first doc was right.

    (I had spinal fusion back in 2001), so I kinda know the pain.

    Came back from the Neurosurgeon about 2 hours ago now....

    I need another spinal fusion.

    First operation was the 3/4 disk.

    This one is the 4/5 disk.

    Only one more left down there guys....

    I asked the surgeon if this was a career ending operation.

    Surgeon says....."we will discuss that after the operation and recovery and therapy"......

    Personally, my thoughts are to end my driving career, and get onto permanent disability.

    With only one more disk down there....how long before that one blows, driving a truck, loading and unloading..????

    Thanks to the guy I had PM'd for your friendship and keeping this to yourself, you friendship is truly appreciated.

    (PS...i cannot upload the pic of the portable loading dock ramp.)

    one more thing, i can see where i left out the details on moving that dock plate, sorry for that.

    the portable dock plate weighs ( i think) about 100+ pounds.

    now, it is on the dock floor. so i'd have to "slide it" to the edge of the dock floor. this i would do, going on one side and slide a bit. then go over the the other side, and slide it a bit. then when it was at the edge of the dock floor, i would have to lift it, again, one side at a time, then place one edge into the trailer..go around the other side, and pick it up, and place it into the trailer.

    when done, i'd have to lift it up, one edge at a time, and place it on the floor, then the other side. once on the dock floor, i'd pretty much leave it about 6" from the dock edge and then close the door.

    oh yeah...there is NO "lifting by the knees"..no room to maneuver it into the trailer, as the dock door is much narrower than the trailer door. and then, no leverage to pick it up from the floor or in the trailer.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2014
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  2. xchief

    xchief Active Member

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    ProDriver,
    We all know back injuries are painful and serious, You have first hand experience. Also truck drivers just by the nature of the sitting, bouncing, and lifting are very prone to back injuries. I am very sorry to hear of your injury. My thought would be to get a GOOD second opinion, and if he agrees with the first one you got then have the surgery. Letting a back injury go probably will lead to more serious problems down the road. Do the rehab and see where it goes. Will you be on workmen's comp while you are off? what does your company say about the situation? will they fight your claim if you go for disability? Financially how will this affect you? Lots of questions and hard answers to get.
    Keep the faith and I will keep you in my prayers.
     
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  3. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LAST

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    the surgeon's office has to fax off to the insurance company for approval. I would also like a second opinion, in fact, i''d suspect the insurance company will require it as well, like my first go around.

    that's all i can realistically do right now.



    yes, those checks started rolling in about the second week, and i have indeed been reimbursed for out of pocket expenses.

    the owner of the company has called me, and said to get better and such.

    i hope not, but if the doctor says......no more truck driving.....

    right now, $200 less per week, from my usual take home pay

    yes, indeed...the questions...and thank you.
     
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  4. Cerberus_Kelpie

    Cerberus_Kelpie Wings Over the World!

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    A page FULL of Portable loading dock ramps:
    https://www.google.com/search?q=por...gallery%2Fmobile-loading-dock-gallery;800;558

    DUDE, most if not all loading ramps are best moved with Forklifts and I as well have been around MANY of them, some with wheels, some stationary.
    I have and will NEVER attempt to move one without a Forklift, overhead Crane/Hoist, etc. I help by backing the trailer (obviously to stationary units) and THAT IS IT.
    Personally G., if the company OWNER/boss/whatever were not present to do most of their work idea and possibly/probably injure him/herself, I would not have bothered.
    This principle goes along with why I refuse to offload my 53' trailer, for without the use of a usable Forklift, the unloading services or whomever are responsible.

    You are correct, with the L3/L4 and the L4/L5 Discs already damaged, you may well be best not to continue Driving especially if you are required to perform such tasks as what put you into your particular recovery station.

    It's a little late dude but one has to know when to fold and walk away.

    I hate that you are injured to the extent you are injured or at all and I fully comprehend your dilemma having myself undergone experience with a Loved one (now my wife) with corrupt/inefficient "doctors", insurance companies and the workers comp. aggravations.

    Your second opinion was a joke, so, as you are able, get a third, 4th, 5th, whatever it takes to get some similarity of opinion as to treatment.
    Pain medications mostly create problems and as such the original cause/causes of the problems are not alleviated.


    xchief = what does your company say about the situation?


    The questionable owner reads, of MY edification, that of being/becoming a PROBLEM. The "owner", if there were compassion shown, would have been better to have stated "Let me know what I can do to HELP", but seeing as we are in a nation of idiocy and incompetence, company "owners" usually do not care since we are all expendable/replaceable.
    Personally, I would be chatting up some Attorneys as a precursor to the potentiality or inevitability.

    Keep On Keeping On Pro1!!

    Keep WE of T.B. apprised!!
     
  5. Dockworker

    Dockworker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    There are times where I go to a customer and they only have the movable dock plate/ramp.
    I refuse to move it because of the awkwardness of it and it's not a requirement for me to move it to get freight delivered or picked up. (It's the customers)
    If customer won't move their own dock plate, I leave.

    An L3/L4 fusion and now you need an L4/L5? I would say you're borderline in having to call it quits.
    We have a few guys at UPS Freight with multi level fusions. One more and it's a career.
    That's not to say we all have some form of degenerative disc disease and in our line of work, more likely to blow it out sooner.


    Don't think about the job too much at the moment. It's going to be a long road to recovery with work comp.
    A lot of work comp guidelines/baby steps must be met (Conservative Therapy, Epidural, Microdiscectomy, Discogram,IME to name a few) before they even authorize fusion surgery unless you are totally blown out at L4/L5.
    Have you done an MRI yet to confirm?
    In my area, we are only allowed two doctor opinions and the company doctor, if one is foolish to use, does not count.


    Keep all your paperwork organized and have a well seasoned work comp attorney who can advise you of your rights in the state you live.
     
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  6. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LAST

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    sadly, our customer, does not allow us to operate thier forklifts. we are only allowed the use of the electric pallet jacks. long before i became an employee of that trucking company, the drivers had to use manual pallet jacks, trying with all thier might, to move 10' long pallets, weighing as much as 3,000 lbs of pipes.

    unfortunately, when bidding on the contract to haul, use of fork lifts was not allowed into the contract/talks.

    since many jobs that i have been seeing over the past few years, OTR is not even an option for me. being away from the home for any period of time past 1 day is not in the works for me, not now, not ever. i haven't seen too many jobs advertised as "drive only".....they are out there, i just don't see them...but even so, the continuous bouncing and such form the roads, will in time, make that last disk blow out.

    well, as soon as i felt that sharp pain.....i pretty much knew....it's time to think about "folding"

    i never been in any branch of the military..but "hurry up and wait" is the norm when you get hurt.

    i haven't had a second opinion yet..did you read that i said i had one already, or are you saying that it was a joke to say only to get one more opinion..??


    xchief = what does your company say about the situation?



    maybe the owner of the trucking company wanted me to know that he was "concerned for my health"....maybe he wanted to hear me say, "i'm gonna sue you"..????

    and a very highly recommended attorney has been secured.

    i will hang in there for as long as i can. it get's boring watching tv all day long. i must know every word from every movie, and every detail as well....

    i'd rather be outside, working the garden, painting the house, or just enjoying my time, but.....i can barely walk more than 10 steps, then must sit down. when i am cooking, i have to sit down quickly as well. sometimes when i would walk, my right leg lost it's holding power, and i'd fall like a rock. i now have to walk with a cane.

    the drugs i take now at bedtime, so i can sleep..?? what a joke that is.....never get more than 45 minutes to an hour each night.

    Oxycodone 7.5 mg, as written, take as often as needed for pain, i have taken as many as 6 per day, sometimes 8..now i'm weaning off it and taking maybe 2 to 4 per day.

    Cyclobenzaprine 10 mg 1 before bedtime... i have already skipped a night or two.

    Naproxen 500mg twice per day.....i maybe take one a day

    the pain is immense at times, and i hate pain, but i do not want to become dependent on the drugs, like a very dearly departed friend of ours, from this board.....remember his drug dependency...????.
     
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  7. Dockworker

    Dockworker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Cyclobenzaprine is nasty stuff. It can mess with you. It relaxed my muscles but kept my mind awake. I was sleepy but couldn't sleep if that makes drug sense.
     
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  8. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LAST

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    leaving, is not an option. we guys work all alone at night. we are supposed to make that delivery no matter what, especially if the dock plate is there to use. now however, if the dock plate is across the "alarm line", then i have to call the boss, other wise, the alarm get's set off.

    at places i go to, if the "built in" dock plate" does not work, i still have to call it in, and then the boss says, leave....we cannot make a decision without first making a call

    long before this injury, i was making calls, going in person, checking help wanted ad's....nothing..every time i'd try UPS...?? they send me to UPS Freight. nothing there either. oh i get the road test...that's it.

    [
    yes, we do all have degenerative disk disease....but everyone is different.


    frankly, i think that my job at that employer is gone. i do not see them taking me back, since the job requires we handle freight, and there is no "light duty", and i'd hardly think that they will hire a "driver's helper" just for me.

    a very good W/C lawyer has been secured.

    yes, if you refer back to my o/p, you will see where i said the second doctor at the clinic said that i have a "back spasm"...well since i have been through this, before, i right then and there demanded an x-ray AND an MRI....but again...like the military, with W/C insurance, it is "hurry up and wait"....took about 3 weeks to get the x-ray, than an additional 2 weeks later to get the MRI


    done..the attorney said he never had a client that had so much of a paper trail......

    and that IS the name of the game....start that paper trail.......from day 1.....
     
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  9. Dockworker

    Dockworker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I know you're miserable but it looks like your in good hands. Don't let the surveillance camera man catch you.

    Although you speak from experience and are probably spot on with what you and your doctor says you need done, you are at the mercy of work comps snail pace of certifying/non-certifying through ODG Guidelines. I totally agree that a work related injury takes it toll in the overall healing process..... it's a hurry up and wait.
     
  10. Cerberus_Kelpie

    Cerberus_Kelpie Wings Over the World!

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    From where I culled the decision that you had seen TWO doctors.
    The "second" visit was therefore a joke as to medical "expertise".

    Oxy/Hydro Codone, Oxycontin, VERY addicting.
    Remember when Ray stated his initiative to REDUCE the prescribed amount?
    He became WORSE until seeing the doc again and GRADUALLY decreasing the amount, yet was NEVER to be fully released of the drug(s).

    "Take as needed for Pain" has been and will continue to be a sure way to commit suicide, therein ENDING the pain, at least in this dimension.

    I have some continual Back Pain and it is aggravated by Standing, Walking, Driving vehicles as well Riding Motorcycles, Bicycles, Skates, Skateboards, Climbing stairs and mountains, Descending angles, generally breathing and sitting and laying down.
    I'm SURE it is the silent screams from L3 - L6 due to MANY "experiments" in altering design curvature from too many episodes to recall during my short 1/2 C + 5 years wandering upon this Planet.

    I'm certain I have yet to receive the full "physical awards" that are offered in Truck Driving having a few times received the "falling from the cab, falling from the trailer, stumbling up the cab steps, knocking about at the rear side of trailers PULLING the slide release bars/rods, pulling the 5th wheel release, winding down and up the Landing gear, Opening and closing barn doors, dock doors, SHARED lifting of light aluminum dock plates, shifting gears, sitting too long, resting on worn out bunks, climbing bunks, kicking tires, airing tires, changing tires/wheels, add your thoughts".

    HOPEFULLY WE WILL NOT READ you stating what Ray stated:
    "I wish I could just go to sleep and not wake up".

    SHARE your pain through a P.M.
    I'm a good ear and what is heard here STAYS HERE.
    I'll send you a P.M.

    MATE, BE EASY on yourself!!

    ~CK~
     
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  11. mud

    mud Wonderin'

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    I'm very sorry about what your going through pro1driver. Just out of curiosity, how old are you? I ask because I retired injury free at age 58. I'm 63 now and have arthritis, and missing cartilage, in both of my shoulders because of all the years I spent delivering freight. Maybe it's time to get out while the getting out is still good.
     
  12. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LAST

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    yes, ok....i got it,,, yep the "second doctor" at the clinic said i had a spasm...a quack if ever i had seen or heard of one..my apologies for my misunderstanding....

    yes, he did....this is what i want to avoid. in fact, when i had my motorbike wreck back in 2009, i was given a morphine "drip..???" and i hardly used it, the nurse came in and said, "who do i have here John Wayne"..??? "no one that has a motorbike wreck stays away from the morphine"...!!!...(but i did)...my first back operation...???

    they had to change out the morphine "drip" several times a day...!!

    yep

    well, only you can do what you need to do. for me, when i needed that first back operation, i went for it, same as both hands having carpal tunnel, and a double hernia.

    i'd "like to retire" somewhat healthy, not like some of my former trucking buddies i have personally known, that died broken old men, in such pain, they wished God would take them away...eventually...he did.

    same here, except, i think that dock plate i had to move, weighed about 100+ pounds.

    i had several PM's with Ray. i understood his pain, as i had gone through that first back operation. i understood the ease of getting hooked onto prescription meds.
     
  13. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LAST

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    i had to "add" to my original posting about that portable dock plate. the added notation is below the "PS"......
     
  14. Cerberus_Kelpie

    Cerberus_Kelpie Wings Over the World!

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    10-2, 10-4 on the dock plate problem.
     
  15. ABFer

    ABFer Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Sorry to hear it pro1driver. As the rest here do I have my own back to deal with and I know I am already on borrowed time. I have escaped surgery thus far and hope to keep it that way. My chiropractor told me that one fusion starts the countdown to the next. I forget how many years but 11-14 year range rings a bell. I once had a customer call in because I refused to manhandle a large dock plate by myself. He was too good to bend over and help but I was dog **** and should handle all alone. The POS I had for a TM gave me a letter for it. He liked paying my comp bills. Good luck and get better.
     
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  16. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LAST

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    it's been actually just past, 13 years since my first back operation.

    so yeah, that "range" can be on target, but also, i'm thinking that range can be "extended" if we do not go back to our old habits of heavy work..??? (for one).

    thank you
     
  17. Guardrail

    Guardrail Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Don't take this the wrong way, but I know a lot of people with screwed up backs , and plenty of metal in them, that still drive truck. Even if you stopped driving truck, why is disability an option? It drives me crazy that disability is thought of as an alternative to retirement.

    Guardrail
     
  18. ABFer

    ABFer Super Moderator Staff Member

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    You will probably have six months or more to mull this over until you get your final decision. So take your time and get it right. Maybe your employer can hook you up with a different job like cough cough...dispatcher :9529: Unless and until you are getting jerked around by the insurance company I'd stay away from a lawyer they do cost money. In the event you are cx'd as a driver there are other options and, of course, they vary from state to state. Buyouts for us are in the $125,000 range and a lawyer will take about 20% of that. So if it's career ending keep that in mind and do the math before you lawyer up. You can negotiate with them on your own. You can go get another job and let comp pick up the difference in pay. Not many are aware of that option or do it but it does exist.

    More on this later I am sure.
     
  19. mildew

    mildew Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Sorry to hear about your situation Pro 1. Good luck.
     
  20. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LAST

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    i am not near retirement age yet. disability will take me up to that, then s.s. will kick in, and i can continue to collect disability.

    you may know many people with bad backs or screwed up backs, but each situation is different. if the lawyer say's i am eligible for any disability, then i will take it, and why not..i did the time, paid my dues, now it's time to get paid back.

    the lawyer's fee's are free to me. the workman's comp insurance actually pays his fee's. if there is a cash settlement, then the lawyer gets a cut from that,. from me. as it stands right now, the lawyer has already kept up to date with my injury, which the insurance company up till now, has not done what is required by the workman's comp laws, at least, here in my state. as a result, i may have to go to workman's comp court to get the insurance company to do what they are required to do, but they have till next week to adhere to that law.

    my company is no where near me, as a result, no such office job is available. in fact, no light duty work of any kind is available.

    i have already tried over the past several months to get into dispatching...but "most" requirements are for college degree's or previous experience (with college degree), no training available.
     

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