About Me

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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Enough Already!

I started the day energized for a new week. I made a list and was ready to attack the cleaning, determined to make my house shine. I am ending the day fighting back tears and feeling useless and defeated. To say that I have not had a good day would be an understatement.

My recent travel adventures, combined with me being sidelined by a biopsy, have contributed to my lax housekeeping during the past few weeks. I knew that I would feel better if I could get the house clean and organized. Although my leg is still sore, the discomfort that walking presented was manageable. Today, I decided, I was going to scrub, toss, organize and sweep until my house shined!

I spent the morning cleaning the kitchen and the bathroom. I assure you, this was not an easy task. My counters were covered with bags, groceries that haven't been put away. and a seemingly endless stream of papers. It wasn't until I had been cleaning for three hours that I realized I was having more difficulty walking.

Shoot! My Proprio ankle stopped responding, and the foot was stuck pointing down. I was not able to reset the prosthetic, I knew that it was broken. I would need to send it for repair so I called my prosthetist to request a loaner for tomorrow.

I hobbled around the house searching for my back-up leg. I couldn't find it, and then I remembered that it was in the back of Scott's car. It certainly wasn't going to help me there! I put on the only leg that I had, which is my swim leg.

My swim foot is designed to turn into a flipper in the water. It is wonderful for swimming and playing in the water with Robby. I also use the prosthetic in the snow with Robby because it is completely waterproof. It is not, however, a good leg for walking around the house.

I was determined to clean, and although frustrated, I was not going to be deterred by a broken prosthetic. I slipped into my swim leg, took it out of "flipper mode" and continued cleaning. I am nothing if not determined when I set my mind to something!

The socket was tight and uncomfortable, forcing me to stop every few minutes to release pressure in the valve. I was walking with a noticeable limp because of a height difference, which has caused my back and hip to ache. Cleaning, which should have only taken another two hours, took nearly four. I am still not finished, although I can honestly walk no more so it will have to wait for another day.

My Prosthetist returned my call when I was cleaning. It is never good when somebody's first words to you are, "Do you have a lawyer?" Yep, Elsie is at it again!

Elsie, my pet name for my Workman's Compensation insurance adjuster, has denied my request for a new leg. I have learned that because I've lost over 100 pounds, I now require a new category foot. I have not received a new prosthetic in 3 years, which is beyond the life expectancy of a heavily used device. My request is not unreasonable.

I was provided with the opportunity to walk on the correct category while working in Chicago. The difference was remarkable! It was like going from walking on a brick to walking on a soft cloud.

Not only has Elsie slashed my hopes of receiving an appropriate prosthetic, she has not paid my prosthetist for the liners I received last month. She approved the liners, at which time he provided them to me. He has finally received a verbal refusal to pay the bill, stating that she "was refusing compensation for the medical devices."

My frustration with dealing with this insurance adjuster is at a breaking point. I have been stymied by her, forced to undergo unwarranted medical evaluations and tests. I have had "simple" prosthetic care denied, forcing me to wear liners which have both exceeded their life expectancy and have become a breeding ground for possible infection. Now she is denying a prosthetic, but has failed to provide a reason.

I am not a litigious person, but I phoned the attorney. He will call Elsie, and hopefully the situation will be rectified. I am lucky that I count him as a supporter. The fact remains, I should not have to call an attorney. I am not asking for anything unusual or extraordinary. I simply want to walk.

I did not ask to be injured. None of us wanted to become an amputee. The fact remains, we are dealing with the loss of a limb. In addition to maneuvering through life on a prosthetic device, I must also fight Elsie at every opportunity. I have said it before, but it continues to be true. I am much more disabled by the insurance company than I am by my limb loss.

My cleaning has caused Robby's behavior to be less than ideal. Not having my full attention, he proceeded to misbehave and be demanding all day. He sneaked the ice cream out of the freezer. I found him hiding under the covers in my bedroom, with his fist in the container and covered in the sticky melted goo. He decided to "decorate" the hallway with stickers and spray down the kitchen floor with the sink attachment. I know that a parent should never refer to their child as a brat. I am looking for a more socially acceptable synonym.

Tonight, I am tired and angry. Physically I am hurting because of cleaning all day on a swim leg. My back and hip hurt. My stump is angry and the nerves are firing. I am sure that sleep will allude me this evening.

Tonight, I am mad that my insurance adjuster seems to be a heartless bitch. I am mad that I am an amputee. I hate that I have to deal with all of this extraneous stuff when I simply want the tools necessary to walk. I am frustrated by the antics of Robby Rotten. Tonight, I feel defeated and alone.

On the positive side, if you exclude the bedrooms, the house is spotless! Now that I have my spare leg out of Scott's car, I will finish the bedrooms tomorrow. I am also feeling a sense of satisfaction in my believe that there is a special ring in hell waiting for Elsie.

1 comment:

  1. A big ole YUCK! I am so sorry that you have to deal with her. I feel fortunate (so to speak) for the workers comp insurance people that I have been working with. I feel as though they treat me as though I am a member of their family. This has made my adjustment certainly a bit easier. I wish I could give you my experience...I cannot imagine having to deal with a fight on the insurance end of this...really I cannot. As for Robby...stop telling me this stuff! I have this delusion that because I have a disability Anna will grow up to be more sensitive to me and will automatically do everything possible (including model behavior) to help out... I do not want to know that this is not a reality until I have to - But really I wish you the best of luck with this. I hired a workers comp lawyer a few days after my accident it is a good thing to have on hand. - Sarah G