Worker's Comp anyone?

Today, December 29, 2008, while trying to pull a very large and full bin of books out of a room, I strained my back. It was a twinge. The sort where it feels like something just came loose around your spinal cord. Since it didn't continue to hurt that minute I continued to work. Well, it got worse and worse until I was feeling like I could hardly walk. This isn't the most important part of the story, though.

There is something called an incident report that gets filled out at work and requires all sorts of information. Since I wasn't falling down bleeding, I decided to go ahead and fill it out. When you fill in that it's a work injury, it takes you to yet another report to fill out for worker's compensation. How convenient. Again, lots of information to fill out and you most likely will not know all of it because your doctor avoids worker's compensation cases. In that case, you are seeing somebody that you do not know.

(all this information should be on a card with a magnetic strip or something so you don't have to fill it out over and over and so you have access and responsibility to update it, but I guess that would put a lot of people out of work and might decrease room for error)

Anyway, I drove to my doctor's office near where I work to be told that she doesn't take the cases and be refered to another place. In this case it was OSU Occupational Medicine. The nearest location was on East Broad St. and she gave me a phone number to call. After I got somebody on the phone, he mentioned that it would be a two hour wait and that he thought they took walk ins, but "let me put you on hold just a minute".

When he returned he said there was another location that takes more patients and "here is the phone number". Ok, so here I am with my back hurting and I have been passed along twice. I call the number to the, as it turns out, West location and get a recording asking me to leave my name, birthday, and a number where I can be reached. It is now 12:29 and I brought attention to this problem at work at around 10:45. So far, nobody wants to see me...it's hot potato time, and I am sitting here writing a blog post waiting for a phone call that may never come for all I know. The recorded messages keep saying, "if you have a medical emergency, hang up and call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room." It sounds like a hint to me. A trip to the emergency room not only seems extreme, but it costs about $75 in co-pay if you are not a worker's compensation case.

This is a picture of the error message I got when I was looking up OSU Occupational Medicine on the internet because I thought I could at least get good directions for myself. As a matter of fact it was the very first link and there are others that give you the same results. What is really annoying when you get this is that you can't use your back button to get to the list of other links that might get you to their site.

I am on the east side, so I decide to call the east location again and got a recording. I think they are having lunch now. I wait a little while and call using a different choice from the menu for appointments. By the way, they are only open until 5PM, so if they can put you off long enough...well, too bad so sad. I get somebody on the phone and tell them of my prior conversation and tell them I only got a recording at the location out west. I say it would make more sense to go to their location. They say "and endure a two hour wait? Let me give you a back number to the west location, but let me transfer you anyway." I get the phone number and they transfer the call. It rings, and rings, and rings....No answer.

So, it's 12:59 and I haven't eaten and I think there has to be a better way. So, I get some lunch and decide to call a nearby urgent care that I visited last year when I had a very bad, on the verge of walking pneumonia, infection. Yes, they do take worker's comp cases if you haven't been seen somewhere else AND they are open until 7:30PM, but it will be a two hour wait. Seems that two hour waits are compulsory for this sort of thing. I am glad they tell me this time because I am going to prepare myself for a two hour wait. I get a few books, a beverage, and I am tempted to take my camera, but decide to give em a break because they sound very nice on the phone. As a matter of fact I should have taken it to take nice pictures of the kind people at the East Broad Adult Urgent care.

It's after 2PM when I am pulling into the driveway and my phone rings. You will never guess who it is. Well, hello there OSU. They ask me if I have an appointment. I am pleased to announce that, sorry, I am just pulling into the driveway at a nearby urgent care this very minute.

Though it did take a couple of hours to be seen and again, there were more papers asking for very similar information that I just filled out two other times, I was thinking how grateful I was to be this close to home and how helpful it was that they knew just where I should go to get the prescriptions filled. Apparently, if you go just anywhere, you may have to pay for them out of your pocket and then wait to be reimbursed which was a less than preferable option.

It is now 6:17 and I just arrived home from Krogers where I got two prescriptions for my aching back. This is about the time I would have been coming home from work anyway, but I think my back would have been happier if it had been resting peacefully while I was under the effects of the prescriptions a lot earlier.