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Boom-de-yadda
There were never any "good old days" — they are today, they are tomorrow
capsaicin is a sign the Universe loves us 
25th-Jan-2008 09:56 am
orange-eyed frog
Some people say chocolate is a sign that God loves us, but I say it's capsaicin. Especially when it comes in this form:

(Skip the Salon-Pas menthol patches — they're completely ineffective, in my experience.)

I've been having a lot of lower back pain recently — more aftereffects of my foot injury. "But Lexi," you ask, "how do you know this is a result of your foot injury, and isn't a flare-up of your previous back trouble? Maybe you're blaming the wrong thing." Well, all my previous back trouble, for the 15 years I've been dealing with it off-and-on, was on the left. Plus, over those 15 years, I've learned how to take care of it (good posture, careful when lifting, regular exercise program designed to strengthen and protect bad backs, that sort of thing). The new pain, which developed after I'd spent 2 weeks on crutches, is on the right side, and is in a different place in my lower back. It's also been spreading down my leg, with sharp, shooting pains through the lower back and in the gluteus, and pain in my calf that feels like it's been seriously overworked.

Acupuncture last Saturday and again this Saturday. And I just got a referral to Physical Therapy from my doc at Kaiser, which I'm hoping will help. That appointment isn't until next Friday, though.

Grumble. It's more than five months since the injury, and I'm still dealing with pain and inconvenience on a daily basis. Not to mention the frustration of listening to the monkey enthusing about his new kettlebell workout routine. I'd love to be able to start working out with the kettlebell, but not until my back is better.

I am, of course, filing an insurance claim against the company whose workmen were responsible for my injury. That's what liability insurance is for, after all. The claim representative sent me a letter in December saying "we haven't received the release form for your medical records; if I don't hear from you by January 4 I'll assume you're not filing a claim."

Oh, no. No, no, no. I faxed back a letter saying "the reason you haven't received the release form is because it's FIVE MONTHS LATER and I'm STILL BEING TREATED for the injury." What good would it do to send them a release form, knowing I'd have to keep sending supplemental ones? "Oh, and here's a release and my acupuncturist's contact info. Oh, plus here's one for the Podiatry referral. And now here's one for the Physical Therapy referral. And are we going to need to get a chiropractor involved too?" Plus I'm not signing any kind of waiver or release of liability until I'm more confident that there won't be further problems.

Need to pick up more Salon-Pas on the way home.
Comments 
25th-Jan-2008 06:40 pm (UTC)
Oh, I am so sorry that you have to go through all this aggravation on top of the pain and limited mobility. I wish I had useful advice, but I don't. I'm thinking of you with love, though, and hoping you heal soon.
25th-Jan-2008 07:04 pm (UTC)
I think that if it weren't for the zazen, I'd be feeling much worse than I am.
25th-Jan-2008 06:57 pm (UTC) - I am so giving this advice to D
He has terrible back karma.

Your foot better yet?

25th-Jan-2008 07:08 pm (UTC) - Re: I am so giving this advice to D
Your foot better yet?

Meh. So-so. As long as I mostly stay off it, it's fine. If I try to do something radical like, oh, WALK on it more than a few blocks, it starts to ache.

Having my scooter has helped a lot, but I can't use it in the rain. The wheels don't just lose traction, it's like they develop negative traction. And let's not even discuss what it would do to the brakes: WHEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeee oh damn CRASH!
25th-Jan-2008 07:47 pm (UTC) - Re: I am so giving this advice to D
I relate to pain and rain. Something abouat broken and pressure change in rain makes things ache. I have bone spurs in my neck - weird, but they hurt when it rains. My knee is a tiny bit torn. It hurts. I am well, basically... but the rain does something.

Avoid scooters today. Use a rowboat.

A friend is considering buying a house in the East Bay. May I call you to ask about areas? (like which ones suck and which are good out of a few)
25th-Jan-2008 08:03 pm (UTC) - Re: I am so giving this advice to D
Instead of calling, let's get together for fries so Pirate & I can point at the map and say "here is okay, not here, OMIGOD NOT HERE, this part is nice..."

Maybe Sunday?
26th-Jan-2008 01:45 am (UTC) - Re: I am so giving this advice to D
actually thinking of hitting open houses over there on sunday. hmmm...

that might work out.
25th-Jan-2008 11:28 pm (UTC)
What part of the foot? There are some (not inexpensive) ergonomic shoes out there. I've been asking people on my way to work if their shoes have looked comfy, and one woman had a pair that basically had a big spring under the heel. She said they were great for knee and back pain, and available at a store in San Jose.

My problems have mostly been toe- or ankle-related, which means just not bending the foot and taking halfsteps has been tolerable (as long as I do not get frustrated and ignore the pain sensors).
25th-Jan-2008 11:46 pm (UTC)
Are those the Z-Coils? I think they look interesting, but Pirate thinks they're so fugly that I'm afraid he'd do something to them while I wasn't looking. "Your shoes, Lexi? No, I didn't do anything with them — it must have been the cat!"

I've had very good luck with Ecco shoes. They're well-made, sturdy, comfortable, reasonably attractive, and the last that Ecco uses matches my foot shape nicely.

*grumble* I had no foot problems before somebody dropped a flipping bookcase on my foot. *grumble*
25th-Jan-2008 11:59 pm (UTC)
Yes, the Z-Coils. (sorry.. I knew they started with 'Z' and had six letters, but was drawing a blank) They do look odd, but seem functional, which is more important to me. There are variants that do not look like slippers on coils, but more like normal shoes.

Ecco seems narrow around the toes to me, but if it works for you, they do offer decent padding.

It's hard to heal from foot injuries when you can't stay off the foot for extended periods of time. Sorry. I take glucosamine-chondroitin at certain intervals, but it is hard to tell if it has an actual effect or just a placebo effect (as is the case with many supplements).
25th-Jan-2008 10:47 pm (UTC)
IANAL, so don't take this as legal advice, but I'm under the impression that once you sign a release, you're done. There's no such thing as a "supplemental release." So make sure you don't accept any money from them until you're fully healed. I also think you should have a lawyer and should be suing the company that injured you, not dealing with their insurance carrier, but again, not a lawyer...
25th-Jan-2008 11:14 pm (UTC)
As far as releases go, there are a couple of kinds involved. The one currently in question is to release my medical records to them, not a release of liability.

Luckily, this kind of thing is exactly what my department at work does, albeit from the other side of the table. (We're usually the ones responding to a claim, not the ones filing the claim.) I've been getting advice from my manager & the other more-experienced staff.

(Which reminds me — I need to nudge Pirate on filing a Worker's Comp claim for his collarbone break. When I described the situation to our Workers' Comp program manager, he said he thinks there's a good chance it'll count as a WC-covered injury. Courts have repeatedly ruled that injuries sustained in an employer's parking lot are considered work-related and thus covered by WC.)

And it's better to start out by going through the normal claims process, I think. If they try to low-ball me on the settlement offer, or anything hinky like that, I can get a lawyer. If they respond reasonably and make a decent offer (which they may well), there'll be no need for one.

Have no fear, I'm not going to sign anything without running it past BossLady and/or our General Liability Program Manager and/or a lawyer. Pirate wouldn't let me. :-)
25th-Jan-2008 11:22 pm (UTC)
Oh. I was definitely confusing the two types of releases. Sorry. I just always assume that even if you get a lawyer, the lawyer writes a demand letter, they refuse it, and the case goes to court. I worked for a plaintiff's personal injury law firm for nine years, and even though I was only doing word processing and computer stuff, I learned a few things. I once asked the lead lawyer there why the defendants didn't just go, "Shit, the plaintiff is represented by X firm, and they're really good, so we'd better settle before we lose our ass in court." Because this firm had quite a reputation, and deservedly so. He told me that it's because while his firm takes the cases on a percentage-of-the-payout basis (the only way a working-class person can typically afford litigation), the defendants' lawyers are paid by the hour, so they want to rack up as many hours as possible before settling on the courthouse steps half an hour before the trial.

My point is that no one's going to pay out your settlement on the first round, because their lawyers need the work, and because a certain percentage of people, when enough obstacles are thrown up in front of them, just give up. As long as you're not one of those people, you have nothing to worry about, but it can take time and be very frustrating.

I wish you the best of luck in getting a pile of dough and having a speedy recovery.

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