Hurt at work, please help my family
Hello, my name is Adam. I have worked in the pizza delivery for about ten years now. It may not pay well, but between the pay and the tips I get from deliveries, it pays the bills, feeds my daughters, and keeps a roof over our heads.
On May 21st, 2018, I was making a delivery to a customer at dusk in a thunderstorm. I could barely see outside as it was dark and when I called the customer to turn on the light so I could see, refused to turn on their outside light because that cost money. I was not going to leave my keys in the car to keep the car lights on so I begrudgingly turned my car off and made the delivery. As I got back to my car, I slipped and spun about and landed backwards into my car. Needless to say, I was limping the rest of the night and the shift lead gave me ibuprofin and I thought that was that.
At work the next morning, every time I took a delivery, my knee kept getting more and more painful every time I got out the car. Halfway through the shift, I couldn't take it anymore and asked the shift lead to go home so I could get myself looked at by my doctor. To which she said, yes and made sure I made an appointment for the following day.
At the doctor's office, she checked my knee and immediately referred me to go to the University of North Carolina Orthopaedics Clinic and made an appointment for me to be there that afternoon. As of that appointment, the early diagnosis was that I injured my hamstring and possibly tore my Lateral Meniscus (a piece of cartilage in the knee). The doctor told me that he would not clear me to work until after an MRI was done to confirm the injury. After the MRI was taken and read, the results were that I sheared the Lateral Meniscus clean off.
As of the July 9th meeting with the surgeon, he suggested it may be time I look for another job that is more accommodating to my injury as he is in the opinion that physical therapy is the answer to strengthen the muscles around the knee. This note was sent to my work's insurance company, which stated they will not allow me to work again until I am "Medically Cleared", which the next appointment is on September 10th. That will put it at four months being out of work and we have so many bills to pay and my daughters to feed.
On July 11th, Social Services as well as Workman's Comp have denied our claims for help. Social Services says that my wife makes too much as a teacher to help and Workman’s Comp claimed they have a note from my initial Orthopedist saying I was cleared to work with full clearance after the MRI reading as there was no injury, despite what the surgeon stated. (I did speak with a lawyer whom told me promptly that I would lose if I pushed as the first doctor/medical assistant I seen gave me "full clearance" to work and it would be my employer’s responsibility to give me my hours back and accommodate me for "sitting jobs" only. In the restaurant industry, that is a very limited thing because that would only give me 10 hours a week for doing prep and folding boxes during times when customers were not in the building. When customers were in, I would be highly tempted to push myself to make sure everyone is taken care of, which would possibly damage my knee further as it would involve at times carrying large amounts of food to people’s vehicles and involve in certain movements at the make line where the floor has corn meal on it. They want me to heal up so I can be at my very best as they want me to move higher within the store and beyond.
That is why I am starting this... I originally went to YouCaring as this is more to care and pay for my injury as well as to help pay the bills until I can get back to work. I am tired of being in this house and I want to get busy again taking care of my customers, hearing children squeal with joy as they see the “pizza man”, and, most of all, take care of the three most important people in my life, my wife and kids.
Just want to make sure my girls are taken care of for Christmas with a roof over their head and food in their bellies, maybe a gift for each if I'm lucky...
Well, to get back on point about me getting back to work, the owner of my store outright told me he will only let me back when I get to about 95% recovered as he doesn't want me to reinjure myself and wants me at full capacity, not doing a few hours of prep . My doctor's visit will be tomorrow so I am hoping for good news about an estimated time they'll let me back working so we can pay some bills!
Still doing physical therapy twice a week as we agreed our focus should be strengthening and stabilizing my knee so I can do all the lifting, lateral movements, and the various other movements necessary to do deliveries. Flexibility is nearly there but pain and motion is still not up to their standards.