It has been a little while since my last (rather melancholic) update so I figured it's time to update the world on progress so far. First of all, progress is still happenning, albeit a little slower than before. My shoulder continues to heal and I am gaining a little more mobility in stages. Seems "something" goes right, things get better, then nothing for a week or two. Apparently this is normal. Go figure.
Pain is still a regular feature in my consciousness, and it has been getting a little worse lately. This in turn prompted a bit of an investigation with the good old MRI. A wonderful gizmo and marvel of modern technology. Unfortunately also a noisy damn thing and having to lie still in a rather uncomfortable position for quite some time meant it wasn't a particularly pleasurable experience. Still, the images were obtained, a radiologist reviewed them and sure enough, there are reasons my shoulder hurts as much as it does. Capsulitis, some evidence of torn bits, adhesions and generally a lot of oedema and inflammation. Yay.
Thankfully I have a great medical team around me who are responding to the news and I can look forward to some cortisone injections guided by CT. This doesn't excite me particularly, but if it settles the nastiness causing the pain, then I welcome it!
So the world sounds peachy right? Wrong. In the background to all this is Work Cover. A horribly broken bureaucracy which incentivises the people running the system to focus on punting people (patients) out as soon as possible, by any means, regardless of their medical status. Don't like what a specialist said? No worries, in Work Cover, they can just ignore that. Changed diagnosis/prognosis? Go ahead, ignore that too. Want to make up your own "recovery schedules" in spite of all medical evidence and best practise to the contrary? Knock yourself out. If the patient or their medical team call Work Cover out on their bull shit, then they just send you off to see one of their doctors who, despite all evidence to support continued treatment will probably accuse you of "faking it" and throw you out anyway.
My medical team have been fighting to get Work Cover (actually, the insurer) to see reason but alas, it fell on deaf ears. Today, barely 6 months into a rehabillitation regime that generally takes at least twice that long, I was sent off to see one of their doctors for an (anything but independant) independant review. I don't know what the outcome will be, but this doctor was rude, arrogant, obstinant, refused to look at any specialist reports and spent most of his time criticising the treament I have been receiving. This despite the fact I'm getting better and my doctors and therapists are regularly impressed with the progress I'm making. But this guy is paid by the insurance company, so of course he wont want to hear anything that doesn't support their desire to kick me off their books.
Despite the fact I am working, and Work Cover seem to think that means I'm fixed, I do so in a state of constant pain which is being managed with some powerful pain killers. I still cannot drive, fly or travel long distances, I can't lift anything significant, I can't do many things that used to bring me pleasure (scuba diving, cycling, playing my violins, etc, etc) but apparently, according to Work Cover, this is all an act or maybe I'm "faking it" because hey, I'm working right?!
To all those miscreants who abused and rorted the Work Cover system, which led to it being in the sorry state it now is, thanks for nothing. Those of us who are genuinely injured through honest accidents in the workplace are now treated like common criminals by the insurers and have to struggle to be granted even the most basic level of care and rehabillitation.