Joined: Jan 2006
Monday September 04, 2006 4:52 PM
I've been a member for several months now, but have had little time on "the boards". I suffer from bi-lateral hand/wrist injuries caused directly by my current employer. The first thing that comes to mind is the evil "keyboard", although most likely a percentage of the culprit, there are/were several other, larger factors involved. I will spare you the ugly details for now.
Since my hands are totally screwed and the simple "activities of daily living" must now be broken into small manageable segments, with special attention paid to repetitive motion activities, but the need to advocate, protect and champion myself and circumstances requires the use of a P.C. or scribe. The P.C. is much more cost effective than hiring a scribe or personal secretary!!! My wife is very helpful, but not always available, so in an attempt to regain some independence; I purchased "Dragon, Naturally Speaking 8", voice recognition software, many months ago. Version 8 cost me about $100.00 at a retail store (Frys), and became very well behaved once I took the time to really "teach" it and added a higher quality/more sensitive microphone (keeps your voice at a normal volume and cadence, as you can hurt your vocal cords also!). Taking the time to "teach" the software greatly reduces "clean up" time on the back end; my software is in the high 90th percentile (accuracy) at this point. It just takes some time, understanding and patients. After several months I was offered the "Preferred Addition #9" for an additional $99.00, I have/had become incredibly reliant on this software, so it was a well spent $99.00 or $200.00, when all was said and done (8&9). The newer version also migrated all of my profile information, so no need to teach again, just adds it to the new database. : )
I am not a software salesperson, I am actually a nurse, that being said ... I HIGHLY RECOMMEND "DRAGON NATURALLY SPEAKING, PERSONAL/PREFERRED EDITION (8 OR 9)" to anyone that has their hands compromised, but still need to advocate, champion and defend themselves with "the pen", as it is truly mightier than the sword!
*As my public service announcement; anyone reading this or any other forum here, for what ever the reason; if you have a job that requires repetitive body movements as a function of your regular duties, study up on Repetitive Stress Injuries, e.g. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and the laundry list of other things that can go wrong. I had obviously heard of C/T but never though it would happen to me, especially given my particular occupation!? Like a great many other things in life, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Take your breaks, learn proper stretching and relaxation exercises, monitor your posture, odds are its like mine; poor. Do not be me. To a certain extent, this can be prevented or at least its damage "managed".
To anyone on "Limited Duty"; do not fold to pressure, harassment or other tactics to undermine your Doctor imposed restrictions!!! This is huge; it will only further injure you!!! Call your attorney, notify your supervisor, communicate clearly to your co-workers, but do not fold. This notion of tossing you back into a job where the workload is almost equally shared under normal circumstances, on limited duty does not seem to fly too long! The definition of limited or light duty; you guys, my beloved co-workers, you work your butt off, but my doctor says all I can do is watch you, and because of the budget they cant hire a replacement. How long has this ever lasted for anyone until their co-workers, supervisor or both, begin to question and curse everything about your very existence on the planet?
I know, to many I am simply singing to the choir.
Last (for this post), but certainly not least, remember your politicians, write them, write them every chance you get!!! Also, remember there are Licensing Boards and the Business and Professions Code is also in play here. The Insurance companies may be able to contort the rules, or blatantly ignore them, your practitioner answers to Laws, Licensing Boards, Consumer Affairs, Insurance Commissioners, the Business and Professions Code, plus other ancillary affiliations. Learn who in under what licensing umbrellas and write or copy them about questionable behavior, treatment and practices you may be challenging. Learn your privacy rights under HIPPA as well!!! Never sign a Release of Information that lasts longer than a year, and know you may rescind it at anytime. That information is incredibly personal and confidential. Just because you are being treated like a rented mule, does not mean you are one. You still have Patients Rights; your health care providers have obligations, legal ones.
I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY, REPEAT, NOT AN ATTORNEY. I believe the above opinion is simply common sense, which we sometimes forget, especially when under stress. We mistaking assume if we are honest and straightforward, there will be no issue/problem, or some other false sense of security. Make no mistake; the Insurance Company is not your friend!!! Educate yourself to the best of your ability, and do NOT go quietly!!!!
"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."