Friday, July 25, 2008

Off on an Adventure

I'm really excited about this. Just changing environments right now sounds like such a treat.

Tediously, crawlingly slow, we're preparing to go to Missouri.

Walter's employer called him in. They want him to see doctors up there, in their home state, their base of operations.

This may lead to his severance from them. The injury was on May 1st, and he's not getting better any more. Getting whacked in his post-open heart surgery sternum with a 200 pound door in a 50 MPH wind left a mark, as they say. Nothing we can see - but there's chronic inflammation in that sternum now. It prevents him from driving commercially; the seat belt and movements needed to safely operate a big rig just don't go together with the pain.

Walter went to his computer a couple days ago and put up a CD of the CAT scan they did on his chest. For the first time, I saw the titanium wires holding his sternum together. It's not a mesh, as I'd thought. Just wires. Eight wires. They're tied around the two halves of his sternum and pulled tight, trussed up like a pork roast; a couple have what look like loose ends dangling, too. On the image they look mean and sharp.

So outside of our happiness at leaving the local pollens behind, we have mixed emotions about this visit. Some trepidation. Some hope. I don't think they'll ever clear him to work again, I just don't see how they could safely do that. Meaning Walter would be rated as disabled from his occupation.

Which has its pros and cons. I want him home, now. Forever. Yet naturally enough, neither one of us wants the income loss. We don't have any idea what that will be.

He's been paying for short and long-term disability insurance, which is good. But his Benefits Coordinator says that's completely different from Worker's Comp. When a worker is injured on the job and can't work any more, their case is settled through the home state's Worker's Comp laws. What those laws are in Missouri, we're not sure. He'll probably get medical care for this injury for some time. Other than that remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, back at the k ranch, we're both still so sick with allergies we can barely function. We should have been able to leave a week ago. Can't. Servicing the car and packing the bits of food and clothes and medical appliances we need has taken us a week so far.

Two weeks ago I had a little surgery on my left leg, to finally remove that blasted Mystery Thing. The surgeons were great. The Mystery remains unsolved: it was a big cyst, in a capsule, but the lab could find nothing pathologically wrong. Today at 4PM I'm supposed to get my stitches out. And before that, we'll do the last bits of shopping we need for our trip.

With any luck, that is.

It seems gas prices have gone down since I last got out of bed.

Heh.

Our 1400 mile drive may cost us much less for the waiting.
.

10 comments:

Kenny said...

I hope things work out for Walter. If he gets a medical retirement maybe you guys ca turn some money on Ebay. A lot of folks do it

Joyce Ellen Davis said...

Wish you well! Have a good trip. Maybe Walter will still be well enough to drive like Marv does, small buses and short distances and few hours....

Nancy said...

Humm Kenny has a point, your wood structures could bring in some money... as could seeds and small plants.

:o) Drive carefully

Jan said...

k..wishing you and Walter a good journey, and a good report.

Stay safe.

Jean said...

I'll be thinking of you both, as always. Wishing safe travel and much relief.

Mickysolo said...

Safe journey.

Desert Cat said...

Have a safe trip.

I'm a little disturbed that they would *make* you travel just for doctor visits that they control. My dad went through the worker's comp wringer back when the arthritis in his hands (from how he had to use them to do his job) got too bad. They needed to use legal counsel to get a settlement out of the insurance. And after legal fees, it wasn't more than a few tens of thousands--certainly nothing close to the years of lost wages.

Here's hoping you have an easier time of it.

Desert Cat said...

Have a safe trip.

I'm a little disturbed that they would *make* you travel just for doctor visits that they control. My dad went through the worker's comp wringer back when the arthritis in his hands (from how he had to use them to do his job) got too bad. They needed to use legal counsel to get a settlement out of the insurance. And after legal fees, it wasn't more than a few tens of thousands--certainly nothing close to the years of lost wages.

Here's hoping you have an easier time of it.

AspergantuS said...

Hope you make it home safe.

"That Dude" said...

Be safe and I hope all turns out well.