Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Worker's Comp - Almost 1 year later...

My school district was awesome.  I didn't even really know what worker's comp was.  I thought it was something you did if a beam fell on you while you were working.

So when I had to have vocal cord surgery because I had been missing my voice for 6 months, I was surprised to get some forms in the mail for worker's comp.  I had gone to human resources to talk about medical leave, and how I could go about it without missing any work or bothering anybody.  In the end, the human resources lady (shout out to Kay!) submitted me for worker's comp.  All 3 of my bosses replied with the general tone of, "GOOD!  You deserve it!"

Maybe it's because I had to teach with a bullhorn to be heard.  Maybe it's because, when my voice went away completely, I used a wireless keyboard to type instructions that was projected onto a screen behind me.  (Good thing I type quickly.  I used a LOT of emoticons and my own facial expressions to convey tone.  It was pretty funny, really.)

Well, it is almost one year later, and I'm finally being seen by a doctor!  I don't understand this, to be honest.  I had my surgery almost a year ago, already.  I'm fine now.

I went yesterday, and visited an ENT by Union Square.  Because I'm me, I arrived having been awake over 19 hours and it was only 10:30 in the morning.  I also showed up not having eaten in a while, in case they decided to scope me ::: shudder :::

After filling out pages of forms, I saw the doctor.  I told him the story, he asked me questions, and wrote everything down.  Seriously, 3 pages of writing things down.  I'm fully aware how ridiculous it sounds when I talk about teaching a class of 73 middle schoolers by myself while a band practices on the other side of a fake wall.  And every doctor always gives me a, "That's ridiculous!" kind of look.

As suspected, he scoped my vocal chords.  That involves a long straight metal stick being shoved down my mouth to take pictures and video of my vocal chords.  It's not horrible but certainly not pleasant, and I always refrain from eating before this to avoid throwing up on people.  I'm considerate that way.  THEN, my nose had to be scoped.  This is my least favorite thing ever, due to a traumatic emergency room situation that involved a clueless ER guy incorrectly packing my nose, and convincing me he had stabbed me in the brain.  While I know it's not actually possible to be stabbed in the brain by cotton through your nose, it very much felt like it, and I remain convinced that something happened that was not supposed to happen.

The scoping wasn't horrible.  No brain stabbing.  But I'd still avoid it if possible.

The doctor then put me in a room, made me stand in the corner and read a small paragraph while he and his assistant listened.  When I finished, he said, "Perfect!  35 seconds exactly!"  He said he had some partial hearing loss, but could still very clearly hear everything I said.  I project well.  =)  I had to!  I had to project my voice over 70 band kids playing their instruments!

I then had to close my eyes and march in place.  Apparently, I move forward when I think I'm not.  He checked my ears, and finished with, "You're fine."

Well, I know I'm fine.  That's why I had surgery.  =)

I'm not sure what happens now.  I wait.


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