Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Paradigm squeezing their "pair of dimes" to keep Zu“rich"

Paradigm: an example serving as a model; pattern

If you are in the business of helping injured workers, whatever you do, do not follow the example of Paradigm, my Workmans compensation insurance short-term provider. Or, for that matter, Zurich, my long-term Workmens compensation provider. Under these companies care I was nearly ready to overdose on my medication, jump off a bridge, or walk out on the highway in front of an eighteen wheeler.

My doctor wanted me to leave the hospital three days after I transferred from the University of Colorado Hospital to the University of Utah Hospital but I told him, "I cannot leave the hospital now. I will not have my mother and sister wiping my butt!" That bought me another three weeks in the rehabilitation department on the second floor of the University of Utah hospital. It also bought Paradigm and Zurich three weeks to make modifications in my house to facilitate my success in healing.

During rehabilitation, zero progress was made in the modifications that were recommended by my Occupational Therapist, Michelle Dincecco. It's funny because they seemed to argue about pennies. For example, one of the suggestions was to change all the light switches to a paddle style. This probably costs about five dollars each switch but they refused to do that. They refused to get push button lamps to replace the ones that have the rolling switches.

They extended my stay a little longer to give themselves more time. When I found out nothing had been done to modify the house, I started panicking. I even had a dream where I had hands. It felt sooooo real, I woke up in a sweat and reached to turn on the lights, as if my hands were still there. "SWOOOOOSH," was the sound I thought I heard as my stumps completely missed the light switch. I began to sweat, the walls started feeling like they were closing in on me. The retaining walls on my hospital bed were up. I had a difficult time trying to escape the bed. I got out and started to roam the hallways in an effort to get some air.

My PT came to my room, where I had returned just in time to meet her, and took me downstairs to workout. Usually I joked around a lot but today she noticed I had a pale complexion and didn't smile or interact at all. She asked if I was OK. I whimpered, "No," and began sobbing in front of everyone in the gym. She asked if I wanted to go back to my room. I whimpered, "Yes," and sobbed some more. She excused me back to my room. A little while later a group of the rehab doctors came to see me. I sobbed some more and they recommended I see the psychologist, Justin MacKenzie.

Later on, after sleeping most the day, Justin came to see me. We talked and he went through this breathing exercise. We discovered that my anxieties were coming from the feeling of going home into a trap. The walls closing in were representative of my time in the hospital ending and the capability to call on nurses for help was coming to an end. I used the breathing exercise more times thereafter and it helped out a lot.

I believe I came home Friday, January 28, 2010. There were no modifications done. Somehow the nurse case manager happened to get a hold of zero contractors. Luckily, my OT recommended the nurse case manager try Home Depot. Home Depot came and installed the bidet on Saturday. In the meantime my mother had to wipe my butt once. At this time I would not wear underwear in order tom facilitate the toiletting process. Home Depot explained that they were doing a free service for me and that they could only do the little stuff. My thoughts were, "Wow Paradigm is trying to use voluntary workers to do something they should be paying for."

When I left the U of U hospital, I could not drive. Paradigm, the Workmens Compensation insurance company, arranged for transportation to and from medically related appointments. I sensed an urgency in the company's actions to have me driving as soon as possible. What angers me about them is that it felt like their motivation was to save their money and not my well-being.

My case manager once suggested that my home nurse give me rides. The home nurse aid sometimes came late and I couldn't count on her plus it wasn't in her job description and actually company policy doesn't allow her to do so. My nurse case manager then suggested I use a taxi. I refused because I had a of the claustrophobia problem I was having.

The shower handle has just barely been done about one year and a month after the fact. Previously i would have to leave my prosthetic on and turn on the shower, making sure the shower head was pointing down. Then i would need to get out of the shower and remove my prosthetic and get back in the shower.

To many I might sound like I'm whining but the thing is, I'm familiar with what a good Workman's compensation insurance does because my brother has one handling his case. Nearly everything he needs is taken care of. If he wants to try a new sports hand they get it for him. My company would only buy one sports prosthetic and one type of hand.

I had been under the impression that my brothers Workman's Comp insurance company was actually making an effort to try and make life as close as possible to his life before the accident. My Workman's comp insurance company seems to want to get away with the least possible.

To me, I have given forth an amazing effort to recuperate despite the odds. Some of the odds have been placed before me by the very same companies that at exist to help me because the main aim is profit vs patient care. Enough whining already. I will succeed despite a crappy workers comp system. Ha ha ha have another wipeout video


  1. After the crappy day it's been and finally getting a post through :) this wipeout video was exactly what I needed. Again your blogging post is exactly what the doc ordered. So don't be surprised if it's twitted.. exposure dude!

  2. Such a huge "fan" and I just love this post, even though it sucks you have to deal with the horrible company and what they are NOT providing but should be, I love your attitude about it and how honest you are about it all.

    -Random new fan, of which I'm sure you're about to be bombed with after your KSL gig ;)

    1. Thanks Nettie! I appreciate you reading and posting :)