A lot of sitting and waiting. A lot of talk from the attorney about how evil the governor is. A lot of walking back and forth. A lot of hot air. A lot of nothing.
Except that we did get to the settlement and we did get the stipulation for future medical (meaning I can walk into occupational medicine here and they have to see me…I have a piece of paper stating thus). My total rating (neck and lower back disability) was a whopping 51%, reduced to 46 or 47 (it would have been 41, but my attorney nudged the other into a higher number). That’s not bad considering what most people end up with. And the final amount of the settlement still equals about what I would have made in that first year I was at my last job. There’s no award for pain and suffering or lost income, lost career. Nope, all you’re awarded is based upon your total percentage of disability and the year you were injured. That’s it.
Forget that I would have had a raise coming soon and that I’d had the best review in my life. Forget that there’s nothing left for me to do as a nurse. Forget that it’s all gone. I have to. I HAVE to. If I don’t, I’ll go crazy. None of it matters.
What does matter is that I have a piece of paper requiring that a doctor treat me, that medication be provided, that money will still come my way, that my attorney will be paid, and this particularly nasty bit of legal business is officially concluded. The insurance company has been ordered to do right by me. I won’t be without treatment. I’ll always have to take medication. I’ll have to always watch what I do because of the potential for more surgery. That’s okay. I’d accepted the medical portion of this long ago. The relief is in knowing the insurance company now must comply with the ruling from the judge.
The worst part is that they always DID have to follow the law, but there were little tiny loopholes just big enough for them to slip through and to mess with me. They can do that with anyone. They got out of retraining me. They got out of a lot of things. But now, it’s all on paper and it’s been signed by their attorney, my attorney, me, and the judge. And so it’s done.
With any luck, you’ll never hear me say another word about what assholes they are. Because, you know, they’ll play by the rules now. (I know, I’m not holding my breath either.)
Lather, rinse, repeat.