Feb 17, 2012
Getting to the hospital after a long wait, I was checked by a nurse and sent for x-rays. They were inconclusive, and indicated that some sort of muscle or bone injury had occured and further investigation was required. In the van and back to camp we went. I rested there before making the long 12 hour journey back home. My camp was in Conklin, the hospital was in Fort MacMurray and home was in Coronation, Alberta. Unfortunately, I had driven my personal vehicle to work and was instructed by the camp supervisor that if I went, my truck had to go too.
By the time I arrived home, I was a complete mess with back pain. At that stage, I had no idea what was wrong with my back, but knew I had a serious problem. After several doctor's visits and months of waiting, WCB enrolled me into ( Workers Occupational Rehabilitation Clinic) W.O. R. C. in Calgary, Alberta.
There I was met by a physiotherpist and instructors who held back clinics. Supervision on weight training and exercising was tested to the limits. I shared a few things about stretching and supporting the spine that I had discovered myself. They took us swimming once a day, five days a week for 14 weeks. I felt like I was at Club Med!
Nearing the end of my stay at WORC, the emphasis seemed to take more of a psychological slant. We discussed our problems with a psychologist and in a group. Our councellors instructed us that our time at WORC was coming to an end and we would have two options.....either return to work or be examined by a WCB doctor. I chose to take both roads, returning to work and booking an appointment with the WCB doctor.
In the meantime, I managed to land a job with a surveying company. Unfortunately, I was unable to work the long hours in excruciating pain. Once again, the waiting process began, as I awaited my WCB appointment. Surely I thought, he would be able to give me a diagnosis.
Months later the call came and I went to Edmonton to meet the doctor. Once I arrived at his clinic, i felt like a cow in a production line awaiting the slaughter. The changing rooms were very indiscreet and I could see someone removing their pants in the changing room from the knees down. This room was attached to an area where people were waiting for their examination. Sadly the person in the changing room had to walk past a room full of other patients to get to the examining room. I was totally appalled and disgusted by the lack of privacy and the treatment of patients. Within the blink of an eye, the poor soul who had just been humiliated in the waiting room, rushed out of the examining room and back to the changing area in front of us all. This person was clearly not happy with the situation and with the doctor's diagnosis. The receptionist let me know to go to the changing room and strip naked and I was given a hospital gown, much like the one's given before surgery.
Once changed and embarrassed to come out, I quickly made my way past other patients in the waiting room. I got to the examining area as fast as possible. Once inside, the WCB doctor met me with a barking voice, yelling at me "Jump up and down!" and then, "Oh and I want to see your feet at least 6 inches off the ground when you jump!"
I was perplexed (WTF!!!) "What do you mean, jump? " I exclaimed.
He replied "Nope! Do it or get dressed and get out of my office" (which I proceeded to do)