Monday, November 24, 2014

If I Had a Voice

This is what I want to say, but I feel as if I have no voice. This is to the lawyers, insurance adjusters, etc. who have been working hard at making my life miserable. That’s just my opinion.
Five years ago, my husband was injured on the job. From the moment I saw him after that injury, my life was forever changed. I had to re-teach my husband the alphabet. I had to explain that he was a year and a month behind in his memories. I had to show him pictures and tell him stories of the things we had done and the places we had gone. I had to help him remember to shut off the stove when he wanted to cook. I had to hope that when he took the dogs for a walk, he would remember how to get back home. One day he couldn’t remember how to get home. We used to love to window shop. I soon saw my husband curled up on the floor of the mall because he couldn’t handle it anymore.
Six months into the injury, he was finally approved for Rehab Without Walls. I was so relieved seeing him start to get better. They were teaching him how to retrain his brain and lots of other things. Then the two week trial ended and didn’t get renewed. That’s the last improvement I ever saw from my husband. Things consistently got worse. Soon we had to purchase a motorized scooter, so he could attend day trips with the family. We had to plan family times to only be two to three hours because he would pass out randomly after that amount of time.
The last four months of his life were getting really bad. I had to acknowledge that I no longer had a husband who could help me. I had a husband who was physically there but not much else. His memory was horrendous. He had false memories. He had many gaps in his memory. The kids felt like he didn’t love them because he couldn’t remember what they said.
The last week and a half of his life was the worst thing I have ever seen. He was constantly shaking. He had problems walking… Imagine being woken up at 2am by your husband who is stuck in the living room. He can’t move his feet. He’s stuck half way between the kitchen and the living room. He’s shaking so hard that his snuggie is falling off, and he can’t move to put it back on. I tried to help him move, but he just fell against a wall. How is a 5’ woman supposed to move a 6’ man? I know. This is just an emotional rant now.
I was told by the doctor who was with him when he died, that I should have expected my husband to have a heart attack. I was told by another doctor (after my husband died) that these things that were happening to him during his last days were symptoms of a pending heart attack. These are things I heard after he died. I had done everything I could to get these symptoms checked. I rushed him to a doctor to be seen. I was told that they would ask the insurance adjuster again, but that was all he could do. While waiting to get these symptoms checked, my husband died. These were symptoms that had been with him since the beginning of the injury. I have gone back and looked at his records and can see where the doctor made a note of his shaking. Of course, by the time he died the shaking was much more intense. I often wonder what would have happened if we had received longer Rehab Without Wall. I also wonder what would have happened if the doctor requests were approved instead of consistently being denied.
I feel that an offer of $50,000 is a slap in the face to me and my children. We are homeless right now because of what has happened with my husband. We are still trying to piece our lives together. We lost almost everything. Everything I own is in two storage units and a bedroom that my kids and I live in. I know it’s not your job to care, but a fair offer would be four and a half years of permanent disability instead of two years. Another reasonable offer would be four and a half years of the salary he lost when he was injured. If you truly want to pretend that you understand your part in my husband’s disability, you could even offer a realistic amount of money.
Let me introduce you to my family. We were happy. We helped out in our community. We loved each other. Now the father is dead. The mother is having to learn how to be a single mom, juggling work with taking care of the kids. The son is trying to be the man of the family now even though he lost his childhood early. The daughter has extreme anxiety and cannot see a doctor or therapist about it because it causes panic attacks. This is what I’m striving for. I would love to have a realistic settlement, so I can focus on raising my kids. I want to have time to be able to show and teach my son how to be a man. I want to be able to show my daughter that life is safe because we have a home to live in.
One last thing. I feel that for four and a half years we fought so hard to be heard and helped. We were honest and truthful. We didn’t make up things to try to get more money. We lived on what we were given. We got rid of most of our bills including TV and internet. We worked on being satisfied with what we had. I feel that you thought that we weren’t being honest. Almost every doctor we dealt with saw who my husband was and saw his disability. They all agreed that we were honest about what was going on. I can show you proof through pictures and videos of the things I have been describing as symptoms of his disability. We have been consistently honest, and I would like you to acknowledge that by offering a reasonable settlement. That’s it. I have tried to write this without a ton of emotions, but I am angry and hurt. It’s only been 9 months. I am still working on figuring out my “new normal” life.      JOY

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