How did I know that Coastline ABI Program was for me? There was No Place Left to Go! #WorkComp is not an Exclusive Remedy. #WorkComp is NO REMEDY AT ALL!
“In describing this class of traumatic brain injury”, says Asvar, “the term ‘mild’ is an absolute misnomer given the severity of possible complications and repercussions.” He adds, “Dismissing someone’s brain injury as ‘mild’ is akin to saying someone is ‘mildly’ paraplegic.” Chris Asvar, Esq. http://www.asvarlaw.com/casestudies/
Upon diagnosis of my brain injury, insurance benefits were cut off and all hope for medical care was dashed. After more than 2.5 years of muddling along on the California Worker’s Compensation and legal chicanery program of rest and wait and wait and wait, essentially without medical care and only sporadic ‘benefits’ and some assistance from The Salvation Army– my search for help became more diligent. A graduate of Coastline ABI, 16+ years post-injury, told me to ‘Get to Coastline, by any means necessary, immediately.’ That encounter was May 2014; by October 2014, I was gratefully enrolled in the Coastline ABI Program.
As another ‘High IQ TBI Survivor’ and based on my early research upon diagnosis, I discovered it was indicated how important interdisciplinary teamwork and treatment was for mitigating impairments that result from brain injury, since the brain is the Master Control Center.
Doctors recommended evaluations in the fields of neurology, neuro-optometry, orthopedic and MRI’s (basic and with a TBI protocol) and suggested chiropractic, acupuncture, vision, occupational and physical therapy, speech therapy with cognitive remediation, creating a ‘structured schedule’ and rest and wait and wait and wait.
The 8th largest insurance provider of the world’s largest hospitality company and their defense firm simply said no. My employer failed to intervene, the defense firm has used every means necessary to obfuscate facts and deny medical care. The carrier said they did not care that I had not received any medical care and in fact, their fraud department representative had the audacity to call on the phone and ask, ‘….So tell me, Linda, when ARE you going to die?’ (A medicated injured worker could be pushed over the edge by such a vile attack; a non-medicated injured worker might be inclined to FIGHT BACK. I am such a non-medicated Brain Injury Survivor.)
The insurance carrier failed repeatedly to provide the recommended evals and treatments, so I read the reports and began to search out the right team of doctors, without help, and without insurance benefits, as my employee health insurance had expired, and return to work has been impossible to date. Perseverance is different from PERSEVERATING.
When I found a very knowledgeable neuro-psychologist, very familiar with head injuries, light began to glimmer down the tunnel. I obtained an MRI with a TBI protocol, and met with a terrific neurologist/psychiatrist at Scripps – Encinitas. His primary recommendation was “Embrace the New You” and when I sighed and whispered, “But I don’t know who she is, and she’s is not as fast or as smart as I used to be. They may have to rehabilitate me to become a neuro-scientist!”
WorkComp neurologists (2) suggested a) over the counter analgesics and b) that a woman over 35 with a closed head injury does not need any treatment, particularly since none was provided in the first 2 years. The WorkComp forensic psychiatrist, to support false allegations in order to deny medical care, also moved the date of injury from January 2012 to January 2013 in the report, and used medical records from 2012 to allege ‘pre-existing conditions.’ (These 3 doctors give a grave appearance of felony fraud, at the beckoning of the defense counsel, but that’s for another blog….and for the Department of Justice, perhaps. They were paid handsomely for their reports and supplemental reports (supplemental reports necessary due to the pattern and practice by defense of omitting approximately 300 pages of medical evidence to ‘defend’ the claim.)
The good and private (non WorkComp) neurologist recommended 3-6 months at the SCRIPPS Brain Injury Day Treatment Center or any of the various excellent programs that offer an interdisciplinary approach that includes speech, occupational and physical therapy. The insurance company agreed to 16 days, with an appeal for 8 more, then terminated the help. Granted, such help is most beneficial in the first months or years, and ‘RESTORATIVE” strategies seem limited so late in the ‘recovery game.’ That was more than 2.5 years post-injury.
In response to my suggestion that I may have to be rehabilitated and trained as a neuro-scientist, the Doctor quietly said that the full day 9th Annual Scripps Brain Injury Symposium was happening the following weekend, and that the audience is primarily doctors, military personnel, and other providers from interdisciplinary teams. He said I was welcome to attend. I attended. I met some brilliant and wonderful experts in the field of Brain Injury and Rehabilation from the medical and military and scientific communities. I also met a graduate of Coastline Acquired Brain Injury Program, who shared his journey, and encouraged me to get to Coastline, by any means necessary.
“Dismissing someone’s brain injury as ‘mild’ is akin to saying someone is ‘mildly’ paraplegic.” – Asvar
While my employer has failed to provide medically necessary treatments, and has failed to intervene in the egregious breaches of fiduciary responsibilities to provide care and rehabilitation for a witnessed slip and fall backwards on ice in Big Bear, California, they did extend an employee discount so that I could stay in a Wyndham Worldwide Ramada Inn, with a wonderful, warm and welcoming staff, who seriously practice the Wyndham corporate policy of CountOnMe practices.
#InjuredWorkersUniting #SilentNoMore …… the Compensatory vs. Restorative Strategies facilitated by the outstanding staff at Coastline is unparalleled. “I’ll be back!”