Thursday, 2 April 2009


Acupuncture & Massage Therapy

In an attempt to loosen the tightness in muscles and joints the physiotherapist tried acupuncture. During several attempts she found that my muscles were so tight/hard that she couldn't get the needle in without bending it. Holding it closer to the point so it wouldn't bend would compromise sterility. Shorter needles didn't bend but were less effective.

After four half hour sessions, no appreciative difference was noted and the therapy was discontinued. BoTox therapy may accomplish what acupuncture could not. That has yet to be seen.

My private insurance had allowed payment for 6 one hour massage therapy sessions. I took advantage of this on the advice of my physiotherapist, again in hopes of releasing tension, particularly in my calf muscles but also the ham-strings and even possibly help the sciatic pain. The masseuse commented that my calves "felt like baseball bats" - hard. After six sessions he felt they were more supple and helped somewhat in movement. It sure felt good but I'm not sure how much effect they had on me.

One problem associated with this injury and the inability to continuous walk is that the muscles tighten and as they do they apply pressure on the blood vessels thereby reducing circulation. The massage therapy may have aided circulation.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Long Term Disability Income

Long Term Disability Income

The moment I expressed an interest in returning to work, my private insurance carrier broke into cheers and deemed that I was no longer disabled therefore my Long Term Disability Income (LTD) was to be terminated. As Of April 3rd, I will no longer have any LTD money as income and as it is my only source of income, I'll be coasting on whatever I have left after paying off the $6300.00 wheelchair.
(I guess I can roll down to the street corner and sell pencils from a tin cup in the interim.)

The next post is all about my efforts in returning to my workplace.

Continuing Physotherapy

Continuing Physiotherapy

In Ontario Canada, because continued stress on our health care resources, our provincial government has created an agency/board/ (?) entitled the Local Hospital Integration Network (LHINs) which for all intents and purposes, relieves the government itself of making difficult decisions regarding reorganization and cuts to health care. As a result they decided that the outpatient physiotherapy department at my hospital is redundant with those private clinics in the community and the money making unit was ordered closed. As I'm an employee of that hospital, it would have been convenient for me to attend when I return to work. With it's closing I was to find a physiotherapist in the community. I have to question whether those clinics in the community are more accustomed to treating sports injuries and motor vehicle accidents rather than more serious brain & spinal cord injuries. I'm sure there are many fine clinics out there but do they have the turnover of serious conditions and injuries to become experts at such specialized treatment?

I am not being offered pool therapy on the OHIP physiotherapy clinic. Told that pools are available at community centers, however they don't staff physiotherapists to suggest exercises and correct technique. Pool therapy and water buoyancy helped in regaining strength and balance.

Perhaps because I have been in the hospital physiotherapy program for such a long period of time, perhaps because I'm an employee and colleague, perhaps it's my dazzling personality (yeah, sure), perhaps they tried to accommodate everyone this way but after the outpatient department closed, they transferred me to the OHIP (Ontario Hospital Insurance Plan) side of physiotherapy which remains at the hospital.

So try to understand this - in order for the government to save money, I was transferred from the 'self pay' and income generating outpatient physiotherapy side to the OHIP, government paid side of physiotherapy. Now, to the delight of my private insurance carrier, the premiums of which my employer (the hospital) pays into, no longer is billed for my therapy but rather the Ontario Government and ultimately the taxpayer is paying for my continued therapy. Makes sense only in the mind of a politician/bureaucrat.

So I'm continuing physiotherapy on the taxpayer's coin rather than the private health care insurance which I'm entitled to.

The usual duration of OHIP physiotherapy is 16 weeks max from what I understand so I may be looking for a new physiotherapist and a new clinic sometime in the near future. As it will be off site, it will an additional inconvenience for me.

So, with each change I get a new physiotherapist, with a new interview/evaluation as they learn about me, my injury, my abilities, my needs etc. Those interruptions result in delays in actual physiotherapy and some frustration.

In Summary, physiotherapy continues but now at twice a week with no pool therapy. Most physiotherapy now consists of a warm up at the parallel bars, a walk up and down the hallway (~360 meters/yards) per day and then bench exercises to strengthen the core muscles.