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My Valentine's California Workers Compensation System Network Nightmare

David A. Mitchell  <>
Feb 14, 2008 4:32 AM

Will you please find a just cause and come help my Bettye smile again?

Nearly seven years - April 6, 2001 - after my wife, Bettye, first experienced on-the-job carpal tunnel syndrome, her employers' workers compensation insurance carrier continues to deny treatment to allow her to return to work at the Oakland (CA) Coliseum where she is employed by ARAMARK Sports & Entertainment; Specialty Risk Services is its WCIC. Regardless of having present legal representation, the dignity, respect and trust that she needs, is no longer there as her attorney acts astounded that she would want to return to work again. Twice, the attorney's first question upon approaching at California Workers Compensation System hearings has been, "They (SRS) want to know when you're going to resign."

She hasn't worked since September 26, 2007. She's had two surgeries since - right wrist carpal tunnel relief and emergency right knee shag removal - and as you read this, her right shoulder is in so much pain than she has ever experienced. She rated it nine and the caretaker's returning response was hardly a nod. She's become all scrunched-up and twisted, and I have to have her drape herself over my shoulder so I can lift her up every times she needs to get up and move around. Basically, she is paralyzed with pain from the waist up and the employers' workers compensation insurance carriers continue to mess with her; she received another bill just the other day, a bill she should never EVER have received.

On Monday, April 4, 2008, when she entered St. Mary's Hospital for an iron infusion, she ended up receiving emergency transfusion (two units blood), and while she was resting, I glimpsed an image as if this was her deathbed, and I have been an emotional wreck since. Today, on Valentines Day, the team of doctors and caretakers are on top of the situation; BLESS THEIR HEARTS! She is into day four of entirely new medication regime; she feels it working in all the joints above the waist, especially in the surgical areas which have swelled and puffed and are tender to the touch; I've been a lummox around the house handling her homecare and I know I am putting her body into further shock. Did I mention the strain she's going through the California Workers Compensation System torture network nightmare? Will you please find a just cause and come help my Betty smile again?

David A. Mitchell, member Unite-HERE Local 2 & Local 2850