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At The Moment-------

Photo: Very important!


My Music

Not Happening ! Sigh.....


 

    My Story so far

My true first profession started as a "Dye Technician and Colourist". I was working with textile fabrics and garments, dyeing for a lot of the local Surf companies including Billabong and obtained a very high standing in the industry here in Qld for the quality of my work. I worked for two different companies during this period, "Queensland Dyeing Services" at Chermside Qld & "Jacs Laundry" at Northgate Qld (both companies went through ownership changes while I worked for them)

An old picture of the guys and me at Qld Dyeing, my wife, Dot in on the far right, I am the little guy with the blue dust jacket.

 

My next employment came as Laboratory Manager for "Sara Lee" in the Qld lab testing all there textile products, such as Stubbies and the King Gee Brands which they currently owned.

In the year 2000 I took a major career turn as the textile dyeing industry had died in Australia, and all the textile goods where coming from overseas after the Shoe and textile import tax was dropped by the Government.

I worked for Business at Deception testing, repair, rebuilding Computers and well as software trouble shooting - "ComputaHaven". I have been into the PC hardware and software since the days of the old 286.

This lasted maybe two years, during this time my right lung collapsed for some unknown reason and it was strange to occur, given that the majority of these cases occur in tall skinny people. I am 5'2 and weighed at the time approx 50kgs. But I did give up smoking during this period so this may have been the reason?

Anyway again things happened and the business changed  owners, and after short period, I was unemployed again.

In in January 2004 I had the top of middle index finger on my left hand was chopped off with a accident involving a lawn mower, I slipped on the grass while tacking the grass catcher off to empty it, I lost my balance and my hand entered the back of the mower for a second, buts that all it took to do the damage.

They tried sewing the top of my finger back on, and I had me see my GP to have it dressed daily. But eventually Gangrene appeared with it's accompanied bad smell. My GP at the time,  just wanted to keep dressing every day and said to me that will just let the end of my finger drop off. No kidding on this.

If it was not for another doctor walking past me in the dressing clinic, while I was getting redressed, who saw it and told me to get myself up to Redcliffe Hospital immediately for fear of blood poisoning.

They freaked out and had me tested, luckily for me, I did not have blood poisoning,  and they quickly removed the the top of my finger again, cleaned it up and ground it back to the bone, in surgery, to remove all the Gangrene.

    After much pain and three operation I ended up with a hammered finger because the second last person who operated on me was a trainee, they only where suppose to remove the little sliver of nail bed of the finger, but they also cut trough my tendon in the process. I had surgery operation, and had a pin put in place for six weeks, but eventually after some initial Physio, the tendon gave way at top and slit down both sides of my finger giving it a hammer appearance. I have lost some sensation at the end of this finger and it can hurt for no reason, apparently the pain will never go away. Another important point I would also like to mention here is..... that when I came back home from my last Surgery procedure, I had a large crusty type growth come up on my upper lip, that was very flaky and scaly and this, eventually went up into my nose and my ears and I believe it is in my sinuous as I get very sore stinging tear ducts with crap that continually extrudes from them which extremely crystalline like and the condition has persisted still, and it is 2014. Extremely annoying at times with stinging eyes and no help from my GP except lubrication drops.

My finger now.

 

Another point is I am right handed and a Guitarist so this injury was a devastating to me. I was able to play again but, I still had problems, my problems are much much worse now, as you continue read on.................

To note, also during my finger period I was taking continual doses of Antibiotics.

Anyway I finally got myself back together, and got back into the work force.

I finally landed a job with ALS (Australian Laboratory Services) at Stafford, Qld working in the HRMS lab testing for Dioxins in the environment, I was working with 10 micro litre sample, I also worked in numerous other areas of these laboratories testing for various Organic contaminants such as Tri-butyl Tin, Chlorophenols Etc. Testing soil, water and air samples.

Me in the prep room, note the columns behind me

Me Standing in front of our HRMS, the sampler for it, is on the left hand side

During this period I was getting extremely sick with flu like symptoms and actually ended up in Redcliffe Hospital for six days because of it, I was suspected of having contracted swine flu, but the tests where negative. I lost this position at ALS because I was told of the global economy at the the time and we did not get the large contract they that where hoping of gettin, and I was made redundant, but I suspect it was because of my illness bouts I was having while working for them.

 

In 2010, I got my next break, and scored a position with PPI Pty Ltd at Geebung, as a Laboratory Technician, testing all their products as well as their competitors products.

This included garden hose, Polypipe, pressure pipe and larger irrigation, Gas, and water pipe up two 800mm in Diameter. I had to pull 100's of garden hoses to bits, in layers, and weigh each individual component and measure them under the Microscope etc. Oxidation tests as well as physical measurement, we also had to pressure test a lot of products. After twelve months working for them, they flew me to Adelaide for a week to train their personal at their Adelaide plant, so they had high regard for technical expertise. ( I do have an way above normal I.Q)

Some of the smaller pipe fittings where extremely difficult to work with, not hard actually getting the smaller end fittings on for testing, it was getting them off, which caused lots of strain on the arms with constant tugging while they are clamped in a vice. Had to use my whole body weight behind them to get most fittings off.

But I also had to test large samples, when a 800mm sample is capped with brass fitting at both ends and filled with water (80C)  for testing, it weighs approximately 2.3 ton.

Here is a photo of me with a 550mm Diameter pipe getting filled with hot water at 80C, before placing it in the water tank for testing.

To understand what we had to do here, we had a large in ground tank filled with water that was kept at 80C and these large samples (300mm - 800mm) where filled with hot water and submerged in the tanks and pressurised for approx a week. A very large hot water bath.

Now when I took this position

1. They gave me a thorough physical and found nothing wrong with me.

2. They said they where putting in an overhead crane to place the larger samples in the tank, and the use of the fork lift with the jib to do this operation, was only temporary.

3.They said they would pay for training and also payment for a fork lift licence.

Point 2. and 3. never happened.....................................................................

 

I was the one, as I did not have a fork lift licence, who had to act as the rigger and assemble and dissemble the fitting on the larger diameter pipes (Remember my size and height) using a jib type setup, on the end of a fork lift. I had to use air ratchet guns, as well as some heavy lifting involved and the extremely dangerous condition I had to experience, I had been nearly killed, at least three times, I can recall, if it was not for me being quick on my feet and jumping aside, out of the way, before I was just a smear on the ground.

One instance my offsider, who drove the fork lift, did not assemble and attach the jib properly to the fork lift prongs and if it was not for the jib stopping the tipping of the fork lift I could have been burnt alive, the tank had a large mechanical lid, that was hydraulically controlled, and the top of the Lid, which was up,  it is what caught the jib on this as it tipped, but the back wheels of the fork lift, did leave the ground, and the bottom of the large Sample, 630mm, hit the surface of the hot water (80C) and caused a major splash of water. I was standing right next to the fork lift and tank, when this happened, but jumped out of the way, into all the crap and pipes stacked at the back, to get out of the way.

But there was also one job that I had to perform routinely and that was to guide the sample into and out of the tank.  This involved removing from the jib Hook, a large ring with 4 chains attached with large hooks, which attach to to the pipe to transport it. You can see the bottom two hooks in the below photo, but there are four, see other photo's below

The setup of the chain,  and is very Heavy

Above photos gives a better idea as what I had to deal with, the front wall of the tank was not level with the ground and stood about waist height for me. The rungs, where these these rings are placed on using a type of blunt meet hook (Middle left photo), are quite a lot lower in the tank, this why they needed the overhead crane, as the fork lift could not get the ring down to the height of the hook and rail, and I had to physically lift off the end of the hook of the jib, and place by hand to the rung below. This procedure was performed by me, 95% of the time, and you could only use one hand to do this, as you are leaning out over a tank of water at 80C and  I had to hang on to the jib for support so I was not dragged in when this weight dropped down, dragging down on my arm, getting this ring off the hook with the arm out stretched, or it would drag me to the bottom of the tank and kill me. Ring and chains all together weighed over 27ks, I calculated on average my arm is taking on 15 - 21kgs, and having this, dropped from about shoulder height in one out stretched arm. I knew it was hurting me,  I started to constantly complain about this after working for them after twelve months. Both arms coped this abuse, and it depended on how the driver of the fork lift could get the pipe into the tank, as he had to come in from an angle. The Majority of the time it was the left arm that had to cope with this but probably the right arm got about 35% abuse as well. And there where at times, when we had to hook three of the four lower hooks, up and attach them to the ring, as some samples only had one central attachment point, this increased its weight hugely, nearly to its total weight. I could manage to get it the ring off the hook on the fork lift jib most of the time, but not with out major pain going down my arm, but it was that heavy, the majority of the time I had to get my offsider to do this, as he was near six foot tall and a lot heavier than I was, but he did end up having to deal with a hernia while I worked with him.

Anyway, my story now gets much worse, in early July 2014, after assembling and placing a larger sample in the tank, after work, when returned home, I noticed a large lump come up on my inner left wrist, it was huge, but not sore at this stage, this was on a Friday. I showed the Laboratory Manager on the following Monday and he did know what to make of it. I kept working as normal but, by the following week end, I started to get major pain going up my wrist, up my left arm right up the side of my neck, numbness and tingling off my left hand and fingers. I saw my GP, and he had the lump scanned  via ultrasound, and they discovered two large ganglions present, my GP than referred me to a hand specialist.

I also applied for Workcover over this, as I believed it was caused by what I was doing in the workplace.

I went back to work on light duties for two days but found I was loosing the use of my left arm all together.

Workcover Qld was paying me 70% of my wages during this short period.

I saw the hand specialist and who also thought I some carpel tunnel syndrome happening too.

In Late August 2012, Workcover Qld rejected my claim, and stated that my problem was a pr-existing condition, and had only been aggravated by my current t duties at work.

The GP, who I will not mention by name yet............. put a referral in for me, into the public health system for the ganglions to removed, as was recommended by the hand specialist I just had the consultation with.

By now, I was getting pain in my right arm as well, but the pain in my the left arm was getting bad, going from my fingers right up the left side of my neck. My elbow has been the worst with electric like shocks that where unbearable.

My GP, with out proper diagnosis etc, claimed my pain was psychosomatic, as I should not be getting pain going up my arm and up the side of my neck from a ganglion. My thought was, well, if not, what was causing all the pain. He thought I should seek mental health treatment, as it was all in my mind. Also during this time, whether from stress or what ever, I had the feeling of something stuck in my throat, and which was starting to distress me a quite a bit, with the possible consequence of throat cancer. This particular GP wanted to leave any investigation in to this until January 2013.

I also had to go to Centrelink to get financial support and help, I was placed on Newstart with sickness allowance in December 2012, after I had to resign from by current employment, with disgust, after they where trying to claim it was all my years playing guitar, and there lies and neglect after my continual complaints about the procedure that was causing me pain.

During my fight with Workcover, I was sent to an independent Neurologist  in December 2012 before all the above issues happened with my GP, for nerve conductivity tests for possible carpel tunnel. The results where inconclusive,  and no injury in this fashion was supported by Workcover.

I quickly changed GP's, he had an had me sent to have an endoscopy of throat performed very quickly, but they found nothing and suggested post nasal drip was the cause.

I originally saw this GP in November 2012, but he did not investigate all my arm problems till March 2013.

He ordered an Ultrasound of my left shoulder, and found I had a severe case of Bursitis, he ordered cortisone injections, but when I went for my first injection, they discovered that I can not take prednisone, as both times this was previously prescribed to me, I had adverse reaction, jittery eyes, Hallucinations and shaking. The first injection they gave me was only a local Anaesthetic, as they could not contact my Doctor to advise them what to do, as the injection ordered is in the same chemical family as prednisone. They also commented on the amount of crap that was in my Bursa and suggested that it should evacuated surgically. The first injection did nothing, and only actually, made things worse, and the pain in the rest of my arm was not good, with added tingling and numbness, and my right arm (note -:because the pain in my right arm, I was ordered by the doctor not lift more than 2kgs in my right arm, October 2012) also was getting worse. My GP ordered another injection, this time a half dose of cortisone. This just aggravated the hell out of my shoulder, and made it really bad. My GP than refers me to the clinics, Physiotherapist who discovered, that I had a bad problem with my neck, and asked the GP to have an MRI of my neck. I also was given physiotherapy exercises that I had to perform daily, but I found it impossible, for most of the exercises, and found, it only hurt me more.

Another note here is I did contact a large reputable law firm, in Brisbane (no win, no pay type) who have taken on my case in December 2012 and are currently suing Workcover Qld Via Common Law.

 Anyway on with my troubles, the MRI came back with a diagnosis of a moderate case of secondary Osteoarthritis of the lower left side of my neck where all the cushioning has been squashed out, and my Radiologist suggested it was a secondary condition, from the work I was performing for my last Employer.

My first verbal statement from my GP was that I can not do any more labouring jobs ever again, and if I was not careful I could end up in a wheel chair.

I was told to keep the physio up, and as far as further treatment for my bad elbow, he suggested tendonitis was the cause.

And to use it or loose it attitude...................

The pain was bad, end numerous times I ended up on the ground in major pain, if I knocked the ends of my fingers arm etc. Even tripping, loosing ones balance as you throw your arms out for balance put me on the ground and made me pass out for a second or two.

I eventual saw an independent Orthopaedic Surgeon, Which was set up by my Lawyers.

He told me I had a frozen shoulder (April 2013) and to stop doing any physio involving the arm, as I was only aggravating and making it worse, it needed rest to heal.

I immediately applied for a disability pension from Centrelink as well as forcing my Doctor to put in a claim to Workcover for my left shoulder, Neck, Elbow etc.

I found it very difficult to do certain things, personal care etc, daily living, could not play my guitar, cut up my food and so on and on.

Centrelink rejects my disability claim fairly quickly, they gave me 10 points for my left arm, but that's all. I immediately appealed against their decision (April 2013 ?).

The pain was not going away, my lawyers eventually organised, with Workcover, more independent Specialists examinations. These happened in early Jan 2014, and I saw two independent specialist in Brisbane. One was a shoulder specialist, who verbally agreed that my problems are from what I was doing in my employment but could not state this on his report, and that I had big problems with my left arm. The second Specialist, from Medi-law, was a Neck Specialist, he did not have much to say at all.

Eventually Workcover Qld accepts my claim but only for my left shoulder (April 2014) and only back pay me, from only August 2013.

But I was allowed to see a private Orthopaedic Surgeon, who prescribed total rest. I also had to give up my drivers licence, too dangerous to drive and I found I could not travel on public transport because of my problems.

Well not long after doing what the Orthopaedic Surgeon ordered, total rest, my right arm went insane with pain and then started to freeze up. My Specialist and myself, tried to get Workcover to pay for a process called Hydrolation, to try and stop the shoulder freezing up. And after waiting some time, I mean over the time gap where this procedure would work, which was two months. They finally came back with a rejection of this and my right arm froze up solid. My specialist did go looking for the adhesive capsulation prior to totally freezing up, with an MRI and found them.

But Workcover only gave me also three days notice they where now rejecting my claim on the grounds that my condition is degenerative. By the way I was constantly chasing my payment of these guys, while they did pay me.

I had to resort to Centrelink again (This is 1st June 2014, first day of no Workcover again) , and, again I applied for a Disability pension and it was immediately rejected, which I immediately appealed against.

My Lawyers organised with Workcover to send me to an independent GP for permanent impairment assessment of my conditions.

He immediately told me I had two frozen shoulders.....................as if I did not know this, shit?

One thing I have researched about frozen shoulder as it can be caused by repetitive strain injury, and its onset, can be delayed some times, even averted if the arm is kept moving. But rested suddenly and the injury was present, then the arm could freeze up in response to heal. General recovery rate is high in general, about 89% but there is till the other percentage that make up the ones who's shoulders do not free up or only partially free up.

The independent report from this GP was that I did not have a permanent impairment. I appealed against this decision via Qcomp as I thought it idiotic and still do, as know one really knows yet!!!!!

Also Centrelink finally replied on my first claims appeal from 2013 (about nine months wait) and it was rejected and was told they would look at my second appeal soon. (August 2014)

During this time my Specialist has agreed to bulk bill me so I can still get treatment from him. At my last visit he told me it will be at least another twelve months, before my arms may start freeing up and to just rest, take my pain killers, and made me an appointment for March 2015. He also a supplied a very detailed Doctors Certificate, of all my complaints for Centrelink to try and force them to accept my disability support claim. Both my Specialist and GP and Other Specialists have been astounded by Centrelink's rejection of my claim.

Two things happen next, I am examined by Qcomp, by three Doctors, one was extremely rough on my shoulders and I was in agony for days after.

They rejected any permanent impairment.

I finally get to see some one at Redcliffe Hospital in the Occupational Health and Physiotherapy clinic.

She discovered, she could not help me with physio, but was going to look after me, as she believed I was getting lost in the system, and she will keep me on her her list, which I am still currently on. She also did some tests and discovered a massive loss of strength in my whole left arm and left hand and,  I did have some mild carpel tunnel, but her concern was with the probable compression of the Ulna nerve in my left arm some where, could be elbow, shoulder or neck. This was, and is apparently, causing my tingling, numbness in my left hand and fingers. She was going to see if she could organise someone to look at it for me but, was unsure, as I have two frozen shoulders.

My appointment for my ganglion of wrist finally appears a few weeks ago, I attend the appointment and after hearing my story he has me referred as a category two patient to the private neurological clinic for nerve conductivity tests to find the site of the Ulna nerve is being compressed.

 I am still waiting..........................................?

I ended up putting a formal complaint into Centrelink, about the time they are taking to review my appeal against their rejection of my disability claim.

I was told verbally on the phone a few days latter by a young lad, that my original rejection of my appeal was for both disability claims, and I had to go, now to the Centrelink Tribunal who I immediately contacted and got all my details etc.

After a number of days, some one from the tribunal rings me and tells me, no, the second appeal has not been reviewed yet but they would basically make them do so.

Well Monday of this week, the 1st of December 2014, I get another phone call from the Centrelink Tribunal informing me Centrelink had lost my claim and I needed to refill in another application and hand it in to Centrelink and then they would be able to help me once they got this document.

All I can say, this is unbelievable..............................

Than the dummies some how screw my replacement document, and state this as being an entirely new disability claim...

In pain 24/7

I can not do much, even walking as you tend to swing your arms when you walk.

I can't reach up or take much wait in both arms.

I Drop things a lot

 

Well my condition is as such now, or so I am told

1.A left frozen shoulder

2. Aright frozen shoulder

3.Secondary (Moderate) Osteoarthritis of my lower left neck (If poked it is extremely sore) get stiff necks all the time)

4.Tendonitis of the left elbow

5.Ulna nerve compression some where in my left arm

6.problems with stinging tear ducts ( I do not believe it is related to the above injuries)

Not including the depression, anxiety loneliness and helpless including the loss of some special family members as in my beloved parrots. too many lost loves

And now, something more sinister has appeared in my life...................

Rodney K. Burgess 07/12/2014

--------------------------------------------------------------

Both reviews by the Centrelink tribunal have happened, and all where rejected, because

1. I am not fully diagnosed

2. My condition has not been stabilised

and I get no disability support..........

:(

28/02/2015

 


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