Unum asking about physical therapy..is it helpful?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by NifferA, Aug 10, 2005.

  1. NifferA

    NifferA New Member

    I received a call from my case manager with UnumProvident and she asked me if the doctor and I have discussed physical therapy as a treatment for me. I responded that we had not. This is the second time she has mentioned physical therapy in our discussions.

    I was wondering if anyone had any good results from physical therapy. I haven't kept up with an exercise regimen since my FMS/CFS onset about 3 years ago, but I am still relatively strong. But the fatigue and the pain are the problems. Will physical therapy really help this, or is it something the insurance company wants to use on their behalf?

    I can do many things, I choose not too however due to the pain. I have learned not to push myself. If they want to measure my exercise tolerance that is fine, but are they also going to measure the pain? Another way to look at it...I am physically capable of sticking a needle in my eye, but I choose not to.
  2. rigby

    rigby New Member

    I did it all and Unum could care less. I got turn down for disability. With CFS becare with PT has we can have undetected heart problems. I had heart attack without warning 3 months after PT
  3. NifferA

    NifferA New Member

    I have a heart murmur, but no other heart problems that I am aware of, but thanks for the warning!

    I'm sorry you were denied disability. Are you back at work?

    I noticed you live in Santa Fe, Texas. I am in Katy.
  4. TXFMmom

    TXFMmom New Member

    I had physical therapy out the yahoo when I first became disabled. The physical therapists said no way would I be able to do my job. UNUM FELT THEY KNEW BETTER.

    I have had physical therapy in an attempt to treat specific problems, such as my neck and back, and one can get some temporary help at times, but enough to get you back to work, NO WAY.

    UNUM is a snake in the grass. Believe me.

    I had FM but was doing okay. I was an RN, an Advances Nurse Practitioner, and a Certified Registerd Nurse Anesthetist and had been for 26 years. However, I suffered a horrible fall in my great big spa shower I had put in to help with the FM. Despite the FM, I had never so much as pulled a muscle lifting patients, crawling around to start IV's on patients on fracture tables, doing CPR in the floor, lifting patients onto fracture tables, over for back surgery, etc.

    I injured four cervical discs, four lumbar discs, my right shoulder, and knocked my pelvis askew, where it remains unstable to this day. I TRIED EVERYTHING.

    The physical demands of anesthesia are unbelievable.

    Just a few days prior to injuring myself, I had done an emergency C-section where I had to climb up on the oeprating table, and pull a 250 pound laboring woman in fetal distress onto the operating table alone, as the nurse was running around like a chicken with her head cut off, in order to get her positioned and dosed in her epidural for the surgery. Had I not done that, we could have lost the mother and the baby. THERE WAS NO WAY I WOULD EVER BE ABLE TO DO THAT AGAIN.

    There were so many parts of what I WOULD BE REQUIRED TO DO AND WOULDN'T HAVE THE TIME TO CALL FOR HELP OR A PATIENT COULD COME TO HARM.

    Once,I relieved on a case where they had a 300 pound man prone on these high cushions to extend his back for back surgery. I didn't think they had him positioned properly and told the Anesthesiologist so, but he assured me the guy was stable and left.

    Suddenly, the nurse moved the bed just a little and the man almost fell off on one side. I had to jump over and push against him and physically hold him on the bed, with this tiny nurse on the other side trying to pull to assist, and we screamed like murder, the scrub contaminated herself to push the button for STAT help, and it was still three minutes before help arrived. After I was injured THAT PATIENT WOULD HAVE FALLEN IN THE FLOOR BECAUSE I WOULND'T HAVE BEEN ABLE TO DO WHAT I HAD DONE. I WAS SORE AFTERWARDS, BUT I SAVED THE PATIENT FROM BREAKING HIS NECK, BACK, LEG, OR WHATEVER, AND OR HAVING SERIOUS INJURY.

    I just about strangled that Anesthesiologist when he got back.

    I finally, wrote Unum a letter, discussing how I had to do things like this, not to mention I WAS IN CONSTANT, HORRIBLE PAIN, BECAUSE THE INJURY MADE MY FM TAKE OFF.

    They finally gave me my disability after our State Insurance Department ruled I had the right to sue them.

    Then, two years later I received a call from Unum, wanting me to take a trial work period. I had surrendered my license in the interim, because I was on MUSCLE RELAXANTS, KLONAPIN, AND AN ANTIDEPRESSANT, NOT TO MENTION MY SLEEP DISORDER WHICH HAD GOTTTEN VERY, VERY BAD.

    All of it added up to the fact tha I WASN'T IN HEALTH ENOUGH TO MAINTAIN MY LICENSE. MY SLEEP DOC MADE ME QUIT, NOT EVEN CONSIDERING THE OTHER STUFF. THE WOMAN FROM UNUM SCREAMED BLOODY MURDER AND TOLD ME I SHOULD HAVE LIED TO KEEP MY LICENSE.

    That, for me was a defining moment ABOUT UNUM.
  5. Jen102

    Jen102 New Member

    If you do the therapy and it helps you a little (good for you), they will say, "see, you are able to work, or you are healed by the therapy." If you can't complete it, they will say you didn't try or weren't cooperative. May I suggest a response to UNUM--and I will try to restrain myself--ha! Tell them that you are under the care of a good doctor, whom you trust, and they will direct your health care rather than UNUM. Frankly, I wouldn't deal with them except in writing. They will distort and lie about anything you say. Ask for notes from the telephone conversations you have had about PT and see what they have written so far--"insured refuses to try PT, or dr is unaware of the advantages of PT" or similar blarney. I don't believe the insurance co's ever do anything because they believe it is in your best interest--only things which benefit them. This may sound cynical or paranoid but isn't. They have a responsibility to their shareholders to "contain costs" rather than to necessarily pay all honest and deserving claims.

    Do what you think is good for you and don't be directed by UNUM. If you research PT and discuss it with a dr who is supportive and well understands your circumstances, particularly your level of fatigue and how you react to exertion, and they can refer you to a qualified and understanding therapist, and you believe that your body can withstand it, by all means try it. For me, due to the level of fatigue, it would be detrimental. Some day when I am physcically more able, I will have little trouble finding ways to use my body to regain tone and mobility. The fatigue must be addressed first so you don't exacerbate it, IMHO. Jen102
  6. piemom

    piemom New Member

    Hi, I have a different insurance group so I don't know anything about UNUM. I've had PT several times for different things, spinal stenosis among others. All it ever did for me was trigger the FM symptoms and I always ended up cancelling the balance of the sessions.

    My doctor recently urged me to try again at the therapy outpatient of a local hospital. She said that she goes there and they have done wonders for her. So I agreed to go. They are going very slowly and best of all they have masseuse who follows a very holistic line of massage therapy. Lymphatic drainage being one part of it. I feel so much better than I did. I"m sleeping better and not as exhausted as I was before. Sometimes I"m uncomfortable the next day but later in the week feel much better.

    So I would say it is worth a try--you have to be very very insistent that they not push you too hard. (which they tend to do) I suggest you ask them if they have experience treating FM patients and bring one of the excellent articles about FM with you.

    I would print out this info at http://fibromyalgia.ncf.ca/dsphysio.htm as it is specially for therapists--I"m going to show it to mine.

    Lots of luck, piemom
  7. NifferA

    NifferA New Member

    I appreciate all of your advice. I am seeing a great doctor so I will discuss this candidly with her when I see her next week.

    I have had some good experience with massage in the past so I may incorporate that back into my treatment regimen.

    I think Unum is just wanting me to try different things, since they continutally ask if I have had any changes to my treatment. What they don't know is all of the different things I have tried since before the filing of my short term disability claim. They have only been involved for the last few months, and they seem to ask if there have been any treatment changes since my last doctor visit.

    Thanks again for the advice!