Re: Job loss through injury or illness?

Subject: Re: Job loss through injury or illness?
From: "Nancy E. Kaminski" <nancykam -at- MEDIAONE -dot- NET>
Date: Thu, 11 Feb 1999 08:27:48 -0600

Bill Paine wrote:
> How would you handle say a broken finger or wrist (from a personal
> activity) on the job? Have any of you experienced this? What are some
> of ways (on the job) we could deal with this?

I had to have a ligament (the one that goes between the thumb and the first
finger) replaced in my right hand. This injury was the result of a horseback
riding accident (a sport I am definitely not giving up for work!).

I was in a cast for 10 weeks after the surgery. My right arm was encased
from the base of my fingers all the way to my elbow, and my thumb was
totally immobilized. How did I cope?

Pretty well, because I explained to the doctor what I did for a living. He
made sure that the cast was angled properly to allow me to use my free 4
fingers for typing -- the wrist wasn't precisely straight, it was bent up
just a little bit to rest comfortably on the keyboard. It was annoying not
having that thumb available, though. Fortunately I'm lefthanded, so my
ability to write wasn't impaired.

With each of my cast changes (there were 4) we fine-tuned the cast. Although
my typing speed was down, I was able to carry on almost like normal. I got
quite good at substituting the left thumb for the right on the space bar,

I actually had a harder time in the 2 weeks after the cast finally came off.
My forearm and wrist were so atrophied I had to improvise keyboard supports,
and I tired very quickly. My supervisor very kindly gave me a 1-pound weight
to exercise with at my desk to help build up my wrist strength, and so after
3 long months I was finally back to normal.

Nancy Kaminski
nancykam -at- mediaone -dot- net
Fairview Health Services
Minneapolis, MN USA

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