I have had back issues for years now.
I was around when MIB was keeping track of injuries and claims not that I have never filed a Jones Act or Workers Comp claim in my life.
I have never sued (even when I probably should have) or collected a dime from anybody including our government.
My back finally got to the point that I had to go under the knife.
The ol saw bones did a pretty good job and in 6 weeks I was ready to return to work with a “light duty” chit.
I pre planned my medical time off and saved as much as I could for bills.
I took time off work to heal and paid for the entire surgery myself.
But now that it is time to go back, no one wants to hire me on “light duty” let alone with a “full release”.
I have spoken with a couple former and current port captains and they told me good luck but my back surgery is going to be something that follows me around the rest of my life.
I already knew that and that is why I already have my medical records printed out and ready to go.
But it is not just the hassle of shuffling papers for the pre employment physical but the fact that I have had a “back injury” that I never had.
No one wants to hire someone that is going to step on the boat, slip on water, and say, “My neck, my back, my neck and my back! Give me a couple million and I’ll forget about it.”
I thought I was doing it the right way.
I quit my job and went home. I paid for the surgery and treatment myself. I have recovered and am almost fully released. And were it not for the metal parts in my spine I would lie like a rug about ever having a surgery.
Why should I be grouped in with the rest of the ambulance chasers? I have busted my ass my whole career and a public records check shows that I have never sued anyone for anything in my life.
I am a hell of a good wheelman and was in high demand before I bowed out to get fixed.
Now I am a piece of shit that might sue.
I don’t give a fuck what “everyone else” did and who sued who.
I want to be “judged” by my actions not the actions of the Jones Act Mafia.
I can’t do anything else either because no one wants to hire me on light duty. By the time I get a full release I will have lost it all anyway.
I stashed enough nuts to get to light duty but it is pretty hard to put enough away for an entire year.
I don’t know a single person in this throw away, easy credit society we live in that can live for an entire year, pay all their bills, and not work.
I am sure those people are out there but they are not the norm.
My light duty has a lifting restriction just to cover my doc’s ass.
I am lifting kids, laundry baskets, going to the Y everyday, and so on.
I am taking no drugs and the most fit for duty I have been in 20 years.
I quit smoking, doping, drinking, whoring, (hard to believe I am still a sailor, eh) and more.
All for naught. No one cares. I am a fuckin ambulance chaser now not a 20 year Captain…for the rest of my life I guess…