Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Days After The Assault

The days that followed the assault, I had to report to the Memorial Occupational Medical Clinic at Long Beach Community Hospital for a follow up check with the doctor. The doc did neurological checks on me (which the ER never did, by the way. Neuro checks are a must for any head injury!). Some of these checks are the same as what a cop would give you to test for drunk driving. I passed the tests but was still having headaches and occassional dizziness, so the doctor ordered me to be assigned to modified duty. When I submitted those orders to the Human Resources Department, I was told that the hospital didn't offer modified duty. However, in cases like this, they sent employees to a company called Healthpointe in the city of La Mirada, to attend safety classes while recuperating. I would be paid my regular hourly wages other than the night shift differential. A coworker was sent to these classes months ago and told me then what it was like. So the day after seeing the doctor, I reported to Healthpointe. The first person I saw looked familiar and he happened to be a housekeeper from the same hospital I work in. In fact I met him months ago when he helped us deal with a flood on the night shift. At least Juan would be able to show me around and tell me what to expect for the duration of our daily 8 hour stay at Healthpointe.
At exactly 8 a.m., we reported to the classroom which had a few rows of tables with computer terminals on them. The first thing we did was go to the physical therapy gym for stretching exercises, but you could do pretty much whatever you want to do for 15 minutes, be it lifting weights, using the stationary bike or treadmill, or walking outside. After that, it was back to the classroom for what would be a whole day of watching videos with lengthy pauses in between. Lunch was from noon to 1p.m. then it was back to the videos until 4:45. Then it was back to the gym for 15 minutes, then time to go home. This happened on Wednesday where one of the nurses at the front desk had to do double duty of doing her regular job and showing us the videos (the poor woman). The next couple of days were better because the lady who conducted the class was more structured. In between videos, we were given reading material, then had written quizzes on them. As much as I don't like taking tests, at least it made the time go quicker.
Before I went to class last Friday, I had to go back to the doctor at the Occupational Clinic for a reevaluation. A nurse practitioner saw me instead and gave me another neuro check. Everything was okay except for the huge migraine headache I experienced the day before (my first one ever!), and a bunch of milder ones since the day I was punched. The nurse said that was to be expected and that the headaches would diminish over time. She did give me another 3 days of modified duty and another follow up appointment for this coming Wednesday (10/17/12). If I'm feeling better then, they may return me to full duty.
In the meantime, while I've been attending these safety classes, with my sleeplessness at night, I've learned to act like a cat. You may infer what you wish with that one.

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