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The Hardest Pills To Swallow

The air choked from her lungs as the pain jolted violently down to her toes, searing through its ungodly familiar path. She knelt there on the bathroom floor paralyzed; afraid to move when she felt his chubby fingers push the bangs out of her eyes.

“Momma? Momma boo boo?” he said.

She had only tried to help him out of his soiled underwear.

“Yes, Momma boo boo her back.” she forced out.

It was only 9 in the morning, and her day was already over before it actually began. At 30 years old, this life of chronic pain was her cross to bear every waking, sleeping minute of her day. And like any other day there was no time to feel sorry for herself because life moved on with or without her.

She rather moved along with it. Especially for him.

She wiped away the tears that instantaneously rolled down her cheeks and replaced them with a fake air of courage for her son.

Her strength to push forward and fight.

“I’m ok” she said, as she maneuvered her way slowly and carefully to standing.

She made her way to the kitchen and took note of the unpaid medical bills on the counter.

The bills her employer was supposed to pay that are now her burden.

Then to the cupboard.

Then to the pills she paid for with her own hard earned money.

She swallowed each one with ease.

Yet she could never choke down the anger and hate.

Those are always the hardest pills to swallow.


  1. I don’t understand this. I really don’t. Granted, I don’t know anything about workmans comp stuff or HR laws, but this just isn’t right. What is their position? How can they get away with it? I’m so angry for you. I’m so sorry. The pain would be bad enough but then the fight with your employer on top of it… How do you do it??

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Krista, It is disgusting. I have a lawyer and it is going to court but in the meantime I have to pay because I still need the medical care. Hopefully my lawyer is good. It would be nice to get all that money I shelled out back!

  2. This post was so well written, the anguish and anger just poured out of your words.

    I am so very sorry about your back troubles. I have only injured my back once, in a ridiculous moment when I thought I could ice skate like a gold medalist even though the last time I ice skated was at the age of 9. It was a minor injury, but it made me realize how devastating it must be to live with a back injury. I never realized until my back didn’t work how crucial the back is in every single one of our daily movements.

    I’m so sorry too that your employer isn’t doing their part. Unbelievable. My prayers and blessings are coming your way today. Feel better.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @joann Mannix, Dear Michelle Kwan…kidding….It’s crazy how much you use your back for everything. Crazy. Like I never knew how far down toilet seats really are!
      Thank you so much for the prayers. They mean more to me than you’ll ever know.

  3. I’m so sorry, Kim. I have chronic back problems, so I know it must be aweful for you — especially having a small child to care for and the rigors of your occupation.

    The only thing I can offer is trying to work out some kind of arrangement for your medical bills. Often, hospitals will take less than the entire amount. It may just take persistence on your part.

    Big hugs and I do hope you are feeling better soon.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Nancy, It is going to court…hopefully soon…so in the end everything hopefully will get paid for. In the meantime I am stuck paying for all of it out of pocket because I need the medical care. I am sorry that you have back problems too. It’s the pits isn’t it?

  4. Pua Pua

    I am so, so sorry you are going through this. I wish I could do something to help you. It’s insane that they are refusing to pay when it’s clearly a work related injury.

    I am so sorry 🙁

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Pua, Thank you Pua. Maybe you can send some robot dinosaurs to seek and destroy? That? would be awesome

  5. Work injury? I’ve got a patient who is totally being hung out to dry for his injuries which were so obviously incurred at work. It breaks my heart to watch him struggle with his daily pain and know that they are doing everything they can to get out of paying for him. My heart goes out to you!

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Ally, It is very disgusting. I know that I’m not the only one out there going through such injustice.

  6. (((hugs))). Please know that I think of you often, am here if you need some stranger to vent to (sometimes that’s the easiest).

  7. I’ll never say I know how you feel but I know it’s no where near how you should feel with a toddler running around. I guess those injections aren’t working then…Always here for you to lean on. Always.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Pamela, The injections start working after the second or third round so I’m still keeping hope that they will work. It means the world to me that you’re there for me. Thank you my friend.

  8. liz liz

    I don’t know how you do it! i truly, truly don’t!

    there HAS to be a proper resolution and soon!

    You don’t deserve this! Nobody does!

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @liz, The sad part is, I’m sure that there are hundreds of other people out there going through the same BS as me. I am paying for all those bums who take advantage of the system…plus it doesn’t help that my employer is a total douche nozzle.

  9. I am so sad right now. I just want to take you in my arms and hold you close, and just let the tears flow freely. It is so wrong that with your hospital. I feel like we need to get a huge group of bloggers together and go picket them. I’m sooooo mad.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Donna, Oh Donna, I love you like mad. So wish that we lived closer and I’d take you up on that offer 😉

  10. Un-freaking-believable. I’m pissed for you. Is that the end of it?? They’re really not going to pay for ANYTHING???

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Jenn, They’re not paying for anything until it goes to court. I’ve been waiting since we refiled a petition in the summer after they breached our standing contract stating that they were obligated to pay for my medical as long as I worked for them.
      My employer was sold to a for-profit hospital organization and in turn we got a new insurance company who handles the bills. The new insurance company is refusing to pay my medical because back in January of 2010, they inadvertantly found a 1 cm cyst on my ovary. That cyst, they claim, is the cause of my back pain. Nice eh?

  11. Girlfriend, you are perfect and putting feelings into words. Perfect.

    If you don’t mind, I might share this post with others in my life, to help them understand what it’s like to live with the chronic pain in the back. Because, you see, I am not as perfect at putting feelings into words.


    You are the best mom for that adorable boy and he appreciates everything you do; every time you push through the pain for him.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Valerie, You totally can my dear. Pain is so hard for people to understand because they can’t see it and it’s totally subjective.
      People think that you can suck it up…just like a mental illness eh?
      Hugs to you to my friend.

  12. Oh Kimberly, I so want you to get better and for some financial justice! It’s so unfair. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to be living with chronic pain. xoxo

  13. Ugh honey. I hate that you deal with all this BULLSHIT and you need to use that lawyer to his/her fullest. Because this is fucked up.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Jess@Straight Talk, I sure hope my lawyer is good. It was hard finding one since I live in Canada. I had to go on word of mouth. Hopefully…hopefully his big talk follows through for me.

  14. Argh! Kimberly.. I swear I want to strangle the people who
    put you in this position and continue to fight you in this stupid
    battle! Where is their empathy? Where is the care for others? For
    what? MONEY. I hope they all burn. <3 ~ M

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Melissa, I know that you can relate to this. People can’t “see” pain therefore it doesn’t exist. It’s sad but that’s the truth. My employer doesn’t care about me. They see me as a burden that costs them thousands of dollars a year and they are trying everything in their powers to fire me.
      It’s so so sad.

  15. Woo…that is a fantastic post. I’m so sorry to hear you’re
    going through this, apparently without the support of your
    employer…which is as disgusting as it is cruel to both you and
    your family. ((HUGS)))

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Jessi, They totally need a kick in the nuts. Jerks. Thanks girl!!

  16. Well doesn’t that just stink. Have you checked into that
    prescription program that montel williams has? Google it, maybe
    that’ll help. I know a couple people who use it! Also, your state
    might have some type of plan as well to help defray some cost. Hope
    you feel better very soon. 🙂

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @sheila, I am Canadian and I am so unfamiliar with the American medical system…don’t even know where to begin searching…but thank you for the tips!!!

  17. wow. I cannot begin to imagine. I wish I was there to help
    you out in some small way. I can’t believe they aren’t helping you
    with the costs of all this??? Granted I don’t know the background,
    but if it’s something that happened at work?! I am so, so sorry. No
    one should have to deal with this, and I am sure it’s doubly hard
    with a kiddo depending on you.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @erin margolin, You helped me out by leaving this sweet comment 😉 I injured my back while trying to drag a patient who stopped breathing in our parking lot all the way to our ER trauma bay. I herniated 3 discs.
      It has taken me a long time to accept my life with chronic pain but I have accepted it. It just sucks that I have to deal with the injustice that my employer shells out to me. I saved a life and this is the thanks I get.

  18. How incredibly frustrating. HUGS

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Shell, Thank you Shell. It is very frustrating, but I know that once it makes its way to court, I will win and hopefully be paid back all the money I had to put out for my care.

  19. Ugh. Back pain sucks fat donkey balls and your employer is
    a set of donkey balls for not taking care of what is CLEARLY their
    problem. 🙁 I’m sure you know this because you’re a nurse, but if I
    were you, I’d try talking the bill down. It doesn’t hurt to ask.
    And I’m pretty sure they can’t go after you for the money as long
    as you’re paying some amount every month. HUGS

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Carri, It’s going to court so I know that eventually it will get paid but if I want to get further medical care in the meantime, I have to pay out of my pocket. Money I don’t have.
      I didn’t intend for this post to make people feel sorry for me. I use my blog as a tool of therapy to get things off my chest and to hope that someone listens. I thank you for being there my dear. Truly.

  20. Oh Kimberly, that is unfair and pisses me off that you have
    to pay that much. I am so sorry.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Heather, That’s not even HALF of the bill. This bill dates back to the spring. This doesn’t include all the shots I’ve recieved. EEEKs.
      I have an attorney and it’s going to court, but in the meantime, if I want to continue with my cortisone shots and medical treatment, I must pay out of pocket. I know that in the end I will be reimbursed for all of this but it sucks when you have to put money aside for medical. Sucks a lot.

  21. Jen Jen

    This is just terrible!

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Jen, Makes you want to stab something doesn’t it 😉

  22. Let’s hope that 2011 is the year that brings relief from
    your pain and stress … All of us are praying for you.

  23. E. E.

    Such a heartfelt post. I can’t say anything that hasn’t
    been said already by the others.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @E., It’s ok. I didn’t intend to make people feel sorry for me. I use blogging as a tool for therapy…to get my aggression and frustrations out. It’s hard to respond to this being it’s such a crappy situation but just knowing that people are reading this makes me feel good. Thank you E.

  24. Aw Kimberly! You are a Mom…and you prove that everyday!
    Not just any woman can be a mom…most of us can all be
    mothers…but it takes work to be a mom! I know that someday
    (probably not as far away as it feels) you will have retrobution.
    You are a GOOD person and though at times it doesn’t seem like it,
    good people get good things. I’m huge believer in karma and
    syncronicity…it will all work out! Until then here is an extra
    hug for all that you go through and all that you do! XXX

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Kelly, Thank you Kelly. You are so awesome. I know that in the end, I will prevail but it’s just going through the setbacks and harrassment and the way I’m treated on a daily basis that really takes a toll on my spirit.
      It has taken me so long to accept my life with chronic pain, and I’m ok with it. What I’m not ok with is how I’m treated like garbage. That’s not fair.
      Love ya girl.

  25. Wow – that sounds tough! Being ill is 1 thing, having to
    look after children as well…! Forgive my ignorance, but I thought
    Canada had a ‘National Health Service’? (I live in the U.K.; I
    don’t really understand how the North American insurance-based
    healthcare system ‘works’).

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @JallieDaddy, We do, but I commute to the US to work so I fall under their healthcare BS. It’s a business and all they care about is making money. They don’t care about the well being of their people and it’s sad and disgusting all rolled into one.

  26. This is just outrageous and so incredibly wrong. I can’t
    believe you’re going through it.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @blueviolet, It is disgusting. I tried to save a child’s life and this is the thanks I get. My employer is scum.

  27. Janna Janna

    I hate you are going thru this…… just battle after battle…

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Janna, I know, it’s funny because…well it’s not funny…but I went into the new year with a positve outlook and then this happened and another issue happened that I can’t talk about happened and it kind of slowly deflating my happy balloon. I’m trying really hard to not let these things knock me down. Really hard.

  28. Oh Kimberly, I am so sorry that you’re going through this.
    Before I had kids, I used to struggle with what’s called a trigger point in my back that was paralyzing. I would be stuck in bed for days and had to have physical therapy twice a week. Back pain is the absolute worst.
    I wish that there was something that I could do for you.
    You write so beautifully about the pain and the need to push on even when your body is fighting you.
    Sending you love.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Nichole, Thanks Nichole. It’s funny how you don’t really realize how important our backs are in daily activities until you’ve had a problem with it.

  29. Yuck! I am so sorry. I wish I could wave my wand and make you all better. That is so unfair…….. ((HUGS))

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Melissa, If you do happen to come across that wand…send it my way 😉

  30. this makes me so sad and angry, my friend.

    I just feel like punching things because I feel so helpless.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Katie, It’s ok Katie. Knowing that you’re my friend and will have my back (no pun) means the world to me.

  31. Claire Claire

    and to think, the same people doing this to you are the ones were supposed to feel safe and comfortable going to, to help us when were sick or injured. The very reason for their existence is the same thing they are denying you. Comfort, support, care. The thought that a hospital, a place of compassion for the sick, would treat someone in your position the way they have, whether patient or employee, is nothing less than a disgrace. They should absolutely be ashamed of themselves.

    Its an unfortunate burden you have to bare, but without it, those that suffer, just like me, would be untouched by your words of compassion, inspiration and awesomeness. I know writing that does nothing for you, but you should know that for every person out there who suffers from chronic pain or a Postpartum Mood disorder, that has found your blog, their pain and their suffering is made just that much smaller having found you. Thats how much strength and power you have. Thats the kind of power even chronic pain cant hold down. May God give you the peace and strength you need to carry on.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Claire, Claire, I am bawling my eyes out. You are such a sweet sweet person and know that your words just leapt out from the screen and hugged my soul. Thank you my dear friend for taking the time to write me and to encourage me. It means more to me than you’ll ever EVER know.
      Love you.

  32. Uh, I didn’t know you were from Canada. Here in the states when we are having prescription issues (mainly cost of them) we go to Canada. I wish you the best. THere’s got to be a solution out there for you, I hope you find one! :o)

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @sheila, HA I know! I don’t understand why it’s so much cheaper!

  33. Well today I wrote about spending Christmas Eve in jail, so I don’t think I could do more on that end!

    And don’t forget about apples… I’ve heard they’re quite good medicine too.

  34. I am so sorry you are going through this. It’s wrong on so many levels.

  35. Seriously girl, why isn’t your employer paying for all this shit!!!
    Ugh…my husband suffers from chronic back pain, so I know there’s nothing really uplifting I can say that won’t sound cheesy. He did however have an acupuncture procedure in which the debilitating pain from his back was moved to his calf. He suffers from horrible muscle spasms in his leg now, but at least he can function with leg pain rather than back pain…just thought it might be something you hadn’t yet tried…hey, I’ll try anything to cheer you up!

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