Dawn L

I used to be a very active person. Wife, mother to 2 young children, somewhat of a caretaker for my grand mother who lived 30 min away and at the same time worked a fulltime job. I worked out 5 days a week doing 5 miles each time on my Nordic Trak cross country ski machine. Loved it! My husband had a bad back (2 herniated discs for which he had laser surgery done on and that surgery failed 2 weeks later and he was back to square one.) He became an alcoholic and drinking took over his life more and more each day. Consequently I became responsible for ALL of the outdoor maintenance on our home like mowing, weed whacking, taking care of my flower garden, my vegetable garden, leaf blowing and raking and shoveling. Then, at the time of my injury I was on mandatory overtime at my job. I worked for the phone company relaying phone conversations for the hearing and speech impaired. ( Mind you at that time,1991, most people were not connected to the internet yet and our job was an important one. We were a new and innovative way for the hearing and speech impaired community to be able to communicate via phone to someone who did not have a special phone called a TDD. They were able to make business calls, doctor appts or just "talk" to their friends and family through our service.) Needless to say I felt good about my job but it began to take a toll on my body in early 1991. My hands were cramping up and my fingers started to lock up during and especially after a call was finished. I went to an orthopedic doctor who put both of my hands in splints and told me to wear them 24/7. He also gave me a prescription for some antiinflammatory medication. I did what he told me and initially had some relief. However, one night while at work in March of 1992 my hands locked up so bad during a phone call ( I left out that one of my many doctors at that point estimated we were typing 30,000 words per hour at the relay office while at the same time working a mandatory overtime schedule that had us working 11 days straight until we got 1 day off.) I had to excuse myself to the ladies room so I could take a short break. I could not pick up the pen to sign the required "sign out sheet" that the supervisors used to keep track of employees. I had to ask them to do it for me. I became very frightened and couldn't figure out what was happening to me. After a 10 min bathroom break I still could not move my fingers and asked permission to go home. I went out to my car and sat there for a long time just crying. My hands and forearms hurt so bad I was besides myself. I worked crazy hours at this office and by now it was around midnight and everyone in my home was sound asleep. I lived 40 min away from the office and would have to drive myself home somehow. I took an anti inflammatory and sat in my car for what seemed like an eternity before my fingers began to move and I could begin the painful drive home. The next day I called my orthopedic doctor to tell them what had happened and they gave me an appt for the following day. My neighbor graciously took my kids for the day and I went to bed. I was in so much pain there was nothing else I could do. I could not function. The next day my doctor took me out of work until we could figure out what was going on and I felt better. Long long story short, no doctor in my area could figure out what exactly was wrong with me. I ended up going to a doctor in NYC in August of 1992 that specialized in repetitive workplace injuries. He spent 3 hours with me the first visit. He explained to me in great detail what had happened to my arms and hands over the course of my employment with the relay. Apparently I had developed a lot of scar tissue in both of my forearms from the constant computer typing. This was made even worse when the local doctor had me wear those hand splints to work. By doing that, my body rested the already damaged tendons and ligaments but then proceeded to cause more scar tissue to form in the good ones. He said he had never seen such a severe repetitive motion injury in his career. I had been working in "a sweatshop of the 90's" according to him. He wanted me to come down to NYC 3 days a week for specialized therapy but I could not afford the train fare for so many visits. So he personally called my local rehab hospital and gave the nurses there specific therapy instructions for my recovery. So I went to therapy 3 days a week for 6 months. The pain remained. My doctor then realized that RSD had begun to set in and asked my Worker's Comp. carrier for immediate approval of a set of diagnostic stellate ganglion blocks. The insurance company dragged their feet for 1 whole year. By the time my doctor was able to convince them that by delaying these blocks they were making my situation worse, it was too late. They finally approved a diagnostic block and a subsequent series of 12 more theraputic blocks. Unfortunately by that time the RSD was not going anywhere and I became permanently disabled. That whole experience was so exasperating to say the least. To this day I continue to see my doctor's successor. (My orig doc retired around 1993 or 1994 and he trained his successor on how to recognize these type of injuries.)It's now 2019 and he continues to fight the good fight against my insurance carrier, this time over my medication. I'm pretty sure they just don't want to pay for them anymore and are dragging me back into court tomorrow.... Dec. 2019 update... The Worker's Comp hearing was a sham! The judge was obviously bought and paid for by the ins carrier. He started the whole proceeding by yelling at me and my party and ruled in favor of my employer's carrier. No more meds will be paid for 30 days from Dec. 10th. He would not even look at my doctor's letters about my condition and explaing why these meds WERE my medical treatment. I had already exhausted my options and these meds were the only thing helping my functionality. The judge, however, would not listen. I finally spoke up when I knew he was about to rule. I was barely holding back my tears but managed to explain to him I have had Complex Regional Pain Syndrome for almost 30 years. There is no cure for this. He cut me off, yelled out his ruling and court adjourned. What a joke that "hearing" was. I burst into tears as I walked out of the room. My lawyer tried to calm me down saying she had had other bad experiences with that judge and we would be appealing. I could barely hear her over my racing thoughts and sobs. I could only reply, what am I supposed to do, curl up in a ball and die now?? She calmed me down as best as could be expected and I left, went to my car where I had my true meltdown. So now we wait and pray that the 3 person board my appeal goes before are truly objective and read my case. Pray for a fair and just ruling that overturns that ridiculously biased one from Dec. ???? We should not have to live in fear this way! My permanancy guaranteed me medical treatment for life. I will take this to the NYS Court of Appeals if necessary. How horrible to do this to people who are already suffering. They should be ashamed of themselves.
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Got Fibro, Got Covid.

I'm just wondering if anyone has any experience in recovering from Covid with Fibro, really. After 5 days, I've done a test. It was still positive, so I'm almost too scared to ask this. I had flu once & I still had symptoms for months afterwards. Also, I'm never gonna feel any better if I'm spending the entire night coughing rather than sleeping, right? God I'm fed up. 😭 #COVID19 #Fibromyalgia #ChronicIllness

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Erin Migdol

Clothing Brands For People With Chronic Pain

During a pain flare, feeling anything touch your body can be excruciating. On those days, you’ll likely reach for soft, comfortable clothes that don’t add to your pain. Hello leggings, goodbye tailored pants. While you could just throw on an old T-shirt, wearing something that’s fashionable and comfortable can help boost your mood and make you feel more confident if you have to run out to the pharmacy or go to work. Luckily, there are many brands out there that offer a variety of comfortable and fashionable options. We asked The Mighty community which clothing brands they recommend that are comfortable for people with chronic pain. Here are their recommendations. 1. LuLaRoe LuLaRoe bills itself as “where fashion meets comfort,” and indeed, the company offers a selection of loose-fitting tops and T-shirts, stretch-knit dresses, A-line skirts and leggings (their most popular item). Unlike many clothing collections designed for comfort, these pieces come in a variety of vibrant colors and patterns. A pair of leggings usually retails for $25. “In the past few weeks, I’ve been buying more and more LuLaRoe clothing,” Samantha Carter told The Mighty. “The leggings provide support that isn’t constricting when I’m dealing with an interstitial cystitis flare or muscle spasms relating to other pelvic issues, and the tops and dresses are loose and flowy, so they don’t irritate my skin when my nerves start going bonkers from my fibromyalgia and complex regional pain syndrome — even when everything else I wear feels like it’s constantly scratching a sunburn I don’t really have.” LuLaRoe is only sold through independent consultants. Check out the collection and find a retailer here. 2. Hanes A bad pain day sometimes means all you can tolerate is the basics — T-shirt, underwear, and maybe leggings or sweatpants. Hanes offers wardrobe staples in soft and comfortable cotton and jersey. As an added bonus, many of their shirts are tagless. Most items cost between $3.99 and $20. Buy the tagless shirt above for $11.99. 3. Motherhood Maternity Not all women like the idea of wearing maternity clothes when they’re not pregnant (especially those struggling with infertility). But if you’re OK with it, maternity clothes can provide comfort to those dealing with chronic pain, weight fluctuations, skin sensitivity and bloating. Motherhood Maternity offers tunic tops (retailing for around $30), maxi skirts ($35) and jeans with stretch waistbands ($50). “Motherhood Maternity Secret Fit Belly Jeans. I started wearing them during pregnancy and still love them because they don’t bother my back, actually the belly band puts slight pressure on my lower back which helps ease some pain,” Kristina Bentle told The Mighty. “Plus I love that they help with my hypersensitivity, they don’t dig into you like normal jeans. And I’m not running around in leggings 24/7.” Buy the skirt above for $34.98. 4. Skechers For the days when you’re able to put on a pair of shoes, you’ll likely want a brand that offers support but doesn’t constrain any part of your foot. “[Skechers] is the only brand that doesn’t pinch my Achilles’ tendon or put shock into my kneecaps,” Jaime Robeson told The Mighty. Most pairs retail for around $50 to $70. Buy the shoes above for $44.95. 5. And1 And1 is a men’s athletic brand that offers basketball shoes, shorts, sweatpants and hoodies. Just because it’s a men’s brand doesn’t mean women can’t wear it, too. “I can buy oversized sweatpants, hoodies, shirts. Really cozy and keep me warm when I’m super cold,” Nicole Tyrrell shared. Most items retail for around $10 to $20. Buy the sweatshirt above for $19.49. 6. Torrid Torrid features funky, trendy styles up to a size 30. Their leggings come in a variety of fun prints, including Disney and Harry Potter, and most of their tops and dresses feature a loose fit. Leggings cost about $25 to $30, dresses go for about $60, and tops are about $28 to $50. “Yes, I am bigger, but not all Torrid’s line is large. They are edgy which is nice for me, they have leggings like LuLaRoe in funky colors and schemes. Pair the two and I feel comfortable and punk again,” Rebecca Stormcrowe said. Buy the leggings above for $26.90. 7. Old Navy Old Navy combines classic items like T-shirts and jeans with natural fabrics and forgiving cuts. Most items come in a rainbow of colors and low prices (most pieces are less than $50, with some shirts as low as $6). “I shop a lot at Old Navy because so many of their clothes are cotton. Cotton and rayon are my go-to’s.” Amanda Coleman said. Buy the shirt above for $12.99. 8. Victoria’s Secret PINK PINK is Victoria’s Secret’s apparel collection and offers sweatshirts, leggings, sweatpants and shorts with stretchy waistbands, as well as oversized shirts and tanks in feminine prints and colors. Most items sell for between $30 and $60. “ I wear a lot of PINK clothing as it can be very loose and soft,” Kerri Donchez told The Mighty. Buy the pants above for $56.50. 9. Chico’s Chico’s blouses and dresses could easily be worn to work or out running errands on the days you’re able to leave home. Nancy Lea Martine Koontz gave The Mighty a tip and recommended shoppers go up a size since Chico’s sizing system is “weird.” “The clothing is comfy, and even ordering a size larger still fits well, and isn’t uncomfortable as far as bottoms and tops go. They are a little pricey, however, you can get an app, Poshmark, that is a wonderful site that sells many name brand clothing at a discount (it’s kind of like an online consignment store),” Koontz said. Buy the cardigan above for $49.99. 10. Yours Yours offers a huge selection of everything from wraps to tunic dresses to knitwear, all in sizes 16 to 36. The styles are ideal for those who prefer looser clothing over more structured pieces. Dresses range from $20 to $100, blouses from $30 to $40 and pants around $30. “Lots of roomy long T-shirts and batwing tops, jeggings. I don’t feel comfortable in clingy, tight-fitting clothes,” Libby Listens Bassnett told The Mighty. Buy the dress above for $47. Have a clothing brand you’d recommend? Let us know in the comments below.

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