An Educator in Pain

An Educator in Pain

Cheryl loved her job at the preschool in her neighbourhood. As an early childhood educator, she had been working with young children for 22 years. While often exhausting, her work was satisfying, and she loved watching the children grow and learn. She found tremendous meaning and joy in her work.

When Cheryl had been studying to become an ECE, she learned many important skills. From understanding child development to creating a play-based learning environment, she felt well prepared for the career she was heading into. What she wasn’t warned about was the physical aspects of the job.

Working in a preschool requires a lot of physical strength, and was especially hard on Cheryl’s back. From constantly bending over to tie shoes, to picking up and putting away cots after nap time, she was endlessly on her feet, and consistently putting strain on her lower back.

According to Harvard Health, lower back pain is the second most common cause of disability in North America. Over 80% of people experience back pain throughout their lives. What many don’t realize, however, is that back pain affects people psychologically in very different ways. While two people may be doing the same work, the distress can take dramatically different forms. For instance, if a person suffers from mental health issues such as anxiety, they tend to feel physical pain at a much higher degree than those who do not. They are also more likely to become caught in a cycle of physical and psychological distress. As pain worsens, anxiety increases, and vice versa.

Cheryl didn’t know what to do. Due to her chronic back pain, she knew she had no choice but to take an extended leave from her job – she needed to lower her stress levels, and get treatment for her back pain.

But the insurance company denied her claim for long-term disability. They claimed that she would be able to get a different job, despite the fact that all of her experience and training was in this field. Cheryl was in disbelief. What kind of insurance had she been paying into for her whole working life?

After coming across our website, Cheryl took our Do You Have a Disability Case? quiz. She learned that she did have a case – that we would be able to help. Once we connected on the phone, we reassured her that we had faith in her case and would fight for her well-being. Her health and happiness were our priority as much as hers. Since claiming disability, Cheryl has been able to get her life back on track, and we could not be prouder to have helped her along the way.

*All names and identifying details have been changed to protect the confidentiality of all involved.

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