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The Memory of a Classroom: Debbie’s Story

The Memory of a Classroom: Debbie’s Story

Debbie was relieved when the doctors first told her that she had a concussion. She’d always been under the impression that concussions were relatively minor, so she figured she’d be back on her feet and back in the classroom in a matter of days. Unfortunately, Debbie didn’t yet realize that no two concussions are the same. Some people do indeed recover quickly with few long-term side effects. Other people experience persistent symptoms that can last for months – or even years – beyond the initial trauma. Debbie would eventually learn that she was in the latter camp. She...
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A Painful Awakening, Living with Fibromyalgia

A Painful Awakening, Living with Fibromyalgia

As a remote online support specialist, Joseph knew his job wasn’t physically demanding. And yet, he was always trying to rub the tension out of his arms and legs, and his lower back would usually be sore (sometimes agonizingly so) when he finally clocked out at the end of the day. Things finally reached a breaking point shortly after Joseph turned 37. Though his pain had been getting worse for several years, it had never prevented Joseph from doing his job. He decided to consult his doctor for tests only after his performance at work began to suffer. ...
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A Nurse’s Denied Disability With Multiple Sclerosis

A Nurse’s Denied Disability With Multiple Sclerosis

Like many chronic condition diagnoses, a multiple sclerosis diagnosis can change a person’s life. In many ways, it can mean anticipating flare-ups of chronic pain and discomfort at any given time throughout the day. Lauren, a 45-year-old Nurse Practitioner working at a busy medical clinic and single mother with two teenage boys, leads a chaotic but fulfilling life. Having worked at the clinic for nearly 15 years, she loved her job and managed to work around its long, tiring hours on top of taking care of her home and her children. But one day that started to change. While...
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LTD Surveillance During the Summer

LTD Surveillance During the Summer

A long term disability claim usually comes as welcome and long overdue relief. Once you start receiving those benefits, you no longer need to worry about holding down a job or finding the income to support yourself during your recovery. However, you do need to be wary about what you do once you start receiving benefits. Insurance companies will use surveillance techniques to try to obtain evidence that suggests that you are not truly disabled. If they find what they’re looking for, they’ll also use that evidence to try to invalidate your claim and terminate your claim....
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Chronic Pain: Invisible but Very Real

Chronic Pain: Invisible but Very Real

At first, Josie was grateful. She had walked away from the crash relatively unscathed, and the injuries she sustained healed over the next few weeks. Any car accident could be harrowing, but she was a young and otherwise healthy college student and had been able to bounce back without too many lasting consequences. Or at least, that’s the way it had seemed at the time. She would eventually learn that the collision had done more permanent damage than she had initially realized, though it would still be several years before her symptoms truly started to manifest. It began...
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Canadian Armed Forces Denied Disability Benefits For PTSD

Canadian Armed Forces Denied Disability Benefits For PTSD

As we well know, invisible illnesses are mired in stigma from both the general population as well as insurance companies. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), an often misdiagnosed and heavily misunderstood invisible illness, frequently leads to denied disability claims as a result. Though studies suggest it affects at least 7 in 100 Canadians, we have limited data on the illness and just how many Canadians are living with it without help.  Sam, a 43-year-old member of the Canadian Armed Forces, is just one of them. After years of working in the field, helping her...