A Day In A Life: Wanda's Journey With Fibromyalgia

When Wanda wakes up and starts her day, living with fibromyalgia, she can’t help but be thankful for how much her life has improved compared to the year before.

A Day In A Life: Wanda's Journey With Fibromyalgia

Wanda has always been a shoot-from-the-hip woman who was never afraid of hard work. A mother of three, her life revolved around her kids. She made her living working as a waitress for over 20 years. For the last ten years, she worked at a neighbourhood fixture in Etobicoke. Wanda was a favourite of the customers there because she was always friendly, had an exceptional memory, and was always fast and attentive in her service. She made a good living for herself and her children, and was excited to send her eldest son off to university.

Wanda Began To Realize She Was In Constant Pain

However, Wanda, who was used to the usual aches and pains that come with being on her feet all day, began to realize she was constantly in pain. This wasn’t the usual sore feet or tension in her shoulders, this was a whole body ache that despite her usual pain management routines like having a hot bath or yoga just weren’t working like they used to. She began having sleep issues, waking several times a night and barely being able to get back to bed for hours at a time. She was always tired, even if she stayed in bed for long periods of time.

In addition, she began to struggle at work. She was constantly fatigued and in pain, which made it difficult to move as quickly between tables. Her memory was also suffering, with simple orders and interactions proving much more challenging than they used to be. She always felt like her head was in a fog. Wanda’s customers began to notice there was a difference in her demeanor — she seemed either anxious or depressed when they came in and was definitely less chatty. She had no idea she had fibromyalgia.

Symptoms So Debilitating She Was Unable To Work

For a while, Wanda thought it was just because she was getting older, but she was only 45! She had always been in good health and stayed active in her life outside of work. Finally, her symptoms were so debilitating, she asked for her shifts to be cut in half, but then finally when she began to experience gastrointestinal issues, she was just not able to work any longer.

Because she was not offered insurance through her employer, Wanda had a personal insurance plan she had taken out 15 years prior for Long Term Disability Benefits, but there was a 3 month waiting period. In the meantime, she applied for Employment Insurance for Sickness (15 weeks) while she first began seeking more advanced medical attention. She spoke to several doctors who mentioned these were symptoms of fibromyalgia. She began to take painkillers, seek physiotherapy, and looked into possible counseling resources to help with her anxiety and depression. After six months, Wanda wasn’t feeling at all better and the prospect of returning to her job was impossible, she had applied to her long-term disability insurance citing what the doctors had told her, and was denied.

Wanda was devastated. She knew she couldn’t work, and was hardly able to function at home. The overwhelming stress of not having any financial security consumed her. How would she be able to support her son during school? What about her other two children?

Wanda Contact Share Lawyers For Help

Despite her feelings of hopelessness, Wanda wondered if there could be any more help for her. She had worked her entire life and the prospect of having to resign that she was a victim of her illness was unbearable. Her son mentioned to her he had seen Share Lawyers on TV, and he helped her find the website and they worked together to make an appointment.

Share Lawyers was able to help Wanda get the benefits she deserved. We were so happy to get Wanda a favourable settlement with her insurance company so she was able to focus on her health without the stress of living with no money.

It’s been 12 months since Wanda worked with Share Lawyers, with her disability acknowledged, she is able to focus on improving her long-term health.

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


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