Success Story: Carrie Epstien
*Names have been fictionalized to protect the privacy of our clients.
As a retail manager, Carrie was used to spending long days on her feet working in Inuvik. She was also used to a little bit of pain. Something always felt like it was slightly off, but as long as she got some rest (and took the time to stretch), the problem would usually resolve itself within a couple of days.
That’s why she didn’t think too much of it when her pain first cropped up. She’d had a pinched nerve before, and that’s exactly what this felt like. There was some faint tingling and some numbness in her arms and legs. The pain that went with it was discomforting but manageable.
She became more concerned when the problems didn’t go away. If anything, the tingling and the pain became more intense, though that was not as troubling as the other symptoms that started to appear. Sometimes her vision became blurry and the world seemed to lose some of its colour. She also felt like she was becoming more forgetful. She often found herself struggling to find the right words during conversations, as if there was a disconnect between her brain and her mouth when she was talking to customers and other employees.
Then things came to a head when she lost her balance and collapsed during the company’s holiday season. The left side of her body suddenly felt like it stopped working. She fell to the floor and was not able to get back up until two of her employees helped her.
That’s when Carrie finally went to see a doctor. After multiple visits (and several MRIs), her neurologist eventually diagnosed her with Multiple Sclerosis MS is a degenerative disease that attacks the nervous system and can cause memory issues and mobility impairment. All at once, she finally understood what had been happening to her.
Though she tried to carry on, her pain and balance issues made it impossible to continue working on a spacious retail floor. She filed for (and received) short-term disability benefits, but when it became clear that her symptoms were not getting better, she realized that she would have to come up with a more permanent solution. She filed for long term disability and was shocked when her claim was rejected by the insurance company. Their response said that because she had recently been diagnosed and her condition had not significantly progressed, she was strong enough to continue working.
She started to lose hope. Then she saw an ad for Share Lawyers on TV. When she put in a call, Share Lawyers assured her that she was entitled to long-term disability. They were confident that they could help her get the benefits that she deserved so that she could get back to her independent life.
Now Carrie is once again optimistic about her future. She’s no longer working in retail, but thanks to Share Lawyers, she knows that her MS doesn’t have to feel quite so intimidating!
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