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The purpose of this piece is not to make fun of those whose comments are off the mark; most people have good intentions. I've written it partly because I hope it will make those of us with health difficulties feel less alone and partly because I hope it will help others understand how to communicate with us better. Each of the following comments has been made to me at least once since I became ill in 2001.

Published in Chronic Pain

Labels matter. We quickly form judgments based on them. If we hear someone called lazy, the label "lazy person" attaches in our mind even though we may not have even met the person. The same is true for labels given to many medical conditions. If the label for an illness uses language such as "fatigue," we abstract from our experience and think we know what it's like to suffer from it.

Some medical disorders have been named after the researcher who discovered or described them in the medical literature (Alzheimer's). Others were named after a famous patient (Lou Gerig's disease). The result: instant legitimacy.

Published in Chronic Pain

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ME? 1. My pain - My pain is not your pain. It is not caused by inflammation. Taking your arthritis medication will not help me. I can not work my pain out or shake it off. It is not even a pain that stays put. Today it is in my shoulder, but tomorrow it may be in my foot or gone. My pain is believed to be caused by improper signals sent to the brain, possibly due to sleep disorders. It is not well understood, but it is real.

Published in Chronic Pain

Invisible Disabilities: Not all injury, illness, chronic pain, and disabilities are visible! You may have psychological or unseen physical scars that start after the initial injury or illness and last long after medical treatment and or any litigation is over. Problems like this can affect many workers relationships with the people they interact with and love, and will determine how well they readjust to life. These problems can also lead to other complications or can even be fatal. Unfortunately, many workers are not aware that they have these problems, and others fail to seek treatment because they fear being labeled as weak or as losing their status in life.

Mental Health Disorders:

* Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) * Depression * Substance Abuse

Get help for yourself!

* Talk with family and friends * Suicide Prevention Hotline Link & Phone Number * 800-273-8255 (TALK)


Pain Syndromes:

CFS, ME, RSD/CRPS, Fibromyalgia, CPS, MPS are some examples!
Pain syndromes are another disability that is not visible to the naked eye, but can be just as damaging as any other. These kinds of disabilities are extremely concerning because not only are they difficult to diagnose, they are just as difficult to treat because of the vast scale of the body they cover. This can also lead to the patient getting frustrated and loosing his/her self esteem and believing that no one can help. This is false? You must stay focused, be resilient, and most of all be patient.

Published in NAIDW ABOUT US

Canada Resources 

Workers' compensation links and resources for Injured & Disabled Canadian workers. Find Canada workers' compensation laws and rules, and assistance.

Federal Government Resources


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Chronic conditions have become the norm in the workplace and, according to the World Health Organization, chronic disease is expected to account for 89% of all deaths in Canada. But what can plan sponsors do to keep employees healthy and engaged?

Published in Chronic Pain

The Advocator GroupOriginally posted on The Advocator Blog

"Fact: Every second, a worker in the U.S. becomes disabled. Then what?"

That is the question that Jon Arbay, Executive Director and founder of the National Association for Injured and Disabled Workers (NAIDW), found himself faced with after he suffered a disability that halted his career indefinitely.

Toni It’s that time of year. The media is filled with stories about people traveling to be with loved-ones. Holiday decorations and yummy recipes abound. But for many people, the holidays are a difficult time of year. This piece is for those of you who face isolation during the holidays, either because you’re unable to be with others at all due to health or financial limitations (which often go hand in hand), or because your participation in those gatherings is severely limited by your health difficulties. I fall into each category, depending on the holiday in question.

Published in Mental Health

Chronic Neck PainThough chronic pain has become a more medically-recognized condition, whether as a complication of another diagnosis or an unexplained phenomenon existing by itself, one frontier remains: How do people with chronic pain and their partners maintain a healthy, exciting sex life?

Published in Chronic Pain
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