I was injured on the job my second month after moving to Wilmington North Carolina in the spring of 2011 due to intense computer time, trying to compensate for glitches in payroll software for I.A.T.S.E. and Teamster crew members. Since I was new to Wilmington, without community and without a primary care physician, I had no idea what type of doctor I needed for repetitive strain injuries. I focused on holistic care, therapeutic massage, chiropractic, and acupuncture. While I managed to eliminate the severe pain after 10 months, the condition had become chronic and activities of daily life such as food preparation, brushing teeth, etc aggravated the injuries. (Computer time is still an issue.) Chronic insomnia and chronic fatigue became another issue with the months of severe pain. When it became obvious I was not healing quickly, I filed for workers' compensation, but was denied. I did not have a proper diagnosis, which was needed for workers' comp.
It became an incredible ordeal, trying to find a doctor who would diagnosis my injuries. I was so fatigued I focused on finding a very quiet and peaceful residence, in the hopes that rest would help. I had no income and no one to fall back on. The five years prior to moving to Wilmington had revolved around my elderly parents in Howard County Maryland, during their final years. I worked one short work project a year and spent the rest of my time advocating for my parents' needs. Such a time is not conducive to a social life or having community. This was also a time of frugality, so once I was injured, I was truly without a net, except to tap into my credit and go deeply in debt.
As I was on the verge of losing everything last year, I tried to go back to work. During the five weeks on a job last fall, sharp pains in my right shoulder assured that I still was not whole. Lack of sleep and fatigue were still a huge issue. Again, this spring, I did another work project for five weeks, but by now the issues had gone into my upper arms with the pain affecting my range of motion. I finally found a doctor in Asheville (North Carolina) who diagnosed me in February this year with "Myofascial Pain Syndrome". However, workers' comp still doesn't want to pay.
This is truly the short version of a long ordeal. I'm currently in Asheville getting a variety of physical therapies. Once I was diagnosed, Vocational Rehabilitation (Dept Health & Human Srvcs) was able to pay for treatments. However, I'm technically "homeless". I've not had residential stability for several years. With the few resources from the last two jobs, I've had very limited housing options. Both last summer and again recently, I've had to sleep in my car. (The car is in desperate need of many repairs, but too old to justify fixing. Nor can I deplete my few resources to do so.)
I'm in my late 50's (photo from 2007 is my last decent picture). I still need to pursue the workers' compensation, but without a stable address it is very difficult to do, on many levels. I am trying desperately to get whole and to return to the ability to be productive. However, I need significant financial support to provide stable housing, with peace and quiet to facilitate my healing, along with reliable transportation. This website recently presented what seems like the only viable source to help me.
Recently seeing the documentary on the "100,000 Homes Campaign" confirmed what I had begun to believe, that many homeless become so due to a serious health crisis. I need your help to literally save my life. Thank you!
- Lynn-Jane Foreman
- Tanya Hutchins
- Tanya Hutchins
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