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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-28-2008, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Raynaud's Phenomenon

So Thursday I had gone to the doctors for another problem and she noticed I was having trouble with bending my fingers to tie my shoe (which she told me to tie up before I left her office ) She asked about it and I told her it had started within the first week I had started to work in the freezer at work a week or two ago. Within a few trips into the freezer they are stiff, swollen and painful to bend. This carries on into the night and into the next day to the point I can't bend them to even grip the wheel of the car or to drive around the machines at work and am forced to go home. FYI not a good thing to do when your on probation still at a new job when they hired you to go into the freezer.

So I've been told I have Raynaud's Phenomenon. It's a condition that is making it harder for my blood to reach my fingers. It can also happen in your feet, nose and ears. It's caused from my blood vessels being very tight and not allowing enough blood to circulate. I've had problems with my wrists for years and now my hands which I'm sure my wrists being so weak and tempermental has to do with the RP as well. It usually goes along with arthritis. My pop suffers from something similar to RP now that we know what it is we've found that both my pop and mother suffer from something thats is almost like it so I'm wondering if its genetic as well.

Anyways, I've been advised by the doctor to stay out of the freezer as the extreme cold will make it worse leading to long term damage to my tissue and nerves. I don't want any long term damage I'm only in my 20's I can't go having my hands screwed up for some job. So I gave the doctor's note to my supervisor about it and saying I should only be working in grocery and the cooler. They weren't happy about it but didn't want to get into trouble with the WSIB obviously so they said not to go into the freezer. Well it dawned on me while talking to my dad at work that I could loose my job very easily right now. So despite everything I popped on my gloves and went into the freezer... man did I pay for that within an hour I was in pain and couldn't bend my fingers, nor remove my rings because they were so swollen. Even today they are still sore and it hurts to bend them to a certain point.

Spoke to my mother this morning about it on the phone about what could be done so I don't loose this job and so I can work without worrying what this is going to do to my hands in 5 years down the road. There's a drug that helps widen the blood vessels but I'm sure the sideaffects won't be very pleasure and me and pills have never mixed well. Also she mentioned heat might help it. She said years ago when she was young there was something she thinks were called hot paws. They were little pouches that you squeezed to warm up and they could fit inside gloves or boots to keep those parts warm. I tried several stores no one knew what I was talking about or thought I was talking about the glove brand Hot Paws. I did find several wrist braces that generate heat and help with blood flow but they only had super small sizes and they were really bulky. Not sure how I'd get my gloves on over them or even drive the machines around with them on. My mother has said there are other wrist braces that just go around your wrist like an arm band that help with blood flow as well but I couldn't find any.

Any suggestions on what might help or what these hot paw things my mother is talking about are?

Last edited by marie73; 02-26-2015 at 07:20 PM.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-28-2008, 10:41 PM
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Hunting/Fishing/Outdoor activity supply stores and websites!
Bass Pro Shops is the only one I can think of. Maybe Ducks Unlimited or LLBean?



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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-28-2008, 10:41 PM
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Wow, that's got to be awful to have taken this new job and then have this happen. Google "glove warmers" or "hand warmers"....there's all kinds of products out there. Battery operated, packs that you squish, packs that you put in the microwave etc. You should be able to find something that will help...


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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-28-2008, 10:45 PM
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You really need to stay out of the cold.

That said, try an Athletic store or some place that sells hunting equipment. They also make warming socks with batteries - I don't think they have an on and off switch, but I could be wrong.

The Disabilities Act in the Us would certainly protect your job, somewhat. They could move you to another position, but they couldn't fire you.

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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-28-2008, 11:01 PM
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Please don't take chances with your health, Lilac. Start sending out resumes for jobs that would not aggravate your condition. I'm so sorry you're having this problem.

Don't get the hand warmers that have to be heated to work again. I wasted my money on those.

There is a line of gloves, boots, scarves, etc., made by Comfort Temp. I don't think they carry their full line in the summer though. You could check it on Google. The really good gloves/mittens are about $35 or so. You can put your hands in ice water, and maintain your body temperature. With your condition, I'd try to get everything they carry. Your best bet is to have something like that for winter, and to avoid the cold until you find another job. I hope all works out well for you.




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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-29-2008, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
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I'll look into some of the outdoor shops for some gloves/mittens. I didn't think of any outdoors shops.

I can't loose this job, I'm the only one working at the moment and will abrely have enough for rent this month and surely won't have enough for the Hydro bill as its due the same time. The OH does have work starting next week thank god. I'm hoping I'll be able to change shifts soon, the last girl was able to after 6 weeks.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-29-2008, 10:19 AM
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In the US your job would be protected by the American with Disabilities Act. Since you have a doctor's note is there some protection in Canada? I would do as much research about it as I could. My hubby has had some problems with his job and we have found that we knew more about the ADA then they did.

Did your doc suggest the meds? Have a frank discussion about your fears of taking them with her. She might have information that will help to allay your fears.

I'm sorry that you are having this problem. It must be scary for you.


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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-29-2008, 12:02 PM
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Sorry to hear about the problem I agree with the above posts, you should be protected by disability legislation and I'd think your work would be afraid to let you go for fear or legal consequences.

As for the hot paws, I used to use them when skiing, but haven't seen them since I was young. Try an online snow sports retailer?

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-29-2008, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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I've kept thinking they can't fire me over this. But the OH tried to get in with them and they later sent him a letter saying he wasn't what they were looking for later the woman who interviewed him told her cousin (who I was working with at the time) that the reason they didn't hire him was because he had too much education and because of his health issues (diabetes and epilepsy). Which number one she can't go talking about interviews outside of work and number two I'm sure they can't not hire someone because of their health issues?

I've brought it up with my dad and other people at work on what they might do and they all said the same thing, either they'll change my shift or they'll fire me and give me some bullcrud reason and since I'm on a 3 month probabtion it'll be pretty easy to let me go, they don't even have to give warning from my understanding.

I think they know they can't force me into the freezer, they told me not to go in there but their tone said otherwise. If they don't force me in there they can't get into trouble or at least they'll get into a less amount of trouble.

Its such a mess... I wish now i hadn't gone to the doctors at all or given them the note...
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-29-2008, 01:37 PM
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You did the right thing when you went to the doctor and when you gave them the note! You have a lot of years ahead of you to think of. Most young people do not stay in the same job throughout their working years. Please send resumes. There are few jobs that require going into a freezer. Please don't ruin your health and abilities for this particular job.




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