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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?
 

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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #6
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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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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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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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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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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I have RA, and Raynaud's is often a secondary illness in people with RA. I asked the doctor once about Raynaud's, because my hands are numb (and cold) 24 hours a day, I drop half of the things I pick up, and it's miserable in the winter when I go out to take care of the horses and can sometimes spend just five minutes outside before it feels like my hands are going to snap off. So I come in to warm up, that takes 20-30 painful minutes, then back out for another five minutes, and so on and so on. He had me make a fist, and because my palms didn't stay white (or turn blue) for as long as he thought they should, he said I didn't have Raynaud's. (Of course, it was the middle of the summer when that happened.)

Anyway, I know I haven't helped you one bit. :? But I can tell you that layers of gloves, more expensive gloves, and hand warmers haven't done a thing for me. Did your doctor do any tests? I don't think there are any definitive tests, are there?

I also spend what seems like half the day trying to tie laces. Guess we should get some ugly velcro shoes, huh? :(

And I wish I had your doctors instead of mine...... :roll:
 

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I dealt with carpal tunnel for years, so I have a fraction of an idea about what you deal with every day.

Never regret going to your doctor. Just go to your employer with your concerns and be positive. In the meantime, listen to all the comments and look into some of the products they listed.

A lot of athletes wear clothing by Under Armor. The fabric keeps you cool in the summer/warm in the winter. My husband is a band director and he swears by their products. Look into that brand as well. I'm sure they have gloves.

Good luck.
 

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Don't regret going to your doctor! Some people wait until it's much too late and do irreperable damage to their health. You can always get a new job (one not involving a freezer) but you can't get new hands
 

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my friend got diagnosed with Raynauds this winter, her fingers often get purple, and very painful. I'm sorry that you have to deal with it :( I unfortunately do not have any suggestions, but i hope you find a medication to help with your symptoms soon!
 

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Someone I know gave me some glove warmers. One of them was a soft bag that you put in your gloves & it warms up your hands & the other is like a soft flat piece that you crack in half & put in your glove. They worked pretty good but I think you might need something stronger.

I hope you don't lose your job, that wouldn't be right if they fired you. I think you did the right thing going to the doctor & letting your employer know. You should look for another job meanwhile. Good luck :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I've gotten some big pigskin mittens and found the little heating packs my mom was talking about. Called... hand wamers. :roll: Yup thats what it said on the package -sigh- So I used them on Monday, Tuesday I didn't go in the freezer at all as I worked early because it was a holiday and no nightshift so I was able to stay in the warmer parts of the building. Yesterday I was told again by the one manager that he didn't want to see me in the freezer and repeated it 3 or 4 times and then had me put together boxes for dry ice to be shipped in. Lordy that was boring but it did keep me out of the freezer. :D
 

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Figured I'd update.

They fired me today when my shift was done. Knew something bad was going to happen as they pulled my dad into the warehouse office and shut the door, which they never do. Never saw him after then they pulled me in and gave me the news. "Sorry Lisa, you have no idea how hard this is for us, we do it allot and it never gets easier. It's even hard since your dad works for us and has for such a long time; he's a well liked, hard working, fantastic employee. But we have to let you go on probationary leave, it's nothing against you so don't beat yourself up over it, we just didn't think this was the place for you." I so badly wanted to jsut scream cut the crud and fake pity, you know why your doing this and thats not the reason! Lies, everyone was all cotton candy and rainbows until I found out about RP. They even brought me back on day shift and into the Grocery again this week.

One of the guys I worked with and who is/was a close friend to my dad wouldn't look at me let alone talk to me since I came back and when I was hauled into the office he had this look on his face that just screamed he was guilty, he wouldn't even talk to my dad today at all despite my dad's efforts which is very unusual as this guy never shuts his trap. My dad is sure he went and made a big fuss about the "special treatment" they were giving me. As I left the parking lot he was walking past my car and all I said was "feel good about yourself?" before I sped off, my dad was waiting in the other parking lot just staring at him but I left before they met up, I'm sure it wasn't pretty.

There are no words to describe them right now, at least ones that are allowed on this forum. if this is karma for the big whoopla I started with the blog then I can't imagine what their karma is going to be and am dissapointed that I'm going to miss it.
 
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