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Rare conditions and the difficult road to diagnoses

On Behalf of Christian Ayers
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As advanced as medicine is today, there are still many conditions that are not well understood and/or do not have effective treatments or cures. This can be incredibly frustrating for people suffering from conditions that make it all but impossible for them to carry out daily activities.

For instance, let’s look at a specific case involving a woman who started experiencing some fairly harmless symptoms in her feet. They were warm and she had a blister one of her toes. She initially dismissed the problem and started doing things like taking off her shoes to try and alleviate her symptoms.

Over time, however, the condition persisted and got worse and more painful. She asked doctors about her problem and received various diagnoses and medications, but none were accurate or effective. In fact, some exacerbated her symptoms.

Eventually, her symptoms got so bad that today she suffers with flares that prevent her from sleeping and spending much time outside in hot, sunny weather. She was diagnosed with primary idiopathic erythromelalgia, a condition for which there is no cure. Despite this, she has learned ways to try and prevent flare ups and manage her symptoms.

This is one example of what can happen when someone struggles with a rare condition or one that is not well understood or treatable. The road to diagnosis is long, complicated and frustrating and at the end, there may not be the kind of cure you had hoped for.

To make matters worse, while these kinds of conditions can be disabling, it can be very difficult to build an effective claim for the disability benefits that are available to people with serious mental or physical conditions that prevent them from working. Between the difficulty in diagnosing a rare condition and the fact that it may not be well understood, there may be several vulnerabilities in a person’s application.

If you suffer from an unusual and disabling condition, you can face some considerable challenges when it comes to securing the benefits you need if you cannot work. Consulting an attorney before submitting an application or filing an appeal can help you avoid certain costly mistakes and present a strong case.