Thursday, August 23, 2012

Our Day In Court

I received a little postcard in the mail the other day, one that made me whoop for joy and shout, "I knew it!" so loud it made the dogs jump. It was notification I am part of a class action lawsuit against Chase Bank (formerly Washington Mutual) for processing overdraft transactions from the highest dollar amount to the lowest, thus running up overdraft fees quicker than Kim Kardashian charges up her AMEX. I will admit it, I most certainly should be part of this lawsuit because I paid many overdraft charges for many years and I knew what they were doing the whole time. But what could I do about it, besides not spend more than was in my account, of course? Few things in life are as infuriating as incurring a $35 bank fee for an already overpriced cup of coffee at Starbucks I had to buy because I overslept and didn't have time to make before work, but would face-plant from exhaustion into a tray of eyeshadows without. I'd either be not paying attention or fogged up or in pain or just flat broke and the charges would hit, and when they did it snowballed. It took everything I had to work my part-time job only turn over my entire paycheck to Washington Mutual for bank fees, feeling like a total victim and unable to do anything to end this viscous cycle.

So yeah a handful of years later I am smiling. Looks like I'm gonna get my day in court. But I thought of the trauma this caused my household while it was happening. How stress made me so much sicker, and having a negative bank account balance is stressful! Then I thought about all those other class action participants and their individual situations. Clearly if you are included in this life was most likely not at its high point. What about the casualties of this unscrupulous business practice? The children who weren't fed, electricity that was turned off during a cold winter, jobs people couldn't get to because they couldn't afford gas? While they hopefully are getting their day in court now how on earth can any lawsuit ever reclaim what was lost while it was happening?

And then I thought of us, sick with an illness medicine does not understand or know how to effectively treat. We know we have it, something real is wrong with us, but the powers that be are reluctant to admit it. Instead patients are doubted, dismissed, degraded and dejected. Told they are depressed, unbalanced or its all in their head. Blamed for pain so grand you just can't understand it unless you experience it. A Danish study from a few years back found Fibromyalgia patients commit suicide at ten times the rate of the general population.* Various American studies have found the same or higher over here. Too many of us have been lost already as a casualty of the war we wage trying to survive life with Fibromyalgia. If this class action lawsuit shows me anything it is things DO change, justice WILL be reached. We will get our day in court my friends, we just gotta hang on long enough to see it happen.

Thanks for joining,


  1. Thanks for your post Leah. I just read the study from Reuters. I found it amazing though that they closed the comments section after only 3 comments! I guess they don't want to hear about it either.

  2. The studiers seemed to miss the point, if you ask me. I agree with the commentor who said, "Being in constant pain [or fatigue or feelinh ill] affects friendships, relationships and families... people would rather be with the healthy, so you are often left alone..."
    Having a low quality of life is what has driven me to the point of considering suicide many times in the past. The stress of struggling to meet even my most basic needs because of my inability/limited ability to work. Not being able to do things that bring me joy. Not being able to hang out with the people I like. There have been times when it seemed like there was no point to living. I know a couple of people in their 80s who feel this way, too. How would those doctors like to live out their 80s for 4 or 5 decades? I think they might consider suicide, too.
    Course, sometimes the pain alone is enough...