Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Dirty Little Secret

    Some of you are aware that I have filed for Disability several months ago. I have not bitched about this here as I figured no one really wants to hear all that stuff. We all have our crosses to bear and this is mine.  Suffice it to say it took a long time for me to actually admit to myself that I just couldn't work anymore.  Hard pill to swallow for someone like  myself.  I have worked since I was 14. Heck I actually like working.  I have been in customer service forever because I just like people. Even the butts!  I can and do have a good time trying to make someone laugh or get a response from them every chance I get.  To have to admit that I was giving up was  and still is hard to admit.  Much less to admit it here for the world to see.

     I had to quit working about six months ago because it just got to be too much to handle.  The pain from the scoliosis (curvature of the spine) has just become to much to be able to bear for an entire work shift. I can't sit or stand for more than a short amount of time in either position.  The nerve damage has progressed to a point that working just isn't an option anymore. My feet and legs have become almost numb from the nerve damage.  Not numb like I can't feel them... but like all I can feel is pain.I worked until I could not pull even a half a shift anymore without crying. If that were the only problem I guess I could see them trying to drag their feet on this.

    But it was the diagnosis back in '06 that I have been ignoring.  And I have done it well even if I have to say so myself.   I didn't even allow myself to think about it.   As long as I could focus on the back pain and the things related to it , well then I didn't have to acknowledge the rest of it right?  And so I didn't.  If you don't say it out loud then it doesn't count right?  And I still find myself struggling with actually saying it.  So I have been trying to figure out a way to try and relay this without having to say the C word.

    I have thought long and hard about actually sharing this with you guys. I wasn't going to.  But I was talking to my mom yesterday and she said something that struck me hard.  She said she could tell just by reading this stupid blog that I was  being dishonest (and she knows whats up) not only to myself  but with the people who have taken the time to follow my life and thoughts for the last couple of years.  I have always tried to be pretty honest here.  Not about my "particulars" really but my thoughts and who I am as a person.  Why should I be a hypocrite to myself or to you now?

     Social Security has a few conditions that are considered to be automatically considered for what they call Compassionate Allowance.  I have one of those.  What it means is that one of those diagnoses is supposed to put you on the fast track to an ok for disability. The application process has been ridiculous. Not to mention the six months it has taken so far to find an answer.  It has gone just as most people say it goes.  Total disorganization.  They have lost files and paperwork relevant to my case.  And have chosen to disregard important information and tried to BS me along the entire way.
  As I was diagnosed 4 years ago, the current thought is that my records are to "old" to consider. Hey I worked as long as I possible could.  Isn't that what is expected of us?
    The funny thing is that even though those blood tests are 4 years old they aren't going to change.  Heck I wish they would. But it ain't gonna happen.  So they set me up for a new  blood test.  Ok no problem I figure.  I was scheduled t o go last week.  My case worker canceled the blood test and was going to go with the old records (which apparently aren't any good now) and I threw a major fit.  I called my Congressman!  Did you know you can do that?  Well ya can!  He will be following my case from today forward.  Nothing like a politician to freak out a different government office during an election year.  We shall see...
     I hope this doesn't put you off and I promise there won't be anymore said about the whole thing. I just don't want to feel like I have been dishonest anymore.  So don't worry about this becoming a gloom and doom blog.  That's just not who I am or what I am about. Life is to be lived with gusto and with a love of the world around us.  I want to savor every minute that I am given here and hope all of you will do the same.   I just figured I would get it out of the way now so I don't have to do it later on.

  And so there you have it... My dirty little secret.

I still am going to have a place of my own out in the middle of nowhere with rabbits and chickens and a big garden and you can't make me believe any different! 


  1. Some things are harder to admit to our own self than others. I can relate, in my own way. After 5 yrs of Mom 'telling me what I should do'... several months ago, I broke down & filed. When the brain and body have varying agreeability even for simple daily tasks, it makes things, well...different. I too have worked since [circa 1985]...cant say that I enjoy people like you do. I used to...not so much anymore. I guess my tolerance level has changed considerably LoL. (Quality over quantity, my thoughts anyway.) You are absolutely correct, Life is to be LIVED. Thank you for your words...sometimes I need a kick in the pants to keep from being mired down in stagnation. Much Love & God Bless <3

  2. I'm glad you shared this "secret".My dad went on disability a few years ago. But, to get on it, he had to call His congressman too. Hey, it worked! It went through much faster. Hopefully, yours will too. Good Luck.

  3. I know its very hard and frustrating to get approved for disability. Took my brother 3 tries before they approved him. We found out that thats the norm here in NC. They automatically refuse you the first time and you have to keep trying as they hope you give up when refused. I am glad you contacted your Congressman and things will hopefully get moving and approved quickly.

  4. Wow..sounds just like trying to get my grandmother on Medicaid...for something she's worked her whole life for, and all of her other options have run out..we finally filed once we had no more money and no more options..and it's been almost six months. Same issues -lost paperwork, no contact, months and months of frustration - and this is just with an estimated 43 million people on Medicaid. Imagine 5 Billion people.

    Thanks so much for sharing your secret..and your life.

  5. Well, I've always thought you were an inspiration (I mean, how many people have figured out how dehydrate eggs ... Amazing!).

    I'm sorry to hear about your suffering, but thank you for sharing it. I know how hard it must have been. You're a brave and amazing person, and I hope that you'll still share this journey you're on with us.

  6. Samantha, You make a good point about quality over quantity. Some folks are just naturally a pain in the butt! Hang in there G/F We all get "stagnated" from time to time!

    Gama, thanks for stopping by today.

    SFG I hope it will move things along. He seems quite eager to help, and hey it can't hurt can it?

  7. Hi Darcy, Yeah it sure makes you wonder what the heck will happen when our new Health Care Plan's kick in doesn't it!

    Wendy, Thank you for your kind words. You are one of my inspirations as well. I mean how many people will go to great lengths to live "local"? LOL you have a wonderful day and thanks for stopping by today.

  8. Nothing "dirty" about this secret. It's your private medical life, and none of our business. You have put in an amazingly productive life and that's what this sytem is for...to help those who put in all their life.
    I hope it goes thru quickly now you have the congressman on it.

  9. I have a friend who has the big C and her attitude from the getgo was that she was going to treat it as an adventure and would share it with her friends. Her attitude has gotten her through the surgery and out of the hospital sooner than doctors expected. Her recovery at home was remarkable. She has shared her thoughts and fears as well as the process with us so that should we have to go through it we have some idea what to expect. We are your friends of the blue nowhere and we hope that you will share with us so that we may bear some of the burden with you. We will all keep you in our thoughts and prayers. Blessed be......

  10. Never give up girl. Best of luck, and God Bless.
    I'll keep you in my prayers.

    See Ya.

  11. You have nothing to be ashamed of. I too got my first job at 14 and after 36 years of working, I became disabled and didn't want to admit it either. Finally, my boss and my doc got together and I realized I was hurting myself more than helping to keep working. So I had to go on disability and I was ashamed. But now I realize I had no choice.

    Keep your head up and please share with us when you can.

  12. HP thank you for stopping by. I am sure things will move more quickly now!

    MomLady It sounds like your friend is truly blessed. I really like your "friends of the blue nowhere" line... makes me smile!

    Tony, I'm never been one for giving up so I sure ain't planning on starting now! Thank you for your kinds words.

    Patsy, sounds like you have been where I am. Heck its not like we didn't put our time on the clock in, right?

  13. (((Sci)))
    We have talked about this already, you and I. I figured you would eventually let the rest of the blogosphere know what you are dealing with.

    My friend, you have nothing to be ashamed of and there is nothing wrong with admitting that you can no longer work. You are not giving up, you are just merely taking a new path in the journey of life.

    Yes, you will have your land with bunnies, chickens and veggies. I know this because I can see you there, standing between two big ol' trees with your hands on your hips, smiling like a loon. ;)

    Love Ya, Sci

  14. Proud that you shared this. A wise person once told me: "Its just Bacon and Eggs... How bad can you mess that up?" Best wishes to you!

  15. When I was 29, I experienced an ovarian pregnancy---which burst and I proceeded to rapidly bleed out...I got to the hospital and as I was being prepped for surgery, my doctor had a phone brought to me so I could "call my family" as he thought I wouldn't survive.
    I flipped him the bird and growled at him to "do his damn job and I'll do mine".
    Twenty years ago I was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was told I had 3 to 6 months to live. They could remove the tumors "to make me more comfortable" and the hospital signed me up for visits from the local hospice organization. Got the surgery---turned out it wasn't cancer---although the doctors could never figure why ALL their tests said it was and then they couldn't find any during the surgery.
    When I was 22, I was diagnosed with a particularly vicious form of rheumatoid arthritis which runs in my family.The doctor gave me a list of "dos and don'ts" and wrote me a stack of prescriptions. I tossed all his suggestions in the trash with the prescriptions.

    In each case, I refused to "claim" the diagnosis as my own. Just words. Those words had no power over me unless I ACCEPTED them and "claimed them" as my own.
    Sounds weird and off the wall...but it has always worked for me.

    As far as dealing with the gov't. on a disability claim...yeah, that is tough and rough. My eldest daughter is blind. She was born that way. Her diagnosis does not change, she is not going to grow new retinas, etc. Yet she has to go to an eye doctor to have this verified every two years. The paperwork is such a bunch of BS and a total headache. Their decision making process seems so damn capricious...I have seem people that OBVIOUSLY are disabled that had to slog through paperwork for two years while someone else with a *minor* disability zips through in 4 or so weeks!

    Chick, you will have your farm and many, many years to enjoy it! Keep the faith and keep fighting the good fight!

  16. Good for you continuing to work as long as you were able! But I'm the same way, if I name "it" I claim it. Easier to ignore if you don't mention it. Thank you for trusting us!

  17. Well Sci I guess I will weigh in on this. Social Security Dis.is something that you have the right to draw if you have paid in and become disabled. I encourage you to stand firm with the Goberment folks that you have to deal with. On the other hand I get the impression that you feel guilty about signing up for this. Only you know your pain level. While some would be able to go ahead and continue working,some are unable to do so. My wife is a teacher and has taught for 27 years. She had hell last year and used all her sick time but made it through the school year. I can see here going down every day. I talked to her and she and me decided to sign her up for disablity through the teachers retirement. She cannot draw s.s. because they don't pay in to it. So for the next 9 months she will draw 40% of her salary while waiting to turn 60. Hang in there girl and if you need me just call. FK

  18. Hey, girl! Hang in there, sweet smart woman. You have earned your right to the disability. I worked for a state agency years ago - we were kind of the in-between phase - in-between complete wellness and waiting for disability denial or approval, and it can seem like purgatory. You must press on. Just keep doing what they ask, no matter how frustrated you get, and eventually, you will get your yes.

  19. Not that you need another blog SciFi hehe but if you set up a separate blog just to detail the difficulties of filing and being approved for disability, it might do a couple things - first, they seem to act more quickly for people who bring attention to the problem, 2nd it might end up helping someone else about to file :) MapDude