Wednesday, November 27, 2013

What a difference a visit makes .......

I had an old friend stop in for a visit all the way from GA!  We sat and talked for hours.  Even though I didn't completely forget about my pain....It was placed on the back burner as we reminisced and talked and talked and talked some more.   Kids,  men, kids, boys, kids, friends, health, respect, faith, friendship, love.....Nothing in the world can beat a true friendship.  Nothing in the world can beat a visit from a friend.

I'm so blessed to have such wonderful people in my life.  It helps to reflect upon the good things in our lives and it's great to spend time with a friend.  I know I keep saying it but the truth is that I get pretty lonely sometimes and this visit means the world to me :)

Now as promised, a discussion on disability.   You would think that, if a person was to become permanently disabled,  the process to receive disability would be pretty simple so that those who need the help can get the help.'s just like any other government run agency.   You have to fill out loads of forms and subject yourself to a complete evaluation on the limitations that have presented themselves to your lives.   It is a difficult process emotionally because it completely reminds you of all the things that you can no longer do and what you can no longer achieve.   They also may ask that you see one of their doctors...either the psychologist or a general physician or both.  I got the psychologist(which I never even saw a copy of the report....apparently you don't get to see that until a later point in the process)

Then after all of that, right off the bat(which means 6 months down the road), you are denied. The letter informing you of your denial is worded states that they are not saying that they believe that I can return to my previous job but there must be something out there that I can do though they do not know specifically what that is.  They state that they are not claiming that I do not have the issues I do....but I could be worse.  It's truly a ridiculous letter designed to cover their tushes while hiding the real reason for the denial.  My age.

That's right, if you are under 55, apparently according to the government, you can't possibly be disabled.   So they deny you upon your first request.

At that point, you appeal their decision.  Then you fill out all the forms again reminding yourself of all the things you can't do.  But I think this is the important part, they request records from your physician.  Yeah...not until the appeals process....I find it strange that they can deny your claim without having those records but that's the truth of the matter.  I have been told that at this point(where I am now) only 20% are approved.   I'm hoping and praying that I am part of that 20%, though everyone has told me that I shouldn't expect it ....once again because of my age.   I would think that since they have my medical records now, it should be simple.  My doctor (a highly respected physician) has made it absolutely clear ,both to me as well as in the medical records, that I am permanently disabled.  He has been blunt with me because the truth of the matter is that I would trade almost anything in this world to be healthy again....even partially...enough to support myself and my family again.

Now I have been informed that if I am denied at this point, the next step is a court hearing.  There is a possibility that I wouldn't even have to physically attend the meeting seeing as, depending how far away it is, driving makes my pain worse.  Now here's the kicker, if I have to go to the hearing portion of the appeals, the courts are backed up.  The shortest amount of time I should expect before a hearing can be scheduled is currently a year....could be as long as 2 years.  We are talking after the first 9 months of the process.

So since my temporary disability is no longer in effect, I have been told to expect that I will have absolutely no money for at least a year and an a half.   That's the minimum amount of time.....and it's mainly in my case because of my AGE!    Its not because I'm not disabled....I have documented proof that I am.    It's because of my age and it truly is sad.

There has to be a better way to weed out fraud while caring for the people who truly do need the help.    You are entitled to it if you qualify based on your previous work experience.  If you contributed to the system for the correct number of years, you are entitled to receive a disability payment should u become disabled.  But the system appears to be so delayed that it is damaged...maybe even broken.   No one who is familiar with my case and with the system have any doubt that I will eventually be approved.  When I am approved, I will receive a payment that goes back to when I initially filed when I stopped working.  So...there isn't any savings for the government.   It's similar to an insurance claim., they will delay payment and deny payment in the hopes that you will give up and then they don't have to pay.  It's really despicable that even though they have all the proof they need that I am permanently disabled, that they still hope that it just becomes too much for me to handle and I give up.                                                                                                        
Well, I will not be giving up because unfortunately I don't have a choice....I"m permanently disabled.  

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Chris Angel's Neck

I was sitting here watching tv(my second largest pastime since becoming disabled.   I saw a commercial for Chris Angel's newest stunt.  If you don't know who he is, he is a magician known for his over the top tricks. Some would compare him to a modern day Houdini.

Well, his most recent trick entails being placed in 2 straight jackets, hung upside down and have a 50 lb weight(or a rope that weighs 50 lbs (it wasn't really clear which).  All I could think was why in the world would anyone put themselves in a position to hurt their spine.   Maybe if they knew what my daily life is like, they would be more careful so as not to jeopardize their quality of life.

I know I haven't checked in lately.  I was under the impression that I was doing a good impression of a person handling all the latest stresses well.    You should see it, my impression, it's really pretty damn great. ......Except then I realized some little things. For example, I haven't been on here a while, I haven't spent any quality time with friends and family(couldn't bear the thought of picking up the phone even), had a hard time when people did call sometimes, I shower every other day and since my clothes are too tight on me  because I have gained alot of weight due to medication and lack of activity, I don't have any money at all coming in since my temporary disability has run out and my permanent is in appeals(if denied, could take another year before I get a hearing to have it approved...(.more on this will follow.) ).......  

Truth is the pain has been getting worse as we transition into winter.  I am in constant pain and occasionally will have a wave of fresh and stronger pain shoot through my body.  I'm cranky.  I'm tired. I'm sad.

So who in their right mind would jeopardize their life in a deliberate way that could end up like me?   Ok so you say your not in your right mind....or that the money is worth's not.....This is a horrible disease.    Well enough on ranting on Chris Angel.....I promise my next post will at least be an attempt at being more productive....Keep your eyes open for a frank conversation about the disability system.   (I know exciting right? )

Toodles for now