This is as close as I could find to a representation of my last disability hearing:
People who have applied for disability and not been approved at the two earlier stages end up with a hearing. There is a door at the back where the possibly-disabled and their attorney enter. The seats closest to them are where they sit, as if disability of any kind was contagious. There is a stenographer to my left on the square of tables, and a disability occupations adjudicator at the table to my attorney’s right. Directly in front of me is a dais. Once everyone is settled in the judge will enter from a door directly opposite the one I walked through. In his or her black robes, of course. My judge this time is male, and I suspect is the same judge I had last time.
So before a word has been spoken the stage is set. The judge, formally dressed, sitting higher than anyone else. The stenographer and adjudicator sitting close to, but lower than the judge and at an angle toward him. My attorney sits beside me. He doesn’t know me at all, even though we’ve been through a hearing together before and everyone insists he’s great. He was assigned to me by Allsup, a company I’ll be happy to pay since THEY jumped through all the hoops for me. If you need someone, call and mention my name. I think I should have frequent flyer points to share or something.They have a 97% success rate!
My judge has a documented 38% approval on disability cases, which I found out yesterday. The adjudicator guy will do most of the talking. He’ll list all the jobs I could do full-time, since I clearly can’t return to Nursing. Pretty much I sit there and they talk about me between themselves. This time I’ll stand and tell my own story. No one in that room knows me or my family or what we’ve been through.
If they did they’d all give me gentle hugs, tell me I was in their prayers, and approve me for disability all the way back to the start date of 2009. My children, too, since my pain screwed up both of their lives, plus Michael’s. I don’t think they give compensation to spouses, but he deserves something for all he’s endured.
My hearing is Tuesday (the 14th) at 10 a.m. I would be incredibly thankful if my friends could pray for me, send some positive energy, or just think about me that morning, please. I’d appreciate it SO much! Even if I’ve been a bitch to you lately (as I have to most of those closest to me) just think back to the good times we’ve had and think fondly of me, even if it’s only a minute or two.
I’ve learned over the years that you lose friends. Sometimes you gain them back, and it’s a wonderful surprise! But sometimes you don’t. Perhaps. . . no, sometimes there’s nothing more you can do. I’ve been unable to work since 2011. I’ve been in constant pain since 2009, and I will always remember those who heated up rice packs for me, who didn’t disturb me when I was lying in cervical tension in my teeny office, and who didn’t call me out on my multiple mistakes while I tried every therapy, treatment, and medication known until it was discovered my original surgeon had botched my second surgery and I had screws floating around my spinal cord and two vertebrae that weren’t even in the same zip code!
I lost a lot of friends early. It was a MASS EXODUS. But I’ve covered all that before. I had four left from “before”. Four friends whose numbers my phone knew and I would pick up no matter what was going on. Today it’s down to three and I really HATE that since it’s only ten days until my disability hearing. Right now I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, everything hurts all the time. I managed, with tears rolling down my face, to apologize to her family members for being honest. I do, sincerely, hope it helps her. She, her husband, and her kids are like family to me. But clearly she feels this is the time to move on. At this point I’m just going to be myself and everyone can take it or leave it. I am honest. I am authentic. I am Angie.
I am so incredibly thankful for those of you who have hung in there with me. If not in person, then online, via FB, via Twitter, via Nerium. My latest Nerium read has helped me keep a positive outlook throughout all this! I’ll share a review when I’ve finished it 🙂
There are some fantastic prompts this week at Mama Kat‘s. It took me a while to narrow it down, and I may do a couple of the others just for fun! But I’m stepping outside boundaries just this once to share a couple of things my sons have said or texted within the last week. Aaron will turn twenty-seven next week and John will turn nineteen next month. Even though they are far apart in age they are very close, and look eerily alike (except the hair).
Aaron’s hair is military-short, and hasn’t felt a comb since middle school. John’s is now long enough for a man-bun, and he’s fairly proud of that. I’d planned to include pics of my sons here, but this is the screen I get, and it won’t let me scroll to anything else. I can’t even make a phone call or listen to a voice mail! Help!!
I can’t even attach the screen shot I took, but it only has three sections: Photos, notes, and phone favorites. And none of them are complete – ARRGH!! Going to try turning it off and back on, and if that doesn’t work my trip out tomorrow will NOT be pretty!
So John’s statement was earlier in the week. He said, “I was made for college!” I suspect all of his teachers K-12 would agree. He needs to be in charge of his own schedule, take the classes he enjoys most, and live in the squalor of a Freshman boys’ dorm for a year. I’d nipped at his heels like a yappy dog for years. Now he will see the cause and effect of all his actions. With UofL’s diverse campus he’s making friends everywhere he goes. If he was taller at age three I’d have just dropped him off on campus instead of Mother’s Day Out, and he’d have done fine. He’s going to love college as much as I hated it, and I couldn’t be happier!
Aaron was finally texting me what he’d like for his birthday – I gave up somewhere between X-box games and Raspberry Pi – and I couldn’t find the games he was looking for. I found things that were close, and texted those back to him. He replied, “Yes, autocorrect is harder while holding a baby.” Yes, especially a drooly teething one who has been watching Mommy and Daddy use phones and computers since birth. Are there drool-proof electronics cases or covers? All suggestions appreciated!