Category Archives: Nerium

Why Does a Stranger Get to Control My Life?

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.

Carving Away Pieces to Reveil Yourself

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 🙂

Eight Things I’m Looking Forward to (Dreading) in August

Linking up with Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop this Thursday because by then I’ll be an empty-nester! Even the dogs are stressed.

— 1 —

My baby boy moves into his Freshman dorm this week. I’ve spent the past year building a Pinterest board to make his transition to college perfect. Bluebirds should fly through his window to light on his arms and bunnies should gather at his feet as he recites the Periodic Table.  He’s not on Pinterest, and is not interested in 95% of my college-related suggestions. In fact, he taunts me, as if since he’s eighteen and a high-school graduate he can do anything he wants to.

— 2 —

SO not gonna happen. We’d hoped to get a suite-style room (two guys to a room, four guys share/CLEAN the bathroom in between. Instead, he’s got a large communal bathroom. That’s what I had as a Freshman too. I can’t imagine the filth four male Freshman could inflict on one bathroom.  The cleaning crew probably wears Haz-Mat suits. But he gets AC (thank God). Is it really global warming or are we just wimps? There were only TWO dorms on campus that had AC my Freshman year, and they were at the far end of campus and so tall everyone had to factor in elevator-wait time to get to class.

— 3 —

He has a class schedule, but has yet to show it to me. I love scheduling classes. I carried 18-21 credit hours a semester without ever missing Peak Tanning Hours on at least Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. For four years. One would think this Freshman (who already knows he has to go to Drop/Add because of his AP test scores) would ask his mother’s advice. But alas, no. With his work study job I’ll just have to ask when he’s available for dinner.

— 4 —

Ah, dinner. As in dates. I sincerely hope those are forthcoming. He’s been much more a “hang out with friends” sort of person during high school, which is great. His friends are a very diverse group, and there have been many overnight events at my house. My dogs are EXCELLENT chaperones if Michael and I are asleep. If there is so much as a lingering hug in this house a large snout separates them. Seriously.

— 5 —

My house is a wreck and I can’t find anything. . . except John’s dorm stuff. I’ve made lists, checked sales, ordered online, ordered and picked up in-store, and even ordered from overseas when I couldn’t find just the right thing. John says he knows what he’s taking, but in less than 72 hours he’ll be moved in. How ready can he really be?

— 6 —

I was a little hurt when he said he didn’t want me to put anything away, or even make his bed for him. Aaron, his older brother, let me do all that. But John’s more like me. This is his first place (no roommate yet) and he wants to make it completely his own. I DO understand that. So perhaps I’ll make some breakfast muffins and meet his dorm neighbors and their families.

— 7 —

He can’t have “air-breathing pets”, so I was thinking about a Beta fish with one of those plants in the top of the bowl/vase you see at doctors’ offices. I’ve never really done the fish thing, and I’m not great with houseplants. Anyone have experience in this area?

— 8 —

Once he’s moved in I will have to put all the details out of my mind. He’ll be the one getting emails from teachers, he’ll be the one making sure he eats healthy and gets enough sleep. I’m going to write, tidy up the house, and let everyone know how awesome the newest Nerium products are. And yes, I will demand responses to my texts within a reasonable amount of time of I’ll have a seat under a tree near his dorm and read a book.

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