Category Archives: pain

Just When I Felt Alone. . .

I was feeling very, very isolated when a friend tagged this video “for you, Angie Ballard” on FB. I bawled by eyes out. She knows me so well.

Thank you, Julie! I’m reading You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. I borrowed it from the library as an ebook, because I don’t really go out of the house anymore. Or spend money. We have one car that will go forward, but will not stop reliably (Michael’s). He’s been using mine, but now it will not go forward, only in reverse. I personally require a car to both go forward AND stop before I’ll drive it. And Michael drives for a living, for those of you who don’t know. After losing a close friend recently (not LOSING as in death, but losing as in she no longer considers me a friend) I was feeling that much more isolated and depressed.

Until I watched that video. I’ve certainly never been a cheerleader. I’m so clumsy there would surely have been pom-pom-related injuries, even at the junior high level. But I’m a leader, a public speaker, an over-achiever, the girl in the front row every day of class. The nurse volunteering to take the fresh heart from surgery, the MI from ER. Experimental device? Gimme!

So I’m following Nicole’s lead. No, I’m NOT the person I was before. YES, I’m in constant pain. Of course I can smile and pretend everything’s normal. I’ve had a hell of a lot of practice. Of course I wish I was the person I was before. Sadly, the amount of medication it takes to put the “sweet Southern girl” filter back in place is very close to the amount that knocks me unconscious.

My next doctor’s appointment is with my primary care physician. It’s time for him to earn his co-pay. I want my blood pressure controlled by more than a maxed-out beta-blocker that could kill a cow. I’m on enough muscle relaxers that I can hardly keep my eyes open. But usually, when I’m awake, I’m in incredible pain. One dinner out with family costs me two days in bed. It’s worth it, though. I truly don’t want to be a hermit.

Anyway, PLEASE share this video with anyone you know who has chronic pain. I need to watch all Nicole’s videos and read all Louise’s books before I can say I’m an informed source, but it sounds pretty damn good to me so far!

The Aftermath

My disability hearing is over. I think it went much better this time, in that the judge actually looked in my direction and allowed me to talk when I had something to say.

I’d pre-medicated for the hearing, because I was afraid if I threw up or passed out they’d make me come back and try again three years later. That didn’t make the pain of a one-hour hearing any less brutal. I hadn’t been able to keep food down for three days, so I doubted I’d do any real damage, but if I was going to puke it was going in the general direction of the adjudicator in the green suit. Really, his suit couldn’t have looked worse.

This judge actually met my eyes and smiled, and looked at me rather than down at his desk when asking me questions, which made me much more comfortable. Nonetheless, my hearing took a full hour, maybe more. I don’t usually wear a watch, so I’m going by Michael’s count – he was in the waiting room.

I think it went well. I was horribly embarrassed when I couldn’t find a word I was looking for, or provide a place in time where a certain change occurred. But since it was MY hearing, no one could jump in and save me except the judge, who did so on a couple of occasions, giving me options. It was to my own benefit that I not be able to answer questions, but I was frustrated and in horrific pain.

So the third time I forgot my own lawyer asked me the same fairly simple two-part question, then retracted it because I’d answered part of it and asked to have it repeated twice, I slapped my hand on the table and said, “Ask me again, this is important!” He did, and I replied. I have NO idea what we were talking about. It could have been the appropriate time to plant turnips for all I know.

I just remember that it was incredibly difficult for me to even stand (with my purple cane) to exit the courtroom. My lawyer had me perch on a windowsill near the exit while he signed me out and grabbed my husband to take me to the car. The lawyer was all smiles.

We found out it would be three months or more until we received a verdict (WTF?), and then thirty – sixty days after that until I was actually awarded disability. AND that if they wished they could backdate my disability not to the day I last worked (April 2011) but to when I turned FIFTY (December 2016). Seriously? Seriously.

Really? Did fifty feel like some magical age for any of you who’ve passed it? I am DONE with birthdays (of my own). They can just pass without recognition from now on. I’ve hit the age, so pay me. I know it’s supposed to be 50% of my pay, but I’m sure it will be less. Just pay me so I can go on with my life. I am SO done with jumping through hoops like a dog. Not that dogs who jump through hoops aren’t great, but I want the details of the hoop before I jump through it!

I’m Still Here.

Just in case any of you thought I’d gone off the deep end to one end or the other! No, I’m still here. I made it through the disability hearing (just barely). Without the help of my purple cane and my lawyer I wouldn’t have managed standing up and walking three yards to lean against the wall outside the courtroom. My lawyer offered to sign me out and bring my husband to me, so I didn’t have to walk any further. His name is Phil Rich, BTW, in case you are ever in need of his services. If he’d had a tail it would have been wagging once the trial was over. The judge smiled, met my eyes, and asked very appropriate questions, unlike the reptile I had last time. But the hearing alone took a full hour of sitting. In a hardback chair. I ended up in bed the rest of that day and for two days to follow. I’ve had invasive procedures that took less recovery time!

Long story short: they don’t give out results at the hearing anymore. It may be three months or more before I get a decision. And after that 30-60 more days until I get paid. And even though I’ve been in constant pain since 2009 and off work since 2011. . . odds are the only back pay I’ll get is to December 2016 – when I turned fifty. Of course that won’t even cover the debts I’ve taken on to keep a roof over our heads and our youngest in college once you consider the fees for Allsup and my attorney (both WELL worth the price!)

But I’m staggering slowly back into Social Media, so bear with me. I didn’t check my e-mail for three days, and everyone knows I ALWAYS check my email. My brother (when we were still speaking) emailed me with a request to call him at 4:30 am. This wasn’t a problem, because I checked my personal email before going to work, and I got to work at 4am. This was before cell phones were common.

Anyway, I’m here. Made it through with my dignity intact (no crying) even when my attempted suicide was mentioned. Not sure what’s to come, but it will certainly include family, food, and fur-babies!

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