It’s kinda funny. I put this title in my Drafts box with a few reminders about a doc visit gone wrong when the car I’d borrowed died as I coasted into a parking space, but I couldn’t get the doors to open. I climbed out the driver’s side window (SUV, mind you) and ended up with enough road rash to impress a cycling enthusiast. I got cleaned and patched up by the office staff, had my visit, then called to ask my husband or son to come get me. I sat on a concrete floor against a wall, watching out the window of the office building, for two hours. It was a crappy day, but no one’s fault. That was months ago.
The last couple of weeks have been tough. Not even anything I can get my head around yet, but these are some of the quotes and images from Pinterest that I think explain it best.
(Many thanks to Mrs. Welches. Another of my Pinterest quotes is from her as well, as you’ll see). I need to hunt her down online and thank her for her words. They speak to my soul.
Yeah, I had dreams. Just plans, really. Nothing outrageous. But my body says, “No flippin’ way, lady!”
I’m fat because even sitting upright is painful. And my surgeon gets upset because I’m not getting all the protein I need. But I’m just really never hungry. (Except after seeing a DQ biscuits-and-gravy commercial – but I rarely watch TV). But I know for a fact people look at me and think, “fat.”
Yeah, I REALLY do.
I don’t even like me most of the time.
Sad, but true.
But my youngest is at the beach, putting his toes in the sand and having all the fun a 19yo can possibly have (with his best friend Adam and his family, of course!) and my eldest is awaiting the arrival of his second child, comfortable in the knowledge that Emma’s Grandma is there to take care of her (and grand-dog Tabby) when this baby boy decides to arrive. My boys are happy, and that’s no small thing. It’s a HUGE thing, and for that I’m incredibly grateful. The next couple of weeks are going to be wonderful!
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 🙂