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My disability hearing is looming! HELP!

Sep 21, 2017 8:13 AM

I wrote this statement to send to the court in hopes that it proves that my disability is severe enough for them to approve my case I'm hoping to get some feedback so that I know that it's good enough to send any feedback would be welcome thank you all so very much for taking the time to read it!

Today, I would like the court to see what my life is like with my disabilities, how they affect my daily life, and the difficulties that I have receiving proper medical treatment. It is my hope, that at the end of my statement, that the court will understand the severity of my disability. That even though my brain wants to participate and do these things, my body refuses. This exacerbates the symptoms of depression and anxiety that I suffer with daily.
Before I started to become symptomatic, my life was productive, full of energy and activity. A typical day in my life would begin with my alarm ringing at 4:30 a.m.; up and at'em. I'm at work by 4:30 praying that my employees would show up, otherwise, I would have to jump in and make biscuits...just to get the resturant opened up by 5:30. Finally, my staff arrives and business begins...a fast paced drive-thru resturant with a reputation for being the fastest and the friendliest in the company and in our town. A title that I worked so very hard for. Once the customer rushes are done, there are food orders, inventory, heavy cleaning, and schedules that are all done during "down time". By 3 p.m. I'm out the door and on the way to bank with my deposit and my work day is done...hopefully. Now I get to focus on my home and family...to the grocery store I go looking for the perfect dinner selection for our meal tonight. As I gather all my goodies, I am so thankful for all of my blessings. Grateful for good health, a great job, and a beautiful family...what more could I ask for? Now it's time to get our dinner started, I get the girls busy with thier homework, and find out how thier day was. My husband is now home and its time to get everyone around the table to fill our bellies with food and laughter. There is a reason God gave children to the young, I'm wrangling two bare bottomed youngins' running from thier baths...yes, those were the days. Once my girls were ready for bed it's time to get the kitchen clean and get a shower so that we have a little time before bed at 9 or 9:30 p.m. This is a snapshot in a day in my life, it was a good, meaningful, happy life.
My last months of employment were very stressful while dealing with my medical issues. Including, having a surgical procedureto repair an anal fissure. Of which, I promise the court is a constant form of irritant pain that I have ever expierienced in my life. Any movement proved challenging. Standing, sitting or walking was so painful I would have to go to the bathroom because I was in tears. But, unfortunatly, that isn't the only pain that I faced. I also dealt with debilitating knee and back pain that was made worse simply because I was doing my job. The fatigue was scary. There were times that I would fall asleep at my computer while trying to make the 200+ collection calls that I was expected to make and here I was unable to keep my eyes open. I have been so fatigued at the end of my day that I've needed my daughters help to get out of my car, up the steps, and to my bed. For the past yes I had been talking to my doctor about my level of function and pain as it related to my being able to continue working. He decided that my disability was more than my body could manage and it was time to make the notifications. Now a new nightmare begins.
In the weeks and months that followed I found out how truly ignorant of the system I really was. And now, I am losing my insurance, my doctor, and my medicines that would make my conditions tolerable. Even though I had discussed the inevitabilty of losing my insurance with my doctor, he failed to wean me off of my medication. I had no idea what would happen when it was all gone. The Lyrica that I had been prescribed and was taking under the care of my physician was gone and it was now going to cause me eight or more weeks of utter misery...So here I was 43 years old, going through withdrawls like I was a drug addict and I was treated as such when I sought emergency treatment on three seperate occasions. At least my physician on my second trip explained to me what I was going through and what was causing it, but she was unable to give me much hope as to when I might see some relief. How do I cope on these long days when my bed and my heating pad were my only relief, but, it wasn't much help. I just had to survive day to day.
Attempting to find medical treatment when you have to weigh having a roof over your head, lights, water, and hopefully some food on the table over paying a monthly medical premium plus deductibles and co-pay. It pushes insurance so far out of my reach that I had no access. I scoured the internet looking for and applying for any programs I could find. I also asked the social workers that visited me on my first 2 emergency room visits about any programs that may be available to me. I filled out multiple forms that they gave me and returned them before leaving the hospital. Each time to no avail. When I put my application in for Medicaid, I was denied as well with a statement saying that South Carolina did not have a Medicaid program that I qualified for. Wow, I thought, I'm seperated from my husband, unable to work, barely have enough money to keep going...and it's not even my money! If I dont' qualify for some type of medical program, then who does? Two more applications and two more crushing denials, what am I going to do now? Panic is setting in, I'm getting worse. The pain is crushing my joints, aching my muscles, electrical shocks in my back shoot down my legs and through my arms to my wrist. On one of my continuing searches I found out that Brookland Cayce Medical Center works on a sliding scale fee program and that it was possible that I could pay as little as $20.00 to see a doctor...Yes! I made the appointment for May 19, 2016 and met Ms. Tonna Coleman. She put me back on some of the medications that I was previously taking to stabilize some of my conditions, but, informed me that she was unable to prescrible medication for my fibromyalgia and depression. When I explained to her my situation to her she informed me of Welvista {a free medication program availible to low or no income households}. I also found out that I had access a small network of doctors with the Eua Claire Cooperative Ministries that participated in the same sliding scale fee program that they did and that in order to get the medication that I needed for my fibromyalgia and depression I had to see the psychiatrist and receive routine counseling. This was a great sign. I now know that there may be some relief to my pain and a bonus that I hadn't expected, couseling. It took six weeks to get my "new patient" appointment. The morning of my appointment my phone rings, its the doctors office, I think it is just to confirm the appointment. The young lady tells me that the doctor is sick and that we need to reschedule my appointment. I thought, okay, no problem, and then she said it...August 30...another eight weeks. I was crushed I broke down in tears, yet, I had no choice but to accept it. I just had to survive day to day.
Living with my chronic pain is difficult to manage. I use things like the TENS device, back and knee braces and a heating pad to help manage some of my pain. I also use creams and rubs to help muscle type pain and even have my own "fibro flare kit" that I keep handy for the days when the pain is too much to bear. The worst part of having chronic pain is having multiple medical problems compounding together at the same time. For example, during the time that I am writing this statement I have been suffering with acute upper and lower GI conditions. I pulled a muscle in my left calf during the night and I am having a difficult time walking on it. My back sends out multiple painful electrical shocks that cause me to jump and cry out in pain, I can't sit still for to long, its to painful, it feels like my bones are just pushing through. My wrist and fingers hurt from writing, its difficult to keep my thoughts together and keep going, but, I know that I have to. I don't leave my house anymore. In the last year the only time I leave my house alone is to go to my doctors appointments, and only because I don't have anyone to take me. I'm afraid when I leave my house. What if the pain and the fatigue gets overwhelming and I just can't make it home? Anxiety, pain, fear, and fatigue trap me like a prisoner in my own home, my four walls closing in like always, just a window with a view. Trying to accomplish the most basic of tasks to care for myself is challenging at best. I had to get a shower chair to put in the tub. The fatigue and the vertigo has caused me to fall twice, once trying to get into the tub, once trying to get out. I couldn't take anymore chances. I only have the ability to shower one time a week, someone has to be home in case I get so fatigued that I need assistance to get out of the tub. It takes time to recover enough to tackle another task. Trying to fix a sandwich afterwards...my body is still trembling with fatigue. It gives me a new meaning to being "weak in the knees". I have a chair in my kitchen, but, right now it's little help. I feel off center, not quite able to keep my balance. With the fatigue and the vertigo happening at the same time, I have to lay down to rest. I'm crying, depressed, angry with my body, and I'm so frustrated. I can't do the basics to care for myself. I'm such a burden. How much worse will this get? Does anyone know I'm here? Can anyone help? My circle of supporters is small with only a few that are willing to help. They have thier own lives and jobs, in some cases, thier own families to care for. I can't ask that they take off work to care for me or take me to the doctor. Who would pay thier bills? I certainly can't, it's not even my money that pays the bills for me to live month to month. So where do I turn and who can I ask for help? I don't know, I don't know, I don't know, three words that course through my mind everyday with no answers to follow. My mind goes to a very dark places when I am home alone, just me and my thoughts to keep me company. Being by myself a lot of the time, I think about the life that I should be having. But I look out the window and watch as the world keeps moving. Nausea, vertigo, fatigue, leg ache, knee pain and the always present back pain plague me daily without fail. Today I am dependant on my daughter to mow the lawn, clean the house, wash the clothes, shop for groceries and my personal items. Having to depend on others for some of my most intimate needs is hard. I feel helpless, burdensome, sometimes I think it would be so much easier if I were not here at all. Not that I want to die, but, at least the pain would end. What do you do when there is no refuge from the pain?
Fibromyalgia was the "begining of the end" for me. Most people are aware of the widespread muscle pain and weakness, but, fibromyalgia is so much more than that. My muscles become so sore that it can be painful to get a hug. I suffer from insomnia, at one point my husband would say that I have a "day-time nap" and a "night-time nap". Even sleep couldn't be my solace. It's painful if I sit in one spot for to long, I have to change my position often and at times it becomes so painful the only option is to lay down for awhile to try to aleviate it. The tremors sometimes seriously limit my ability to hold onto a cell phone or even a drinking glass. When it is at it's worst I feel as though I am vibrating from the inside. I have difficulty regulating my body temperature. There are times I have been sitting quietly watching the television and I break into a horrible sweat it feels like the room has heated up and I am feeling so hot. Minutes later I would need a blanket, I'm freezing. These spells would last for about an hour, it's not to bad dealing with it when you are home. But people look at you funny when you are pouring sweat and it's a crisp 60* outside. It doesn't just affect my body, it affects me on a personal level. I feel that it put such a strain on my marriage that my husband and I seperated. I'm still not sure we will make it, but, we are talking and trying. Nothing is clear at this point, everything is so unsure, so unstable.
I have taken you on a journey through my life. Even though some of the things that we are discussing have happened in my past, parts of this statement are ever evolving through this process. My hope by taking you on this journey is that you understand my life. My ups, downs, the good, the bad, and the ugly has opened like a book for your eyes to see. I have barred my soul in the hopes that you understand the severity of my disablity and how difficult my life is on a daily basis. So now I look to you, the court, and I pray that you are able to visualize the difficulties of being disabled at my age. How unrealistic the options become when you lose your ability to make an income and continue your traditional insurance. The nightmare continues when you're unable to access specialist that could address my worsening medical conditions. Now I'm here, I've gathered everything that I can think of. So how do you make a movie with words, to show an accurate picture of a life in what amounts to an essay? I hope that I have done that here. I put my future into your hands with this...I didn't ask for this disability. I enjoyed my job...my family went on trips, went hiking, walked trails, went to arts and crafts fairs...we stayed on the go. Now my life is at a total stand still and I have no recourse but with you. I urge you to approve my disability case from the origin date July 23, 2015 to allow me the opportunity to get the proper medical treatment that I so desperately need.

Sep 21, 2017 8:38 AM

Adjust wake up and work arrival times, spell check, ... For the past "yes" I had been talking... Believe that should be year, the sentence following that I think is missing the word "in" at the end. Maybe describe the pain with a little more detail. But besides that I think it's good.

Sep 21, 2017 8:45 AM

Edits made thank you so much!

Sep 21, 2017 8:46 AM

If possible, read it out loud at your hearing. It has more of an impact when you express it verbally. Make sure you are not too done up. Looking disheveled will help. Just be yourself. I know it sucks. I’m at first reconsideration level. I finally found an awesome attorney. That helps too if you have someone representing you. Good luck. The stress of the SSDI fight alone is enough to make someone sick.

Sep 21, 2017 9:15 AM

I too am at my hearing level with disability. I am scared to death but reading your letter has made me realize I am not alone. Thank you for sharing and good luck sweetie. I pray that your disability claim is approved as well as mine.

Sep 21, 2017 9:22 AM

Amazing the hoops we must jump through all because of chroic pain. The letter looks conveniencing enough to me. Hope your hearing goes well.

Sep 21, 2017 12:01 PM

You guys are amazing!!! LAT and Smittyswife I will be adding you to my prayer list! Thanks for the support guys!

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