Wednesday, May 11, 2011

what to do, what to do

There are many ways to anesthetize a person. Local, regional, epidural, general, spinal.... Or the at home version: beer, wine, liquor, all three together. (OK, eww on that last one.) Sometimes, you've just gotta go for the DIY anesthesia. Like when you receive your second refusal in the mail for Social Security disability benefits.

It would be easier to swallow if your case worker would ever return a phone call. Or if you could look back over your work history and find a time when your disability didn't affect your ability to work. Or even if you could run a trial and see if you could work now (hey, did that, failed miserably).

I would LOVE to work. I put specific effort into developing several different fields in which I could work so that if one failed due to recession, physical ability, etc., I could switch to another. I remember digging out of my parents' steep hillside driveway in a snow storm to get to work on time in high school only to find that my coworker called out because he said he couldn't get out of his 15-foot flat paved driveway that morning. (And he got the first raise, because hey, a penis counts for a lot with some people.) I remember working with a baby snugged on my back and another at my feet. I remember working at the age of nine, babysitting for the twins up the street and sticking that money in my piggybank for a rainy day. I've always been a "good worker." I've paid my dues. What does that get me when I can't work anymore?

It's incredibly frustrating to not be able to work. It's insulting to be told that you should be able to work when you have tested that theory and failed it completely. I feel like there's some essential miscommunication going on between myself and the Social Security office, even though I know the real drive behind the refusals is that fibromyalgia isn't on their current list of accepted disabilities and they financially benefit by refusing as many people as possible. What's just business to them is very personal to the person on the other end of that mailed letter.

Man, this sucks. I want to do right by my family. I want to ease the burden on my spouse. My last chance comes up in a few months, when I go before an administrative judge to state my case. Wouldn't it be ironic if I couldn't state my case clearly because my symptoms or my medication got in the way? What on earth would I do then? 

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