Thursday, July 07, 2011

I Have a Date

A couple weeks ago I got a call from my lawyer.  The government has scheduled a hearing date for my Social Security appeal.

This was a pretty big surprise.  The waiting list for these things is insane.  I was told that it was running 18-24 months here in the Indianapolis area, and that because I moved while on the waiting list, I'd be dropped to the back of the line again.  No saving your place!  No cutsies!  I wasn't expecting this for another year to year and a half.

I've been working my way through the system for almost two years now, and every time I get to a new level it comes with a new surge of anxiety.  Fear that I won't be approved, and my financial situation will continue to be dire.  Fear that I will be approved, and I'll have final, incontrovertible proof that this is happening, and that I'm really this sick.

I think that second one is the greater fear.  On many levels I think I've dealt with and accepted my illness, but there are always deeper levels of denial to discover.  Getting Social Security after all this time of fighting for it will make it Official.  I will be a government-recognized sick person, who isn't able to work and financially take care of herself.  (The irony in all this is, the minute you are approved, after years of hassle in most cases, the government starts pushing back-to-work programs at you.  If you were capable of getting back to work, they never would have approved you in the first place.)

Also, I'm scared about the hearing itself.  In a very literal sense I will be sitting there, allowing some stranger to judge my health and how I've handled it so far.  After my first couple of doctors, who simultaneously claimed that there was nothing wrong with me and that my illness was all my fault, the thought of having someone judge me in this way is scary.  And it's not just someone who wants to judge me.  Lord knows there are enough of those in the world, willing to judge anyone at any time for any reason.  This is someone who will judge me and then decide if I deserve the help that I know I need.

Really, the whole thing is turning me into a big fucked up ball of stress and nerves and guilt.  Which of course does wonderful things for my Crohn's and Fibro.

So if you would, please get those FGBV machines rolling.  That I survive the next 6 weeks or so, and that on August 16th all the SSDI judges are in a sympathetic, accepting mood.

6 comments:

  1. Huge FGBV's.

    I remember when I was really sick with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibro (among other things), sitting at the desk of some Social Security office person, trying to fill out mounds of paperwork that I couldn't understand, while trying to keep myself from falling over. Not fun.

    And you're right--the official "Yes, you're a really sick person" acknowledgment is almost worse than the illnesses. It is designed to make you feel like "less."

    My parents said something wise during the whole thing, when I was feeling guilty about taking money from the government and not being able to support myself. They told me that when I was working, I had contributed to the system. And that they (my parents) had worked for years and contributed to the system. SO THAT THE MONEY WOULD BE THERE TO SUPPORT ONE OF US IF WE NEEDED IT.

    You deserve this. And hopefully, like me, when the money issue is at least less urgent, you will be able to turn your time and energy towards improving your health, so that someday you will be able to go back to work.

    FGBVs, babe. FGBV's.
    Witchy

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  2. Witches are so wise, so... what Deb said, she's right. And, bonus, you have doubled up Pagan FGBVs going for you!
    Super supporting Sympathetic and Understanding FGBVs from here to there. Just for you. From me.
    Julie

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  3. Big, big FGBVs! Hope your judge is not an asshat!!!

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  4. Major sparkly fgbv's, Becky!

    That would be so scary to go in there and have people decide if you are "sick enough". Argh! I hope your hearing will be conducted by rational, compassionate individuals. Everybetty is pulling for you!

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  5. Thank you, everyBetty! I appreciate the FGBVs and support. It's a nerve-wracking time, but knowing I've got all of you in my corner really helps.

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  6. Late to the party, but I see there's still time til August! Sending you now some book-laced-lip-gloss-flavored FGBVs. And no matter what the outcome, at the minimum I hope you're treated with compassion and respect. But bestest outcome is of course hoped for!

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