Yesterday, I shut down my laptop with a sense of well-being and contentment. I’d gotten the boring editing of my newest short story out of the way, and was looking forward to doing that final hard edit today and getting that story out there. Then I got my mail.
When my my disability claim was denied, I called my lawyer, and we agreed that I would appeal the decision. It would take about a year, but, if I won, I’d get back-pay for the last three years that I’ve been out of work. My guy works hard, but we’re struggling. The week before payday our cupboards are bare, and, if we didn’t have chickens for eggs, and my parents hadn’t gifted us half a beef for helping out on their farm, there wouldn’t be anything in the fridge but butter and condiments. It’s that bad. But I’d discussed things with my guy, and we really needed that lump sum back-pay for things like a new roof (ours leaks), paying off my hospital bills (funny how I was denied disability for no ‘in-hospital’ stays, but no notice taken of the fact that I have so many doctors visits a month, we can barely meet the co-pays), actually buying Christmas presents this year. Yes, I have been ashamed and guilt-stricken for the last two years, because we, literally, could not afford Christmas gifts. I know my friends and family understand, but…damn, it stings the pride.
Then I get the mail, and there’s a letter from my lawyer, advising me to just file a new claim, that the small period of time that I was on Lyrica and actually felt better (before it started making me go blind), was keeping me from getting disability. I don’t think that was the only reason or even the major reason–I read the report. As I said in my last post, I did and said things that sabotaged my case. Things my lawyer should have noted in the quarterly reports all my doctors had to send in and told me to stop doing/saying.
Needless to say, I’m depressed. At first my guy didn’t understand that, if we file a new claim, I don’t get back-pay for the last three years. He also didn’t understand how getting a judgement in 90 days versus a year was a bad thing. Here’s the thing–I have cut way back on my doctor’s visits, because we. cannot. afford. it. I am not refilling some of my meds, as soon as I run out, because we. cannot. afford. it. I have not told my guy this. He does the bills, so he has to be aware of it, at least subconsciously, but he hasn’t thought about what this will look like to the disability people.
The records that the Social Security department will get, will show that I apparently don’t need as much medical help as a ‘disabled’ person should need. They’ll show that I don’t even need to see my doctors (apparently). They will show me saying I ‘feel better’ after a treatment with my pain doctor, because I just found out that saying you ‘feel better’ apparently means you’re ‘doing fine.’ I just found out last month that I’ve been sabotaging myself. Even though I told my doctors on EVERY visit that just sitting there in their office put me in pain, that having to put on clothes to come to the office hurt me so badly that it felt like I was wearing sandpaper over badly sunburned skin, either that didn’t merit a mention in their notes or it doesn’t sound as terrible as it is. I’m in pain all the time, folks! I can’t wear clothes, without being in more pain! I don’t know what else to tell them. All of my doctor’s notes for this new claim are going to be repeats of the doctor’s notes that got me denied disability in the first place, because I was still being stoic and trying not to be overly-dramatic, and I haven’t been to a doctor since then! Obviously, because I thought I was home free with disability, not because we. cannot. afford. it.
This sucks. This sucks big, green, donkey dongs. I had actually come to the conclusion that I was okay without one of my anxiety meds (because I ran out and involuntarily quit it cold-turkey, because we. cannot. afford. it. (sorry for the repetition, but it’s a recognized literary device. LOL!)), and I was doing pretty well. No night terrors, no panic attacks, no obsessive thoughts about death. I freaking need that anxiety medication now, but my guy doesn’t get paid for another week.
I’m going to file the new claim, because it doesn’t cost anything, and not filing is like just giving up, but I’ll get denied. I know I will, because nothing has changed. And it’s not even the money, per se. Oh, we need the money, but I feel like I’m letting my guy down, like I’m an anchor around his neck. He wants me to ‘try to stay positive,’ and I told him that saying that to a person with depression is like telling a starving person to imagine they’re eating. He tells me to trust him, that he hasn’t let me down yet. But, you see, I’ve let him down, and that’s what really plunges me into that dark abyss of depression. He’s great; he’s going above and beyond. I’m the problem.