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  • Disability? Help please!

    Hi everyone!

    I am somewhat of a newbie around here, and some days feel like my head is swimming with all this new information, and what that means/and may mean for me.

    The reason I am writing is to ask for advice...not medical advice, but advice from your personal experiences with filing for disability. I am writing a book so consider yourself forewarned!

    First, let me tell you about my medical history so you can know what plays into all this...

    When I was 11 I was in a car accident and broke my left leg. This was not able to be fixed except by surgery. For the next 1 3/4 years I was passed from dr. to dr. because I went from 80 lbs to 56 lbs, and still losing. I had no appetite, couldn't sleep and was in terrible pain and on lots of powerful pain meds. I told all of the drs. this, and they didn't believe how bad it was. (I was a hysterical child according to my records) Finally, they discovered a staph infection in my leg, removed the steel plate...After 17 days of IV antibiotics, I got to go home, and immediately got better. The problem...by this time, I had lhad only able to weight-bear on one leg, and lost much muscle mass in my other leg. I developed scoliosis and a tilted pelvis, as well as knee/ankle and hip pain from how I walked.

    Fast forward to age 18, graduated h.s. with honors, went to a university, and became terribly depressedand anxious. Saw a pschiatrist for 3 years pretty consistently, and he said I had PTSD. Tried various meds, none worked well.

    Age 23. Had been in constant pain from hip for a couple of years(it was fused together, but broke apart-no cartilidge) Drs said I must hold off from hip replacement until new/longer lasting one came out...because of my age...Tried all of the big stuff for pain relief, and no effect...No one could tell I was on it, I felt EXACTLY the same. Had the hip replacement, and pain was much better.
    Then I started having sciatic nerve pain (aggravated by scoliosis or surgery dr. said) Depression continued.

    All of this time I was working...having attendance trouble, but working. Age 25 Met the love of my life...got married. All of the past years, I was exhausted all of the time, very sickly, got every bug...Discovered I had asthma and allergies. Began taking shots. Allergies improved. Gained about 50 lbs in 2 months. Saw dr. after dr. No answers.

    Age 28-Had tried to have baby for two years. All sorts of crazy symptoms. Diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Answers most things. (exhaustion, weight gain, female problems, etc) Still having unexplained abdominal pain and nausea. Got referral, and other dr. said I had IBS. Eat more fiber! Missed a lot of work

    Age 29 - Sharp abdominal pain, consistently a 6-7 sometimes 8. Off work now 10 weeks-FMLA. One week - diagnosis of hemmoraghic cyst. After cyst is gone and pain persists (exactly 2 weeks ago) Dr. reviews my symptoms and history and does a PST. Determines I have IC. Have been on the 'strict' diet since then, and have had some improvement, but it varies GREATLY from one day to the next. Since it has been better I have been charting myself, and on an OK day, I went to the bathroom 17 times in 10 hours, and had pain from 2's to mostly 5's (some 6-7) with groin, abd, and back pain. Some days have been worse, and some better. In fact 2 days, I almost felt like normal!

    Really, I feel discouraged and confused, because my FMLA will be up in about two weeks. I am not sure that I will be able to go back to work, and I have NO IDEA what to do. I feel like all of my problems are rearing their ugly heads and fighting against me, and I am screwed either way.

    If I go back, and I can't do it, and miss several days work...can you spell 'FIRED!' Benefits for my husband and I $1100/mo. (He is required to have it!) If I go back part-time, again lose benefits! (if I can even succeed at that...sitting is the most painful.) Or I can simply quit or let them fire me when my time is up with FMLA - Which is best? I don't know. Last option, to file for disability. I don't know what to think of this option at all. AT ALL! Can filing for disability come back to haunt you? Am I even 'disabled' enough? Does filing for disability mean that I can't try and get pregnant? (Is that even an ethical thought?) Would it simply be better to take out school loans (covering some of our expenses) If I go back to work and fail, does that affect filing for LT Disability? And if approved, can I get off of it in less than a year, if I get better soon enough? Does anyone know if ST Disability carries on until LT Disability covers? And what if I want to try alternative treatments rather than painkillers or antidepressants (They don't do anything for me, and I DO NOT want to take pain meds except as a last resort? Will that affect my eligibility?

    I am just confused, and honestly feeling guilty for even considering it, but want all of the honest feedback you can give me.

    Thank you for reading this long thing. And for the support. This place is a lifesaver!

    LKL
    Dx's:
    IC -February 2007
    PCOS - August 2005
    Asthma and Allergies - 2003
    Depression - 1997
    Scoliosis/Sciatica/arthritis - 1997
    Hip Replacement -2001
    Possible IBS -2006

    Current IC meds:
    Elmiron, 100mg 3x's a day

    Other Meds:
    Metformin 850 mg/2x a day
    Singulair 10 mg/1x a day
    Albuterol and Advair
    Femara (infertility)

  • #2
    I wish I had some answers for you, I just don't know!! I'm sure the other ladies will chime in and be able to give you some good adivce! I'm interested in what they will have to say! I'm also on intermittent FMLA. BEst wishes!

    Comment


    • #3
      If you're eligible for short term disability, I would look into that so you at least know how to apply, etc. Then if you try going back to work and can't handle it, you can immediately apply. Long term disability sometimes takes a long time for approval. With your medical history, it shouldn't be difficult to qualify.

      Warm hugs,
      Donna
      Stay safe


      Elmiron Eye Disease Information Center - https://www.ic-network.com/elmiron-p...mation-center/
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      I am not a medical authority nor do I offer medical advice. In all cases, I strongly encourage you to discuss your medical treatment with your personal medical care provider. Only they can, and should, give medical recommendations to you.
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      Comment


      • #4
        You can almost always get a free consultation with a disability lawyer who can help explain your options.

        These are the things I know as facts: You can have as many children as you want while on Social Security Disability (but your benefits do not increase with more kids). You can come off SSD any time you want. On SSD, you can still work if you make no more than $900/month. You can also apply for a "work trial" if you feel better -- you get to try working for up to nine months, and if you find you have to stop again, you're still on SSD. No reapplication.

        It sounds to me like you have a good medical case, but the SSD process is long and tedious. State benefits vary by state; I was eligible for six months of short-term disability from the state of New Jersey when I left my job. NJ is one of the more generous states on this issue, paying up to 2/3 of what you were making. So, you can start with state disability, and you can apply for SSD while you are on state disability. Not a problem.

        I am not a practicing attorney, and I am only telling you what I've learned as I'm in the process of applying for SSD. This should not be construed as legal advice. The best thing to do may be to consult an attorney.
        Je vous souhaite de la joie, de la bonne santée, et tout ce qu'il y a de bon dans la vie.
        Wishing you happiness and good health, and all the best out of life.

        Peace, Carolyn
        ___________________________________________________

        Laura (11), Susannah (12 1/2) and Maman (that's me!), North Wildwood NJ, September 2007


        On the Beach with IC

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank you

          Appreciate your advice.

          LKL
          Dx's:
          IC -February 2007
          PCOS - August 2005
          Asthma and Allergies - 2003
          Depression - 1997
          Scoliosis/Sciatica/arthritis - 1997
          Hip Replacement -2001
          Possible IBS -2006

          Current IC meds:
          Elmiron, 100mg 3x's a day

          Other Meds:
          Metformin 850 mg/2x a day
          Singulair 10 mg/1x a day
          Albuterol and Advair
          Femara (infertility)

          Comment

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