Any other single women trying to deal with this?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Shalala, Feb 17, 2007.

  1. Shalala

    Shalala New Member

    I am 53 and single (my son is on his own (ha)) and I am really worried about my future. I cannot function on my job any more due to the FMS. My DR tells me to find another job (I was lucky to find this one). I am barely getting by on what I make now (forcing myself to work fulltime) ... so the thought of PT work is really frightening (financially) and I would still make more than the $700 rule to apply for SSI. If I quit ... I will have no insurance. I am trying to get short term disability right now due to this flare I am in. I have used up all of my sick, vacation & personal days and this is only mid Feb! Is this a CATCH 22 or what? I would love to hear from other struggling singles.
  2. bewell4

    bewell4 New Member

    well, i have a boyfriend and he is supportive in his way. but, i hear you. there is not security in our (new) relationship, and i do not have the cushion of a husband/whatever. except for my x-husband, who i feel terribly guilty about taking money from. he has pretty much been the difference between hanging in and well, probably a homeless shelter.

    sigh.

    i would love to hear something more positive from some other singles!! how the heck do you make it??!
  3. Ginner

    Ginner New Member

    Hi girls,
    I too was a single mom with 3 bouncing baby boys. They are 26,28 and 30 today.
    I will never forget what a dear friend said to me as I grieved of being alone with my boys, aching and working and no help mate.
    She said ~ we have friends who are married and if they chose today they would chose differently ~
    ..They are envious of you..because today, YOU get to chose!
    That sure helped me! I can chose now, a brighter light for me!
  4. achingbytch

    achingbytch New Member

    Hi Shalala
    I'm same age, grown kids busy with their lives, going thru divorce from someone never interested in anything xcept my paycheck. I still haven't figured out the process, even after reading all the threads and posts. I am working full time, have 6 months full pay disability, 6 months half pay and then...dont know what to do because if I take a year off, I can forget about going back. I want and need to apply for SSDI which I've paid into...but risking months or years with the possibility of no income while waiting for a decision, no family or spouse for support...dont know what to do. Unless we're both missing a puzzle piece in this mess, I dont see how its possible to make the leap to live on disability...I really dont.

    [This Message was Edited on 02/17/2007]
  5. Shalala

    Shalala New Member

    Gosh I feel better knowing that I am not the only single one worried about job/income loss. I just can't handle this job any longer. I have to sit 10 hours in one spot in front of a computer screen with a headset on and take 100-150 calls with my neck killing me, a migraine, ringing in my head, flourescent lighting all over me, perfume/colognes/chemicals choking me ... I have paid into LTD through work and also SS for many years. Now I have to make a decision what to do? I wish there was someone out there that could guide us through the process. If I had a mate I would have quit years ago.
  6. LouiseK

    LouiseK New Member


    Hi,

    I wrote you a lengthy message but deleted it because it was sort of going nowhere. I just want to say I truly sympathize and empathize with your plight. I've been through all that. Not that I am out the other end by any means. I am middle aged and single. Daughter is in college in another state.

    Find a way to get this doctor or another doctor as an ally. I wouldn't just quit my job. Believe me if you are out sick enough they will figure out a way to let you go.Good, let the record show they let you go because you couldn't work due to illness. Meantime you still have your insurance and disability and all that. I would just call in sick rather than quit but I don't know your circumstances or your company's business.

    Perhaps if you ask your doctor for a very limited disability period he won't freak. And you can take it from there in small steps: See if you can go back after the few weeks off; if not ask the doctor for another few weeks, etc.

    My point is that in small steps you may be able to guide the situation in your favor. Both with your doctor and th disability company which might be less hesitant to grant your short-term disability if it looks short to them.

    Small steps add up. Six months from now you may be surprised to look back and be able to say to everyone: Look, as you can see I cannot work on any sort of consistant basis even though I have tried time off, tried part-time, tried alternating days or working from home or whatever.

    By the way, check your disability policy because you may see that if you work part-time they will make up a large percentage of the difference. Of course you would have to work very hard to get all the ducks in a row with your job, etc.

    Hope this helps you in some small way. I'm so sorry for you.
  7. hollie9

    hollie9 New Member

    Is it possible for you to work from home? Those that are doing mainly phone work, I can't see why you couldn't do that from home, especially if you are in process of getting social security disability and have a history of absence due to illness. Your employer could agree?

    I was already working at home when I "caught" CFS. It's so much easier than getting ready for work, driving to work, then acually doing work. I came from a corportate background and had a "stable" of clients already.

    Then I was head hunted by a big firm and told them I would only work from home. With the computer I could attend all meetings, etc.

    Then I met a man and he wanted to get married, I did, but the extra energy that has to go into him is harder than work.

    Good luck,

    Hollie
  8. woohooo

    woohooo New Member

    I'm also single and alone, got young kids home. I wish I had some sage advice for you... I am on welfare yet they are kicking me off it cuz I'm not able to work now. I haven't the energy to pursue SSI. Between my flares and taking care of them difficult kids, I've got almost no energy left. I'm racking up credit card debt like crazy, just to pay for food for my family, and basic necessities. I don't buy a thing extra, have canceled my cellphone nine months ago, have stopped hiring sitters and cleaning help, just so to cut corners. Still, I desperately need the cleaning help, I desperately need the sitter to give me a break from the kids.
    I understand what you are saying about the phone. I cannot be on the phone either. I feel the vibrations going through my ears, it is too painful.
    I have been thinking of calling local churches, perhaps they have a charity fund and could help me out.
    Seems to be no end to this dark tunnel.
    Welfare throws me off cuz i'm not working, I say I can't work they say to come to their docs and all and I'm in excruciating pain, it is so difficult to event think of going to all those appointments.
    Gosh, I wish there was an easy way out of this.
  9. Shalala

    Shalala New Member

    I am so sorry to hear all of this. I had one child who would not help me in any way (and still will not help me). I racked up the credit card debt also. My heart goes out to you ... I can't imagine having 3 kids and dealing with this. I took this job out of desperation and I was lucky (???) to get IT. My health got much worse on this job. I already know they are trying to get rid of me (I am not paranoid) and others that are older with health problems are feeling it also. My sisters, my son and my Father are clueless and have no compassion.
  10. bewell4

    bewell4 New Member

    i was overwhelmed with the emotional reaction, forgot to mention

    i used to co-own a home and work.

    now i live with family (awful, but i can't figure out anything else) and have welfare, food stamps. not enough to live sanely on, so i just get by -insane. lol

    i am on a list for (i dont understand the details) some state housing, still trying to work myself out of this hellacious family situation. it is lots of red tape and god knows if i will make it

    i have also applied for ssd, but i dont understand how this will actually help. (ive heard from others that one can actually get a decent amount, but from what the ssd told me, it would be pennies more than i make now) i am just going along in a daze, trying to do what i can

    when i had my son, i had a *major* financial shift. from 2000 a month to 1500 on unemployment. that was nice, but i did not spend it. i knew it would run out so i saved like crazy. i also cashed out thousands of retirement savings; that all ran out years ago. then i spent some months with no income before i finally broke down and applied for welfare. i am just somehow (compassionate social worker at welfare) still getting this tho i cant look for work or work. any day i expect it to be cut off. (this is relaxing, lol, as im sure you can imagine!). but, i guess i had some time to adjust to poverty. i used to buy whatever i wanted, go on vacations, out to dinner, movies...all that. now i have literally a few shirts to my name. one pair of pants. one skirt. much of this bought by my boyfriend. life is radically different without money, in ways that people who still have it cannot comprehend. i go into major paroxysms over whether i should buy a simple pack of gum* or not! mostly i spend every extra dollar that comes my way on medicines or healthy food or toys for my son.

    at first, i actually loved being poor. i had more time to spend at home with my infant, wasn't tempted to go shopping or buy junk toys. now it is a major, major heartache...i cannot afford the things that would make our lives easier, like (someone else mentioned) housecleaning help, babysitter, a better school, classes to get him out and away from his sick mom!! i could rant on & on but my hands hurt.

    if you can (genuinely) see the beauty and rest and ease in less money...i suggest you try to focus on that. that's the best i can come up with. and, facing reality about lowering your standards...where you live, what you buy, etc.

    sorry it is not some magic reply, but i wanted to be honest, for what its worth!
  11. Shalala

    Shalala New Member

    Hi Denise. Thanks for all of the info. I guess that is why I started this thread to get input from the struggling singles out there. This is not a job that you can do from home. You have to be there so that is not an option. Most of the work from home offers out there are possibly scams. I guess I need to read up on SSD and SSI. I don't know what the difference is? I get a quarterly statement from SS that tells me what I have paid in and what I will get for retirement and disability. I didn't know there were different things (ssd vs ssi?). I thought it was all the same thing and people were just referring to it differently?

    I am really a mess this morning. I cleaned my disgusting bathtub last night. I am extremely chemical sensitive BUT went ahead and used the "scrubbing bubbles" and then a toilet brush (since I can't get down to scrub). I managed to break the brush (hahaha) but the tub looked much better. Then I rinsed with the shower head. This morning I woke up with a horrible sore throat and migraine. I think I will try that auto shower cleaner device? I got one for my son which he has never used so I am going to tell him to bring it to me ;-) .

    Hopefully I will feel up to vacuuming tomorrow? hahaha That will do my shoulder, back & arms in. Then I still have the laundry to do. I quit cooking and eat frozen micro stuff (real healthy) or soup.

    I really feel bad for the gal with 3 kids. It is just me and my sweet little cat now. She is the only one who is patient with me :) and she is all snuggled up on my lap now.

    I am snowed in and can't shovel out. Sometimes the neighbor has her grandson come over and clear me out.
  12. Shalala

    Shalala New Member

    Gosh ladies ... I feel really bad for complaining. You 2 have it far worse than I. (((((((( hugs to you both )))))))

    If worse comes to worse (which I am sure it will) I guess I can declare bancruptcy and hope to get on SSD or SSI.

    I have been trying to cut back and cut out everything I possibly can. I have no savings and a tiny bit of retirement funds.

    I cannot live with my Dad. We just do not get along.
  13. Shalala

    Shalala New Member

    Thanks so much Denise. I have to call some woman about something and I can't remember why? The guy from STD at work called me when I was all loopy from my meds and I did write her number down (I hope I got it right) but I can't remember why he told me to call her. I am trying to pull myself together to go to my GP in a little while. I wrote down some things we have to discuss and made sure they are in my pants pocket so I won't forget. I am going to insist that she refer me to a rheumologist (sp) AND a nuerologist (sp). I have been going to her for 6 years and I am worse. I just hope she will fill out the paperwork for STD or I will probably get fired. I am still waiting for the paperwork for the DR ... that means I will have to make 2 trips to the DR now. I managed to get through the shower without incident. I worry about falling. I have started shampooing and soaping my body THEN getting in the shower to rinse. The hot water feels good on my poor body but I am so worried that I will lose my balance. I got one of those hand shower deals but my Dad has never come over to install it or a sturdy hand rail that I desperately need. No one care BUT US ((((((((( hugs ))))))))))
  14. kirschbaum26

    kirschbaum26 New Member

    Dear Shalala:

    I certainly can understand your situation. I am 45, have a 7 year old daughter and I am single. I have always worked, so I really do not know anything different. I have been on disability (work and State) since March 2006. I have actually gotten worse. My RA has affected my heart, lungs and liver. I am doubtful that I will ever be able to go back to work full time. FORTUNATELY, I have a very good disability plan through work. I can remain on LTD for another year, and maintain all of my benefits. I am on a 70% pay plan that will mean that I will continue to get 70% of my pay (including any state disability and SSDI) for the rest of my life. I am sure that there will be problems, but I am hopeful that I can survive on 70% of my previous income.

    I am fortunate in that I have some help from family. We have lived with my sister for 6+ years...and we are planning to move from LA County to the northwest suburbs of Chicago this summer. I am currently paying for private school for my daughter, as we live in LA Unified School District, which I refuse to send my child to.

    I am also hoping to buy a condo in IL, which will allow us to have our own place, but not have the hassle about maintenance. I have relatives nearby, who have children the sam age as my daughter. My uncle has also offered me a job (at my highest salary) if I want/need or can manage it. I am hopeful that 2007 will bring us many good changes in our lives.

    Not working has really made a difference in my life...I hope that you can figure out a way to take care of yourself both physically and financially.

    Good luck.

    Ingrid
  15. Shalala

    Shalala New Member

    I am so glad to hear you are getting LTD ... and that you have loving/caring family. I just can't imagine having a younger child (children) and trying to cope with this.

    The DR has agreed about the STD and has referred me to a Neurologist (sp) finally. She is finally saying the word FIBROMYALGIA out loud (only took her 6 years) ... lol. She has added Ambian and Lyrica to my meds regimen. I imagine that I am on that road to LTD and SSDI/SSI or whatever.

    May I ask how you managed LTD and SSI? I guess I am confused on all of this. I thought I had to be basically unemployed or making less than $700/month (gross) to even apply.

    The bad thing is ... I have spent around $200 in this month so far (with insurance) for DR appts and meds.

    I applaud you folks who are managing through this with children.

    Thanks so much for your response and best wishes on the condo. :)
  16. SleepyMama

    SleepyMama New Member

    I'm only 24, single Mom to two beautiful boys aged 2 and 4. My 4 yo is very sick with Leigh's disease and can not be left with anyone but a nurse. That, combined with CFS has made it IMPOSSIBLE to work away from home. I have been desperate to find a way to work from home, gain a reasonable income and not have to invest money that I really don't have. I'm also sensitive to perfumes and smells of...well, any sort. I posted an other thread about this called "Multiple Chemical Sensitivities" explaining that I found a company that distributes products (cleaning, personal care, high-potency vitamins and cosmetics) which are sensitive to my health and the environment. I'm crying right now thinking about how for the first time since i was a kid I can ENJOY smells, indulge in luxurious bath products and the company actually pays me to tell people about it! I'm the kind of person who finds a good product and tells the world because I enjoy sharing that with people. I finally found it though and there was no investment. All I had to do was become a customer, so I could honestly tell people I loved the products and used them myself. And boy do I ever!!
    So, here I am, working from home, getting paid to sit and chat it up over coffee with other Mom's like myself over a subject that I've always had a personal interest in.
    I hope that was positive enough to cheer you up! If you'd like, you can contact me at erindonovan@shaw.ca
    The products are awsome for people with allergies/sensitivities and the business opportunity is open to everyone! I'd love to share it with you.
  17. Shalala

    Shalala New Member

    I am so sorry about your son. Yes it has to be very hard for you to take care of children when you are ill yourself. I was never diagnosed with CFS but I am positive that was the start of my FMS. I was always exhausted and would fall asleep on the couch or in a chair (with something on the stove!!!!!!). I don't know how I didn't burn the house down. The house was always a mess (I just had no energy to do anything). I was sleeping all the time. My Mom called me lazy among other things. My son was much older than your children, but I felt like a horrible mother. Now I have FMS and I hurt constantly. I applaud all of you who are keeping it together and raising children. It is just me and my kitty now and I can't imagine taking care of anyone else. Good luck with your "new job". My problem is "other people" and their perfume and chemical use. I got sick in the DRs office yesterday from some man's cologne. Also use of chemicals (fertilizers), black top coating, exhaust fumes, etc. I work hard to control my environment but cannot do anything about other people. Take care.
  18. cinbad25

    cinbad25 New Member

    Shalala,
    I hear ya girl!! I am 50 and have two grown daughters and 3 grandkids. I was working until 4 yrs ago. My job was extremely stressful but made excellent money. I have been single for over 20 years. I just snapped one day at work...I was on short term disability for 4 months before the co. cut me off. I was in so much pain and fibro fog that I couldn't fight back. I was lucky in the sense, that I had over $20k in reserve which I lived off of until I finally got ssdi....this only took me a little over a year to get. However, you have to be off work for six months before you can even apply for the ssdi. I now live off of less than 1/4 of what my monthly income used to be. Its not easy, but its manageable. Unfortunately, I was on a drug that had some extreme side effects. The drug was great, but you obtained excessive behaviours. Mine was gambling so I put myself in financial distress. However, I am not longer on the drug but it will take me another five years to get out of debt. My family thinks they are supportive but they really do not have a clue. I accept this as they are ignorant to the fact of what Fibro really is. The only sound advice that I can give you; is that you should have your ducks in a row. Try and build yourself a cushion if possible and get a dr. to help you with applying for ssdi. I was lucky in the fact that my doctor was my ally. You can get welfare while you are waiting for your disability, however, this will have to be paid back upon receipt of your disability. I tried to go that option; but, they made me feel like I was 2 inches tall when I went to the welfare office. I was not capable of fighting them either. I am so glad that my fight is now over, and I wish the process upon no one! Its not fun and very degrading. But, do your research in your state and just put a plan into process. Always remember that you are not alone!!!!! Take care and hugs to you!!!!!
  19. Shalala

    Shalala New Member

    Thanks for your peppy post :) Sounds like you are maintaining a good attitude through this mess. It is either laugh or cry. I appreciate your input. I have tried the welfare route many years ago when my child was under 3 (job loss situation) and they really make you feel like crap. I left in tears. I did get assistance but they sure treated me like scum.

    Gosh I have nothing (I mean NOTHING) to fall back on) just a very little bit of retirement savings. I am hoping to use LTD that I have paid for through work.

    BTW ... what was that drug??? I sure don't need any more problems than I already have. hahaha

    My GP is finally saying the "F" word (fibromyalgia) out loud ... hahaha ... I had to do that ... sorry. The past 2 visits she actually SAID it. It has only taken 6 years with her to get to that point (even after the physical therapists went out on a limb and wrote to her about me). I don't think she has dealt with anyone like me (FMS). She is young and very nice and I think she believes me, but just isn't sure how to proceed. She has slapped more meds on me and sending me to a neuro finally (March 1). She is supporting me on the STD and has all along supported me with FMLA. I hope she will be there for me the rest of the long road.

    I went into a debt management program in Oct last year and have no credit anymore and cannot get credit for at least 5 years. I am cutting back on everything I possibly can. The hand writing is on the wall with my health. I am hoping to sell some antiques and other things this summer to help bring the debt down. I imagine if worse comes to worse I can file for bancruptcy?

    Keep that happy spirit ... it is very refreshing ;-)
  20. cinbad25

    cinbad25 New Member

    I am glad that you think I am thinking positive....it has been a very, very long road as you well no. But, when you have been alone for such a long time, the only you can rely on is yourself!!! The refreshing part for me; is that the waiting for the ssdi is over. That in itself is a load off one's mind! All I know, is that you have to do whatever to take care of yourself! No one else will! It is a very long road but there is light at the end of this long tunnel. I only hope, that I can find relief for the other terrible episodes that we all go thru. As for the drug that caused the complusive gambling was maripex. There is many who have lost much more than I did while on the drug. Unfortunately, it did go to court for acceptance for all who have had compulsive side effects; but was turned down and no attorney will handle my case as they feel it is not worth their while to sue over a mere $40k. I have just chalked that up to "it figures." I want you to know; that I am here for you.....cause you can never have too many people who understand and can relate to your situation...take care and HUGS.............