I can't believe it's ME writing this - There's hope for all of us! I won my SSD Hearing yesterday! This was my second appeal. Last denial was Oct. 2001, so it will be 2 years since I applied when I receive my back pay. I live in Southern CA. The following contains snippets of an email I sent out to relatives who wrote affidavits and/or prayed for me: What a day yesterday! Thank you again to those who wrote affidavits and said prayers for us - although it turns out I may not have needed the affidavits as much as anticipated after all! ; - ) My Hearing was scheduled for 10:30. We had to be there at 9:00 to meet with our attorney, whom we'd never met because he lives in Arizona. I got up at 7:00, took my pain med's and we left at 8:15. We met w/ attorney Scott Davis, and I was a wreak. So scared, alternating between crying and getting angry.I did not want to be there, did not want to do what I had to do. Alot of fear of the unknown - how would the judge react? Stonefaced? Unsympathetic? My experiences in the past few years w/ the car accident Depo's and Hearings, Workers Comp Case and State Disability Appeal (not to mention evaluations by unsympathetic medical personnel) had all been extremely negative, quite upsetting and emotionally draining on Chris and I. My darling husband, throughout the entire ordeal, was wonderful - soothing me, giving me courage and words of inspiration, holding my hand, rubbing my back, etc. At 10:00 we were ready. The waiting room was small with no windows and the florescent lighting really bright. I'm on a second pain med now, which I normally take 2 hours after the other, basically alternating pain med's every 2 hours. I didn't want to take my 2nd pain med so that I'd be in physical pain before the judge. The chairs were all really hard, my back pain was escalating and I was exhausted. All I wanted was to lie down. By 10:45 we were still waiting and I was becoming delirious w/ pain. I was leaning on Chris, could not get comfortable and almost lied down on the floor! That, and a couple trips to the bathroom where I burst into tears, was taking it's toll. I finally took my medication. We went in ( our attorney had Chris wait in the Waiting Room - feels it's best not to have his client appear before the judge w/ the supportive husband) I listened to them talk about me in the third person, and Scott did use Sharon's testimony to reference my childhood and capabilities growing up. And then I answered questions. It felt like forever, as I stood and sat, could not get comfortable, and at the end broke into a sweat. The judge starting naming off FM symptoms, like "you are really stiff in the morning, right?" I didn't get grilled about 'what do you do all day', or, 'what keeps you from working'? I was surprised at the line of questions and how abruptly it ended. At the conclusion, he said, "You'll have my decision in about 2-3 weeks". Then he said to Scott, "of course I'm going to approve her, she obviously has Fibromyalgia", and then "you know, there's no code for that, kinda, wink, wink...and went into a long story about an attorney friend who had a severe case of FM for 5 years after losing his practice, divorce, and went to rehab twice to try to get off of pain med's! I was in shock! He was so nice, and the woman next to him (not sure her title, she was not the stenographer) had commented on my poor condition while we were in the waiting room, and had looks of sympathy and been nodding her head throughout my testimony as if to say, "I've seen this before". So Scott starts telling the judge (who was from San Diego) about the 2-day FM conference he had been at over the weekend, and how FM is starting to be recognized as a genetic disease, and about new medical evidence which proves a patient has FM, even if they are symptom free, by taking a spinal tap and checking for substance P. So they go on talking, and I'm dying to run out and tell Chris we finally won, so I asked permission to leave the room. - Chris was alone in the waiting room with the guard so I go and tell him the good news and then we start talking w/ the guard, and it turned out the guard's wife has FM after falling down a flight of stairs! He felt free to talk openly because the reception area was empty - and the woman behind the window wasn't watching him! He said he felt so bad watching me and wanted to tell me "go ahead - lie down on the floor!" earlier. He said it's so hard keeping quiet cause everyone who comes in there is in pain! Then he goes on to tell us he used to work for SSD and remembers when he first saw the word Fibromyalgia - what's THAT!, and that there was 'no code', and how everyone was sent to psychiatrists, etc. Now HIS wife is fighting the system for her SSD, and all the people down at the office all know him! So, he and Chris are relating stories about their wives and FM, and I felt so bad for her, so I gave the guard some great Websites and book authors on FM they knew nothing about. It was a regular FM Convention in there! Everybody, don't give up! FYI: I also had a letter re: my disabilities and a questionaire filled out by my doctor. I had my list of med's, 3 years worth of medical records and my newest prescriptions for a cane and wheelchair. Also attempts at a pain clinic and 3 at Physical Therapy. Also they brought up all of the tragic things that had happened to me prior to FM onset, and notorized affidavits by relatives describing the change in me since my car accident.