Need help - high anxiety about taking the next step...

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by lisadot, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. lisadot

    lisadot New Member

    Yesterday I saw my rheumy. I had decided after having increasing levels of pain, muscle weakness, and frustrating fatigue, I was going to ask him to be placed on disability. I've been out of work since October. Laid off the second time in less than a year time-span. I worked as a nurse in research, and I've been applying for jobs without any result. Sure, I've had interviews, but nothing had come of them. Most wanted mandatory overtime or rotating shifts - things I just cannot do at this point in my life - I've not been offered any positions. I'm 51, but some days I feel thirty years old. I hate it. I was productive. I was a survivor, and I'd spent my years pushing myself no matter what.

    My husband had been without work as well, but recently was hired. So, I'm nervous about him getting through the 90 day period - despite his strong work ethic and commitment to his job - things are just not the same anymore in terms of employer loyalty to employees. Benefits for SSDI take so long to kick in. And yesterday WHILE LEAVING the rheumy's building I get a phone call - a request to come in for a second interview! I was totally caught off guard! I stall her, saying I'm driving for awhile, and I don't have access to my calendar. I'm thinking to myself !@$* why now?! Over 2 months ago I had that initial interview! I had given up on it. And today, RIGHT AFTER I leave the rheumy they call me?! It so figures!

    Fortunately, I was on my way to see my therapist, but I'd not had the chance to even discuss this with my husband. He is my second husband, and we live in *my* house. The mortgage is in my name, and manageable - thank goodness! But if I stop unemployment - which I'd have to if applying for SSDI, his income will pay the mortgage - that gives me anxiety as well. The house is all I was left with after an extremely nasty divorce - I have 3 children I'd hoped to will it to...

    My husband isn't terribly keen on my applying for disability. And now I don't know what to do. I weigh the constant pain from the fibro and degenerative disc disease in my neck causing stupid migraines, etc. The fatigue which makes me need to rest after showering before drying my hair, and then the mental/emotional loss of my career and acknowledgment this beast (FMS) forced me to contemplate such a decision. I know it's highly personal, but when is it the right time? And with the economy so bad?!

    I know EVEN IF I take the second interview, it's not a guarantee I will get the job. There's never a guarantee. But how will I feel if I don't try? I swear I wish they'd not called me back. I sure didn't think I was going to get called back - 2 months later?! Argh.

    So, I guess this is not just a vent/rant, it's a question. It can't really be for others to tell me what to do, because nobody else is me, living my life, but how would YOU deal with this if you've been there, done that, or have contemplated doing this? The *official* labeling of disabled status, the wait for benefits, the second marriage and not paying the mortgage, etc, etc. And the thought of trying ONE LAST TIME to work (as my husband has said he'd prefer)- should the offer go on the table. Oh, and then there's the issue of calling the doc and saying I've had a possible temporary change of heart after getting the call - I want to see if it will work, but if it doesn't, would you be willing to change the date on the letter? I'm thinking he's going to thing I'm wishy-washy and obviously not really in need of disability - or will he think I'm just anxious, or wasting his time, or what?!

    OMG I feel positively nuts right now :'(

    Thanks for your help.
  2. lisadot

    lisadot New Member

    You make some WONDERFUL points, and I so appreciate the time you took to write a response to me. This is the hardest decision, but I will use a lot of what you wrote in my attempt to decipher all these issues. So far, no time yet for the interview. I will contact her Friday, if I don't hear back. I hate how they take their own sweet time, so about all I can do is followup after what feels a reasonable time to wait.

    I will list out the pros and cons. I'll try to see what the job is expecting in terms of hours, etc. I worry about asking a lot about "accommodations", as they will no doubt pick up on potential limitations. I have a hunch a physical will be involved, since I'd be working with hospitals. I'd have to decide to hide my grimaces or let them go as need be - depending on how I'm touched. I was surprised at how much discomfort I had having my blood pressure checked yesterday, and this was NOT with a machine. Squeezing was painful, and I'd never had that issue with this test.

    I can do the job in with intellectual side of my brain... minus the fibro fog. I'm reasonably smart and capable. It's the fact my eyes are ready to close as I type this response, and my hands ache. Well, you know what I mean. The mind is willing at times, but the body doesn't seem to want to cooperate. My husband doesn't get that part - unless I have a (all too frequent) migraine, and then he can't help but see the pain in my face. My hormones seem to be more on edge as well. That's got to be my age...

    I've always pushed myself. No matter the pain. I worked my last two jobs with daily ice packs or hot pads. Or did I already say that? If I'm repeating myself, I apologize. I want to believe I have an option to say enough is enough.

    I appreciate the fact you yourself have experienced this firsthand, so you understand the difficult decision. I also respect the fact you did your best, and when you realized the bottom line, you did what you needed to do for yourself. And most of you, you advise me to ditch the guilt once I've done my best. I'm so not good at that one! I have more to work to do in that area. Darn those cultural genes I was handed down! ;)

    I do have a bit less anxiety just reading your response. So thanks again. And I did call the doctor's office to see about the potential for reconsidering my options, and if need be, having the letter re-dated. The doc's assistant was a sweetheart, and told me it's no problem at all, and the doctor will not think I'm wasting his time. Such a relief to know they will be understanding. I guess it makes sense if I consider SOMEONE else in the same boat, but it's hard to see it applying to my personal situation.

  3. lisadot

    lisadot New Member

    Excellent points as well! I guess it's a big IF in terms of getting hired. Such a long road, and such a slow one at that. I've never had a failed work attempt before, I've just forced myself to get up and deal with it. I am sure I developed fibro because of just pushing despite whatever came up in my life. I believe some others may have ended up in a psych ward given some things I've dealt with. I just never thought I could lose control in any way. My body now has other ideas of its own. I'll have to be at peace with my choice if SSDI is the road meant for me. It's not a crime or deficiency, and I must keep telling myself I'm alright if that's the end result of it all.
  4. rosemarie

    rosemarie Member

    The year I applied was not one of the best years of my life. It was a hard desision to make. My husband was all for my getting SSDI and getting on medicare. Little did I know that after I had won and got my disability , my husband was laid off of his job of some 15 yrs + anda by the time he had found a new job , he did not want to add me to the insurance. It would cost him more money, and he was already making less than the job he was laid off from.
    Since then I have note been able to get him to add me to his insurance even dental.

    He got a new job this january and the insurance is kinds strange. You put your money in the companyinsurance fund, then when you need to use it , it gets withdrawn from the company insurance fund. There is NO dental, and there are really no great benifits in having this type of insurance. It also would cost him about $200.00+ a month just for me. It really would not help me out much as there is a deductable that has to be paid first. my medicare would be the primary insurance and paying the co-pay may or may not meet the deductable of his insurnace. But I am not on it.

    Although he did call and ask me how long I had been on disability and some other questions. IT sounded like he was putting me on the insurance but he said that he didn't just needed the info. I still asked him to find out if they paid for any dental insurance and if so to please put me on it. I don't know if I would have to be on all the insurance or not.

    When I got my SSDI we had a house but after he lost his job we lost the house and had to do a quick sell to avoid foreclosure.

    There are many benifits to being on disability and some down sides as well, you can't get medicare for two years after you have qualified for disability. I Since your house is in your name I don't know how your hubby would react to having to make the payments on it. Also the amount of money you would get from SSDI depends on how much you worked during your life time.

    I worked for 20 years but most of it was part time work, I was a dental Asistant and when I first started working for the dentist my pay was really low it was in 1979. I worked for this dentist for about 11 years some full time and some part time, I never did really make great wages working for this dentist.
    When he let me go he had a lame excuse that he did not have enough business to keep two assistants, but then he hired a student that I had helped train. That was not nice to do to me.

    I then worked for another dentist and he paid better but we had a personality conflict, I had one and he didn't, so he fired me for stupid reasons like he felt I was needed at home, that I had not shown up for work for a week but I had let him know, my FIL had passed away and I could not go into work that week as I was dealing with family issues. I had worked just shy a month of a year for this dentist. It was a pain in the rear.

    That week we only were working for three days so I don't see how my attending to my family was a huge problem for him , he had another assistant and the schedule was light. But I did get my unemployment after a battle with the dentist who felt he didn't need to pay unemployment tax's and that with my winning my case it would make his unemployment tax's go up , so he whinned to the Judge about it who told him to grow up and pay your tax'slike you should.

    I have now been on disabillty about 6 yrs and should have my first review some time last this year or next year. I will still qualify for my benifits as there is no way I can go back to work in any field I had trained in. I need to have both knee's replaced before I could work again and it would take over a year to have the surgery's and PT that goes with it. I can't afford to have my knee's replaced now or in the near future.There are many health issues about why I can't go back to work full time. or even part time. Every job i had I would need to go back to school to catch up on the lastest and newest job requiirements.
    I don't know how long you worked, or what you made in your life time of working. IT all adds up and for me I did't work enough full time hours to make sure i would qualify for a good benifit payment. When you look in to this make sure you have all your work experience, every job you have ever had since age 18.And you need your pay scale from every job as well. I would get an atterney to help you out.
    I didn't use one and won on teh first try. but that is rare and does not happen often. Also you won't know that you have qualified for SSDI for 6 months. you will get paid for those 6 months but it is hard to know just when you qualified for it.

    I would think about it and check in to it and find out just how long you needed to work and at what pay scale. I some times wish I had not applied for SSDI but then I would not have as good of insurance as I have now. There are good sides and bad side to his topic. Talk it over with your husband and family.

    Sorry I talked so much about my experence's with Social Security. Each case is different. TAke care of your self.
  5. lisadot

    lisadot New Member

    I thought I'd better call and speak with the disability attorney before filing, and filling out this week's unemployment info. Turns out, he won't even take my case until I'm 8 months not working - I have 2 to go. And if I do proceed, he wants to fill out my SSDI application...

    He's more optimistic with going with migraines as the reason for SSDI as opposed to the fibro. He said it's more cut and dry. I am to keep a calendar. I have one, but it's not in the best format. I have to record migraines and fibro level, and degree of incapacity. When I got off the phone, I realized I'd not asked him about feeling better. In other words, if I get a migraine, and I'm down for the count for 8 hours, am I okay if I head out at all? I sort of got the impression if you are sick, you are sick - totally. Doesn't make a lot of sense to me, but what do I know? Sometimes my migraines resolve by late in the evening, and we go out for a simple dinner. Nothing fancy, I just don't have the energy to cook and do dishes.

    He confirmed my diagnosis of fibro with me, but added something about me missing appointments etc. due to fibro because I never knew if I'd feel well enough to make them. Well, I told him, I'd always *forced* myself to do what I had to do. I never felt I had an option, even if I felt awful. I've always been hyper-responsible - even if my best interest wasn't in mind. I ended up feeling like now I'm penalized because of my actions. Ugh.

    He says I can go to work (assuming I get called back for this second interview some time this century!!!) and if I can't work due to fibro or migraines, then so be it. It shows the failed work attempt - just like one of you said!

    So, for now, I will keep trying to find work, and see what happens. I still feel like a deflated tire. Sooo tired, and my limbs and shoulders ache. No migraine today, but I can hardly consider it a "feel good kind of day".

    My head is still spinning from the phone call. I think it left me a bit more upset. I was reaching a point where I was a little more at peace with leaning towards SSDI right now. I guess now is not the "right" time.

    Leah, he told me it would be 30 months before SSDI would kick in after I'd been approved. I'm glad my husband has health insurance through his company.

    I guess that's it for now...Thanks for reading again. I hope you are all having a better day/evening today.