On the edge...

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by achingbytch, Feb 23, 2007.

  1. achingbytch

    achingbytch New Member

    Hi all:
    Its Friday afternoon...every day I get up around 6am and leave for work by 7. It's a 1.5 commute by subway. I leave early to get a seat. Something happened this morning, not sure what it is...I'm in terrible pain physically and getting mentally foggier by the day. This year I was promoted into an intensely stressful job because of restructuring, requiring me to do work I have no interest or training in (webmastering?!?)buried my mother and filed for divorce. I've fit these personal issues into my 50 hour work week with no time off.
    This morning, I got up, got dressed, got on train, got to office and after an hour, packed up and told boss I'm sick and went home.
    I have never done anything irresponsible at work like this. I cannot spend much more time either with the pace or current job I have, its that exhausting mentally and physically. My bosses are so nasty I doubt anything except the current schedule will be acccetpable to them. I asked my PC doc for an accomodation letter last week and I'm still waiting for it to arrive. I even drafted it for him, but nurse said she would mail it.
    My annual SSI report says if I am disabled I would receive over 1200 monthly and this doesnt take into account my new salary.
    I am used to living at a poverty level and willing to leave NY to someplace more affordable. I am considering having one of my docs help me with disability and filing for SSDI once the 6 month period (we get full pay from employer) is over.
    May I ask your ideas or suggestions, comments about what the heck happened this morning, what the step should be...I feel so burned out and have never felt this way. Its not even depression, its total numbness.

  2. myjoy

    myjoy New Member

    I was a customer service rep. I turned on my phone one morning, then turned it off. Walked in to my boss' office and told him I was way to stressed to work that day. I just couldn't handle it.

    That was the last time I ever worked there. It was just too much, and I was done. I even liked my boss.

    Not saying it was your last day, but honey, it sounds like you need to do what's best for you. Start making arrangements for different work, SSI or whatever. You've been through way too much. At least take a few more days off before going back. Nothing wrong with that. It's more irresponsible to go back when you feel so bad.

    luv ya,
    myjoy
  3. joeb7th

    joeb7th New Member

    I would make sure your doctor "commits" to helping you in your efforts to get SS disability.

    If he does...then you have a fighting chance. I would say that it sounds like you can never fully go back to what you were doing.

    If you get SSDI than you can leave and have "some" measure of financial stability.

    That is the key word " stability."

    You must have the financial part of this set. If it is, then I would really give some long weekend quiet thought and if you still want to quit what you are doing...go for it.
  4. achingbytch

    achingbytch New Member

    joelb
    thank you...I clearly cannot quit outright, I dont have the guts or the resources. I am trying to put a plan into place quickly while trying to hang in. I suppose its only good to have them say, you're faltering so much, you must leave. But I dont know what the effect of being evaluated poorly would have on SSDI. it is very difficult to sort thru so many issues. if being older and closer to retirement helps...if so, maybe my work record and being older as well as the medical issues will all help. i'm trying to talk myself into the battle ahead...thank you for offering cogent insights.
    [This Message was Edited on 02/23/2007]
  5. suzetal

    suzetal New Member

    Except I said I had to leave I was not felling well.My boss knew I had been having problems with my heath.I tried to keep up but there was no way.

    I also got paid for 90 days and when I left I put in for FMLA.My doctor signed it and continued to every 3 months for a full year.When the 90 days were up I collected STD from my state .When that was done I went on LTD that I had through the company.

    But you see when I was first diagnosed my doctor told me to file right away cause she knew how long it would take.She also informed my husband and I that I would not be going back to work.

    She told us sure there are a few that have remission but there is no cure and you have a sever case of FM and DD started a few months after FM so did OA.Also said that she has only seen a few patients with a 10 year remission but when it hits when you have over done it hits hard and down you go.

    So I applied for SSDI right away took 2 yrs.Got a bench approval that day.The ALJ said I was a creditable witness and she could see from all my medical records that I had tried every kind of doctor out there and just about every test.Also I was making 2000.00 a week and SSDI was only 704.00 a month .Who in there right mind would take such a pay cut.

    Good luck I hope this helped a little.
    Sue
  6. achingbytch

    achingbytch New Member

    I'm completely confused-if its not too private,tell me how you were earning $2k a week and can only collect $700 a month? I dont earn $2k a week and they're sending me annual earnings sheets telling me if I need disability NOW, I can collect over 1200 a month. I'll choke, but its not impossible. If its $700 and alone, I'll just wait to die on the job.
  7. suzetal

    suzetal New Member

    the 700.00 a month is cause I was not in that position long enough making the good money.I had gotten a promotion one year before I got ill.

    Sue
    [This Message was Edited on 02/23/2007]
    [This Message was Edited on 02/23/2007]
  8. Shalala

    Shalala New Member

    Suzetal: "I also got paid for 90 days and when I left I put in for FMLA. My doctor signed it and continued to every 3 months for a full year. When the 90 days were up I collected STD from my state. When that was done I went on LTD that I had through the company."

    Hey Suze (I am also Suze) ...
    Your STD was through the State and not your employer? I have just applied for STD through my work but imagine it will turn into LTD (through my job) this time ... I just cannot cope anymore. I have been on intermittent FMLA for 3 years. I am researching and trying to plan for the future.
  9. achingbytch

    achingbytch New Member

    Suze
    Bless you for posting and clarifying for me, I didn't mean to cause you any embarrassment, it really helped.
    Shalala, please post your path and progress if you can, whether a step back or forward, its all helpful for the rest of us in similar situations.
    Thank you both for being here.
  10. Iamnotmyillness

    Iamnotmyillness New Member

    A - One thing to consider is that they arent going to ask you if you can do the job you are currently in. The question is could you do any job at any salary, 8 hours per day, 5 days a week. For example, you may be a professional making 75K per year but you have to be able to prove that you couldnt take tickets at a movie theater - a job that is low stress, ability to sit during the day, etc. It doesnt matter if the job would pay less than the 1200 you would get from disability or that it pays much much less than you currently make -- the only question they ask is could you do ANY job, period.

    I had my first flare in 92 and my 3 major relapse have each caused me to quit or to almost be fired or both. Fortunately I was able to get my hands on most of my medical records and have kept good track of new medical docs as my latest flare progresses (very important for disability approval.) After I was denied the first time, my lawyer said that I had a strong case but i was probably denied because a. I only had letters from doctors instead of the actual capacity form they use and b. I didnt use the magic words "MUST LIE DOWN DURING THE DAY". he said if the reviewer doesnt see those exact words from the doctor its almost an automatic denial. Few work places can accomodate that. I use to work for the US Senate and the Senate offices actually had a nurses office. Because the senator didnt want to be in a position of firing someone who had a disability (at least I think that played a role) they accomodated me by letting me go down to the nurses station on my lunch break and throughout the day as needed to use the beds. That is a very very rare situation that a medical station and/or beds are available on site and that a company can afford to let you come and go like that. Using my other example, I couldnt get a job selling tickets at a movie theater because I have to move around regularly and rest periodically.

    As you go through the paperwork, try to be as specific as possible. For example, instead of "I have pain in my arm and hands" say "I have pain in my arms and hands that is exacerbated by repetive motions such as typing. If I use my keyboard for more than 30 minutes my hands go numb." or instead of I ache all over say I cannot sit for more than 20 minutes without severe pain. Or instead of "I have brain fog" it might be "I have difficulty with memory and speech that gets worse as my level of exhaustion increases. Because of my "fog" I often have difficulty forming sentences, writing simple letters or following instructions." In the first example, you couldnt be a ticket seller at a movie theater because you could not rip tickets and hand them back and forth because its repetitve motion. Example 2 you cant sell tickets because you cant sit for more than 20 minutes. Example 3 you cant sell tickets because you cant count money and you cant remember simple instructions.

    Think of the easiest job you can imagine. If you couldnt do that job you should apply for disability.
  11. suzetal

    suzetal New Member

    Yes is your state offers STD you do not collect from the employer you collect from the state.I live in RI and they pay temporary disability .
    Sue
  12. achingbytch

    achingbytch New Member

    Let me share with anyone bothering to read this thread, I found the secret to Life this morning and Death. I can explain to anyone interested why people kill themselves, either accidently with "overdosing" with their meds or something more obvious. BEcause when you spend years trying to stay alive and occasionally ask for help, like they tell you to..Ask your family, oh, dont have any, well ask your personnel office, oh, your employer doesnt have one, go to a shrink take meds and gain a ton of weight and listen to shrink tell you how strong you are and you can get thru this....and this....and this...

    DOES ANYONE EVER LISTEN AND HEAR that a person is beyond exhausted and needs to step back and rest, get some help and rest? Are we all mules or donkeys just here to kill ourselves so other people can get their agendas done on our backs and with our effort?

    Then someone does something extreme, like Anna Nicole, everyone says why didnt someone help her? We all saw her pain, saw her killing herself, abusing herself, so maybe she pushed people away who wanted to help. What's the excuse when YOU ASK FOR HELP, your medical records clearly document chronic illnesses and you find people, doctors pat you on the head, pat you along, get back to work...get back to Life.

    Its Saturday morning, just got home from chiro. I can't tolerate any adjustments, just some light pressure work. But I went, to discuss going on disability, based on disc degeneration, spondylosis and the FM.

    He said he wants a Xray of spine/neck to rule out spread of spondylosis. My right arm going numb when lifted or in the middle of the night...I wake up and can't move my arm because its not there. "We'll check everything and move slowly, don't worry we'll fix it all."

    I want to rest, I want out of the rat race. I worked since 16, I'm freakin sick and exhausted physically and from being surrounded with nasty buttheads. I will find a bloody solution.[This Message was Edited on 02/24/2007]
  13. findmind

    findmind New Member

    I can only add one thing: get everything you go thru at work documented. Make sure your boss knows you have a neurological pain condition that has no proven treatment. Get it on the record, even if you have to type it up give/email it to your boss.

    Also, make sure you have a copy of your job description. Start right now, before your brain gets worse, and write down WHY you cannot perform those duties. Think back to how every part of you felf while you were doing them, especial the brainfog and confusion parts.

    Start at the top of your head and think about every single symptom you have (skull pain, neck spasms, ears hurt, eyes don't focus...you get the idea), and write them down. Relate them to your job duties if at all possible.

    Type them all up and make copies...for all your doctors to put in your medical records.

    Keep a separate list of all your dr. appts, just a date and paragraph describing where you went and what was tried to help you.

    List every med you take/took and all side effects.

    You cannot file for SSDI while you are working, and if you don't have LTD where you work, you MUST save every penny now, move to the cheapest place you can (one room will do just fine for now), pay every bill you want to unless you plan on filing for bankruptcy.

    As you said, prepare, prepare, prepare!

    Good luck to you in your quest. Dont care what others say, just get your documentation in place and when you get fired for inability to perform your job, that's the ticket! Have enough money to survive for two years if at all possible, and when you apply for SSDI, if you're not working, they automatically apply for SSI also for you.

    Do not wait for retirement age: call SS and ask them the difference between what you'd get on SSDI and retirement benefits. I learned you get more on SSDI and it never drops to a lower amount once you are (currently) 65.8 years, even if your retirement would have been a lower amount

    They sent me a letter at retirement age, saying I am no longer on SSDI but have been switched over to regular retirement (like, I've been "retired" from being on disability, and now I'm fully retired). That's just a formality; it only means the funds for you come from a different SS account; the amount does not change except for cost of living increases.

    Good luck to you,
    findmind
  14. spacee

    spacee Member

    They called it a "breakdown" and gave her disability for depression. She didn't care what they called it.

    Dr. Cheney talks about how our bodies will pull the serotomins, dopomines and other essentials from our brains when we our body is struggling. It is a defense mechanism by the body. To me, that sounds like it could have happened.

    Good luck to you!!

    Spacee
  15. achingbytch

    achingbytch New Member

    ya made me cry and i'm trying to type dern it...thank you for all the advice and taking the time to think and write it. its getting printed for my file.
    i contacted a law firm specializing in disability on Sat for an evaluation. it may be premature, but i dont have any suppoort other than this website.
    and yes, i'm breaking down...that's clear. i can't seem to stop the rollercoaster, its like i'm wiating for it to crash so i can finally get some help. that's pretty pathetic in my book. you do it straight, no help, you crash and burn...you may get help, i dunno.
  16. achingbytch

    achingbytch New Member


    I checked my employer website and found our HR policy/
    I can ask for a Reduced Work schedule which may be granted or I may receive a different position at same pay. They cannot refuse to accomodate.
    5. Intermittent Or Reduced Work Schedule Leave
    Intermittent leave is leave taken in separate blocks of time. A reduced work schedule leave is a leave schedule that reduces an employee’s usual number of hours per workweek or hours per workday.
    Leave to care for a newborn or for a newly placed child may not be taken intermittently or on a reduced work schedule unless the supervisor agrees with respect to an individual leave request.
    Leave because of an employee’s own serious health condition, or to care for an employee’s spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition, may be taken all at once or, where medically necessary, intermittently or on a reduced work schedule.
    If an employee takes leave intermittently or on a reduced work schedule basis, the employee must, when requested, attempt to schedule the leave so as not to unduly disrupt EMPLOYER'S operations. When an employee takes intermittent or reduced work schedule leave for foreseeable planned medical treatment, The EMPLOYER may temporarily transfer the employee to an alternative position with equivalent pay and benefits for which the employee is qualified and which better accommodates recurring periods of leave.
    OR
    other option is short term disability which is granted concurrent with FMLA, at full pay for 6 months. These are 2 separate applications that have to be made.
    AND
    after 180 days, long term disability must be applied for. EMPLOYER grants LTD through a private insurance company.

    Any thoughts from resident geniuses who were kind enough to respond earlier, on which option might be better, considering my current state?
  17. suzetal

    suzetal New Member

    I hate to say this but It is the insurance company that decides if you qualify for LTD.They use there doctors to decide this.In most cases you never get to meet their doctors.They talk to your doctors and go over your medical records.

    They give you a run for your money.

    Sue
  18. achingbytch

    achingbytch New Member

    Hi Sue
    If I apply for short term/FMLA I'll use the time to get ready for battle.
    ...as well as saving as much as possible as findmind and others suggested. They pay so poorly as it is, saying they make it up with excellent benefits and time off...we shall see.
  19. dononagin

    dononagin New Member

    achy... I can't tell you how much I relate to what you are going through. My bosses have me typing all procedures that go on in my office. There is a reason. I'm a moving target because of my health. I hate this so much. I can really feel what you are going through. I'm going through something so simalar. Sending lots of love and I'll be watching, learning from and there for you.
    Dona
  20. achingbytch

    achingbytch New Member

    I swear, (forgive me) that if I get thru this in reasonable condition, I will use whatever skill and writing ability I have, to write some guidelines for other victims, which is what they make us with this abuse, so that the road is easier for those following.