Tuesday, July 05, 2005

D-Day: "D" stands for disability..... 

Went to the rheumatologist today, and we agreed that it's time for me to file for disability with Social Security. I've been off work five months and am sicker now than I was in February. I've been trying to get better for eight years now and have stumped two rheumys and two neuro docs and finally realize there is nothing new left for me to try.

I've known for over a year that I might be heading toward disability, but now it seems very surreal. And scary. And depressing.

I spent a considerable amount of time on the phone today trying to find out what I have to do via my union and human resources to begin the claim process for long term disability (I have insurance). I am the first one in my department to actually use the stuff. I understand that the insurance company will require me to file for Social Security, so I'll start the necessary process for that very soon.

I feel as though I'm teetering on the edge of the Grand Canyon, the canyon being depression. I'm feebly fighting off urges to hide under the covers indefinitely or to eat myself into a coma, neither of which is actually gonna make me feel any better. I would love to hop in the car and spend some time in the mountains, but I can't drive that far, and Dan needs the car for work anyway.

And I keep apologizing to Dan because now we have to both rely on his ability to work to keep us financially solvent. I have not relied on anyone for financial support since I graduated from college 20 years ago. It simply is not true that two can live as cheaply as one, at least not where I live.

I know I'll get through this, but at the moment it's extremely hard to accept. I want so much to undo this decision even though I know in my heart there's no way I can do a competent job with any employer. It's just that I fear the uphill battle of proving disability much more than faking competency at work and risking getting fired with every mistake that I make.

Anyone got a Grand Canyon-sized ladder? Sigh.

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