Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Odds and ends that are my life..... 

My sister's wedding is coming up this weekend. Yayyyyyy! The rehearsal and dinner are Friday night, and the wedding begins Saturday at 6:30. I'm already planning to do absolutely nothing on Thursday so I can rest up for the festivities. I've got film in my 35mm camera, tried on my dress and shoes to make sure they still fit (I originally wore them to my high school reunion in 2002), even got my hair cut and colored (very dark brown, nothing flashy this time). I'm trying to take extra good care of myself this week, hoping I'll somehow come up with enough energy to really enjoy myself and maybe even get to dance at the reception.

Went to the opthalmologist today. Last Monday I embarrassed the hell out of myself by showing up for the appointment on the wrong day. The Restasis eye drops seem to be helping. There's only one place on one eye showing any damage from dryness, and it's where this ingrown eyelash keeps scraping against my eyeball. It has gotten too fine to pluck out with tweezers.....one of the times I tried, my shaky hand accidentally pulled the plug out of my eyelid instead. So the doc had to get out the forceps and magnifying glass and yank that eyelash out. I did a visual field test today to make sure the Plaquenil I'm taking hasn't affected my vision. It's a weird little test.....you stare at a steadily glowing yellow light, and whenever you see a small red dot flash somewhere on the screen, you press a button. I did fine.

Talked with my employer's human resources department. Apparently, if my manager agrees to it, I can arrange to have the unused vacation I earned paid to me to bridge me from my current reduced disability pay to a full paycheck for as long as that lasts. That could be a big help as I have 30 days of pay owed me. Also, since I have more than $5000 in my 401(K), I can leave it where it is for as long as I like (or until I need it to live on). And I might be able to borrow against it as a hardship loan rather than be forced to take it all out and have to pay a 10 percent early withdrawal tax. If that time comes, I'll have to contact the administrator to double check what they'll allow me to do. Just about everything else from here on out will be handled by the disability insurance company.

Speaking of which, my rheumatologist did not send the LTD guys "sufficient evidence to prove continued disability", so I had to leave a message with this office and ask him to fax more stuff to the company. I cannot be approved for further benefits until this is done. Gotta admit it was much easier just to go to work because I always knew I had a check coming that way.

I'm still copying medical records. Decided rather than picking and choosing what to send in, I'd adopt the theory that if you throw enough shit to the wall, something is bound to stick. So I'm going to give them everything I have and let them sort it all out. Haven't decided if I'll call Social Security as soon as I've finished copying the records or if I'll wait a few weeks until I've got the LTD started.

Am trying to not let this whole thing get to me and am not quite succeeding. I haven't ridden the depression roller coaster in at least five years, and frankly, I had forgotten how much it sucks. I've talked with enough people who have filed for disability to know it can really be a blow to the self-esteem, but there's a big difference about hearing about it and being in it. I haven't slipped to the depths I know are possible, but I'm finding it really difficult to keep my head above water.

I'm trying to find a proper therapist who takes my insurance; the one I interviewed on the phone today doesn't take any insurance at all. I will only go to a psychiatrist as a last resort, as most of them around here only throw pills at you, and I don't need any more brain damage. You'd think a decent licensed clinical psychologist would be easier to find, but I'm probably way too picky as I know more about psychology than the average person.

I know I won't go off the deep end; I think I've evolved too much as a person to go there again. But it is absolutely surreal to be 41 years old and suddenly have no idea what I am able to do with my life. Working for another 25 years was pretty much an assumption. And it's ironic that I always thought if I couldn't work, at least I'd have plenty of time to write and read, and here I am often unable to do either. Nature can have one cruel sense of humor.

Am supposed to help Dan apply for a job in Las Vegas tonight, but I'm having trouble keeping my eyes open. He might hear from the agency by the end of this week if there will be more layoffs and how many. His job is still pretty safe, but it is soooo stressful knowing your co-workers are going to be axed and having to come in to work like nothing's wrong.

Did finally finish my review of the Montel Williams book for But You Don't Look Sick. It will probably be posted after the webmistress gets back from vacation since I got it to her so late. Frustrating that something I was really looking forward to writing took me three days to do.

Ow, hand cramp. Later.

When I applied for disability, the lawyer I had had a quesioniarre- SSA wanted to know how long I could concentrate, stand, sit without taking a break. You may Want to draw up a form for your Rheumatologist to fill out to send into SSA. I'd pull the form out from my laywer for you, but it's in the attic in storage. Eventually, my file for social security filled one of those letter sized storage boxes. When we got to the point where I had to go before the judge, and we decided to hire a lawyer, we took the box to the lawyer. He kept looking at the box, looking at me and said - "Well, you've kept good records at least!".
I was always really satisfied that social Security had an enourmous file on me though!

LindaK from spoonville
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