Thursday, August 18, 2005

Did the deed.... 

My husband took me, which was a good thing because I don't do mornings very well. My appointment was for 9am, which was right when the office opened. I didn't know, though, that they open the lobby at 8am and take you first come first served even with an appointment.

Thank goodness for the suburbs...this local office was way less crowded than the one downtown I'd gone to when I got a new SS card in my married name several years ago. Most of the people at this office arrived for name changes and other quick things....only two people besides me came in with significant paperwork in hand. And unlike downtown, there were chairs at this office, so I was able to sit while waiting to be called.

The lady who called my name was surprisingly nice. She had a very heavy Spanish accent, though, and with my hearing problems, it was a bit of a strain to understand her sometimes. But I had written down all the important stuff, so I just handed it to her rather than try to spell it out, so it worked out ok.

Luckily, a lot of my information was already in the computer because I've only had one job the past 10 years and most of my docs were in their database. All the lady had to do was type in the doc's name, and the address and phone number came up automatically. But even with these shortcuts, it still took an hour and 45 minutes to apply.

When collecting doctors' names, I noticed that I was asked fairly early on if I was receiving any psychiatric care, and they were very interested in whether I had any mental disorders. I did admit to being treated for depression. I suppose that could end up being important later.

The lady that took my application was very surprised by the amount of medical records I had brought with me (a stack a few inches thick) and was even more surprised when I told her that I only had about a third of them. She said a lot of people don't bring anything at all, which slows processing of their claim. She said that right now it takes four to six months to get a response on an application, so the more info you can provide at the beginning the better.

I included my husband's notarized affadavit as to how my ailments interfere with work and daily activity. I also included what amounts to a pain diary, two years of notes I gave my docs detailing my symptoms. At least Social Security won't have a strong argument for lack of details about my illnesses.

It's a very sobering thing to agree to have a government agency contact your employer and all your docs and to agree to possible consultative exams by docs who may know absolutely nothing about your condition. I feel like I signed away control over my own life. Well, I signed away financial control, anyway.

Now I've got very mixed emotions. I'm very relieved to get the application over with, but depressed about my new life as a disabled and financially troubled person. And I'm afraid of becoming invisible to the world of healthy people.

Over the eight years I've been sick, I've become quite adept at not letting emotional stress take over my physical health. But this has been too much, and I'm really suffering on both fronts. I'm pretty much a zombie tonight with a skyrocketing pain level.

I figure though, that things will only get better from here because there aren't lots of things that could bring me lower. At least that's the way I prefer to see it. If I can manage to not hide under the covers for the next six months waiting for Social Security's response, that will be a major accomplishment.

So tired.

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?