Thursday, October 11, 2012

Just When You Think It’s Over…

I know I haven’t kept up with this, and I’m sorry. There’s been so many issues with internet connectivity, the difficulty I have in sitting up to type, and my reluctance to share thing that are (to my mind) depressing. After all, who wants to listen to people whine? But here I am, and I’m going to talk about things that I usually wouldn't.

I had my Disability Hearing on October 10th, and it was the most physically and emotionally wrenching experience I've had. I feel completely empty and hopeless. My attorney, Jean, told me that if the judge believes my doctors, I will receive benefits. If she does not, I will receive nothing, and will be unable to appeal for two years. Jean also told me that I did well at the hearing. I’ll have to take her word for it. I was a sodden mess of tears and pain, both from having to walk to the building and sit for so long, and from the nature of the questions asked. I lost it completely when they asked why I had to give up my dog, and I had to explain that I could no longer care for him. I miss him every day, even though I know he’s in a good place, and being well cared for. It’s just so lonely without him.

Later in the day, my attorney called and gave me the bad news: it could take up to 6 months to get a decision. The good news is that it could happen in just a few weeks, but six months? There are so many things that I can’t figure out what to do about.

1.        My Driver’s License is still based in Virginia. It expires in less than 6 months. So does my car insurance and vehicle inspection. I have no idea how to cover the costs involved in changing all this to North Carolina, or even if I want to. There is no infrastructure here for the disabled, which is a whole other issue.

2.       The doctor that has been with me through the entire process, who treats me for free as a charity case, is in Virginia. I’m having difficulty driving to these appointments now, and have to stay with Jackie in order to recover from the drive. Every trip costs gas money that I won’t be able to keep spending.

3.       I will soon run out of money for prescriptions. As much as I hate taking them, they are the only thing keeping me on my feet.

4.       Social Services will not give any assistance to anyone that is not already receiving Disability.

5.       My attorney has written a letter to Social Services explaining that I am transient, but it doesn't really matter, since there are no programs for people like me in the first place. I have had to keep a Virginia ID in order to keep my hearing in Richmond, or else it would have been postponed for another 6-12 months, and I would have had to get another attorney that could practice in North Carolina. With over 3 years of groundwork, along with all my doctors being in Virginia, I've had to hold on to that Virginia ID like grim death, or I wouldn't be able to get the care I’m receiving now.

6.       I still have things to sell to earn some money, mainly my remaining jewelry equipment and materials, but I do not have a camera that can take a picture of these things (has to be able to take a clear picture of a penny without blur or the need for elaborate lighting.) These small items need to have clear pictures taken in order for them to sell.

7.       The only way to sell those items is via the internet, and I do not have a stable enough connection to sell ANYTHING. eBay, BlueJay, Etsy, all have strict policies on return communication and shipping as items are purchased. At times, I have no connection for up to 5-7 days, making this an impossible task.

8.       It is getting more and more difficult to take care of myself. Making it through a shower is the most painful of experiences. All the things I brought will me to the rental in Virginia to help me with this, I no longer have; no handicapped toilet, no shower head with the flexible line, no shower seat, no grabber bars. I’m finding it ever more painful to be able to keep myself clean.

9.       I have doubts about my ability to live alone. I cannot take care of a yard, and being here at Jackie’s, I can only do minimal things: a bit of the dishes, make a pot of coffee. Cleaning something like the bathroom, floor or vacuuming is beyond me.

10.   I’m completely depressed. I have a therapist I could see as part of the group that has already taken me as a charity case, but again, this is in Virginia and I have no way to get there.

11.   My van is acting up. It needs an oil change. Something has even fallen off of it and I don’t know what it is. Without transportation, there is no more healthcare. I've no money for maintenance. Everything I have is earmarked for prescriptions and gas for doctor’s appointments.

Right now, I’m terrified. I, who haven’t been afraid of much in my life, am having what I suppose are anxiety attacks and crying jags. I’m at the end of my personal rope. The only thing I have going for me is that I have a place to stay and people who love me (thank you, Mom & Billy); and thanks to Jackie, who lets me stay with her when I have those doctor’s appointments. All these people have their own lives, priorities and concerns, which don’t include me or mine, and that’s perfectly normal. I don’t (and can’t) expect anyone to change their life for me. There are no “programs” for people in my situation, no help, and no places to go. Trust me, I’ve checked. Countless times.

There are no reassurances. There’s no “Everything’s going to be OK”. All I can hope for is that the judge decides in my favor, before I lose my ID and my vehicle, and thus my healthcare.

This is why I haven’t written in awhile. I don’t know what to do anymore.

Sorry this has been such a downer. I usually don't put stuff like this out here. I like to keep things light, so I don't get dragged down by them. I figured all of you deserved an explanation. Especially since I haven't been as communicative, informative, or lighthearted as usual.

1 comment:

  1. I hope to hear a positive update soon. You are in all our prayers and thoughts.

    Sarah Allen
    (From Sarah, with Joy)