The Dreadful Disability Decision
Good morning world and all who inhabit it! #SpongebobFTW
My last posting was published on the 14th of November. So, what have I been doing all this time? Well, I’ve recovered and I’ve worked very diligently on my website for Strengthening the Muscle of Faith. There is still a bit of work to be done, but I have to work in sync with how I’m feeling and that makes things difficult. I’m really hoping that my website and blog will get off the ground and allow me to make some advancements in life. That’s all for the update. Now it’s time to discuss a topic that has recently been introduced to me: disability.
Believe me when I say, this topic is very hard for me to discuss, first because it’s a topic that I know almost nothing about. It’s true that before the car accident, I worked in the insurance department at Bard Optical where I dealt with the coding aspects of other people’s medical claims.
I was a part-time employee because I was still in college at the time. My colleagues at work were the ones that were always on the phone managing customers and dealing with their concerns about their insurance primarily for their vision. Some insurance agents covered their vision requirements completely and others did not, and those that did not were the ones that had to be dealt with.
However, saying all this, I don’t believe that I was introduced with coding rules that dealt with someone on disability. My memory isn’t what it used to be, but I’m almost certain that I did not have experience dealing with that subject. If I did, then I was instructed to let my senior colleagues handle it.
To continue, I would like to discuss why the topic of disability is often a very hard one to discuss. I’m the type of woman who believes that you have to work for every dollar earned. I started working when I was 15 years old at a veterinarian clinic helping with the animals and I was still in high school. This job forced me to sacrifice prom to keep it. I learned very young about responsibility and dedication when it comes to a career.
One of the reasons that the topic of disability is quite difficult to even consider or discuss is because of others who feel the same way that I do about the fact that a person should work to earn money. I don’t believe money should just be given without an effort behind it. I discussed this with my mother seeing as though it was my mother and stepfather who brought up the subject in the first place.
It will be going on 2 years January 9th, 2018 since my family and I were in our car accident which gave me my traumatic brain injury. Since then, I’ve been unable to work due to post-concussion complications, debilitating TBI migraines, extreme fatigue, and the complications with my GI system. All of these things are somewhat of a vicious cycle. If one issue starts to flare up, then so do the others. This makes things very difficult to return to work full-time.
I can work on the computer for a maximum of 4 hours before my fatigue hits and I have to go either lay down or sleep. That wouldn’t be allowed if I were working full-time. I would have to be wide awake and coherent to carry out whatever task my job required. As I have mentioned in other blog posts, fatigue is a huge issue with traumatic brain injury.
So if my job required me to the up on my feet moving things around and such, I wouldn’t be able to do that for an extensive amount of time before my energy level was depleted. Right now, I’ve been having migraines almost everyday, and since they are debilitating on some instances, I wouldn’t be able to be at work and then have to excuse myself into a quiet, completely dark room for an unknown amount of time until the migraine subsided. Yeah, I’d probably get fired.
Saying all that, I’ve discussed one reason why disability is a challenging topic to discuss: the belief that one must work to get paid. The next reason revolves around the judgment of others. A ton of people, who I know personally, look down on disability in general.
They believe that there’s no way in heck that someone should be given financial assistance simply because they are “sick.” In their eyes, you would have to be dead to qualify for that kind of assistance. They look at it with this mindset: “So she has a headache. Big deal. I get up off my butt every day regardless of how I feel and go to work. I’m not going to call in just because my head hurts.”
I’ve heard almost that exact quote before. The third reason it’s hard for someone to discuss disability is because they know that others will judge them based off of the fact that they are uneducated on the facts of the illness and how extreme it is. They are uninformed and don’t have a clue as to what your illness prevents you from doing. This goes back to the fact that they are not in your shoes and have no idea of the circumstances unless they were your caretaker or in your shoes themselves.
I’m sure a lot of us can agree. The family member that I discuss quite often in relation to my traumatic brain injury is one who has multiple sclerosis. This person and I share a lot of symptoms that deal with nerve components since both of our illnesses disrupt neurological functions. We have a lot in common with what we deal with each and every day. Multiple sclerosis can be, and is considered a terminal disease. This is a situation where disability would be of great help to the person diagnosed with it.
After the topic of disability was first introduced to me, I’m not going to lie– I threw a fit. I’m a hard worker and if this topic was something that I would the forced to consider, I would feel as though I were giving up. I’m a very responsible person and those of you who share my mentality about this topic will understand that this topic feels like giving up your responsibility as an adult. But this is not true, and it’s not fair to think that way. It may feel one way, but in reality it’s another.
One way that I dealt with this potential decision that I may have to make, is that I thought of an example. Let’s pretend that there was a person who was paralyzed from the waist down and had to rely on a wheelchair for the rest of their life.
There are ways for that person to work using their upper body but it would be a challenge especially if there were other factors that were included with the paralyzation. How do I think that person feels when they decided to go on disability? It certainly couldn’t have been easy if that person had a wonderful job before they underwent whatever caused the paralyzation.
I feel as though I’m jumping around a bit with this topic, and I apologize for that. My goal is to not only discuss this topic and why it’s hard to even consider, but to also relate to others who are in the same situation I am or who have had to make that decision already. I have not had to make the choice yet, but it has been placed on the table as a possible choice.
As I stated, it’s a topic that I know very little about. The one thing I need to do is to do research on the topic: What are the advantages? What are the disadvantages? May I be able to have my place? Will I be able to pay my own bills? How will this affect my chances of getting hired if my condition improves? Does this decision have to be permanent or can it be temporary?
Believe me, I already know that there are several of you out there who have rolled these questions around in your head. So my first step would be to do my homework on the topic. I was told that because of my extensive migraines, my fatigue level, and my complications with short-term term memory that I would qualify for disability and that it would help me while I still received treatment. I mean, yes, that would be helpful, but what about the other novel-long list of questions still on my mind?
My best bet would be to speak to someone directly about this topic and include all of my questions that I have about it. I feel as though that would be a logical approach to this subject overall.
I’m very interested to hear what the rest of you think about this. What complications have you had with making the decision? What were some of your thoughts about disability? Can you relate to any of the concerns that I listed above? How did you resolve them? Let me hear what you have to say!