Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Day at the Disability Office...

This past Friday we had an appointment to file for disability. We had previously filed awhile ago but were denied. They don't like 'pain' as a diagnosis. We could have appealed but needed an attorney which we couldn't afford and didn't know who to go with along with the fact we were scrambling to find a place to live and pack the contents of our home. So here we are again....

We visited with a lawyer recently to discuss just exactly how to go about all this and to seek some advice. He suggested we just refile and then, he would help us from there. He was pretty confident that we had a great case for filing as anything that requires Bob to attend outside of the reclined position is excruciatingly painful and leaves him curled up on the floor in a sobbing mess. The lawyer saw this in action firsthand. This is so humiliating for him but hasn't much control over it when the pain is that bad. The hard part is me getting him to the car when he's in that position.

We had previously filed online but the lawyer told us that we needed to actually go into the office so that claims person could see for herself what kind of shape he was in. I guess they have a list of mental evaluations that they make while you are in the interview. So this is what we did. We went into the office and filed.

It was a horribly long, long interview as they gathered any and all information. After about the first half hour, Bob was incapacitated and absolutely unable to answer any of the questions to which I ended up finishing up the interview for him. At some point, Bob was on the floor hunched over holding his cane sweating so badly that his hair and shirt were absolutely soaked just trying to maintain breathing that the security guard came over asking us if we needed an ambulance or medical attention. We thought if we could get him into a different position that might help so the security guard tried to help him by grabbing onto his sides which are an area of extreme pain. This just catapulted him into more pain. I felt bad for the security guard. He didn't know and felt awful about it.

Periodically, the security guard would walk by and check on him along with some of the other workers. We finally came to the end of the appointment and it was time to get to the car. It was a long, long walk to the car and I had an awful time trying to get him to it. He's so worried that he's going to hurt me or the baby but we try to manage as best we can. I couldn't leave him there. I don't think they'd allow that. :-)

By the time we got to the car, he was doing even worse so I ended up taking a stop at the ER. The pain was more than he could bear. With the help of some nurses, we got him inside and to a bed in no time flat. I am so thankful that there wasn't any wait. That was a small miracle in itself. They ended up giving him a pretty hefty anti-inflammatory/pain shot which settled things down a bit and then we were on our way.

When we got home, our family doctor called and Bob was able to talk things over with him. Coincidentally, Bob had sent him an email earlier that day explaining what a tough week he'd had pain-wise to the point, he's been having to wake me up during the night to help him. The doctor is very concerned with the amount of pain Bob is having to endure for such a long time on his mental condition so he didn't want us to wait the couple weeks we were originally scheduled to go back to the pain doctor. So he was to call and see if they could get him in ASAP.

We are hoping that we will hear something from the disability office in the least amount of time possible but it could take 3-6 months. It's in God's hands now. We have a lawyer who is ready to help when the time comes even though we still can't afford him but are confident that God will provide the necessary means as He has been so faithful through this whole ordeal. I know that He will not abandon us just as He has promised.

It's a tough place to be....'in need'. I know that disability and state help is there for those who need it but it's hard to be in a position of need. We have always loved to be the 'helpers' but have had to learn how to accept 'help'. The emotional and mental implications of having been in this position are difficult. We don't like to impose or be a burden but are so thankful for those of you who have offered your hearts, your hands and your sustaining friendship. You are a true example of what the body of Christ is and continues to be....the hands and feet of Christ.


A Contrarian's Way said...

Oh Lord, we pray that you would now convince the powers that be of the reality of Heather & Bob's medical situation. May this be an important step in many forthcoming steps toward renewal and restoration for the Wards. In Jesus' mighty name!!! Amen.

Jen V. - Thinking Out Loud said...

Hey Heather. I'm sure this has been suggested and you may have already tried it, but have you considered a chiropractor? I'm sorry if I am annoying by suggesting that, but it seems to me that even if you're not the chiropractic type, it would be worth a try. I am kinda ignorant at this point as well, since I really don't know what the pain is all about. Is it a spinal thing? I saw you mention an immunologist or something on FB, so perhaps it's not a spinal thing. I believe that by getting the body in correct order (via a GOOD and REPUTABLE chiropractor), it helps the body to heal, because the energy flow to all parts of the body are able to work. My son has some back issues that caused him to lose about 85% function in one kidney and about 12% in the other. We had been to numerous urologists, neurologists and various other doctors and all to no avail. They wanted to treat the symptoms. One of their ideas of treatment was to have him self catheterize 4x a day (he was 6 years old at the time). We never did, but sought alternative therapies against the doctor's advice. Because of the chiropractor and other things I have done, he is now off of antibiotics (which he was on for four years straight), he does NOT have to self cath., he does not have any infections, he feels the need to urinate and defecate (something he previously couldn't do) and is doing fine over all. If I had followed Drs orders, we would be in a very different place now. I am not saying to not trust doctors, nor to ignore them. I'm suggesting thinking outside the box medically. Heck, you may have already done that!

Whew! I felt led to share all of that. Please let me know if there is anything I can help you with! I live very close by!

Charlotte said...

Heather the act of them seeing him in that much pain will help, I was approved in just under 60 days, so the extra time is not always the case.