Daily Archives: March 16, 2018

Sweet Relief

The news I’ve been waiting for arrived this morning: Social Security has decided they don’t need to review my disability case after all. Evidently the form I filled out along with my statement about my various medical problems was sufficient for them to continue benefits. Hallelujah!

Now maybe those stupid dreams about working in the hospital will go back to whatever rock they hide under most of the time. I’ve had them for years, but they increased when I first got the letter about the review and they really are distressing. I literally wake up thanking God the nightmare isn’t real. You don’t suppose PTSD exists in nursing?? I never put two and two together until a friend of mine pointed out that she thought the dreams were related to my stress about possibly having to go back to work (at what, who knows?). It makes perfectly good sense when you think about it; how come I wasn’t smart enough to figure it out? I don’t suppose it matters; what does matter is that I’m going to be OK for the foreseeable future.

They (SSA) didn’t say when they would look at my case again, but if it’s the usual three years I’m home safe because I’ll be 62 then, which I’ve been told is when disability reverts to normal Social Security. So in theory, I might never have to worry about finding and holding down a job again in this lifetime. Doesn’t mean I won’t try if at some point in the future I feel I’m capable of working; it just means that I won’t HAVE to. I’m not going to assume that’s the case, of course, but the truth is, they probably think I’m too f#@%ed up and too old to rejoin the rat race, and to be honest I have to agree.

I’ve asked myself a thousand times if I really, really needed to be on SSDI because I’m not blind or in a wheelchair…I was always a hard worker, sometimes to my detriment, and I still believe anyone who CAN work, should. I wish I didn’t have all this nonsense that prevents me from thinking clearly enough to work, I wish I didn’t have physical limitations either. It’s embarrassing to have to tell the front desk girls at my doctors’ offices that I’m on Medicare because I get disability. I look fine, I’m able to get around under my own steam…how come I can’t work? I bet people wonder about that, at least for the brief time we spend discussing it. You’ve heard the term “invisible disability”, well, that describes me perfectly. You can’t see arthritis or bipolar disorder. You can’t see joint damage or memory loss or anxiety. But they exist just the same.

Thank God the SSA acknowledges this, even though the burden of proof with an invisible illness is pretty heavy. I’ll never know how much paperwork my psychiatrist and primary care doctor had to submit on my behalf because I had an attorney to deal with all of that, but it obviously was enough to merit disability payments. And now I won’t have to worry about being cut off with no income and no health insurance to pay for the medications that keep me sane and alive. It’s all good.

How Many Books Am I Writing?

So, up to last September, I copied and pasted blog posts into Scrivener with the intention of publishing them as a book. My old posts get lost in my archives. As I’ve mentioned before, Scrivener is a challenging writing software…

Penny Positive #74

From An Optimist’s Calendar


This one speaks to me today since I just got off the phone with my sister and my soon-to-be new landlord.  We are GO to move in thirty days to a two-bedroom, two-bathroom duplex with hardwood floors and a bird-attracting backyard for the old boys.  It is the kind of space I’ve dreamed about—open, filled with light, more studio space, a whole bathroom for the cats.  It makes the past month or so of wild rapid cycling a small price to pay.

Couldn’t Fight

The next morning I called my psychiatrist, Dr. Bishop, and asked his office staff if I could be seen that day, that I was having an emergency.  I already had two appointments that day—one a check up for my daughter and another a check on my cholesterol.  They said the couldn’t see me at all–they were too busy that day.  They offered me a 2 p.m. appointment the next day, and I said yes, thinking I could make it that far.  I was feeling calmer and not so out of control.

But the further it got in the day after my appointments, the worse I felt.  Every time I went into the kitchen for anything, there was that big knife again, with the same thoughts of how much it would hurt to cut myself but how good it would be to be done with life. 

I don’t really know what made the thoughts jump on me like that.  Yes, I had gotten rejections on my writing but that wasn’t anything new. Yes, I had some thoughts about how I was still upset at my job not working out at the first of the spring semester and feeling like dead weight in the household even though I handled cooking, laundry, scheduling, and some cleaning.  But I didn’t want to spend my days doing just that. I wanted to work. I kept feeling more and more hopeless and helpless but held on until my youngest came home from school.

I thought that talking with her about her day would get my mind off of mine.  But it didn’t.  I finally called Bob at 4:20 p.m. and got him on the phone. I was terrified to start cooking dinner and handling that knife. I told him, “I need you to come on home.”

“Are you okay?” he said.

“No, I’m not. I can’t wait any longer on going to the hospital,” I said.

He said, “Okay.  Call Mom so she can come get Rachel and I’ll be home just as soon as I can.”   

    I went back to the master bedroom closet and started packing. I pulled open drawers in my closet unit and pulled clothes off of hangers to stuff into my large duffel bag. I had the presence of mind to get three pajama sets and three casual pants sets and three sets of underwear.  I thought I probably wouldn’t stay longer than that.  I would get my medication adjusted or otherwise managed and be out.