Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Officially disabled

I have been struggling to deal with my own disability since the beginning. At first, it was hard to accept that I may be permanently disabled. As time went on, it was obvious the disability was permanent. However, then the long term disability company denied my disability not once, but twice. Their basis for denial was that I had no diagnosis. I even called them back once I got a diagnosis and they wouldn't allow me to reapply unless I had gone back to work. Seton wouldn't let me go back to work because I was no longer capable of doing my job. I was stuck. The disability company said I was able to do my job and my employer says I was not able to do my job. That left me wondering if maybe I could do more than I thought I could. I wondered if maybe I could work in a doctors office again. Then I thought of how I felt when I had a very busy day. I was never as busy as I would be if I worked 8 hours. I was useless the next day if I had a very busy day. I could only work one day before I would need one off. That wouldn't work. Plus, some days are better than others. It was an internal struggle. I really needed to start owning my disability.

It took me a while to apply for state disability. Part of it was because I didn't have the energy to fight. I had heard story after story of people having to fight for their disability. I had also heard of many stories of people getting their disability approved yet they were perfectly capable of working. I decided in April to go ahead and apply. I was prepared to get denied the first time. I was prepared to have to hire a lawyer and appeal the decision.

I got a call yesterday. Andrew tells me it is the disability people. My stomach jumped in my throat. She told me that my disability had been approved. I was shocked. She proceeded to process the application for my children over the phone. I had no idea my children would get benefits too. They each get money sent each month to be used for food, clothing, etc. For now, we are going to put that money in a savings account and use it only when we have to. We can save for college, and then use it if something big comes up such as one of them needing braces or something like that. The best part is that they are going to pay 1 years back pay. After we get that, we are paying off our car and we will be completely debt free except our house payment. I still can't believe it.

It is a huge weight off my shoulders to know that my family will be taken care of financially. I didn't ask to have MS. Prior to this MonSter moving into my body, I took care of my family physically, emotionally and financially with the help of my husband. I can still take care of them emotionally and physically, but I can't take care of them financially any more. With inflation, it is very hard to be a single income family anymore. Even within the church where it is more common to stay home, more and more moms are having to work part time to help make ends meet. I have always dreamed of being a stay at home mom and now is my time. I am so grateful that my prayers have been answered.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I'm much better

It has been quite a while since I updated this blog. Things are going much better for me know. I had to do IV then oral steroids for my MS flare. I have finished both now. I can move my toes, but my left foot is still weak and I still have the foot drop. I am walking better though. I am a lot slower that I used to be and I have had to move to a quad cane. I was thinking I was going to have to start using a walker though, so I am grateful for the quad cane. The week of girls camp, I actually ditched the cane and was able to walk without it for about 2 weeks. I guess it was 1 step forward and 2 steps back. I'm not sure if I can still expect some improvement or it this is as good as it is going to get. I'll see Dr Westgate in about 9 days, so I will ask her about it then. In addition to the foot drop on my left, I have increased spasticity on the right. I have had the spasticity for quite a while, but it got worse with the flare. Along with the steroid treatment came steroid induced diabetes. Right now, we are just monitoring my blood sugars. I am getting more and more normal levels the longer I have been off steroids. About half of my levels are higher than the normal range, but they are getting closer to normal every day. My last really high level was on Thursday when it was 209. Today, my high was 141, so much better than 209. I hope they continue to get better. I would hate to have to add diabetes to my MS. I will know to watch my blood sugars a lot closer the next time I have to do steroids. I wish I could say there wouldn't be a next time, but that isn't exactly realistic.

I have a new niece. Emily had her baby on Wednesday morning. My new niece is Katelyn Emily. She was 7 pounds 4 ounces. Emily brought her down to see grandma today. Stan took the kids over there to see the new baby. I had a migraine, so I stayed home. Here are Rachael and Jeremy with Katelyn. Andrew has never been that interested in babies, so I doubt he got too close to her. Jeremy LOVES babies.