Things have been pretty crazy in my life lately, but I won’t bore you with all of the little details. Here’s a little what has been going on lately:
When I got out of the hospital last Thanksgiving, I learned that my attorney decided he couldn’t “find any more arguments” about my case and quit. After trying unsuccessfully to find a new attorney willing to help me file “on the federal level”, I have decided to represent myself “Pro Se” and will be filing my own arguments. The only catch is that I have only five days left to file.
My husband took me to the Federal building last Friday; and when I told the clerk the reason why I was there, she stopped me and said, “Let me ask you something. Do you feel like your civil rights have been violated?”.
I sat there for a second, tears began to burn in the back of my eyes after hearing her say those words and I thought… Did I? Then it all flooded in… I used to get told that I was “too young” all the time when I made complaints of pain. I was noted by doctors to be everything from “well nourished” to “massively obese”. Even my gender has been an issue… The sad fact is that it’s pretty well known that doctors tend to listen to men’s complaints more attentively than a woman’s, because we’re apparently “too sensitive” when it comes to pain.
(Apparently, the only gender in the world able to push a watermelon through a pinhole–with and without medication–doesn’t truly know what “real pain” is. I’m sorry, but as much as I love my husband, I have seen him when he’s gotten a cold or the flu. If I had a dollar for every time he either told me or our children he was dying–or started to write out his will in his “deathbed”–I’d be a multi-millionaire.)
I never really gave the clerk an answer. She just looked at my face and knew immediately. She handed me a form and said, “You put down here what you just told me and bring it back once you’re done to see if we can file a civil rights action.” She also handed me a flyer for a required legal clinic that I need to attend in order to file “pro se” in order to represent myself.
All weekend my husband and I had been discussing our plans how to handle next week… and praying that my body won’t give out on me beforehand. On Monday we’ll be driving back to the Federal building to take the course, since I am unable to retain the information on my own. Hopefully after that, it won’t be too hard to write my own legal brief.
I’m not sure what the outcome will be when it’s all said and done. Whatever happens will happen; but not for lack of trying.
The Social Security Administration (and some of the words of ex-doctors) may be able to keep my “benefits” from me; but they won’t ever take my spirit. As long as I have a voice, I’m going to continue to use it so that no one ever has to go through what my family has done for nearly twenty years.
If there is one thing I want anyone to learn from me, it would probably be this: Your doctor works for YOU. If they don’t do the job that you hired them to do–don’t assume they are trying their best–find a new doctor ASAP. You wouldn’t take your car to a shoddy mechanic, so don’t allow the shoddy physicians of the world keep you from getting your answers.
Wish me (us) luck, and please send your thoughts and prayers our way this week. We could use all the positive energy in the world for what we are about to take on. ((HUGS))