Mom’s “Last Stand”

December 13, 2017 Update: I received something called a “Minute Order” from the Federal judge after we filed a summary in October (I ended up in the hospital the day before my summary was due, caused by an apparent stress related MS exacerbation). After the summary was filed, I was originally slated to see the judge November 28th, but they called to tell me about the order the day before court.

I was broken-hearted hearted when the clerk told me to be happy I didn’t have to go all the way down to court; and I explained to him that was what I was waiting for this whole time.

From what I understand this is neither good nor bad, but I am preparing for the worst (it’s easier to say ‘no’ if you don’t see someone, right?). I’m hoping that he is going to be in a really good mood and finally award my money to my family and I… but I’m pretty sure it’s going to take a miracle–the SSA told the judge that they were “done” with me too, so yeah.

My only choice after this is Supreme Court–and another fifteen hundred dollar court bill.

You would think someone would notice how long I have stuck with this… How many frauds or liars would spend nearly a dozen years (and thousands of much needed dollars on doctor, hospital and court bills), just to get a few hundred dollars a month?

Only stubbornness, creativity and luck has barely kept our lives afloat financially since I became ill. We have given up a lot that many take for granted. Thank goodness for the internet.

If you are fighting for Disability, please watch your doctors carefully when they keep records (and make sure they have your back at all times)–your livelihoods literally depend on it.


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.

fdr-ssaMy 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.

downloadAll 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.

be-the-changeIf 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))

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Proper Medical Documentation: Why It’s Important

When I was “younger” I trusted my (ex) doctors were taking care of me for years; until I realized they weren’t actually paying attention to my symptoms–only making assumptions–and not taking proper records. Because of that, I have been fighting for Social Security Disability over ten years later–and I’m guessing I’m going to be denied again this time around (it doesn’t stop hurting after all of these years, you just start getting used to being rejected… Personal tip: Never give up fighting for Disability if you believe you honestly and truly deserve it).

doctor-with-tabletWhether you’re disabled or not, it’s important to make sure that your doctor is documenting your case properly by noting all of your symptoms–including any and all phone calls where you discuss your symptoms (some doctors don’t keep notes of calls with their patients–losing very important information at times). If you doctor isn’t keeping proper records, it could mean longer wait time for a proper diagnosis–and treatment–which could even mean the difference between life and death or disability…

As far as Disability and the Social Security Administration, it doesn’t matter how disabled you are in real life–if it’s not on record and they can’t read how severely ill you truly are, you will not be approved for SSDI. The guidelines are very strict, and interpretation of these records depend on whether you’ll be approved for Social Security or not… Even if you have medical records as tall as you are… if your records don’t detail every symptom, official diagnosis, and the scale of your disability, you will lose YOUR money. Even worse, if you become disabled and still haven’t been diagnosed, you will have no chance at winning your “benefits” if you don’t get your answers before your DLI (Date Last Insured–The SSA’s term for the final day of being “insured”, ie. end of premium date). It doesn’t matter how many times you went to your doctor, or how hard you tried to get them to help you. Your relationship with your doctor, and how they keep record of your illness(es) will be the deciding factor in more ways than one.

Read more about why it’s so important for doctors to take proper records in the article Poor Documentation: Why It Happens & How To Fix It, and what can be done to help create change in the medical field.

It can mean more than just your life, it also means your quality of life/livelihood… Like you don’t have enough problems already, right?

 


When I Grow Up, I Want To Be…

bobby-car-349695_960_720When we were children growing up, our parents told us that we could be whatever we wanted to be – A firefighter, policeman, doctor, nurse, lawyer; even the President of the United States! They told us that all we have to do is work hard to achieve our dreams by being honest and kind, do our homework and chores, and eat all of our vegetables.

Our imagination went wild because of that, too. We happily acted out our futures with our teddy bears and dolls how we wanted to make the world a better place; even imagine getting married and having babies of our own one day.

Never has a child told their parent, “When I grow up, I want to be disabled. I want to be tired and in pain all the time, have sleepless nights and spend lots of time and money in the doctor’s office and at hospitals. I want to take all kinds of pills that have the possibility of killing me; and basically gamble on my quality of life.”

One day you wake up though, and suddenly your life has turned out this way. You thought you did the best you could to take care of yourself, but you didn’t realize that chronic illnesses didn’t work like that.

You start visiting doctors to see what’s going on with you, and if you are really lucky, you get a diagnosis right away. But, if you’re one of the less lucky ones, you are forced to spend years of your life returning to the doctor over and over again, still without any answers… Maybe you even get pushed into categories like hypochondria or psychosis because they think you’re just making everything up.

One day, the career that you did have is suddenly over way before your retirement age. Your family dynamics has changed completely, and your family is now having to take care of you! A role you are definitely not accustomed to, nor comfortable with, but have no choice but to accept it.

Sometimes even the closest families fight and break up, because the financial and emotional stress of someone they love being sick and disabled is devastating and overwhelming.

Then, of course, there’s the fight for your disability payments. People that complain about the DMV should try filing for permanent Disability. You see, it doesn’t entirely matter that you have three or four doctors telling the government that you are permanently disabled and unable to work. No, Social Security has to have perfect records (which most doctors don’t keep to their expectations) explaining your limitations all the way from how long can you sit/stand, to how much weight you can lift at a time.

So many people get turned away because of this. Too many people losing everything they worked hard their entire lives for – while no one in our government has done anything to change this atrocity–except try to take more away from us.

Never has a child told their parent that they want to be a divorced, disabled, homeless person when they grow up.  But sadly, too many lives are becoming just that.