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.