I sat slumped into a wooden seat in my physician’s office since he said I had to make an application for disability. At the instant, I felt like a loser–incapable of helping myself being assisted.
There was not any foreshadowing of this day these catastrophic ailments could creep up on me. On the exterior, I did not appear ill. But on the interior, two, insidious illnesses were gradually hijacking my physique.
My entire life changed in 2009 when a large number of painful symptoms started to emerge. I had been profoundly exhausted, and my entire body felt like hidden weights had been pulling it towards the floor. As soon as I awakened, my thighs trembled, and I stressed they’d crumble under me. My spinal cord and brain burnt continuously as though they were seared over hot flashes. I could not sleep without taking handfuls of tablets. However, each one these symptoms paled compared to the sound and light sensitivity which hastens my nervous system–the seriousness of that compelled me to invest months in a quiet, darkened room, alone.
Last, the decades of combating unexplained symptoms became too much for the body to manage, and it dropped. That day, at the physician’s office, I had been confronted with the stark reality that my life no longer seemed the way I’d envisioned–and would not be turning around anytime soon. The notion of being handicapped was shameful. I feared people would think I had been idle, faking my disorders, or undeserving of government help, so I retained the procedure a secret from almost everyone.
During my entire life, I had been famous for falling whatever I had been doing to assist somebody in need or congratulate them. However, my skill and desire to assist others arrived with an unexpected price: my loved ones members and friends viewed me powerful–effective at managing any scenario that came my way–like a struggle with disorders which were slowly revived my entire life. Who would I call for assistance? Who might relate to the grief and despair I felt?
At the autumn of 2014, I sat before the judge because she questioned me concerning my investigations. She chased my investigations, ripped down my physicians, and advised my selection of remedies. “You do not seem very sick for me,” she explained. “Are not you only a depressed housewife seeking to escape your union?”
I was livid and amazed with her insulting question, however, I was able to complete, “Excuse me? That is not correct!”
No, I was not depressed, idle, or dreading my disease; I was not expecting to acquire disability so I could finish my marriage. Regrettably, I had been dealt a set of clinically misunderstood and controversial ailments, but that did not mean my symptoms had been any less acute than other medical conditions–even though, at the judge’s eyes, I did not look sick.
Four months after, I obtained a 35-page refusal letter saying that I was able to operate a sedentary occupation. I desperately needed that to be authentic, but consuming 60 pills per day reminded me that I was quite much from starting a new career, a demanding one. The following day I met a disability attorney and filed a charm.
The anniversary of when I first applied for handicap has come and gone and I am still awaiting a last choice. Although I am steadfast in my journey towards healing, my handicap case remains pending.
Invisible, chronic ailments such as mine–ones that you can not see just by taking a look at somebody–mess people’s lives and trigger multifaceted, debilitating symptoms. I have seen marriages be torn apart from the strain of living with a partner who had been always unwell. I have seen parents sell their cherished homes to cover their child’s continuing medical care. I seen patients make the challenging choice between purchasing food and essential prescriptions.
However, over these five decades, I have also become enabled.
Every time that I shared my story with other people, I felt more powerful, along with the shame and humiliation I’d formerly felt started to recede. As time passes, I have begun to understand that it’s more important to speak publicly about my story to help other people than it would be to hide my head in pity. It took me awhile to arrive at that stage, but I have finally come to terms with where I am at in my lifetime, and I am not embarrassed to discuss it anymore.