Sunday, October 27, 2019

Being Disabled

This weekend has been a bittersweet one.  Elated one moment and in tears the next.

I've been in the process of seeking disability. A few weeks ago, they sent me to have a lung function test at a hospital an hour away.

The results were that I am at 35% lung capacity. 1% away from end stage COPD. That's bad news for me but good news for my disability appeal.

Here's the elated part.
I got a phone call from Social Security on Friday.  I was finally approved!!! I was happy beyond measure to hear this news because it means I can finally get what I need to make this chronic illness a little more tolerable.

The decision was favorable because of the lung function test results, the fact that I'm on oxygen all the time and also that my doctor has put me in a wheelchair. Walking more than 20 feet drops my oxygen saturation levels.  So that was the good new. I'm approved to start recieving Disability income, Medicare, and anything else that goes along with being disabled.

On the other hand, here's the sad part.
I was crying all weekend because the approval for disability means that I am now officially classified as "disabled" by the government. That's a hard pill to swallow because I have been somewhat active all of my life. I don't do well confined to a box, regimen, or labels.  I am much more than labels.

I already knew I was going downhill quickly. Facing that fact is another story. In spite of everything I've done to try to hold on to health, that hasn't happened for me.

I quit smoking two years ago. My doctor told me that I might be able to halt the progression if i didn't smoke. I didn't expect to get better.  But I expected the decline to become a slower process. Instead, I've only gotten sicker. Rapidly.  I've advanced 2 level in this disease in the last year. There are only 4 levels and I'm at stage 4. The overall outlook and reality is that the prognosis isn't a good one for me.

This disease is progressing so rapidly and I can't keep up with it.  There are just some things I cannot do anymore. That reality left me in tears this weekend. I'm not over it yet.  I still feel like crying.  It's  a natural human reaction to news like this. I'm not over it, but I'm not giving up.

Having Social Security on my side with this means that I'll finally be able to see a pulmonologist and get the portable oxygen concentrator I so desperately need.  I'm on oxygen 24/7 but it's  with a stationary machine my sister bought me. It definitely limits where I can go and how long I  can be gone, because I can't take it with me.

I'm running the gambit of going through so many emotions with all of this. Enough of the sad sob story.  All I wanted was to be approved so I can finally get the care I need. Getting the approval means Social Security admits my days are numbered.

Writing about it helps me to move past these deviating feelings. Besides this blog, I keep myself busy by writing my books.  Write. Write.  Write.

Now, we regroup and take the next stage as best as we can.  I say we because I'm definitely not in this alone. I may be the one feeling it from the inside... experiencing  it... living it.  But I have family and friends rooting for me, helping me and encouraging me to stay positive. Having everyone's emotional and physical support means so much to me and it's how I make it through each day.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Writer's Life

It's been a while since I've blogged, here. The last post was on my birthday in July. There's a very good reason for that.  I have been writing.

Most of the time I write from my bed with a phone app. On days when I feel ok, I move the writings to the computer and do the editing and illustrations.  I wrote my first book and published it this way. "Beanie, The Bat Who Drank Way Too Much Coffee" was the result.