I am writing this blog post to ask for your faith and prayers in my behalf. This coming Thursday I have a hearing for Social Security Disability. I have been denied three times already without going before the judge. This time I will have a video conference with a judge to determine if I qualify. I am extremely anxious about what is going to happen.
I have filed for disability based on my depression and anxiety as well as my neck and back problems due to the possibility of Fybromyalgia.
In the last four years I have been dealing with pain in my neck and shoulder along with tingling and numbness in my left arm. I injured my neck somehow four years ago and have had trouble ever since with doing tasks that I used to do regularly such as standing for long periods, holding things or lifting, especially with my left hand and arm, sitting for long periods, among other things. My arm even tingles & goes numb sometimes when I am driving, especially long distances.
I worked as a substitute custodian for a while when living in Bountiful. It was hard work and hard on my body. Every day I would go home in pain sometimes crying because I hurt so bad. The worst was when I had to use the backpack type vacuums, the kind that looks like something off of Ghostbusters. That killed my neck and shoulders and a lot of the time I would really feel it the next day as I stayed in bed for as long as possible. I worked most of the summer with the possibility of being hired more permanently when school started. However, one day the head custodian asked to talk to me and she told me that I had gotten sick too many times and that she didn't think I could physically handle the job. I was told to go home and not bother coming back. I was devastated. I hadn't seen it coming especially since I had been trying my best and didn't complain.
That event triggered a panic attack and some suicidal thoughts. I ended up driving to the temple where I sat across the street and tried to enjoy the peace of looking up at the temple and looking down on the valley and across the Great Salt Lake. I called and talked to my counselor after sending out a text to let people know what was going on. After receiving advice from the counselor and several good friends and family, I was able to calm down and go back home. That ended up being the trigger that seemed to make everything from there on go down hill. It was a month later when my dad lost his job. Two months later, after not finding a job and bills piling up, I was in Walmart where I had a breakdown/panic attack that led me to the hospital for two weeks.
As I have mentioned in the past, I have dealt with depression and anxiety most of my life. It started to get out of hand when I was on my mission. That was when I first had suicidal thoughts, but didn't ever feel desperate enough to act on them. Since my injury to my neck I have intentionally overdosed twice. The first time was April 2011 and the second was November 2013. I have often had suicidal thoughts and feelings, some as recently as the past month.
I have been seeing my regular doctor once a week since my last overdose so that he can monitor my medications. He is helping me to manage my depression and anxiety. He has treated my neck and other physical problems as well. I also visit with an LCSW every three or four weeks for therapy/counseling.
In the past I have seen a physical therapist and a couple of chiropractors to help with the physical problems. For a long time I went to physical therapy where I could use the equipment for doing certain exercises. But recently I have just been walking and doing the stretching at home. There isn't a whole lot the therapist can do since I don't have adequate insurance to have the nerve testing done that he would like me to have. I only go to the chiropractor if I am in extreme pain and can't move because the insurance I do have does not cover chiropractic care. One of the chiropractors used to do acupuncture and a few other things that seemed to help a little but here again it comes down to insurance.
I have several bills that I have to pay every month including some credit card debt and doctor & hospital bills from my last overdose. Not working full-time, or not at all, makes it difficult to pay and keep caught up. I also have my co-pays for my doctor & counseling visits. The thing that I struggle with paying the most are my medications. Two of them are pretty expensive, one is almost $200 a month and the other is about $80. I take a multi-vitamin, iron supplement, Vitamin D3 supplement, blood pressure pill, thyroid pill, a pill for heartburn/acid reflux, anxiety meds, meds for the Fybromyalgia, and my depression meds. I take nine pills in the morning, two in the afternoon, and six at night. Sometimes I feel like an old person with all the medicine I take.
I was working full-time at the local grocery store when I injured my neck four years ago this month. After two months of taking time off and then going back to work every couple weeks, I was eventually told to take time off indefinitely. It ended up being about six months. In the meantime bills were adding up and I had to move out of my cute apartment because I couldn't pay rent. I finally got cleared to go back to work part-time doing light duty.
I went back to the store working between 10-18 hours. I had been working 35-40 hours prior to my leave of absence. The stress of not being able to get ahead on my bills and the stress of living in a houseful at my sister's began to be too much. Eventually I went in to talk to the psychiatrist and was told I couldn't because I was too far behind on my bills. That was the straw that broke the camel's back after a long week of bad days. I went home and over the course of the next three or four days slowly overdosed on my meds.
When I get stressed out, especially when under a lot of pressure, my depression gets worse. It also doesn't help that I am in pain almost all the time. I have learned to deal with the pain for the most part but it still gets me down. Another trigger for my depression, and especially anxiety, is fear of the unknown and also any change that I have no control over.. Maybe fear isn't quite the right word but it is close. This upcoming hearing is definitely an unknown. I have no idea what to expect. I have never been before a judge and in some ways it is making me feel like I am guilty of something and need to defend myself.
I am sorry if it seems I have been rambling. I tend to do that a lot when I am anxious or nervous. As the day gets closer for the hearing the more nervous I feel. That is why I am asking for your prayers in my behalf. I know there is strength in numbers and I hope that the faith of family and friends can help my faith which is weak.
The hearing is this Thursday, June 19,2014 at 10:45am. I have to be in Salt Lake to video conference with the judge who will be in New Mexico. That is another reason I am nervous. I would rather meet in person, face to face.
Yesterday my parents and I and some others had a special fast. I added my own name to the Manti Temple prayer roll last Thursday toward the end of my shift. I know many people already who are joining us in prayer, but as I said, there is strength in numbers.
Thank you so much for your support.