Federal DI Saga – End Part I


Well the Feds denied I am disabled.  They state emphatically in their letter that I am perfectly capable of continuing in my normal role as Executive Legal Assistant.  An appalling statement.  I’m 51 years old and have a mortgage and credit cards to pay.  I never imagined retiring, let alone retiring early

I ask you all, if you have lost all capacity to remember, if stress makes you confused, if a noisy room is disorienting to you, a legal office is not the place for you.  While every office environment needs skilled people, a law firm requires a little bit more of people.  It is a naturally stressful job, because you are dealing with peoples lives and livelihoods every day.  I can’t confuse one client with another, mistakenly call Mr. Smith when I was asked to call Mr. Schmidt.  I forget day to day things, and things off in the future.  I takes copious notes I cannot find when I need them.  My last year at work was a series of mistakes and corrections, stress and confusion, and overall fear that I would not only lose my job, but lose my mind as well.

I have asked the law firm I last worked for to see if they can write me some letters outlining the problems my memory issues caused or could have caused the firm.  What if I forgot to mail someone’s taxes until the next day?  What if I miss-filed an important document?  What if I told client A something that should have been conveyed to client B?  These were my every day fears, and each day the fears would become reality and I would tremble and cry and run to the bathroom to try to recover.

If the feds requested my work records they would see the difficulty I had in the last year I worked.  My near nervous breakdowns, my fatigue and overall sense of failure and doom.  Those are the records they need now.  I only hope I can use them in my appeal.   Which I’m told will take 90 days before my appeal is heard, so I’ve got to get everything together, start the process of appeal and cross my fingers.

I may also burn incense, sage and maybe sacrifice a chicken or something, perhaps a voodoo spell on the Feds, but I have to hope I will get the disability upon appeal.  What other choice have I got?  Sure I could take a job as just a simple secretary, but if I don’t trust myself not to make a lot of mistakes when the stress level goes up, how can I expect an employer to take that risk?  His business is important to him, and I don’t want to be the cause of any misery due to an oversight on my part.

I guess the next best thing is being self employed.  Which I am trying to do with my online shop.  I haven’t had to invest a lot of money so far, but I am also not making many sales, yet.  Even if my sales picked up by 75%, my income would come in $20 and $30 increments over weeks and months.  And I am still learning how to make my shop successful and about paying my taxes and keeping records.  I can hope sales will increase over time, but I’m not likely to be a billionaire by next year.

And the worst thing of it is, I don’t need money.  I don’t.  It’s my bank and Visa and the grocery store and drug store.  Those places want my money.   My money automatically goes to my bank account automatically spreads it to various companies.  I never even touch it.  So I guess I do need money, if only to give it to someone else.  But they all still want their money whether I have any or not.  Sort of unreasonable in my opinion, but no one asked me.

So I do what us poor people do; batten down the hatches and dig in.  Try hard to keep what I’ve earned so far, and know what I can let go of.  We will cut back on expenses, maybe eat only 3 times a week instead of 3 times a day.  Maybe start making my own clothes.  I can hem pants and fix a button, and don’t own a machine, or know how to use one.  Start a garden in my 300 sf back yard?  Walking instead of driving could save me gas money, but it would take me all day if I had to walk  five miles to the store.  Where else can I make cuts?  Hang my laundry on a line to save on electricity?  Limit showers to 3 minutes or less?  Sell my prized possessions?  Which things?  My $350 worth of jewelry, or the $200 vase I inherited from my aunt?  Afraid that won’t cover my mortgage, and it would only pay for about 1 weeks worth of groceries.  What do I do then?  I’m afraid I’m a bit beyond selling my body.  I don’t think I could get enough for it.

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2 thoughts on “Federal DI Saga – End Part I

  1. For sure you should use any documentation from your work as to time off and especially your breakdown as depression goes hand in hand with MS. Has your doctor (neurologist or gp) ever done a letter outlining the cognitive difficulties with MS and the extreme fatigue? I know that before I was diagnosed I used to lay my head on my desk several times a day and get numerous cups of coffee to get enough energy to get through my day…and who can think straight even without MS when you are sooooo tired. Anyway just some thoughts…Diane

    • I hadn’t considered asking my doc for a letter. But I was going to put together information on cognitive dysfunction.

      I appreciate the suggestion. I’ll do everything I can do to help my case.

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