Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The next 3 years

3 years later we haven't lost the house and won't.  Our bills are covered and in those 3 years when we prayed, it was answered.  A way would open up for my husband to work extra hours on overtime.  A sudden refund check we weren't expecting.  Someone from church remembered how we were still struggling, it was Christmas and our in-laws were scrambling to help cover the cost of gas just so we could come out and see them for a week for the first time in over a year.  That someone put our name in for gift card worth $500.  We got to the church not knowing why the office needed to talk to us and broke down crying as they handed it to us and explained how we were being watched over and cared for even when we didn't know it.  The lights and heat wouldn't get turned off after all and we'd still have enough money to pay for gas to drive to Delaware to see family.  There would be no presents but we didn't care.  We had something a lot better.

Next, in February, we had our income taxes reviewed before sending them in and the tax professional found an extra $2,000 we were owed back.  The emergency payment fund for the mortgage and utilities went up by one more month.  We were starting to be able to breathe again.
It took 6 months to have my disability case assigned to someone to review and promptly deny.  We had hired a lawyer and 2 years later he said I had a slim chance of winning because of 2 things; I was only 40 and my medical records were not thick enough.  I hadn't had this kind of trouble before and now it was going against me.  We walked into the hearing room and the judge eyed my cane then looked at me like he'd already made up his mind.  I nearly cried right there.  You see he didn't know what it took for me to even get to his room.  My husband half carried me into the courthouse because the snow on the unshoveled sidewalks had turned icy in the early morning shadows and my cane couldn't get a grip.  I was on my 6th Vicodin and up to 1000mg of Motrin and it was only 9am.  I'd been up since 4am crying from the pain that chased me out of bed because laying down any longer then I already had hurt too much.  They had sent us to the wrong floor, we didn't know that yet, and we'd sat there in those hard plastic chairs that no one's butt really fits in well so you're always uncomfortable.  Me?  I was sitting there with the pain blooming bigger and bigger fighting off the strong desire to just break down and sob but I'd refused to take anymore meds so I'd be clear headed enough to answer questions.  Yeah I know.  6 Vicodin and I was still clear headed the pain ate it up so easily.  

After 2 hours of sitting there they inform us that "I'm sorry but someone should have told you that your hearing was moved to another floor."  I'm now looking at my husband and he's very much aware of how brittle I am from the pain all ready as I ask him to help me walk because my leg is acting up making the cane almost pointless.  We get to the new floor and new hearing room and my lawyer takes over helping me walk/hop into the room as I'm trying to use the cane and not fall on my face.  It doesn't take more then maybe 45 mins and the questions are over and the judge asks the court appointed doctor if there is any job that I can successfully perform for 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week and she tells him "No, not one.  She needs too many requirements for any company to hire her and even with them she can't work more then 2-3 hours a day like this."  My heart leaps, maybe I stand a chance after all.  "I'm putting this hearing on hold until I have more information from your doctor.  I need to know how she came to the conclusions that you can't work." is what the judge says.  Even my lawyer's jaw drops a little at this nonsense.  3 weeks later I get a letter in the mail from the disability board. 

I won!  I wave the letter around and my husband and daughter join me crying.  Against very steep odds I won my case much to my lawyer's astonishment.  And the good news was that I was going to receive my back pay, two and half years worth, in the next few weeks.  Guess what was sitting in that same stack of mail?  Yup.  My back pay!  Everything that could be paid off in full, was.  Medical bills were paid off and we could finally get a few home repairs done that were very needed.  He had been watching over us is all I can say.  Every lawyer and Fibromyalgia sufferer that has seen the facts can only agree with that statement. We were being blessed and I could now get on the road to recovery and take back my life.

I'm 3 years into this journey and I'm on only the second drug ever approved to treat my condition and 9 months in on a maintenance dose has given us such hope that that I can only keep getting better.  My dosage was raised a few months after that and I've gone from heading for a wheelchair a year ago to no longer needing a cane or wheelchair except for outdoor outings where I can't stay on my feet with the uneven ground or the amount of walking needed to be done but I'm getting there.  At home I can finally "help" some with the chores, hubby still does most of them and even with my "help" I can't put a dent in the cleaning like I used to be able to.  Give me another year and I bet I can :D

And then I got this urge, for the second summer in a row, to make soap.....

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