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Amanda S YanisAAmanda S Yanis Posts: 124
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Health Insurance Issues
So I know this is probably a longshot. Reading on these boards I realize that my back problems are nothing compared to most. I've not had surgery, in fact my doctors don't even want to think about it. But still here goes my dilema......

I'm a 28 year old female, with 4 children. I'm lucky that I only work part time on the weekends for only 5 hours a day. However I work at a grocery store and I'm on my feet for those five hours straight. I do alot of bending, twisting, reacing, etc. When I do not have a customer, I am expected to sack groceries, which includes lifting cases of pop, large bags of dog food, etc. Sometimes even bending to put them on the bottom of the cart. I know I may sound like a big baby, but by the time I'm about two hours into work, I"m miserable. I hurt so bad the next morning I can't even get out of bed. I also can't take my medicine at work because I become very loopy and make stupid mistakes. And since I also deal with large amounts of money, that just isn't an option. I hate my job, but unfortunately I need it. That $100 a week that I bring home gets us by. But I feel like I spend the rest of the week recovering from working those two days.
I fear that I'm becoming a horrible mother, becaue I can never do anything. The house is a WRECK, my kids are getting into things that they shouldn't, my two year old keeps sneaking outside, and I just can't keep up. My 5 year old son has Autism and is supposed to go to therapy three times a week, but it is a 30 minute drive there, and sometimes I have to cancel because I just can't sit in the van for that long. I feel like I've become lazy, and I can't do anything about it.
I know I probably woudln't qualify for disabilty, but I don't know what else to do. Does anyone have any advice?


  • Hi Amanda,

    I first would like to say welcome.

    May I ask have you applied for the Food Stamp program or any other Social Service aid? I think once you apply for social services they would help you with other things as well. Maybe job re-training, help with your children or help with applying for disability for you depending on your situation. Start with your local social service office.

    I know its hard to find help but keep asking questions and
    take care of you. :)


  • Welcome to SH :H I'm sorry that you're having this type of pain at a young age and you have your hands full with your children. Do you have any family and friends who can lend you a hand? No one should suffer alone with this and we all can use support from anywhere. When I was growing up I had to take care of my severely aut

    istic brother, and I understand how hard and challenging it is. There was so much going on- a lot of screaming temper tantrums and broken items. I've know my brother all my life and yet he's almost a stranger because he can barely talk.

    Anyway, go out and try to get on any assistance out there that will help you out. Are you seeing a specialist for your back, and how long have you been this way? What have you tried as far as treatments? Do you take any meds or have you had an epidural injection yet? We're happy to have you as a member and look forward to getting to know you. Take care :)
  • I applied for food stamps about a year ago and we didnt' qualify. I'm thinking about applying again, but things really haven't changed much around here. What really gets us is that even though we make under $35,000/year, my daughter gets child support and my son gets SSI. The system is crazy IMO. The thing with my job is that I have been there for almost 12 years now, it's the only job I know. I was lucky enough that they let me quit full-time and just work the weekends when I found out about my son two years ago. I absolutely have to be home during the week. Our schedule is full with dr. appt., therapies, school meetings, etc.

    I really have no help. My mothere is un-dependable, and my in-laws are too involved in their own lives. We are fortunate enough that my husband can take a vacation whenever he wants and that has worked out well with my dr. appts. However his vacation days are running out fast now.

    I've had back problems on and off for over ten years. But it was only recently (Feb) that I had an MRI and found out exactly what was going on. I'm on Naproxen and Lortab, however I can't take the Lortab's very often because I drive the kids around ALOT. I did get an ESI at the beginning of the month, but it has wore off over the past week. I was told if it started hurting again to call in and they would do another shot, but we are losing our insurace as of April 30. My husbands company got bought out and we have a 90 day waiting period before we can start their insurance, and Cobra is just too expensive.

    I'm just at my wit's end. I work tonight and I dread it. I could just sit here and cry all day until I go in. I also have depression but I take Celexa. My husband wants to go shopping in a little bit, and I just can't do it. I feel like I'm disappointing my family.
  • Amanda,

    I know depression and the darkness that seems to overwhelm us at times. I can tell that you are a good mom and wife by the way you are reaching out for help. I know what a demanding job you are doing and how hard it is physically and sometimes mentally when you get those grouchy customers. :)
    I left a journeyman front office position in grocery to be retrained in the medical field 7 years ago. Well now I am totally disabled and had to leave a job I loved even though my co-workers were not very nice to me. Sooooo....

    Take a step at a time, OK. Let me list some more ideas, some you might already be doing or thought of.

    At work I would asked for a back belt like what the stockers wear. I wear a corset style back brace when I do the little bit of housework I'm capable of. Ask customers to leave large items in the cart and scan them using the wand. Look at the stores safety manual and have a meeting with the head of the safety council if needed to provide you with these tools and ask for suggestions to make your job easier.

    Can you ask your doctor what other types of medication may help you to be more functional? You may even need a change in your medication for depression.

    From social services, I think you should apply again for the Food Stamp program. Ask them about all programs you can qualify for. They have programs for transportation for disabled to get your son to and from therapy. You might even qualify for someone to come into your home to help with housework, grocery shopping or even child care.

    Ask if you can be assigned a Social Worker to assess your needs and what programs are available. You probably will have to fill out a lot of paperwork before you can even get an appointment.

    Are you active in a church? Some ministries offer help even if you don't belong to their congregation. They give help with food and rental/mortgage assistance.

    Does your local power company offer a program for reduction or help with your utility bills?

    The new Cobra law is in effect now for 65% off. When your husband loses insurance he should be sent the Cobra option. You and your husband need to discuss this benefit because if you take the Cobra and then go into his new plan they probably can't deny preexisting illness. You can get insurance information from his HR department or your current insurance customer service number. Try to fill all your RX for the family before insurance ends.

    Try to take care of you, make small goals that you can accomplish.

    Sorry for being long winded, I write a little at a time - can't sit for long. We do what we can do. :)
    Hang in there, sometimes things turn around for the good when you least expect it.

  • Please check out angel food ministries website. They distribute in most every city and you can get enough quality food to feed a family of 4 for 1 week. Good luck to you.
  • Thanks everyone for your replies.

    What is hurting us most is that we are already as frugal as we can be (or that DH will let me be). I've looked into Angel food before, but honestly it's not that good of a deal for us. We wouldn't eat most of the food, and I already coupon shop. We only spend $350/month on groceries for a family of six, and that includes two in diapers. Plus I have a stockpile that would last us atleast two months if we needed. (I have to do something productive while laying down most days, so I cut coupons :) and look up deals).

    As for asking to wear the belt at work, I don't think we even have those. I know what you are talking about though. Somedays I do wear a heat wrap around my lower back and that helps alot, but with it getting hotter outside, I dont' think I could stand it. As for not lifting stuff and using the wand, well we dont' have wands. Plus our policy is that everything must come out of the cart. I really do okay at work, I'm just waiting for our one stupid manager to tell me I need to do more. He already go mad at me because I wouldn't trade his daughter hours on Sunday. But after working until 10 pm on Saturday night there was no way I could be back in there at 7 am.

    We dont' qualify for alot of things because of the exta income from DD's child support and DS's SSI. That includes LIHEAP with the power company.

    I'm not quite sure how to go about getting a social worker, but I would love to do that. I will definatly keep looking into that.

    As for the Cobra, well DH says no. He wants to use the extra money we'll be saving on insurance for our trip to Wrigley Field later this summer. He thinks we can risk that nothing will go wrong with either of us. (thankfully my kids do have Medicaid)

    Honestly, we are not broke, we are not really poor. But DH doesnt' want that to change. He wants to be able to buy things that he wants. He has a lowrider sitting in the garage that he would never think of getting rid of, not even when I wanted to put my son on an expensive special diet that could help with his Autism. He has to have his 200 channels on Sattelite with HBO and Showtime. He has to have all the extras on his cell phone. He refuses to live "poor". In fact he told me the other day that if I applied for disabilty he would divorce me, but only because then he could keep all his cool things.

    So again thank you for those who replied.
  • Amanda, I'm so sorry that your husband feels that way. I cannot imagine my husband saying that he wouldn't sacrifice a few things if our child had Autism and a diet might help. And threatening to divorce you if you go on disability............. I'll hold back my thoughts on that.

    I'm currently looking into SSD. What I understand is that you have to be unable to work for 6 months with the condition continuing for up to a year. I might be wrong since I just started looking into it. You might want to call Social Security and ask some questions. Have you gone to their website? I got a decent amount of information from it. And you can request a statement (will take around 4 weeks to get) that will tell you how much you would be eligible for.

    Good luck to you. Hugs and prayers for you and your family.
  • From the sounds of him, maybe you should divorce him first! I can just not imagine being married to someone so selfish that he would not even make the smallest of sacrifices for his family! I am so, so sorry for you and wish you the best of luck.
  • Amanda,

    although I am no longer working, I do suffer from chronic back pain, have a son with autism and am currently going through a difficult financial situation in my family as well. I do think that you should check out SSDI and you can get a lot of info online if you don't have time to call. I'm not sure what state you live in either but you can get emergency food stamps in some cases so you may want to loook into that if the need arises. You may be eligible for family support services because of your son's disability. You might want to speak with someone at his school ( school psychologist, director of special ed, even his classroom teacher) or maybe one of his thereapists and get a social worker through his eligibility. There are a lot of services available for families with children who have autism spectrum disorders. If you don't have luck there then call his pediatrician or neurologist to get a referral. It's really hard to go through having your own medical issues, raising a family, having a child with specail nedds and then having a spouse who may not be as supportive as you need him to be while trying to do it all...believe me I know what you're going through, been there, done that.

    Hang in there and know that we're here to help if we can..
  • So I'm really at a loss now. I can't continue to work. Saturday was horrible for me, I was in tears halfway through my shift, and I had to take 3 Lortabs just to get through. Sunday I had to call off, because I could hardly move. But on the other hand, I can't afford not to work either. DH has been so unsupporting that I'm afraid to lost my job because if he ever leaves me, I will be screwed. I've looked into Food Stamps and even with me not working we wont' qualify.
    I just got my Lortabs refilled and it was $31 because we have no insurance. To us that is alot of money especially with me missing work this week.
    I really should have a doctor's slip for missing Sunday, but that is a $100 doctor visit.
    I really think I need to see a doctor right now. But I"m unsure of which dr. will be able to help me the most. My family doctor is the cheapest and she is the one who prescribed the Lortabs. My neurologist cost $300 and all he did before was put me on Napraxen which I have since stopped taking because it makes me sick. My PM doctor is another $300 and I'm not even sure he will give me anything. I'm confused on that because he is the same one who gave me my ESI so is he really a PM doc?? The place I go is called the Pain Management Center.

    I'm such a mess right now. All I've done for days now is lay in bed and cry. My house is a wreck, laundy is piled up, and all I can do is sleep. All me and DH do is fight. He tells me to quit my job, but he doesn't handle the bills, he doesn't have a plan to make up that money we need. He did say he would pick up an extra 4 hours a week at work whick does cover what I make in 12 hours, but for how long can he do that?? I do have a CD in my grandma's name from when I was younger worth $3000 that I can cash in, but the thing about that is we would lose my son's SSI for a month if we did that. Plus that has always been my rainy day money in case anything ever happened between me and my husband. I do also have a 401K through work worth maybe $2000 before taxes. Plus DH has his 401K to figure out what to do with since he either has to cash it out or roll it over. It's only worth $2300 though before taxes. But again that extra income would make me lose my son's SSI for the month as well and that is $674.

    Sorry for the long messy post. I'm at the end of my rope right now, and don't know what to do.
  • I'm going to be very honest with you right now. Please understand that I am not trying to be mean or hurtful. I held back a lot during my first post. But after reading this, I am not doing that.

    Go to your PCP or the ER. The ER cannot refust to treat you. You can make payment arrangements and as long as you stick to the payment arrangement (maybe $10/month) everything will be fine. Call your local Social Security Office or go online and start the process to get disability income. You can also get Medicare started. There is no reason on Earth that you should hurt like this. SSDI will take a minimum of 3 to 5 months (at least that's what the website says).

    As for your husband, tell him that you ARE going to apply for disability. It's not that you don't want to work it is because you can't. The money from disability will help cover your household bills, doctor appointments and meds. IMO, you NEED to do this. Destroying your body is not going to help you or your family. When you get better, you can go off disability and return to work. We all pay into this fund with every paycheck we earn.

    When I read what you have written about your husband, I want to cry. He sounds like my first husband so much. I divorced the first one because of his controlling, hateful, inconsiderate actions. Along with his abusive nature. Physical, emotional, and psychological. I don't know where the strength came from but one day he fought with me all day over stupid stuff but wouldn't talk about what was wrong. I told him that night that we were done. The next morning I left a note on the table and left so he could get his stuff out. It wasn't easy. Calls to the police, restraining order, threats (one of which led me to think he was going to kill me) etc. Now, I have been married for 9 years to the exact opposite of my first. I thank God for him every day.

    I don't think people should end their marriage without trying to make it work, etc. But your husband seems pretty darn controlling. You could try to get him to go to couple's counseling at a local church but he would have to want to go and really listen to improve the situation.

    I'm sorry this is so long. I can really relate to your situation. If you want to PM me, please do so at any time. Please take care of yourself and protect your children. >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< I've been crying while reading your post and typing my reply. :''(
  • My secret keeper going is heat.

    I used hot water bottles at night and I swear it made the difference of being able to walk the next day.

    It doesn't take the pain away, jsut soothes and I guess loosens up enough to help later.

    I hope the ESI helps.
  • I must say that your husband is being selfish, unrealistic, and has his priorities mixed up. Sorry for the bluntness.

    He can cut off his "special" features on his cell phone, cut off HBO & Cinemax (maybe cut it all off but we all do need in home entertainment), rethink that Wrigley Field trip, and man up and support you and do what is necessary to get you all by.

    It may come down to you leaving your part time job unfortunately, but you must take care of yourself and not make things worse. You should not be bending, twisting, picking up items over 10 lbs. Your back is already compromised- I blew 2 discs in my lower back years ago and believe me, I know how bad it hurts. Nerve pain is no joke either.

    If you do have to quit, maybe you will qualify for some food stamps. I think a family of 4 cannot make over $1,800 a month in order to qualify. I hope it doesn't have to come to that, but maybe you can try to get a medical note to restrict lifting anything heavy from your family doctor. Your boss has to comply with this. You have to protect your health and not go along with tasks that will worsen it.

    Here's some ground rules: No money should go into that lowrider. Go ahead and get disability irregardless; you're only doing what's best for the family and DH is a fool if he doesn't realize this. I think his pride is getting ahead of his better judgement. Put your foot down and demand that everyone helps with chores at home: laundry, dishes, errands, keeping things tidy, etc. You cannot do this by yourself.

    If you are laying down all week after working on the weekend, I think your doctor should increase your meds. Use icepack and heat too. You can also take over the counter Naproxen for the pain and inflammation.

    I hate to see you in this difficult situation. Things HAVE to change in your family in order to get by. Everyone must support each other and work together, and be on the same page. If money's tight, DH should be the first one to make cut backs and set an example for the whole family. When facing financial hardships, he must open his eyes and do what is best for all of you.

    He is not entitled to pamper himself with a lifestyle he can't afford. You and your autistic son need all the help that is available, and it should start at home. I really hope things work out for you; hang in there sweetie.
  • I hate that you are going through all of this. I'm sorry that you seem to be the one bearing this load. I wish I had answers for you, but I just lost my job after 20 yrs because I couldn't return to work after my surgery in October. I am also getting ready to look into things I have no understanding of. I was responsible for my family insurance and will now have to pay cobra. I know your world is upside down. I feel my life can't get any worse, it has to get better. All I can tell you is to dig deep and find that inner strength that we all possess. Some how and some way you will find the answers and help you need. I am so sorry that your husband is not being the man he should be. This has all been hard on my marriage as well but at least my hubby is trying to be supportive as he possibly can be. I want him or someone to just hold me and tell me everything will be ok, different but ok. It is hard to handle the anger from him but I just remind myself that I did not plan for any of this either, nor did I make myself sick. So here is a big hug and squeeze and let me tell you that some way everything will work out and be ok. Life might be different than you planned but someone will give you the guidance and answers you need. Just keep asking and seeking. Look at what you have already accomplished in your life. Take a deep breath and have faith.
  • Thanks guys. So I broke down and made a dr. appt this afternoon. Dh got home from work and before there was even a "Hello", we were fighting. So while my SS started picking up the house, and Dh went on the porch to prepare for SS baseball game, I gave in and called the dr. I have an appt. in the morning,and I'm nervous as HELL!! I'm still not quite sure what I am going for. I'm just going to tell her everything I guess. Thankfully I do have a great family doc, that listens and I can tell everything too. Well I guess she is just a NP, I hope that doesnt' matter much. Anyways I'm gonna tell her about my job and have her take me off work, or atleast give me restrictions. However with any restrictions they probably wont' let me come back to work. Maybe she can say I can only stand for 15 min. at a time, LOL they would never go for that. I'm gonna also ask about any other medicine that may help me without making feel all drugged up. And also maybe change my anti-depressant? I take 50 mg Celexa right now because that is all I can afford. Zoloft and Prozac both made me crazier, although Lexapro did help, it's so dang expensive that even with insurance I couldn't afford it. I'm thinking maybe I need Xanax to control the panic attacks and the anxiety I have. I just don't like to ask for drugs because I'm afraid she'll think I'm a druggie KWIM??

    So if anybody has any advice between now and tomorrow morning for my dr. appt., please let me know. Should I ask her about SSDI?? I dont' even understand what exactly is wrong with my back. From the way all my doctors have talked it really isn't bad, and probably not enough to be considered disabled?? IDK. I read that DDD is considered a disability, and that is mentioned in my MRI report, but I don't know if I actually have it or what. From what I understand I just have three small herniated discs that arent' pressing on any nerves or anything. So pretty much it's just normal wear and tear on my back?? Again IDK. My luck she'll just tell me to lose weight, and send me on my way. I mean I admit I'm probably 80 lbs over weight, but how am I supposed to lose it, if I can hardly move. Walks are out of the question, so what more can I do.

    Ok I've rambled on long enough. I'm a nevous wreck sorry! Good night all!!
  • I'm so glad you are going to see the dr/np. Tell them EVERYTHING. Do not hold back. I would ask about SSDI. If you can't work you are entitled to draw it. I think you should also talk about the situation at home and your husband. Since it sounds like you have a good relationship with the dr/np they can help you the most by understanding everything you are going through. Stress on top of back pain can make things much worse. Ask for samples of meds. Maybe they can help you obtain some type of assistance for dr appts and meds.

    I'm going to be blunt again. Sorry. If you and your husband are fighting as soon as you see each other you are in a very toxic environment. It's not good for you or the kids. I think you need to lay it on the line. Tell him everything and try to get him to understand your physical, emotional, and financial situation. If he refuses to listen or won't do anything to help you and the kids then you need to start thinking about life without him. If you end up needing surgery, I don't think he will be supportive or respect your limitations while you heal. Again, I was in this situation once. My ex had a fit a couple of days after my first surgery and demanded that I start cleaning the house. Not a good thing.

    I'm praying for you. Let us know how things go. If you ever want to talk privately, please PM me. Your situation sounds very similar to my past. >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D<
  • IF your job lets you go because they do not want to accomodate the doctors written work restrictions, that you are then eligable for unemployment benefits as you are technically able to work, but they would not make the changes!...pluse they then get black mark on their record with the state....hehehehe.....
  • Thanks everyone!!

    So I went to my dr. appt and she told me to go to work and ask for FMLA papers. Of course the stupid manager didn't know where they are, so I have to go back tomorow to get them. She also changed me to Prozac, which I've been on before a LONG time ago and had to stop within a month because I got pregnant. So hopefully that will help some.

    As for me and my husband, well we have been talking alot the past few days (when we arent' arguing). He agrees I should not be working. He's offered to make some sacrifices, I already canceled the HBO and Playboy channels. I put in for my a deferment on my student loans. DH is going to start packing his lunch for work, plus he's going to work 4 hours overtime every other week. With those changes we should be alright. We are also going to start using the weekends when everyone is home to get our house in order, and cleaned, plus get laundry done. That will be a HUGE help to me. (our laundry room is in the basement, so it is nearly impossible for me to stay caught up on it)

    DH is trying his best to be supportive I think. I just have a hard time believing it because of our past. Last summer he was talking to anther girl behind my back. He never actually physically cheated, but it still hurt. We did go to counseling up until January, and he has been trying. I just have that trust issue with him, and I am constantly afraid things will turn at any minute and I'll be alone. And now with me being unable to work, I'm afraid he would take my kids away from me because he could say that I am unable to care for them KWIM?? But he says he wouldn't do that, so I guess I just need to trust him.

    So I think things are looking up. I'm going to apply for Food Stamps for sure. I"m still unsure about SSDI. My doctor didn't mention it. Is that something I should discuss with her before I apply?? Is my back issues even "bad enough"?? IDK still.
  • I'm glad to hear that you saw the doctor. I'm happy to hear that your DH is trying. Once trust has been broken, it's incredibly hard to mend it. It can be done if you both try but it's hard with everything else going on. I think you have a great plan to have everyone working on taking care of the house and laundry. Everyone helps to make the mess; it's only fair that they help clean it up.

    I say strat the SSDI paperwork. I just submitted mine and it took almost 10 hours for me to finish all the forms online. Needed 15 years worth of employment history, salary, job titles, duties, etc. Along with every dr and medical facility I've gone to for my back (13 total) plus medications, etc. It was a long process. Praying I can approved on the first try.

    So knowing how long it took to fill out everything and that it will be 2 to 5 months before I know if I got approved or need to start the appeal process, I'd start now. Good luck! You're in my thoughts and prayers.
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