I'm a 21 year old female, in fairly good shape (5'8", 127lbs), and have just been officially diagnosed with degenerative disc disease in L4/L5 and L5/S1 on Monday. The doc said something else about something sticking out a little (although I don't think it gives me pain), but I don't remember exactly what he said as after he told me I had DDD I was very upset and not focussing on that (I was hoping to get into the Air Force).
Anyway, my problem is that it hurts to sit down and it hurts to stand. I hate taking pain meds (anything stronger than advil or tylenol makes me throw up), and nothing else has worked...TENS, acupuncture, physical therapy, chiropractic... I have pain no matter what kind of exercise I perform or what kind of shape I keep myself in. Like I said, it's sitting and standing that hurts.
The issue is that I can't find a job...I've been applying religiously to jobs for months and months, and can't find anything I can do. I've left two jobs in the past two years that I only held for 3 months because it hurt to stand up for as long as I needed to (6 hour shifts, with 15 min breaks - I didn't know at the time I had DDD). I've started applying for office jobs again, but they all require either sitting for long periods, or if they don't, they need me to be able to pick up boxes (I can't do this reliably either). I feel stuck...I'm only 21 and can't do anything. The bills are piling up and not only do I have the economy to struggle with, but the fact that I can't really even do the most basic tasks associated with working.
I'd like to apply for some sort of SSI for the time being, just because it's been so long since I've been able to work and I don't have any income apart from borrowing from my parents, and that's getting REALLY old for both of us. I do hope to work eventually (I'm working on my degree right now), but I'm just having too hard a time finding available jobs that don't require sitting, long-term standing, or picking things up, especially at my skill level (no bachelor's degree yet).
Does anybody have any advice? I've heard you're not eligible for SSI if you don't have an actual work history, but of course I DON'T have a work history since I've had this since I was around 15 and haven't been able to maintain a job. I don't know where to go at this point. It seems like I'm too "disabled" to work, but not disabled enough to receive any help. I feel completely lost. Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated.