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Disability - When did you know?

For all the folks on disability, when did you know it was time and how did it change your life? How do you deal with it?
When you could not work anymore? Someone else suggested it?

It is in the back of my mind that it might be a reality sooner or later and it is scaring the crap out of me...


Cause: car accident & genetics
Effect: herniations C4-7, stenosis, osteoarthritis, myelopathy, neuropathy
Non-invasive Treatment: everything under the sun
Invasive Treatment: 2 level ACDF, C5 & C6, May 2012
Moving Forward: SCS


  • When you no longer can work is the only reason to go on ssdi, Its not something we have other people recomend as we can only feel what we feel and we the only ones who know if we can continue to work or not,
    Its not a choice that we make as we get forced on ssdi, If you still have a choice then i dont believe ssdi is a good choice,
    Life becomes less meaningfull as you dont have what you had and life is never the same,

    If a person can still strugle and drive to work and work then no reason to give that up unless you drop dead from the pain and your body tells you it cant be done, Work is good motivater and i miss it with all my might ,

    So as i said if you still have the option dont go on ssdi as its not a vacation and usualy is not a choice,!
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Well said Alex. Work gives a sense of worth. I too miss working with all my might!
  • bergbberg Posts: 140
    edited 10/04/2012 - 3:09 PM
    I agree 100% what Alex said. I didn't choose SSDI. If I had a choice I would love to go back to work and be around people and feel useful again, instead of being locked up in my house every day like a prisoner.due to this damn pain.
  • Ms PixieMMs Pixie Posts: 154
    edited 10/04/2012 - 4:32 PM
    Perhaps my post came out slightly unclear, so let me try to explain what I meant. I dont want to come across as careless about disability and that I view it as a vacation. By no means! I understand how life altering it is. When I asked about if disability could be something others suggested, I meant solely from a work point of view and as in you yourself kind of not accepting how bad you are but your workplace can see it clearer than you and it is being brought to your attention.
    I know we all fight hard to keep our lives as normal as possible and work is one of the hardest things to let up, both temporary and permanent. I guess the road to disability is different for everyone, but as chronic pain patients I think it has all crossed our minds at one point or the other, what life would be like. And I know its reality for a lot of us here at Spine Health.
    Right now Im on sick leave after my surgery, and my workplace has been better at seeing where I am in the healing process, than I am. I pushed myself to go back to work too soon although my manager told me to take more time as she saw I wasnt fairing well. And of course I crashed.
    So I guess my question is if it was a process for you, trying to hold on as long as possible and not wanting to see how bad it had gotten, and that others could see it before you, because you didnt really want to.
    Does that make sense?

    Also, I know that disability is defined as not being able to work anymore, but I think it can be "not being able to work" in different ways. Either by not being able to do the physical work because you have that kind of job, or not being able to work as in pushing yourself to be there and get worse. I have worked since I was 13 years old, along with school, and have had both 2 and 3 jobs sometimes. I have also experienced unemployment and know how it feels not to work. Lately, being in surgery recovery and out of work, this has been on my mind; how would I deal with disability and how does other deal with it? How did they get to that crossroad and was there a defining moment?
    Was curious about anyone's personal experince.

    Thanks again for sharing.

    Cause: car accident & genetics
    Effect: herniations C4-7, stenosis, osteoarthritis, myelopathy, neuropathy
    Non-invasive Treatment: everything under the sun
    Invasive Treatment: 2 level ACDF, C5 & C6, May 2012
    Moving Forward: SCS
  • I was lucky and had LTD insurance. but as a requirement for collecting I had to file for SSDI as well. I sat on my butt and didn't file for SSDI for a several weeks, untill the insurance company was threatenning to cut me off. I just couldn't wrap my head around the fact that here I was having to apply for SSDI, for me it felt like I was throwing in the towel and just giving up on ever getting well again, if that makes any sense, it's hard to explain. Even today I still hope to get back to the real world as I've since had a second fusion surgery same location. I'm just trying to nurse myself back to health. I don't think I wil ever come to terms with excepting the fact that I will always be like this.
  • I have thought about the subject the way you describe it. That maybe it is a gradual thing and that we always have the hope that one day it will be different. And maybe it will be. But maybe it wont.
    Although my recovery after surgery has taken longer than I thought, I have high hopes of it being succesful. But I also know that the longer I live with this, the more I run out of treatment options, and then what do you do when all is said and done and you are still in pretty bad shape? I dont know, these are just things on my mind lately.
    Cause: car accident & genetics
    Effect: herniations C4-7, stenosis, osteoarthritis, myelopathy, neuropathy
    Non-invasive Treatment: everything under the sun
    Invasive Treatment: 2 level ACDF, C5 & C6, May 2012
    Moving Forward: SCS
  • i was one of these people who tried, and tried ever so hard at the return-to-work program and failed miserably. despite that i kept going and said if only i could try harder. eventually it was my medical team that said "this isn't working, we should look at plan B". i kinda knew that was the road i was going, but i didn't want to face that. I am on full disability from work and on federal disability now, and am getting used to it. i personally do not feel that my life is any less meaningful because i no longer work. i am finding in the process of learning what non-work kinds of things i like and would bring joy and meaning to my life. like working on my hobby, etc.so to answer your question, it was my medical team that determined it would be in my best interest to be off work permanently. i finally agreed with them.
  • Hi all new to posting, but not to this site... After having 2 surgery's one in 2007 next in 2009, I ended up with FM and nerve damage, Dr. told me I was doing more harm then good to my body. I did not what to quit work. she had me disabled last Jan. I kept working and missing days and doing less at work. by the end of the year I could barely move so I quit end of Dec. then I started process of disability in Fe, this year, was approved in May.. I miss working so much, miss talking to people my age.. But at least some of my some of my muscle spasms have let up since I quit. now with the cold weather coming they are starting to come back full force. Only you can tell when its time to quit.. good luck
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