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To Disabled to -

I hear that all so often recently..

I am sure that there are people that after a long time with chronic pain have come to realize that they can no longer perform some of the activities they did before..

However, there is always something that they are capable of doing. Instead of submitting for disability they find ways to make themselves productive.

I see a patient in the rehab center I go for my aquatic therapy. He can not walk without the aid of a major walker, can not hold things in one hand/arm, has trouble speaking, is on a very high dosage of narcotics everyday just to make it bearable.

But he wants to work! The key WANTS He found a small job that would satisfy his desire to be productive.

So when I hear someone who has had a back problem for two months, and says they cant do their job and wants to go out on disability, I just have to shake my head.

There is a time for this
Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com


  • EnglishGirlEEnglishGirl Posts: 1,825
    edited 12/11/2014 - 7:15 PM
    I left work to become a stay at home Mum. It was a very long planned & personal choice. Nothing related to pain. I never thought I'd say this but I honestly think that if it was 'just a job' I would not of been able to convince myself to keep doing it. Kids are obviously very, very different. I am them & they are me. I've crawled with a sick bucket to tend to my children when they were very young. Sobbing in pain. I loved my career but I don't think I'm made of strong enough stuff to of stuck it out.

    What I have leart on my 9 year roller-coaster is I am blessed for my back. I have no one to call on. I have to get up & do all the things you have to do for little kids. Every single day, no matter what. Then collapse at the weekend when Daddy gets home! I can't take a sick-day because I'm having a flare & can't walk without making weird pain noises. I have to keep going. It's a blessing!! Oh I curse it at times but I KNOW that I would be in a far worse place physically & mentally if I could 'quit my job' or in my case, have my Mum take the kids. Having to carry-on, participate, responsibilities may create pain but not having those things can hurt a lot more in so many ways.

    Distraction is the very best therapy for pain I've ever found & life is the greatest distraction. If you can't work study something online, have a dream, something to occupy your mind. A plan for your working future. Something to fantacise about. Have hobbies & obsessions also.

    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Motor1MMotor1 Pittsburgh, PaPosts: 556
    I was injured at work in June 2013. I've had 2 neck fusions since then. Now I'm dealing with not only the neck pain, but nerve pain in neck & right shoulder. I'm currently in a pain clinic. Unfortunately, I had to hire an attorney to help me fight to get on temporary disability while I underwent the surgeries. When I update my attorney, he responds by telling me that when this is all over, he will fight to get me on total disability? I told him that I don't want that. I'm 53 & I want to work! My surgeon has already told me that I'll never work as a nursing assistant again. I'm still trying to accept that. I've been doing that work for over 30 years. I think nowadays, attorneys make it too easy to just quit & go on disability? My attorney was shocked when I told him that I wanted to work? He said most of his clients beg him to get them on disability?!
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,875
    edited 12/12/2014 - 3:17 AM
    You are so correct with your statements. Attorneys seem to be so eager to get someone on disability. Part of that is they will get a nice fee when the job is complete.

    Wanting to work! Now thats a great statement. No matter what kind of spinal problem you have, even if it means you can not do the same type of work you did before, that is only the physical aspect. But the mental approach should never change.

    I never stopped working at my job with IBM. Through all the surgeries, flareups, time out, short term disability, etc, I wanted to work
    Finally, after 5 years working at home with IBM, I spent too much time at the doctors, in therapy, seeing my deep tissue massage expert, etc. Working at a computer all day long just took its toll. Fortunately, I was at the age and had the number of years so that I could have a full retirement. I took that, but after one month, I was volunteering at the rehab center I still go to. Then, I picked up my current part time job as a wine/spirits/beer salesman at a local store. Getting back to wines, which was always my passion is great.

    I wont stop working until the day I can no longer , but I will not go on disability. But that and why I have always refused a handicap parking sticker is my personal choice.

    Everyone has to do what they are emotionally prepared and willing to do.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Hope3HHope3 Posts: 752
    edited 12/13/2014 - 12:46 PM
    I haven't been on here for a long time, due to health issues.
    I do come here and read a lot of the posts and will in time
    hopefully contribute.
    Ron are you stating that people have a choice always as to
    whether or not they take disability? That there is never a point
    at which a person cannot work and has to go on disability.
    There are so many out there that are taking advantage of the system
    but there are those out there that need the benefits of disability and
    it would be a shame for them to think it is wrong.
    I have known both and I don't have a sticker on my car either.
    It is not always a choice as to whether someone takes it or not
    and a lot due who need it yet fill their lives with as much as they can
    to be productive.
    Your fortunate that you had the means including full retirement
    when you needed it.
    My opinion of course.
    Thanks Sherri
  • To attend one of my sons school functions I have to park on the street, walk along the verge, across a very uneven field, through the teachers car park, past the empty disabled parking spaces...then up the stairs & through the school. All of that with a preschooler holding my hand! I then have to do it all in reverse to get back to my car. I push myself as hard as I can, whenever I can but in the past I've missed his events & it breaks my heart.

    There's such a stigma (in my head) about disabled stickers. I don't park as close as I can get to the building in a nice flat car park & don't intend to. I've spent the last year trying to come to terms with accepting that my life & more importantly, my sons life will be made better by me having one. Ugh! I HATE my pride! That's what it comes down to.

    I know it seems like a silly little struggle compared to decisions about disability. Like everything there are those who abuse the system but I agree with Hope. There are people who desperately need assistance & I can only imagine the emotional toll it takes taking such a huge step in life. I wish there weren't such stigmas attached to so many aspects of chronic pain. From meds to financial aid we live in a culture that makes it emotionally harder than it should be.

    In the end we have to do what's right for us. I'm so grateful that we live in the computer age. At least training, education & for many 'from home' work is available now as never before.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • I understand and agree with everything you say and understand the way
    you feel about that sticker. But if it meant the difference between me
    going through what you do to go to your little one's activities I would
    have a sticker in a heart beat. I don't because I can make it without one
    although lately it is becoming an issue and when it gets to that point I
    will get one that is what they are for.
  • We have it for our 14 year old daughter who requires the extra room to get in & out of the car, for her safety in busy carparks & because she doesn't walk very far & in most shopping centre visits is in her special pushchair.

    The stigma attached & abuse I've received over the years as she doesn't look disabled & isn't in a wheelchair all the time is challenging. We don't use it all the time but carparks are now narrower than they used to be & I can't lift her like I used to.

    I think it's important to weigh up the positives & look through the stigma if it means making your life a lot easier. The carparks aren't only for those who are in wheelchairs or are old.
    Microdiscectomy L5S1 January 2014
    Microdiscectomy L5S1 March 2014
    Fusion L5S1 11th August 2014
  • Too disabled to.. I was on short leave from work for healing therapy time for a herniated disc and degenerative discs but who knew it would end up to be permanent? I know for my job as a Registered Health care worker I'm not allowed to take narcotics and muscle relaxants when doing my job.

    Almost 7 years and no surgery but still major procedures like RFA nerve burn and still narcotics etc. goes on.

    No one knows they may become too disabled to work and I hope everyone no matter your age or job is fortunate to have Disability insurance even if you think it could never happen to you. Kudos to those who are able to work or volunteer with a disability. Happy Holidays. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I am 36 year old mother and wife and I have a lot of working years ahead of me. In my 3 yr. going on 4 struggle, I go to work in pain, deal with it during the 12 hours plus and come home and help with supper and everything else that needs to be done. If I am lucky, supper will be done and no one needs me and I can go to bed when the pain is really bad. I am the sole breadwinner in the family. I don't have a choice but to work no matter what. My doctor was hesitant in sending me back but financially, there wasn't a choice. Unless I cant physically do my job, I go to work despite the pain. Because if I don't go to work, I will lose my job. This is my life. I have seen people take advantage of the disability program at work. But I know that for every 1 person that takes advantage of it, there are lots of people that would love to be healthy enough to be able to hold down a job but cant.
    Tracie C
  • gfishggfish Pittsburgh PAPosts: 160
    I have been all over this site reading. I have had major surgery, 7 level fusion. Im 50 years old. a carpenter, Wife and two teenagers. I fix everything in and around my home. take care of my cars. replace and fix eveything they need. Hard to to take a car to get its oil changed when thats what I was able to do. Im not ready to go back to work. But I will have to. Its just at what level will i function at. Its not a desk job, or Im able to sit and take a break. And dont see them paying for light duty for a high scale person. I have to work. SSD? I could not live off that. Im on WC and thats only 80% of take home pay. In the trades you need your whole body to work. I never felt scared, or so depressed as now. I would have to take a pay cut because I could no longer do the job I used to. Still would have one, by law. So when i see someone say that they get upset if they talk about disabilty? I get upset. That there is some job that they can do? Yea! $10 an hour. Or it would be nice if I could work from home. Or maybe retire and take a small job to keep busy. But some cant. Im to old to start over. Climb up that ladder again. I am very thankfull i am not in a wheelchair after my fall. There are many worse off than me. Just wanted to vent. This is life changing injury for some.
    Greg fisher
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    ...I would love nothing more. I loved my work and loved to work. Once my body started getting more painful and unpredictable... I had to go on Disability. It was that or a Mission.

    In previous posts I know I have said the I saw Disability attorney two days after quitting my job. Saying that was without the background of already working with and through pain. I too was in nursing so once narcotics helped my body I needed to change jobs. So then I went into managing Assisted Living Homes. (I forget what last word is..not homes..but can't recall)
    Not having to do heavy lifting helped me get by tremendously .

    Then I started falling...no apparent reason to me. At that time docs thought due to my blood vessel disorder and clotting disorder. My blood vessels (endothelial dysfunction) cause my vessels to stick together (as a clot but not a clot)
    That was diagnosed and reaffirmed by second opinion and third at Mayo Clinic. That was also cause of my ischemia to large intestine. Horrific pain! So I lost that job because of unpredictable falling.

    Meanwhile I also have Fibromusculardysphagia. So now I learn outer lining of blood vessel..not good integrity. Outside..instead of parralle lines say....there is weakened pearl like outside vessel. Anyway that can cut off or impair the circulation also. All my arteries in my gut are effective so at times eating can cause pain I can't stand up for an hour. I roll around bathroom floor as nausea and vomiting is intense.

    Then I started interpreting for the deaf. That had a hopeful begging..even though I still fell regularly but that became the norm for me. But then I would stop moving my hands. I was told I looked trance like. I would have to re orientate myself to situation and try to pick up again. Thank goodness that oftentimes we work with partners and I had one then.

    Then to ER for stroke. My PM doc is also neurologist so what primary missed neurologist said my brain show to be riddled with previous stroke activities. As my spinal issues became more and more painful and I tried to be in control of pain..was so difficult to concentrate.. I wanted to slap people for saying things I thought were a waste of time for me to interpret. ( ofcourse I never acted out or said anything..just little thoughts fluttering through my mind) . And that' when I quit work.

    Progressively, I have become more and more housebound and indeed more bedridden more days than I care for. But I finally came to a place of acceptance with my situation and with myself. I used to feel so useless as to why am I here...parasite on society. But just as I don't understand all the issues my body navigates through daily ...I may not understand why I'm here but I am! My contact with people much less but just as deep as before. And depression relieved to point where I have never felt better in my head in my life. :) ( I still take meds)

    I have also learned to stop finding my worth in my memory for whatever reason is horrible. This is day to day with people "I just told you and then you said.." and I am hearing it as if for the first time. I have had to learn to trust my friends and family because it is very easy to feel paranoid when so many people say same things and I think they kidding me. It is not easy to not trust own mind...own memory...own self.

    For love or money I couldn't and I can't work. No amount of coaxing or shame or putting me in category with those who abuse system will ever make me feel guilty again. And I so grateful for resources so I can take care of myself...because I'm worth it :)
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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