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Disability stigmas on persons on disability or applying, some thoughts for you to ponder... what do

shouston7sshouston7 SOUTH CAROLINAPosts: 33
Recently I read a couple post on Spine Health about SSDI and how anybody can do some work, and that in their case, they had too much pride to apply or be on disability.
Yes we can all do a little at least, however how does that count as gainful employment? The little bit that I have been working the last couple years just burdened my husband with working full time/overtime, doing most and some days all the housework, laundry, floors, grocery shopping and cooking, oh and the extra medical bills because while I was trying to work I would end up with more procedures, and would have more bills. My job was wonderful, a dream job, again my struggling to do the job I was hired for I could not fulfill. I miss my boss and all my coworkers/friends at the office. It has been a very emotional decision to give my job up. I could see every day how I was not getting the job done, is it fair to do so little knowing you are not carrying the load! I have an excellent work record, I took pride in doing the very best, so when I could not do that anymore I looked around me, I knew I had to leave that chapter of my life and determine how I was going to be a help mate to my husband, a mother to my three grown children and a grandmother to a precious 3 year old. In all aspects of life there will always be someone that will cheat, lie, and try to take advantage of benefits. That is human nature, not at it's best, but we will always have that in our society, does that mean that I am going to be looked at as an ill fit person because I chose to apply/hopefully receive disability. Is my pride worth more than being responsible enough to see that my working was not helping anyone. The worry I carrying made me break out in hives every day until I spoke with an attorney and went to my Primary and had some conversations to help me make an informed decision, Primary started me on an antihistamine and within a week of leaving my job I could feel the anxiety and stress leave me. I am now focusing on health, exercise and vitamins, and soon I hope to get a better nutritious diet going. I don't worry now if I have had night after night of no sleep, I know I can sleep in mornings if I have to. No I can't do housework the way I used to, and I have to ask for help, or let it wait until I can get to it a slower pace.
I have worked about all my life, baby sat when I was 13 and job at 15 and so on. I paid into SSDI for many years, is my pride going to stop me from applying, I think not, I have too much love for my family I need some quality of my life back and this works for me and mine! Love you guys, moderators and spineys, Had to put this in words so I can move on...Sharon
S. Houston


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,845
    But when it comes down to each and every one of you.

    Work as long as you can even if it's a retrained job

    Apply for disability when you know you can no longer function in any job.

    To do what's right we only need to judge ourselves. It doesn't matter what anyone else may think.
    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
  • PlumbTuckeredOutPlumbTuckeredOut Philadelphia, PAPosts: 325
    I've been on SSDI since 1992 when I was a pup...... hardly 2 years into the real professional world. With what I know now, I'd suggest doing everything possible to stay off disability. My personal opinion and I'd talk about it but 22 years of it has given some good insight.

    The other "stigma" bit I need to address is friends...... or those who I think of as friends. Since I was very young (my initial back injury was in 1974 when I was 8 years old.) people have known I'm in pain. Sometimes it was impossible to hide since I'd start to drag a leg or need to leave an event to go home but I never out and out told anyone how horrible my pain was and continues to be.

    So, in July 2014 I started at a Pain Clinic and told a few friends. They helped with transport to injections and the like. Overall people have been supported and excited for me as my world is opening up again with less constant pain. I've told a few friends that I'm now on morphine er and oxycodone. And almost immediately the response was "so you're going to be an addict". Oh and let me add that I carefully discussed all these decisions with my doctors because of fears of addiction and dependency. Even when I go out with friends (before the heavy meds) I skipped alcohol. I don't want or need the brain drain.

    I know that everywhere in the media we are watching celebrities die from overdoses and prescription med addiction. I seriously cannot say, "This won't happen to me" because I don't think anyone goes on meds anticipating becoming an addict. But how do I explain to people that people in real pain are prescribed these kinds of meds daily? I realize few people knew I was in horrendous pain much of the time but I don't think I should have to prove my need for pain medications. No, I definitely do not ever want to go through addiction but I finally feel so much connected to the world on these meds. I can now participate in life. I feel like people are really misjudging me saying "You gave in". After 40 years of pain and 2 not really effective surgeries, I want relief- not a high.

    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by...... (Robert Frost)
    I still don't know if I should have taken the one that said, "Caution! Dead End" (Me)
  • shouston7sshouston7 SOUTH CAROLINAPosts: 33
    So sorry you have had to suffer in pain for so many years, I cannot even imagine being an 8 yr old and having surgery on my back!
    A very wise friend of mine that has been dealing with pain issues for many years told me some good advice.
    For me my major pain issues started in 2004, before then about 1976, I could take OTC medications and get better, once in a while I would not be able to move my neck for a week, then better again.
    So since 2004 I started getting worse worse had surfor cervical spine, however the low back pain and nerve pain in both legs has gotten still worse. So I am rambling so sorry. Point is this friend said to keep my medication therapy between me and all my physicians, no one else needs to know details, just that you are under the care of your Drs. So only a few really know details. I am grateful that there are medications that help me, I am confident that my primary Dr.,my Spine pain Dr. And my spine surgeon will not prescribe medications I do not need,and combined with physical therapy,home exercises and ESI, nerve blocks,trigger point injections,tens unit, medications are only part of pain control. Pain control has become a full time job,, hence "disability" is a way I can focus on these pain issues.
    Love your family and your friends, but never feel you have to justify your pain treatments, tell them you and your Physicians are working together and have it under control. Be honest and accountable to yourself and your Drs. ,do as they advise you .
    It is good that you Can have some quality of life back!
    Keep on smiling! Only until your friends or,and relatives start having chronic pain issues Will they really understand. Vent on this site and research. We all are pulling for you!

    S. Houston
  • shouston7sshouston7 SOUTH CAROLINAPosts: 33
    Had Surgery Not Surfor cervical. Sorry
    S. Houston
  • shouston7sshouston7 SOUTH CAROLINAPosts: 33
  • PlumbTuckeredOutPlumbTuckeredOut Philadelphia, PAPosts: 325
    I work (volunteer) for another non-profit having to do with another disability and I am pretty open regarding those medications because, people are terrified to take those meds but, once they take those meds the terror ends. I'm pretty into educating those about medications and side effects and how to discuss their fears with their doctors. I've even been the advocate for some people with their doctors.
    Now, enter the Lyrica, oxycodone and MS-contin. They also have effects of my other disability- positive effects but I don't think I should share this information with others as you mentioned. Let's be honest, plenty of people think that morphine is either the cure for all the world's problems or the reason for all the world's problems!

    It's really weird because I really am the boss and I have no one above me to discuss this with. I had considered starting a support list meshing the 2 disabilities and then realized that no one has added an additional 20 hours of free time to my weekly schedule!
    I just joined here a bit again and I really appreciate coming here and reading. The stories are all so much like what I want through and I feel like there are others like me- I feel "normalized".
    Thanks for being here and reading!

    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by...... (Robert Frost)
    I still don't know if I should have taken the one that said, "Caution! Dead End" (Me)
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