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At what point do you finally give up and go for disability?

candle99ccandle99 Posts: 279
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:24 AM in Health Insurance Issues
I just wanted to ask those of you that are on disability or are applying for it...how or when did you let go and admit to yourself and everyone else that you just can't make it anymore going to work?

I'm 12 weeks postop from an ALIF L4/L5. I still have a moderate bulge at L3/L4 with nerve root displacement that he didn't touch. I've had pain everyday since surgery except for a Fri/Sat/Sun about in the middle of the 12 weeks. I don't know why I had no pain those days, but I wish whatever it was would allow that again! I'm fighting really hard to continue my routine, getting up sore and stiff at 6am, getting ready, getting two kids ready and on the bus, driving an hour to work with heated seats and on my pain meds, then working 8 hours sitting on my back, getting up every hour or so and hobbling to the bathroom and walking down the hall, then driving an hour home, picking up kids at day care and band practice and then getting something for dinner or cooking quickly, then laundry, homework, bed. It was hard before my back got bad, but now it's even harder.

My left leg is still weak after the surgery. I can't get out of the car on it alone, I have to swivel and get out on both feet. I have to lift it up to put it into the car once I get sat down.

I'm so afraid to let go and apply for disability retirement and my option LTD and SSDI. I'm afraid they won't see my condition as disabled. I know you have to wait 5 months before applying for SSDI and your doctors have to say you are disabled. But what is disabled? Do you have to be in a wheelchair? Can you still grocery shop and hobble around? To me my job of programming and sitting for 8 hours, seems like it would be hard to say I can't do that anymore, but it kills me.

I'm really confused and probably not saying the right things. I'm just so tired of clawing my way thru the days to survive and live and work.



  • Hiya Melisa, >:D<
    My heart goes out to you :( . I can only give you advice from a personal level :? . My situation was simular to yours and i stuggled everyday at work :( , but one day i didnt have any pain, and lifted a garden slab my back gave on me and that was that :T . The doctor was called and he stongly advised me to give up my job :? , i cryed for days, as i loved my work :''( . That was over 2 years ago. Melisa , what i am saying to you , that you have to put your health first :) . Go and see your doctor and ask him :O , just tell him basically what you put in this post, and see what he says :) . Do you think you had enough recovery time? :S Remember everyone is different when it comes to recovery :S Keep us posted ! PM me anytime! >:D<

    Angie >:D<
  • Melisa, we sound alike. I just got back to work on Sept 29th after being out on FMLA for 3 months. ( surgery is not an option for me) I have applied for SSD. I thought I could do this ( go back to work) but Im finding it harder each day. It is so painful.
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  • I'm not usually a weak person. I've prided myself in taking alot of challenges and making the best out of them. I usually can push on through things and come out okay on the other end. This back deal is getting the better of me and my pride. I don't want to be looked at as a weak person, or someone that just making it all up. I don't want to be hammered and hammered about why can't I do this or that. Because if I make myself, I can still do it, but I pay for it later or it hurts when I do it.

    I've know people that have gotten disability for their backs and listen to how others talk about them...well, they go to the casinos now and they were out mowing their yard and it's just because they didn't want to work...and so on. I don't want to be the topic or jealousy of anyone's conversations.

    I know we have to put our health first and not think about what other say. In my heart of hearts, it's like admitting that you're finished, kaput, or something do apply. I don't want to lose the battle. Am I mental or what? I'm really struggling mentally over the physcial part.

    I guess I will go on until I can't. Then, I will talk to my doctors about it.
    Thanks for your replies.

  • I think that you are on the right track. You will know when it is time. I struggled for 4 years and finally had to give up after surgery. Good luck to you.
  • I am also in the same boat, except I haven't had surgery yet. I have a big old work comp case that just keeps getting worse. I want to work, I actually wanted to become a nurse, but I got injured as a cna. My husband has ssd after having a fusion. He had a failed back surgery. If you feel it is time to apply, go for it. You need to do what you gotta do to make it. I hope that you decide what is best for you.
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  • Candle and all I'm very new here so i'll try to do this right 8>. No doctor told me to quit working,in fact i dont think i was taken seriously about my pain,several years of different types of pain feet,knees,back, hands,and to top it off depression!I just quit!!Not a wise choise but I did not know what else to do,Im 54 now. Finally in 2008 my PP had a MRI done on my back.Oh sorry I forgot to tell you I was a work-a-holic,7 days a week if they let me,and looking for part time work on the side when i could get it.Any way before the MRI came back I ended up in ER.the pain in my back was so bad. A couple days later my dr called and said i had spinal stonosis and had to have sugery.Im sorry too make a long story shorter I had lubbar stonoisis sugery on 10/08. I finally signed up for ssd 6/5/09 and have had huge major sugery on my spine 7/20/09,long recovery,,dont know if i'll get ssd fast or have to wait,what i do know is you have to take care of your self because no one else will tell you when enough has been enough! I dont think i am ever gonna be able to work again,Idont even care any more what the doctors think,it is not there pain and what other people think forget it as long as you know the truth thats all that matters. I wish you the Very best,please dont wait untill it is too late. please forgive me if I went on and on too much
  • I have applied awaiting a letter a call anything. I have a lawyer who only takes the ones they think they can win. MY surgery was done 2 years ago and i went back to work then decided i would quit then my husband had physical issues arise and he quit so i had to work and now im done or kaput as you stated. if i work i suffer the effects after the day is done and thats not accounting for having to survive on numerous pain meds just to make it through a work day taking them every couple hours cause around every corner mr pain was waiting for me. This year in june i decided i was done which i had thought about before but amist tears dragged myself in there anyway couldnt swallow that big hunk of pride ya know. Well i finally must of choked it down cause i went to my doctor we had a long 2 hr discussion and now im not working. im drawing short term right now but praying ill get my SSDI approved even though i am young. I dont think anyone would want to hire me with all my problems and add osteoporosis bad bad dont cough wrong or ill break something osteoporosis well how do i know when its wrong. Any how i knew when i was done and so will you.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,348
    Right now I know that you have pain and discomfort. And the simple things you did before are more difficult.
    But honestly much of what you describe is what almost everyone on this board has to go through day and day out.
    Many people refuse to give up. They will continue to do whatever they can until a time comes when they can't.
    It doesnt have to be wheelchair bound, because there is a lot more to geeting LTD or SSDI.
    About 8 years ago, I was told that my company would have approved my LTD and chances for SSDI were also good.
    I still had a lot more that I wanted to do (in terms of my job), so I bypassed that.
    Now, I recently retired and just getting away from working at a computer 8-10 hours a day has made a big difference for me.
    Use your own to determine when the time is right for you
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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