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Old 09-26-2008, 05:32 PM   #1
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getting disability

I asked my primary yesterday to support my decision to go on disability. I have been sick for 3 years and getting to a diagnosis has been difficult almost impossible.

I attempted suicide last year and was hospitalized for 3 days in the psych ward. I don't remember a minute of that time. When I got out, I was given an anti-depressant. When I went back to primary, she told me I needed to go back to work (I had been on disability for 9 months at that point). I returned to work, but as of yet, I have not been able to return full time.

I am continuing to experience fatigue, muscle weekness, trouble walking, dizzy spells, cognative problems. I am at the point at work, as I am not able to meet the minimum expectations of my job. I will be fired soon, if I can't bring up my standards. High levels in customer service, but my stat for sales and production time are below their expecations. If I loose this job, any new job I get will deny long term as I now have a pre-existing condition. I can always apply for Canada Pension disability, but that means at least $300 less per month then I would get from my company disability.

So, my new primary "does not believe in time off" - so she won't approve a request for disability. I don't know what else to do. My partner is ready to read the riot act to her - even going to the media. She sees how difficult it is for me to function and knows I'm not doing this because I don't want to work.

The reason I want disability is that I feel that continuing to work is going to make my health issues worse.

Any insight?

 
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Old 09-27-2008, 10:44 AM   #2
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Re: getting disability

Hi NB. I'm sorry - fibro is such a drag, some times more than others, eh?
(I can say "eh", because I am Canadian too! ).
I don't know what the stats are on how many folks actually get approved for CPP Disability, I do know it takes a long time, and you need a doctor who will fill out the forms, and be in support of your application. And of course, I am not sure what your company disability rules are.
Altho it doesn't seem like it to you, your primary doc believes she is doing what's best for you at the moment. Respect that, but go back to ask for more help. Maybe she will automatically refer you to a specialist or clinic that can help with specific ways to keep yourself employable etc., or maybe she'll have other suggestions herself. Make sure she is aware of your struggle and that you fear dismissal if you don't improve at work. (your place of employment is allowed to fire people because they are sick and can't do the work?!)
Keeping your job and your income is really really important - so I hope you can find a way to do both - keep working and regain some of your health. Let us know how thing go okay?
Wishing you peace and comfort,
Paddy

 
Old 09-27-2008, 09:30 PM   #3
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Re: getting disability

I have never heard of a doctor saying no to time off but I am really lucky. Your first task should be to find a doctor who truly knows about fibromyalgia and is supportive. That alone will help you feel better. Then you should write your current doctor a nice nastygram. The problem is a lot of doctors aren't fully educated about fibromyalgia.
I know ther are sites on the internet that give information on how doctors are with fibro patients. The armerican site national fibromyalgia just sent me a questionaire about my doctor for a survey they are compiling, so they're doing Canadian doctors too.
Just a note, if disability where you are is anything like here, it can take a long time. I waited 6 months. Some people have to reapply. The thing is you are in the right and you do have a disabilty. You just have to hang in there. And remember that going on disability isn't necessarily for ever. Some people find that once away from the stressful work environment there symptoms lessen and that after a couple of years they can rejoin the work force while maintaining a lower stress profile.

 
Old 09-28-2008, 09:51 AM   #4
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Re: getting disability

I do not have a doctor - there are no doctors in New Brunswick that are accepting new patients. I'm on the registry to get a new doctor, but that might take years.

I have a nurse practioner - my other one left to a new location, so I have a new one. I was really excited when she actually was able to prescribe me something - anything! However, I don't think she is understanding the cognative issues - you call it fibro fog, I call it dementia. Its like I've lost my mind and I'm learning everything for the first time. Each time, I have to relearn it.....

They arn't coming after me about the illness aspect - they are coming after me for the sales. I have high marks on customer service - but my stats on sales has not picked up since I returned to work.

I've decided that if they want to fire me - go ahead. I can still get EI and appeal wrongful dismissal. I hate this illness for this reason. Its not like I don't want to work, or am lazy. I just can't seem to get the ability to remember or learn new tasks.

So, thats where I'm at right now.

 
Old 09-28-2008, 10:41 AM   #5
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Re: getting disability

Quote:
Originally Posted by newbrunswick View Post
I do not have a doctor - there are no doctors in New Brunswick that are accepting new patients. I'm on the registry to get a new doctor, but that might take years.

I have a nurse practioner - my other one left to a new location, so I have a new one. I was really excited when she actually was able to prescribe me something - anything! However, I don't think she is understanding the cognative issues - you call it fibro fog, I call it dementia. Its like I've lost my mind and I'm learning everything for the first time. Each time, I have to relearn it.....

They arn't coming after me about the illness aspect - they are coming after me for the sales. I have high marks on customer service - but my stats on sales has not picked up since I returned to work.

I've decided that if they want to fire me - go ahead. I can still get EI and appeal wrongful dismissal. I hate this illness for this reason. Its not like I don't want to work, or am lazy. I just can't seem to get the ability to remember or learn new tasks.

So, thats where I'm at right now.
Ok, newbrunswick you sound really down-I don't mean you don't have a reason for feeling down. However there are more and more things as patients that we have to take into our own hands to help the Dr or nurses along. They tend to simplify your reasons for not being well, they really don't have any idea of your pain and fibro head-so if I were you instead of feeling like you just have to settle-which you don't. Drs tend to categorize you into a complainer, a sicko, as wanting meds even as a pain to them. I would ask your nurse practioner to refer you to rhuematism specialist to have a proper diagnoses of your condition- we are all entitled to proper health care and second opinions. Sit down when you have time and make a list of your pain and how you are dealing with it. I had to do this with my DR-I even took a copy of a front and back picture of a medical human form and highlighted with red ink the areas of my pain and said in my letter that this pain I get is a roaming pain (not always in the same area at the same time) I told him how I felt when I woke up (all sore and spacey) how I slept through the night (I sleep like a brick but never feel rested-as soon as I try to get up I hurt everywhere). It took my GP a couple months actually to read my letter but he did read it finally. In the mean time he prescribed me Lyrica (which did not work for me) I was taking Celebrex, Tylenol T3's, 800 mg Advil every 4 or so hours, Mobicox, Arthritec and so on to no avail. He also set me up with a Rhuemy Specialist which took 2 months to see-I saw him last Tuesday and was diagnosed with Fibro and put on Gabapentin 300mg X 2 daily and he will be referring me to the Arthritus Fibromyalgia Agency to learn more about Fibro. So it does take time and it is discouraging-so you need to do this now to account for the time it takes to get into these specialists. But see, my Dr didn't really know what was going on even though I had been in pain like this for years and just blamed my bed, or my depression or my life-I blamed me. It isn't me-it's my body attacking itself. So you go girl!

As for time away from work or disability CPP or whatever-it is really difficult to get these things without seeing a specialist and being given a true diagnoses so these Drs can stand up for you if you need to come up before a board of people who say nay or yay to your application to Long term Disability thru work or CPP thru Social security. I am sorry it is so frustrating but it just is and you want to get some releif so go thru the proper channels for the assistance and medications you need. But ask your nurse person to send you to a specialist for a start and have it on record all the things you have tried to help with your pain so if you do need to go off work again you have proof and always get a Drs note when you are off work and take a photo copy for you to keep and one for your employer.

I find I get so angry with the way health care is treating people and the way employer's treat chronically ill employees. I went through it all when I worked, I got so fed up with Drs notes and explaining myself to everyone about why I was away. Before I gave up my job in 2005 I was on Short Term Disability which we had 7 months of that and them you were send forms to apply for Long Term Disability. Well they sent my Long Term Disability when I had been off for 3 months so I sent the forms back to them with a letter and told them I was sick of their forms and sick of it all and resigned. I had to- it was all making me sicker.

 
Old 09-28-2008, 11:24 AM   #6
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Re: getting disability

Ebrena - thanks. My partner keeps telling me I need to get a back bone. She doesn't put up with any guff from anyone - I go the other way.....

so, I was able to get a referral to a rheumi - I don't know when it'll be, but after telling her 3 times I want a biopsy of my rashes, she finally agreed when I told her I had Reynauds - she asked me who had diagnosed me and I told her I had diagnosed myself. I flippintly said something to the effect that I can't get a professional to diagnose me, so I might as well diagnose myself. I think at that point she realized that I need to be referred onwards.

Jumping to your issue of resigning because of forms - I feel for you. Have you given thought to applying for CPP????? You don't get anything for the first 4 months, and the earliest you get approved is 4 months - but I understand it is easier then long term companies. Do you by chance work for the provincial government? Its too bad you resigned - you were entitled to benefits if you were not working. I used to work for the prov of bc in PSERC so I know all the ins and outs of short term/long term of them.

I too am angry at how we are all treated. It seems that if you have a terminal illness, you can get benefits easily. If you are ill, but no real end in sight, it seems that they just screw you around.

I'm feeling better today - tired still, but a new perspective on things. I even got to clean my house yesterday so that felt great!

I hope you are all feeling good today and hopefully the hurricane Kyle doesn't do much damage tonight.

Clare

 
Old 09-28-2008, 12:39 PM   #7
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Re: getting disability

Hi again NB, I never used to have back-bone I used to feel intimidated around anyone professional and took them at their word, negating mine. Not anymore though. There were other contributing factors that made my mind up to resign from BC Govt. Firstly I was sick of it and all the back-stabbing and immature bs that was taking place. #2 my mom was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in Aug 2005 I was on short term disability at the time because I was sick all the time and needed to get better and working at the office was not doing me any good health wise. I became my mom's full time care giver, in the beginning I was travelling to her place in Nanaimo and then Oct she came to stay with us. There was no leave at that time for caring for an ill parent that came out in March 2006! I did get EI for 16 weeks for caring for my mom.

Because I was sick of being sick, and sick of being tired and sore, and sick of my job so my decision to be there for my mom which was an easy one because I loved my mom dearly, it wasn't a tough decision. My mom passed away Dec 30 2005 and I sunk into major major depression for about a year and a half-basically staying in my bedroom. I guess I was beginning to heal and accept it all by this past Spring, now I am ok with that. I turned 55 in June so applied for early retirement pension so I have it locked in till I am 60. For now I am wanting to take some courses in managing your own business and web design and I will work from my home I refuse to work in another cubicle being dictated to by people who are so high on themselves. Those high on themselves people are still young and I just hope they always feel young because they won't like feeling like this ever! It's like they were always suspicious of my absenteeism even though I was paying $50 for Dr's notes and covering my butt. They couldn't have fired me but I just had to fire them. I don't miss it one bit in fact my stomach still turns over when I think about that place. I am lucky to have a husband who understands my illness as well my depression and he is fine with me not working-it wouldn't last anyway because I get too sore at times I hobble around like a 95 year old woman and pay for things I do that I shouldn't in major body aches.

I am glad your partner is telling you to get some back-bone and demand treatment and answers and none of this wishy washy crap these information clerks or Dr's throw upon us. It's your body, it's sore, you feel crappy and you want some relief.

Last edited by ebrena; 09-28-2008 at 12:41 PM.

 
Old 09-28-2008, 01:29 PM   #8
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Re: getting disability

Ebrena - this is such a small world. I used to work in HR and went on short term due to post trumatic stress caused by a sexual assualt as a child. I was going to counselling 3 times a week, seeing my doctor every 2 weeks etc. At the same time, my mother was injured in a serious car accident, and she was self employed as a counsellor. So, she had to temporarily shut down her business and I agreed to come over and answer phones messages, and do some basic office stuff to help her out. Well, my boss (HR manager) called my home one day, and my stupid brother in law gave him her work number instead of her home phone number and of course the answering machine said "sorry I can't come to the phone, please leave a message and Clare will call you back". He then went to the extreme of trying to fire me as I was "working" at another job. Had to go to the union - they sent me to the government doctors.....Well, this doctor was so ****** about this that he ended up going above his head and reamed them out. I kept my job, and continued my short term, but it unnerved me.

Sorry to hear about your mom - glad you had the opportunity to look after her. I agree that you can't let them push you around.

By the way, I like the idea of writing a letter to my primary. I'm going to do this listing all my symptoms and when they started etc, so she has a better idea of what I'm going thru.

Thanks for the input - it's given me some ideas and strenght!

Clare

 
Old 09-29-2008, 03:39 AM   #9
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Re: getting disability

Trouble doing new tasks, now I understand! Sometimes I read things and then when I reply I mix it up withh other posts. Fibrofog! Sometimes my thought process is as thick as pea soup. lol. It's not really funny though and is probably the problem you're experiencing.
I can understand your fear of being fired. I was once fired after having petit mal seizures at work. The being fired is not the worst part. It's the feeling of lack of understanding that really hurts you. I wish you luck and continuing high sales.

 
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