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Old 04-10-2013, 05:06 AM   #1
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On the verge of disability

Hi all,
So my background, I had a cervical corpectomy with fusion in December 2011 for herniated disks and hardened bones pressing on my spinal cord. This was to stop the progression and prevent paralysis. The surgery went well and healed, but I was left with permanent nerve damage and now suffer from chronic pain in my neck, shoulders and arms. I am in constant pain and some days can barley move.
Work in a nut shell is horrible. I am in pain from the time I get up in the morning. It hurts to shower and dress, I am in agony from the drive in, and from the time i sit at my desk till I clock out I am in pain. I've done everything i can to be more comfortable, had my desk arranged by an ergonomic specialist, use a heating pad at my desk and try to take breaks and stretch.
I am on intermittent FMLA, but know my work would like me gone. They have me on performance improvement and feel they would like to let me go.
I think the FMLA is the only thing stopping them right now.
With all this I just don't know how much longer I am going to be able to work. Either by me going on disability or being let go and then having to go that route.
And disability concerns me. On one side I think it would be good to totally concentrate on my health and try to if not get better, at least learn to deal with my condition and find better ways to manage it. Without the physical and mental stress of work, this would probably be beneficial.
But then I have concerns on money. The loss of income, the unknown if you actually can get approved and the struggle while you wait the long period of denials and hearings.
Then their is the emotional side. I would hope I use the time to work on my health and stay engage in life, but of course their is the chance of becoming depressed, feeling useless and just stop living. Things now are tough as my condition limits so much of what I do, I would hate to be worse, not only for myself, but for my wife.
I would love to hear from those who went through the process.
The health boards have been so helpful, just to be able to get your feelings out and hear from others. Thanks to everyone on these boards who have helped me over this past year.

Last edited by Administrator; 04-10-2013 at 07:24 PM.

 
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Old 04-23-2013, 01:43 PM   #2
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Re: On the verge of disability

Hi cspine, Im sorry i didnt see this sooner but im usually on back or pain board. When it was becoming evident that i wasnt doing well & possibly i wouldnt be able to continue working & i didnt know if it would be a year maybe less maybe more before i left & i didnt know if it would be temporary or permanent a secretary told me it was open enrollment for a short or long term disability insurance, so i signed up before enrollment closed. About 4 years later i had two broken wrists, ulcerative colitis & my back pain was causing me to miss work really bad & my gastro,NS & PM dr all said that it was time, i had to stop working. Getting that policy was the smartest thing ive ever done & if it is available to you @ work if i were you i would sign up. I think that they may be available as a private insurance as well. The benefits helped so much transitioning to one paycheck. I dont have SSDI but i know you are really suffering with your neck & if it seems imminent that you may have to be off whether temporary or permanent i think the benefits may help you as they help me.

Last edited by gmak; 04-23-2013 at 01:48 PM.

 
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Old 04-24-2013, 04:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmak View Post
Hi cspine, Im sorry i didnt see this sooner but im usually on back or pain board. When it was becoming evident that i wasnt doing well & possibly i wouldnt be able to continue working & i didnt know if it would be a year maybe less maybe more before i left & i didnt know if it would be temporary or permanent a secretary told me it was open enrollment for a short or long term disability insurance, so i signed up before enrollment closed. About 4 years later i had two broken wrists, ulcerative colitis & my back pain was causing me to miss work really bad & my gastro,NS & PM dr all said that it was time, i had to stop working. Getting that policy was the smartest thing ive ever done & if it is available to you @ work if i were you i would sign up. I think that they may be available as a private insurance as well. The benefits helped so much transitioning to one paycheck. I dont have SSDI but i know you are really suffering with your neck & if it seems imminent that you may have to be off whether temporary or permanent i think the benefits may help you as they help me.
Thanks Gmak.
Sorry you have gone thru so much. Are you back working again?
My work as LTD as part of our benefits, but they offer little details on it, and not sure if they have to approve it. Asking is tricky as I would be alerting them I am looking into disability. We may have to end up putting the cards on the table and have a meeting with hr to discuss what would work for us all.
Once we talk with the Dr next week we should have a better idea of what they advise and we will have to go from there.
Thanks again for your advice. Hope you are having a better day, today.

 
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:19 PM   #4
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Re: On the verge of disability

Before the secretary told me i didnt know it existed & it would cover missed days if & after 3 in a row but was called long term disability is how it was referred to by employees. I wish there was someone that you could ask about the coverage, like i talked to the lady that handled all the insurance in hr. Ive never applied for SSDI because i think my quarters are too old because i paid into state retirement so long so i didnt have the waiting for approval with no work but i thought i was out short term but i just got worse & the drs have never let me go back. I do wish i wouldve been put on long acting medicine sooner then maybe i couldve worked longer & the pain is there if im sitting or walking at home just like at work meaning i cant float! I still have to lay down, sit, walk or stand.Lol. I hope that the changes your dr made at last appointment with your meds buy you some more time. God bless you cspine

Last edited by gmak; 04-24-2013 at 10:26 PM. Reason: typos

 
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:20 PM   #5
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Re: On the verge of disability

Before the secretary told me i didnt know it existed & it would cover missed days if & after # in a row but was called long term disability is how it was referred to by employees. I wish there was someone that you could ask about the coverage, like i talked to the lady that handled all the insurance in hr. Ive never applied for SSDI because i think my quarters are too old because i paid into state retirement so long so i didjt have the waiting for approval with no work but i thought i was out short term but i jist got worse & the drs have never let me go back. I do wish i wouldve been put on long acting medicine sooner then maybe i couldve worked longer & the pain is there if im sitting or walking at home just like at work meaning i cant float!Lol. I hope that the changes your dr made at last appointment with your meds buy you some more time. God bless you cspine

 
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