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"Hidden" Disabilities

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Old 06-12-2004, 11:50 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Sioux Falls, SD
Posts: 1
stephiebear HB User
Unhappy "Hidden" Disabilities

I am new to this, so "bear" with me please. The following is a list of my Disabilities that has been verified & diagnosed: Bi-level Degenerative Disc Disease (L4-5, L5-S1). I've had two fusions, now have arthritis/scar tissue; Fibromyalgia; Full hysterectomy due to severe Endometriosis; Severe Sensory Neurothopy in both feet/legs & now in both arms (can't stand more than 5 min. in one place or walk a short distant before having problems); Severe Carpel Tunnel Syndrome in the right hand & moderate to severe in the left hand (surgery pending); Overactive Bladder; Permanent Tubes in both ears; Chronic Depression, PTSD, & Borderline Personality/Emotional Disorders. Basically, I live in constant pain 24/7 since 1990. I've had over ten surgeries, mostly on my back. Weight gain is also a problem. I'm a Veteran, forced out medically in 1995 (which I didn't want to occur). I've lost my career, health, and ability to live a "normal" life. The worse part is that I'm only 41 years old.

I have a cat, Toby, for pet therapy, but sometimes just taking care of Him is painful. I can't even clean my home. The VA has rated me as "unemployable", so I'm going to school (barely making it physically/mentally) working on my Masters Degree in Religious Studies so that I might become a volunteer Chaplain Assistant at the VA. I have to work extremely hard because the medications have limited my memory/concentration, not to mention having to sit for three hours. I'm suppose to lay down every afternoon, but usually spend time in the library. I desperately try to hide the pain, but usually cry when I get home. I have no insurance due to "prior existence" & have to rely on the VA for all financial/medical needs. I'm in debt because of some poor choices & the GI Bill doesn't cover the high cost of my education. I could have gone bankrupt, but I pay what I owe. Because of my limitations, I am unable to work to earn extra money. I've been trying to get grants, but no one seems to want to help a Disabled Veteran going part-time. (Any suggestions on how to obtain approx. $25,000 legally, no strings attached would be greatly appreciated! I'd pay it back somehow!) My question is this: What can I do, that I haven't already done, to relieve all of these painful conditions? The meds do not help, but the pain would be too great for me to bear if I didn't take them (I've tried to go without twice & had to get right back on them!)

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