I Blew It

September 28, 2007

The nature of Fibromyalgia is such that I find myself almost phobic about stress and pain. So, in avoidance of it, I’ve probably lost my job.

A few months back, my doctor recommended that I go on leave of absence. I’d had a bad flare, and work was becoming increasingly difficult to deal with. Pain, stupidity (due to the fibrofog), and humiliation (also due to the fog). My supervisor and manager were extremely understanding. At their urging, I applied for short term disability. I went to my doctor, who filled out all of the necessary forms and supplied loads of documentation, but my claim was denied. They said that my doctor hadn’t provided enough information. Insane, considering he sent them records from every specialist that he’s ever sent me to, and every hospital visit I’ve had in recent months. Do they think I’m doing this for fun? Anyway, there’s an appeals process, but I just didn’t have the physical energy or mental fortitude for it. I’m not kidding. Meanness burns me out. Red tape exhausts me. Becoming overly stressed can immobilize me with pain. The system makes you go to doctor after doctor to make your case, but there is no doctor who can cure this. The game exhausts me.

My FMLA ended on the twenty-first, I think. Maybe it was the twenty-eighth. I get confused. When I had my recent lunch with my supervisor, she urged me to appeal. She told me exactly what to do, who to call, what to get my doctor to say. “You have to do it Monday,” she said. “That’s the last day of your FMLA.”

I drove an hour-and-a-half from Columbus to Dayton that day. When I got home, I was laid flat for a couple of days. The exhaustion is indescribable. The pain was enormous. All I can do when this happens is sort of curl into a ball and cry. So, I didn’t call on Monday. Or Tuesday or Wednesday. I did call yesterday because I finally felt strong enough to deal with it, but I started getting the runaround (Them: “You have to call your superivor.” Me: “But my supervisor’s the one who told me to call you.”) and just couldn’t see it through.

I had a severance package, insurance and a job at stake. I blew it.

I’ve been determined to do this my own way, and this is sort of forcing my hand. Self-employment seems like the only viable alternative to all of this. We’ll see how it goes.

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7 Responses to “I Blew It”

  1. Little Miss Says:

    I find that life offers us alternatives that we have no way of forseeing. You told me that fibro changes everything, and I do believe you. I also know that there is a solution to everything, even if we don’t yet know what it is. Maybe this is your opportunity to be a freelance writer. I’ll email you offline and give you some links to info, if you are interested. But you are a survivor. You’ll be okay, I’m sure of it. Would you really have wanted – or been able – to go back to work full time? Don’t quit fighting for it if you don’t want to. 🙂 You have lots of moral supporters, even in the blogosphere. 🙂


  2. Ohhhh thank you– your words mean a lot to me. It seems that whenever I’m not living my life the way I’m supposed to (“to thine own self be true”), life comes along and gives me a big kick in the butt. But you know, but I’ve never had an adverse situation occur where I didn’t end up in a better place afterward. I hope, I hope that this trend continues. I’m scared, but I think I’ve officially just made the jump to self-employment. Fibro DOES change everything. But I’m going to make this into a positive.

    Yes, please. Any info is very much appreciated. And I appreciate you! Hope you’re doing much better. I’ll catch up on your blog.

  3. ouiser Says:

    Im kinda learning the same lessons over here. The sad part is, the FMLA and SSDI people haven’t seemed to learn anything about FM and its way of making people unable to work within dealines and such. Honestly… we need an advocate/assistant/something to help keep our T-s crossed and I-s dotted.

    I’m sure you’ll figure out a way to “roll with this one” too, but DAY-UM! Didn’t really need the additional stress, huh?


  4. DAY-um is right, Ouiser! You’re right. I wish I had some sort of advocate on all of this– sort of a “surrogate brain” when mine’s not working. But I’m trusting my intuition that this will all work out fine.

  5. Barbara Says:

    I blundered across your site via Wendy’s Life With Buck. I don’t have fibromyalgia–don’t even know what it is–but I do know a bit about getting on disability.

    My sister is on disability and when she filled out the unbelievably-complicated-tortuous application, her doctor told her that it is *almost always* turned down the first time.

    I hope you’ll consider appealing. Getting on disability saved my sister from financial disaster.


  6. Hi Barbara- I’m glad you “blundered” by! The disability I was trying to get on was through work, but I may now be unemployed, so I may have to apply for SSI disability (I’m hoping this won’t be the case, though). I’ve heard the same thing, but for people with Fibromyalgia, it usually takes three times. I’m glad your sister got hers! I really appreciate your advice.

  7. cantueso Says:

    And couldn’t you go into teaching, until you find a way to make writing an income? Private teaching. Helping kids pass their exams? Teaching English? I think that freelance writing, just like freelance translation, is a bad option because even those who are employed do it on the side, and nobody can tell a good text from a bad one.

    Tons of writing is done for free or for just a reference. Even the largest newspapers have trouble. Did you see the Herald Tribune, published internationally by the New York Times and the Washington Post together: for a year or so they tried to make their star writers accessible only to paying subscribers. It did not work.

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