A lupus survivor's cerebrations on living day to day...

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    Missing SSD Benefits: Mission Impossible?

    Needing to pay the usual past due utility bill, I wait for the 3rd of the month midnght to check my bank account online. My benefits are there, just enough to cover automatic payments of my mortgage, insurance and tax. But the SSD benefit for my dependant is mysteriously missing. It took until the 16th for me to contact Social Security representative.

    That's a tale of sabotage all by itself. With great efficiency, I went to www.socialsecurity.gov, conscientiously saved to My Favorite's Expertly investigated its FAQs. Recorded appropriate toll free number. That Monday the first available weekday, I call. I enter the labyrinth of menus. Twice I get lost and end up cut off requiring redial. Finally on the third I've got a little experience decoding the enigmatic menu selections. Almost there when my phone starts warning me with a repeated beep. By the time I realize its indicating "low battery" its dead. So the arrival of my replacement cell phone (remember it was sabataged already) was the first opportunity to complete my mission.

    After straining my "ballooned" mind for a circuitous dialogue with their determined agent "Reggie" the only information revealed was that our current address which I gave him was wrong address for my son. I gave every street we'd ever lived on. Even pre-disability locations. He could not confirm any. Yet my address was ok.This is ridiculous! My own anxiety was ignited when my son asked, "Do you think Apryl [my estranged sister] had something to do with this." I'm told I must call local office. Voicemail says its closed. Surely she wouldn't go that far. I had to fight all night with that familiar boundless fear of the infinite unknown negative possibilities.

    Next day a rendezvous with doctor. This morning after relating my conversation with 'reggie', this SSA agent told me she couldn't tell me anything over phone either. I'd have to come in person with ID. It's Friday noon. It took great self control to remain objective, not get emotional. Before she could hang up, I made a desperate appeal explaining I was disabled. "I can't just drive down to your office!" The idea of worrying at least another 72 hours through the weekend just to find out 'Why' was unbearable. I pleaded for her to reveal what in the world could possibly be the reason my son's benefits not being deposited. My direct deposits have been on time and accurate for over a decade! Furthermore, I've already given the previous agent every address I'd lived and he said he couldn't confirm any. Thank God, 'she' was sympathetic. She asked for our SS#s and within a minute she had an explanation. She didn't understand why 'Reggie' didn't just tell me, "We didn't recieve a reply to some correspondence we sent. His check is right here!" Mission Accomplished.

    Emotional pain flares up physical pain. Internet friends therapeutic.

    I thank God for the sunroom because its given an outlet to express my fears and my faith. I was just giving into tears tonight after a miserable day when I thought to check my RM emails. I have been trying to maitain a good attitude all week despite the enemy pulling punces at every turn. My finances are not in crises "yet." After month I realize my child support hadn't been paid. Today my son's SSD direct deposit missing. But the Lord was with me because after years of not being able to find my ex, I recalled a detail that led me to google up an article about him which gave his entire career. He had been promoted to CCO/President of a financial institution. He was president of one the state's oldest nonproft organization. There was even a link to a United Way Annual Report with him on the cover in a T-shirt helping young boys (our son's age) with computers! It breaks my heart to realize this man who dissed me and his son once I became too ill to be the "trophy" he needed for his ambitions. I had been model size 2 magna cum laude graduate on my way to PhD. This Tuesday I took $500 from my IRS rebate to retain lawyer. Although I was pleased with the lawyer and the prospect of back pay and modification, I returned home feeling sick and exhausted by the long bus ride, the heat, and my repressed emotions. I was not expecting the lawyer to try to confirm his existance at the bank by calling. I heard his voice for the first time in 12 years. It was the first time for my son. Since then my neurological status has been extremely poor. My pain has been relentlees the neuropathic FM pain is being fueled again by my urinary cramping and flaring hemoroids. The "freeze spell" seizures and scrambled thought processing has prevented me from even coordinating a bowl of cereal. I found solace in going to the sunroom Wednesday, since I wasn't up to Wednesday nite bible Study. Sometimes I go despite pain or "spells" but our small churches old fashioned wood pews can actually bring on more pain. I felt better emotionally after responding to my friends comments and prayer request. Hearing about others with great financial, family and physical struggles helped keep mine in perspective. Being able to give encouragement to another and perhaps be appreciated for my own struggles was empowering. Although the Klonopin allowed me a couple of hours deep sleep, I was awakened by my nieghbors roof repair before ready. despite a new patch, MSContin tablts and the urinary analgesic , I have been in 10+ misery for about 48 hours. The emotional wounds of recollecting my ex deepened the wounds I was already feeling from the abandonment I was trying to recover from in dealing with my "prodigal sister". After 2 years of estrangement she showed up last year to take advantage of my "weak mind" , Christmas spirit, and few dollars. But as soon as she got her car fixed (with help of my pastor} and paid off her warrants she was out of here without notice. Monday she snuck in house to get the belongings I had told her last year to store in my living room rather than loose them paying for storage. She didn't say a word to me. By the time I saw her and a freind loading vehicle through window she was gone. My son consoled me tonight when I could no longer hold back tears. He said he'd rather see me in muderous hatred and anger than to shed one tear of sadness and regret for her. I knew he resented me allowing her to stay, but I thought in my euphoria of prednisone and christmas spirit I could show her grace for her past exploits give her a chance to get on her feet and maybe we could have a real "sister" relationship. Now that my mental staus has improved, I realize that all along she had gotten wind of the couple of dollars settlment money. I am trying to have no regrets, money lost means little compared to lost souls of my family. Although I talk a good game out loud, I cannot stay angry, Even though its less painful sometimes. Emotional pain flares up my neuropatic pain and lupus sympttoms. Pray I can remove all my hurt feelings that sabatoge my health.

    Independence Day Anxiety or Blessing?

    With my anxieties about the impending July 4th holiday I was attracted to read threads from Lisa Cohen's discussion topic, "... Recovery from December." With much of my mobility back, Christmas 2007 was the first I'd truly celebrated in 2 years. Without last year's obstacles from family and financial problems, I shopped, decorated, visited and participated in holiday events. But the week following New Years my son and I caught the flu from visiting relatives. He was down for 2 solid weeks, but with my unconditioned immunosuppressed body....I could barely leave bed for 4 weeks. My doctor made quite a fuss, she'd gone extra steps to prevent my exposure during flu season, even giving me cell number to call her directly to avoid waiting room germs. She warned me about the reality of my illness and impaired immunity...invisible to other well intentioned family and friends. Her tough words, "They will all be at your funeral talking about what a sweet person you WERE WHEN YOU WERE ALIVE!" She advised me to set goals and boundaries reasonable to the reality of MY particular health, because the price paid will be MY OWN. My family, friends, or church members encourage me to "participate", thinking "getting out" gonna cheer me up and energize me. Usually I really want to. But too often, I push myself through events...even Sunday service. Afterwards, I find myself home all alone, paying for the "good time" with incredible exhaustion, increased neuropathic pain and mental deficits. So I pray for the Lord's discernment in all decisions about all activities! I remind myself before spontaneously following the summer crowd that will come calling this month. Wisely pace my activities according to my illness and stamina. Most important, don't get caught up in the adrenaline of other vacationers. Make healthy choices about sleep, food and drink. I've learned observing these simple boundaries actually extends my holiday fun.


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