Monday, October 1, 2012
DISABILITY OR NOT?
Recently, I have been seeing a lot of people talking about how hard it is to sort of “pull the trigger” and apply for Disability. Some have said they feel “defeated” among other negative feelings. So I wanted to expand on this topic and I want to say this about making the decision to file for Disability: You are NOT defeated!
I believe very strongly that whenever patients suffering from IC make the difficult choice to apply for disability they do so out of COURAGE! As a patient advocate on Disability I can state with 100% certainty that not one of us WANTS to go on disability. In fact, most of us put it off longer than our doctors believe is in our best interests. I understand how this feels; you should have seen me sitting in my doctor’s office the day he told me I was hurting myself and not helping my health by fighting to keep working and seen me crying like a baby! None of us wants to be sick and put into this situation! Yeah, no, this is NOT fun and it’s not retirement! Every patient I talk with wants to keep working and being a productive member of society and so if you are contemplating Disability, I want you to know that you are likely feeling what many of us go through. Often acknowledging we need to do this brings up emotions and feelings that going on disability somehow diminishes us and our self-esteem takes a hit when we have to stop working because of our health! But this is not true and you should not feel defeated or worry what others might think. Disability is there as a safety net that allows us to do what is in our own best interest. As my doctor told me, disability is to help me have a better quality of life than I had before I stopped working. It’s a process and you’ll get there. For me, working with a therapist has helped a lot.
Ultimately, you are doing what you need to do to help yourself and your health. There are even people that have used Disability as a time of recovery; rested, got their treatment plan sorted out and have been able to return to work. So whether you need it permanently, or are able to return to work one day, it is designed to help us and we should never be embarrassed that we are sick and in need of help. It can be a roller coaster of emotions as you go through the entire process, but I encourage those that are contemplating Disability to remember you are doing what you need to do and not allow negative emotions to take over. Hold your head up high, fight for your rights and never give up! I am here if anyone wants to discuss this with me.