Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I cannot stay silent and I must speak out - for all of my fellow IC patients and all chronically ill patients everywhere! I'm all riled up this morning about the prejudice against those of us struggling with chronic pain, disease, disability and pain. One of my personal FB friends posted one of those political pictures on her Timeline, so of course it shows up on mine. It's the following:

This stuff makes me nuts! Many of you following my Blog know this all too well and know what it's like to deal with this type of ignorance! As a chronic pain patient on Disability due to several medical conditions, there are many people on Disability (also considered "Welfare") and other social programs because of a medical condition that makes it impossible to work. Many of us take PROPERLY PRESCRIBED & MONITORED pain medications and could not live without them! In addition, there are medications taken for things like Epilepsy (which I have) that would cause someone to "fail" a drug test because many of those medications fall into a class of drugs that can also be used to treat pain! I can't live without my anti-seizure medication and if I had to take a drug test to "prove" I deserved my SSDI, I would fail!

This is yet one more example of ignorance of the chronically ill that suffer with invisible and painful diseases! So many of us find ourselves living at or below the poverty level because of our inability to continue working! Getting approval for Disability and other assistance is NOT easy and the nationwide denial rate for Disability is about 65% these days! People are not being approved for these benefits easily. I was denied on my first attempt and had to file an appeal before I was approved. (SEE LINK)

I talk to patients struggling to get approval for Disability all the time and it's not easy. They cannot work due to the severity of their disabling condition, have lost their jobs because of all the doctor appointments and have been evicted from their homes or soon will be. In addition, even if someone is approved for benefits, it's not a guaranteed life long payment; we are required to go through "Continuing Disability Reviews" every 3 or 7 years (depending on your condition), so it's not as simple as people think!

As someone who talks to patients in this situation all the time, I state with 100% certainty, those of us on Disability, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps or whatever program any of us needs to survive, do NOT want to be in this situation! Being disabled is NOT vacation and it's NOT retirement!

As many disabled can also testify to, I have had to sell my home that I WORKED my whole life to get (it was my dream home) and move in with my elderly parents. I cannot travel, go to the movies or concerts. I need people to drive me to doctor appointments. Do I have a car? YES! I bought it when I was still working! Do I have nice clothes? YES; I bought them when I was still working! Just because I take a shower, and put on my nice clothes when I go to the doctor doesn't mean I'm taking advantage of the system and I resent those that imply this is the case. Would they have me throw out all my clothes and sell my car!  The people who drive me to my doctor appointments drive MY car because it's only fair to use my gas (that I pay for out of my Disability income) and put the wear and tear on my car and not theirs! I haven't gone shopping in over three years and no one I know on Disability is out shopping and buying clothes, cars and other "extravagances" these people believe we are using our Disability income to buy! It takes every penny I get just to make my insurance premium payments, pay my medical bills and prescriptions, get groceries, pay for my car insurance and so on!

I hope all the people who "Like" this type of stuff never find themselves in a situation where they have to sell THEIR home, find a place to live, pay for health insurance, doctor visits, prescriptions and more without needing public assistance!

This assumption that if you couldn't pass a drug test, you don't deserve assistance, is ignorant and prejudicial against people who would rather be doing anything than living with chronic pain and needing pain medication just to get out of bed in the morning! 

Oh, and the assumption of rampant abuse is not supported by the FACTS! Less than 2% of all people on Welfare in the U.S. commit fraud! (SEE LINKS)

For those of us struggling against this prejudice, I hope you will read these links, get educated about the facts so you can debunk this insulting information when you see it!

Let's all stand up and speak up for the truth and help raise awareness about these lies and myths being spread about the Disabled!

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