The world just tilted on its axis: today, Dr. Awesomesauce broached the subject of disability.
I couldn’t believe it. We have had this discussion before, and at that time he insisted that he’d never sign off on a disability claim because he believed I was perfectly capable of working full-time. But even though he still wants me to keep trying, and thinks I’m better off when I have “something to do” (as do I), he acknowledged that work, especially full-time work, might be too stressful for me. And while he didn’t come straight out and say it, he indicated that he would support my case if I were to file.
I think it had a lot to do with my latest tale of woe, which has (for the first time ever) completely flummoxed him. He was trying so hard to think of something, anything that would help, and after several rounds of pensive silence, he had to concede that he was pretty much out of ideas, although he did suggest Will and I should move sooner rather than later so we can cut our expenses. He also wants me to look at some of the clinics in his area that need nurses—we both think that clinic work might be doable—and consider moving the 25 miles to the north.
I couldn’t help but be touched by his efforts. It was obvious that he wants SO badly to be able to fix my life, or at the very least give me the tools to fix it, and it frustrates him that there really are no answers right now. Today we didn’t do much of our normal teasing and joking around; today was sober and serious, with the exception of the “Hello, Beautiful!” greeting I got when I came in. And though it wasn’t stated outright, we have turned a corner in terms of dealing with my disease and the changes that have taken place in my life as a result of it. And the truth is, in spite of excellent care, the disease limits me.
There. I said it.
That doesn’t mean I’m giving up. I have a lot more job-hunting to do, and hopefully a job to find, before I start the paperwork for disability. Dr. A did say it would be difficult (but not impossible) to get for mental health reasons, but knowing that it’s an option takes a little of the pressure off. Maybe if I can relax a bit, the desperation won’t show in my job applications and cover letters, and maybe even at some point I’ll stabilize to the point where we can decrease my medication a little.
He still isn’t a big fan of having me on two anti-psychotics for long periods of time, but as I’ve learned to my sorrow, it’s best not to fix that which is not broken. In fact, he was amazed at how calm I am under the circumstances and asked me if I was having any more thoughts of suicide, to which I truthfully answered No. (Robin Williams’ death today was a little triggering—I wish I didn’t understand that kind of desperation, but I do and wouldn’t wish it on anyone—but suicide hasn’t even crossed my mind since I went back on the full Zyprexa dose.) So he’s not going to try pulling the rug out from under me anytime soon, and that’s one less area of stress to deal with.
I think I will end up researching the Social Security website to see how to file for disability, even though I’m not planning on doing it unless I absolutely, positively cannot find a job I can handle. I know that no one who cares about me will judge me; in fact, this was about the 20th conversation I’ve had on the subject, and it probably won’t be the last.
To be continued…..