Friday, January 16, 2015

George Takei Lies, Eases my Nerves. Or: The Disability Hearing

There is much to tell, so I'll settle into storyteller mode, and set phasers to awesome.

I arrive, while Shane's parking the van, and notice that Mr. Takei, Internet Deity, had done some promotional photos for the Social Security Disability Office. This is a thing of squee because I adore him. He's seriously the wittiest dude in the galaxy. We'd just watched "To Be Takei" the night before as I snuggled in a fetal ball against Shane waiting for my night-night meds to kick in. (They did not. Ever.)

Also, the that was easy bit is hilarity of the very darkest humor when you've been waiting since 2012 to get some goddamn help.

So, at last Shane and my lawyer, Fred*, show up.

Fred explains that my claw handed mutant-badassery is far stronger legally than "OHMYGODS my back hurts EVERYWHERE ALL THE TIME & MY LEGS TOO just kill me!!!!!!! But there are like 17,000 different reasons and shit and oh also Phocomelia- have you heard of it? No... never mind, then." So he stresses that the hand is the primary narrative. (Or, Prime Directive, as I'm already going full-on Trekkie.)

Then he's just talking generally about presenting myself as a professional, educated mama who wants to work but can't. That's when I realize I've got a hoop in my nose, so I ask him if I should I remove it and apparently that was literally going to be the next words out of his mouth. So I go to pry it out; it has a little hinge.

I then notice that I'm wearing a three-quarter-sleeved sweater that shows my wrist tattoo. Luckily, I have no decent looking winter coat, so I'd layered sweaters. I change into the longer one and have to pay constant attention so it wouldn't slip and expose me as a punk-ass miscreant.

So it's me, Fred, the judge, the transcription-ist, and an occupational expert. The hearing is crazy short. It begins with the judge asking me my primary reason for seeking disability, and my answering, "My chronic pain, Sir, er, Your Honor, Or, Sir?" and my being immediately kicked under the table by Fred.

Then the judge reads bits of my file to me, and I confirm what I'd told Fred, and my 1,000 doctors. Then he asks the expert if a hypothetical woman born in April 1976 (and I nearly die trying not to laugh at this being termed a hypothetical question) could perform this job or that, given such and such limitations, and he testifies that I can't do any conceivable job. (The judge didn't ask about blogging sporadically and dragging illustrations out for several months.) It's pretty obvious then, I think, that he's going to grant me the benefits.

Fred's closing remarks are fabulous, as he brings up the fact that I'm proud and willful and play down my impairments. He even points out that I've been actually hiding my arm throughout the hearing, which was really my hiding my tattoo. He sums up my mental status, i.e. that I am a hot mess of depression and often stay in bed for days without bathing. I bite through my tongue so I don't giggle because while that isn't untrue, it's more often because my legs won't work for a few days and/or and Orange is the New Black season two is out. Although if you know what depression is, you know that's happened more than a couple of times with the stinky.

I won't know officially for about six weeks, but Fred was very comfortable telling me that we won.

Shane took me to Chili's for a celebratory lunch. I went crazy wild and had chicken quesadillas and a Coke. My skin is now a splotchy mess of hell because of the Coke's corn syrup, but the chicken was so fucking worth the cheating that I only have like 4% meat guilt. I'm thinking the hives/zits could possibly be karma as well as allergies. Like a mystical force talked me out of a lemon water so I'd be poultry-punished.

So, I now have to rest my ass for a bit then finish up the aforementioned drawings at long damn last.

Do happy dances for me, will ya?
I cannot happy dance, though I dearly wish to do so;)
Thanks for all the yummy positive mojo.
I love you guys like Takei loves a sexual pun.


Fred isn't his real name. I'm not entirely sure I'm allowed to write about the hearing, though, so no names. Except mine, Ms. Heidi Takei-Hiddleston.

4 comments:

  1. Hey, Heidi! I enjoyed reading about your experience at the Hearing. Mine was very similar, but it took me SEVEN years to be granted the Disability! You are having better luck than I did, and I'm so happy for you. I do understand about laying in bed for days on end due to depression. That was before Netflix, Hulu Plus, and all the others, though, for me. I pray your pain will lessen in good time.

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    1. Thanks, Sharon! It was a fun post to write:) I didn't realize you'd had such a terrible ordeal with yours.

      My pain's managed fairly well unless I push it too hard, which I do too much. I'm still adjusting to my "new" body. I'm starting to have a lot of knee pain that I need to talk about with my pain doctor.

      Big hugs to you! 💚

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    2. My Disability is mostly due to herniated discs, bulging discs, and severe arthritis, but there's depression mixed in there, too, among other things. Where would we be without our pain management doctors? Thank goodness for them! We have to try our best to keep going, doing the best we can. We have to manage our limits, and that's hard to accept and hard to do. I think about you a lot as you go through this. Good luck! I hope the Judge's Opinion is in your favor! I'm glad you feel positive about this. Keep on moving forward!

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  2. I've had surgery to deal with ruptured discs too and those bad boys are no joke:( I have arthritis in my back and hips and now it's decided to start taking over my knees too. Meh.

    I hope you've got good pain management. Love you:)

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