And God Laughs
I told God my plans and He laughed. So now I am living, laughing, and loving according to His Plans.


According to the government of this great country, I do not qualify as being disabled. I have been denied Social Security Disability and now must begin the oh so fun process of appealing. Looking at my alphabet soup of medical conditions and the severity of the dysautonomia and dystonia I would really hate to see how ill they would like me to be for me to qualify on the first go round. I am working with a company that deals with Social Security Disability, courtesy of my Long Term Insurance company, and so today we began the additional reams of paperwork over the phone. I think I am now responsible for killing an entire acre of the Amazon Rainforest for all of the paperwork completed. My medical records may be responsible for half of the deforestation. So as she is asking me questions we have the following conversation.
Her: Could you do your previous job today?
Me: **Laughter** Oh wait, you are serious? Lets see, I can't hold my arms over my head to blow dry my hair but sure I can pick up and position children weighing 50+ pounds. It was full contact teaching, not sitting at a desk and reading aloud to students.
Her: Could you work for 8 hours?
Me: **Laughter** In one day? Or across a week? There are days my blood pressure is so low I can not sit upright, and I take two strong antinarcoleptic medications and still sleep 16+ hours a day most days. Plus I don't have the ability to sit upright that long without severe pain.
Her: If you could work would you?
Me: **Indignant snort** Do you really think that at 29 I would rather spend most of my days stuck in this house or doing the job that I got the best education in the world to prepare for and loved more than anything?

I think one big issue with my application  is that even with all of the diagnositc testing and specialists we have yet to arrive at a clear cut diagnosis. We can diagnose the symptoms, we can treat symptoms, but we can not identify the main disease or disorder that is causing all of the damage. It is believed to be something genetic but beyond that we have eliminated but not identified.

My biggest fear, or concern, is that I had been praying to qualify for Medicare before my COBRA insurance coverage runs out. Michigan is a "skip state" which means something like we skip the first appeal and go straight to the second and more comprehensive appeal. This translates to a process that generally takes 7-34 months. Without access to health insurance, it will be a mute point to determine if I am disabled or not. I am holding on as hard as I can to God's promise to provide for all of our needs in His perfect timing.

Placing my hand over yours (virtually) to hold on.

Being in another state, any reference I have for your application is likely meaningless.

Might you tweet about it - Anyone have experience with Michigan's Medicaid/disability application process? I would RT it.

Despite your not-exactly-diagnosed condition, I find it hard to believe that there isn't some designation that fits the forms which is not lying if not exact. No?

Two hands now. Barbara

I am also in prayer for swift positive answers for you...
I agree with Barbara--

God's perfect timing .. indeed, but frustrating to wait for, in many moments.Such as these.Praying you can cut through the jargon and find a way to get what you so obviously and desperately, need.

Hi I don't usually comment but, I read your blog regularly. I just recently came across someone else's blog(can't remember who's) recently and someone commented that sometimes denials for disability have more to do w/budget/time of the month the claim was made and then get it once appealed so denial may not have anything to do w/lack of clear cut diagnosis.

sigh. i will pray. just read Gen. 22 this week... one translation of Jehovah Jireh in that passage is "the Lord will see to it."

It seems like you are so much more mature and rational than I would be in your shoes, so allow me to be a completely angry raving lunatic on your behalf. This boils my blood. This is INSANE. I lived in the Netherlands for 5 years and you would never be asked those questions, you would be on full disability just based on the arms not going over the head, no matter that you didn't have a dx. People love to make fun of the European countries, but no one should have to go through that when they are ill.

Job 8:21

"He will fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy."

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Wild Olive

Wild Olive

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Creative Victory

This is Me

I am a thirty year old enigma who has defied every expectation ever placed upon me and refused every definition created for me. My greatest passion in life is to make a difference in the lives of children with special needs and their families. As a special education teacher I broke all of the unwritten rules to make sure that my kids received the services they needed and had a right to receive. I have never been so proud to be reprimanded before in my life. Now, due to unpredictable twists in life, I am learning first hand what life is like when you rely upon a wheelchair for mobility. I am a medical puzzle with the pieces slowly being identified and put together, and my medical bills alone could fund a small nation. It takes a village to keep me alive. :) However, I am not defined by the genetic misspellings. I am a teacher, a daughter, an aunt, a friend, a dreamer, a reader, an amateur photographer, a writer, an advocate, a star gazer, a world changer. I am stubborn, situationally shy, quick to use humor and wit to make others laugh or cope with a situation, sarcastic, fiercely independent, giving, compassionate (sometimes to a fault), protective of those I love, defiant of arbitrary boundaries, perfectionistic, self conscious, self assured (yes you can be both!), articulate and occasionally dramatic. And that is just what I could fit in two sentences! :)

Who's On First, What's On Second, I Don't Know! (Third Base!!)*

Simple Vocabulary Definitions for those who may not speak fluent medical :)

Undiagnosed Progressive Neurological Disorder- This is the diagnosis that is believed to make everything else fit together. It explains my frequent infections, my muscle weakness and dystonia, my dysautonomia, my cardiac issues, my inability to regulate blood pressure, my dysphagia, my ataxia, my severe fatigue, my extreme nausea, my gastrointestinal dysmotility and IBS like syndrome, my unbelievable migraines, my sensory changes in my arms and legs, my vision issues, my hearing loss (so much for blaming medication), and so much more. Going back to infancy and childhood, this would explain the severe apnea, the significantly delayed motor skills, the reason why I could never keep up with my peers in physical activities, the neurogenic bladder, the malfunctioning thyroid, and my frequent illnesses and vomiting. This is the diagnosis now being used since the DNA testing for Mitochondrial Disease came back odd and I can not afford the expenses of a workup at the Mayo Clinic. We are treating symptomatically.

Pan-Dysautonomia- "Pan" means that it impacts many different systems of my body, "dysautonomia" is a failure of my autonomic nervous system or the part of my brain that does all of the automatic things that do not require conscious thought like telling your heart to beat, regulating your blood pressure, adjusting your body temperature, maintaining balance in space, digesting food, hunger and thirst, etc. It is believed that I have had this from birth based upon my history of symptoms, including severe life threatening apnea as an infant, but the cause remains elusive at this time

Dystonia- abnormal muscle tone and spasticity, including painful spasms, that primarily impacts my feet and lower legs and is now starting to be a problem in my back

Ataxia- difficulty maintaining balance and coordinating/executing movements

Dysphagia- difficulty swallowing due to any number of causes including muscle weakness and poor muscle coordination

Adipsia- the absence of a sense of thirst

Other Medical Issues- Lupus Anticoagulant (autoimmune disease that causes me to tend to form blood clots and has already caused two deep vein blood clots and one mild stroke), Migraines, unknown connective tissue disorder, abnormal gastric motility, allergies, history of v-tach and severe sinus tachycardia, changes to my echocardiagram that include leaking valves and a new murmur, low blood pressure, ataxia, untreated PFO (small hole in my heart that increases the risk of stroke), chronic lymphadema in my left arm, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Narcolepsy/Idiopathic CNS Hypersomnolance (believed to be a result of the dysautonomia and my brain's inability to regulate the sleep/wake cycle), mild hearing loss, malformed optic nerves, polycystic ovarian syndrome, pernicious anemia, vitamin deficiencies

* Title comes from an old Abbot and Costello routine that I chose to memorize in 6th grade and absolutely love.