Archive for June 2012

Spread Fibromyalgia Awareness

June 27, 2012

Disability for Fibromyalgia

June 26, 2012

Insurance companies are behind the times in classifying Severe Fibromyalgia as a disability.  In the cases I know, including my own, insurance companies (at least in the US) don’t like to pay disability to people suffering with Severe Fibromyalgia and do everything they can to deny cases.  I had worked for a large credit union for almost 20 years and disability insurance was included in our benefits.  We had good benefits and I had no idea that I would someday need to apply for disability.  When I realized that I could no longer work due to my illness I was too sick for it to really register and be able to wrap my mind around it.  My rheumatologist told me that this would be my last day of work, that I was one of the people who had Severe Fibromyalgia, and  it appeared that I wouldn’t be able to work for the rest of my life.  At first the insurance company approved my claim, then denied it, then would  approve it about every 3 to 6 months.  I eventually needed to get an attorney to help me ” jump through all the hoops” to try to satisfy the insurance company.  I went to numerous doctors that they requested, completed lots of paperwork, sent information that was requested, etc.  This was the first attorney that I ever had in my life.  He continued to send information or ask me to do so when needed for the first 2 years.  The agreement was that he was only paid when the insurance company would pay my benefits.  Then when it looked like they were no longer going to pay –  the attorney called me in for a meeting and told me that he was going to start charging me a fee since it didn’t look like the insurance company was going to continue paying benefits.  At the meeting I was stunned because it was a good law firm in a large city and they told me up front that they would take care of my case and only take a percentage if the insurance company paid.  They never said that  if the insurance company didn’t pay that they would ask me for money!  I sat there in disbelief.  I reminded him of the agreement and I also asked to look at the file that he had on my case.  Right on the top was a letter from the insurance company stating that they were sending a lump sum of money for the last X amount of months and all they needed was to know where to send the money.  I read it to him and asked “what does this mean?” like I didn’t know.  He said “I must have overlooked that and just had it filed, so he let me know that he would continue to help me with my case since the firm would be getting additional money”.  I wanted to tell him off, but that is not me so I signed what I needed to and left the law firm knowing that I would never return again.  I searched again for someone to help me with my disability and got a referral for one in another city, so I used that attorney for the rest of my 4 years fighting for my disability from the insurance company.  Sadly enough, I only received 2 years of disability pay from the insurance company that was supposed to pay me 66 2/3 of my income until retirement due to my disability.   When I had to quit my career I also applied for Social Security Disability Income which would have reduced the disability income of the insurance company by the amount that Social Security would pay, so I would end up with 66 2/3 of my salary just like what was supposed to happen.  Within 2 months, which is relatively fast, I was approved for Social Security Disability.  I think I was approved for it so fast because I had so much information and history with doctors and specialists and because I did everything possible to be able to continue working.  It was very apparent that I was disabled.   I am VERY  grateful for my Social Security Disability income, but is a “drop in the bucket” of the amount that I should be receiving from my former employers insurance company.

So….. because my husband and I both worked and we were a two income family, when I had to stop working due to my illness we lost HALF of our income.  We had retirement saved that was obviously designated for our retirement, but we still had a young family and the bills to pay so we used our retirement money to pay off some of our bills and used the rest to supplement our income until my “retirement income” got permanently approved (which it never did with the insurance company).  My husband has a good paying job, but with it and my small Social Security Disability income our family of five has had to scrape by payday to payday to survive.  Most years we can’t even afford a meager vacation.  Two of our boys are now in college and one in high school.  We make a little too much money for our boys to qualify for help from the government on paying for college, so they have had to take out student loans to cover the cost and we help them with a little spending money.  My husband and I planned to pay for college for them, but now our boys will have to come out of college with large student loan debts hanging over their head.  When retirement comes for me and my husband we will have very little retirement money so I hope that Social Security Retirement holds out.  If the Social Security Retirement System survives in the US and we actually get retirement income it will continue to be a pay check to pay check kind of life.

The insurance company knew that I was disabled and even admitted this over the phone, they continued to say that they wanted an X-ray or blood test to PROVE that I had Severe Fibromyalgia.  They also admitted to me that they knew that no X-ray or blood test would show the results that they requested.  Even after 5 years of being disabled and having jumped through all the hoops that the insurance company of my employer asked – this is still a bitter pill to swallow.  I pray for peace in this area of my life.

I obviously feel like I got a raw deal, but I don’t let this steal my happiness.  I feel that I need to tell my story to try to help others going through the same thing.

My husband and I were high school sweethearts and are still head over hills in love with each other.  We have 3 wonderful boys.  They are loving, kind-hearted, hard-working, down-to-earth young men.  We also have loads of extended family that we love dearly and treasure our time together.  We are blessed!  This is my life and I want to continue living life to the fullest!! 

I wish for you a low pain day with extra energy!

Wishing for Some Good Days

June 14, 2012

I have been going through a bad time with my fibro the last few months.  I know some of it is due to Spring weather fronts.  I am so ready for some GOOD days.  I wish for you low pain days with lots of energy!

Fibromyalgia Pain

June 12, 2012

I have constant pain from fibromyalgia.  Life with constant pain causes many emotions, thoughts, and trials.  I have been in constant pain for over 10 years now.  I have thought before that I would give almost anything to have just one day without pain….. no, I would even take just one hour without pain….. I would even settle for just ONE MINUTE without pain.  Pain is a terrible thing to deal with every second of the day.  I try to do many things to help my pain and to try to take my mind off of the pain.  Some of these are writing a blog, connecting with distant relatives on facebook, water therapy, working in my flower bed, going on an occassional lunch date with a friend, etc.  I miss the person that I used to be.  The Ginger without pain.  I was without pain and didn’t have to think about pain.  I am a different person now.  Sometimes when you see me I may not look like I am hurting, but the pain is there eating away at me.  Just like others with chronic pain, I am pretty good at hiding it and putting a smile on my face, but the monster “PAIN” is still there.  Sometimes it is so great that I have to go to bed or I have to take a pain pill.  I don’t like taking pain pills.  I don’t want to get hooked on pain pills or get to the point that they no longer work for me.  When I take them they only take the edge off of the pain, but it makes it more bearable for me tolerate.  My pain now never gets below a 3 and goes to a 10.  How nice it would be to even get to 1 or 2 on the pain scale.  Hopefully there will be something to help me down the road.  (By the way when I talk about the pain scale – I had to revise mine a few years ago because my pain would go to a 15.  I no longer have pain less than an 8 on my old pain scale – which is now a 3 on my new pain scale.)  I hope and pray for relief from my new life – the one of  constant pain.  The thing I concentrate on is living my life to the fullest.

Fibro Fog Writers Block

June 8, 2012

My fibro fog has been so bad that I haven’t been able to write a post for a little while.  I am feeling a little better today, so that is a plus!

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