Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Best Christmas Present Ever!

I got the best Christmas present ever! I had been playing phone tag with my DAS (Disability Adjudication Services) worker (for Social Security Disability) since Friday morning. For some unknown reason, my cell phone went straight to voice mail rather than ring through. We called each other several times each time getting each other's voice mail. Finally at four o'clock, I left the final message on her voice mail, "Tag you're it. We'll try to play again on Monday."

Contrary to my own motto of "Why borrow trouble by worrying," I spent the weekend in turmoil. I worried that the evaluation didn't turn out well and my days of independent living was over. I mean what else could it be? The psychologist said it would be a month before they got the test results. I did feel that I had done poorly on the testing after it was over. That was a alien feeling for me, who has aced almost every test since high school.

I chewed my nails off on my functioning hand AND my nonfunctioning hand after prying the fingers loose from a fist. That's pretty bad because I haven't chewed my fingernails in years! I tried to keep knitting or spinning wool going, but I could only sit for so long before I was doing something else to take my mind off of the worry. I know I sounded like a whiny child to God in my prayers. Needless to say, it was a l o n g weekend.

Monday finally rolled around and I popped awake at 5 AM. Too early to call her back or her to call me. I stalked the clock with glances every five minutes...sometimes more often. I fidgeted until my rump was sore. I got up to play with the cats, and then the rabbits. At 730 AM I pushed the auto dialer on my cell phone and got her voice mail. GRRRR! Then playing devil's advocate, I decided to wait thirty minutes to try again.Wherever I went my cell phone was in the pocket of my flannel shirt. I didn't want to spend another day playing phone tag with her.

I was sitting at my desk when the phone rang. I pounced on it. It was only the drug store telling me my prescriptions were ready. GRRRR! Double GRRRR!

At long last about 10AM, she called. I sat and answered her questions. She told me she had received the evaluation report from the psychologist. I asked her outright if the results showed that I was competent. When she started off with saying that I had some definite issues, I wanted to reach through the phone and choke her. I wanted to scream at her to tell me a simple yes or no, but I bit my tongue and answered, "Uh huh." She continue on with the report.

Finally after she finished, I asked her point blank because I still didn't know the answer. "Am I mentally competent to live independently?"
She responded, "According to this report, you are highly intelligent, independent and capable. Yes."

She also told me she'd have her findings sent to Social Security by the end of the week. The cardiology report was enough to disable me. The stroke and fibromyalgia were additional disabling events according to them. Social Security would put the whole thing through their meat grinder process and I should have their results right after the first of the year. Here, I'm crossing my fingers for a positive result.

Before I ended the call I told her she had given me the best Christmas present ever and I thanked her profusely.

 But it all of this leaves me wondering...why couldn't this have been done over two years ago with my own disability claim instead of waiting until after my beloved's death? My disabilities are my disabilities. Granted my grieving heart is a little worse for wear after a year, but my stroke results and my fibromyalgia haven't changed. But once again, I'm not borrowing trouble. Right now I'm celebrating.

Wohoo! I'm mentally competent and I can live on my own!

6 comments:

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jo - that's such excellent news ... I'd be dancing hubbly bubbly - whatever that is!! But please don't as we'd rather you stayed upright.

Such good news and that will make a world of difference over Christmas, New Year and on into 2016 and beyond ... so pleased for you - congratulations .. cheers Hilary

Barb Polan said...

How wonderful. Congratulations!!

Diane said...

Congrats, Jo! I'm sure it's a big relief. Though I didn't have any doubts that you would pass.

But -- I still can't believe SSA would put you through this crap.... grrr

Have a Very Merry Christmas!

Linda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda said...

That is great news! So glad to hear it.

Zan Marie said...

Excellent news!!!! {{{{{hugs}}}}} The rest will come, but I understand the frustration with the slow grind of bureaucracy. Bless you, Jo!