Living with chronic illness means dealing with a lot of uncertainty. We have to deal with the changes in our health that impact all aspects of our lives and this can be quite difficult to deal with. Especially when we have goals and dreams to attain in the process.
I have been on long-term disability from work for the last two years. I cannot go back to my previous employment, that is pretty much a sure thing. I can work from home or have some sort of part-time work. And that is something I have to now consider. As in now. As in right this minute. As my insurance company has cut the strings and decided I have improved enough that I can attain some sort of work somewhere.
Which gives me a lot of anxiety, as it would any sane person. Financial stability and disability are not friends. We are constantly trying to find ways to hold onto our budgets because it is difficult to be disabled and financially stable. That I determined when I went on leave and my income dropped. Now I have to replace that amount in three months and it will be, at the very least, a challenge. I do freelance writing and blogging and have done both for some time now, but finding the clientele to make that income will be quite the challenge indeed. I did immediately send a proposal to an FM magazine and group I wished to work with. I, after all, work a lot on this topic, live with this syndrome, and would love to raise awareness. But I likely will have to find some other at home work to supplement my income for some time in addition to freelance work.
Or I can appeal their decision. Which is even more stressful and tiresome and will just make me depressed and angry. But entirely possible.
We certainly have the option in these cases. Insurance companies are designed not to pay. We have to essentially force them to do so. We have the right to since we were the ones earning the income and paying for it in the first place.
I love the idea of living on my writing alone. I thrive on it. As you guys all well know given the amount of blogging I do. It fills a void in me. If we can find something that fills a void in us, that we have a passion for we should peruse it. Our mental well-being is a significant factor. We should have goals and dreams. No one said we cannot attain them. We simply have to go about things at a different pace with different methods.
I am, however, stressed. I would rather not like a time limit of ‘no income at all’ hanging over my head. I would rather have more control over it than that. As in, the pain clinics plan to have me attain this precise goal in the near future once I have progressed in treatment. And my psychologist agrees that working from home is literally the ideal conditions for me. So this was, in fact, the target. The stress of forcing myself to attain a certain income within a few months time, or struggle severely with financial stability, is not welcome.
Life. Unpredictable. Insurance companies? Predictable in their efforts to cut you off for any random made up reason they can find. Sigh. Apparently, I’m ‘significantly improved’. Yet, not improved at all. Weird. So weird.
I am thankful that I have progressed sufficiently in my pain management that my mood regulation is such that this turn of events has not crashed me into severe pain and mood swings. Nope. I am worried. Stressed. Yet, planning and thinking of ways to move forward with my options. I am pleased about that. Chronic pain can be significantly difficult to deal with in stressful conditions. The first time I dealt with this sort of insurance issue initially my mood plummeted like a rock. Just dropped. Not good while in pain. This time? I meditated.
Calmed myself down a bit and immediately went into ‘How am I going to plan for the future?’ What are my options? What needs to be done? What choices do I have? What do I want to do? What do I feel like I can handle? Balance it all out and consider everything and then move into a plan of action. I may not like the stress of a financial doomsday deadline but nor am I depressed and unable to think about anything. Two years ago… I was in survival mode barely able to function holding down my job and emotional stability with that sort of pain is difficult to manage. Not working, able to control my environment and sleep, learning new coping methods and pain management has given me the ability to lower my suffering, if not the pain. I believe that the exercise and pain clinic will do more of that… had they been given a chance. Insurance companies impatience to see a ‘customer’ back to work does not do them credit. These things take time. It is not like ‘poof’ the pain is gone! It is like a year later you are able to handle the pain better through various techniques.
I feel like this anxiety is common with us. We never know if we are going to get on disability. Then we never know when it will end… suddenly and we will have to deal with that. Then we have to deal with having a significantly lower income which is stressful. And an uncertain future. These are things I believe when someone looks at us they do not see. They see ‘lazy’. Like we want to struggle financially.
Okay. I am panicking a little. My depression isn’t stable. My migraines are not managed. I have no clue what will happen.