Officially disabled

I applied for CPP disability (Canadian) when it became apparent this vertigo issue was going to last for some time… who knows how long. And the chronic migraines and fibromyalgia were already affecting my capacity to work part-time. The vertigo just killed the possibility of working at all. I got approved without having to endure the struggle of appealing. That is good because my energy is very limited for that sort of thing. I think it took me more than a week to just fill out the form. So I am not just disabled. I am officially disabled. Because they understood what I am going through and for that, I am very thankful.

Officially disabled

The feelings

And it is an interesting feeling being approved for government disability. I feel relieved. Very relieved. I have been dropped from long-term insurance from work on a whim before when I was ardently suicidal at the time. So I do not trust that income. Although I will appeal if they try that again… because I have the will to fight now. And I didn’t then. I just… gave up. So CPP income is more solid of an income without that insane fear.

But it sounds so permanent. Like maybe I’ll never get better.  And I really do have that fear. That I will be stuck like this. However, it is regular income… doesn’t mean it is permanent. Because I just do not know what sort of improvement I could have in the future. You just never know. And it would be lovely to work again someday.

Also there is the whole I am a completely nonfunctional human being. But we know that isn’t true. We are just riding out a rough storm. We have a lot of value and worth outside of work.

Do you call yourself disabled?

For many years, deep into my depression and with daily unmanaged migraines I refused to call myself disabled. I was working full-time, right? Sort of. Not very well and with a lot of leaves of absence, missed days, and presenteeism. But I pretended it was temporary and I was functional enough. And I think somewhere after my suicide attempt I realized I couldn’t just ‘push through’ and force myself to function without massive, deep, horrific consequences. And then I understood I have a disability. When I returned to work after my long term leave… I couldn’t function because I hadn’t improved. And so they bumped me down to part-time. And it was better… but not enough. Still too many missed days and having a really hard time functioning and coping with the pain and concentration issues when I was present. And I knew I shouldn’t be working at all. My doctor said I shouldn’t be working. My psychologists… all three I’d seen for the depression said I could not work. But I was in a rock and a hard spot because my insurance company couldn’t care less about what they said or what I said.

And then worse happened.

Then the vertigo happened. And worsened. And then got really nutbars. And I couldn’t function at All. Or drive. Or even be upright for long. Or even get through the day without periods of long rest. You can’t push through vertigo. It isn’t like pain… where you shouldn’t push through but you make yourself. Vertigo just gets violently worse with activity. And you fall more and more episodes of severe external vertigo and start vomiting. That deters you from doing too much or much at all. Also every damn time I take a tumble I injure something. That is beginning to tick me off. This last one I tried to put my pants on… standing, and of course severely lost my balance, staggered and fell on the bed… and stabbed my heel on the metal part of the bed. Stabbed it good. And the fall before that was an external vertigo bout while standing, which makes you drop like a rock… fortunately I fell onto the couch this time, but I twisted myself somehow when I did and ripped the muscle in my side which hasn’t recovered yet. I guess a pretty severe tear or I just am not recovering well. Anyway, I fall. And sometimes the wall catches me and sometimes, well, not so much.

And I completely accepted that while this bout lasts I am truly and completely disabled. But I didn’t think at all it would last this long. And now I just have no clue how long I will endure this. It took a year to get on short-term but a lot less for long-term. Now long-term is at the point where they will decide if I cannot do Any job. And, man, there is no job out there that would let you be unreliable, undependable, and unable to actually work if you managed to get there.

So there is acknowledgment this is necessary but a bit of melancholy that it is in fact necessary. No one wants to be disabled. By pain. Or other things. And it can really suck to not be able to work let alone just do the things you like to do. I don’t like admitting to that. And once you do, you do feel a bit of sadness about it. Even though you know there is nothing else you can do to change it at the moment. This is the way it has to be for now.

See also:

Canadian leave and disability

Question: Is fibromyalgia a disability?

When to disclose and invisible disability in a relationship
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20 comments

  1. I’m sorry it’s come to the point you had to apply for your CPP, but I’m glad you got it, and that it was an option for you. I’ve been on it for 10 years now, and it was a godsend.

    Sending hugs and healing wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Were you ever tested for Meniere’s disease? So sorry you deal with so much-daily…glad you were approved as that probably opens up more medical and other types of funding to ease financial burdens when unable to work and when having to pay for medical treatment. Prayers offered up…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m sad to hear about your situation. I feel you so well it hurts. Been in a similar situation for months or maybe even years now. Don’t have any diagnosis because doctors don’t listen to me. I have all sorts of chronic pain and muscle stiffness. Plus now I’ve started having really bad headaches and my eyes are always way too sensitive to light. Seems like it’s getting worse and worse which doesn’t help depression at all. I keep hoping I’d get better but honestly I might just have to accept that this is my life now. I hope you get better soon and get to do the things you want. And I’m really happy I can read this blog and know that I’m not alone with this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Unfortunately it can take a lot of time for diagnosis. Which is insanely frustrating. You have to try new doctors and push for tests… it is draining. I really wish you didn’t have to go through a doctor brushing you off. I have experienced that and I hate that they make you feel like your concerns are inconsequential.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, they sure make you feel like you’re making it up. I keep hearing how there’s nothing wrong just because I’m young. Like that means young people can’t be ill. *sigh* Or they blame it all on being overweight which always makes me angry. But I’ll keep trying.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I am 70 now but have been suffering from Fibro since I was 32, took years to get a diagonis, and after I left work it took me ten years to get CPP disability, that journey alone was enough to drive one nuts, but I finally received it when I was 50. Good for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is immensely difficult for FM with CPP-D I hear. And so difficult to be as persistent as we have to be to get it. Took me years to get diagnosed as well. I was a teen when it started and 21 at diagnosis.

      Like

  5. I’m pretty sure the vertigo is what got my disability approved too. I’m better now, not well by a long shot, but some days I wonder if they would think I’m well enough to hold down some job. I’d still be extremely unreliable, undependable….I would be the worst employee ever. and I’d hate that.
    Getting disability gave me a sense of relief. I was believed. and if something happens to my husband I will still have insurance and a little bit of an income. I used to be terrified that if something happened I’d end up on the street with no medical coverage.e
    I’m so glad you didn’t have to go through the appeal process. I did, but it was because my doctors said I was disabled many years before I filed and they wanted to ask me about that. ummm, I was in denial and was determined to go back to work. after telling then that I was approved and got my first check in 2 months.
    I hope it all goes smoothly.
    and you don’t need it for long. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My docs said I couldn’t work for years. But my insurance company never listened so I would always be forced back to work… and that would fail. It is definitely a relief they understood unlike the fight I constantly have with my insurance company

      Liked by 1 person

  6. So happy for you girl, I know when I became Officially Disabled it took such a heavy weight off of me I didn’t know what to do with myself.
    Unfortunately mine took a year and a half to get approved, I did have to go before a judge to finally win my case. By the time I got a court hearing I had to have 2 surgeries and ended up with an arachnoid cyst in my brain pushing on my cerebellum. The symptoms from the Cyst are a lot like vertigo. On a bad day I walk into walls and am so dizzy it is crazy…..I have had vertigo before so bad I couldn’t get out of bed, I feel your pain….

    Liked by 1 person

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