photo by Sheri Dixon

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Outstandingly Bad Day Continued...

...actually it was more of an outstandingly bad week.

Before we knew we had an empty trashed mess where there should've been paying buyers living in our old house, we got The SECOND Questionnaire- from Social Security Disability.

Now, we get The Questionnaire periodically. It asks for medical information and doctors' names and numbers and inquires about what Ward can and can't do as opposed to what he could do before cancer, heart disease and diabetes all started gnawing at him. We fill it out, send it in and within a week or so we get a letter stating "We have determined that you are still disabled".

This time we got a Second Questionnaire instead.

This one asks many detailed questions like "How long can you stand on your feet?", "Can you still drive?", and "Are you able to read?". This one is clearly looking to see if Ward is a candidate to be tossed off the disability rolls.

While I understand the desire to "weed out the undeserving" (because judging others is so easy to do when the world is all cut and dried), what these questionnaires and their intent are doing to MY family is causing even more insecurity and worry than the disease gods have already wrought.

And that really pisses me off.

My husband, my kind, courageous, handsome husband has been through hell, and hell is his constant companion.

Why, no- his eye and that part of his face has not grown back. Neither have the muscles they harvested from his arm, side, back and thigh for the grafts they needed to keep replacing because of the damage from the radiation.

Why, yes- he still has a clot in his heart that they closely monitor and that forces him to be on rat poison to keep his blood thin enough to (hopefully) keep the clot from breaking free and causing a stroke.

Why, actually- he's much more compromised than when you sent the LAST Questionnaire because he had that little 6 week stay in the hospital where he almost died and was in a coma and all since then.

And even though I clearly stated the above in no uncertain terms (because yanno being VAGUE is one of my weak points)in the first questionnaire, they still sent the second one. Because everyone is now clamoring for CUTTING THE WASTE.

My husband is almost 60 years old. He's in never-ending pain and is physically compromised. But some pencil pusher is right now looking at his records and deciding whether or not he could conceivably flip burgers for minimum wage. On the days his head isn't exploding. Under the influence of pain killers- which he takes every single day and which still manage to just take the edge off. Without insurance- because if they toss him off disability he also loses his Medicare.

And he'd be SO EASY to find health insurance for. Oh, no wait. He'd be shit out of luck.

I also just read that McDonald's has hired several tens of thousands of people.

They had over a million applications.

So, what happens to those kicked off disability and can't find work because they're competing with people who are younger and HAVE ALL THEIR FREAKING BODY PARTS?

Can't go on unemployment, because they're not technically getting fired or laid off.

This. This right here is the pesky details, the "gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet" of the conservative mindset.

While bleeding heart liberals say "Let a few people 'cheat' the system if that means allowing 100 to get the help they need", the fiscal conservatives say "Tighten it up, kick off anyone who could drag themselves to work, even if it would kill them- and it will, because there's no health insurance in those types of jobs. At least we'll get all the cheaters".

The figures being ignored show clearly that "entitlement" programs are a microscopic drop in the budget bucket compared to say...military spending.

Problem is the military war machine has a bigger pocketbook and more clout that a bunch of poor women, children, old people and cripples. So we hear "SHARE THE SACRIFICE" when what they really mean is

"You- you there, sitting easy collecting that government handout disability check- you haven't had a rough enough go of it. Your family hasn't had enough uncertainty and suffering. You worked full time for almost 40 years. Your wife still works full time.

It's not enough.

We understand and are sorry that IF you can even find a job that will excuse your many absences due to sickness, pain and hospitalizations and will allow for your physical disabilities going back to work will stress your body enough to kill you, and that having no health insurance will guarantee your early demise. But times are tough and we must ALL MAKE A GODDAMN SACRIFICE.

Nothing personal".

I sincerely hope I'm getting all worked up about nothing. I sincerely hope we get the letter saying "We have determined you are still disabled".

That would be outstandingly good for our family.

But I also know that for every good determination, there is at least one denial. And they aren't all using those checks to buy beer and big screen tv's, I don't care what the talking heads tell you. Most of them are people who need help, who've worked hard and played by the rules and shit just happened.

Most of them are us.


  1. Oh, haven't you heard? It's our own damn fault we're disabled. If we had taken better care of ourselves this would have never happened. (this is a direct quote from a family member). um, yeah.
    Fingers crossed and all that good stuff hoping that this letter is the end of it...he truly is still

  2. yes. my non-smoking, non-drinking, physically fit husband was clearly just asking for cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
    and yes. he is unemployable- many days it's a huge effort for him to even leave our room for the pain.

  3. One striking thing about your visit this summer was how peaceful and kind Ward is. He's obviously suffering, but he never discussed it.

    I love those letter saying, "Yep, you're still disabled." I hope they leave you alone, soon. The feds seem to get the idea after a while. But Kansas Medicaid makes you reapply every single year. That doesn't seem cost-effective to me. We just laugh and fill out the fourteen-page application every October and send it in.

  4. Yay! I got through. Blogger won't accept my old blogger profile, so I made a new one to comment with. Love you, Sheri.

  5. Thank you, Fred! we loved meeting you- you're both just as I thought you'd be. (that's a good thing LOL)