AVM Survivors Network

Avoiding bad feelings

How am I going to do this? Let me explain…

  • I have an appeal pending for disability benefits through Social Security
  • I have an attorney who I trust working on the appeal.

So what’s the question?
She wants me to go through, step by step, the things that I did for work in the last 15 years and come up with the “skills” that are needed. I then need to be able to link those to current limitations - either things I can’t do or if I can, what happens if I do and/or what limitations are in play. For instance, when I was in mortgage lending, I spent probably 80 to 90% of the day in front of a computer. Now if I spend more than an hour to an hour and a half in front of a computer, my headache spikes upward, my vision goes blurry, my brain feels “foggy” and it’s just hard to do anything.

My question to the collective wisdom of the group is this, "Basically I need to put down on paper all of the things I used to be able to do but now I can’t any more - how do I that without getting sucked into a major funk? Because I’ll have multiple pages of documentation that shows what “old TJ” could do and “new TJ” can’t. And that sucks.

I’ve been working very hard at coming to terms with the “new me” and I’m concerned that doing this - which I know I need to do - is going to push that progress back. Any wisdom, insights, jokes, or anything that might help is completely welcome.

Thanks in advance!

Hey Tom,
I don’t know how to put this nicely, so here it is: Reality is a bastard.
I had to do something similar, so I got the wife to do it. She was a bit direct, honest but direct ie She’d write something down and I’d say “I CAN do that…” and she’d say 'Yes, but for how long?.." Ten minutes of an activity and I have a headache from hell, brain fog etc. So the reality was I couldn’t perform it as a job 8hrs a day. Having someone else make the list or assist with the list did help because me identifying shortcomings in me was impossible.
Tom, we cannot change our reality, as much as we try, as much as we try to fake it, reality will always comeback to bite us in the arse. Don’t ask me how to accept it all 'cos I simply don’t have the answer to that. Some days acceptance is easy, other days acceptance is anything but easy. As time has gone by it has become a little easier to move on from but I still wouldn’t say I’ve got that acceptance thing down pat. Simple little things will remind me of before/after, but I have to move on. I know I can get stuck if I let it get to me too much, so I ‘try’ not to.

Merl from the Moderator Support Team

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I did the same thing as Merl…I had my wife do it as I had a tendency to down play my issues as I am/was unwilling to accept the new me…

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Kudos to our better halves. I did the same with my wife. We set down on a new document and transposed all the surgeries and loss of vision, paralysis, sickness, etc from the doctors discharge papers. Then we logged into my Centra account and UAB (University of Alabama at Birmingham) account and added that. Then we added any additional surgeries and emergency room visits also.

By the time it was all compiled, we were both exhausted. But, once all of that data was provided, no hearing was necessary as the council reviewing my case approved me for disability. I would imagine there are some who try for disability who get a broke toe and want to claim that for disability. But for those of us who have legitimate and debilitating disease, it pays to have all of the evidence in front of the team for review. Also, having your primary doc, your neurologist, a d neurosurgeon detail your condition certainly can’t hurt.

Of note, we logged into the medical locations where I had been treated, which I think was 4 or 5 different medical systems across 3 different states. It took time but in the end was worth it. I wish for both the survivor and the family as well there was a better way, but I’m great ful there is at least a way. Blessings as you continue.

As mentioned, the process is intense and intensive. Is it jumping through hoops? Uh, yeah but it’s the way it is.
Good luck