Okay, I Am Starting To Get Nervous

Masks of Bipolar Disorder

 

My insurance company has been notified that I no longer have Medicare part B, and they sent out a letter about two weeks ago that I would no longer be eligible for the Medicare Advantage plan that I have been on for about six years now. My insurance (read: prescriptions) will end at midnight on March 31st. I have about 1.5 months worth of Abilify and about 3 weeks worth of Seroquel left. I am not going to be able to fill the Seroquel in April, and the Abilify is going to run out in mid-May, give or take. The two prescriptions combined cost about $1900.00 per month. That’s more than I get per month on disability which, if you have read the previous few posts, has been denied due to a resounding medical improvement. With all due respect to the Social Security Administration, when someone who has been on and relied upon disability to pay rent, pay for groceries, utilities and what not for about 9 years, this type of situation is going to cause a medical slide back down the hill. I do not think they recognize the severity of the situation. Since I received that letter notifying me that my benefits were to be discontinued, I have grown depressed, extremely anxious, panicky, sleepless (which really helps people with Bipolar….not), and a whole host of other symptoms that had become manageable. Now, I am back to crying at the drop of a hat, my Klonopin usage is back up to the prescribed dosage (I had managed to drop it to half), and I do not know what I am going to do when the Abilify runs out. I am going to be an untreated mentally ill person again, and that scares the living hell out of me.

I remember what it was like to be untreated. My moods were all over the place, I have been told that I could be quite the bitch, I abused drugs and alcohol in a vain attempt to regulate my moods on my own, and it just wasn’t a pretty sight. I am afraid that I am going to get suicidal again, not just of the ideation variety, but of the type that attempts it. I already have 7+ attempts under my belt, and the last one was nearly successful. I have been assured that my benefits will continue throughout the appeal process, and that data has been entered to resume my benefits. However, I have also been told that sometimes that data just kicks out of the system, and I won’t know that until April 3rd when the next check is to be deposited. This is going to be two weeks of extreme anxiety: will I get my check, will Medicare be reinstated as the liaison between the SSA office here and the Benefits Determination Services has assured me? I do not want to see what is going to happen.

Everyone keeps telling me that the Affordable Care Act is supposed to be in place to take care of these problems, but I have looked at the supposedly “affordable” insurance programs available, and unless you want a huge out of pocket expense, you won’t get a premium below about $250.00 per month. If you don’t mind having an out of pocket expense of around $6000.00, your monthly premium is going to be in the $350.00 per month range. Add $350.00 to the roughly $2100.00 worth of prescriptions I take monthly, and it is just not feasible.

Even the thought of trying to secure a job that has benefits gives me a panic attack. What if I have a depressive episode, and I cannot function at home or in the workplace? I’ll just lose another job, I guess. I have never been able to keep a job longer than two years because something always goes wrong; I make a stupid mistake, or the job is beneath my qualification level and I get bored and then I get depressed. Then I get fired for not being able to complete tasks on time, or finish them at all. I have a hard time following instructions (ADD) spoken or written. I have a huge problem with micro-management; just piss off and let me work, it will get done if you aren’t in my face every half-hour. 

I am getting nervous to the point of actually being afraid for myself. How am I supposed to live? These are not entitlements. Disability benefits are paid out of taxes that I paid into while I was working for about 17 years. I earned these benefits. I also was doing some more reading on what types of conditions are eligible for benefits: if I was a drug addict or alcoholic, I would qualify for disability benefits. I am sorry, but drug addiction and alcoholism may not be conscious choices, but they are choices none the less. Having a few mental health issues is not really a choice. It just sort of happens to people especially those with mental health problems in their families.

My parents (my mom, really, because my Father is too narcissistic to think about much other than how he plans to retire with a few million under his belt) can only help so much and for so long, and I really don’t want their help. As it stands, my mom helps me more than I would like, but it is a necessary evil. I appreciate everything they have done, and I am extremely grateful to have parents that are living at my age, as well as, having the means to help to a point. It is a very fine line. My life was built on a house of cards, and the SSA pulled one of the foundation cards out so the whole thing fell. I am seriously beginning to freak out.

Father Tears and I

Originally posted on Sheldon Kleeman:

I often
felt
these
words
but
couldn’t
speak
till
now

I was in
his place
of business

Trying to
understand
where I
was suppose
to fit in

It wasn’t
exactly
the place
I wanted
to be

But it
became
clear
as time
I was
suppose
to be
there

One day
when I
stood
still

I heard
a voice
cry

I went to
the sound
and found
my father
crying

In a flash
I saw
him in me

From that point
on I found
life inside
his tears

This man
my father
had lost
all strength
and will

William
was slipping
through
his fingers

I was the
father
he never
had

He was the
child that
he never
was

To this day
I often
wonder
was this
Hereditary
Or
was I just
a child
of tears

This was inspired by a fellow blogger,Julia
She is a friend,a confidant,a define force to…

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Social Security ~ What A Nightmare!!

AARRRGGGHHH!
AARRRGGGHHH!

This is about where I am at when it comes to this nightmare known as disability benefits. How can they take away something that I paid taxes for while I worked for about 20 years? Physically, I have no problems working. Mentally, I have huge problems working. How am I supposed to hold down a job when I can’t leave the house, or I am in one of those bone-crushing depressions that I am so prone to? I have bipolar disorder; it is not going away any time soon. Combine that with PTSD and panic disorder and ADD, and you have a really unreliable employee.

However, it looks like the Social Security department is going to continue my benefits while I appeal. I will believe it when I see it. I met with the case manager yesterday after two weeks of irritating phone tag. When he asked if my PTSD was related to military service, I (being the overly honest person that I can be) told him I had been assaulted. He just was quiet for a while. Then he asked all these questions about my mental condition. Basically, has anything changed since the completion of my medical review which resulted in the cessation of my benefits. Hell yes everything is different since I got that letter informing me that my benefits were ending. I am depressed, scared, worried, anxious, panicky, and overall just not as stable as I was before The Letter. I think anyone would be a little freaked out if they lost their income. I started applying for jobs, and that only served to increase the anxiety and depression. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that receiving a letter telling you that your income is gone is going to change the whole game. Ugghh, whatever…..

Happy Valentine’s To Everybody

Valentine's

I just wanted to say Happy Valentine’s to everybody who have been so supportive and kind to me. I appreciate your comments, the conversations I have had with people, and getting to “know” so many wonderful and interesting people! I know Valentine’s day can be rough for a lot of people, and it has been for me for years. However, I can report that after my lovely (not) marriage and ensuing divorce that I have found love in the oddest place. I have known him for years (22) and have been secretly in love with him for years. He is a long time friend and fellow cyclist who used to be one of my favorite riding partners before I became Buddhist and my Sundays got tied up. 

So, I sent him a PM on Facebook explaining all of this to him. He didn’t read it before I deleted it. So, I rewrote it and determined that he was going to read it, and just anxiously waited (trying not to delete it, again). He, being a guy, had no clue and asked why I hadn’t said anything earlier and why had I married in the mean time. I told him he was in the middle of a divorce back then, and he needed time to heal from that. Can’t argue with logic. Then I was in the middle of a divorce and healing from that. So, that, in a round about fashion is how we ended up together. 

Now I am stressed about Disability and in love with someone I have loved in secret for years. And, he loves me in return even with all my nuttiness :)

Has My Universe Come Crashing Down Or Is This A Life Lesson?

London Bridge is Falling Down

About 2 weeks ago I got a letter from SS Benefits Determination department indicating that my benefits would be ending in March, including Medicare which means Medicaid would stop; the whole house of cards that I have lived under for the last nine years would crash to the ground. I have appealed the decision as I think they were erroneous in labeling me as “fit to work”.  However, I never filed the claim for medical (physical) reasons. It was for mental health reasons.

Now I am questioning whether those reasons may have changed. I do not feelNeurons Firing unwell or unstable although I must admit the letter of cessation of benefits rocked my boat quite a bit. But, now I am back in my gently rocking boat surfing the nice calm sine wave. If I am completely honest with myself, I have to see that I am not really completely unfit to work. Of course I have been physically able to work the entire time, but my mental state was unstable. That’s not so true now. I seem to have come to rest in a valley between mania and depression which, being balanced, represents a certain type of stability, and quite possibly, remission of the disorder that plagues me the most: the dreaded Bipolar. 

Resume Example

 

There are some obstacles to my going back to work, although I do not think they are insurmountable; it is simply going to take an employer willing to take a chance on someone whose resume lists their last job as having been in 2007. The job gap is probably the biggest hurdle. I have no children, so I can’t say I was at home raising children. I have been going to school off and on in that time frame, but not consistently. Mainly, I have been focused on getting well. So, I really do not know how to explain the time gap effectively. I do not want to just blurt out I have Bipolar disorder and I have been sick for the past few years. That would be akin to committing job suicide. I can only imagine the face of the interviewer if I were to do that. I am sure there are ways around that. Then, there’s the issue of the resume itself. It clearly shows a pattern of only working two years at any one job since graduating from college. An astute potential employer pointed that out to me (more like he asked why had I only stayed two years at any given job). It is a very valid question. Due to reasons that are no longer valid, I was fired from one job. And, due to reasons that are only partially valid now, I was fired from the second job. And, I was fired from the third one by a crazy, micromanaging boss due to medication issues, and just generally, because she was horrible to work for. That one’s kind of up in the air; I quit in an email. and then she turned around and fired me in the response to the email. Its ambiguous.

What I don’t know is how long the appeal is going to take, and I really can’t be job hunting while I am appealing the decision to stop my benefits. So, come March 2015, my benefits stop. Which leads to another problem. I do not make enough on Disability to save money. I have broken the monthly amount to an Medicationhourly wage, and it is less than the legal minimum wage in my state. The entire check goes to paying my bills. And, if I cannot job hunt during the appeals process, how do I cover April, May, and potentially June? I also lose my insurance because Medicare stops and that has allowed me to enroll in a Medicare advantage plan that is much more cost effective than getting individual insurance. By quite a bit. I take medication that costs $38.00 and $16.00 per dose. So, that’s another hurdle. How to pay for insurance and medication that costs an ungodly and obscene amount of money?

WorkLots of questions with no clear answers yet. I just know that if appeal number one is denied, I will have to hire an attorney, and I really do not want to do that as it would be very expensive. I would rather have help with my bills while I look for work than pay an attorney. There’s also the possibility that the appeal will be successful and I can enter the “Ticket To Work” program where you can “test” the waters of working while maintaining your benefits. So many questions, so few obvious answers.