I received my letter detailing my Social Security unfavorable decision. I received it Friday and finally got the nerve up to ready it today. I didn’t want to ruin my weekend and I already had enough anxiety about going to Jury Duty on Monday. Jury Duty went better than I expected. The Jury Commissioner had a great sense of humor, which made everything easier. I had to stay all day, but we had a lot of breaks in the morning, so I was okay. The afternoon dragged on and on and I hurt much worse than I had in the morning, but sitting on a wooden bench, even with a back, will do that. I still hurt today and I’m still tense, but that was to be expected. I was able to stay positive about the whole experience. I wasn’t picked to be on the Jury, but felt like even if I had been, I could have handled it.
Back to the real reason I’m so tense today. Basically, the judge said I wasn’t believable. Mostly due to the opinion of the first neurologist I saw, Dr. David Ewing. If you are unfortunate enough to come across this doctor, run (or walk speedily, whatever works) in the opposite direction. Nearly every lady with fibro that I know, when I tell them he was my doctor, they curse about him, say he’s the worst doctor for fibro or have some negative story about him. Even my attorney has heard the horror stories. If you are seeing a doctor who doesn’t listen to you and refuses to explore any other options than medication, same thing. I’m not knocking fibromyalgia medications, I take prescription medications. In my opinion, fibro and CFS require a doctor to think outside the box. The thing that helped the most with my CFS has been thyroid medication. No other doctor would even refer me to a doctor for my thyroid. Even the doctors that diagnosed me with fibro and have seen me more recently were considered less credible (not sure if that’s the correct word) because the judge thought they based their opinion on my complaints. He also said that there were no tests showing a reason for my pain and acknowledged that in cases of fibro and CFS that there aren’t. Apparently, I only walked as if I was in pain some of the time. I also told them that it doesn’t always hurt to walk, but whatever.
I feel discouraged. I don’t think I can come back from a judge’s opinion and Dr. Ewing’s opinion that they don’t believe that my pain is to the extent that I’ve reported. I’m pretty done with it. I know a lot of people will tell me not to give up, but I don’t feel like that’s what I’m doing. I’m recognizing their opinion and I understand why they feel that way. I feel like the only thing I can do is accept this and move on. Raging against this will accomplish nothing.
I have the support I need to do this. My husband, his family and my family are awesome. I’ve rekindled some friendships from high school that have healed me more than those beautiful women will know. It’s a wonderful thing to know you can pick up the phone or get on Facebook and have a conversation with someone who knows you down to your soul and only wants what is best for you. I have amazing examples to follow. My Dad, my Step-Father (who I also call Dad), my Mother, both my Mothers-in-Law and my Father-in-Law have all worked with pain. They haven’t given up and I can’t either. Every day I wake up with one priority: To be a good example to my kids. Every time I whine about my problems and find excuses not to do something, I’m telling them it’s okay to make excuses just because something is difficult or because I hurt. I can’t do that. It is not the example I want to set for my kids. No matter how bad my pain or fatigue I want them to see me pushing myself, going outside my comfort zone and rolling with the punches of life. If I am too tired or in too much pain, I explain that, but always before I have a little honest conversation with myself about why I’m really telling them no.
I’d also like to make a special request. If you are going to make any negative comments towards me or my attorney, I really would rather you keep that to yourself. I have to stay positive for my husband and my children and I cannot even entertain thoughts of unfairness. Sometimes life is unfair. The judge feels that I could be a teller at a bank and if it takes trying to do just that and seeing what happens, I’ll gladly do that. Since my diagnosis I have learned one very important thing. You never know until you try. That’s all I can do. Try. My husband would chime in with the quote from Yoda, “Do or do not. There is no try.” That certainly applies in this case. I made him a painting of this quote and I read it every day. No more excuses. The pain and the fatigue are going to be there, I need to learn to deal with it.