Tuesday, March 16, 2010

SSDI phone interview

Pain level: 6
Dislocations so far today: right index finger once, left elbow once in my sleep
Subluxations so far today: Right shoulder a couple of times, left patella once.
Meds: meloxicam--1 tablet. 
Major complaint: Spinal stenosis pain down both legs,  stiffness/pain/swelling in the joints of my hand (R>L)

I had my phone interview today.  Man, what a stressful happening.  I was automatically denied because I let them know that while I don't have a bank account of my own, my name is on my mother's account and M's in case, gods forbid, that anything happened to them, someone will be able to pay their hospital bills, etc.  Unfortunately, according to Social Security rules, this means that I have full access to all the money in those accounts and that disqualifies me as an applicant.  So since I can legally walk into my mom's bank and drain her account, despite it not being my money and that making me a rat bastard,  I am apparently a very wealthy individual.  I couldn't even give her the balances of the accounts, which she needed to know, because I simply don't know what is in the account besides my name as a secondary.  Ugh.

So.  I have until April 1st to mail them documentation that my name has been removed from every bank account that I'm on.  (At which time I will be denied anyway because that's how it goes until I appeal 17 times, right?) I was pretty sure this was going to be how it went down anyway, but I figured it might look suspicious if I didn't have a bank account, but had taken my name off several accounts right before I filed for disability.  This way, I'm doing it because they told me to.  

She asked me a thousand questions, many of which I had no idea how to answer.  Most of them I had anticipated and had a Word document full of my info.  But things like the name, address, and phone number of the doctor who diagnosed me with my nobody-can-explain-why-it's-there lumbar spinal fusion back when I was 12 years old?  I don't have a clue.  I was 12.  I didn't write that stuff down.  I didn't think I'd be filing for benefits 14 years later.  What year was that?  Uh, I was 12 so... *counts on fingers* 1998?  I doubt he still even works at that hospital.  What month was it?  Are you kidding?  I'm gonna say it was spring.  Completely arbitrary I recollect that it was sometime around spring vacation.  o.O  

Strangely enough, that spinal fusion is the thing she really focused on the most.  Not my Ehlers Danlos, which I marked as being the most contributing factor in my disability next to my Lumbar Spinal Stenosis.  She asked if I had any idea which vertebrae were found to be fused, obviously deterred at this point by my inability to recall phone numbers from 14 years ago (that as a 12 year old, I'm sure I never saw).  
Confused, I told her, "The whole thing.  My lumbar spine is fused." Which is what I thought "lumbar spinal fusion" conveyed. 
 To which she replied, "Oh my God!  You can't bend?!"
"Uh, nope I can't bend my lower back.  I can bend with my thoracic spine and my neck, but not my lumbar."
This exchange puzzled me.  I presume that Disability benefits applications is what this woman does for a living.  I am NOT the person out there who is the worst off.  Not even close.  (Nor is my spinal fusion the worst of my worries.) I'm not saying I'm up to go out and reside the house, but there have got to be people calling her that have had limbs ripped off in industrial accidents, or spinal injuries resulting in paralysis.  Does she then exclaim, "Oh my God!  You don't have legs?!"  I should hope so.  Because not bending is annoying and the fusion can be severely painful, but I mean, really.

So that was that.  Joints have been sort of average today.  Knees are still giving me trouble.  I found a third splinter hemorrhage on my left middle finger.  It's small, about the size of the one on my right index finger, but definitely there.  

I need to go write up a list of things to cover tomorrow with Dr. E.  Hope you all out there in Internet-Land are doing well.

P.S.  There's still water coming into the basement.  They bail it out and it comes right back in. Yuck.

Hand stiffness using middle finger has measure
Time: 8:23 PM
Can touch forearm?  Just just barely.  Ow.
Angle of extension of the center joint of finger: 65º
Angle of extension of the last joint of finger: 120º
Can touch forearm? not very close
Angle of extension of the center joint of finger: 50º
Angle of extension of the last joint of finger: 110º  

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