As I have mentioned in previous blogs the HMO’s have given up on me. I was granted disability and they assume that I will waste away on the system. For the last year I have sought “alternative treatments” searching to improve my quality of life. The experiences have been a blessing and an eye opener. The word alternative can be interchanged with the word expensive. When insurance doesn’t cover “alternative treatments” cost can skyrocket. At this current time I am spending close to 70 percent of my disability check on “alternative treatment’s”.
“Natural” Doctor specializing in nutrition and supplements
Overall I have had positive experiences with alternative treatments. However, I suggest you heavily research the specialty and specialist. I have met alternative specialist that promise to “heal you”. You are then trapped into purchasing expensive supplements and paying for astronomical office visits. Also, trust yourself. I recently was seeing an alternative doctor and after leaving the visit I had a negative feeling. I elected to trust myself and not return. If you ever need chiropractic or TMJ care in the Southern California area please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org I have some excellent recommendations.
It’s a daunting process to apply for disability. The burden is placed on the individual to prove they are disabled. You must gather medical documentation and be reviewed by assigned medical doctors. In my particular case I was reviewed by three independent doctors. Once your health and mental status have been combed over they hand down the decision. I believe the baffling nature of my condition and the overwhelming amount of medical records didn’t leave much room for debate. It was a very scary time for me and I dread the medical reviews I have to face.
Here are some tips that helped me get through the process:
1. Be organized: I can not stress the importance of organization. You are going to be dealing with a mountain of paperwork. You do not want to delay the process or forget to include important documentation because your paperwork is in disarray.
2. Request your medical records: I found it helpful to have my medical records in my possession. I have seen several specialist and my medical records were spread throughout various hospitals and departments within hospitals. Also I was able to go through my records and recall events I had forgotten or appointments where I was too sick to recall details.
3. Ask for help: The process can be daunting. I had to take it in stages. Don’t hesitate to ask a family member or friend to assist you. At times we often feel embarrassed or prideful and refuse to ask for help. I have learned through this process to let go and let others assist me.
Quick blog post today. I may start posting restaurant reviews on my blog. My fiance and I are planning to have a celebratory dinner with our parents. One concern with chronic dizziness is finding a well-lit restaurant not overwhelmingly noisy.
Side note: Is ambiance in a restaurant really that important? Why do restaurants have to be so dark? I personally enjoy seeing my company:) If you have any suggestions in the Los Angeles/ San Fernando/Burbank/Pasadena areas please don’t hesitate to comment.
I have been reflecting upon my latest blog entry. I listed 10 limitations and found it interesting that I also listed 10 advantages. I was unwilling to have the disadvantages out-way my advantages. I believe this is testament to my inner spirit. That inner spirit has been manifesting into willpower. I have this incredible drive to not allow this condition to rob me of the dreams I once dreamed.
Before the condition the top priority in my life was work. I spent countless hours working. I was young and energetic and I had a solid career. Everything else in my life such as health, family, friends, and even myself became secondary. I was able to pour all of this innate drive into work. I was excelling and believed I was destined to have a successful career.
So what happens when you are forced to create new priorities yet have the same ambitions? Since being stripped of my top priority, work, how do I learn to prioritize and focus my energies on the life areas I neglected? Maybe it’s time to place the “everything else” at the top of my agenda.
I admittedly believe that if I somehow get back into the workforce I am regaining what I once lost. However, I am failing to use this drive to focus on the things I never lost, my family and myself!
I strongly believe finding resources limited the number of dark days this condition presents. The HMO medical community and my employer had given up on me but I had sense enough not to give up on myself. I figured there had to be a way for me to actively participant in the workforce in some capacity. I have a capable mind and an unyielding spirit. These qualities allowed me the ability to get out and explore my options. Maybe there was a person or organization that would be willing to give me some guidance? In comes Vocational Rehabilitation…
It’s quite interesting that I worked in the medical field for a period of time before being sidelined by my condition. I was becoming intimately familiar with the daily dealings of the administrative side of healthcare. Working alongside doctors and nurses, training them how to run sophisticated electronic medical records, I found myself mastering the art of labeling. In order for me to train them properly, I had to understand the workflow of the hospital and how patients were triaged, treated and released. Immediately, as patients are checked into the clinic or hospital, the goal was to quickly assess and compartmentalize information in order to give patients a label. The labeling came in different forms, such as the placing of a medical wristband on the patient for identification, to entering a diagnosis code into the system so that the insurance would be billed properly. It was interesting to see how well oiled the machine ran, until a patient presenting rare or interesting symptoms forced a wrench in the system and was spit out.
Which leads me into my personal journey and how my condition threw a wrench in the system. I will save you the stress of intimate details and break this down as much as I can…
Since we are starting upon a journey some basic preparations need to take place before we move forward. It’s important for you to gather a sense of my past and how I got to this point so we can navigate this journey effectively…
The early years:
I was a latch key kid growing up. My parents were hard working and often times worked more then one job ( mom) to provide us a better standard of living then they were accustomed too. I was more of a chatterbox and dreamer than an exemplary student. I found myself falling into troubled pre-teen and teenage years, missing most of my academic foundation. I managed to pull it together in high school by isolating myself from bad elements and hanging out with the nerdy types. As my nerdy angels headed off to AP classes, I was herded alongside the other dreamers into donkey knock off classes. I often times believed we were just being baby sat while my nerdy compadres were actually in school learning. I managed to graduate high school and was accepted into a college. ( pics inside)
This site was birthed from the encouragement of one of my current medical practitioners. I have been suffering from what I refer to as a hidden disability. Hidden meaning only myself, family and medical practitioners ( doctors, dentist, chiropractor, social worker, vocational rehabilitation counselor) are aware that I suffer from a disability. You see I have a balance disorder. I will get into the details of this balance disorder in a later post. Technically I look “normal” for lack of a better word. When dealing with a face to face or virtual encounter you will have no clue that I suffer from a somewhat rare condition that leaves me imbalanced/chronically dizzy 24 hours a day.
I plan to document my journey living with a hidden disability and trying to enter back into the workforce and become an active participant in society once again. There are interesting limitations that are placed on me by my condition that will make this a very interesting journey…