Category Archives: Disability

Trying to get back into the swing of things.


I am having trouble getting back to regular blogging. The pain has become a major issue and I can barely stand it. Days of crying, don’t help, but what am I to do.

I just got a new pain management doctor since I changed to Medicare and have Medicaid. Dual coverage they call it and so most things should be covered. No more monthly premiums and all those copays.

My Medicaid also provides a home health aide to help with showering and dressing and the housework, shopping, and laundry. I also now have dental including dentures if/when I need them, hearing including hearing aids, and I am already certified by my last doctor as needing them 10 years ago, and eye checkups with glasses. I think it is one pair per year for diabetics.

They pay for my medical alert button and provide 1 meal a day.

There are a lot of other things, but I am not sure of everything that is part of the program. They do pay the 20% of what Medicare doesn’t cover. And due to my low income I am eligible with a lot of state help and/or medicare help for my prescriptions thank God. I couldn’t afford any on my little government disability check and the government is trying to get out of paying us as it is. Don’t know what will happen if they succeed. I can’t work.

My mental health is not quite as stable as it was. My anxiety is out of control during this pandemic and the uncertainty with the Medicaid.

Plus I spent April writing my book for NANOWRIMO and still working on other writing this month and when you get out of the habit it is hard to get back into it.

My dad’s nursing home (Long Term Care) has tested everyone for the virus and he doesn’t have it. However, their numbers are now, at last check, over 74 positive residents (all asymptomatic) and 9 positive employees with the first 3 employees now returning to work after recovering. And sadly 2 of the residents have died from the virus. We held for so long and it turned out they didn’t know they had sick residents since they weren’t showing any symptoms. They had decided to test all the residents and then the governor made it mandatory to test all nursing home residents. Half our numbers for the state are nursing home residents and assisted living residents. They don’t go out so they got it from the sick employees. However it seems that a lot of people are asymptomatic and not showing any signs of being sick, but they can pass it to someone else. This is a nasty virus and no wonder it is spreading so rapidly.

Our state is one of the worse and they are slowly starting to open things up a little bit. From what I have heard on the news there have been increases in the states that opened up earlier. That is what I expected would happen. We aren’t out of danger yet. Despite social distancing and wearing masks the numbers are still rising rapidly. I haven’t heard the last numbers we had. We have a lot of people still who insist that we don’t need masks or need to stay away from each other. I heard they had a party here last night and I think the largest number of people in groups is 10. I didn’t go, so I don’t know what happened. I am a huge risk factor so I am trying to protect myself.

I got notification from the pharmacy that I had a prescription for Narcan (to help prevent overdosing). I thought it was a mistake and contacted my prescriber which was my psychiatric nurse who writes my anxiety and psych meds. She told me that the governor has declared that anyone taking pain meds and anxiety meds must have Narcan available. Now I have to contact my pain management and report a new medication since that is the rule there, but as my psych nurse says he will have to write those same medications so I might get another one sent in from their office. She doesn’t prescribe me pain meds but knows I take them so she sent it in for me. I think that should have been done by pain management. I don’t have it yet as I am not making a separate trip when I know that I have other medications coming up for renewal.

Tessa – 

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian

Author – http://www.finallyawriter.com (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog http://www.tessacandoit.com

Author of a book, a work in progress on the blog, https://tessacandoit.com/government-property-a-memoir-as-a-military-wife/

Highlighted chapters are done and ready to be read.

I am also a youtuber in the authortube section on writing. See my videos here:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSpNS-6gfJ0s8eD1berLwQg

I know what you are thinking – where the hell has she been?


My life was turned upside down and still isn’t completely righted yet.

Not sure what I did write so some of this may be repeated.

Around January 12, I was treated for a urinary tract infection and yeast infection. The start of my antibiotic roll.

On January 20 I woke up and felt really funny. I struggled to the bathroom and was standing by my emergency call bell, but my mind was on the fact that the bed seemed a hundred miles away and still moving. I couldn’t catch it. I looked at the phone, but my mind couldn’t comprehend what the phone would/could do and who should I call in the middle of the night and why. Still forgetting the call button at my side I started that long trek to my bed and reached out to pull the emergency button by my bed and passed out.

Luckily the guard was still on duty. I was non-responsive. He called the ambulance. They struggled to get me to wake up enough to walk to the stretcher since I was in a strange position on the bed and the couldn’t get the stretcher beside me. I remember very little of this day. I was rushed to the hospital. It was freezing out and I had on a T-shirt and shorts and bare feet.

Next, I recall my clothes being pulled off and a burning sensation that I later learned was a drug test. Unbeknownst to me, I was exhibiting drug overdose symptoms and sure enough, they found narcotics in me since I take 4 a day for pain. They started the drug overdose protocol and the Narcan being administered was horrendous. My daughter was watching this and crying. Each dose shocked me briefly into consciousness and then back out I would go. After a couple of doses I was awake long enough to understand that the next dose might very well throw me into withdrawal. However, since my kidneys were shutting down and my blood pressure was under 50 which is very low and dangerous they were more focused on that and they just told me to prepare myself because if I go into withdrawal I am going to be in terrible pain. They were pumping me full of liquids trying to force my kidneys to function but they weren’t cooperating and I didn’t even feel an urge to go. The next dose I got I shot out of the bed screaming in pain and crying about the pain in my chest. They did an EKG to make sure it wasn’t my heart and then went about trying to get me to wake up fully and get my kidneys to function and my blood pressure back to normal or at least higher than it was. Finally, my kidneys started to function and all that liquid was released and pushing through my kidneys. Blood pressure rose some and they decided I didn’t need to go to the ICU. I was put in a regular room with the ICU on standby.

I didn’t overdose on purpose. Due to kidney failure my narcotics were not flushing out so as I continued to take my normal dose they built up and thank God I woke up for whatever reason and realized something wasn’t right and pulled the emergency button before I passed out.

At one point in my life, I tried to overdose and didn’t take enough so that was my wake up call. I sure as hell do not want to do that again. They sent me home the next day with antibiotics for the bronchitis I had. Unfortunately it was very serious and my asthma complicated it and I was back in the hospital for a total of 10 days with antibiotics in my IV and orally. Pumped full of Prednisone which since it was a steroid it sent my blood sugars soaring. Came home on that. Plus all the breathing treatments and a new one and found out they contain steroids, some of them anyhow and my sugars all this time later are still out of whack.

Because of this I have home health care which is helping me apply for medicaid which is help I can really use. Dressing myself and bathing is downright difficult and since I have a bath tub and not a walk in shower I need help. Embarrassing, but I got over it. It is nice having help. Hopefully I will be approved for this long-term with a ton of paperwork to fill out.

So anyway I haven’t been around or up to writing. I am still recuperating.

Tessa – 

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian

Author – http://www.finallyawriter.com (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog http://www.tessacandoit.com

Author of a book, a work in progress on the blog, https://tessacandoit.com/government-property-a-memoir-as-a-military-wife/

Highlighted chapters are done and ready to be read.

Video Games for Treating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – The Benefits of Playing


Video Games for Treating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The Benefits of Playing

Tessa – 

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian

Author – http://www.finallyawriter.com (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog http://www.tessacandoit.com

Author of a book, a work in progress on the blog, https://tessacandoit.com/government-property-a-memoir-as-a-military-wife/

Highlighted chapters are done and ready to be read.

Question: Can I Keep Working with Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?


Question: Can I Keep Working with Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

For me, the answer to this was a resounding no. My job, was not physical, but it was mental and the “Fibro Fog” inhibited my ability to think, multitask and learn new things easily. I also had other physical conditions and it was necessary for me to go out on disability. It has been 8 and a half years ago now.

Anyone who has tried to live on government disability knows it is not easy. My pain and mental problems are difficult to deal with, but there is no choice as it is not curable and in my case none of the treatments tried have worked.

Tessa

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian

Author – http://www.finallyawriter.com (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog http://www.tessacandoit.com

Chronic Pain – So tired of it!


It has been 2 months since they deadened the nerves in my back. It was supposed to take only 6, maybe 8 months til it worked. It hasn’t although it does occasionally give me a small period maybe even a day without major pain. Nothing they do seems to help me. I am so tired of this chronic pain. It doesn’t give me much of a life, but what can I do but live with it.

I am trying to do things to take my mind off of it. I joined a book club, joined overeaters anonymous and go to bingo once a week. I am also reading more besides the book I have to read for the book club.

I haven’t felt much like writing though and my blogs are just sitting here.

Tessa

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian

Author – http://www.finallyawriter.com (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog http://www.tessacandoit.com

diabetes type 2 to type 1


My endocrinologist gave me some surprising and bad news. It seems that type 2 diabetes can get bad enough to become type 1. My body is no longer making its own insulin. He is talking about an insulin pump now.

Tessa

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian

Author – http://www.finallyawriter.com (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog http://www.tessacandoit.com

Strokes, Fibromyalgia, Spinal Degeneration and BusyBodies


Due to my physical and mental issues I have to cut my visiting the rehab center down to maybe once a week. At the blink of an eye I am crying. I am tired of people seeing me crying and having loss of my emotions so that I have to constantly contact my therapist to calm me down. My dad is fading away. He doesn’t want to live. He is done with this life and ready to go to heaven to be with his beloved wife. How do you have a conversation with someone who can’t remember his life or much of yours? My dad was a football (USA) freak and if his favorite team wasn’t playing he would watch another game with just as much enthusiasm. Now he refers to the Philadelphia Eagles as those green guys throwing a ball around and why were people clapping? His joy of football is gone. He was avid with politics and they were always on and he was up on everything, Now he isn’t even sure what country he is in and spends a lot of time in WW2 or his childhood.

Now we come to the busybodies. My sister and I are having to make emotional decisions as to our dad’s care. If you ever had to make those decisions for a loved one you know it is not easy and it hurts to have to decide where your loved one will live. Is he going to be safe? Well taken care of? And the ton of paperwork and the government comes in and in one fell swoop everything he worked for all his life is gone. We are not rich. He can’t afford home care for 24/7. So we must liquidate the man’s belongings and apply to the government (Medicaid in the USA) to pay for his upkeep and care. He kept my mom at home and was her sole caregiver. It was hard on him, but he didn’t complain, but we don’t have the same option now. She had Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia and by the time she needed full time care he had retired early and was there. He didn’t want our help, it was his wife and his responsibility according to his wedding vows. My sister did try to get them to go to assisted living where he could go with her, but they would take care of her. They refused. My mom wanted to go to a nursing home now called Long Term Care, but when we explained it she chose to stay home with dad. This is not the same situation. He can’t be left alone. He knows he is not supposed to get out of the chair or the bed, but tries often. He needs constant care which we can’t give him. We are doing the best that we can. When he’s lucid he understands and is fine with long term care and then he’ll flip the other way and it’s all about when he’s going home. Neither conversation is pleasant.

Those of you who have never been through something like this keep your comments to yourself. We feel guilty enough even though we are doing every thing we can for the man who raised us.

The pain and popping in my spine is getting worse. I can barely move and I have to wait until October 2 before I get the 6 facet joint injections in my spine and due to new laws my weight won’t allow me to have sedation. I had just one in my knee and screamed bloody murder so can only imagine 6 of them at once. All I can have is local anesthesia. It doesn’t do much. And the stress is allowing my Fibromyalgia to flare up as well and for 5 days before the injections I can’t have my NSAID arthritis medicine so don’t know how this is going to work. I am terrified of just going off my arthritis medicine. I can still take the percosets which help, but not much. I need the combination, but NSAIDS are blood thinners and not allowed 5 days before.

Tessa

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian

Author – http://www.finallyawriter.com (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog http://www.tessacandoit.com

Tomorrow Afternoon I Finally See Pain Management


It has been a long painful wait, but it is finally here. I am nervous about what decisions may or may not be made. Wondering if I will be sent to a neurosurgeon or just have steroid epidurals.

I am working on changing everything to the new bank. The biggest thing being my social security disability check. The bank said usually they are able to make the change themselves, but gave me paperwork in case I have to do it by hand myself.

I would have stayed with the old bank, but due to financial reasons I have to leave there and break the ties. I will still being doing business with them for a bit, but then I won’t and leaving then won’t be such a good idea. So breaking ties as soon as possible. Shopped around for the bank that was similar to them. I prefer my old bank, but I will get used to the new one soon.

I think I will try the bank’s bill pay. I didn’t trust the concept and working in the online department let me know things that could go wrong. I now have automatic withdrawals and I might as well have one place to pay all the bills instead of going to each site and make a payment. Sometimes I just don’t trust technology.

The pain is back again today. Yesterday was just a break I guess. A welcome one at that.

Teresa (Tessa) Dean Smeigh

-Advocate for Mental and Invisible Illnesses

-Author of Articles, Stories and Poems

http://www.tessacandoit.com

http://www.finallyawriter.wordpress.com (moving posts to other blog and will be deleting this one).

No point in asking…


Why me? There is no point in asking as there is no answer forthcoming. If you believe in re-incarnation you could say I am paying for one hell of a sin.

The only thing I know is that I can barely stand it anymore. The pain pills are not helping or my pain is worse than I thought.

I am using a cane now to walk and need support to pull myself up and down stairs. I can’t do it on my own. Getting out of bed is pure excruciating pain and almost impossible for me to do now.  I thought I knew what a 10 in the pain score meant before, but that is now a 15. Worse than childbirth at times and my 3 children were born naturally no pain relief. I have lived with chronic pain for over 40 years yet it is still possible to find pain that is worse than that.

Last time I went through this I didn’t think it could get worse, but it can. Oh it certainly can. I have heard good and bad things about surgery if they go that route. I could become totally immobile. Heck I almost am now. Not sure I like them messing with my spine. I won’t even let the chiropractor touch it anymore.

My Fibromyalgia is joining in on the fun. I am in full flare, pins and needles from that. numbness and pins and needles throughout my entire body from pinched nerves and Fibro. Arthritis running amuck. Some people have mild arthritis, but don’t know just how bad it can get. And it could be rheumatoid arthritis and worse so I shouldn’t complain too much I suppose. I would gather that is worse. Mine is inflamed and wrapped around my spine and squeezing.

They call it degenerative for a reason. It will not get better. It will continue to get worse. Talk about a life sentence.

My anxiety is super high even with meds. My bipolar is actually fairly stable at the moment so I am not dealing with my mental health being out of control. Thank God for small favors at least.

Teresa (Tessa) Dean Smeigh

-Advocate for Mental and Invisible Illnesses

-Author of Articles, Stories and Poems

http://www.tessacandoit.com

http://www.finallyawriter.wordpress.com (moving posts to other blog and will be deleting this one).

Jittery!!


Several people including my son, best friend and dad have told me to quit googling what is wrong with me and how they treat it and especially the surgery that is possible. All I am doing is upsetting myself and my son says it is bringing out the negativity in me. He is probably right. My mind tends to go to the negative first no matter what. I can’t just think about something and be positive about it.

I think it has helped me understand what might happen and that people have come out of it and recovered for the most part. Having a physical therapist tell you that you should never have back or neck surgery because most people are worse off afterwards sure didn’t help and that was 7 years ago when I tried the physical therapy for my then pinched nerves. Now the physical therapy didn’t help. We moved on to the steroid shots and surgery was not on the table. Now it is.

I hate the wait. Give me all these things that might be and might go wrong and then tell me I have to wait over a month and a half or more for someone to make a decision and of course it wasn’t the person I was seeing in the orthopedic office. It goes orthopedic, pain management and then possibly a surgeon or maybe not.

How is a person supposed to be positive when all this is going on and taking so long for answers. Before the current tests were done surgery was not on the table according to orthopedic office and now after the results surgery is suddenly very much an option and he was able to rush that cervical MRI right through when the results were added to the request. I was barely out of the driveway and the first one took a week. What am I supposed to think?

Teresa (Tessa) Dean Smeigh

-Advocate for Mental and Invisible Illnesses

-Author of Articles, Stories and Poems

http://www.tessacandoit.com

http://www.finallyawriter.wordpress.com (moving posts to other blog and will be deleting this one).