Category Archives: Disability

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.


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

Author – (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog


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 (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 (moving posts to other blog and will be deleting this one).


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 (moving posts to other blog and will be deleting this one).

Not a good day, life just sucks and the only way out is not acceptable.

Days like these are when suicide does cross my mind.

I am in so much pain. 40 years of chronic pain and this being has finally hit enough already. When does the pain stop. Why am I in so much pain? So much for God’s plan. What the hell is it already that it demands I be in constant, gut wrenching PAIN?

I have to ration the few pain pills I have for sleep hours so I can finally drift off only to wake up as it wears off. I take another one and since I don’t have enough for 2 a day I am going to run out and then I don’t know where I will stand.

I didn’t cry much despite all this pain in the last 40 years, but enough is enough is enough already. I need a fucking break from all of this.

My pain management appointment isn’t until October 17 and will have no medicine unless the orthopedic dr will relent and write me another script for some more. I have a 13 page document to fill out just to go to this pain dr. Filling out paperwork drives me crazy. They don’t even read it. They just have to have it in the record, but 13 pages for crying out loud. And I have to agree to constant drug tests to make sure I am taking the medications they prescribe and of course I have to pay for it. If I fuck up and take more than the actual dose or less than I could fail the drug tests and be thrown out of the practice. I also could end up addicted to a narcotic and have to make sure I don’t lose my meds or mess up the dosage as I will have to go to the hospital for withdrawal. Another rule I have to sign for. All because people abuse the drugs those of us who need them have to suffer.

I don’t want to need these drugs. I take so many drugs now and really who wants more. I don’t get high off of them I get a little pain relief if that.

Teresa (Tessa) Dean Smeigh

-Advocate for Mental and Invisible Illnesses

-Author of Articles, Stories and Poems


Things I would have done differently if given a second chance

  1. Exercise – I have hated exercise since I was a child. I simply would rather read a book. When the arthritis starting in my 20’s I gave up and didn’t exercise then either despite the doctor’s advice. It hurt, I didn’t do it. Now I know I should have worked through it then and maybe I wouldn’t be so bad now.
  2. Career – I should have gotten a career when I was younger and started to earn more than the measly jobs I took now and then paid me. I would have been prepared for the divorce and taking care of myself.

Now I am disabled and unable to work even a simple job and living off the measly amount the government gives me.

I am happy, content and working on my financial state.

Teresa (Tessa) Dean Smeigh

-Advocate for Mental and Invisible Illnesses

-Author of Articles, Stories and Poems

Disability is not a vacation

It is amazing to me how many people assume if you are on disability you are lazy and are available to do things for them or others.

Most people would rather work than lie around in pain all day and night. This is not how I would spend my vacation.

Remember people disability is not a vacation. Be it mental or physical disability most of us aren’t able to be someone’s back up plan or even the first thought when something comes up.

Use your head and have sympathy and don’t expect your family or friends on disability to be your go to person when things come up.

Teresa (Tessa) Dean Smeigh

-Advocate for Mental and Invisible Illnesses

-Author of Articles, Stories and Poems