Open Letter to My SSD Judge
Today (to be honest, not sure if it's AM or PM let alone day of the week)
Dear Social Security Disability (particularly the judge who denied me):
Hello, you may know me as ______(insert your common name) but my full name is _____ (insert name). I'm a 37-year-old divorced female with no children. I have worked my entire life from the age of 14, but most recently have 16 years in ____ (field of work). You may actually remember me better as case #123456789 (insert #). I am responding to your denial of my application for Social Security Disability. I feel your final judgment is lacking sufficient justification. I understand my illness isn't visible so I'd like to give you my personal back story for what my medical records don't tell you.
How my life was altered
My life changed about 7 years ago. I was diagnosed with migraines at age 16 and averaged 6 to 8 a year. Then in 2013 things changed, headaches started daily, migraines increased almost overnight. I was poked, prodded, and diagnosed with chronic migraines and headaches with a colloid cyst on my third ventricle. I know the difference in my headaches and migraines but these migraines were different, yet the cyst is not the cause. After multiple neurologists and hospitals, including The Cleveland Clinic, no results. I have tried every diet, vision check, chiropractor, massage therapy, yoga, exercise, vitamin, and trick you and your entire family have seen on TV.
What to do when nothing works
I have tried dozens (which can be verified in my dr files) of preventatives, abortive, and recovery medications. Each one with its own version of hell for side effects. Meds that can take weeks if not months to work, then weeks also if not months of giving it a bit longer try, by the desperate Dr who wants to find me relief. To even more time weaning off of meds because of the psychological effects. As if the pain doesn't want to make me die each time... I am on psychological meds because doctors can't explain it but I'm the one affected. It has taken 6 of those 7 years after diagnoses to get the right combination of meds to help me not want to die from pain each day. By denying my case, the only way to make my invisible illness visible is by seeing a Dr every time I can't get out of bed without vomiting. Read that again, yes I can't get out of bed without vomiting some times, but sure I'll call the Dr to get in. Every time my head has its own heartbeat you are asking me to see a doctor document my symptoms. You are asking me to check in with someone who has a degree for them to document that they don't know the cause, yet I provided all my FMLA documentation with my former employer. Migraines can't be cured because humans don't understand them yet. I have worked for 7 years to be proud to be able to say I can manage at home most days. That is my only fortune, I can stay at home where I can suffer in peace. My actual hard-earned money (earned, past tense) cause I can't keep a job through the migraines) goes to Co-pays and deductibles and hospital bills. My suffering has gone on long enough and now I feel like all my progress to get my old "normal" life back is gone.
A Tired Human,
Have you taken our Migraine In America Survey yet?