I’m in a really weird place right now, y’all.
As a friend who knows from such things pointed out to me today (I already kinda knew but hadn’t done the paperwork for a grown person with a work history before), you can’t apply for Disability (nor would anyone who’s ever tried to help a loved one live on and communicate with Social Security WANT to, OMG) until you are actually disabled. Which on the surface would seem really obvious, unless you’re in my shoes: I know it’s coming. I know what it will probably look like and that it will be soon (sooner than I thought even a week ago, DAMN it), but...not yet.
So tomorrow I start training for a new job making less money than I have in ages but that is also much less demanding (my reduced household, once fully divested of expenses relating to the children I no longer have, can run on less so I’m aiming for something I can do on autopilot if I’m really sad or stoned on painkillers). Instead of serving I will be cooking, doing quiet prep-work in the background of a brand-new shiny little franchise catering to people with food sensitivities (and sensibilities). It’ll require me to be humble, my new boss pointed out. I said life has really humbled me the past year so that is okay, I am used to it, bring it on. It seems like a great concept, great people, great energy...if I had feelings left I would be really excited for this good opportunity.
But also Monday I have to start getting my shit together to apply for SSD, as it seems that at minimum I need at least one surgery that under the best of circumstances leaves you with a long recovery and permanently diminished mobility. How soon remains to be seen. Like, my MRI looks terrible but maybe it’s been like that in there for a while and if I can function at all then no way am I down with anyone slitting my throat and chipping away at the bone around my GOTDAMN spine, abnormal or not. Until it’s a matter of preserving function NO THANK YOU. There have been signs I’m approaching that point, which is what led to all this doctoring: we’re trying to pump the brakes.
This past Tuesday I had a minimally-invasive spinal intervention performed under floroscopic guidance that went poorly due to how fucked up and calcified my ligaments are. It was nobody’s fault, and the procedure may still prove marginally helpful in the longer run, but currently my arms don’t work so well. I have full range of motion in both but not full sensation, my fine motor skills suck, and my left arm is just...like okay remember Bob Dole? And the pen? (Not knocking the guy, that little trick got me through several job interviews)
Until we know if this is temporary and related to swelling or the beginning of the end, I have to try to plan two futures at once. I know which one I would prefer (I started to say “want” but if we were talking about what I wanted my spine and family would both be intact), but not which one I’ll get.
Have I mentioned that this is bullshit?