Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Disability

I'm going to the doctor tomorrow.  We're going to sit down with a long application which might involve me promising my firstborn child (sorry, E!), in an effort to qualify me for disability.  This is something I've hesitated to do for a long time (over eight years, I think!), partly because I didn't want to admit it, partly because I've procrastinated, and partly because I'm afraid of the this application's result--no matter what that result is. I'll have to release the thousand thousand pages that make up my medical file, have to allow all my doctors to be contacted, and have to be interviewed by some government official (hopefully, an actual doctor).  Then wait to discover if I'm actually disabled enough.  Whatever that means.

Here's the thing.  Some days, some seasons, some years have been worse than others.  Seasons when this idiopathic peripheral nerve pain in my left leg and left arm has so crippled me that I can barely walk.  And sitting? Fogettaboutit.  Really, sitting is excruciating.  And right now is one of those days, seasons.  It's hard to explain what this kind of pain feels like if you've never dealt with it.  It's like fire through the limb, a burning tingle that nothing alleviates. Pain I live with 24-7--though sometimes it's better, it has never, ever disappeared.  Not for eight long years.  It's why I go steady with a neurologist, why I take a cocktail of drugs.  It's why any kind of job where one has to sit, stand, or walk for long periods of time is out of the question.   Oh, and another thing--clothes are like needles on those limbs. 

But hey, if you can think of a job that one can do in pjs, lying on one's bed, or in a recliner, I'm your woman.  My brain is healthy. 

And my heart is healthy as well.  Both physically and spiritually.  I've said this again and again, and I claim it today as I face this arduous process.  If I to choose between this relentless pain and spiritual pain, relational pain...just about any other kind of pain, I'd choose this.  There have been moments when I've pounded my pillow in frustration (last night might have been one of those moments), when I've pleaded for just a single moment without it...but there are such moments.  In a swimming pool or even our extra deep bathtub.  But I can't live my life in a swimming pool, though I'd like to try.

I don't know if I qualify for disability.  I don't know if I should.  But for my husband's sake, I'm going ahead with it.  And we'll see.  When I get discouraged about my small concerns, I remember that these things are creating in me an eternal weight of glory, are not more than I can handle, that if I continue to welcome this pain as a friend, God will meet me.  This process won't, of course, mean that the pain goes away, but perhaps, it'll be a help to Beve.  And that's good enough for me.

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