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It's been almost three years and I do believe I have given returning to work as a teacher full time the old college try, but I'm ready to wave the white flag. The problem is, I can't actually just quit. I did buy a Long Term Disability insurance (searches for word...loading...loading...I got nothing) THING two years ago when our union changed insurance.

 

Unfortunately it's so scary to do that. What if I leave my job and it turns out I'm turned down? It pays 60% of my pay, which we can get by on (with Roy's full time pay) but not if we're turned down. If I give up my job I can't just go out 90 days into the school year and get another job. I can substitute teach but that won't make up enough of my pay, and I'd have to work full time which defeats the purpose of my taking off.

Just typing it out makes me nauseous. If I give up this job, which I do love, and I have to go back to teaching I couldn't do a regular teaching job.I currently teach two half-day classes. I can apply for online classes, I guess (online teaching) which I think is doable because the main thing I find exhausting is the not having the latitude to take breaks and having to be "on" for 7 hours straight with just one break. 

 

Unfortunately I have applied a number of times and have not been hired, but that doesn't mean I won't keep trying. 

 

Has anyone dealt with LTD insurance that is NOT the government based insurance? I will meet the guidelines of having paid in for two years and having been under doctors treatment during that entire time. I just worry they won't believe me.

 

A friend did ask if I felt like I was "letting the headaches win" and in a way I do feel that way, but I truly have done everything the doctor ordered. I am in pain all of the time and there is always at least one day a week that I need to spend in bed. Some days I drag in anyhow and spend the day just feeling horrible and trying not to let anyone see it, then go home and go straight to bed. Other days I just can't do it. I'm just so over this and ready to move on.

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Teech,

 

I really feel for you, I do not know what to say to you. !!

 

You seem so down and I know my singing wont help when you are on a downer. xx give you another headache !! that you don't need.

 

I wish I could wave a magic wand for you xx

 

But think what makes Teech happy and do it xx easy for me to say xx

 

Be Well and I hope you get all you need sorted.

 

I wish you well and try and not to worry or stress too much.  I'll hush now and leave you with a hug xx

Take care

 

WinB143 xx xx

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Teechur. The fact is if they have been taking your premiums then this is exactly the kind of thing you took it out for so I would start asking questions of them, look at it hard and start the process of seeing what you would get, there is always wriggle room but I would imagine it would qualify. Why not start the process, It may just be the tonic you need to break the pain cycle.

You are a good teacher , that does not change and I hope the lifestyle choice you may choose to make may give you financial security to bring you other ways you can teach , different ways, think about assisting in a charity maybe they tend to have less budgets but can often need teachers and would understand the importance of regular breaks and bit size chunks. I remain in awe of anyone who achieves a full time job with the head we now live with so well done for what you have done so far.

I know I am at my limits for now and that is in a different work environment to you and with considerably lower hours but I just don't have any more capacity to do more and that's not letting my headaches win like your friend says but finding a kind of fragile balance that allows me to have good time at home with my kids and some purpose at work too , oh and make some money !

I met with a friend this week and she stunned me by saying the achievement I make every time I work now is far greater than it was before and she's right, I hadn't thought about it that way, our marker is from the moment we burst a blood vessel, that's how far WE have come so You are not waving the flag you are accepting things are different in your capacity and things have changed and you are being kinder to that change, not trying to prove it wrong and maybe starting to make some allowance for it.

I am going to add my usual refrain, what would you advise someone who had lived through a bleed like you have and was now suffering the way you are , how would you help them and offer support, kindness and reassurance? Now offer all of that to yourself.

It will be ok teech , wishing you the very best and courage to bring change.

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Hi Teechur,

 

I think I would try to find out if you would qualify before you give up your job.  Don't burn your bridges until you are sure.  Check the wording on your policy and take advice if you need to.  Tick off each condition and see if there  are any where you are doubtful whether you would meet the criteria and discuss them with someone.  The advice above is good though.  

 

You are obviously conscientious and feel guilty about taking the benefit from something that will be yours by right.  So don't be shy or bashful.  Go for it if that's what you want- that's what you pay your premiums for.

 

Good luck,

 

Macca

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I feel for you!!  I did return to work, but only for 7 months. I would come home in tears and feel like I was going to have a nervous breakdown everyday!! I didn't know how much more I could take. My job was taken away from me when I went back to work and the position they put me in I could not do it, no matter how hard I tried.

With this going on I called my neurosurgeon and asked what was wrong with me, he asked if I had a neurophysc test done, I said no, so he scheduled one.

I failed miserably. For me, feeling like I could not do my job was one thing- but to have it confirmed by a professional was another thing. It had just turned out that I got those results at the same time I needed a neck fusion surgery. So after surgery I never returned to work. Like you I am struggling with disability. 

How are you doing these days?

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Teech,

 

With the right preparation, you will find your answers.  

 

We now have to work doubly hard to do these type of inquiries, at least I do.  Even thinking about maybe deciding is VERY challenging.  The second guessing, the feelings of not adding up, the what if's.  It is all so overwhelming for even simple things now.  You are beginning to ask questions and many more will come before you make your final decision.  Enlist your family.  What could your husband do to help ease the financial burden?  Maybe he's more capable of taking on something than your are continuing something.  For me, it is always hard to come to terms that I am not using SAH as an excuse, but as a guide for how I need to change my life.  This also changes the lives of people around me, but they are better at change than I am now, so that's another thing to come to terms with as well.

 

If I had to do it all again, I would seek disability right away because you can always go off of it.  I wish someone would have told me this and then I could just not worry so much about returning to work ASAP...which by the way is not yet, but maybe part-time soon.  I have a wonderful volunteer life and it is just as rewarding as work and I was helping children on the spectrum learn to speak before, so this really says a lot about what volunteering can mean in a life where you're searching for meaning.

 

Good luck at finding your way.

~Kris

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Hi,

Make sure you are approved first. I know from experience HR is not your friend. It's all about liability and legality. I know my HR dept was incredibly heartless when I was sick. Still are.

You do what you need to do to be happy. It's a struggle but you know in your heart what you need. I have been struggling with quitting myself and I think guilt is standing in my way right now.

I have heard that most folks are turned down at least once and you have to continue to fight for approval. I see and read about so many on disability that are just robbing the system and then I look at folks like you that are deserving and wonder what the heck?

You will make the decision that is right for you.

I

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That's the scary part--getting turned down. I have to be off the job for 60 days before I can apply and then, from what I understand, I will probably be turned down. I read horror stories on the Internet and think "Maybe I shouldn't even do this" and then I come to work ready for the day and within an hour I'm dizzy, my head is swimming, and I'm in pain and I think "This is getting worse every year." I just don't know how to keep going but I just do. I don't hate my job by any means. I actually love it. I love my kids. I enjoy interacting with them. I'd love to find a way to keep doing it without having to leave. 

 

Last time I went to my Neurologist she gave me a hug and told me how proud she is of me that I keep on working and don't just give up. On the one hand I appreciated that. On the other it puts pressure on. Some days I just want to give up but then I'm no longer the go getter. I miss that. I love being the go getter who can do it all! 

 

Maybe I'll feel different once the weather changes. This has, I'll be honest, been an incredibly difficult Fall. Normally my base headache is about a 2-3 all the time with a few bad days per week, but not "shoot me in the head for relief" bad. Since October it's been more base 4-5 so I'm just kind of "getting along" more than "living with a headache" It's way worse than last year.

I'm ready to close my business and just give up on that, but then I'm afraid if I do and I do go out on disability I'll need it. But then if I go out on disability I worry I'll be doing it (exercise alleviates, doesn't exacerbate my pain and the doctor can attest to that) and they'll see me doing it and decide I'm lying. 

 

I don't know. Maybe it's not worth it. Lots to think about and even thinking about it is hard. Gosh life was so much easier before that stupid headache! LOL!

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I hear ya loud and clear. Dizzy is my new middle name! I was crying a few weeks ago while telling my husband I wanted my old life back. To get up every day not even thinking about what I felt like and ready to conquer the day. Now I am intimately aware of how I feel and some nights I go to bed praying the next day will be better. I tell myself there is always tomorrow for that great day.

You are a very busy person so maybe give yourself a break and see how that works for you.

I

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  • 2 months later...

Well I just can't seem to pull the trigger. I am now seeing a chronic pain therapist and trying to figure out how to work all this out. She does think I use all of my spoons on other things when I should be saving them for myself, and to an extent I agree. Selfishly I wonder who I will be if I stop teaching. I am not a mother so I don't have that. I am not particularly talented at anything except I am a very good teacher, guide, and motivator and that's about it.

 

Oh I guess I can write as well (just don't base that talent on my writing here because I tend to write more "stream of consciousness on the forum). So if I did leave teaching I am afraid I would feel like I had nothing to offer the world and if I paired that feeling with the depression from the pain I just worry I wouldn't do well.

 

I don't know. It sounds silly when I write it out, but it is in my heart.

 

So the plan is that next year my students who are in the second year program will do a test of being off campus two days a week out on their school sites as IT interns. I will go and check in on them every now and again, but they will otherwise by supervised by the technicians there.

 

If that goes well the next year all students will, after the first maybe half quarter, be on campus three days a week and off on internships learning on the job two days and those two days I am released to check up and them. This was my administration's idea as a way to keep me able to work and have the option to rest if needed, and then supervise and check on them as needed.

 

So I may not need LTD. I'm very excited about it, but it does take some energy to plan so I'm trying to be more cognizant of my spoons.

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...and Iola, I hear you. There are sometimes when we have stable cold weather (hot works too, but no rain is what I need...high pressure) and I feel good for a few days in a row. I still have a headache but no dizzies and the pain is light, really bearable. When that happens I get hopeful that maybe it's changed and I'm healing. Then it's like the other shoe falls and the pain returns. I am so disappointed on those days.

 

You'd think after three years I would recognize the pattern and not get my hopes up, but I still do. (I mean I do recognize teh pattern, but it doesn't seem to matter.) I'm just really having a hard time coming to acceptance that this is it. I'm entering my 50s (ack) with a perfectly healthy body but this neverending headache that may very well be NEVERENDING! Poo!

 

It's not that I want to give up hope, but I want to, but don't know how to, get to acceptance without it being "Well this sucks but I guess this is my life now, woe is me." I want it to be "Okay, this is my life and I can deal and I'm so blessed in so many different areas that I can handle this with grace and laughter and lots of appreciation for what I do have, not mourning for what I don't." Normally that's who I am (the latter) but for some reason I just canNOT get there yet and I don't know why my brain is being SO stubborn on that front.

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So if I did leave teaching I am afraid I would feel like I had nothing to offer the world and if I paired that feeling with the depression from the pain I just worry I wouldn't do well.

I don't know. It sounds silly when I write it out, but it is in my heart.

Teechur, it doesn't sound silly at all, it is how you feel and from the heart. I agree with Casey .... go for it ! It sounds a great plan :) good luck xx

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Thanks. It is a good opportunity to keep my position and what I love to do. Hopefully next year the Winter will be easier. It's more like Fall this year so maybe it'll be Wintery where usually we'll just have a lot of cold days one after another, as opposed to three days of clear followed by three days of rain. My brain can't get a break that way and get used to the weather pattern. I've made it to work every day this week, but it's been hard and has required me to go home and go to bed immediately twice. I hate that, but oh well. Hopefully we can move in a few years or even better, I'll heal up!

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