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Sarah, when we were working DH was an industrial engineer in manufacturing, so he was constantly unemployed and we were moving around from job to job with three small boys for some of the time. How good that you have family and that things aren't as bad as they seemed. Keeping you in my prayers.

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Glad to hear your husband was able to stay employed. I've been laid off several times over the years, but I was single and without kids. Not any more, so I'm happy for every day of work that I get. I'll be with the same company for 5 years in July.

As for disability, MS is a debilitating illness and if it keeps you from driving and doing other things, then that is a government program that was meant for you. I had a doctor who tried to talk me into going on disability when I was still in my teens. I pointed out to the doc that I was still in college and had just ridden a bicycle over 10 miles to her office for the appointment. In my case I have brain damage with almost unnoticable effects. Clearly, I wasn't disabled, but she was a bit of a mother hen.

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I am going to go ahead with the SSDI application just because it really is time; I had been trying to ignore it because so many people are so much sicker than me.

Sarah, I hope that you do go ahead with the SSDI application because that money is what you (and/or your husband) has paid out of every one of your own paychecks. It's YOUR money and the reason it's there is as a form of insurance in the event that you are ever unable to work. I've just gone thru the process and the biggest advice I can give is to get a lawyer right away if your state will allow that. I couldn't deal with all the stress of gathering the information, making all the phone calls, trying not to forget important things, and in general just stressing out so much that it made me even more ill than I already was. SSDI law says that disability lawyers can't charge you up front and they can only charge up to a certain percentage of your back pay settlement when you win. Nothing motivates a lawyer more than the knowledge that he isn't getting paid unless he wins for you. Believe me, it's worth every single penny to have them take care of all the filing and do the legwork for you. You don't need that stress on top of everything else. The two best chances of getting approved are a good doctor who documents what you *cannot* do (ie: can't stand for more than ten minutes at a time; can't walk for more than five minutes; can't lift over five pounds with either hand; etc.) and a good lawyer who knows what information he needs and how to put it together for SSDI.

It's a huge relief to have additional money to pay for doctor bills and meds. I'm like you and the monthly cost of the insurance copays for my medications is close to twice as much as most mortgage payments. But above and beyond all of that is the incredible change it's had in my personality and emotional well being to know that I'm paying for my own meds and that I'm once again a somewhat self supporting individual. I'd worked since I was 14 and really lost part of my identity when I lost my ability to support myself. I hadn't even realized how bad it was until the day my first check arrived and I suddenly felt more like me than I had in a very long time.

So for all those reasons, I hope that you push forward with your filing and wish you the best of luck with it. My thoughts are with you sweetie.

Deb

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Deb, thanks so much! I am in contact with somebody to help me out with everything. I can so totally relate to how you feel about not being self-supporting. That is totally me! I feel so guilty a lot of the time for being a burden on my family while looking totally normal. Typing this from my bedroom with the a/c cranking; summer is the worst time for me.

Fortunately my Fling has started to speak to me in VERY clear terms! It's the little things that make your day bright :D My muse lives to distract me from dark thoughts :starwars:

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