Mixed Blessings


My Social Security Disability application was approved.  I’ve been told that only 30% of  first-time requests are granted disability payments.  I’m obviously relieved and grateful to qualify for social security.  My initial reaction to all this news was something like … “Great, I’m approved for disability!”;  followed by … “Crap, I’m approved for disability!”

Millions of people live with an invisible illness, like lupus.  Many have full-time jobs.  I’ve had lupus since 1992 and worked until this spring.   And that’s a weird situation for me.  It is challenging to accept the realization that I have serious health issues.  In my head and heart I’m the same person I was four months ago.  I certainly look the same, except for a 30 pound weight loss.  My laboratory studies, on the other hand, are seriously messed up. And every three weeks I’m in the hospital for immunoglobulin infusions because my doctor believes that aside from a very unlikely stem cell transplant, IVIG is my last treatment option.  But to look at me, I’m just your typical middle aged white woman.

Regardless of what happens in our life, living with mixed blessings is part of the package.  I’m lucky enough to qualify for social security.  So many people are less fortunate and have to juggle unemployment, disability, and poverty.  I’m one of the lucky ones that can afford health insurance and have a supportive family.

My life is certainly less stressful.  I take care of most of the household chores and errand-running.  My days are filled with tasks like folding laundry, watering the plants, making jewelry, preparing dinner, and writing this blog.  I promised my sister that I would be her bitch around the house.  So far, it’s working.

It would be wonderful if my lupus went into spontaneous remission.  It would be wonderful if I had the stamina to work again.  In the meantime, I’m counting my mixed blessings.


10 responses »

  1. Someone once told me that life is a process 🙂

    And it’s a journey.

    And we don’t even get to drive! That’s another mixed blessing.

  2. Being someone’s bitch, especially your sister’s, is a tremendous community service 🙂 I absolutely love the picture of the bridge and the name of the place. Hang in there with that positive attitude, chica. It can’t be as easy as you make it sound!

  3. I am shocked you got it the first time around. Shocked! I say congratulations because you don’t have to spent another 2 years stressing over round 2. Not that I want you to be happy about the Lupus, but you know what I mean … a little less stress in life is always a good thing!

    • omg! I didn’t think that there are other women with the same dilema. I was approved after two years of back and forth. Diagnosed with LUPUS right after I had graduated with a Master’s in Health Administration, at 40+ I had finally realized what I wanted to be when I grew up. In my late 40’s I was diagnosed and two years after, I had to terminate my employment. I was sincerely devasted when I got the SSD approved, I was legally ill! I tell most people that I took an early retirement, not wanting to relate to others that I am on disibility but very thankful that I have a husband and family that support me.

  4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the “mixed blessings” of your disability approval, and what that means in your life. Unline you, a few of us lupus patients have been blessed to be able to continue our careers, and need to be very grateful, realizing most lupus patients don’t have a work situation that gives them that option. Glad for you disability approval went through the first time!

    I’m grateful, that’s for sure. For 18 years after my diagnosis I was able to work full time and carry on. However, as the disease progressed, my treatment options ran out and I qualified for disability.

  5. I think I said those same exact words. Great I was approved! Shit I was approved! I have had my illnesses since 1994 and was always able to work until Apr 08. It took me 4 times before I got approved for my disability. I am 39 and this is still really hard to admit to still. Your words were like they came out of my mouth. I send you pain free and energy filled days. I hope you have more than less of them.
    Good luck.

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