Reality smacked me right in the face

I had an appointment to have a phone interview today. This was with my disability insurances and the state disability.

I figured that most of the questions were going to be about my physical ability. You know, how much weight can you lift? How far can you walk without taking a break? Can you still take care of yourself or do you need assistance? I got those questions, but those were the easy ones. They were so simple. The first few he asked me what my typical day was like, besides non eventful, I went through my day blow by blow for him.

Then he asked me if I had any speech problems. At first I answered yes, but informed him that I am unable to find words and when that happens, I can't talk. It is similar to stuttering but not. He then asked how often that happens, and after I thought about it, I realized it happens several times a day. There are times that I can't find the word that I am looking for and it stops me from completing my sentence or my thoughts. Sometimes it stops me from talking all together. I especially don't like talking around a new group of people that I don't know.. hell I don't like talking that much anymore, and we all know I was the one that was always talking and being the smart ass. I don't do that very much anymore.

Q: Do you have any concentration problems?
A: Yes, I am unable to focus on more then 1 thing at a time. I cannot have any distractions or I am unable to do what I need to do.

Q: Are you able to multi task?
A: I realized, that I can't do that anymore. I used to be the one in the office that could be on the phone, iming someone, have some one at my desk and be checking something on the computer.. and now, I can only do 1 thing and then I have to really concentrate on that 1 task at hand.

Q: How is your memory?
A: My long term memory is still OK, my short term memory... is gone. I was the one that was able to recall everything.. moment by moment and now I can barely remember what happened a matter of hours ago.

Q: Is there anything that you notice about yourself that has changed (mood wise, emotionally wise)?
A: I get overwhelmed really easily. Crowds never bothered me before and now they overwhelm me. I get almost out of breath, it reminds me of a panic attack.

Q: What things can you not do now socially that you could do before you got ill?
A: Too many things. Now if I do anything I pay for it for 2-3 days. If I meet a friend for lunch and just sit with her for lunch for a couple of hours and sit and talk, I am sick and in pain for 2-3 days.

As all of these questions were being asked to me it was like someone hit me in the chest and knocked all the wind right out of me. Even though I knew all of this information, it is different to have someone ask you the questions as if he knew exactly what questions to ask, as he knew me already. I couldn't get through all of the questions before I started crying. I realized that this is me.. This is where I am right now. You know the saying it is one thing to know it but another thing to see it? Well it was as if someone put it on a HUGE NEON BLINKING SIGN in front of me. How could I not have seen the sign?

I composed myself and explained to him that I guess I expected there to be more questions about my physical status, and that these questions threw me for a loop. I told him how depressing these questions are and how it really made me realize how bad off I am. It made me realize that as much as I hate all of the physical aches and pains they are nothing compared to all of the "mind" or "mental" issues that come with my illness. No one really tells you about those issues, so when they start coming up, it is a total surprise, it comes out of nowhere and you start wondering what is wrong with you. Is it the medications? Is it the illness? Is it a new illness?

This is my life.. I am 37 years old and this is my life.. this is where I am at. I was crying almost to the point of sobbing because it suddenly hit me like a rock.. or a bullet or speeding train or a mac truck.. whatever it was it seemed like it came out of nowhere.


  1. :-( I...I dont know what to say. I am SO sorry and everything you just described totally suprises me! The description didnt sound anything like you, hence the blow to the gut I suppose. Girl, anything I can do let me know. If you need a funny joke every day, or ANYTHING, let me know.

    Love ya girl!

  2. You are in my thoughts and Prayers, Tammy and while you likely feel like you have lost some of that inner spunk, I still see it in your writing so I feel sure it is still there in your personality. You may just not always realize it. I remember when my dad was sick, and how it changed him. Often, I hated that change but it also made him see life in a very different way. A way that only someone in your shoes, or in his shoes, can see it. A depth and a true sense of life that most people could never understand. Multi tasking is overrated anyway ;)

    I appreciate your words, your humor and your honest approach to handling your illness(es). Please let me know if there is ever anything I can do. You will get to the other side of this...from one strong biatch to another, I know you will!