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Monday, September 19, 2011

The US Government wants the disabled to die

Yes, it's true. Don't get sick in the USA and expect the government to keep it's promises to provide you sustenance after working your entire life and paying into the system. If you do get sick and need to file for state or federal disability be ready for the fight of your life.

Those of you who know me know I've been ill for a long time. I haven't had an easy life but I've had a full life so far. InshaaAllah it'll go on for a long time to come. Not if our government has it's way though. In 2003 my illness got so bad I was let go from a 3+ year position due to supposed complaints of odors in my work space. It wasn't effecting my job performance! I was still working 40-70 hour weeks! I wasn't approached about this ridiculous issue beforehand and was unaware that there was a problem. I was careful about my grooming and THOUGHT I had it under control. My bowel disorder was a personal issue, but I thought it was not a job impacting issue. I'd received NO warnings, nothing. I'd never been reprimanded for job performance and I wasn't missing work too often.

There was a period where I'd gone from FT to PT but that was due to the economy and their not needing me as much. I went back to FT quite quickly and if I was SO BAD would they have kept me there AS A TEMP for over three years?  I'd been there placed through a temp agency in 2000.

I'd use a sick day here or there and there were a few times I'd had to leave work due to a flare up but everyone gets ill occasionally and needs down time. Especially in a high stress position. In a way I think this was an excuse by the Gen Mgr to get rid of me. He'd never been so callous toward me before that. He was dealing with his own serious health issues and I often picked up the slack always making him look good to the higher ups. Since being let go I've not been able to find work and my health has continued to deteriorate.

What's wrong with me? I have a host of illnesses that can be tracked over 30 years. Starting with migraines and depression as a youth with insomnia and OCD building up over time, leading into gall bladder disease which led to GERD, colitis, uncontrolled diarrhea with spots of painful constipation. I also suffer from PTSD and BiPolar disorder with their wonderful added phobias. I'm morbidly obese and in the past 7 years have developed bulging disks in a spine with Degenerative Disc Disease (collapsing spine) and rheumatoid AND osteoarthritis "in every joint of the body" according to my last pain specialist. The chronic pain is one of the hardest things to deal with. The medications for pain inflame my digestive illnesses or cause me to fall into deeper depressions. The pain also wakes me from any deep sleep when I simply twitch a toe or try to move my head. Right now I'm using pain medications that the lady I live with no longer needs because I have no insurance and can't afford them with no income.

Upon returning from Morocco in March of this year I re-applied for MI state disability, which I'd received since 2005. Last week, after waiting 6 months, I received a denial. I've appealed it and am awaiting my time with the judge.

I also had re-applied for SSI/SSDI in March. I received a denial for both of them in August. I have an attorney in Southfield, MI who took me back on when I returned to the USA and he's appealed these denials already. I received a letter from SSA the other day saying it could be up to 22 months (that's almost TWO YEARS for those of you who don't do math fast) before I'll see the judge.

I'm now in a wheelchair whenever I leave the house and have started using it inside the home too. I cannot walk too well nor too far and it's safer for me to avoid falling if I use the chair. Lifting anything larger than a quart container of liquid is painful but I still do the shopping, laundry and cleaning. I am still able to take care of my basic, and not so basic, needs without aid.

Why am I being denied? I'm only 46 years old. I hold two college degrees from PSU and a certificate in Quality Control Systems. I'm literate and able to do for myself. I'm not drooling on myself nor messing myself sitting in a nasty diaper nor begging on a street corner. I take care with my appearance and my diction is precise. What they don't consider is that even with all of this I cannot sit with my legs down for longer than 2 hours without them swelling up to double their normal size. It gets so bad that the skin cracks and bleeds. They don't realize that I cannot stay far from a bathroom and even when I do go out (which is as often as my phobias allow) I know where every usable bathroom is located and I USE THEM. Even if I'm out for an hour, I'm usually stopping somewhere along the way to take care of nature.

What employer would tolerate a secretary (or any other worker) who had to use the bathroom every hour for 5-10 minutes or even longer if the colitis and diarrhea are flaring up? What employer would tolerate a person who had horrid gastric illness that made being around them unpleasant and embarrassing? What employer would continue paying someone who, in a desk position, has to elevate their legs 15-20 minutes each hour? As a former employer, I wouldn't!

At my last ADJ hearing for SSA I was told that I could retrain to do "light assembly" or some other sedentary position. First of all, my skill set is secretarial. Secondly, I have no training for factory work nor could my body tolerate it for long. Thirdly, secretarial IS NOT sedentary - as they have it listed in their job descriptions. Finally why would an employer choose to hire me over able bodied and younger applicants? I'm not employable and the gov't needs to keep their promises.

I have worked since I was 12 years old starting off with paper routes and babysitting jobs (3 routes at one time along with school and baby sitting jobs at ONCE), I got a "real" job when I was 14 and could get work papers and have not stopped except for brief periods through until 2003. I went to college as a single mother while living in PA from '91-'95. I had brief periods where I didn't work due to health or family issues. Working while going to college was impossible because it was funded by the state. If I'd worked I'd have lost the funding and never achieved the degrees.  While in MI in the early '00s I went to a local college ON TOP of having two teenagers and a new husband AND working a full time and part time job! I achieved my certificate in QA Summa Cum Laude!

I'm not lazy, I don't lie and I am driven to survive. I guess they can't handle honesty. God willing I will win this fight - or I'll go down fighting. They haven't beaten me and they're not going to!  In the meantime I pray I continue to have people like the lady I live with to be patient and help me fight the system. Living with no income is quite an interesting endeavor. If it weren't for her I'd be dead or dying and most likely in the streets.

I now have an EXCELLENT attorney and an advocate from another state who aids people in my position to help me prepare for my appeals.

Basic rule of thumb - DO NOT get sick in America. They're culling the herd and the old, poor and ill are the first to go.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

New Project

I'm still putting together more patchwork pieces. I just wish people would BUY THEM! I really need to get to Morocco soon. The people I live with are both elderly and the man is very ill, and just home from a 10 day stay in hospital. I fear he won't survive the summer. I love them like 2nd parents and this is tearing me up hard. But I need to sell these bags so I can get my ticket to get to my sweetheart.

To keep me busy I have a new project too. A friend on Twitter asked me if I could make a padded sack for his 2"x 4" video camera. He's tired of having to stuff the one he has and getting the camera dinged is pissing him off. I tend to recycle good material from clothes or other things so I found an old veleur shirt to a pants outfit that I don't wear. It's GREAT material I just won't be caught dead wearing it.

Basically it's a padded cloth box with a long strap. I'll get pix up once I get it done.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Direction of this blog

A'asalam aleykum to all
I've been blogging about Gaza on my wordpress blog and only using this as a clickthrough to it. I've decided to start using this blog for my sewing.

I'm making totes, bags and purses to earn the air fare to get to my sweet Mbarek who's been waiting for two years to marry me. I love him with all my heart and soul. If you have talked to me then you know that.

We were brought together over great distance and many obstacles. He learned English in order to be able to speak with me. Until he learned it we used online translators and friends of his who were fluent in Arabic, French and English. The latter was quite awkward!

Because of the economy it's out of his ability to pay for my airfare and I'm disabled and unable to hold traditional work due to my illnesses. So it's taking a while to get the money together. A sister had this wonderful idea and was generous in providing me funds to get a machine so that I can make something happen with my ability and love for sewing.

My bags are at They're very reasonably priced and I'm open to negotiations on prices.

The most recent ones I uploaded are:

I use recycled materials I buy from Goodwill that might be sheets, handkerchiefs, napkins or even clothing with interesting prints. I also haunt the salvage areas of the WalMart and JoAnn Fabrics. There are really great deals there but if you have a specific color combination or print you'd like please contact me!

I'm currently working on a 4x2 bag for a gentleman who wants to contain his video cam without damaging it while running about town. I'll be using a quilting type of approach so it's padded if he encounters hard objects while maneuvering around town but also snug so he doesn't have to put other things inside the bag to to keep the cam safe.

So let me know your special needs for bags. Why use paper or plastic when cloth is much more environmentally friendly AND nicer to look at, touch as well as resilient?

Quality? I've carried 20 lb bags of ice, 2 gallon jugs of milk, multiple large jars of pickles and sundry other items that were stuffed into the totes deliberately to test their strength at the WalMart. Yes, I test the totes! I won't sell anything that doesn't stand up to the rigorous use I'd expect from something I purchase. If it SHOULD fail you I will make it right ASAP. I haven't had any complaints yet! I take YOUR HAPPINESS and ability to use what I create for it's intended purpose very seriously.

I am a smoker and I smoke while I sew but I wash the bags twice through and put them in plastic ziplocks away from me after they're finished. If that's a problem I'm sorry but it's not something I'm going to change any time soon.

Keep your eyes open for new ones. I have a bunch of new scraps I'm working with so I should have more new bags up in the next few days.

Pricing and full descriptions, along with more photos, are available at - please send me a message there if you have any questions or special requests.

JazakAllah khair