Question re resource on processing disability. #disability #acceptance #disabilityclaims #processing Short version: I have been on partial disability since July 2022. I suspect this is not going to resolve and become permanent. I struggle with the balance of acceptance of this, maintaining positivity, self-advocacy in face of toasty health care systems recovering from the pandemic, and denial. I'm wondering if there are resources that others have found helpful in processing this. Long version follows: I was diagnosed with hEDS officially 10 years ago, but knew I likely had it in my early 20's in medical school and used the tiny bit of knowledge I had and prioritized physical activity, which seemed to help until my late 30's (I'm 48). I've internalized a lot of negative messaging that physicians tend to give to patients they don't understand. The irony is that as a CL psychiatrist, I am often advising doctors that not every unexplained symptom is due to anxiety. Despite that, I had negative messages for myself. Over a year ago, I had an injury that led to what I now know is a flare of the dysautonomia. I was not able to resume my exercise routine that previously kept my pain at bay, and was helpign with my dysautonomia and attention/focus (I used to do pilates before work and swim during my lunch hour). I was diagnosed with SVT in May of 2022, and Covid in June, followed by steroids which seemed to really take me down further (now I know that it may have contributed to my worsened hypermobility combined with being less active). I'm so fortunate to have had an appt with a genetics counselor who educated me about dysautonomia, connected me with a neurologist who guided me in figuring out that it was POTS (hyovolemic and noradrenergic types) and I've found some relief from treatment. I also recently met a genetics doctor who was so supportive and is helping support my toasty pcp. #kaiser #ncal I reduced my work from from about 120% to 80% late July, but it was not enough. I reduced further later in the fall,and then finally reduced my hours to about half time in December, which seems manageable. What I noticed was that when I would have a good day, I'd have thoughts such as: "I think I'm well enough to empty the dishwasher today. I better get back to work." And of course by "get back to work," I meant get back to working full time because I was still working. I tracked my sx, was able to notice the times I felt well were when I wasn't working (seriously--denial is powerful; so just writing sx on a printed monthly calendar was what it took for me to see what was obvious to my husband). I processed this conflict to the point that I was able to see that living my life in it's entirety is not incongruent with being partially disabled. I even took a family vacation over the holidays, and decided that going on a vacation (which I learned I need to adapt even more heavily than I did) is not incongruent with being on partial disability. This has reared its head again as I face filing for disability. I'm fortunate in that I had purchased disability insurance years ago. My supplemental plan had no problem authorizing. My primary disability insurance is now ready to kick in (my employer grants docs a ton of sick leave to use for the first 6 months), and so I read the policy which states they utilize private investigator, which immediately brought the conflict up beause suddenly those negative thoughts I had early in the process had a potential individual to attach themselves to. I hope that makes sense. I know that the insurance company just needs to do their due diligence--I learned docs filing disability is at an all time high post pandemic; so I'm sure the insurance company needs to ensure that there is not misuse. Resources re how to process this while self advocating would be so appreciated! BTW, this drive to work has seemed to come from two things--work ethic passed down from generations of immigration and poverty in my parents/grandparents and my work is my calling in a spiritual sense. I love what I do, I love helping patients and the doctors who consult me, and I'm in the middle of launching a program at our hospital for an underserved population which is one of my passions. I'm also on leadership teams which allow me to support patients in the way I mentioned above. I feel like the disability came at the time in my life when I'd really love to actually work more.

Posted by Gumby Shrink at 2023-01-29 17:12:05 UTC