It’s not JUST a headache! It’s a Disability and should be treated as such! I’ve been unable to work for four years, stay in a constant state of severe pain, cognitive dysfunction, visual disturbances, nausea and vertigo. My symptoms have not been relieved by any treatment so far. These include homeopathic, chiropractic, acupuncture, yoga, biofeedback, vitamins and minerals, supplements, Botox, physical therapy, acupressure, ice, heat, 30+ medications including preventive, abortive, pills, injections, patches, narcotics, anti-inflammatory, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, beta blockers, anti-seizure, anti-Parkinsons, nasal sprays, IV treatments, etc. I’ve seen neurologists, headache specialists, rheumatologist, sports medicine, Johns Hopkins University Headache Clinic, ER doctors, psychiatrists, etc. I have been fighting for SSDI Benefits for over three years, the past 10 months with the help of a lawyer. The average wait time in Virginia to go before a judge for an appeal hearing is 12-18 months. I can’t get Medicaid or any assistance at all until SSDI Benefits are approved. How am I expected to live?! Buy food, pay bills, get prescriptions, pay doctor co-pays and coinsurance?! There is something seriously wrong with the system. I have worked steadily for 30+ years and have paid into Social Security the entire time. Where are my benefits when I need them?! Why does it fall on me to have to prove how sick I am when multiple doctors already stated it as fact?! Why am I perceived as lazy, faking, and not sick enough to not work?! My illnesses are invisible. I don’t have cancer or anything that shows up on an MRI, CT scan, or blood work. So it’s my word against SSDI. I have to show them that I’m not able to work any type of paying job. To show them that I’m not just lying around the house, eating bonbons and watching soaps. I wish they could be here with me for a day. To see my struggle to get out of bed in the morning after little or no sleep. The pain in my back, hips, legs, head. The spasms, nausea, fear I won’t make it to the bathroom in time. The tears, the frustration, the anger. Taking handfuls of prescription pills, too nauseous to eat, but guaranteed to vomit if I don’t. The falls, which cause more pain. The fear that I won’t be able to get up. The furniture walking so I won’t fall when the dizziness hits. Skipping meds on the day of an appointment so I am in agony, but hopefully won’t get pulled over for driving erratically. The sunglasses and hat to block the light and glare, rain or shine. Hands over my head to hold back the pain. The paper bag in case I have to vomit. The fear of losing my license and being totally homebound, as I have no money for cabs and can’t use disabled transportation since I’m not “officially disabled. The uncontrollable crying that hits anytime, anyplace. The guilt, fear, loneliness, hopelessness that make me feel like giving up. My reasons to fight are fading from my mind in the face of each new day with no pain relief and no financial relief. But most of my suffering is done alone. I have no one to bear the burden for me. I will fight for my benefits at the hearing. I will try to convey how my life is a mockery of what it once was and maybe someday I could be whole again, with some assistance and empathy. I’m not asking for sympathy, just compassion for my situation. I only want what’s due to me, nothing more. Well, there’s my rant. I have to stop now as my head is pounding as usual and it’s time for more meds, which will blur my vision so I can’t write. I am trying my best to stay strong and positive and to keep fighting. It’s getting harder every day. I hope I’m strong enough for long enough. Thank y’all for reading and for your caring and support. My fundraiser is http://www.youcaring.com/AlwaysKeepFighting and my blog is carryonandalwayskeepfighting.wordpress.com 💔 Please help if able. My situation could just as easily have been yours.