It’s been more than a month since I had my third, and final, disability hearing. I understand that disability judges aren’t known for their speedy decision making abilities, and that there were four holidays between when I had the hearing and today (Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve).
I get it. I’m trying to be patient.
I’m having trouble waiting for an indefinite amount of time for an answer that will either make my life a bit easier – or that will make it significantly harder to struggle through. I can’t move on until I know which way things will go, and I refuse to let my hopes go up for fear of them crashing to the floor and shattering into a thousand pieces when the mail finally arrives.
I’m seeing a lot of news articles that indicate that the Republicans are itching to repeal “Obamacare” while having absolutely no desire to replace it with anything. The Republicans have tried to repeal “Obamacare” at least 60 times since it was first talked about. They’ve taken the law to the Supreme Court at least three times.
The law still stands.
That is, it stands for a few more days until the Obama Administration leaves the White House and the Trump regime takes over. One thing that kept “Obamacare” in place was Obama’s ability to veto bills that would rip away “Obamacare” from the thousands of Americans that need it.
Those of us with pre-existing conditions will never be able to afford health insurance ever again if Trump repeals “Obamacare”. My rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and severe allergies mean that no one will sell me affordable insurance if “Obamacare” is destroyed. Before “Obamacare”, I have had health insurance companies refuse to cover me because I had allergies. They’re never going to cover me now that I have official diagnoses of two other chronic illnesses.
Repealing “Obamacare” is going to complicate so many innocent people’s lives – and cause a lot of unnecessary deaths. All so an incredibly insecure orange colored man can try and convince himself that the Republicans who applaud his signing of the repeal bill actually like him.
The three chronic illnesses I have cannot be cured. They can be managed to a limited degree, but not enough to make it possible for me to hold “a real job” ever again. The rheumatoid arthritis will get worse as I age. It’s going to get more painful, more frequently, than it is now, and I will lose the ability to drive when my hands lose the ability to grip the steering wheel properly.
No one knows what fibromyalgia will do. (My Rheumatologist, who is smart, and kind, and has been practicing for at least 30 years – says he’s sorry he doesn’t know how to help me with that.) My allergies will never get better or go away. They are severe enough to knock me on my ass through both the spring and fall pollen seasons – and someday I won’t be able to work at all during those times.
My Rheumatologist scheduled me for an appointment in March. I told him that if I still had health insurance – I would show up.
In the moments when I become brave enough to allow myself the tiniest sliver of hope, I believe that the disability judge approved me and that a nice, fat, envelope confirming it will arrive in the mail tomorrow. Or, the day after that, certainly. I did everything right – so of course I’ll get approved… right?
Like Mulder, I want to believe. I want to believe that the effort I put in, the proof I provided, and the governmental system that is supposedly there to help people who have disabling chronic illnesses will, in fact, make everything ok. I want to believe that I’ll be safely signed up for Medicare BEFORE I lose “Obamacare”.
I want to believe that the Trump regime won’t immediately take away people’s access to Medicare right after repealing “Obamacare”. I want to believe that officially being on disability means that there will be some money coming in to supplement for the times when I cannot work (or am greatly limited in my ability to work.)
I had a dream once that showed me the exact amount of money I would get if I were approved for disability. I want to believe in that dream.
Unfortunately, most of me is as skeptical as Scully. I know that the government makes it so hard to get on disability because they WANT to avoid helping people. All evidence points toward the Trump regime repealing “Obamacare”, potentially on Day One. There’s no evidence that anything but that will occur, not with a Republican president, a Republican majority House of Representatives, and a Republican Senate in office.
I am skeptical that things will work out for me, and I am even more skeptical that help will arrive before its too late. Today is January 5th. The Trump regime takes office January 20th. The clock is ticking – and each second that goes by makes my potential future look darker and darker. I know I’m not the only one having these thoughts right now, and I am sad for everyone else who is already struggling and will likely have a much harder struggle to cope with in the near future.