Hello, my name is Rob, and I live in Central IL. I’m a little embarrassed posting about my living situation, but I will do anything possible to support my family as the point.
My wife is visually impaired and is on SSDI. She had a brain tumor when she was 12 (long before I knew her). Her tumor was benign, however, it had gotten large enough that it crushed her optic nerve. The physicians were hopeful that when the tumor was removed, the pressure would be relieved and she would get her sight back. Unfortunately, that did not happen.
My wife is very limited in what she can do for work. This is not only because of her sight but her mental capacity. Brandy suffered brain damage as a result of her tumor, and she is very childlike in her behavior. She doesn’t have the ability to communicate on an adult level, but I love her very much. I know I haven’t told her that enough lately, and I feel ashamed for that.
My medical problems started in September 2020. I was having severe abdominal pain, and I had flu-like symptoms daily. I started having trouble walking because my feet kept becoming numb. I had living like this for about 6 months but I convinced myself it would pass and I could tough it out. I was wrong. I was simultaneously diagnosed with uncontrolled diabetes, chronic pancreatitis, and ulcerative colitis. This was after many visits with an endocrinologist and a Gastroenterologist. I’ve gone through many endoscopies and colonoscopies. In the end, I was put on short-term disability, and mounting medical bills I couldn’t afford. I had to start paying most of our bills (not just medical) with credit cards. I didn’t know what else to do.
I returned to work in September of 2021. I hadn’t had any income since my STD ended in March of that year. I had job security under ADA, but my disability payments stopped.
I started having memory lapses around December 2021. I thought it was strictly due to stress, and my diabetes was still not under control. Again, I just tried to live with it. There are people who have it much worse. It all came to a head when I started having episodes of missing time, memory problems, and a lack of comprehension. I was basically in a fog. After much neurological and neuro-psych, and pulmonary testing, I was diagnosed with amenia, obstructive sleep apnea, and hypothyroidism (thyroid problem.)
My neuropsychiatrist diagnosed me with executive function deficit, attention and concentration deficit, adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety, and depressed mood. Tests confirmed I had deficits in executive functioning, processing speed, and attention which appear to be secondary to pervasive psychological distress.
Bipolar disorder I have recently been referred to a psychiatrist and after years of battling depression and generalized anxiety disorder, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Apparently, I had been misdiagnosed since I was 19. It was a relief to finally have a treatment plan, but I have a long journey ahead of me. Hopefully, with my CPAP, therapy, and medication, I can begin to function again.
So there it is. I am getting a small percentage of my wage with LTD from my employer. Getting approved for SSDI through the state near impossible and can take years. The medical bills have become overwhelming. I went from $2,600 in credit card debt to almost $27,000. My minimum payments together are more than our mortgage. I can’t imagine losing my home. My children need a home. I want my life back. I want my wife back, and I want to provide for my family. They say everything is temporary. I have to believe that. Unfortunately, at this time, I need to ask for help.