disability and RA

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hsmom24boys
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 5/22/2009 8:38 AM (GMT -7)   
I am looking at the possibility of filing for disability.  I have been having this terrible joint pain all over for 2 years now. I have gone from working 2-3 12hour shifts as a nurse to working only 1 8 hour shift and then I am incapacitated for 2 days afterwards with the pain and overwhelming fatique. Any nursing job is very physical.  But I have just started the plaquanil 2 months ago, so I am not sure what it is going to do.  What is the usual course of this disease?  Do you think I will get better to the point I can work some again or should I go ahead and file now so I can get the process going?  I know everyone is different, but I am just trying to get a handle on what I might expect.  I deal with mod to severe pain and fatigue every day, but pushing myself to work just shoots it off the charts.  Have your rheumys been supportive in filing for disability?
Diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis last year. Diagnosed with "polyarthritis" 2 months ago after 2 years of joint pain---started on plaquinil
  Homeschool mom 2 four boys (make that 3, we graduated one!)
Labor and Delivery RN
Beloved, Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you, But rejoice in as much as yea are partakers of Christ's sufferings: that when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.    I Peter 4:12-13


oddbod
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/22/2009 11:35 AM (GMT -7)   
i to have RA, i am shattered and feel i cannot work any longer . Went to see specialist this week,seemed unsympathetic im felt like he thought i was putting it on. i do not know how bad you have to be before you can claim benefit.

golitho
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1670
   Posted 5/22/2009 3:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi hsmom, I'd go back to your rheumy and tell them the plaq is not working. I'm sure you will be able to work agan once the right meds are found for you. But its unfortunately a slow road while they try out different drug cocktails to see what works for you. But in the meantime go back explain you can't work and go from there. I'm not from the States, I know nothing about disability but overhere you can get a temporary form of it called sickness benefit? Goodluck, golitho

momto3
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1331
   Posted 5/22/2009 4:49 PM (GMT -7)   
I agree with Golitho, it really is a matter of finding the right combo of meds or cocktail some would say.  Have you tried Methotrexate? that is usually the next step, combined with the Plaquinil and when those don't work, you can always graduate to the biologics such as Humira or Enbrel. One thing with RA, is you have to know your limits on what your body can handle, especially when you are having a flare. 

_Christina
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 5/24/2009 5:10 PM (GMT -7)   
cry  I am soooo sorry that you have to work so hard for your income.  I have filed for disability just this month.  I would suggest going  to the SSDI goverment site (not others, there was bad info on some of them).  The governing thought is functionability for 12 months or more.  Even if you might someday get better (there really is no way to know) they base it on 12 months into the future and will re-evaluate after that time.
 http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pgm/links_disability.htm This link will tell you more about that.
 
 
 
 
Christina
 
Current medications:
Bipolar treatment-Lamictal, 200mg, Mood stabelizer, daily(main side effect: brain fog) Bipolar treatment-Cymbalta, 40mg, Antidepressant, daily(main side effect: GI upset, decreased clotting, insominia) Anemia, Fatigue treatment- Iron supplement, 65mg, daily(main side effect: constipation) Insominia treatment- Ambien, 10mg, daily(main side effect: amnesia eppisodes between taking pill and falling asleep) Mania treatment- Alprazolam, .25mg, Very rarely(main side effect: fatigue, slowing of thoughts, depression of CNS, can't take ambien or vicodin when on it) RA treatment- Plaquenil, 400mg, daily(main side effect: GI upset, decreased clotting) RA treatment- Methotrexate, 25mg, 1X weekly(main side effects: hair loss, stomach upset, mouth sores, sore muscles, fatigue, brain fog, compromised immune system, decreased Folic Acid absorption) GI upset treatment- Leucovorin Calcium, 10mg 1x weekly(main side effects: ?) Folic Acid defintioncy- Folic Acid, 1mg, daily(main side effects: ?) RA treatment- Prednisone, 8mg(and decreasing...)daily(main side effects: increased manic eppisodes, constipation, brain fog, bone density degeneration, compromised immune system) Multi-mineral Supplement (main side effects: constipation, GI upset) Constipation treatment- Docusate Sodium, 200mg, daily(main side effects:?) pain control- Motrin, 800mg, PRN Q6hours daily(main side effects: GI upset, decreased clotting) Pain Control- Vicodin, 5-500mg, PRN Q12hours regularly (main side effects: brain fog, fatigue)
 
 
 
 


sjkly
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 5/24/2009 7:59 PM (GMT -7)   
When I was 24 and just diagnosed (weeks after diagnosis) a rhuemy offered to fill out paperwork for me to go on disability.
I thought he was insane. I was so young and had never been sick a day in my life-except the previous nine months.
Plaquenil made it possible for me to keep working.
Two years ago I had a horrible flare and went back on plaquinel. It wasn't enough I had to add MTX.
I tell my rhuemy that being able to work is my number one goal so she balances my medical treatment with that in mind. But, it is a balance-the more I work the more meds I am needing to stay functioning at a level that allows me to work.
At some point my liver will probably set a boundary and I will need to reduce my stress/ work hours so that I can reduce my meds to save my liver.
For some people when this disease is new it is very aggressive and you may need to not work for a while until the meds get the disease in control.
Only you can decide when/if to apply for disability.
Your rhuemy can help you make that decision if you ask and if he/she is a decent doc he/she should support you in whatever you decide.

DiLane
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 5/25/2009 1:28 AM (GMT -7)   
I would apply for disability now. It's a lonnnnnng process. If your health improves, that's wonderful. You can cancel your application. You've been very sick for two years, and one shift knocks your out for days? I say file for disability. My mother, grandmother and a 27 year old friend had/have RA. It wasn't pretty. The friend was just approved for disability last month. It took him over two years. You have nothing to lose. I'd hate to see a worst case scenario with you unable to work and waiting for disability. I'm sorry you're suffering. I am too. E-mail me anytime.

_Christina
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 5/26/2009 2:17 PM (GMT -7)   
I agree that you should apply now. Make sure you have marked on a calander the days you were unwell and what may have caused it for as far back as you can. List any changes you have made to accomadate the RA. Have some information about the benifits of reducing stress/workload on RA. Make sure that your Dr is ready to fight for you, and not just filling out the paperwork because they are required to when you make a claim. Incude mental stress if you have it from trying to provide for yourself on reduced hours+recovery days from working. Consider asking to be sent for a PSY eval to substanciate the claim.

The basis of my claim is that I may look good many days now, but I still have many days that I am unable to complete even simple tasks without assistance. All 3 of my Drs agree that if I were to get a job I would not be able to hold it for long in my current status. (No employer is going to allow 2-4 week breaks several times a year without warning.) Also, it is the opinion of my PSY that my condition would deteriate rapidly under the added mental/physical stress of holding a job. I could then become a danger to myself and require hospitalization. My rheumy has agreed that when my mental status is "off" my RA is affected due to lack of care. It takes all 3 of my docs looking at the complete picture of my care to understand what is going on.

Start soon. Physical claims like RA are hard to prove.
 
 
Christina
 
Current medications:
Bipolar treatment-Lamictal, 200mg, Mood stabelizer, daily(main side effect: brain fog) Bipolar treatment-Cymbalta, 40mg, Antidepressant, daily(main side effect: GI upset, decreased clotting, insominia) Anemia, Fatigue treatment- Iron supplement, 65mg, daily(main side effect: constipation) Insominia treatment- Ambien, 10mg, daily(main side effect: amnesia eppisodes between taking pill and falling asleep) Mania treatment- Alprazolam, .25mg, Very rarely(main side effect: fatigue, slowing of thoughts, depression of CNS, can't take ambien or vicodin when on it) RA treatment- Plaquenil, 400mg, daily(main side effect: GI upset, decreased clotting) RA treatment- Methotrexate, 25mg, 1X weekly(main side effects: hair loss, stomach upset, mouth sores, sore muscles, fatigue, brain fog, compromised immune system, decreased Folic Acid absorption) GI upset treatment- Leucovorin Calcium, 10mg 1x weekly(main side effects: ?) Folic Acid defintioncy- Folic Acid, 1mg, daily(main side effects: ?) RA treatment- Prednisone, 8mg(and decreasing...)daily(main side effects: increased manic eppisodes, constipation, brain fog, bone density degeneration, compromised immune system) Multi-mineral Supplement (main side effects: constipation, GI upset) Constipation treatment- Docusate Sodium, 200mg, daily(main side effects:?) pain control- Motrin, 800mg, PRN Q6hours daily(main side effects: GI upset, decreased clotting) Pain Control- Vicodin, 5-500mg, PRN Q12hours regularly (main side effects: brain fog, fatigue)
 
 
 
 

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