Don't worry, what is happening to you is what happens to most people, even those that are really really sick. Social Security in 90% of the cases makes you get a lawyer and go through all that. I went through the same thing. They denied me when I was possibly terminally ill with acute hep. It's awful. They will always contend you could work some, and that's ok. Even if you were a quadriplegic or totally blind they will contend you could possibly work, because some blind people and quadriplegics do work. The judge will have an occupational therapist at the hearing that will look at all the different ways you are disabled, for example if you can't lift, if you have trouble communicating, working with people, can't be outside in the sun, too sick to adhere to a schedule, everything possible. Then they look at the available jobs in your area where someone with all your limitations could work. I spent two stays in a mental hospital, pretty nice one, and it helped me mentally and physically, though the meds they gave me didn't. I had severe hashis and probably some encephalopathy because of all the mental meds they gave me. I was undx for AI disease, fibro, just my back, which is bad, but I had some obvious problems like hypo/hyperpigmentation and odd weight gain and very stiff hard to move, and probably really nuts from the pain and all the psych stuff. It was a hard three years, but eventually I got what I needed, got some medical insurance so I could get dx and treated. My psychiatric evaluation really clinched it and he was very right because it turns out I have some atrophy to my brain. If I had gotten medicaid or had some insurance and could have gotten a bunch of testing done beforehand, it really wouldn't have helped because once they decide they are going to make you go to trial, that's it. It sounds like you need some better doctors and more testing. For my fibro, I take ultram, but there are many other meds that are helpful. I could still make decisions too, but my memory and stuff was really bad and I was crying all the time from pain and hashis untreated and all. You need bloodwork, often docs tell you you have fibro just to avoid doing any testing and treating you for what is really wrong. Also, MRIS and catscans are only as good as the equipment they are done on and the people who read them. For my spinal problems, nothing showed up abnormal except for mild herniation of disks in a couple spots until I finally demanded they do a myelogram, which is the gold standard for nerve compression. Once it was done, it revealed that I had serious spinal compression problems right where I said the pain affected me, which was ruining my sleep and wake time. Anyway, miraculously after the myelogram, my MRIs done at the same facility started showing that I had compression in these areas they had previously ruled out. The surgeon said, "you must have been in excruciating pain." and my family said "yes, she's been trying to tell the doctors that for years." I really am sorry about how things worked out this time but at least you're done with this part of the ssd fight. You should see as many doctors as you can and make them do bloodwork, etc. Fibro and chronic fatigue and the like are supposed to be diagnosed only after every other type of problem is ruled out, not as a first diagnosis. I hope things go for you and make sure you get a good, well known lawyer, preferrably a large firm that only does disability. Then you need more tests and to change doctors if need be.
"...brain, what is brain?"
--Kara, one of the "givers of pain and delight", aka woman of Sigma Draconis VI, "Spock's Brain" episode 56 season 3 of Star Trek--I'm not a trekkie but this one was funny!