Social Security Disability happened for me in an almost miraculous manner. When I first engaged an attorney he warned me that the process would probably take two years and would entail one – maybe two court appearances.

For me it was five months from the day I signed the application to the date of the first check.

Why did it happen that way? I express myself well and I thoroughly described/documented everything and structured the write-up like a Report of Survey so the judge could navigate easily through the document.  I was also told that the extent to which I was “cripped up” had a lot to do with it – that I could have been approved for disability as far back as 2005 or 2006.

When the checks started coming in I felt a little guilty. Yes, I know that we pay into the fund but I still had this guilty glee at having an income to support me while I got to do all those exotic projects I had been putting off for years…and here is where the canned laughter to the Cosmic Joke kicks in.

With a couple of months I had to deal with skin cancer on my face which left me with a hole the size of a half-dollar which stopped right at the boundary of the mucus membrance lining my mouth – another six months and it would have been inoperable. After two rounds of plastic surgery it is presentable – little children no longer run screaming when I approach – but there is no way I could have taught during the 6 months I was getting patched up.

….and now I have lost ground with my auto immune issues to the point that I can do pretty much just one thing a day in addition to the classes I teach. While that might seem to be desirable – a life of ease – those of you that know me well also know that this is driving me slowly nuts. My brain is still going a mile a minute. Mentally I can see no reason why I can’t keep up the pace of just ten years ago, but physically….

So, I am simultaneously relieved and agitated. I feel blessed in that I have an income but I want to be able to do more. I’m not ready for the rocker on the porch.

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