In A Nutshell

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Despite being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia about a decade ago, I was able to work and lead a "normal" life, until I became severely ill with MS type symptoms one month after being laid off in June 2009, which meant no health insurance to properly address the problem. I spent 3 days in the hospital but since they initially did not want to keep me (one doc said I may have MS, but was overruled), I did not qualify for the financial aid for hospital bills because they did not think I belonged there. I was misdiagnosed with Labyrintits and sent on my way. I was told it would go away in a few weeks, that was 3 years ago and I have had the symptoms of dizziness, balance problems, vertigo, and pain every day since then. I went to a local free health clinic until they told me they exhausted all their options and could not help me any longer. I cannot drive nor work outside the home and only walk briefly with the aid of a cane, but also can't get disability because I have no real diagnosis for these particular symptoms. These are the chronicles of my (so far) dead-end journey riddled with bodies of good intentions.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Which Circle?

My daughter once had to do a creative writing exercise about Dante's Inferno and create nine circles of hell. Ever since then, we both have assigned government organizations their own circles. The Department of Motor Vehicles has one, so do the Unemployment Office and of course the Department of Social Services.

Despite knowing a lot of how the DSS works (not a fact I am proud of), it's always the first avenue people and organizations recommend, like they are some kind of miracle worker or something. The experience you  have depends on whom you talk to (most seem to hate their jobs and workload and it shows), but the end result is the same. They can only abide by the guidelines.

In Virginia, in a nutshell the guidelines are this: You can only get medical insurance if you are pregnant or have children under 18, same with cash assistance. Of course they don't tell you upfront, you have to go through the 15 page application and the interview. I put them somewhere between circles 5 and 9. Then again, once in a while you get a good caseworker who shows compassion, but of course it all leads to the same. After all, they have to abide by the guidelines. I wonder what's the lower circle: Having to work there or having to apply?


Diane said...

...At least you are able to keep your sense of humor having to traverse your way through America's nine circles of hell. I'm sure there are others. I can name another circle--the IRS! :-)

Conny said...

Alex, it's clear to me what you have to do ... go and get pregnant. What are you waiting for. Once the baby is born you'll get help from all over the place.