I sit here with tears in my eyes, as I read Chris's story. How painfully similar the details are to most of us here. Having gone through the disability burocratic red tape, it really infuriates me that she has now died, so now they will believe she was truely disabled. A little to late for her and her family.
As far as disability is concerned, here in Tennessee, it takes an act of God to get on disability. I have gone through the system without legal assistance up until June of last year. I had been denied at each level, which I was told to expect, but that I needed to keep appealing until I prevailed. I also was referred to an attorney in this area, who is considered to be an expert in getting through the disabilty red tape and get it approved. I initially applied for disability Oct. 1998, and I am just now getting close to an approval. I have appearred before the adminstrative law judge who is to approve my case so I can be reimbursed. I have two dr. statements - one of the docs were hired by SSI to do the assessment - both stated that I was disabled by ARD. As far as my attorney goes, I, like Chris, did most of the legwork for him. I had research articles, case studies, medical records etc. . . and this seemed to get the judges attention and prove that this is not "in our head". The sad part of this is how many of us with this will have to die before we are taken seriously and not treated as somatic.
Beverly, thanks so much for sharing Chris's story. Know that I will be lifting her family up in prayer, as they go through this tough time. I am going to print her story out and take it to my attorney. Her story needs to told so that others will not have to experience the misdiagnosis and mistreatment that she recieved. May her death be not in vain.
Fighting to be heard -