Looking for a job as a disabled person

So, Social Security, since they denied me, has forced me to look for jobs despite me not being well enough to have one.


I am running across exactly the problems that I knew I would. Early on in my injury situation, I had looked for jobs. I was better then than I am now, and the jobs were limited then. Now? Next to impossible.


So, my resume has gotten a lot of feedback from employers looking for a nurse. Well, you know, a nurse who can work as a nurse.


That’s really not going to cut it.


I have, though, gotten a little bit of feedback for employers looking to hire someone as a recruiter or a case manager. However, 2 things pose an issue.


A lot of the case managers must work in the hospital setting. I can’t do that for a lot of reasons. One, I can’t get to the hospital. Two, I can’t work 8 hour days. Three, I can’t stand for 8 hours straight. I need a break every hour on the hour, and I need that break to be laying down. Sure, I definitely see a hospital letting me do that! In order to complete 8 hours worth of work, I would need to be there 16 hours t fit in all of my laying down cycles.


I had an insurance firm call me and request an interview, but they want me to travel all the way to Oceanside for the interview. That’s 45 minutes away in a car. I can only sit in a car for 5 minutes once during the day and then I will suffer for it for the rest of the day. They wanted me for manager positions and for recruiter positions. I asked if any of them could be work from home. He said perhaps the recruiter position. The only issue was then the interview, which I’m sure we could have worked around. However, the main issue is that I would need to train in Oceanside. Again, now I would have to drive there. I thought about maybe getting a hotel there so I wouldn’t have to drive back and forth, but I would need my bed. It needs to be at the right height for me to get into it and the right softness level so that I’m comfortable. Otherwise it feels like my back is tearing open. Also, I’m sure the training would be for 8 hours a day. I can’t do 8 hours. I don’t even think I can do 4 hours.


So there it is. I can’t even try for a job because of the training issue.


I’m so mad at Social Security for not believing me or approving me. Even if someone will take a chance on me working from home, how will I train? Who is going to hire someone with my severe limitations? It goes back to their reasons for denying me based on my education. Sure, I’m educated, but I can’t apply it anywhere because of my physical limitations.


I’m feeling a bit punched in the gut today. I always knew that this would be a difficult road, trying to find a job, but it doesn’t make going through it any easier.


The worst part of it is, even if I get one, I’m fairly certain I will be in too much pain to even do a good job at it.


Ah, my life is glorious.


This blog is made possible thanks to this GoDaddy coupon. If you want to blog yourself, I highly recommend it, check it out.


Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Diego. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook atmadelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

Social Security Hearing Denial – The Reasons I Was Denied

I feel alone

As promised, here are the reasons listed that I was denied.

First off, it seems that I did not have a social security approved diagnosis. Here is what they have listed for spine (copied and pasted directly from the social security website):

1.04 Disorders of the spine (e.g., herniated nucleus pulposus, spinal arachnoiditis, spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, facet arthritis, vertebral fracture), resulting in compromise of a nerve root (including the cauda equina) or the spinal cord. With:

A. Evidence of nerve root compression characterized by neuro-anatomic distribution of pain, limitation of motion of the spine, motor loss (atrophy with associated muscle weakness or muscle weakness) accompanied by sensory or reflex loss and, if there is involvement of the lower back, positive straight-leg raising test (sitting and supine);


B. Spinal arachnoiditis, confirmed by an operative note or pathology report of tissue biopsy, or by appropriate medically acceptable imaging, manifested by severe burning or painful dysesthesia, resulting in the need for changes in position or posture more than once every 2 hours;


C. Lumbar spinal stenosis resulting in pseudoclaudication, established by findings on appropriate medically acceptable imaging, manifested by chronic nonradicular pain and weakness, and resulting in inability to ambulate effectively, as defined in 1.00B2b.

I do not have any of these. This does not mean that I am not suffering (for those of you who don’t have a spine issue, but who want to know what the social security administration views as a basis for diagnostic approval click the link). I can not believe that they disregarded all of the 900 pages of medical records that I submitted just because I did not have one of these three spinal issues.

Also, as of note, the first diagnosis, if you have that severe of entrapment of the spinal cord or the nerve root to cause cauda equina that is emergency surgery. That is the loss of bowel and bladder function. Also, for the record … YOU CAN HAVE SURGERY AND YOU WILL BE BETTER! Therefore, you wouldn’t need prolonged social security pay. It’s mystifying.

A second reason I was denied was my age. Apparently, you truly can’t be this sick and get social security at 35-38.

Third, they pulled from my record that I rode a bike. I know, I know. You’re thinking .. you rode a bike?!

Yeah … at physical therapy. For 5 minutes. Without the power on.

So the administration went through 900 pages of documents and pulled from my physical therapy sessions that I was “riding a bike” and was therefore not credible.

Want to know what’s not credible? Combing through someone’s medical record and taking something out of context. Being able to ride a bike for 5 minutes at your physical therapy’s office with no resistance at all does not constitute a person being well enough to work an 8 hour day. The administration pulled that piece of information without context. It was like they were searching for something. So disgraceful.

Fourth, they discredited my doctors. This is the one that I am always mystified by. How do people flat out discredit a doctor’s opinion? It makes no sense to me how a judge, who studies in law, can tell a doctor they are full of shit? What was stated was that in some instances he said I could walk ten minutes and others less than that. Well, guess what. Some days are better than others. I think the point that they missed was that it’s never over an hour combined. I just don’t understand how they didn’t look at the overall picture that was presented. Instead, they went searching for something to discredit me for.

In next week’s blog, I will tell you how I think that you can help your case to win social security based on my experience. I don’t want what happened to me to happen to others. Just think of me as I am living out of my car …

Be well …


Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Diego. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook atmadelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

Social Security Denied At Hearing Level

planes and trainsSocial Security denied at the hearing level.

I just don’t understand. I really thought that I would win. I guess, because I deserved to win, plus everyone told me that I would.

I am so screwed now, it’s ridiculous. I have no income. I truly can’t work. I can’t sit for more than five minutes and I can’t stand for more than 2 hours a day – and that’s just once. After that, I need to lay down in one hour intervals. My mind is spacey — always distracted from the pain. If I do try and go out, I’m pretty much laid up for the rest of the day. When I say go out, it’s usually for an hour. Coffee, or maybe a drink. Hardly ever food because I can’t tolerate to wait for it.

Apparently, not being able to bend at the waist, tie your own shoes, or put on your own underwear did not sway the judge. Apparently, not being able to remotely do your own grocery shopping, clean your own house, or get yourself to doctors was convincing to this judge. Apparently, being essentially home bound was not enough for this judge to approve my condition.

I’m so disgusted right now.

If I try and get work now, my simple, few joys in life will be gone. All my energy will be to put a roof over my head and food on the table. My joys of listening to the audiobooks I have will be inundated with more distracting pain from trying to work.

That’s IF  I get a job. Who is going to hire a nurse that can only work from home, in two hour intervals, for a max of 4 hours a day?

I simply just don’t understand how this could happen. I spent my life taking care of other people. I did everything right. I’m such a straight-shooter. I didn’t cheat on my husband, tried to do right by my parents and brother, and this? I’ve been patient over 3 years to get better. No. Not that. Then, despite my quality of life being shit, I now have to worry about where to live, how to live, and how to eat? It’s truly mind-boggling.

My next few posts will be on what the denial letter actually said, which is a whole other conversation. After that, I will offer my advice for people who are starting this process so that they won’t make the same mistakes I did. I truly can’t believe that I had a company, Allsup, represent me for over a year, who had no fucking clue what they were doing and offered no tangible advice until it was too late.


Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Diego. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook atmadelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

I Will Be Trying Flector Vs Lidocaine Patches

So I have become quite addicted to wearing my Lidocaine patches. I started a few months back to try 30 days worth of Lidocaine patches to see if it would break my pain cycle.

It does actually make me feel better. I mean, it doesn’t cure me or anything, but it does make me feel better.

However, at the end of the 30 days, I was supposed to stop. I just can’t bring myself to stop relying them.

Yet, I wonder? What makes me feel better, the Lidocaine or the fact that it comes in a patch form? I wonder if my back just feels a bit more stable having something back there. Kind of like the tape that athletes use. Therefore, I asked my doctor to write for Flector patch, which is an anti-inflammatory patch. That way I can try a different class of drugs in patch form and rule out if it is medication, sensation, or both. I’m gonna start tomorrow with a five day trial to see if I can determine what makes me feel better. I had a hard time convincing my doctor, he just wanted to write for a Fector cream, but I insisted. He completely was not paying attention to my rationale.

The unfortunate part of this is that my new insurance, which is shit, does not pay for Flector. There is also no generic. That means that a 30 day supply is $300. I got 10 for my trial, but I can’t believe it. How can they not cover it when there is no generic? My Synthroid, Calcitriol, and Lidocaine patches weren’t covered either. It is really quite shocking. I can only imagine what will happen when I need a new MRI or a CT. I’m confident that my insurance company will not cover it or deny authorization.

The other shocking thing was the pharmacist. I had an inkling that the Flector patches would not be covered since my Synthroid, Calcitriol, and Lidocaine patches weren’t. So I asked the pharmacist if there was a generic of Flector patch or any generic anti-inflammatory patch. He said there was, which was the Lidocaine patch.

This is completely inaccurate. Lidocaine is an anesthetic. Flector is an anti-inflammatory agent. These are two totally different mechanisms. I can not believe that a pharmacist gave such horrible advice and completely inaccurate! What if I hadn’t known this! My God! It’s not life threatening or anything but these are two totally different classes of drugs! All I have to say is be careful people!

I will report back next week how my trial goes. I have to be judicious though and not take any chances. My commitment needs to be at it’s strongest. These medications are now too expensive to be willy-nilly about my plan of attack.


Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Diego. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook atmadelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

Excursion Day # 2 With Chronic Pain

Last night I had one of my first ventures out here in San Diego. I had a friend drive me the 200 feet to the bar because it was raining and I was afraid I would slip. I know, right? The second time I decide to try and go out in 2 months it was raining!


I was meeting the only other person that I know here in San Diego, a college friend from my MSU days.


We arranged to meet at that bar after a little bit of a scheduling difficulty. I picked the place because it was so close to my house and I wanted to see if I could make it the few feet to get there. If I could, it would mean I would have a few places I could go on my own.


However, he wanted to change the place to a five minute drive from my house. That sucked, because I had to tell him no. A five minute drive is too far for me to handle sitting right now. Plus, after driving, I would already be shot and would not be able to stand there for an hour. Also, I would have been in too much pain to concentrate on what he was saying.


I had to decline and it made me seem a little too picky. However, as we all know, we want to hide how sick we are and this was just highlighting it.


We met at the bar and he brought his girlfriend. That threw me for a loop. I was prepared to speak to one person, not two. When there is more than one person, my already distracted brain has a much harder time. My conversation skills, therefore, were a bit lacking.


Besides, I haven’t had a real conversation with someone who didn’t know my condition since this all began. My friends in San Francisco watched as I progressively got worse, and we all just accommodated from there. This, this was from the get-go.


The only thing that was tough was that they weren’t very conversational either. I had to carry the conversation a bit of the time, which taxed my already troubled brain. I had so much to think about that normal people don’t! You know! I had to think about the bar, how I was standing, how my back was exposed to people walking by, how I was cold and therefore my spasms were worse. There was also so much to see! I am so very under stimulated in my own house! Also, in a nice way, my friend kept texting every ten minutes, checking up on me. so much going on that normal people who go out don’t have to think about. Plus, I had to constantly check the clock to make sure I wasn’t over doing it. Then there is also the amount of energy expended thinking about your own back. How’s it doing? Is it starting to hurt so bad you will be in tears tonight –things like that.


Ultimately, it was a very good experience. I was able to leave my house for the second time in two months and it was overall a success. I have two Lidocaine patches on my back today and have already dosed with some Motrin. I know I will be in more pain today, but it was a mental win.


How do you manage when you go out?

Today’s neurology appointment

Today I saw Dr. K for my neurology appointment to find out why I am still having so much pain and if there was anything that he could do.

Wow. That has got to be one of the worst doctor visits I have ever been to! First of all, the door to my room was open. He walks up, breezily looks in at us (my husband and I), continues his conversation with someone unseen off down the hall. Then, he calls me by the wrong name, Beverly, shrugs when I correct him, stating “it must have been my other patient.” Uh … okay? I then tell him my case. He is unimpressed to say the least. He literally stares at me and is like, “what do you want me to do?”

Not vacantly stare at me!

I must have asked him in three different ways if he could think of some reason for my pain. He kept saying, “it’s a pickle the situation you are in.” No kidding! I live that “pickle” every day!

He was just so unhelpful. So completely uninterested in coming up with an answer. He didn’t even try! I have never been so disappointed. It was insulting how little he cared to come up with an answer.

Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Francisco. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook at madelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

Phone consultation with California Stem Cell Treatment Center

I had my phone consultation on 5/1/14. The secretary called, connected me to a doctor. I’m not even sure what his actual specialty was. He talked to me for a few minutes about what my condition entailed. I then asked him if he worked with discs before. He said yes. I asked him what percentage of people were helped by the procedure. He said he didn’t know the stats right off the top of his head.


Right there. That’s a red flag. All of my doctors, and all of the doctors I’ve ever known over the years can tell me what their “numbers” are. Secondly, this is even more impressive that this person doesn’t know the numbers as he is essentially making a sales call. Third, this “Treatment Center” only opened in 2010. I feel like he should have some current numbers.


They wanted to let me know that I would either have to bring my MRI, or they would do some specialized MRI there – an MRI I have never heard of, which isn’t saying much, as my specialty was never radiology, but having had worked in spinal surgery, and having had two on my lumbar area and one on my thoracic spine, I’d probably have heard of it.


I asked who would do the procedure, they said an interventional radiologist. Hmm. Okay. They said they would pull my cells by doing abdominal liposuction. They then said they would give my cells to I.R., which is fine — but here is the part I’m totally not cool with. He said they would inject the remaining stem cells into my i.v. and that the cells would go to where they needed to from there.




Sketchville if you ask me.


He asked if I had anymore questions, I said no. I was transferred back to the receptionist and she immediately asked for $250 to process my fee to have their team look at my MRI.


I said I’d have to think about it.


I’m not so sure about this place.


Check out my main blog at http://www.madelinefresco.com. I have three novels for sale there and, when it is football season, blog about football, but manly the Packers. Draft is coming up!

Random Ramblings: 1st time sick with low back pain

Well, it finally happened. I got sick.

I had throw-up previously, except I did not have the low back pain yet.

So it was sort of random. I woke up at 4:00a.m. on Monday night and was not feeling very well. I thought to myself, hmmm, I should go get a puke bowl just in case. Well, I only had to exit my room before it came on so fast. I ran to the bathroom and the first heave hit. Nothing came out, but it was clear I would not be able to puke standing over the sink. So I hurried to the kitchen to get a bowl. I had another heave with the bowl, and that did not work either. I hurriedly squatted down and finally threw-up in the bowl.

Wow. Did it really hurt my back. It tensed every muscle in my back when I tried to throw-up in the bathroom sink. From top to bottom too. It wasn’t just in the lower back. I was surprised though that the crouch position was better, as it is very difficult for me to get in that position in general. I think a lot of it had more to do with the arch of my back more than anything else.

Today, Wednesday, I have to say the left side of my back is doing much better. It’s only been a day and a half, maybe two depending on how you look at it.  The right side, as always, is pretty shot. Although, most of my stretches went fairly well. I haven’t gone for a walk outside though, sadly, because it has been raining here in San Francisco. It’s sunny right now, so as soon as I finish this blog, I’ll head on out and assess how the walking is going.


However, in some ways, I’m glad I got the first illness out of the way. It’s been on my mind, and I have been fighting it for so long. It’s almost a relief to have it out of the way.