Another drag on our social system...

  1. I have worked at one job or another since I was 14y. Paid into the system like a good girl.

    Then, I had the misfortune of being injured at home; lost my job because FMLA ran out. I am still in rehab, and working as a nurse right now is impossible.

    So, get unemployment. Wrong...because I was injured, I do not qualify (you have to be available to go to work when you are on unemp.). At this point, there's no way I could work one eight hour day, let alone 5 of them.

    Social Security Disability? Nope...has to be an injury that will leave you disabled for at least 12 months or longer (or else be terminal). So I don't quite fit in there, either, because I anticipate that within another 3 months I should be able to walk pretty well, although it's doubtful I will ever be able to handle the rigors of a 12h shift on my feet. Actually, the doc thinks it's doubtful I'll ever be able to do any floor nursing again.

    So, I'm in no man's land. I have exhausted my savings, since that's what I've been living off for the last 4 months. I will not be able to afford COBRA, so will have to apply for Medicaid. Income? If I can't find some sort of job that will accomodate my limitations, I may need to try to get financial assist. (won't need food stamps, at least; my parents will feed me). Oh, and the new car I got in Aug.? Guess I can kiss that goodbye, because no way will I be able to get assistance and keep the car (I have ins. rider on the loan that takes care of the payments as long as my injury prevents me from working, but once that's done...)

    This system sucks. It is humiliating, and terrifying. What can you do? It's not like there are tons of jobs out there to accomodate disabled nurses, and I don't have any other skills.

    Sorry to whine; this is just getting to be more than I can live with.
    Last edit by fab4fan on Mar 15, '03
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  2. 28 Comments

  3. by   bargainhound
    You do have other skills. Just look at how well you write and express yourself. Look at your computer skills. As a nurse, you have all the skills for independent business. There are many avenues open to you. List your abilities if you don't agree---you will surprise yourself. Remember that 14 year old and all you have learned.
    God bless you.
  4. by   RNPD
    fab-I wanted to post on the other site when I read this, but prefer to do so here. What about short term disability? Look into it. In the meantime, I will think of you & say a prayer that it all works out well for you.
  5. by   l.rae
    fab4, l know the system never seems to work for the working class in need. l do believe you will be able to find something to accomadate your disability, chk into insurance co. l did that for a while and it paid well. l am still pulling for you. also, rn's manage home care offices, coordinater l think it is, keep looking.
  6. by   louloubell1
    fab, you are in my prayers. I think you should check back into SS disability because if your MD believes that you will not ever be able to do floor nursing again, and that is what you were doing before the injury, then you may be able to qualify. The way I understood the SS disability info was that it had to be a disability that was expected to last more than 12 months and would prevent you from doing the work you did previously. If that is the case, just because you may be able to walk well in a few months doesn't mean that you won't qualify.

    I really do feel for you right now, fab. I know this is hard and it is so frustrating that the way our system is set up is so ass backwards. Often people who need and DESERVE the help are the ones who don't get it. Good luck to you dear one, and may the Lord God richly bless your life.

    Praying for you to get the assistance that you need, that God would give you comfort in your time of stress, and that you will experience a full recovery and healing........

    Lou
  7. by   Disablednurse
    fab4, I started having problems in the summer of 2001, thought it was my hip. Gradually got worse and I had to see a neurosurgeon after my ortho said it was not ortho. I have not worked since dec of 01. Fortunately I had bought some short term disability. Had my second back surgery in July 02, because I put off going to the doctor for so long, ended up with permanent nerve damage. Dr. told me that I would never be able to nurse again. I can stand for about three to five minutes, walk for no more than ten feet and sit for no longer than 20 minutes without severe pain. Have had to apply for disability because there are no nursing jobs that I can do. I spend most of every day in the bed, because that causes the least pain. The meds that I take for pain cause memory problems and cause concentration problems. I nursed for 25 years and loved it. Husband is also on disability r/t copd, bka amputation right leg, diabetes complications. I am 45 years old and never thought I would be in this shape. I know what you are going thru. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. You can pm me any time.
  8. by   jemb
    Fab, I'm so sorry you're going through all this. I agree with the idea of short term disability. I know you'd qualify for that here, but every state is different.

    Do you know a good hopital social worker whose brain you may be able to pick? (If not, pm me, and I'll see what I can find out for you about possible resources available.)

    I hope you start feeling better soon.
  9. by   hogan4736
    how about telephone advice nursing or poison control


    good luck
  10. by   researchrabbit
    ((((((((((((fab4fan))))))))))))

    I am sorry things are so tough, and I hope things start looking up soon for you.

    You might consider this: at my lowest financial point after my divorce, I started selling my jewelry on ebay to help with the bills...four years later, I still supplement my income this way (ran out of jewelry a looooong time ago, though). Might be a good way to keep a few dollars coming in and get rid of some of your stuff you're not using anymore.
  11. by   welnet66
    There are loads of opportunities for nurses who don't want to or can't work in clinical areas anymore. There's informatics, clinical research, sales with pharm and equipment, clinical information system companies, insurance companies, state investigation, industrial, associations like AHA, ANA, state nurses associations ect. I could create a ten page list of job titles alone. Start some research on the internet, clean up your resume and go for it. Nurses don't always have to rely on their backs, we have brains too! Good Luck!
    Cath
  12. by   JNJ
    Thinking of you Fab4Fan and Disabled RN: Just a note of encouragement/sharing.

    I sustained a back injury in nursing school in 1972 - who knew about lifting then - progressively worse over the following 20+ years, so I moved into progressively less physically stressful nursing e.g. pediatrics, clinics, teaching and finally telephone triage.

    None of these worked. The teaching involved carrying large amounts of papers and texts, the triage position was no easier as one is tethered to a station for a couple of hours even in the best centers with stand/sit stations etc.

    In 2000 I was a year out of work, not able to walk to the front door in my home. Got good support from a rehab doc at Kaiser for many years - I was afraid of surgery.

    Microsurgery eventually at the end of 2000. It's been a slow, slow rehab, but I'm actually back in part time, pediatric, home care work as an independent. That way I get some control over my hours and can arrange the activities and equipment to suit my needs.

    It sounds as if both of you are in worse shape than I was most of the time, but I do have a life again now, and I protect it very carefully. I try not to work longer than a 6 hour shift and I ask for help with lifting all the time. I've even refused a couple of tasks e.g. changing the child's crib linen as I explained to the parents it's been one of my triggers in the past. They are so happy to have an RN for their child that they'll naturally lift the child if they happen to be in the room.

    I know some of this is not going to help you, but it may encourage others to look at their work situations while the health problems are still manageable. You two are in my thoughts. Please take all the other suggestions seriously and follow them up. My lifeline for many years was that rehab doc. There must be someone out there who could take on some aspects of your situations to improve them.

    Good Luck for the future - and I do believe there is one, just keep on keeping on.
  13. by   RN2B2005
    Do you have a PayPal account?

    There's more than a few of us on the board, and I bet if we all gave $5.00 or whatever we can afford, that would raise enough money for you to see an attorney or someone who can help you. I know I can skip a cappuccino or five.

    Jennifer
  14. by   fab4fan
    RN2B2005: That was so kind of you; don't make me cry!

    I don't even know what a PayPal account is, but I would never expect people to give me money. Hell, I can hardly borrow money from my parents. I really didn't post this to ask for $$ help, just out of the frustration that it seems there are so many people out there who can work but don't, and get everything handed to them carte blanche. I've worked all this time and don't seem to qualify for anything. When I think of all the people I saw in the ED with cell phones, tons of gold jewelry, nice cars, and Medicaid, I could scream.

    I live in an area where telephonic jobs are as rare as hen's teeth, and the other thing is, just getting around gets me so tired that I nap frequently during the day, and often don't get up til 10:00am.

    I probably shouldn't have posted this because it could come off as a pitch for money, and let me state emphatically that that isn't the situation. I posted it more as an example of what can happen to working-class people who get hit with a devastating illness or injury, and how there is no net for them. It seems like this is never going to get better, and every day I feel like I am sinking further.

    I do appreciate the suggestions; on Monday I am going to try to call the area legal services; they have good lawyers that do pro bono cases, so who knows.

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