My mood has been pretty good and level since I found out about my SSDI approval. Amazing what a little financial security will do for a wobbly mood. At least I know we can make ends meet now and we are no longer sinking. Someone asked after my last post whether my Social Security Disability was approved on a “mental illness” or a brain damage from ECT” basis. Simple answer: I don’t know. I was told by my caseworker that it has been approved. My back-pay check has come. But my paperwork identifying my approval is yet to arrive. The commenter said that an approval on a brain damage basis would “set precedent and might be helpful to others.” “Bonzer” (a random commenter), back in April, claimed to be the first and only case in which SSDI was approved for someone with brain damage from ECT. So, mine wouldn’t be precedent setting. I’ll let you know when I find out what the findings were. Does that record come automatically?
Mic’s illness/mood continues to be uncertain, but things are in the works for him as well.
Work at the liquor store (which is easier, making $8/hour, now that I know I have some other income behind it) continues to be interesting. Wine snobs, to winos, to grungy hillbillies with no shirt on, to sorority girls. We get the full spectrum. “Bill from the Hood” suggested I keep a journal of liquor store stories and that there would enough anecdotal entries from which to write a book in no time. Not a bad idea.
I’ve begun to look for somewhere in NW Arkansas to play racquetball. Its not as easy as I had hoped it would be. There aren’t many places which have courts and offer some kind of organized play (leagues, challenge courts, ect.) Spoiled by Denver. I’ve found one place, which is a dump and not terribly close to my house, which has three courts and claims to have 25-30 players that play in there. I think I’ll give it a go at trying to put together some way to get 2-3 days/week of play in.
I’ve started looking into Vagus Nerve Stimulation (“VNS”) as a back-up in case I need an adjunct to ECT. For VNS, a little “pacemaker” device is implanted in your left chest and hooked up by wires to your Vagus Nerve (main cerebral highway to your major organs, I think.) The device is programmed externally by your psychiatrist, and it “stimulates” the nerve on a set schedule and for a set time. This is another case of “we don’t know why it works, but it does.” The bad news is that it takes up a year to really begin to show the benefits (according to my ECT doctor who calls to check on me from time to time.) The good news is that there are really no known side effects of the magnitude of ECT. More on this later.