Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mason and the teacher

When I went to the last brain tumor support group meeting, I thought the guest speaker was going to talk about Social Security Disability benefits. Instead he was an attorney who specializes in the rights of the disabled, and knew little about Social Security or Washington law. Very unfortunate for our Washington brain tumor patients.

But I'm babbling, and I'm not even talking. Before the speaker was to perform his well-rehearsed power-point presentation, the moderator of the group asked all of us to tell him our experiences with Social Security.

When it came time for one man to speak, his voiced quivered as he noted that he used to be a "Vice President for Mitsubishi," but now has "only two good hours (a day)." Wouldn't it be nice, if one didn't need his brain.

In contrast, another lady who is a teacher, is struggling to keep up with the demands of her job, and she is worried what her employer may do about it. She has too much on her plate: a new marriage, a new baby, going to school, being a teacher. She's trying to "prove" that her brain tumor isn't affecting her.

But how can it not? One of the hardest things to do as a brain tumor patient is to admit he or she is disabled, if not physically, then cognitively, even if the difficulties are hard to notice. It was an easy call for me to make when I was taking chemotherapy. I felt flu-like symptoms all of the time it seemed like. With my husband being out of work, and my being off chemo, I had this fantasy of going back to work, and got a reality blast during an informational interview, at which everything that could go wrong--did. The interviewer was late. I was tired and ergo was not articulate. I used to be an employers wet dream. I would work long hours, cover others' shifts, and I was competent enough. Really I was.

But that was yesterday, and this is TODAY! And today is my DAY! To do what, I'm not sure.

1 comment:

Tina E. said...

Glad to know you noticed why I left. I noticed right away that the speaker had little info to help me, so I cut out early.

P.S. It took me an hour & 45 minutes to get home!