Yesterday was my hearing with the Administrative Law Judge.
Scott and I went on to Kingsport on Thursday night because we knew I would not be able to handle the ride over and then meeting with my attorney and the hearing. It is impossible to find an inexpensive motel in Kingsport. We ended up staying at the Jameson Inn off Exit 4. It was very nice and very clean.
I have been having tummy issues for a while, but Thursday night was the worst in quite some time. I ended up being up most of the night with severe cramping. When I saw Dr. Litchfield earlier this month he doubled the medication for "colon spasms", but it did not touch these. I fell in the bathroom, waking Scott. No serious injuries to me but Scott was very alarmed. LOL
Friday morning I could only sip water. I had been in this condition in December when I was admitted to the hospital.
We arrived at the Social Security building a bit early. My attorney went over all the questions he would ask me during the hearing. He said that the judge would also ask questions. A vocational expert would also be questioned by the judge.
Mr. Desparti explained that the vocational expert would be listing jobs I would be able to do. He told me not to panic, because when he questioned her that he would show why I was not able to do those jobs.
As Scott and I waited, we saw other people coming from their hearings crying or very angry. Only one of Mr. Desparti's clients looked upset. When he came to get me for the hearing to start, I was very nervous.
The room was nothing special. The judge was not wearing a robe. The court reporter came over and told me if I was unable to sit that I was allowed to get up and walk around. She said I could sip my water when necessary. My mouth was so dry that my tongue would stick to the roof of my mouth - I was very dehydrated.
The judge swore me in, and Mr. Desparti asked the questions we had gone over. The judge told me that all of my doctors thought I was unable to work. He asked if I agreed. Of course I said yes sir.
He then asked the vocational expert based on a hypothetical person with the medical information in my file, what jobs she would be able to perform. She answered none sir. Oh boy! This was not what I expected. He then asked her based on my testimony if this were a hypothetical person of my age and training what jobs that person would be able to do. She answered none sir. At this point I felt sure that I was going to pass out right there! The judge asked the vocational expert what led her to come to that conclusion. The first thing she answered was unexpected anaphylaxis. She listed off almost all of my problems.
The judge then said that I would be receiving a letter in about 60 days with his ruling but he was going to give me a favorable decision. Wow - I could not believe that after all the fighting I have done since August 2010 that it would be this simple. The judge refused to make a decision based on my medical records 5 times, but now he gives a favorable ruling without even asking any difficult questions. I was in shock.
The judge did ask me to explain why I had wages after the last day I worked. I told him it was the vacation time I had left. He said that is what he thought and that we were dismissed.
In the hallway Mr. Desparti reiterated that it would take about 60 days to receive the official ruling in the mail, but that since I knew the ruling that I could put all of this behind me.
I got to the waiting room and had to sit down. Got to the chair closest to the door and had to sit down. Then I made it to the car. We were parked right in front of the door, so it wasn't very far. When Scott got in I told him we got a favorable ruling. We were thanking God that this fight was finally over.
Does this mean I will now have more money? No. My long term disability insurance will pay me the amount above what I get from social security to make up the difference through October. My social security check will be a great deal less than my insurance, so starting in November we are going to have to tighten up on the budget. I will be eligible for Medicare in January which will be very nice. It is extremely expensive for Scott to carry a dependent on the NC State Health Plan.
I thought once the hearing was behind me that I would feel much better. Wrong! Scott got me a diet Dr. Pepper. I couldn't drink that. He then got me a vitamin water. I could drink sips of that. We went by Scott's dads house and I rested on the couch. I kept feeling worse. Scott asked if I wanted to go to the hospital - no! I promised that if I was not better by Monday I would go to the doctor. On the way home, I felt like my blood sugar was bottoming out, so I asked Scott if we could get a snack.
LOL. We went all the way back to Valley Forge to get me a hot dog and diet strawberry lemonade. I ate the hot dog and felt better, but it made me very nauseated, even with Zofran and Phenergan. When we got home I went to bed. I got back up around 8, and Scott asked if there was anything I could drink. I told him nothing fizzy, so he made a pitcher of my favorite cherry-pomegranate drink mix. I couldn't drink it either. I went back to bed.
This morning I am drinking my Diet Sunkist and eating crackers. Go me! Things are looking up! Scott asked if I wanted the steaks he got last week on sale for supper. The thought of them didn't make me gag, so we will have those. I am hopeful that my stomach is settling.
I haven't stopped reading, but did stop trying to keep up with all of them for the blog. If something is outstanding I will let you know about it.
Knitting is slow - I can't hold the needles for very long.