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Diabetes Disabled Woman Seeks Info For Government Disability Grants

by Rosemary Hashemi
(Oak Grove, Missouri, USA)

My name is Rosemary Hashemi. My family and friends know me as Rosie and/or Rose.

I am a 52-year-old woman who was born and raised in Wichita, KS. I am one of eight children of first and second generation, immigrant parents.


I have two brothers and three sisters still living but my two oldest brothers have passed away in the last three years.

I was divorced in March of 2011, after nearly 27 years of marriage. After my divorce, I bought a house in Oak Grove, MO where I live today.

I have a Border Collie/Australian Shepherd mix and her name is Freda. She is a rescue pet.

Disability Issues

I should first state that my official Disability status does not exist, as I have never applied or even sought Disability until now.

I was diagnosed with Juvenile onset Type 1 diabetes mellitus in late January 1971, at the age of nine years.

I had to get corrective lenses shortly after I was diagnosed with diabetes and wear eyeglasses today.

I have had many episodes of hypoglycemia and not as many but enough episodes of hyperglycemia. These can take their toll on the heart, the brain, the nervous system, the eyes, the liver, the kidneys, the mouth and teeth and every other internal organ and limb as well as the skin.

I was diagnosed with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) in 1984. I still have pain occasionally but it usually subsides with anti-inflammatory drugs.

I have dental issues and wear partial dentures.

I had bilateral carpal tunnel disease and release surgeries 1986 to 1989. I still have pain and stiffness in both hands.

I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Disease in 1992.

I had Bell's palsy in 1995. I recovered from this though I sometimes still get "twitches" in the right side of my face, mostly affecting my right eyelid and upper cheek.

In 2002 I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroiditis, a thyroid condition.

I was having some issues with fairly intense pain in my lower back, hips, upper and lower legs and feet in 2010. This was diagnosed as diabetic neuropathy (DN).

After a series of various doctors and even diagnoses I found a new podiatrist.

The new podiatrist also did another nerve conduction test on my feet only and found no evidence of DN. He concurred though with the diagnosis of some over-active nerve issues in my feet and ankles, especially in the region of my Achilles tendons.

He suggested prosthetic shoe inserts to help me walk with less pain in my feet, legs and back. I purchased those and they are still a great help to me.

I have occasional flare ups of sialdenitis of which I was diagnosed in 2013. This is a blockage of the salivary glands.

Now I will list the incidents of trauma that have had a lasting effect on my body.

- I was in a diabetic coma in 1971.
- In 1972 I suffered a heat stroke and head trauma with concussion. Since then, I can't handle a lot of heat for any length of time.
- I had a bad fall in 1973. Since then my left hip and back give me a constant pain, some days worse than others.
- In 1995 when helping my husband cut some limbs on our property, I was hit with a large tree limb.

The tree accident resulted in an ER visit, and then prescriptions for anti-inflammatory and pain medications. Later I had several visits with a physical therapist and a corticosteroid injection in my left shoulder for continued pain diagnosed to be originating in my left rotator cuff.

The pain and stiffness went away for the most part, after about a year but returned in 2011. It has now progressed to the point I have pain continuously, very little strength and depleted range of motion in my left arm, shoulder and neck area.

In 2009 to 2010 I suffered three additional incidents that resulted in head traumas and concussions.

Financial Hardship

I have not worked since March 11, 2011. I quit my job because my employer moved me to an 11 pm to 7:30 am shift and I was informed that I would soon have no choice but to work a 10 to 12 hour shift.

I was not handling the eight-hour night shift well and my endocrinologist wrote a letter to my employer stating that I could no longer work the night shift due to my worsening diabetes control, since I started that shift.

My employer's exact words to me were, "Tough. This is the shift we need you on."

Now, I have my home with no mortgage but my health issues, it seems, may not be rectifiable. I am still not able to stand or sit or walk or to do most anything for more than a couple of hours without taking a break from the pain.

If I have to be in an environment where I am forced to work at any one thing for an extended period of time, I will simply end up having to stop as a result of the pain.

With my liquid assets nearly gone, I need to find some way to make an income that will support at least my basic needs, without causing more harm to my health.

Keeping my real estate taxes and insurance on the house paid at the end of the year are always a big concern, because they are large lump sums, though the insurance can be broken into smaller payments with a fee.

Of course keeping up with utility bills to keep water, electric, gas and phone services are also concerns and soon they may be larger concerns than I once thought.

There is always the concern of keeping my vehicle licensed and insured and the personal property taxes paid.

In the quest to stay alive from one day to the next, my biggest concern has always been medical costs. Health/Dental Insurance alone takes most of my spousal support check.

Then there is the cost of the medications and medical devices (L-Thyroxine, insulin, insulin syringes, insulin pump reservoirs and tubing sets, the insulin pump itself (as they only last five to seven years and are not covered by most insurance companies), IV Prep Pads, alcohol wipes, glucose meters and strips, glucose tabs for hypoglycemia and Glucagon Injection (prescription emergency kit for hypoglycemic or insulin shock).

My insurance does cover the total cost of my insulin pump reservoirs and tubing sets and the strips only for my glucose meter at this time. I pay a reduced cost for my insulin and L-Thyroxine through the mail-order prescription plan with my insurance.

Other health concerns include medical, eye and dental doctor visits, the cost of eyeglasses and expensive dental procedures, etc.

I am slightly less concerned about food sources as my money dwindles away, but it is of course a concern.

Income Efforts

The stress of the divorce and the job changes had a very negative effect on my health. I quit my job on March 11, 2011.

The re-mapping of my life has not gone as well either as I have one issue after another with my health. I just can't seem to get ahead of the game, as it is said.

I guess I should say that my only income since the divorce and quitting my last job is my "spousal support" (or alimony), which barely covers the cost of my health insurance.

The only other attempt to gain income was to look online for any job that I might be qualified to do and that I thought that I could handle doing for up to four hours per day. I began leaning toward some sort of work at home, possibly doing data entry or something similar.

I found a lot of scams and "work from home" jobs that are different from "work at home" jobs, but nothing that even caused me to go further than looking.

Specific Needs

I seek the knowledge of what monetary help is available to me. I need to know how to go about getting the help that is available.

I have read about SSI and SSDI and I still cannot honestly say that I know the difference between them. I am not sure that I even could qualify for either one, because my formal work history consists of mainly jobs that I held over 25 years ago and before I was married.

I am not familiar with grants. I am guessing these are various type of government grants but again, I am really in the dark as to what to even ask. I would like to learn more about them or anything that could help me financially.

Advice, suggestions, ideas, links… these would all be great. Advice from a lawyer might be nice, though I don't know how much a lawyer could help me and I am positive I cannot afford the fees.

I need a foot-up to help me move forward. I truly know that even though my capacities to work at a traditional job are very limited, I still hold value to the world, though the world may not now recognize that fact.

Business Idea

In 2012, at a time when I was feeling much stronger than I had for a year, I sought and obtained certification as Reiki Level I and Level II Practitioner.

My plan was to try to begin a Reiki Practice for animals, specifically pets. I started writing my plan and have attempted to produce a website on my own but I have no expertise in that necessary part of the plan, nor money to hire someone who does.

I will practice Reiki on humans as well, if it is requested.

I can practice Reiki anywhere that is comfortable to the client. Practicing with humans, I would need to purchase a portable massage table and a portable chair for myself. There are usually kits with everything you would need, including bolster pillows, etc.

That would pretty much cover the major out-of-pocket expenses other than advertising, business insurance and any applicable permits or tax ID numbers if applicable.

Neighbors have also approached me recently about doing dog/puppy training. My only training in this field has been years of life experience with some exceptional animals (trained by the best, I always say).

This is a service that could be easily offered in the Reiki for Animals part of the business, though I would have to research State and Local Licensing requirements.

Comments for Diabetes Disabled Woman Seeks Info For Government Disability Grants

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Oct 09, 2013
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Happy to help!
by: Don from Ability-Mission.org

Hi Rose,

We're very happy to help. You have quite a story and we're pleased that you like the condensed version.

Now you can follow the advice in the emails you're receiving to help you find benefits you're eligible for.

Cheers!
Don from Ability-Mission.org

Oct 08, 2013
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Thank You
by: Rosemary Hashemi

Thank you for the awesome job of editing my huge story. I look forward to fielding questions and possible ideas that might help. Hopefully, I can read some other stories and help someone as well. I feel very fortunate to have found Ability-Mission.org. Thank you again.

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