Never underestimate the importance of small steps
COVID-19 has taught all of us how hard it is to change our habits. Scraping my professional life meant a significant financial withdraw for my family. On the other hand, it had a smaller impact than the high stakes of all lupus’ long-term irreversible symptoms.
I can´t even tell how hard it was for me to file for disability. It was a terrifying moment for me when my doctors explained the negative impact that living the lifestyle I was used to would have on me. It was time to stop and find the opportunity to rest and take care of my body daily.
With lupus, I learned through several disability claim denials that combining my doctors’ statements with the lupus medications was not enough to prove my condition. I have an invisible physical disability that neither the corporate world nor the social security administration could fully understand.
As I was going nowhere with my disability claim, I hired a couple of attorneys to help me move forward. That was another big step for me. To openly talk about something so painful and private is very hard. I felt like I was poking at all my open scars.
The lupus fatigue, mind fog, light sensitiveness, night fever, chronic pain, and rashes described by my doctors were insufficient to prove my diagnosis. I needed a stronger voice to show outsiders what I already knew.
One of my attorneys has worked diligently to learn and explain my limitations. I had to go through more tests and get even more data from my doctors. As I said, explaining everything that I went through to my lawyer was very hard. Still, his role in this process has dramatically decreased my stress level. For him, my case was part of his daily business. For me, it was my life.
Under his guidance, after 18 long months, my claim took another turn. It was once again denied, but he didn’t give up; we went through another round until the insurance company could not refuse the undeniable truth and asked for a settlement. He did it! We did it!
You may ask me, how does it feel to win? I am not sure I feel like a winner. Proving to others that I have lupus does not make me feel like winning, honestly. That said, a weight was lifted from my chest- finding justice gave me hope.
We all need to stand up for what we believe. It may be our health, our families, our lives. It may take a long time, and it may be hard to face all the difficulties, but we can celebrate small winnings during the process, one step at a time!
I hope my story can inspire you to seek your victories. And remember: each small step gets you closer to your destination! Good luck on your journey to happiness <3