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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Hi Laura: Welcome (and I am being sarcastic) to the world of pain! Truly, I am very sorry to hear another person suffering with this type pain.

I had to quit working my job when my lumbar spine went out; I could not sit up for much longer than 1 hour and that is pushing it. I applied for social security and it took 17 months to get it. We've always lived at just above poverty, as my hubby was ill on and off throughout our 28 years of marriage. My spine is totally shot, not just my low back, my neck and mid- back, too. We've learned to live poorly for 28 years and a person must manage the money carefully. Only basics, no microwaveable foods, firewood for heat (the reason I am messed up, heavy physical work, husband has severe PTSD causing physical symptoms {he almost died twice in our 28 years of marriage due to this; V.A. would not believe his illness and he was only given parital disability through them), grew gardens for food, can and froze food, hung clothes outside when possible, used a wringer washer to save laundry soap (can reuse water for a couple loads), cloth diapers for our babies (raised 3 kids), and the list goes on. Trust me on this one, our government does NOT CARE about the disabled. Social Security usually doesn't give you much if you work $7/hour jobs. In 1990 Pres. Bush No. 1, changed Social Security and you must work for 5 of the last 10 years just prior to their declaration of disability, or you are not eligible. However, you can get SSI, which goes by what assets you have, sort of like social security welfare. No more than $6000 in assets are allowed for a couple (unless that amount went up a couple of thousand, but it isn't much). To pay for your medications on Soc. Sec. is another challenge. Some drug companies offer discounts for low income people. Soc. Sec. does NOT pay for drugs, another promise not kept by our presidents because the drug companies are lobbists and they do not want to lose money on the soc. sec. people's drugs. If Medicare pays for drugs, then the drugs companies won't be able to charge the Federal government as much money as they can charge the individual. Try standing behind an eldery person in a drug store sometime and listen to how much they are being charged, if they can afford it?? My drugs cost about $300 per month and CHAMPVA pays mine, as the wife of a 100% disabled vet (who got the 100% last summer after 27 years and putting this family at poverty or barely above it and we got two kids through college with federal financial aid and our own ingenuity called a wing and a prayer. They drove old cars, etc.)

Depending on your pain, you must determine what causes the pain to get worse (housework kills me and so does sitting, as well as typing). Also, have you been to a doctor yet and if so, what did he/she say your back problem is? Try sleeping on your back with your feet on the bed and your knees up. This opens up the spinal canal more, if a disk is bulging and narrowing your spinal canal, which is very tiny anyway. Take care and hopefully others will tell you how they've gotten by financially. It is pretty sad, when the USA is so wealthy; the eldery and disabled are treated like dirt! Take care, PatG

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