Tag Archives: disability

What It Means to Have a ‘Sitting Disability’

What It Means for Me to Have a ‘Sitting Disability’

This all sounds so familiar, it makes me realize I also have a ‘Sitting Disability” – I just never thought to identify it as such.

I can’t sit.

Well, I can, but not for very long. When I do, it hurts a lot.

There are many medical reasons why a person has difficulty sitting. Mine is because I have a throbbing pain in the low back (lumbago) and shooting pain down my left leg (sciatica).  Continue reading


How Social Security Decides If You Are Disabled

How Social Security Decides If You Can Work or Are Disabled | DisabilitySecrets – accessed 7/31/17

This is a good explanation of how the process works:

If your medical condition doesn’t match one found on the SSA’s List of Impairments, the SSA will evaluate your remaining abilities (called your residual functional capacity, or RFC) to see if you can do your prior job.

If not, the SSA will perform a medical-vocational analysis to determine whether there is other work you can be expected to learn to do.   Continue reading

How to Explain Your Pain to a Doctor

How to Explain Your Pain to a Doctor by on April 15th, 2016

Here are some tips from a doctor about how to describe your pain in terms a doctor can understand best.

Pain symptoms are personal, unique–and subjective. (What Joe describes as “unbearable pain” may be considered “pretty unpleasant pain” to Mike).

Over the years, I developed my own “pain diagnostic” conversation with patients to help my team and I understand what, where, when and how much pain patients are feeling.

I’ve outlined key points below:  Continue reading

Make a Home Walker/Wheelchair Friendly

How To Make A Home Much More Friendly To Seniors Using Wheelchairs Or Walkers | Kaiser Health News  – Jan 2017

When Dan Bawden teaches contractors and builders about aging-in-place, he has them get into a wheelchair. See what it’s like to try to do things from this perspective, he tells them.

That’s when previously unappreciated obstacles snap into focus.

About 2 million older adults in the U.S. use wheelchairs, according to the U.S. Census Bureau; another 7 million use canes, crutches or walkers. Twenty years from now, 17 million U.S. households will include at least one mobility-challenged older adult, according to a December report from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.   Continue reading

Busting the Myths About Disability Fraud

Busting the Myths About Disability Fraud – The New York Times

A recent blog post on a Republican threat to the Social Security disability fund elicited comments about disability fraud, implying that the fund is not worth protecting until ways are found to stop healthy people from gaming the system.

There is fraud, no doubt. But there is no evidence it is rampant. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities explains the disability system in an excellent policy brief.

Some facts:  Continue reading

Moderate Drinking May Ease Disability from Chronic Pain

Below are four sources of the unexpected finding that significant alcohol consumption lowers pain and disability from the pain:

Can Alcohol Help Treat Chronic Pain? — Pain News Network

Treating chronic pain with a glass of wine or beer may not sound like a good idea, but an intriguing new study in the U.K. found that alcohol consumption is associated with lower levels of disability in pain patients.

  • Drinkers overall reported less disability than people who never drank alcohol, but
  • it was the heaviest drinkers who reported the least disability.
  • They were 67% less likely to experience disability than the teetotalers.

Continue reading

The Shame of Chronic Illness

When I recently read the phrase, “I’m embarrassed to be sick”, it made my stomach clench and my breath catch. That’s exactly what I’ve been feeling: this vague sense of social unease even with close friends, a reluctance to be seen or even talk to people-–especially those that knew me before I became chronically ill.

At the age of 55, after a lifetime of seemingly unrelated physical complaints and inexplicable pains that kept worsening, I was finally diagnosed in 2012 with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a genetic flaw which leads to defective connective tissues. This results in chronic pain and many other health problems, as body parts aren’t held together properly, joints dislocate spontaneously, tissues stretch or tear, lose elasticity, and wear out early.

I am ashamed of being sick. I spent my previous life trying to prove how tough I was, declared my independence early, made my own way successfully… and now I’ve lost it all.  Continue reading

Impairment, Disability and Handicap

I was confused by these terms and I found several perspectives before I grasped the difference.  I don’t agree with the usage because it’s contrary to our usual grammar, but I learned it’s important to use the technically correct word.

First, a couple of definitions adopted by the World Health Organization and the United Nations. Then an explanation of the Stigma associated with the word “Handicapped” and the proper Etiquette.

The differences apparently have Medical Significance, yet are often incorrectly used because they are contrary to our usual Grammar. Finally, the Best Example I found to demonstrate the difference.  Continue reading

Chronic Pain: End Stage

Is it frustration,
the thwarted desire
to do what I can do no longer,
or the loss of desire
to do it at all,
that torments me most?

Chronic Pain: End Stage

Past the stage of struggle,
of trying to do what I like,
past the stage of grief,
over not being able to do it,
I’m finally at rest, and free
of desire to do anything at all.

A curious emptiness surrounds me, vague,
insubstantial as I myself have become,
thwarted by constraints wherever I turn,
I’ve been imprisoned by pain and stripped
of my previous ease and abilities,
so naively claimed as my birthright.

Continue reading

Treatment of Pain in Bipolar Patients

Treatment of Pain in Bipolar Patients: Clinical Challenges

A number of researchers have linked bipolar disorder with chronic pain syndromes like fibromyalgia and migraine headaches. Pain management of these patients requires a multidisciplinary approach to improve their outcomes.


Bipolar disorder is one of the 10 most debilitating illness worldwide, with a prevalence of 1.4%. The onset of bipolar disorder is usually between 15 and 30 years of age; the lifetime risk for bipolar is 5% to 10% for a first-degree relative. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the lifetime prevalence of bipolar disorder is 3.9% of the US adult population (or approximately 9 million Americans).  Continue reading