As I sit here alone in my house that is so quiet I am forced to contemplate my life’s plan. Am I doing what it is that God intended for me? I suppose I am, after all, he his in control right? I wonder how many other people think about their life’s mission. How many of us are happy in who we are or who we have become? Maybe I think too much.
For those of you who have not followed my blog, I am a 48 year old man with Dementia. I was diagnosed about 7 months ago. I was fired from a job that I held for a total of seventeen years because I was forgetting things. To be fair to the company that let me go, I was in fact becoming extremely forgetful. I was forgetting to call customers back and place their orders. It was getting to the point where I was adamant about not talking on the phone with someone when in fact I had. My co-workers were telling me about talking to someone that had come in the day before but I was sure that I hadn’t seen them in weeks. This happened so much that the company felt as though they had to let me go. They met me at the front door when I went to work one morning and said they were letting me go. I was floored at the time, but have come to fully understand why they had to let me go. I just wish they had been a little kinder. I miss my boss a great deal and a couple of the guys but as for the rest of them I don’t lose any sleep over not having any contact with them. I will admit that I am disappointed with not seeing any of them in the past two years. I was certain that they would come see me and check in, but I was mistaken. I really am not whining about this, I am merely disappointed and hurt.
It has been about two years since that happened and I have learned to accept the past and move forward as best I can, with the help of my wife and kids. Obviously I will feel better once I am able to get my Social Security plan figured out with the state officials. This has been no easy task and I want to fore warn all of you that may have to deal with them that you are in for a very long haul. I wish that the people that are in charge of handling these cases could experience the frustration that we go through from start to finish. When the state tells you not to pay your mortgage so that it may speed up the process. Uh… I don’t think so. Or when they tell you not to pay your electric bill because that may put us closer to the top of the list. We did try that one, and it didn’t work. Surprise, surprise! I’m really not sure how they expect us to make ends meet once your family income is cut in half. I certainly know that this is not an isolated incident, and that there are literally thousands more people that are experiencing the same thing that my wife and I are. I know that they are all important cases, and mine should not take precedence over theirs, but this process needs to change. Two years, seriously?
It is almost like those of us diagnosed with Dementia are being penalized for having Dementia. We didn’t ask for this. I would give anything in the world to be able to go back to work, but I know that is not possible. After being fired from my job of seventeen years I was out of work for seven months before being hired by another company. I worked there for 5 months before they too let me go. I was devastated. at least the company that I worked for last took me aside and explained that they noticed I was having a hard time with my short term memory and that I should get it checked out. They also told me that if I could get back on track I was more than welcome to come back to work. At least when I left there I still felt somewhat good about myself.
Hopefully I can soon put this whole drama behind me. I am appealing to the State of Maine, and the Dept. of Health and Human Services to make this application process not only shorter, but easier for those who are inflicted with a terminal illness by no action of ourselves. This is not only difficult for me, but also for my family. Wish me luck.