I'm a disabled atheist. I have lupus, fibromyalgia, ptsd, hypothyroid disease, fevers of unknown origin, a seizure disorder, and a brain tumor. I'm basically a bloody mess barely hanging on. I'd really like to find a support group to join that doesn't deluge me with religious gobble-de-gook the moment I join. It's very discouraging when you have real world problems you seek solutions for or at least empathy over and you get - "hand your life over to Jesus" instead. Not only that, but when you are expressing frustration over your government's refusal to classify you as disabled and you get told - "God works in mysterious ways" you kind of want to strangle someone.

I'm just looking for a secular support group for sick people, disabled people, or people with things to whine about.

Tags: coping, disability, group, illness, secular, support, with

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I don't know if there is a secular group for what you are describing. What you may have to end up looking for a social networking sight that, while isn't specifically secular but will have a disproportionet number of athiest or poeple who just aren't very religious. My experieince is that tribe.net doesn't have many overtly religous people, and has plenty of atheist. In fact, that is were I learned about A|N.
I'm afraid I can't think of any specifically secular support groups. I can sympathize with your difficulties with the government. When my wife first applied for medicaid, she carefully explained that she had been diagnosed with ulcerative colitus at age 2, had her colon removed at age 5, had reoccurring complications from the surgeries, frequented the emergency room due to uncontrollable dehydration, and so on. The brief letter she got back said she was denied because medicaid doesn't cover stomach ulcers. Which is fine, because her stomach had nothing to do with ulcerative colitus! The icing on the cake was that her parents worked hard on filling out those applications, and both of them work in fields of medicine that deal specifically with medicare, medicaid, and other legalities.

Like you, my wife really hit the jackpot with chronic illnesses, many of which were unrelated to each-other. It was weird being with somebody who was like a minor celebrity at the Mayo Clinic.

Slight segway... I thought hypothyroid illnesses were often accompanied by occasional fever. I could be wrong, I'm no doctor.
Your story should be shoved down the throat of every American that laughs at Europe's or Australia's tax rates. Yes taxes are high. Yes we have a healthcare system that will take care of you if you're sick - no questions. Caveat - Australia has been working desperately hard over the last 20 years to ruin its healthcare system to the point it may emulate the US model.
One of the problems that Americans have is that we don't really have a clear idea how the money really gets spent, whearas you get a better picture in other contries because taxes are broken down.
The thing is also that we actually have more income taxes than we think we do. We pay in Social Security and fica and a number of other things which are basically taxes plus things that are called taxes. Add all of that stuff up and call the things that pretend not to be taxes taxes and we probably pay just as high a percentage as Europeans and Australians.

I suggest Social Security is a tax - it serves the same purpose taxes do in other countries. It also is almost impossible to collect SSDI. I have such an assortment of illnesses that a trip to the grocery store almost does me in and my continued consciousness throughout any day is not a given but since I don't meet certain qualifications I can't be considered disabled. Those qualifications are that I must be under a doctor's continuing care. The problem is that because I can't work, I have no insurance and no money so I can't be under a doctor's care. In order to get state medical assistance (because I'm an adult) I must be classified as disabled first. I'm sure you can see the catch 22.

So, I'm barely scraping by on a freelance writing income and get no medical care while my condition worsens and my (benign) brain tumor (already the size of a bouncy ball) may or may not be growing.

When I filed for Disability I was given instructions on how to keep in contact if I became homeless. I was also informed that a pretty high percentage of disabled people become homeless because they don't immediately qualify for Disability. Of the four people I personally know (other than myself) who applied for Disability only one ever actually ever got any benefits. The other three died. The person who actually collects benefits has cerebral palsy, can't walk, and has very limited use of his hands. It took several years for him to get on Disability. Thankfully, his family supported him during that time.

So, you pay into Social Security all of your adult life and chances are - you'll never get to benefit from it. You'll die homeless before you get the chance. Yay, America the wonderful!
"Slight segway... I thought hypothyroid illnesses were often accompanied by occasional fever." - Sometimes they are accompanied by a slight fever if they are autoimmune disorders but it is generally slight. I get fevers ranging from slight, which is nearly constant, to high which happens several times per week without warning though exertion tends to bring them on. By slight I mean around 99 -101 degrees. By high I mean 102 - 106 degrees. I tend to get delirious or have a seizure when the high ones hit. I postulated to my doctors that maybe the fevers stem from the tumor as brain lesions and tumors can deregulate temperature control. They never followed up on that idea and never figured it out in the year while I still had insurance. That's another issue with Disability - my primary worst problem doesn't have a named diagnosis.
Word
Kylyssa,

While you are still 'able' contact a good attorney. Sad to say but obtaining disability, even though we pay for it, is almost impossible unless you have an attorney to do your battle.

I will try to visit this thread as often as possible and I think that for the moment we could at least be here for you. I am sorry to hear of your inability to obtain the assistance that is righfully yours, although, yours is not the first account of such injustice I've encountered. The gov wants our money but then makes it impossible to navigate the burecracy they set in place to prevent spending money to assist people in dire need. I could tell you of other such 'horror' stories such as yours.

I evacuated from N.O. about seven months after Katrina as I no longer had a place to live ab unfortunately I evacuated into central Louisiana, the bible belt. I've actually been told to go to my church by a policeman, here! I was speechless!

There are two hospitals here and some doctors offices are housed within the two hospitals. My new OBGYN doctor was located in a Catholic hospital, which I was not aware of at the time I kept my first appointment. Anyway, I'm waiting to see the Dr. when a priest comes over the intercom with the daily prayer.......I found a new Dr.

There are churches on nearly every block and all the clubs and bars here have been closed, so socializing is done at the churches, needless to say I do not attend and I've begun to drink alone to deal with the isolation....not to worry, I'm already addicted to cigarettes so I know not to exceed two drinks a day.

Sorry for the detour into my misery! As I suggested lets make this thread a support group for you!

Stormy

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