Friday, February 20, 2009

My worst fears...

My husband has multiple sclerosis, anyone who has read this blog for long has probably realized this. It is one of the many things that we deal with day to day. It is one of the things that I fear greatly. It has taken his athletic ability. It has taken his ability to walk steadily and unaided. It has taken his short term memory. And now I fear it has taken his ability to comprehend and learn new things which will greatly decrease his employability.

My husband is also unemployed right now - he has been since the 1st week of October. He has been an IT professional for nearly 25 years now and was always very good at what he did. But while visiting his family in Ohio at New Years he seemed confused by things that used to be 2nd nature to him so I fixed everyone's computers for them instead of him.

In an effort to see if he can learn a new trick or two he enrolled in a Java programming class at a local community college. He has programmed before in other languages (C, Visual Basic, Fortran) so the basics of programming are not new to him. But he can't seem to grasp this class. He is struggling. He can't stay focused, he can't remember what he's doing, he isn't grasping the material, he's becoming extremely frustrated. Today he is spending the entire afternoon with my mother (who is a retired computer programmer) in the hopes that she can help him understand what he's doing.

Let me repeat that - my husband is WILLINGLY spending the entire afternoon with his mother-in-law because he is that desperate to get the hang of this.

Last night he nearly begged me to let him drop the class - I told him absolutely NOT. We paid for this and he will see it through. He will do his best, and if he doesn't pass so be it but he will NOT quit. Then I stomped off to the bedroom and was watching TV and thinking of falling asleep when he came in and said "don't be mad at me." I melted - but I did not give in on the quitting part.

But it seems that focusing, learning, retaining new material is not going to be easy for him anymore. He used to be a quick study and an A student and I'm sure this is killing him.

I'm wondering if when we see his new neurologist next month if it isn't time to discuss SS Disability as an option. He can't do physical labor as he can't be on his feet so even a retail job would be too exhausting. He isn't able to learn and retain new information so if he does get a job is he going to end up let go for not "getting it" after a few months? Retraining for a new career seems to be out of the question.

The pressure to "support" both of us is becoming a burden that is too heavy for me. I have to keep on keeping on but I find myself buying Mega Millions tickets and praying for a miracle.



I'm so sorry. It sounded like this was coming from reading your blogs. Perhaps it will be an easy SS decision which would lift some of the financial burden.

Hang in there,

Tricia said...

From what I've heard it would be likely 2 or more years before SS even makes a decision. Unless I get a 2nd part time job we won't last that long before we have to cash in retirement accounts and consider selling our house just to survive. :(

Queen-Size funny bone said...

Im in a similar boat. my husband has traumatic brain injury and cannot do anything he use to. no focus and his short term memory is gone. very unsteady on his feet.He now gets SSD. Now I am unemployed and it is not easy. My problem now is that after I have been home more observing him, when I do get a job im going to be scared to leave him alone.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you're going through this. It sucks that SS can't work quicker, and it sucks even more that he's having so much trouble.

I hope there's a solution, and I hope you find it soon. Meanwhile, try to stay positive- you are both doing the best you can (even if you have to push him), and at the end of the day, that's all you can do.


remember moments said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. I'm sorry for your husband too as he must be terribly frustrated as well. I would think he should easily qualify for SS Disability.

Maxie said...

I'm so sorry-- it must be really frustrating for both of you. I think you're right to push him not to quit though. If he doesn't try to do it all the way through, you'll never know. Good luck.

Meghan said...

Why in the HELL does SSD take so long?! That's absolutely insane! Would it be enough if you did have it? Are there other, perhaps less well-paying, options for Pete that would at least take a significant bite out of the bills and allow you to be able to be the primary breadwinner? I'm really sorry, Tricia. I know it must be scary to worry about losing your house and you can't sustain a part-time job for too long I don't think. That would be really hard. Are there other options? I assume you've already cut your budget down the bone, but you guys don't lead an extravagant lifestyle and from what little I know you make a good salary and your house isn't a a big expense (relatively speaking I mean). There's got to be a way! Are there things like a second car payment that could go if he didn't work at all? I can't recall if you guys have payments on both or what. Anyway, I'm sure you've gone over all this, just trying to think of things.