In contrast to the couple in my previous post -- who a) need to get a grip, get jobs, and work toward independence for the sake of themselves and their baby (I can't even believe they have a baby, but okay ...); b) avail themselves of social services on what I devoutly hope will be a short-term basis, but I'm not betting on it -- there's my friend G. Who has worked her ass off in corporate and non-profit jobs for which she is overqualified but who was finally released last week after disabilities got the way of her performing her duties effectively.
I just got the news today.
It doesn't sound as if her employer was an asshole, though I don't know the details yet. They have an excellent, prestigious reputation, and I know they like her. They've given her every opportunity to perform, and when she's been well, she's done a stellar job, which everyone recognizes. They've given her lots of time off. But she's very, very sick now. It's not that she doesn't feel well. She hasn't felt well for years. It's that she's really very chronically ill, sometimes in a life-threatening way.
G is a former duodenal switch patient (that was about 10 years ago) with emininent DS surgeons who nicked her intestines during a more or less routine hernia repair 6 months after her original DS surgery (way too soon in my opinion -- but I'm not a doctor) and ended up in a coma for nine days with sepsis and then at home with visiting nurses for 6 months after that as her wound healed.
And that's pretty much as good as it ever got for her. Okay, not really: she had a couple of years of reaching a normal weight, but she was already horrifically nutrient-deficient. After a certain number of years, her surgery was revised so that she could absorb more.
Endless compications ensued over the next months and years, and endless surgeries later (10? 20?), she's on IVs and has to take nutrition by tube.
This is a woman who needs to avail herself of social services. This is a woman who gave long-term corporate and non-profit employment her best shot (overqualified with both an M.A. and an M.F.A. -- but she wanted to be useful and earn benefits), and whose health simply has not allowed her to continue to be employed.
I admire her more than I can say for sticking it out, for working for independence, for being a productive member of a really useful organization, for not waiting around for others to help her, and for helping herself. That's pretty much what you should do, in my book.
But now? She needs long-term 100% disability -- and I'll bet she'll get it. Hell, I'll help her get it. My brother works in disability law. I'm calling her -- and him -- tomorrow.