Guest Blogger: Disabilty for WED/RLS by Shawn McDowellMonday, July 29, 2013
I was diagnosed with WED/RLS when I was 20 years old. My doctor prescribed Mirapex. For several years, the prescription helped quite a bit....
I was diagnosed with WED/RLS when I was 20 years old. My doctor prescribed Mirapex. For several years, the prescription helped quite a bit. Around a decade later, the Mirapex seemed to completely stop working. My RLS/WED was increasingly getting worse, year after year. After trying a myriad of medication combinations (which did not help), my doctor added a mild narcotic medicine. I found some relief from the symptoms.
At the age of 32, I relocated from Reno, NV to Central Florida. After two sleep studies, I was diagnosed with severe WED/RLS and severe PLMD (Periodic Limb Movement Disorder.
I was typically falling asleep around sunrise, and getting up about four (4) hours later. Life was becoming unmanageable, and I had a business to operate. Depression and anxiety set in from the lack of sleep. My doctor added new medications to help me with my depression and anxiety.
In my mid-30s, my Neurologist (a specialist in the fields with WED/RLS and PLMD) told me, specifically, that I needed to be on permanent disability. I told him that it was near impossible to get approved for disability for my diagnosis.
My doctor's response was as follows: To get a positive outcome in achieving disability approval, I needed to obtain two (2) letters from physicians who specifically stated I require full disability in writing along with my writing a several page letter that was kind, but to the point, as to how WED/RLS (and PLMD) had affected my life and ability to work.
Without an attorney, I sent in my documents from the doctors and my letter. I was not rejected! My case was approved on the first attempt. I started on disability in 2008 due to my WED/RLS and PLMD.
I am currently on six (6) medications and I have no sleep routine. I sleep when my body gives out, and despite the medications, I occasionally still have the kicks, jerks, bugs-in-legs, and all the things that go along with WED/RLS. Yes, it's a living nightmare. However, the medications I take do make a significant different in helping relieve my symptoms.
I now spend my time with volunteering and I am in the process of becoming an area volunteer for the WED Foundation so I can help support others with this disease.