Everyone who saw my face today (#andthensome) said a prayer for me. I know they did because I felt it. I felt the air shift. I felt the waves part, as I walked through the world today. Everywhere I was, every set of eyes I met, I heard their hearts call out to lift mine up.

I am so grateful for the way today went. I did my best. I had the best help I could ask for from my Mother-in-Law, who really has become my mother, though, over these last five years. There’s a woman who delivered and then raised me, but Mil is my mother now, and she is an exquisite woman. She raised the Sgt. Combat Medic who became my Hubby and the #iamerinbrown type Autism mama, who, by the way, helped her hubby through receiving one new kidney and three new pancreases.Ā  #giveallthethings to this woman. Both women. I promise, they deserve it.

My attorney impressed me today, too. He was very polite and worded his questions more politely and more guided to help me know how to say things. I guess I got to him when I snapped last night. I get cut off and talked over enough, and this guy is the worst of all of ’em. I’d had enough. I pleaded with him, literally, “Please, please, please, please, please…”, and finally put it on speaker and set in on the table, eventually tapping my hand on the table next to the phone, just waiting for him to stop talking. Breathing… intensely… this whole time. He had cut me off and talked over me for the last time, and I let him know that.

Today, I liked him more than I’ve ever liked him before. I’ll put it that way.

We ran a half hour into the next appointment, meaning we were in there for about an hour and a half, Mil, my attorney and me, with a lady just recording everything, a FEMALE JUDGE via video conference in a monitor on the table right in front of me, and then a Vocational Expert via teleconference with the judge. I could see the judge, but the VE and I could only hear each other. Mil sat in a chair behind Attorney and me, so I could see her face in the monitor between us.

OHMYGOD am I grateful I got a female judge! As soon as I saw her face I was immediately calmer and more sure of myself. Her voice was even soothing – calm and kind. It made it much easier for me to communicate, and I had my best thinking, reading, and talking day I’ve had in months! I know it was mostly adrenaline doing it, but I’m grateful for yesterday’s surge, no matter how rough the last 24 hours have been. It was perfect timing for it. Everyone ran through the standard routine, and I was able to express myself fully and clearly. At the end I was offered the chance to say anything that I felt still needed said, and I went through the two lists I typed up previously of my conditions/symptoms, limitations, etc., and it was literally the maxing out of my spoons.

Just a few seconds after, while the Vocational Expert was testifying, I was hit with an autonomic episode. I tried re-positioning to no avail and eventually pushed my chair out behind me and knelt down on my knees with my elbows on the table. I tilted to face down as my eyes cinched shut, and I felt my face go three shades lighter, trying to calm my heart down and catch my breath. I was seeing stars and blackness, but I could still hear what was happening. Couldn’t quite follow the VE’s testimony, but I did gather that he essentially narrowed it down to just a couple kinds of jobs I could do and then said they’d be unsustainable due to illness and absenteeism, and therefor I was unemployable. When the judge wrapped things up, I was able to get out a “Yes, ma’am,” with open eyes focused on her window in the monitor. After that, Mil helped me up, and I thanked Judge and Recorder, told each it was nice to meet them while working to catch my breath and get my bearings, and I heard each lady say the same to me. Then Mil carried me, my notebook, and my purse all out to the car, where I collapsed onto my side in the back seat.

We had a good sized audience walking out, too. We passed probably 30-40 people altogether, and each face I saw was stopped, deadlocked in thoughts of love, compassion, and support for me. I genuinely felt the air part and all eyes fall on me with a wave of comfort and sympathy floating me outside. I’ve noticed a lot of that, actually, being out and about in my braces. People want to be helpful and show concern for me because they see my neck and back braces, and they always seem to assume I’ve just had a nasty accident. Then I get to teach them a little, if they ask, and they’re dumbfounded with pity, clueless about how to best express support and well wishes.

I hope I understood him correctly, the VE. That’s what Mil said she got from it, and she’s optimistic. I feel good about how the whole thing went. Everything I needed to get out came out and seemed to be understood. I’m sure it’s possible that Judge saw me as a faker, but it felt like she didn’t. I guess I’ll know for sure sometime in the next 30-60 days.

Mil and I went for an early lunch (late breakfast for me) at one of Hubby’s and my favorite bars – the one we did our Bachelor/Bachelorette party in – which just so happens to be right next to the Social Security office and opened at 11:00, right as I was hobbling to the car. I knew I needed a drink to calm myself and help with the pain setting in. So, I had two tequillas on the rocks with my crab cakes, and a wonderful heart-to-heart with Mil about lots of things. She helped me grab a few groceries on the way home, and I finally came crashing into oblivion around 4:30 or so.

I laid in bed with my dress still on, trying to sleep and couldn’t because I was still overrun with adrenaline. I finally got up a couple hours later to choke down some leftover pasta and tea, since I’d only eaten not even two whole crab cakes all day. I got my supplements down and half a xanax, eventually sleeping about 5 hours or so before a massive storm hit, killing power half a dozen times in the house.

Today was good, too. Never got back to sleep after the storm, and I overdid it again today, but I had such a nice time with two of my local Zebra girlfriends. We had lunch, and then they came back to chill on the back deck and give Kasey Doggie some love. He ate it up, too! Poor Bubba was just so excited to have somebody to play with and kiss on šŸ™‚

The critters are all passed out after a fun afternoon, and I think it’s time for me to join them. Many thanks to all of you for your love, support, and helpful energies sent this way! I’m gonna let it go as best I can and trust that the truth has been heard, maintaining hope that all prayers in my favor on this will manifest the most helpful outcome. ā¤

My jam lately, and it played while I was in the tub the day before the hearing. Thanks, Lily Allen Pandora! šŸ˜€ ā¤

*Listen to this song on Youtube.