Sunday, February 21, 2010


I finished my taxes today using Turbotax. And with my dad's help, too. It was a little complicated this year because I moved from one state to another and changed jobs. Plus I did some home care work as an independent contractor.

Turbotax gives you a lot of prompts and asks you a lot of questions. At one point, it asked me if I am disabled. And I kind of wanted to say yes, but I kind of didn't. It is really a very good question. Am I disabled? Prehaps the better question is, "How disabled am I?" It isn't all or nothing.

When I clicked on the "learn more" link, it didn't sound like I qualify- or if I did, that it was going to help my tax situation any. But it didn't stop me from thinking.

I have been on social security disability. But for the past 6 years I've been able to work full time- although sometimes only hanging on by a thread. Really, there are times I don't know how I have kept going. It is my patients, really. When I have a patient in front of me, I can pull it together. I can do what I have to do. Now, the paperwork may start to slide when things get bad. It is not so compelling as patient care.

I actually have two disabilities. I have my mood disorder, and I have a learning disability, of some sort. I've been told I have dyslexia, ADD, and a variety of other things. But of course I don't have all of these things- I just have one brain that we try to put labels on. I just have a bad brain! I have bad brain syndrome.

What does it mean? It means I don't always know my left from my right and my handwriting is lousy. It means I am terribly disorganized, and constantly struggling with that. And mostly, it means that I am extremely slow with my paperwork. When the paperwork is not that bad, this isn't so much of a problem. But the worse the paperwork, the more of a problem, the more of a disability it is. So, long hours, but I manage.

And to the IRS, I am not disabled. I don't have any expenses that I can deduct due to my disability- although really, I think that my meds and therapy co-pays should qualify. And unfortunately, I owe a little bit to the IRS. And I owe one state, get a refund in the other. In the end, I actually come out a bit ahead.

But money is tight- and it is going to be tight for the next year and a half. Because I am going to be studying for the CHT exam- and until then I can't do a lot of home care or take a second job. But, I am going to have to do that in the future to pay off my debt and to save more for retirement. If I can just make it until then!

And I hope that this "disabled" person can study for and pass the CHT exam while at a job that is taking 10+ hours most days because of all the paperwork.

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