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I hope it's o.k. to post here and if other members have an opinion on this:
I had first arthritis attack a little more than 2 decades ago. It was relatively minor, and although it became increasingly difficult to write by hand, I managed most everyday life activities quite well til a few years ago. Anything requiring use of my hands is difficult. When I have to write anything by hand- which fortunately doesn't occur often- the only way I can do it is place my entire forearm on a flat surface like table or countertop, make sure wrist stays immobile, and then use the tips of fingers up to the first knuckle to write very slowly. Writing checks is hard enough, but addressing an envelope is a time-consuming, painful experience. Second, as I work online, my productivity has been decreasing and decreasing; at its best, only my fingertips function well enough to type and use a mouse; at its worst, I can't even do that. Also, while I wasn't aware until recently that fatigue is a by-product of rheumatoid arthritis, at times it is quite extreme, but it only started a couple of years ago. Even if I'm only sitting at my desk, I have to take frequent breaks and am still exhausted. I'm concerned about my health, of course, but my main concern is earning a living. If you were in this situation, would you apply for SSDI?
My father had severe rheumatoid arthritis throughout his entire adult life, and so did my grandmother (his mother). So I guess I'm lucky that it didn't hit me til I was around 40 yrs old, and didn't really start causing a decline til I was over 50.
Any opinions, info, or advice would be greatly appreciated.