chronic pain and disability

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Twiggy2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 703
   Posted 12/29/2007 6:22 AM (GMT -7)   
I have been turned down twice for disablilty now it;s at the social tribunal stage i am awaiting to file the application form by Jan 14th, ODSP have decided that i do not qualify as i do not have substantial physical or mental impairmant that is continuous or recurrent which does not impair me in functioning in one or more of the activities of daily living. My family doc had stated in the orginal forms that I have DDD, Anxiety/Depression, Osteoathritis in both knees. Not included in but should have been that i also have Bulging discs at the T 12 to S1 levels of my spine and severe muscle spams. He had stated that the condition(s) will not get worse and will remain the same. I am not sure if i am making and sense of this but I have a pysch doc that is willing to advocate on my behalf, thus in turn i have been a bit upset, and have emotional moments i am trying not to but it just happens, anyway the pain doesn;'t help either and vice versa, well sorry for all the babbling and I would like some input as to things i can do that will help my case or should i not continue with the disablity. thanks Twiggy2

okonner
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 12/29/2007 8:02 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello Twiggy,
Your case sounds like mine did. I went for two yrs trying to get disability and then it went to court. I hired an attorney. I was on a waiting list for a year for court. It took a long time and I felt like quiting. I stuck it out and won. Keep your chin up your almost there. Okonner

TDoern
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 495
   Posted 12/29/2007 10:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Twiggy - I'm on my second denial right now too. I've decided to get a lawyer at this point. I know that my age (27) is working very hard against me.

The first denial letter that I received stated that I did not have any trouble with walking, and that I had no range of motion problems. My appeal to them, addressed both of those, and they were proven wrong. At this point - all the denial says is that my problems are not severe enough. I guess they figured that since I proved them wrong the first time, they'd come up with something a little harder to prove. I also have a serious doubt as to whether or not my entire file was reviewed, either time.

I called on a Tuesday (right around the six month point in which they have to let you know something), and was told over the phone that my file had not even been opened as they were so busy. When I told her I was just making sure I had done everything necessary since it was getting so close, she said it should be reviewed in a few weeks. My first denial was in my mail box two days later. The second denial was much the same. They were 2 days short of the six month point when I received the letter in the mail.

The best thing I can tell you is that if you know you can't work - your just going to have to wait for the system ro realize that. Make sure that every doctor that you see documents all the problems that you have - a hard thing for me was to discuss all the small problems - such as falling - needing help getting dressed some days - having days I was in too much pain to even make it into the shower. I'm also going to make sure that everyone that I see knows that I am applying for disability - and to ask them whether or not they support me in it. If they do to ask them to please document anything that they can that will help.
"When we come to the edge of the light we know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, of one thing we can be sure; either God will provide something solid to stand on... or we will be taught to fly.'"

"Cause when push comes to shove You taste what you're made of, You might bend, till you break Cause its all you can take; On your knees you look up Decide you've had enough, You get mad you get strong Wipe your hands shake it off, Then you Stand" From "Stand" by Rascal Flatts
_____________________________________________________________________________
Dx.: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Ulcerlative Colitis, Chronic Inflammation of the Colon, Ruptured & Fused L4-L5-S1 w/pinched nerves, Degenerative Disc Disease, Chronic Costochondritis, Back Muscle Spasms, Asthma, Benign Tremmors (hands)


Dictionary
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 12/29/2007 11:39 AM (GMT -7)   

I am in ontario to and I now what you are going through. I went right to the last appeal and finnally won. It is very difficult but you must be your own advocate. You must get ALL your doctors on your side. I sat down and wrote a letter to my doctors stateing the condition I was in and how it affected my daily life. After reading the letters all my doctors started to help. They realized I could not work and needed help. The disability boards want to see your doctors write that " you cannot work at this juncture." You must tell 100% truth and do not cherry coat anything.

Good Luck

 


L2 Burst fracture in 98.
damaged disks in thorasic spine.
Depression
 


Twiggy2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 703
   Posted 12/29/2007 8:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all for your replies, I too beleive that they did not throughly look at information i had put on my behalf i filled on my Daily living report I had the whole page filled and then used the back part too, I work part time probably could get more but i know that i will only hurt more and possibly do more damage to my body, anyway my doc keeps pressing the issue that it is not my bulging discs that are causing all the pain it;s muscular in nature etc, He asked if i wanted to try a nerve block I said i wanted to see a specialist and he said that there are no such thing as a back specialist per say, there are rhuemys, orthopedics etc but back specialists only take patients that are in need of sugery which i do not need so he asked if i wanted to try going to a rhuemy and i said yes i would. He said they will prob not find anything new blahblah, and they will tell the same thing he tells me. I disagree and waiting patiently for an appointment may not be available until Feb but i've been suffering for off and on for over a year another month isn;t going to change much, anyway thanks again i wish all the best for others that are going through the same thing we are and i will keep in touch as to what happens. Keep in touch with me as well we can maybe support one another, Twiggy2

P.S i suspect either mild case of MS or fibro will the rhumey be able to diagnose this?

curley
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 4305
   Posted 12/29/2007 11:19 PM (GMT -7)   
I feel for you both TDoern and Twiggy,don't give up because is what they want you to do.I know first hand what the both of you are going through.I was turned down twice and got it on the third go around it was a long and drawn out proces.Just to bring you'll up on my health problems;I have Crohns disease,RA,OA,AS and I all so have a rare skin condition called Pyoderma Gangrenosum.

I aree with Dictionary that you have to be your own advocate,before I filed for my disability I had a face to face talk about my disability and I asked each one of them if they would back me on my disability and they all said yes,so that was a plus for me because if you do not have them backing you its pointless.

When I first fieled for mine I was not able to get around very well so I called S>S and they sent all of my paper work to fill out and I got it filled out sent back to them and the we set up a phone interview.The only doctor that S>S sewnt me to was a Pshycitist(sorry fornthe spelling)any way that was it.

What I am fixin to say I learned the hard way and I wished some one would have said something to me.Get your files from each of your doctor's you may have to pay a small fee but trust me its worth it.Go over your files and see what your doctors have said about you and all so to make sure that they don't leave something out that will help your case.

When you fill your paper work out make sure that you make a copy for your recourds and that way when you are asked to fill more of the same paper work you can look back and see what you wote the last time and believe me when I say they look.I wish you'll well and please do keep us up-dated on how things are going.
Curley
.........
 


okonner
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 12/31/2007 2:35 AM (GMT -7)   
SSo true keep copies of everything you fill out. this is a must do thing. I messed up on the first pychic. I lied and said I would never take my life. With all the pain I tried to kill my self many times. So the next time I saw there pychic I told him the truth. How I needed an out with all the pain i was in. It worked for me, but never give up, I gave up once and I regret it. I had to start over all again. Like I said keep pushing ahead and yyou will win your case. Goodspeed.. If you need help email me at okonner@ yahoo.com I will help you as much as I can. ..................Okonner

razzle51
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 763
   Posted 12/31/2007 5:52 AM (GMT -7)   


Syringomyelia T4-T10
Chiari Malformation
Decompression Surgery 1999
 
"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in
the rain."
 

 
 
 


Post Edited (razzle51) : 12/31/2007 5:55:34 AM (GMT-7)


lexie6969
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 12/31/2007 6:18 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Twiggy2,

Re you getting disability.

I aplyed and at first i got low rate care, the reason for this is because i did not have more needs than any one else, my case has now changed i now get high rate for mobility and care, this is because i have to change my dressings every 1/2 to 1 hour 24 hours a day due to an ulcer i have and because i have lymphodema fluid coming out of my leg all the time. What im saying is that you need to have care more than a "normal" person(sorry dont mean any offence to any one if you see what i mean) that is why i have now got high for every thing. I hope this helps you!
Lexie

Twiggy2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 703
   Posted 1/3/2008 5:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you so much for all the help, very much appreciated, unfortunalty i have no specific diagnosis other than the DDD, bugling discs, and Anxiety/Depression. My pysch do says that we are going to go in with A/D in my defense to start. And go from there. He also said there won;t be a problem in obtaining my medical records assuming he requests them there will know expense on my part my file is as big a book LOL, i'm sure there is useful info in it i am curious as to what my Family Doc has written, i will pop over to that web site and maybe something will be there. I think they do recongnise fibro and MS in dis but with no real diagnosis one that is deemed worthy by the disablity people then i will not be able to obtain help. Thus i have only the backinf of my Pysch doc at this time and going to try to recrute my family doc and when i see the rhyumey i may get there backing as well depending what they can find. Again thanks and talk to ya all soon Twiggy2

meditatingfrog
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 1/8/2008 2:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Twiggy,
Doctors who specialize in FMS and CFS in my experience often seem to be knowledgeable in disability claims; you could go talk to one about the pain and maybe they could help you and give you a diagnosis--you can have pain syndromes even without tender points. Here is a "good doctor" list for FMS/CFS: http://www.co-cure.org/Good-Doc.htm
FMS and CFS are not "official" Social Security dx's, but there was an SS ruling passed to make it easier to get SS for these conditions. Here is a link to some info: http://www.geocities.com/cfsnova/ssdinotes.html, and the page has a link to the ruling, which outlines some tests you can take, including blood tests, tilt table test, and cardiac stress tests. A rheumatologist can be helpful. The main thing is to show why you can't work; that's more important than what your diagnosis is. Are you on medications, and do these medications have side effects such as brain fog? Side effects are acceptable to include in your claim. Do you feel brain fog from the illness or side effects you can take formal neuropsychological testing for disability claim purposes. Anxiety and depression are legitimate reasons and you can list them as being secondary to the pain, in other words, caused by the pain, if you feel that's the reason you have the anxiety/depression.
You can ask your rheumie or other doctor for an FCE, a functional capacity evaluation, to describe your work limitations.
ou can also join the Disinissues Yahoo group, which is very helpful. You really should get a lawyer. Just having doctors isn't enough. One attorney who specializes in FMS is Scott Davis and there is some info on him at http://www.masscfids.org/archives/davis.html. Even if you are not diagnosed with fibro, you can still ask him questions. I wrote to him once and he took a while to answer, but he was helpful. There are SS lawyers everywhere, they are not hard to find. The Disinissues group has files with a lot of listings and info.
Most people get denied twice then get approved--they are hoping that you give up and go away, but the majority who persist do get SS. With SS, the lawyer takes a portion of your back pay award, but you don't have to pay them upfront and they only get paid if and when they win. It's all a matter of learning to deal with bureaucracy, just be patient and you'll prevail.
Good luck!

painfuljoints
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 1/10/2008 10:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Sorry for all your difficulty in getting SSDI approved. I was lucky, approved for a full seven years on my first application. A lot that had to do with my approval (I conjecture at this point as SSA won't reveal its secret formula for approval), but I was extremely candid as to who my disability (5 diagnosed AI diseases, 17 knee surgeries, mostly open, including a replacement under age 40) affected the most besides me: my son and then-husband. I was honest about the psychological affects, where the chronic pain makes it impossible to concentrate, and the pain medications made it impossible to be coherent enough to maintain my work productivity. I also had my husband fill out the form, telling him exactly what to writte: how the conditions, CP, and concomitant mental health issues, affected not only my ability to work effectively, but to maintain my relationship with him and take care of my son as I used to be able.

I'm doing much better now, due to changes in my medications (my meds made me more disabled than anything else), and am applying for the Ticket to Work program which helps with subsidizing voicational retraining so that I may go back to work in another field, and I've just been assigned a counselor. I'm hoping for a new Master's degree to be approved so that I may teach spoecial education, which, from what I can see, will accommodate my particular physical needs.

My best advice is to be with your physician, or give your physician a listing, of what interferes with your ability to perform your job functions, have your partner back up what you write about how your disability affects your personal as well as professional life, and get a lawyer to file your paperwork, even if you've written it all up. All of these factors went into my getting my application approved first time out, and, no matter what, they cannot harm your cause. The trick is to make sure all that is written about your disability and its interference with your life is consistent.

Good luck.

painfuljoints

meditatingfrog
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 1/11/2008 12:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Twiggy,
A rheumy can diagnose fibro via a tender point test, but I believe MS would be a neurologist--you would need to get a brain MRI and spinal taps. MS is autoimmune but it is a nervous system disease. Fibro is just a description of a pain syndrome, usually caused by Lyme or some other infection but most rheumies will not bother to look into it--it is a way of telling you you have pain and they don't know why, so they are only going to treat the symptoms (probably with Lyrica, the drug that pharma has come up with lately for FMS). The rheumy may test your ANA if they suspect Lupus or give you a usually worthless ELISA Lyme test but if you really have FMS symptoms please go get a Lyme-literate doctor, you can find one on lymediseaseassociation.org. If you get a dx of fms you will just live in pain and never know why. Get your sedimentation rate (ESR) and c-reactive protein tested, these are for inflammation--mine are very high and they say FMS is not inflammatory--so if you have high inflammation you may have an infection. It is hard to diagnose MS, it may take a while, you need to have a certain amount of episodes. Please get Lyme tested, also look into other intracellular infection such as chlamydia pneumoniae and mycoplasma and get your thyroid tested too, maybe you're hypothyroid. It's hard to test that, you will have a hard time finding a doctor who can do it right, such is life in the sick lane! But if you persist you may come to some kind of answer and feel better.

rubydoo1
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 1/12/2008 8:50 PM (GMT -7)   

Twiggy,

Go to the SSA web site. A person does not have to be under a defenitive listing but can fall under a combination of impairments. It is the good ole' boy system. No lawyer= Denied 99.9% of the time. Lawyer=Approved 99% of the time. It is set up to where you have to get a lawyer unless terminally ill. If you get a lawyer from the start it goes faster and smoother thru the system than if you don't even if all papers are filed correctly and so on. If a lawyer takes your case on a contingency basis you WILL win at the ALJ level. That way all the people involved in the legal system get a cut of YOUR pie. The Good Ole' Boy system.


sjkly
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 1/14/2008 3:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Although some Rhuemotologists may not test for fibro or diagnos it mine did. I did not have fibro I only tested positive on two of the sensitive spots but if you have a good doctor they will test for this (I did not even have to ask it was part of the standard first exam). If your doctor won't do the test find one who will.
(Hospitals associated with medical school will often do this stuff as a way to train their med students and interns-you'll pay for it with a six hour exam but EVERYTHING will be tested.

Twiggy2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 703
   Posted 1/17/2008 3:31 AM (GMT -7)   
thank you all for your replies they have been very helpful and will look at the web sites provided but later as i am going to try to go back to bed. I also have started a daily log to help things along take care all of you and i will keep in touch as to whats; happening. Twiggy2. I went to the SSI sites but i am not sure if they are the same for ODSP, cannot find information about illnesses recognised here in Canada, as SSI is in the States maybe i am wrong sorry. I am sure though they are very much the same. Still searching LOL. byebye

tobip
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 1/19/2008 9:42 PM (GMT -7)   
hi, i am new to this sight.my daughter's and daughter's mother in law and my husband has been after me to try to get ssdi.....i have multilevel degenerative disease and sciatica.... and hypothyroid,....i have a really hard time standing on my feet very long ...the degenerative disease is moderate to severe they say what ever that means....plus depression for a very long time...so yes im a mess..lol....just wanted to say hi and thanks for listening......

erin.K
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 1/21/2008 6:39 AM (GMT -7)   
dear twiggy,
i believe age is a factor that works against diability. i'm 26...i was just approved for SSDI on december 20th after 5 years of denial & appeals.
i never had a lawyer for any of it due to finances...i also went to court without an attorney; so it is possible to be successful in winning your case without a lawyer.
 
my best advice is: be extremely specific about your inability to do work or your old work duties.
specific examples work best.
what can you not do now that you used to be able to?  and are these things getting more difficult.
 
this process is the most difficult thing a person who is disabled has to go through.  but, if you indeed are physically disabled and can not work ANY gainful employment...then don't give up.
also...your ability to care for yourself is a big matter.
things like sleeping, eating, bathing, dressing, commuting...how is your condition making those things? to what extent are they affected.
 
myself, i do have to deal w/ a progressive disease...year after year my ability to do things people take for granted dwindled.
i felt that i was being discriminated due to my age & also that i have a very very good education.
being in bed or lying down 23 hours a day?...that's the extent of my physical capabilities now.  so, successfully getting to shower is the main agenda nowadays...
i think it's easy for a person to be denied on paper...but when a judge sees for himself the truth, any person with 2 eyes & a brain can make the proper decision.
 
stay mentally strong...leave nothing vague & review your records...fight for what is just if you can no longer work.
 
Arthritis Forum Moderator & Co-Pilot
Active Severe Rheumatory Arthritis. AS. Crohns Disease. A.Chiari Malformation. MVP & Tricuspid Valve Prolapse. Kidney Stones (oh joy). 
Meds: Remicade 600mg Q3weeks; Intra-articular knee injections; 6MP; Mesalamine; Prednisone; Entocort; Meclizine; Azithromycin; Tigan; Reglan; LidoDerm; Diazepam; Diclofenac; Dilaudid; OxyContin. 


Twiggy2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 703
   Posted 1/24/2008 9:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi again. Called docs office to find out when my appointment is, she says that it;s on April 9th for the Rhumey, in the meantime all i can do is wait and try to keep a positive attitude. My pain levels have fluctuatung between 6 to 10. This weekend we are moving been busy packing and stuff. I will not give up the fight to win the disablity still waiting to hear from them about the tribual hearing, my pysch doc said it can takes several months before i get one. Welcome to the forum tobip please post more often would love to hear from you. Again thanks to all the posts and will keep in touch as well. I will need more help as it gets closer to the time of my hearing i hope you all don;t mind my questions and venting LOL. I am here for anyone as well who needs too talk take care Bye for now Twiggy2. Also writing down all the advise i can get as this will help a great deal. This way i will be able to make sure that nothing is left out at the hearing.
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