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Author Topic: Be Careful What You Tell Your Physician...  (Read 4535 times)

Phil P

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Be Careful What You Tell Your Physician...
« on: June 23, 2013, 08:00:34 pm »

I am posting this in hope that it may save someone (anyone) some grief when you find you must apply for SSI/SSDI.

I filed for SSDI/SSI in 2002 after a severe back injury sustained in an auto accident. I had to quit my job in 2003 after working nearly a year at less than SGA level. I was also being treated for depression due to severe pain, divorce and loss of functionality.

I was denied benefits on initial application and reconsideration appeal. I did not know at that time that I could get a copy of my disability file from SSA. I had hired an attorney to represent me at ALJ hearing but did not know at that time that I was his ONLY client he ever represented for disability benefits. He knew next to nothing about SSA laws and I just didn't know any better (I know, ignorance is no excuse).

After being denied at the hearing my attorney dropped me like a hot potato and said "Good luck." I was unable to find anyone else to represent me going forward and my Appeals Council review request was denied due to my ignorance of how the system works.

I was extremely blessed to be able to return to work in 2006. However, I became disabled again in 2010 for totally different reasons. I filed for SSDI again in 2012 and won my case on reconsideration appeal.

That is the background for what I am now about to tell you.

Be very careful when your physician/therapist starts you on new meds, or any procedure you may have, as to how you report the initial results of the treatment. Many times a new medication or procedure may provide temporary relief from your symptoms and the information you give to your physician/therapist about the effect it has on you can really injure your disability claim.

I was prescribed many different medications from 2002 - 2005 for my depression as well as my back injury. I also had physical therapy, including Therapeutic Ultrasound, for my back. Initially these had a positive effect on me but the results were short-lived. I received one ESI for my back and when the procedure was over  the doctor asked me how I felt. I said that I was actually feeling good and the pain was gone. However, three days later I was back to the same condition as before the procedure. A second visit to the pain clinic resulted in being told that if the first injection did not help, then likely another would just be a waste of time and money. I had no insurance at this time and was paying for all medical treatment out of my own pocket (I had about $80,000 from my 401K) . The ESI, at that time, was $1500.00. Of course,as I found out later, the only thing my medical file reflected was the fact that I had relief from the ESI. It did not specify that the relief was short-lived nor did it say anything about future ESI treatment as being not recommended. The same held true for many of the psychiatric meds I was prescibed. Short-lived relief and no mention of this in my file.  Some of the meds I was on (Seroquel for example) left me totally unable to function. I felt like a drunk monkey on steroids. This information, also, was not present in my records.

I said all of that to say this, BE VERY CAREFUL HOW YOU REPORT REACTIONS TO NEW PROCEDURES/MEDICATIONS.

If your physician/therapist ask the effect it has on your symptoms make sure you have given it adequate time to give an informed answer. If it has only been a short time since the treatment was started do not make a definitive judgement. Tell your doctor that you have not been on the prescribed treatment long enough to give a definitive answer and make sure that the report reflects this information. You will be absolutely amazed at what the 'experts' don't put in your file.

Misses Me

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Re: Be Careful What You Tell Your Physician...
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2013, 08:19:21 pm »
You are absolutely correct.

I saw my cardiologist and was having difficulties walking.  Including unable to stand straight and pain in top of ribs?  Well the next time I saw him, and he said so how you doing ?  I said great.  They took out my gallbladder since it was rotting, and I can stand straight again.

well that day my medical file indicates I was feeling great and symptom free.

Well I was still having troubles walking, breathing, etc.

Now.. Instead of a polite greeting of   so how are you ?  I respond...  about the same... or still adjusting to my new lifestyle
« Last Edit: June 23, 2013, 08:22:20 pm by Misses Me »
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I miss my mind the most

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lisad33611

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Re: Be Careful What You Tell Your Physician...
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2013, 09:40:36 am »
Quote
Now.. Instead of a polite greeting of   so how are you ?  I respond...  about the same... or still adjusting to my new lifestyle

That's perfect!  My records indicate the standard canned "I'm good" responses to "how are you" asked by the doctors.  I'm using this from now on.  It's hard because I was raised to be super polite and I feel any answer less than "I am good" is being rude.  Guess from now on I'm going to have to fess up and tell the doctors from the get-go how bad I'm really doing.

rustinees

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Re: Be Careful What You Tell Your Physician...
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2013, 09:49:20 am »
I have adjusted my conversations with my psychiatrist as well. I now respond with "Well, let's talk about that."

I try to be as specific as I want my records to reflect. Some doctors are a lot better at documenting than others, but I try to give them every opportunity to put down useful information.

I say things like - From the 17th to the 20th I was unable to do this or that because I was feeling like this.
 or - the new medication has so far done this for me with these side effects

sea.green.415

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Re: Be Careful What You Tell Your Physician...
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2013, 12:58:45 pm »
I completely agree.  I have seen my records from numerous doctors and therapists and even tho I tell them stuff like my memory and concentration are very poor, they continue to insist it is good.  Seriously?  My mother told me to put my father's horse into either L or R corral- I can't remember which BTW.  Not two minutes later I put the horse into the wrong corral and he got kicked to death by a bitch of a mare and had to be euthanised.  I get lost/forget where I am going whenever I attempt to drive.  I get lost in my own neighborhood!  I forget to take my meds and end up in withdrawals because I manage to double dose on several days because I FORGET!   

I don't get why my docs all insist that my memory and concentration are good under these EXPLAINED circumstances that happen dozens of times a day. :Main02: :Main02: :Main02:
Lili - 6 yrs old
Sissy- 10 yrs old
Chris- 17 yrs old
Chris- 22 yrs old
Christi- 35 yrs old
Christie- 48 yrs old

Sorry, "everyone" wants to sign........

CS-FL

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Re: Be Careful What You Tell Your Physician...
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2013, 05:39:36 pm »
Phil,
This is an excellent topic. I'm living proof of how trying to look on the bright side with your doctors will come back to haunt you when you try to file for disability. I have a bubbly personality, so even when I'm feeling bad, I'm still pretty "up" compared to most people.

When I met my oncologist for the first time and was told I have Stage 4 cancer, I tried to be my usual happy, goofy self and he put in his notes "she is very pleasant and has a positive attitude". He is a wonderful doctor and we have a great rapport, but all of his notes are there in black and white forever.

I was immediately approved for SSDI, but I'm fighting with my employer's LTD carrier for my benefits. I worked there for 27 years, but the carrier is using the oncologist and PCP's notes against me to say nothing is wrong with me and i had no reason to quit my job. They didn't bother to read the letters both doctors wrote explaining my incurable cancer and how it impacts me physically and mentally, just the notes that I'm happy and cooperative.

My new answer to the question of "how are you" is "as good as expected for someone with a cancer that has no cure".  My best news from my doctor is "no change".  My cancer is incurable, however it isn't terminal yet.

So, NEVER say you are fine if you aren't or if you haven't given a treatment plan time to find out what the long-term effects are on you.

Trajector Media

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Re: Be Careful What You Tell Your Physician...
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2013, 07:31:33 pm »
Great post..I agree, we tend to minimize or not want to complain or take up too much of their time.  I hope those that read this make sure and speak up and if they are uncomfortable doing so write out your symptoms, struggles and limitations so when you see the doctor they can add it to your file.
I speak from experience not expertise.

CatMomFL

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Re: Be Careful What You Tell Your Physician...
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2013, 04:45:49 am »
I know it's been said many times, but also make sure you get copies of your doctors' notes as you go. I found one doctor's files had inconsistencies regarding physical problems, even though appointments were only a couple of weeks apart, also that multiple times a specialist was using a template that automatically said "cleared to return to work" at the end of the note. Well, yeah, maybe that one joint injection wouldn't keep me from working, but taken as a whole, it's just not true. I also found that the medical records person at the doc's office can be your best friend to get this stuff corrected. If you mark up copies of the records with the inconsistencies, they will generally put it in front of the doctor and make sure there is a correction.

HamBone

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Re: Be Careful What You Tell Your Physician...
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2022, 02:57:29 am »

I am posting this in hope that it may save someone (anyone) some grief when you find you must apply for SSI/SSDI.

I filed for SSDI/SSI in 2002 after a severe back injury sustained in an auto accident. I had to quit my job in 2003 after working nearly a year at less than SGA level. I was also being treated for depression due to severe pain, divorce and loss of functionality.

I was denied benefits on initial application and reconsideration appeal. I did not know at that time that I could get a copy of my disability file from SSA. I had hired an attorney to represent me at ALJ hearing but did not know at that time that I was his ONLY client he ever represented for disability benefits. He knew next to nothing about SSA laws and I just didn't know any better (I know, ignorance is no excuse).

After being denied at the hearing my attorney dropped me like a hot potato and said "Good luck." I was unable to find anyone else to represent me going forward and my Appeals Council review request was denied due to my ignorance of how the system works.

I was extremely blessed to be able to return to work in 2006. However, I became disabled again in 2010 for totally different reasons. I filed for SSDI again in 2012 and won my case on reconsideration appeal.

That is the background for what I am now about to tell you.

Be very careful when your physician/therapist starts you on new meds, or any procedure you may have, as to how you report the initial results of the treatment. Many times a new medication or procedure may provide temporary relief from your symptoms and the information you give to your physician/therapist about the effect it has on you can really injure your disability claim.

I was prescribed many different medications from 2002 - 2005 for my depression as well as my back injury. I also had physical therapy, including Therapeutic Ultrasound, for my back. Initially these had a positive effect on me but the results were short-lived. I received one ESI for my back and when the procedure was over  the doctor asked me how I felt. I said that I was actually feeling good and the pain was gone. However, three days later I was back to the same condition as before the procedure. A second visit to the pain clinic resulted in being told that if the first injection did not help, then likely another would just be a waste of time and money. I had no insurance at this time and was paying for all medical treatment out of my own pocket (I had about $80,000 from my 401K) . The ESI, at that time, was $1500.00. Of course,as I found out later, the only thing my medical file reflected was the fact that I had relief from the ESI. It did not specify that the relief was short-lived nor did it say anything about future ESI treatment as being not recommended. The same held true for many of the psychiatric meds I was prescibed. Short-lived relief and no mention of this in my file.  Some of the meds I was on (Seroquel for example) left me totally unable to function. I felt like a drunk monkey on steroids. This information, also, was not present in my records.

I said all of that to say this, BE VERY CAREFUL HOW YOU REPORT REACTIONS TO NEW PROCEDURES/MEDICATIONS.

If your physician/therapist ask the effect it has on your symptoms make sure you have given it adequate time to give an informed answer. If it has only been a short time since the treatment was started do not make a definitive judgement. Tell your doctor that you have not been on the prescribed treatment long enough to give a definitive answer and make sure that the report reflects this information. You will be absolutely amazed at what the 'experts' don't put in your file.
:yahoo: Seize the Moment!

Just hold on a little longer, help is on the way
A brighter day is coming for those who believe and pray
Help won't help tomorrow if you give up today
Just hold on a little longer, help is on the way

.