Results of the Social Security Doctors’ Exams – It Ain’t Pretty

Before you read this post, you might want to read my first post from last month, when I went to the Social Security doctors that the judge asked me to in the middle of my disability trial.  It has been over two months since my trial and I am trying to believe that no news is good news, but honestly, those on trial for murder have received speedier verdicts!

I received the results of my medical exam last week.  The first page was a letter from my lawyer which I took to be a rebuttal of the results, saying that you cannot compare two 20 minute examination to years of reports from my treating doctors.  Oh, God, I guess I did not do as “well” as I thought I did!  Here are some highlights of the results.  Read back to my first post, compare and you can decide for yourself:

There was a lot of “she claims” and “she says”, instead of “she has”.  They felt the need to tell the judge that I was overweight and 159 pounds and 5 feet 5 inches tall (I have already lost an inch from osteoporosis), I guess to say, “Well her problem is that she is fat and that is the cause of her pain.”

“…Physical examination…Neuro:  Mental status, cranial nerves, pinprick, vibration, reflexes, muscle strength, position sense all normal.”  Say what, now?

“Range of motion of hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, normal.”  Excuse me?”

“History of Lupus.  I would strongly suggest that we get documentation for this including a SED rate, rheumatoid factor, and anti-DNA looking for evidence of Lupus…Bipolar disorder.  Today she appears to be extraordinarily manic.  I suspect that her major illness is Bipolar disease and Mania.”  I think if anyone was waiting four and a half hours for their exams, anyone would be manic.  I do not have Bipolar disease but if you want to say I do, I’ll go with that.

What followed were charts that said things like I do not need a cane.  I told the doctor that I cannot use a cane because of the hypermobility and pain in my wrists, and that I need to use a scooter or wheelchair when faced with a supermarket, mall, zoo, etc.  But all it said was that I did not use a cane.

The doctor also said that I would be frequently able to climb ladders or scaffolds, although he never asked me if I could.  That I would do well with unprotected heights, humidity and wetness, dust, odors, fumes and pulmonary irritants, extreme cold (I have Raynaud’s Disease), and vibrations.  He said that I was able to shop, travel without assistance, prepare a simple meal, and care for my personal hygiene, even though I told him I could not.

The other doctor only proved me to be more crazy than I actually was so I am not going to take issue with any lies that are favorable to me in my case.

How does this doctor sleep at night??  How does he even have a medical license??  How can he lie, every single second of his job, how can he violate his Hippocratic Oath on a daily basis?

I now see why 86% of New Jerseyans are turned down for Social Security Disability on a first time application.  I now see how people whom I know needing lung transplants, in comas, having morphine pumps in their backs, are turned down all over this country every single day.

I have now lived it.  I have been called a liar, even though I did not do anything that day except tell the truth.

I was devastated.  It was one of those sedate myself, see you tomorrow days.  This stuff is not for the faint of heart of or mind!

The next day I called my lawyer and yelled and screamed and he took it from me and then he told me that I should also write a rebuttal letter to the judge, along with the one he had already sent her.

Here are some excerpts from my letter to the judge:

“…Upon receiving these reports I must respectfully say that I am more surprised not by what is there, but by what is not there.

…As part of my examination, a tuning fork was touched to my body.  When he did that I jumped and started to scream and cry, ‘You hurt me!  You hurt me!’  I observed a look of shock and horror upon his face.  ‘I am so sorry!’, he said.  ‘This part of the examination is not supposed to hurt!  Please stop crying, I am sorry!’

You may therefore imagine my surprise that despite the tuning fork examination producing grossly abnormal results…my neurological examination was “Normal” with a major part of the results being completely overlooked.

During another part of my examination the doctor examined my flexibility and range of motion.  I told him, ‘I am hypermobile’…and the doctor said to me that I was indeed so hypermobile that I ‘could work in a circus!’

To not note that this exchange took place and to dispute my residual functional capacity when my treating doctors agree that I can barely walk or use my hands due to my hypermobility is again, to me, surprising.”

I also wrote that although the doctor noted that there was no swelling anywhere, that he never even gave me a Rheumatological examination and that my bandages that I wore on my wrists and knees were never even removed.  

“…I received my Lupus diagnosis in August of 2008…the blood work states that I do indeed have Systemic Lupus Erythematosus by the indication of a positive ANA.  It also named my Lupus pattern and titer, all indicating that I was positive for the disease.  This was included in both my records and the doctors’ records when I first applied for disability in October of 2009 and can be provided again to you if requested.

…I respectfully ask that you take into account MY report of my physical examinations, as well as the years of testimony given to you by my four treating physicians, one who has known me for over ten years, when you consider the medical reports given to you by the doctors who are employed by the Social Security Administration.  Most sincerely…”

My lawyer sent my letter to the judge last week and we are now waiting.

Who do you believe?  Am I so crazy that I hallucinated those exchanges with the doctor?  Is that what the doctor will say?

What do you think?




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About mamasick

Emily Cullen is a pen-name. I suffer from chronic illnesses and diseases which include Bipolar Disorder, Asthma, Diabetes and Fibromyalgia. I had battled Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis but there is no longer evidence of me having these diseases and my Rheumatologist has declared them to be "burnt out" of my system. I am separated from my husband, “Grant”. Our son, “Tyler” was born in September of 2006 and suffers from tics and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and is delayed in fine and gross motor skills. In my blog I seek to let sick moms know that they are not the only ones going through this, and to educate people about what can happens when one becomes catastrophically ill. I also strive to break down stereotypes of what a “Welfare Mom” is like. Anything that I have gone through due to being sick, is written on the pages of Mama Sick.

12 Responses to Results of the Social Security Doctors’ Exams – It Ain’t Pretty

  1. Shannon says:

    I think you are right on the money! No wonder people are denied on the first application. The same is true in Canada – which is why I am so reluctant to even bother. I know I must though. I’m just making sure I have done all the tests and seen all the doctors required – whatever those may be.

    Anyway, it’s truly disgusting how people who really need the assistance are denied because of .. what? Asshole doctors who spew bs for what reason? Because the gov’t told them to? Because if they submit TRUTHFUL documentation to prove that a patient should be on disability one too many times.. what? They get a dock in pay? lol I doubt that, but something must happen.

    Or worse.. they do the absolute minimum required to get in to court and out with the least effort and the least amount of paperwork having to be completed. People are suffering needlessly because of lazy doctors who can’t be bothered to actually help them beyond the 3-5 minute visits in his/her office.

    It’s horrifying, truly it is. And despicable! Indeed I wonder how doctors who do this can sleep at night too!
    Shannon´s last blog post ..Changing meds, again

  2. SUPAHMAMA says:

    Going through a similar ordeal with “the system.” Watched my Father go through the BS of approved “doctors” who claimed he did not have heart OR diabetes issues when he clearly had both. Now we’re dealing with my Husband’s broke down shoulder that never got properly fixed via workman’s comp from when he worked for our County. Imagine our surprise when he contacted the Orthopedic Surgeon and discovered the County did NOT file it as workman’s comp? That they paid for it and wrote it off after having him cleared through his Physical Therapist to come back to work as a FIREFIGHTER only 6 weeks after having a screw put in to hold his completely detached ligament in place! While your case is more dire, I think the doctor’s should reflect that. Not neglect to add it in and then lie about different ailments. Really? Bi-polar? If someone walked up to me off the street (which is basically the same relationship you had with the “approved” doctor) and “diagnosed” me as bi-polar, they’d be getting a punch in the face. It’s hard enough living with the anxiety and depression I already have, let’s not falsely accuse me of being something I’m not. You’ve got enough diagnoses on your plate to handle. Good luck getting it approved the first go round. Wish the system weren’t so backwards, maybe the Government wouldn’t have so much debt itself if they did their job right the first time.
    SUPAHMAMA´s last blog post ..Day 24. Love.

  3. Peggikaye says:

    When I had my hearing, it was early March. In July I had to have dental surgery .. they agreed to bill medicaid but told me it would be denied but after that they’d send me a bill that would be moderated (they couldn’t do that until after medicaid denial). So, in September, we’d still not gotten a bill. I called “oh, Medicare paid 80%, medicaid paid the 20% since medicare paid as primary”

    “um, medicare?”
    “well, yes, you said you’d had your hearing, so I billed to see what would happen, the worst they could do is say you weren’t a client”

    8 WEEKS later, I got my first check, 3 weeks later I got the letter saying I’d been approved and backdated not only to application date, but onset date (because I had a clear, definitive DATE of onset ..actually, I know the exact time of the very first symptom ..but MG not lupus..that came later)
    … took till april the following year to get my back pay (and intervention of a congressman who finally found the hang up was my file was sitting on the desk of a fired employee)
    Peggikaye´s last blog post ..Allergies & Poetry?

  4. Peggikaye says:

    (should add, that was 18 years ago)
    Peggikaye´s last blog post ..Allergies & Poetry?

  5. Tendai says:

    What do I think? I think it sucks and that I think they lie and manipulate information so they (SSA) can say no. I pray that you will be vindicated.

  6. Raven says:

    I went through this as well. The SSA’s doctor was a quack. Luckily I had very detailed records from my doctors, along with results from my MRI’s and Functional Capacity Exam. I don’t know WHY the doctors the SSA sent people too seem to be liars. It made me very angry when I read my report from the quack saying this thing or that was “normal”…

    I was also lucky that my THIRD (yes I had to go through three hearings) judge was really great. She really listened to me, she threw out the SSA doctor’s “findings” and agreed with MY doctor, the MRI’s and the FCE report. It took me just a little over three months to get my fully favorable decision from her. Funny thing was, the day I got my decision I was in the hospital….I had my first check within about 4 days …and my first back pay check about 2 days after that. They paid me almost 2 years back pay and my medicaid went back that long and paid a lot of my medical bills.

    I pray that your judge is as good as mine was. I am sure if your doctors kept good records and you had the appropriate tests done that all will go well for you. It’s ridiculous how those of us that really NEED our disability have to fight so long and hard for it, yet those that are bilking the system seem to get it with no problem. Keep your chin up…I am sure everything will go in your favor!! I’ll keep praying that you get it with no problems…If you need to talk, you know where I am! 😉
    Raven´s last blog post ..Great Deal

  7. mamasick says:

    Shannon, Sometimes I think that if my husband were able to support my family, I don’t know if I would have bothered. It has taken so much out of me physically and mentally. However, my husband is on disability so I MUST continue. We live under the poverty line still. I don’t want to sound ultra-religious but I believe doctors like this man will have to answer to a higher authority. As angry as I am, I believe that he will be judged by one more powerful than me.

  8. mamasick says:

    Supahmama, I don’t understand how these doctors can argue that we don’t have Lupus, or Heart Disease or Diabetes like your dad did. Are they suggesting my doctors knew I was going to apply for disability years later and have faked my diagnoses for all of these years? Are they accusing my doctors of being in cohoots with me? Am I bribing them? None of this makes sense! With your husband’s shoulder, that is a tough one trying to prove he can do no work. Don’t they realize that most people would rather still be supporting their families? Wouldn’t I rather be working and giving my son trips to Disney World instead of not being able to work and living in poverty and filing for bankruptcy? I can’t believe that there are THAT many dishonest people trying to collect disability. Working was far easier than trying to collect disability!

  9. mamasick says:

    Peggikaye, Yes nearly 20 years ago makes a big difference! In 2009, when I applied, more people applied for disability than ever before, which is probably due to the economy. People on the “borderline” may decide to try the disability route and see if they can get assistance that way. Indeed I was laid off from my job in March of 2008, so maybe I look like one of those people. But I worked five years with Rheumatoid Arthritis and when I got Lupus my body just said, “No more”. I did not make the decision not to work, my body did.

    Now they have the internet in the courtroom, looking for available jobs that you can do!

    Your case and mine is like apples and oranges, but I know you already know that!

  10. Dave McFarland says:

    Of course the disability doctors are going to say you are not disabled. They are paid to say that. Big surprise.

    • mamasick says:

      Yes, Dave, but I was surprised at the outright omissions and lies! I wrote a rebuttal to the doctor’s report and did wind up winning my case!

  11. Leslie235 says:

    How do u get these doctors? I’m going thru something worse. My evil mother years ago went to a doctor got a false mental health diagnosis and tricked me into signing papers. Next thing I know I got social security. It has been a nightmare. I couldn’t get off my evil mother was my payee and therapists and shrinks use it to abuse me. My sick mother got away with fraud and it’s ten years later. Now I’m dependent on the system and not sure of what to do. They ruined my life. I also owe ss like
    14,000 cuz I worked for a year or two. My parents are criminals and so are the doctors

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