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1st "Disability Doctor" Visit - AWFUL!!!

Discussion in 'Finances, Work, and Disability' started by realjoy, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. realjoy

    realjoy

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    I'm in the early stages of my case, and DES set up an appt for me with a doctor. I was confused because it was at a radiology office, so I thought maybe they wanted to do imaging or something. WRONG. This guy used to be an "occupational doctor". He sounded like he was English, going by his accent. He was quite abrupt and seemed very 'suspicious' of me (for lack of a better word).

    First off, they set it for first thing in the morning! With insomnia and the whole cfs/fibro sleep issues, it's a nightmare for me to get up that early and I pay for it for days. The doctor ended up running half an hour late, which made me mad...I could have slept longer. Once in the room, he started asking general questions, and asked about smoking, alcohol use and illegal drug use. I answered no to all three. He goes "No one ever answers yes to the drug question. All Americans do illegal drugs". Are you kidding me?!? I said "well, this one doesn't".

    The worst part though was the way he "examined" me. We talked at length about my pain, and yet at one point he pulled out one of those mallets that test your reflexes and hit me HARD on the forearms, upper arms, legs, etc. I let him know that it hurt by my reaction. Then he took one of my outstretched legs and started pushing it upward (while I"m sitting up) and it hurt like hell. I was in so much pain by this point, I started crying a little. Get this! He says "Why are you crying? People don't cry because of pain. Do you have emotional problems? Is something else bothering you?" OMG!!! I told him that, no, I don't' have emotional issues...it just HURT!

    The weird thing was as I was getting up to leave he said "sorry I hurt you" (back to me, without looking at me) and I said "I guess it's to be expected". Then he looked me right in the eyes and said "good luck". I don't know what to make of that.

    I know I shouldn't feel this way, but I am still upset at this guy! I spent the rest of the day in tremendous pain from the places he hit and agitated . My lower back and knees are hurting so bad I can't hardly stand it! I've also been really nauseous since a couple of hours after the appt.

    Anyone else ever have an "exam" like this??? I know this guy is paid by DES to disprove my inability to work, but come on! He seemed to go way overboard. Also...my husband is in the habit of going with me to my appointments as my "memory" (both to help me remember things to tell the doctor and to also remember the doctor's instructions). Out of habit, he came in with me but the doctor seemed put off by this. Later, I wondered if that will in any way affect my case negatively? Thoughts?
  2. Kati

    Kati Patient in training

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    Real joy, what a nightmare of an appointment. I am so sorry.

    His manners are despicable "Why are you crying?" and "All american do illegal drugs"- This is totally inappropriate.
    And YES YOU SHOULD FEEL THIS WAY, be upset at the guy for he is in the wrong to act the way he did.

    Please make sure you write all the details of this visit, including physical reactions hours and days after the visit. This can become valuable should you have to appeal. Make sure your husband also write a little something of what he remembers.

    Also make sure you get a copy of the report and ensure it is right.

    Take care.
  3. BEG

    BEG Senior Member

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    Realjoy, This doctor was abusive and should be reported to a medical review board. I'm with Kati. You must write everything down, every detail. I don't know if you said, but was your husband in the room with you? You are permitted to take someone into one of these exams and even tape it, I believe. Also, you have a right to go to a doctor of your own choosing immediately after this type of exam. It's possible to get quite contradictory notes from the doctor you chose. Report this doctor immediately to the Social Security Administration.

    Good luck and let us know.
  4. Misfit Toy

    Misfit Toy Senior Member

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    I am so sorry. That is awful. What an ass. SORRY. Anyway, I am not feeling nice today. Yes, I agree with above; he was abusive and you should report him. I had to report the psychologist years ago. I went to HS with his daughter and he was totally biased before I came in. I know how awful these things are. I called SSD about this and told them. They listened. I was able to have my psychologist give his opinion and not have to use any of SSD's doctors. My own doctor fought for this with me. Keep trying and don't give up.
  5. realjoy

    realjoy

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    Thanks everyone for your responses and support :) They mean more than you know.

    WOW...so this wasn't a usual 'disability' exam? No one else has had a doctor hit them with one of those mallets all over? What have your exams consisted of?

    DES sent me a very short questionnaire to fill out, mostly about if the appt ran on time or if the office was clean. I will definitely write down all the details, and have husband to the same (yes he was in the room the whole time and heard & saw EVERYTHING. He said he wanted to punch the doctor every time he hit me with that thing). I am afraid to call and report him before he writes his report...could he find out and then purposely write things against me/my health?

    I hate SO MUCH that I have to even do this damned disability thing!!!!!!! This is one of the reasons I waited 5 years to file!

    Thanks Spitfire for your post and reminding me of the psychologist thing. I have never been to see one. Should I find one now to set up a relationship? Will doing the 'psych' thing be mandatory? (my best friend had to see several for her case). I'm worried because my friend admitted to going out maybe twice a year and having a couple of drinks, and her court ordered psychologist (for the disability case) in turn wrote down that she is an alcoholic and now that is on her permanent record!!! I wouldn't want to go see someone and have them write down things about my childhood that could be used against me in my case (ie: her mom was a drug addict, so she must be too!)

    Kati...I have an attorney, so they will get the report after it is sent to DES. I already wrote them yesterday and told them what happened during the appt. Hopefully they will have me review it for accuracy.
  6. serenity

    serenity Senior Member

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    Austin
    this is pretty much the reason i've never tried to get disability, i am so sorry - i know they treat people just terribly.
    i am so with you on the gettin up early thing, i just want to scream when a doc makes me do that.
    you know they cant' know what they are doing if they expect that of you.
  7. gracenote

    gracenote All shall be well . . .

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    I don't know where they find these "doctors" for these exams, but I've heard plenty of stories that rival yours. I know it's more work for you, but please follow through in every way you can; this should not be allowed to continue.

    realjoy, I'm glad you had your husband with you and that you didn't have to go through this alone. If you need referrals, is there a support group in your area you could call? There are wonderful people out there who can help us through this process, and then there are the complete nincompoops who do us harm. Here's to finding the good ones!
  8. bee33

    bee33

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    I'm sorry it was so awful. But I think that as far as proving your case goes, you can be heartened by the fact that he talked to you at length about your pain, and then actually tested for it, and since you visibly experienced so much pain, it sounds like you passed with flying colors as far as proving that you are indeed in severe pain from your illness. It sounds like the offensive questions he asked you were intended to put you off-balance, and your reaction was also a mark in your favor. As terrible as the experience was, and I'm in no way minimizing it, I think you did well for the purpose of getting your claim approved.

    I went through disability application ten years ago (I was turned down and I can never re-apply because the credits I had earned by working expired right after that). The disability doctor didn't show up on my first appointment so they had to reschedule, then when I came back for the second time they accused me of being the one who didn't show up for the previous appointment. The doctor was indifferent and his examination was perfunctory. He asked me if I had radiating pain, and I said no, but he wrote down that I did anyway, which makes me sound like a bullshitter because FM (which was my only diagnosis at the time) doesn't cause "radiating" pain. I would much rather have had a doc who actually tried to figure out if I was in pain and did some kind of test rather than dismissing me and contributing to dooming my application to failure.

    The psych evaluation was also dismissive. She asked me what my psychiatric diagnosis was, and when I said I didn't have one (because that's not my disability), she rolled her eyes. I later learned it would have actually helped my application if I had also had a dx of depression, which I qualify for.

    But my experiences with doctors, even the ones who were not paid to make me look like a liar, have been mostly pretty awful. So many of them told me the most insulting and absurd things. Sadly, your description is not unfamiliar.
  9. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    @ realjoy:

    Are you able to see an adviser about any of this?

    Having someone with some experience of how these systems work can be really helpful. Any ACORN offices about? - or similar socialistic anti-American revolutionary organisations that might specialise in helping people fill out their forms properly?
  10. serenity

    serenity Senior Member

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    Austin
    i had a similar experience today. had a guy tell me "in med school we get cases like this where women come in with all these vague symtoms"
    nice.
    *eye roll*
  11. caledonia

    caledonia

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    If SSDI has enough information from your doctors to make a determination, you don't have to see "their" doctors. I got my own Functional Capacity Evaluation, (which wasn't a piece of cake either, but at least they were kind), my own neuropsych exam, and had letters from my psychologist and treating physician. Of course, that was back when I still had medical insurance from work, which paid for most of it; some people aren't that lucky.

    The CFIDS Association store has a $5 pamphlet that tells your doctor how to write a good letter for disability.
    https://secure.cfids.org/Products/t...lt.aspx?SortField=ProductNumber,ProductNumber

    This other one is good info for your doc too. $2.
    https://secure.cfids.org/Products/t...lt.aspx?SortField=ProductNumber,ProductNumber

    Most doctors are not familiar with the SSDI process and how to write a good letter.
  12. realjoy

    realjoy

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    Esther12 and caledonia:

    I hired a disability attorney at the beginning of the process, since I knew with my cognitive issues I would end up screwing something up if I did it myself lol

    caledonia: I thought that was true too, but my attorney said that I HAD to go to this appointment, or DES would decide on my case based on the file in my info. So, I guess I didn't have a choice. They are specialist lawyers (very well known), so I'm trusting they know what they are doing. This is so nerve wracking and I can't wait for it to be over :(
  13. Ecoclimber

    Ecoclimber Senior Member

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    Disability doctor know your rights!

    FYI This was years ago so things might have changed. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia by my doctor and went to apply for disability...Big mistake. They said I was required to go to their doctor for evaluation to determine severity....Big mistake. The pencil crunchers at the bottom are given performance evaluations based on the number of claims they can deny.

    The best thing you can do is KNOW your Rights. I then sought an attorney who specializes in disability claims one of the best and he told a lot about how the disability game is played with state and federal government. Make sure you do you research on attorneys as well.

    Because of my mistake, I had to go through the whole gamut of hearings and appeals before receiving disability. They tell you that you have to go to their doctors who are on their referral lists. They give you a slip with a doctor name on it and tell you that you have to make an appointment with them for evaluation. No you don't have to see this doctor. These doctors are paid by the gov. and will remain or be removed from their referral lists based on the number of patients they can deny disability. Talk about conflict of interests

    What got me is the fact that I did not have to see their specialists. My attorney told me that I had the right to see my own specialists NOT theirs for an impartial evaluation which they never told me. It would have avoided a lot of heartache. So the bottom line is know your rights when seeking disability. :victory:
  14. realjoy

    realjoy

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    Thanks ecoclimber :)

    Now I'm completely confused. I don't know where to find "my rights". When I search online, I seem to just find opinion. And I was trusting my lawyer, as this is all he does and he is well-known for it. Aaaah! I just don't know what to do now!

    OH...and I just got this lovely love letter in the mail from DES (actually, a dozen page questionnaire on what I can do on a daily basis) and also got one for someone else to fill out giving their opionion of what I can do, how well, etc. Guess hubby will fill that out. OH...and they say you get two weeks to do it, but by the time they finally mailed it and it got to me, I have less than a week to do it and get it to my attorney. If I could do this much paperwork in this amount of time, I could work!!!

    And I also got a letter telling me I have a MENTAL HEALTH eval with a psych doctor. Just what I feared. And the bastards keep scheduling appts first thing in the morning. I am hoping I can reschedule for an afternoon, but I just know my attorney will say no.

    So what do I do??? My attorney said that I HAVE to show up for this eval! Never has mentioned that I could get one done by someone else. Where can I find out if that is true?
  15. gracenote

    gracenote All shall be well . . .

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    realjoy,

    About the paperwork, I think you can ask for an extension. If I remember right, that's what I did. When you fill it out, do it according to your worst days, not your best days. We all want to "put our best foot forward" but in this case, we need to put our "worst" one forward. This form is to evaluate what you actually can do, and I would consider it in light of what you can do without bringing on a crash.

    I hope there are others here who can answer some of your other questions.

    Please remember to breathe, :innocent1: and take it one step at a time.
  16. realjoy

    realjoy

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    LOL! It's too funny that you can "hear" my frustration and anxiety

    Thanks for your help. My attorney said the same thing about worst days, but if I do that entirely then I would literally put down nothing. I went by my bare minimum. It was really embarrassing to answer the hygiene stuff, especially because hubby had to answer the same questions on his about me (and we never talk about that stuff). I am mortified others will be reading this :ashamed:

    We just got done from doing our questionnaires and my eyes are blurring and my brain feels like it is scrambled. I gotta go rest :Retro smile:
  17. flex

    flex *****

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    realjoy,

    I am not sure how it works in the States, but I am pretty sure you don't have to have a psyche evaluation if you don't want to. This is one of those instances when corporations like to state what they would like to happen and make it sound like its the rules or even worse , some kind of law.

    Its about you providing evidence and they will play that card to say that you are not allowing them to assess the evidence but its all just a cat and mouse game. Don't let them fool you. Once a psych puts something on your record it is there forever and WILL be used against you.

    Don't provide them with the "evidence" they want to say this is a psychological condition, because we all know it is not. You can not debate with these people they are just paid whores. If anything pick and pay your own psyche very carefully by evaluating them first if that is possible.
  18. bee33

    bee33

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    When I went through this process 10 years ago (and was turned down), it was the judge who asked for the psych evaluation, after I had already had the hearing with him. He actually did that because he was looking for a reason to approve me, and if I could have come up with a psych diagnosis it would have helped my case, not hurt it. It helps your case to have more than one disability.

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