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  • Ejection fraction and Social Security

    [Ejection fraction and Social Security]

    Author: Tom McVeigh (---.lbcpe.cableone.net)

    Date: 08-09-02 10:52

    First, I will tell my background and then to ask my question. I am 34yr. old male diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. I was in the Marine corp for 10yrs. but was denied relistment upon my relistment pyhsical. I was trying to get my 20. No explanation was giving except that a irregular ekg that was not excepted. Oh well, I thought something was wrong for a long time but no doctor at the time knew. I.E. ( I used to run 3miles in about 18:40 but it kept getting harder till eventualy it took 25 to 30 mins with great chest pain). Any ways the corps remedy to this was instead of traing 3miles a day to run 5 to 6. Ha, I was lucky all those times I didn't drop dead. So I left the corp and started work as a electrician.

    Mean while after 2 doctors and 5yrs. the V.A. correctly diagnosed my condition. I was started with various meds and combinations.

    Meanwhile I tried to keep up in construction but was getting worse so I found a new job as control room operator at a chemical plant. It helped ease the symptoms because of it being more of a desk (computer control) than manual work. My, condition worsened so I was sent for a open heart myectomy.

    Findings, during the surgery was that because of such that the heart was also massive in enlargment, that they did what they could cut out but complications from surgery (i.e. placed on balloon pump twice, could not get to complete obstruction) The surgery did not have the intended effect.

    Anyways recovered from that and went back to work. But it got to the point that even though adjustments were made at my work for me, they would no longer allow me to enter the property because of being such a risk. I was placed on insurance disability and sent home.

    To this point my condition worsened even more and I was sent to Houston to get a dual pacing and defibrillator implanted. Also meds still being adjusted. Presently taking - Metroprolol 100mg 2x daily / Verapamil 180mg 2x daily / Disopryamide,Norpace 100mg 3x daily.

    So heres the question, I am at a mets level 4 and cilvilian doctors have placed me in AHA class 4, my heart cath was at 91% ejection fraction.

    S.S. lists ejection fraction at 40% or below while I am at the other extreme. (Not a weak heart but so strong that it squeezes to hard forcing out all blood and giving improper filling). How do I get S.S. to undrstand that HCM does not just go to the weak side but also the ejection fraction may be to much?

    Thank you that reply, and to my wife that has stayed by my side thruogh it all.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: Ejection fraction and Social Security]

    Author: Sarah B--Board Moderator (---.client.attbi.com)

    Date: 08-09-02 12:24

    Hi,

    You have been through a lot --kudos to you and your wife for making it through all this.

    I think that Lisa may have some insight into this and you may also want to talk to a lawyer who specializes in this kind of thing. The office number is 973-983-7429.

    How far have you gotten in your dealings with SS so far? Have they denied you? are you in appeal?

    S

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: Ejection fraction and Social Security]

    Author: Tom McVeigh (---.lbcpe.cableone.net)

    Date: 08-09-02 12:45

    Sorry, forgot to add that yes applied for S.S when my work blocked my employment. Applied-denied, appealed-denied, hearing set-? / yes I do have a lawer but most deal with other type of injuries. Mine does not have much knowledge of heart conditions. Most records and info is usally found by myself or my wife. Have been in the S.S. process for 1year 2months now with a hearing set for September.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: Ejection fraction and Social Security]

    Author: Sarah B--Board Moderator (---.client.attbi.com)

    Date: 08-09-02 13:18

    Dear Tom

    Have Lisa send the HCMA info packet to your lawyer, too. (the lay person packet and the doctor packet)

    good luck

    S

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: Ejection fraction and Social Security]

    Author: Lisa Salberg (---.dyn.optonline.net)

    Date: 08-09-02 14:47

    Tom,

    Disability is based on functional capsity NOT ejection fractions. If you are New York Heart Class 4, this is saying you are very limited in your ability to function in a normal manner. You need a lawer to help you with this. Should you need assistance either have your lawer call me or call me directly.

    Best Wishes,

    Lisa

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: Ejection fraction and Social Security]

    Author: Steve (---.proxy.aol.com)

    Date: 08-09-02 21:39

    Tom,

    I wish you all the best. And I want to let you know there is still hope. My lawyer told me this is pretty standard in heart and many other cases. I was approved at the hearing level. The medical info was important but I truly feel that the testimonies of myself, my wife, father and a close friend to my ability / or should I say more my inability to function much was key to my being approved. Think like S.S. does, if you can be employed in any capacity your not elegable. ie telemarketer or Wal-Mart greeter. And rightly so I suppose. Your ablility to work history sounds familiar to mine. I worked my way into non-physical postion, just had to be able to show up and make it through the day. But just couldn't. I'm hoping I can get back to it in the future, I'm only 44.

    One last note: Thank you for serving our great country!!!

    Steve

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: Ejection fraction and Social Security]

    Author: Nancy Sarvis (---.access.naxs.com)

    Date: 08-09-02 22:09

    Tom, I was able to get my S.S. disability. My lawyer used a precident that involved a stress test that was failed. My stress test was worse than the precident he used. Also there are precedents that involve cardiomyopathy that may be useful. At any rate I think almost eveyone that qualifies for S.S. disability for any reason usually has to hire a lawyer and get a hearing. This is how you must play the game. May God bless you in this venture.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: Ejection fraction and Social Security]

    Author: Mary (---.wi.rr.com)

    Date: 08-10-02 21:14

    Nancy's right in saying that you almost always have to get a lawyer. I wish it hadn't been necessary, but there is probably no way I would have finally won my disability if I hadn't gone ahead and hired one. I was in the system for almost 3 years from time of initial application to final acceptance. I was finally approved almost 12 months after my hearing! What really made the difference was having a cardiologist statement that I was 100% disabled and had no chance of improvement. Without that statement who knows? I might still be fighting the system. Keep trying and don't give up. Most people will tell you that it's usually a case of apply, get rejected, ask for reconsideration, get rejected, and then finally go to the hearing. If for some reason you lose at the hearing then there's the appeal stage, which is almost always successful. But hopefully you won't get to that point. Btw, my cardiologist told me that in HCM ejection fraction is almost always normal to high, as opposed to conjestive heart failure, where ejection fraction is usually low.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: Ejection fraction and Social Security]

    Author: susan (---.240.OVG.vol.com)

    Date: 08-10-02 22:10

    like mary my cardiologist said that i was 100 percent disabled, though it only took 9 months for me to get on SS. i had a wonderful wonderful lawyer who deals only in getting SS. good luck.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: Ejection fraction and Social Security]

    Author: Susan McCormick (---.ceg.com)

    Date: 08-12-02 14:04

    In reading through this thread I have a question. Do you have to be off work to start the process of SS Disability with a lawyer? I mean I have been dragging myself to work everyday for the past 6 months. The thought of doing this for the next 10 - 15 years just makes me want to cry. I use all my strength and reserves at work and when I get home in the evening there is nothing left for my family or myself. I have an office job, sitting at a computer all day but even that does not seem to make it easy with the fatigue, heart palpitations and sob. Which brings me back to my question, can I continue to work during this process? It looks like it could take a year at the very least and I'm not sure I could go that long without the income I make. How do you approach your doctor about this. I'm afraid if I say something he will just think that I'm trying to get something for free. I go to Dr. Asher at Cleveland Clinic and I'm 50 years old. Have worked since I was 20 years old and never have been out on sick leave or anything else, which makes me feel sooo guilty about calling in at work if I'm not having a good day. I have done this twice in the past year and I feel terrible when I do because everyone looks at you like well what's wrong, there is no outward signs of sickness. Just looking for info on how to go about this in case I would need to do this later on. My septal thickness is 2.0 - 2.2 LOV gradient is 85 mm ( with exercise 36 gradient) and I am obstructed. Right now just treating me with meds.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: Ejection fraction and Social Security]

    Author: Sarah B--Board Moderator (---.client.attbi.com)

    Date: 08-12-02 14:41

    Dear Susan

    90% of HCM patients look perfectly healthy (I'm pulling that statistic out of a hat) but truly, I had a stroke and when I went back to work, people could not believe how good I looked and were very startled by it. This is one of the biggest perceptual problems that we have.

    As for SS, talk to your doctor and find a lawyer who specializes in SS DI work and thy can tell you how to go about it.

    take care

    S

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: Ejection fraction and Social Security]

    Author: Susan McCormick (---.ceg.com)

    Date: 08-12-02 15:36

    Thanks, I am going to get in touch with a SS lawyer and maybe talk with Dr. Asher about working. I was thinking if I could cut my hours a little .... who knows. I have days that I could swear nothing is wrong with me then WAM it lets me know I'm just dreamin!!!!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: Ejection fraction and Social Security]

    Author: Lisa Salberg (---.dyn.optonline.net)

    Date: 08-14-02 11:06

    This is a very difficult area to respond to as we all know we are all different...yet the same

    Each has to evaluate his/her own condition and job and see what is best to be done. We do not tend to "look" sick and this does create a large problem and frankly I do not think many doctors (even the best of them) really understand this issue.

    Time for a little honesty here... I have been out of my "real" job on disability for 1 week and will be for 1 more week, at least. My symptoms began to increase over the past month to a level that was getting a little scary (yes I too can be shaken by HCM). I talked with my doctor (my GP) and he felt it best to take me out of work for a while to see what happens, if the symptoms calm down or not.

    I do not know what I will do Long term as of yet.

    I am a human resource manager, this is normally to position that gives those with disabilities the hardest time... with all the laws we must comply with! To say I have a high stress job is putting it lightly. While it is a "desk" job, it is also a very high stress job. I must admit I had been of the opinion that stress was an excuse and that stress could not create some of the problems I had read about. I wish to state here for all the world to see...I WAS WRONG!

    I will give it a little more time and see what happens to my symptoms then try to plan out my future! (no stress there).

    Also for the record some people have suggested that the HCMA causes me stress...this could not be further from the truth! Working with all of you and your wonderful (sometimes Wacky) families makes me feel wonderful every day. I concider myself very lucky to know you all.

    GOod luck on the DI hunt.. Oh FYI when my dad applied for DI we expected a very long battle...however the investigator went to his place of business to check up on his application (he had been self employed in a family business with my brother and mother) The man asked for Larry Flanigan (meaning my dad larry Jr), the man who worked for my family said 'he is at his sisters funeral' (thinking he was looking for my brother Larry III). When the confusion settled the SS guy realized that my dad was at his daughters funeral, who died from what my father also had and was requesting DI for..his application for SSDI was excepted in record time. NO appeal need.

    Best to all!

    Lisa Salberg
    NOTE: This is a post from the previous forum message board.
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