Monday, March 28, 2011

Where Has Kevin Been

  The long and short of it is I've been buried in pain and unconsciousness.  When I've been well enough to be awake and about, I've spent that time with my family.  My humblest apology to all my readers for this neglect.  I value your opinions, thoughts, feelings, and all the care and respect that you've showered me with.  I'm sorry that my two blogging projects were put on hold for so long, and I'm looking forward to getting back into them.

  I find it vaguely humorous that this dilemma is exactly why I stopped guitar lessons.  I loved to teach, but when I had the strength to do anything I did it with my family.  This time around has been more about me not being able to do much of anything over the past weeks.  I've been getting up, eating, and trying desperately to get back to sleep to avoid my pain.  Typically, this process ends when I pass out on the couch from the pain, and come to some time later to get a drink, and then repeat the process.
  Not all days have been bad.  I had a nice, long day last week, spending time with my best friend, Jhon Baker.  That adventure took place on Wednesday and I didn't recover until late yesterday.  I was able to go watch my son swim again last week.  That half hour ordeal left me worried that I wouldn't be able to make the Wednesday trip...
  This is the way my life works; is carefully balanced.  I have to select what I want to spend time on, and let go of everything else.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Battle Won

For those of you who haven't heard yet, we won our Social Security trial on Friday.  Now all that is left is to tackle the beaurocratic mess for V.A. benefits.

  The trial was set to begin at 9 a.m., and we were informed that we needed witnesses to be present.  The case doors opened at 9:30, and the actual proceedings didn't begin until 10:30.  There was no room for my wife or mother to attest to my claim.  Most of the delay was due to the judges computer monitor not working.
  Once the trial began I was sworn in, and questioned for thirty minutes by the judge.  The questions ran from, "what kind of disability do you have," to "What kind of guitar do you play?"  Then the judge opened the floor for their "medical expert" witness.  An overweight foreigner, with an unpronounceable name.  His degree in internal medicine, with a specialization in gastro-intestinal, really had no bearing on my case, and as he presented his facts he stared at me and wore this crooked, snobby, smile that wreaked of contempt.
  He began by stating that he was well versed with my case, and began to suggest that I didn't have CRPS. He claimed that there was no physical symptoms demonstrated or recorded in the medical evidence, and that he concurred with the findings of a quack neurologist we had to see at North Chicago.  The neurologist had recorded that I was non-compliant with my medications, and that I had a somatic conversion disorder.  Basically that it was all in my mind.  I couldn't keep my mouth shut...
  I started by listing all the physical findings that had be documented throughout my various trips to Milwaukee.  That my foot had lost a half inch of length and the hair growth on my right foot had thinned (findings by the orthopedic doctor), that my foot and leg were dark red and swollen (recorded by several doctors), and the end all for diagnosis of RSD, that there was a remarkable change in temperature variation after sympathetic blocks.
  He began by stating that he didn't have any of those records.  I replied that those were all records that should have been obtained by the administration for my appeal; that it was reprehensible that they had not pulled any new information for the appeal.  The judge agreed.
  The doctor then stated that the podiatrist notes should be disregarded because he's not a neurologist or pain specialist.  To which I kept my mouth shut, but wanted to point out that he was neither a neurologist or a pain specialist.
  His next attack was that people never get their RSD back once it goes into remission.  There are tons of documented cases of individuals that have had a remission period that ended with the re-emrgence of symptoms.  He claimed that he didn't have any studies there to demonstrate his point, and thus couldn't argue one way or another.
  He finally stated that it was not required of us to prove that I had RSD because he was going to find in our favor regardless.  This was a means of him stating that he didn't know anymore, and that he was giving up, without admitting that he gave up.  I still wanted to punch him in the face, and I still want to go lynch that neurologist from North Chicago.  That neurologist had even stated to my wife and I that he didn't believe in RSD, that it didn't exist.  And he's the one that everyone turns to in regards to my case...

  Regardless, the battle is over for SSDI.  We should be collecting in about a month or two.  The judge ruled with a bench decision, as opposed to mailing his decision in a week or two.  That helped speed the process.  He also stated that he did believe that I had RSD, completely overruling the statements of the pudgy, snide, idiotic, medical specialist.
  I will be creating a tabbed page with information on how to insure you get your SSDI for people with RSD/CRPS who are trying, but haven't succeeded yet.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Delayed Update

  Sorry for the delay in updating my information.  I've been fairly laid up and unable to do much, and when I was able to do something I did it with my family and then spent a few days paying for it.

  With that said...

  Friday's appointment with my primary care was a joke.  We arrived early in the morning for my fasting blood draw, which went fine, and then patiently waited for my appointment.  The Pain Clinic was supposed to have put in directions and recommendations for all of my new medications so my primary care could fill them, but, go figure, when it came time for him to put in the prescriptions he couldn't do a single one.  There was also a recommendation in the system for me to stay on Fentanyl and utilize oxycodone to control break through pain.  The only thing that was correct was the request for the new muscle relaxers...
  Up I went to the pain clinic to find out what had happened to our plan.  The pain fellow, a very snobbish, young, indian woman told me that everything I had heard was wrong.  That there wasn't a decision to move to a new narcotic, and that the primary care could put the prescription in for cymbalta.  Now, I had just come from the primary care who showed me that it wasn't within his computer options to place the order.  Her comment was that he didn't want to...
  This is also the little tart who claims to have only talked to me once on the phone, and then changes her tone to two phone conversations.  She doesn't chart properly.  Because of her negligence in changing the dosage of my venlafaxin I ran out.  I was even told by the pharmacy that this was a terrible mistake on her part.  She still claims that it's not proper to change the dosages while titrating up...
  This woman has made so many claims that have been false.  It's nauseating to even deal with her.  I honestly can't wait for her to be replaces by the next individual.  Hopefully they'll have a better grasp on proper treatment and correct procedures.

  So I'm waiting for my cymbalta to be approved.  They aren't going to move me over to methadone until after the cymbalta is in play, and I'm on a new muscle relaxer.  I'll update my medications page with the correct information.
  On a side note, I'm now on Synthroid.  It seems that my Thyroid isn't working properly anymore.  Since there's no family history it would seem that this is due to the medications.  This aught to be a magnificent battle to get the doctor's to admit it, because until I do, I will be paying out of pocket for the medications.

  Tomorrow is my hearing for SSDI.  I'm terribly nerve racked about the whole ordeal.  Amy is getting a wheelchair from her work for me so that I can get around a bit easier, and I've been told that there will be a location within the court room for me to be prone and keep my leg up.  The attorneys seem to be very excited about the case, and very confident, so I'm going to do my best to trust in them and try and relax...
I'll have more updates tomorrow evening after the ordeal, if I'm not incapacitated...