Thursday, September 24, 2009

So how did DH's Bipolar Disability appointment go?

I haven't posted yet about DH's appointment on Monday, I wanted to kind of digest it before I put it into words. In a nutshell, it didn't go all that well.

Now, in case you weren't aware of it, and I'm not sure if I've written about it here or not, but DH was overweight when I met him and when I married him. Since the bipolar started, he's gained about 130 pounds. He's very big.

So....this appointment was apparently to discuss his obesity and back problems. The doctor that we saw is retired, but he specialized in gastric bypass surgeries before he retired. He spent about half of the appointment trying to drive DH to have gastric bypass. I'm not convinced. I'm afraid that DH, with his addictive personality, would lose weight, but compensate by some other addiction--drugs, alcohol, gambling.....etc. And for me, the excess weight is the easiest thing to deal with right now.

But anyhow, the Dr. really really thought that the only thing that was going to "save" DH was if he had bypass surgery. He talked about how people go on diets and then gain all their weight back. He talked about all the health problems that obesity causes. And about how DH's back problems were undoubtedly related to his obesity, etc. etc....and that was pretty much the whole sales pitch.

Then it took about 5 minutes for him to go through the Social Security questions: "How far can you walk without resting?" "How long can you sit?" "What activities has your back pain caused you to give up?" But....I knew we were sunk, when the Dr. asked DH "What is the most you can lift?" and DH said "about 50 pounds". And then explained that he lifts the bags of chicken feed....about once every two weeks. Woops.

Then, the Dr. told DH that he probably had sleep apnea. DH said he knows he does, but the CPAP makes him anxious. The doctor wrote that down, too, so that probably makes it look like he's noncompliant.

All in all, basically it was a lecture on the benefits of gastric bypass. I keep telling myself that since DH is going for disability on the grounds of being bipolar, that the back problems are peripheral, but then I think that if they (Social Security) thought the same way, that they wouldn't have bothered to send him to a back doctor. I really wish I knew more about how this all works.

Anyhow, kind of a sucky day.


Sheri said...

I had to jump through all kinds of hoops to get my psych disability approved. I still have to get my psych to give updates every 2-3 years. Good luck.

BipolarPorch said...

Do you have a lawyer advising you? Definitely get a lawyer.

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perphila said...

You are going to have to see a different doctor, no question. A lawyer can help with that. The fact DH gained so much weight after the bipolar is very important. Yes, being overweight can make you depressed but it's the chicken and the egg here. The doctor was biased and didn't focus on the issue. You have the right to shop for a good doctor.

Grace. said...

Andrew could not be more correct. GET A LAWYER. Get one who only does Social Security work--they are like mills and their paralegals do all the work, but they know exactly what to say and how to say it. You're still in the initial application stage, and you could win it there. But most don't. No one wins at stage II which is reconsideration. You don't need the attorney until you lose at reconsideration, but for the hearing you absolutely MUST HAVE AN ATTORNEY. The attorney will take 25% of the lump sum recovery--it's a lot, but well worth it.

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize your DH was so overweight. His back problems are almost certainly caused by obesity. I wouldn't be surprised if his knees are in bad shape too, from carrying all the extra weight. I'd say gastric bypass surgery sounds like a good idea. It won't solve all his problems but it would help his physical situation.
You should see a lawyer to help guide you through the disability maze. Your state bar association can refer you to someone. You may even be able to hook up with a legal clinic where your husband will be represented for little or no charge.

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