Disability question Rheumatologist or Neurologist?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by FoggyDayz, Mar 27, 2006.

  1. FoggyDayz

    FoggyDayz New Member

    My PCP is clearly at a loss what to do with me, but I am wondering if I am better off going to a rheumatologist or a neurologist to discuss long term disability.

    My PCP has diagnosed me with FM not CFS, but my biggest problems revolve around fatigue, severe dizziness, numbness and tingling in arms and hands, and cognitive difficulties.

    Which doctor do you think would be most beneficial in the battle to get disability approved. In the last 3 years, I have missed over 6 months of work, lost 1 job, and am seriously concerned about getting fired from my current job (which I am supposed to return to next week - you may have seen my other post about that).

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
    Foggy
  2. Crispangel66

    Crispangel66 New Member

    If you can afford to go to both a rhuematologist and a neurologist. They can both be helpful.

    Good Luck , Pamela
  3. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member

    foggydayz:
    I agree with the previous poster: both. Each one could possibly add more to your case. I go to both and was diagnosed with various things from both.
    n.f.
  4. livin4him

    livin4him New Member

    do you mind me asking what doctors you have been to in the past? do you have your medical records from those appts?
  5. FoggyDayz

    FoggyDayz New Member

    In early 2003 I began having serious dizzy spells, blackout, extreme weakness (my body was like Jell-o), cognitive difficulty, and slurred speech. I went to my PCP who then sent me out for a bunch of tests - I had CT scans, MRIs, a spinal tap, epilepsy tests, tons of bloodwork, vetigo tests, etc. I was out of work for 3 months and went to the hospital in an ambulance twice after totally collapsing. I did see one neurologist who really had no idea what was wrong with me. Finally I was sent to Johns Hopkins Hospital where they did a tilt table test - during the test my blood pressure dropped to 60/30 and I nearly passed out. They diagnosed me with neurally-mediated hypotension or NMH (also called orthostatic hypotension). They put me on Zoloft, salt tablets, birth control pills and sent me back to work. I lasted a few more months and quit my job for a job closer to home. I lasted in that job for 6 months and quit because I had taken too much time off work and was put on probabtion being told that I wasn't "dedicated" to my job. I have been in my current job for a year and a half, but off for the last 12 weeks on short term disability after passing out at work and being taken away in an ambulance.

    One year ago, I was diagnosed with FM due to pain issues. Apparently NMH is common among people with FM. My PCP is the only doc I have been seeing during this time. He has changed the Zoloft to Cymbalta, I am taking Relafen (sp?) for arthritis, and he added Florinef to increase my blood volume.

    However I am still having dizzy spells, my brain is much slower than "normal", and I tire very easily. I don't feel like I can perform at the level that will be required of me and end up getting fired.

    So there is my tale so far...
    FoggyDayz
    [This Message was Edited on 03/27/2006]
  6. lbuchanan3

    lbuchanan3 New Member

    Just filed for disability in December and they want to know every doctor you have ever seen for any of your symptoms. For me that was about 10 doctors, 3 of which are now current since the others have retired. So I say go for all of them and list them all. The doctor does not determine if you are disabled, they just tell SSD what test you have had and if you are a compliant patient and what they know about your disease(s). SSD then determines if they think you are disabled and it ultimately boils down to several appeals. I have heard that they go more by how your disease effects your day to day life rather than by diagnosis-my attorney advised me to keep a day to day journal of what makes it difficult to dress, clean, work, keep up with personal hygiene, shop, anything and everything that it is hard to do.
  7. Tmprincess

    Tmprincess New Member

    How important are/is a GP to your case?

    TM~
  8. sdmay3

    sdmay3 New Member

    From what I have read at various disability sites SSA will only pay attention to a FM diagnosis if it comes from a rheumatologist.

    I just won my disability last week after going in front of the judge on the basis of depression. My FM was hardly considered. It is easier to win on the basis of depression, which many of us have, than for FM. SSA has strict guidelines and they rely on medical tests. Since there is no medical test to prove FM it is harder to win.

    If you apply for disability be prepared for a fight. I had my diagnosis from my PCP, rheumatologist, neurologist, and a pain doctor that specializes in FM. My pain doctor was especially cooperative in filling out paperwork and it wasn't even considered. The only thing the judge really considered was 2 neuropsych tests that I had done.

    I would suggest that you get an attorney right from the start. I used ALLSUP which you can look up online. Many of their reps are former SSA employees.

    No matter what, just don't give up. Most people are denied initially. I think that is done because SSA is counting on people to give up.