Questions about osteoarthritis.

Posted by ssbionicknee @ssbionicknee, Aug 24, 2018

I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in 2009. I have a high tolerance for pain and waited until I was bone on bone and my leg was locking up before going back to the doctor. By the time I went to the doctor a TKR on my right knee was my only option.I have been out of work since April 29 and my surgery was May 14. I was put to the head of the line because my knee was a mess. This is my question about osteoarthritis. I have OA in my left knee as well. In fact it is slowing down the healing in my right knee because it is now hurting from being the weight bearing leg. The plan is to get the 3 injections in my left knee to help my right knee improve, but I know I am close to needing that one replaced as well.The surgeon said it was borderline. I also have osteoarthritis in my neck, spine, and shoulder and I have a herniated disc in my neck. I am 52 and I have a job that is physically demanding. Heavy lifting and on my feet all day. Because of this I am often in pain, which I tend to ignore, but am realizing I need to be listening to my body a little more. I do not think that I can do my active job anymore. I also can't sit at a desk for long periods of time. That hurts my lower back and sciatic nerve. I am at a crossroad here.At what point does it become a disability? I have the left knee that is going quickly downhill followed by my right shoulder. Has anyone had to make this decision and how did you know it was time?

@hopeful33250

Hello @ssbionicknee

You were asking about your osteoarthritis and the possibility of applying for disability. If you care to share more, other than the arthritis, do you have other physical or emotional problems that might add to the need for disability?

There are professionals (lawyers and other advocates) who can help you determine whether or not you would qualify for disability. Sometimes, they have their own team of medical and psychological people who can help evaluate and help "plead your cause."

It would be good to talk with your medical doctor(s) and see what they say, then talk with a legal professional who specializes in this type of law and begin the process of putting your case together.

Generally speaking your first attempt to apply for disability benefits are often denied, and the second attempt (especially with professional legal counsel) helps to pull it through. These are of course just general guidelines.

Will you talk with your doctor(s) and get an opinion?

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I sure will.

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@hopeful33250

@ssbionicknee

I am glad to hear that everyone's posts have helped you with your thoughts of applying for disability benefits.

If you are comfortable doing so, as you investigate the matter of applying for disability benefits will you update us now and then regarding your progress?

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I haven't gotten to far yet. I had an insurance nightmare. I received a letter on August 17 saying that my coverage had been terminated and they had backdated it to May 1, which was before the surgery. So I have spent the last week spending 2-3 hours on the phone being transferred all over the place. I finally had to go ahead and pay COBRA payments so I could get mu insurance reinstated. The company should have covered that since I was out on FMLA. I am still dealing with them. As a result of all this I have had to put the shots on hold, which has caused my old knee to get worse. I have been trying to figure out where to get an attorney and if I had a case and then it hit me that my doctor would be the best source of information. So I have a call in to him. My new knee has been really sore along with my lower back and sciatic nerve. I am wondering if I need to go back to using my cane since the old knee is not able to to be the weight bearing leg. Will be asking the doctor and PT those questions.

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@ssbionicknee
Good Morning!
First, I'd like to tell you how much I like your screen name! I say that by the time I finish fixing everything within my body, I'll be called the 'bionic woman.' lol

You ask a very good question. This is a question I can answer based on my own experience. I am not an expert by any means and the advice other members have given you is very good.

I went out (from work) on SSI Disability. It took me only 1 try to get it.
Although there are guidelines, and someone did post the link, I BELIEVE that it is still up to the individual who reads your request.
AGAIN, that is MY OPINION.
I was very fortunate that the person who worked with me on my application was VERY, VERY helpful. If he didn't work with me, who knows if I would have gotten benefits.
When I started the process, I had a couple of reasons for applying: 1. lack of mobility due to OA and the pain associated with it; 2. I had Shingles. It was VERY mild but the Shingles VIRUS only, went into my eyes causing a 6th Nerve Palsy. I had residual affects and permanent damage. This made reading very difficult. I was an elementary school principal. If I couldn't walk, needed pain meds and couldn't read, it was difficult (impossible) to do my job. To ME, I thought this would be enough to collect SSI Disability.
The person who helped me with my application said I should put down EVERYTHING that was wrong with me. The more, the better. However, I needed to be able to document each item. It was not difficult. I had a bunch of doctor reports, tests and meds I was taking for a variety of ailments.
Thankfully, I was able to retire and get SSI. I did lose a part of my pension because I retired early, but that was OK. If I didn't get the SSI, I would not have been able to retire.
So, to make a long story even longer, here are my SUGGESTIONS based on MY OWN EXPERIENCE:
1. List EVERYTHING that is wrong with you. Don't worry about sounding like a hypochondriac (spelling?).
2. List EVERY medicine you take for all your ailments.
3. Bring copies of all tests and test reports for your ailments.
4. Let your doctor know what you are doing so he/she can give you any supporting documents.
I realize that this might be extreme and that some of your ailments have NOTHING to do with your quest, but you must remember that your final goal is to receive Disability.
Good luck and I hope this helps!
Ronnie (GINSBERGr)

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GrandmaR oh my how that shi ngles must have hurt in the eye

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@lioness

GrandmaR oh my how that shi ngles must have hurt in the eye

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@lioness
Hi!
It was really strange! I used to be an elementary school principal.
It was at the end of the day and my students were trying out for our yearly talent show.
I went into the all-purpose room (that is what they build now, a catch all room….lunchroom, gym and auditorium) to watch.
My vision was blurry and I had a headache over my brow.
I thought I was tired and that my allergies were bothersome.
I went home and I was OK.
The following day, I was driving to work when all of a sudden I felt my eyes crossing and I had to work hard to uncross them.
I got to work. Thank goodness it was around the corner from where I lived.
When I got to work, my eyes were blurry and I had a hard time focusing, even with my glasses.
Later on in the morning, I was walking down the hall and I felt my eyes crossing and I was not able to uncross them.
I made an emergency appointment to see the eye doctor.
He was the one who said he thought I had Shingles in my eyes.
No rash and not really painful, just blurry and weird.
He suggested I see my primary care doctor, which I did.
She was puzzled. I didn't have a rash. I did, however, have 2 little pimples behind my right ear that was irritated. I thought from my glasses.
She took a culture and told me to keep in contact with her.
The following day she was very worried and sent me for a brain scan. I was terrified.
When I got the call and they said everything was alright, I broke down and handed the phone to my hubby.
Things did not get any better for a couple of days so I was sent to an eye institute in Philadelphia.
They looked at all the scans and took a ton of blood.
They said I had 6th Nerve Palsy.
Two days later, the results from the culture……..I had Shingles!
Apparently, the virus part (ONLY) of the Shingles went into the nerves of my eyes.
It took about 3 months for my eyes to straighten out. It made working difficult!
As a result, I have a difficult time tracking when I read, I lost some peripheral vision, and sometimes my eyes move involuntarily.
I am told that it is possible that the palsy can return, especially if I get another virus that goes into my eyes.

Interesting? Huh?
Have a pleasant evening!
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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@grandmar

@lioness
Hi!
It was really strange! I used to be an elementary school principal.
It was at the end of the day and my students were trying out for our yearly talent show.
I went into the all-purpose room (that is what they build now, a catch all room….lunchroom, gym and auditorium) to watch.
My vision was blurry and I had a headache over my brow.
I thought I was tired and that my allergies were bothersome.
I went home and I was OK.
The following day, I was driving to work when all of a sudden I felt my eyes crossing and I had to work hard to uncross them.
I got to work. Thank goodness it was around the corner from where I lived.
When I got to work, my eyes were blurry and I had a hard time focusing, even with my glasses.
Later on in the morning, I was walking down the hall and I felt my eyes crossing and I was not able to uncross them.
I made an emergency appointment to see the eye doctor.
He was the one who said he thought I had Shingles in my eyes.
No rash and not really painful, just blurry and weird.
He suggested I see my primary care doctor, which I did.
She was puzzled. I didn't have a rash. I did, however, have 2 little pimples behind my right ear that was irritated. I thought from my glasses.
She took a culture and told me to keep in contact with her.
The following day she was very worried and sent me for a brain scan. I was terrified.
When I got the call and they said everything was alright, I broke down and handed the phone to my hubby.
Things did not get any better for a couple of days so I was sent to an eye institute in Philadelphia.
They looked at all the scans and took a ton of blood.
They said I had 6th Nerve Palsy.
Two days later, the results from the culture……..I had Shingles!
Apparently, the virus part (ONLY) of the Shingles went into the nerves of my eyes.
It took about 3 months for my eyes to straighten out. It made working difficult!
As a result, I have a difficult time tracking when I read, I lost some peripheral vision, and sometimes my eyes move involuntarily.
I am told that it is possible that the palsy can return, especially if I get another virus that goes into my eyes.

Interesting? Huh?
Have a pleasant evening!
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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GrandmaR wow that is interesting I know some shingles come out others stay in the body Ive seen them out around ear,eyes but thats the first I heard of it being nerve palsy but you had no pain so was this related to bell,s palsy?I wonder My old pastors wife in Pa had bell,s palsy it affected her whole face on one side. Interesting I,ll have to read up on it ,google it .Im glad your o.k. now Since it affected your nerve do you have any nerve problems elsewhere you can relate to it.?

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@lioness
What I had was not related to Bell's Palsy at all.
It was just the Shingle's virus that travelled to my eyes.
Other than the 2 little dots behind my ears, I didn't have any other spots and no breakouts anywhere else.
I don't know anyone else who had my experience.
Ronnie

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Thank you! Those are great suggestions. I am a documentor and have been trying to get hold of my records. By the time I get done with gathering everything, I will have a 50 pound file. My PT told me last night that he thought the shot would not work and that I would need the surgery soon. Because of the insurance mishap, the shots have been delayed for a month and it looks like even longer after talking with the people who supply the meds. I have an interesting x-ray of the old knee. My PT told me I he thought I did not need an attorney because with both my knees, I should have no problem, but I feel better having someone who know what they are doing and is on my side. I also need to have my shoulder looked at. I have fallen and hurt it at least 3 times in the past 2 years, which the doctor said was because of my bad knees.

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@grandmar

@lioness
What I had was not related to Bell's Palsy at all.
It was just the Shingle's virus that travelled to my eyes.
Other than the 2 little dots behind my ears, I didn't have any other spots and no breakouts anywhere else.
I don't know anyone else who had my experience.
Ronnie

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Grandmar yes I dont either glad your o.k. Now have you gotten your show ngles shot?ask your Dr about it ,if not

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@lioness

Grandmar yes I dont either glad your o.k. Now have you gotten your show ngles shot?ask your Dr about it ,if not

Jump to this post

@lioness
Good Morning!!
First off, please 'call' me Ronnie. Thank you!
It's funny because when I actually got the Shingles, my hubby and I were waiting for the doctor to get the shot in. It came in during all this and gave it to us then.
Our doctor informed us that there is a new Shingles shot for us to take. It is a two parter. You get one part, wait a few weeks and then get the other part.
We got the first part. We went back, when we were told to, for the second.
Would you believe that they haven't gotten it?
Apparently, they are making something like a million dosages in a clip and distributing using a lottery.
No one around here (Central Florida) has the part 2 dose!
The second part has to be given within 4-6 months and it's already been 1 month.
Isn't that interesting?????
Oh well, it is what it is!

Have a wonderful and pain free day!
Ronnie

REPLY
@grandmar

@lioness
Good Morning!!
First off, please 'call' me Ronnie. Thank you!
It's funny because when I actually got the Shingles, my hubby and I were waiting for the doctor to get the shot in. It came in during all this and gave it to us then.
Our doctor informed us that there is a new Shingles shot for us to take. It is a two parter. You get one part, wait a few weeks and then get the other part.
We got the first part. We went back, when we were told to, for the second.
Would you believe that they haven't gotten it?
Apparently, they are making something like a million dosages in a clip and distributing using a lottery.
No one around here (Central Florida) has the part 2 dose!
The second part has to be given within 4-6 months and it's already been 1 month.
Isn't that interesting?????
Oh well, it is what it is!

Have a wonderful and pain free day!
Ronnie

Jump to this post

@grandmar

Good morning Ronnie,

I was also thinking about the newest Shingles vaccine however, I found that my insurance didn't cover very much of it and my portion was going to be nearly $200. Is it the same price in Florida? My insurance, Medicare Part F, usually covers everything.

REPLY
@grandmar

@lioness
Hi!
It was really strange! I used to be an elementary school principal.
It was at the end of the day and my students were trying out for our yearly talent show.
I went into the all-purpose room (that is what they build now, a catch all room….lunchroom, gym and auditorium) to watch.
My vision was blurry and I had a headache over my brow.
I thought I was tired and that my allergies were bothersome.
I went home and I was OK.
The following day, I was driving to work when all of a sudden I felt my eyes crossing and I had to work hard to uncross them.
I got to work. Thank goodness it was around the corner from where I lived.
When I got to work, my eyes were blurry and I had a hard time focusing, even with my glasses.
Later on in the morning, I was walking down the hall and I felt my eyes crossing and I was not able to uncross them.
I made an emergency appointment to see the eye doctor.
He was the one who said he thought I had Shingles in my eyes.
No rash and not really painful, just blurry and weird.
He suggested I see my primary care doctor, which I did.
She was puzzled. I didn't have a rash. I did, however, have 2 little pimples behind my right ear that was irritated. I thought from my glasses.
She took a culture and told me to keep in contact with her.
The following day she was very worried and sent me for a brain scan. I was terrified.
When I got the call and they said everything was alright, I broke down and handed the phone to my hubby.
Things did not get any better for a couple of days so I was sent to an eye institute in Philadelphia.
They looked at all the scans and took a ton of blood.
They said I had 6th Nerve Palsy.
Two days later, the results from the culture……..I had Shingles!
Apparently, the virus part (ONLY) of the Shingles went into the nerves of my eyes.
It took about 3 months for my eyes to straighten out. It made working difficult!
As a result, I have a difficult time tracking when I read, I lost some peripheral vision, and sometimes my eyes move involuntarily.
I am told that it is possible that the palsy can return, especially if I get another virus that goes into my eyes.

Interesting? Huh?
Have a pleasant evening!
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

Jump to this post

@grandmar

Ronnie, I never knew that Shingles could be so difficult to diagnose. Your case was really unusual. I appreciate your sharing that story. It might help someone down the road.

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