Hello and thanks for reading!
I've been a UPS driver for 26 years and just worked fast food for a few years before that with no other specialty training. I'm 47, and have a HS diploma. I developed Flexor Tendonitis (trigger finger) in both hands all fingers starting about 5 years ago. I had bi monthly treatments till I had surgeries in 13 and 14 and have had monthly dr appointments since. The surgeries were a failure since scar tissue has developed and I'm worse off than before. I need revision scar removal surgery which i'm skeptical of. My hands always hurt and my grip is very weak. I can't fully open my hands and resting them on a desk makes them go numb with pins and needles pain. My grip is so weak that I was using my forearms to squeeze packages to hold them my last couple years and had to take on a much lighter route. My new package handling method led to left arm ulnar neuropathy (tennis elbow) of which i've had a couple cortisone injections that are no longer working. Surgery is recommended but i'm afraid it will get worse. My weak grip also caused me to not maintain my hand rail hold when I slipped off the truck step. This resulted in me rolling my ankle badly outward 6 months ago. I'm in need of surgury for multiple torn cartilage and tendons which WC keeps denying. I had to get a WC attorney which got me an MRI which proves my condition and surgery need. I have also developed Tarsal Tunnel syndrome which causes extreme ankle nerve pain that limits even sitting for more than 15-20 minutes, as well as walking or standing. So, although I was attempting to work with my hand condition, it was taking a toll on the rest of my body.
I stated all my disabilities in my application in detail on an attached 8 pages. I was very descriptive of how even filling out an envelope to mail is very painful for me and causes my hands to cramp up. I also stated my multiple pain meds and psych meds that make it hard for me to do anything since they help a bit with pain, but make me very tired.
This has caused me a great deal of depression and anxiety, as I have been a very active person my whole life, and now i'm physically and emotionally glued to my bed most days. My Orthopedic Dr's didnt want to fill out an RFC for me, even though I was told by my hand surgeon I needed to stop working and that if anyone should qualify for disability it should be me. Go figure, it was all talk and no written support. Thankfully my psychiatrist whom I've been seeing monthly for 7 years filled out a Mental RFC that rates me as severely depressed with a GAF of 40 and not likely to be better in 12 months and a guarded/poor prognosis I assume from suicidal ideations. He mentioned ( as I did in my function report) that the depression has to do with my life changing injuries, and that my injuries were severe.
I had a physical CE a few weeks ago, and a mental CE yesterday. I sent my Mental RFC to the DDS just a week ago, and was hoping my examiner would get it in time to be able to cancel the mental CE. Nevertheless, both Dr's seemed genuine in their understanding of my physical and mental limitations and they both stated that they would 'help' me.
I'm curious if I might win at this initial level, or if there isn't anything unique and i'll have to go the long way to court like most everyone else?
Thanks for any thoughts on this matter, I really do appreciate it, and i'm sure others in similar situations might gain insight as well.