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Old 08-14-2011, 08:54 AM   #1
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Help cant stand 2 work and doctors cant help the pain enough

I am a diabetic with neuropathy. I have worked as a construction worker for 33 yrs. Have to climb ladders, scaffolding, walking on concrete and steel grating, gravel etc. I'm a pipe fitter welder and have to pack 20 foot lengths of 4" steel pipe. which is very heavy. Typical construction work. My Neurologists has me taking 450 mg of lycria a day. It helps with the pain some but not enough. I'm in terrible pain when up on my feet at work. My doctor told me to quit this kind of work and find another job. Which is a joke. I have pensions and make good money, More than I can make doing anything else. Besides this is all I know! I served 4 yrs apprenticeship starting in 1978, to learn my trade. Its easy for him to say this. I talked to my MD he said he understands the pain I'm in. But didn't suggest disability. What do I have to do quit my job? Lose everything I got? I grit my teeth and make myself get through a 40 hr week. But don't know how much longer I can do it. The lyrica screws up my balance, I stagger around at work. I'm afraid I will fall and hurt myself. I don't know what to do or how much longer I can keep this up. I'm 54 yrs old and have never had such a battle. Has anyone here been the main bread winner of the family? It seems like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders an no help in sight.

 
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Old 08-14-2011, 06:13 PM   #2
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Re: Help cant stand 2 work and doctors cant help the pain enough

I'm very sorry to hear of your situation ukcats. Your case is so similar to mine its scary.I'm a pipefitter in California and started my apprentice training in 1978 and got in 25 years before being forced into retirement early by this terrible thing they call small fiber neuropathy. I think my situation was or is a little better as my wife HAD a good job when it hit me but unfortunately she doesn't now. I struggled with it for 3 years before I was forced into retirement because of all the accidents I was having at work because I couldn't think clearly. I know of an electrician out here that was put on social security disability because of his SFN and if you look on their website under what qualifies for SSID you'll see that neuropathy is on their list. I think what you need is an official diagnosis and a Dr. that understands your problem but it can be a lengthy process from what I understand. If you are bad enough where you cant work then your Dr. should at the very least put you on state disability for awhile and see if they can improve your pain level in the mean time. I know its all very scary right now but if you can find a Dr. that understands your situation then they can help you in many ways. **** luck with everything and feel free to ask questions on anything as these folks on here can be very helpful.

 
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Old 08-15-2011, 11:26 AM   #3
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Re: Help cant stand 2 work and doctors cant help the pain enough

VERY sorry you are both having suck bad times dealing w/your Neuropathy issues. Balance is for sure one of the BAD things I deal w/besides the constant pain. I know personally there is NO way I could have done the work that both of you did.

I guess I'm lucky since I have an office job and being able to sit or get up when I want makes dealing w/our issues a bit easier.

ukcats1993 For sure I'd check into being able to be put on SSDI. If you can't work you can't work. As captinsane1 said finding the right doctor is VERY important!!!! Also for sure ask questions here...there are a lot of VERY useful people on this board.

I hope both of you have a good Monday and the rest of the work is less painful.
J

 
Old 08-15-2011, 05:52 PM   #4
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Re: Help cant stand 2 work and doctors cant help the pain enough

thanks very much. I've been told I need 2 find another Doctor by several friends of mine. And I've been lucky not to be fired or laid off because of my problem. Im one year from being able to retire early at 55 and take DEEP cuts... Thats been my plan since this problem started. I just dont know if I can make it another year... I feel that it isnt fair that I should have to take those deep cuts because I cant work. But I will do what I have too. I've seen very little in life thats fair... I suppose this shouldnt be any different...
Thanks again.

 
Old 08-16-2011, 07:21 AM   #5
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Re: Help cant stand 2 work and doctors cant help the pain enough

Quote:
Originally Posted by ukcats1993 View Post
thanks very much. I've been told I need 2 find another Doctor by several friends of mine. And I've been lucky not to be fired or laid off because of my problem. Im one year from being able to retire early at 55 and take DEEP cuts... Thats been my plan since this problem started. I just dont know if I can make it another year... I feel that it isnt fair that I should have to take those deep cuts because I cant work. But I will do what I have too. I've seen very little in life thats fair... I suppose this shouldnt be any different...
Thanks again.
For sure get a 2nd and maybe 3rd opinion. I can't hurt...and maybe they will have a better solution for you.

Keep your head high and hope you have a good Tuesday.
J

 
Old 08-16-2011, 04:06 PM   #6
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Re: Help cant stand 2 work and doctors cant help the pain enough

You know ukcats after thinking about your specific problem I have another suggestion for you but make no mistake you do absolutely need a Dr. that is well informed on this disease and is SYMPATHETIC. Now on to my new suggestion, you mentioned your nerve damage is from you being diabetic, well knowing what caused your problem is half the battle so that is a very good thing in several ways. There's some of us on here that don't know what caused our damage or if there's something were still doing that is not allowing us to get better. Knowing that diabetes and more specifically out of control sugar levels is probably what caused yours neuropathy is a good thing as weird as it sounds, there's a guy on this board named Aussie who actually beat this condition and fully repaired his nerve damage and his also was sugar related. You really need to reach out to him and ask him what should be your next step as he knows more about neuropathy than most Dr's, trust me he really does. If nothing else he might be able to suggest something that will at least possibly help you get through this very important next year. The fact is that it is possible to beat this disease and having a known cause makes that even more possible. Really be thankful that you can at least get a partial pension after one more year and If you get a sympathetic Dr. in the mean time you can start the Social Security process, just in case god forbid your SFN doesn't get any better in the near future. Being awarded SSDI can take anywhere from 1 to 4 years, much depending how sympathetic your Dr. is, which means a Dr that understands how debilitating SFN can be with the resricted mobility, no balance and 24/7 serious pain.
Reach out to Aussie and find yourself a good Dr ukcats, you're going to be fine down the road, I just have a good feeling. Hell it wont be long before they figure out how to regenerate damaged nerves and many other things, there not that far away and have many trials going on right now. One more thing, do be extra careful at work as I know exactly what its like having SFN and being a Pipefitter, its not a good combination. To many small accidents on the job is what finally shut me down and put me in to retirement. I wished I would of had this board and all its great people during my last few years, I think I would of had a better understanding of what was going on with me and how to deal with it better. Feel free to ask anything you want uk and good luck with everything.

 
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