I've never understood how the disability system worked in this country. Some of the sickest people I take care of get denied disability and some folks with a normal MRI and chronic back pain haven't worked a day since Obama became President. Some patients ask me, a hospitalist, to please fill out their disability papers. Some doctors would jump at this chance to charge them a paperwork fee, but I respectfully decline these opportunities by telling patients I am just not qualified to make disability determinations.
How is it that some folks struggling with the ravishes of end stage burned out work ethic get to collect their check every month while other folks can't seem to catch a break? I have no idea. If you have fibromyalgia and you are one of those lucky few who figured the system out, congratulations. You deserve the praise of the medical community. Because, you're, well, smarter than us doctors. These fibromyalgia ecards help explain:
Many folks just want the government just to take care of them. They feel entitled to a living standard they did not earn and they want someone else to pay for it. I once had to explain to a post heart valve replacement patient upset that his cardiologist said he didn't qualify for disability because his heart was doing just fine after surgery. In his mind, the patient couldn't understand how having a new heart valve wouldn't qualify him for life long disability. I helped explain it:
Happy: Sir, you aren't disabled. If anything, your heart is stronger now than ever before. Heart related problems are the number one disease in this country and a leading cause of death. They do not earn you a disability badge nor a handicap sticker. I agree with your cardiologist. You should have a long life of fruitful employment to look forward to.
Something tells me I should have just agreed with him because I know he will for sure give me bad scores on his patient satisfaction survey. No disability=not satisfied=bad hospitalist scores. Lie to him and tell him he deserves disability=happy patient=good hospitalist satisfaction scores. Screwed up, isn't it...
More Facebook education:
I just saw a guy walk out of a room, walk up to a nurse and say, "How do I get disability?" and then walked out of the hospital to smoke a cigarette.