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karessamom, December 22,  2016  5:11am EST

Disability with afib?

Just curious if it would even be possible to get disability with my afib?? Currently I'm 57 work in a call center where it's required that you're there 8 hrs per day every day. Fortunately I sit most of the time and usually I don't have much of a problem on good days but I still get extremely tired, have breathing issues and sometimes it's just phyically hard to move around when i'm having bad days. I know I put a lot of pressure on myself which doesn't help and I'm always worried when I have to take off for Drs appts etc. I could just quit but unfortunately I can't afford to do that. I've also thought long and deep about trying to find some other line of work that I could do that wouldn't have as much pressure (mental) but then I'd be on feet all day (ie cashier or something) and I don't think I could phyically tolorate it. Symptoms mostly are the breathing issues and getting tired. I do have a PM which has controlled the lightheadedness and wanting to pass out. I've previously had an ablation, open heart surgery maze procedure, been on propafenone now on amiodarone as a last resort and now waiting to see what else if anything they can do to help with the symptoms i'm having. just looking at options that I have. I like my job and it's not that taxing on me but what is is the constant fear that the more I have to request time off i'll lose my job. I know I do have FLMA available to me and they've been good with that before but again I don't get paid for that. (I do have enough credits for it but I don't think I meet the "disabled" criteria--that was my question) 
  • skismosis
    skismosis, December 23,  2016  3:04am EST
    hello there,im also 57 and was diagnosed with congestive heart failure 18 months ago,i went back to work after spending 6 days in ICU,well it became to difficult for me to continue doing my job of 20 years,so i quit and thought i would take some time off,then i signed up for disability as i also had enough credits to qualify,my ejection fraction showed i was at about 50-60 percent and because of that i was denied disability,i am still not working and have no idea who will hire me now i take 6 different heart meds every day and have little to no energy anymore,i am so lost now, i have enough money to survive for about 3 more months and after that i dont know what i will do,i suggest you find an easier job before you quit your present job, i wish i did now, good luck and happy holidays,don.
  • skismosis
    skismosis, December 23,  2016  3:14am EST
    i forgot to mention that im in permanent afib as cardioversion failed twice so my cardiologist has decided to leave me in afib and to take meds for the rest of my life,dr said i was in afib to long to reverse it now.
  • Thumper2
    Thumper2, December 24,  2016  1:56am EST
    Skismosis, I hope you can see a different cardiologist for a second opinion.  I guess you've not had an ablation, which could be a next,and possibily more successful, step.  Please go back through the archives here, and look for what has worked for people with your cluster of symptoms.  If you are just left in Afib, your heart valves will likely continue to deteriorate, you will have even less energy, etc.All the best,Thumper2 (Judy)
  • jerry1967
    jerry1967, December 24,  2016  1:58am EST
    How long is too long? I was in afib for six months and one morning it just went back to normal. I have no idea why. Does anybody have any idea why?
  • Mellanie at StopAfib.org
    Mellanie at StopAfib.org, December 24,  2016  3:36am EST
    Regarding disability, in the US, it generally takes another condition, such as COPD or heart failure, in conjunction with the afib to get it. Skismosis, I am surprised that you were denied with both congestive heart failure and afib.Mellanie
  • Mellanie at StopAfib.org
    Mellanie at StopAfib.org, December 24,  2016  3:47am EST
    Here is the list from the Social Security Administration of cardiovascular conditions that qualify...Source: https://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/4.00-Cardiovascular-Adult.htm (information below can be quoted because it is in the public domain, published by a government agency) What do we mean by a cardiovascular impairment?a. We mean any disorder that affects the proper functioning of the heart or the circulatory system (that is, arteries, veins, capillaries, and the lymphatic drainage). The disorder can be congenital or acquired.b. Cardiovascular impairment results from one or more of four consequences of heart disease:(i) Chronic heart failure or ventricular dysfunction.(ii) Discomfort or pain due to myocardial ischemia, with or without necrosis of heart muscle.(iii) Syncope, or near syncope, due to inadequate cerebral perfusion from any cardiac cause, such as obstruction of flow or disturbance in rhythm or conduction resulting in inadequate cardiac output.(iv) Central cyanosis due to right-to-left shunt, reduced oxygen concentration in the arterial blood, or pulmonary vascular disease.c. Disorders of the veins or arteries (for example, obstruction, rupture, or aneurysm) may cause impairments of the lower extremities (peripheral vascular disease), the central nervous system, the eyes, the kidneys, and other organs. We will evaluate peripheral vascular disease under 4.11 or 4.12 and impairments of another body system(s) under the listings for that body system(s).Mellanie
  • zippy
    zippy, December 24,  2016  7:34am EST
    I would HIGHLY recommend getting a second/third opinion~!  There are options, thank God, for those with long standing afib.  Stay in action, be proactive, and get to another doctor or two.  I had been in afib over a year, got my first ablation from Dr. Andrea Natale, which worked for 7 months, until I had other, extreme trauma to my body.Just had my second ablation this week - so far, so good.  Heart rate is 65-70 instead of 135-145All the best to you~!Zippy
  • sls642
    sls642, December 24,  2016  11:09am EST
    Have had a long history of Afib going back almost 20 years. Have been in multiple top tier teaching hospitals and had more cardiologists, SR specialists, etc.,  than I can remember. Luckily for me, I had/have excellent insurance and enough resources to do whatever was necessary in health care world. My Afib is especially hard on me becuse of a very leaky mitral valve. Bad combination. Have been out of sinus rhythm a lot over the years and sometimes for extended periods but always cardioverted back. Never chemically, that didn't do it. Caused more harm than good. Got a lot of good and bad advice along the way and eventually took charge of my own health decisions. I could write pages about my journey but will just make a couple of points. Amiodarone didn't hold me and caused multiple side effects which took years to eliminate from my body. It collected in my thyroid, the bottom of my feet and eyes. Went off it and onto higher doses of Coreg. Didn't work either. Finally, about six years ago, a doc in a major teaching hospital suggested Tikosyn. I researched it (never go anywhere without my laptop) and agreed. I don't do what any doc tells me without extensive research. Learned that the hard way. I've hard first rate docs from the best med schools and bad ones. Had good docs from not so great med schools and bad ones. It's a crap shoot. Generally ,however, your odds are better in teaching hospitals who have docs with serious resumes.The good news is the Tikosyn has held me in SR for six years. Even stopped the occasional palpitations I had experienced my entire adult life. Since I haven't seen many discussions about Tikosyn on the board, thought I would bring it up.I also started keeping a journal when all of this began to see if there was a reason/pattern for the Afib episodes. Since I generally knew when I went out of SR, it was a matter of identifying what was going on and trying to control it. I have seen these referred to as "triggers" and in my case, I figured them out after a number of bad episodes. Avoiding them was more of a challenge. I was in a very high stress job heading a large organization so I reluctantly made the decision to retire.  I was in my early 50's at the time and my focus became stopping my Afiib.. It was not something i was willing to live with and felt there had to be a solution. So far, Tikosyn seems to be it. That might change of course but so far, it has been my answer. Haven't had any side effects either.I don't know about  SSD with Afib but I would assume that if it keeps you from working, you could eventually prevail. You will need pertinent medical records and a good attorney. Most everyone is initially denied but if you pursue your case, the success rate is pretty high.
  • OUMike
    OUMike, December 24,  2016  11:09am EST
    Skismosis,Greetings.Wow! The disability decision you outlined does not seem fair/equitable. I am not an attorney, but personal business experience says you might consider the following:--Did you have any disability insurance at work that might cover some of your income?--Contact the nearest "No Charge'" public legal service that are in most (maybe all) states;--Review your case in detail to get a "no charge" initial opinion on appealing the disability decision;--If your case has merit, consider hiring: a) a pro bono attorney to represent you and appeal the disability decision; or b) hire an  attorney who charges only if they win your case and offer reasonable terms to pay the fee after the case is won and you are receiving  unemployment checks.--If there is no relief as outlined above, the attorney may have other ideas how to protect yourself concerning financial matters;--Contact the nearest consumer credit counseling service in your area for free financial guidance on ways to protect  yourself concerning any outstanding bills/debts, etc, as well as possible leads and referrals to employment opportunities.Hope these thoughts will be of help and hope. All the best to you and Merry Christmas.OUMike
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