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Should I Get A Lwayer At This Stage?


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Just want to get some opinions here. I just had SC surgery at VAMC Asheville in January. This past Friday, coincidentally the 13th, I had my final follow up with the surgeon. He just now tells me that as a result of the surgery, I will be on a 5lbs lifting restriction for the rest of my life. My surgery was to "repair" an abdominal hernia with incarcerated colon caused by a right nephrectomy that I had while in service. Now the doctor tells me that the "repair" is holding, he does not know for how long, and if it fails, it will not be repaired again. Hence, the 5lbs restriction. At this time, he will not put all of this in writing. Don't know why, but I'm working on it. My employer states that if I cannot return to my original position of Forklift Technician, then there is nothing else for me.

Short-term disability with my employer is running out, can't file for unemployment ...yet. Still waiting on the 100% temp for the recovery. Anybody got any ideas? I'm in limbo...

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Hopefully, the VA jerk surgeon will at least note the 5 lb. lifting restriction in your VA medical record. I some times wonder if about 3 years down the road if the VA idiots will be able to tell just what they operated on or treated us for--they never logged it in the medical file?? Some (few) VA docs are great about logging this in your medical file---but some are afraid of "big daddy" and will not put squat in your file. *Unfortunately, we Vets have no resolve but to go outside the VAMC for accurate independent medical exams and opinions. However, I would really hammer on the VA surgeon first (nice if possible) about logging the consequences of your surgery in your (not his) VA Medical Record. Me, I go outside the VA-VAMC's pathetic system when I need medical evidence/documentation. Many can not afford this, but I am fortunate to have two major medical insurances. The VA System is very efficient in usually doing exactly just what they are not supposed to do and usually do it with a smile. **You "racemech" need to definitely reopen your claim, noting your dates and place of surgery (including conditions/adjunct conditions), lifting limitations, and include a letter from your employer if possible. The decision to obtain lawyer is yours. How much confidence in going it alone or talking to a Veterans Service Officer---if none may be the attorney is your only choice. Good luck!!

Edited by vmo
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I think a 5 pound lifting restriction makes you functionally TDIU. That means you can't even lift a bag of groceries or take out your trash. You want to pursue TDIU on a permanent basis.

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Seems like every time I go under the knife, I lose another career. First was in '94 for the kidney...there went the USMC. Second time was in January for the hernia repair from the first surgery...lost my civilian job. I'm seriously considering not having any more surgery.

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