A Letter Responding To Web Pages on
Insurance and IME Physicians

From trikdacy@erols.com Thu Sep 21 04:13:11 2000
Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2000 12:22:10 -0400
From: trikdacy@erols.com
To: bhammel@graham.main.nc.us
Subject: Just Another Story

Waiting To Wake Up From My Nightmare

I have read through some of your database, and found it quite
interesting. You may find my story a bit interesting as well, but I'm
sure you have heard this one before.

I started feeling ill in January of 1996. I was always tired. I found
myself sleeping up to twenty hours a day on the weekends, only to wake
up tired. I was falling asleep at my desk at work. I was losing my
concentration. Being a computer system engineer this was not good. I
started to see doctors, but no one was finding anything. I was knocked
out of work in September of 1996, by an auto accident, because I passed
out at the wheel. So, I was given a pacemaker while in NYU hospital, to
prevent me from passing out again. While in NYU the staff focused on my
heart, and not the pain from the accident. I never received a CAT, MRI,
or any type of exam concerning the accident at NYU. I was sent home , in
early October of 1996, just three weeks of hospital stay, and the pain
from the accident increased as I tried to move around. I called my
cardiologist at NYU, and found out he had died from a heart attack that
morning. So now there I was, left with no doctor, and in quite a bit of
pain. I called the hospital general office in a panic, and I was told
there was nothing else written in my charts to continue care as an
accident victim. So there I was, in pain, still totally fatigued, and
with no medical guidance. I finally found a neurologist, and
cardiologist in November of 1996. My cardiologist said my heart was
stable, but my neurologist said I had herniated disc's in my neck, and
other levels of my spine. He also stated I had radiculitis. He also
found that I had severe dupytrens in both hands. After many test, and
evaluation the neurologist stated that I should be applying for Long
Term Disability, and Social Security Disability. This made me feel quite
worthless, but I did see the need for money coming down the road so I
applied for all.

I received LTD, and as most American citizens I was denied Social
Security Disability benefits.

For the next year I was undergoing physical therapy, and floating in a
pool to try to alleviate some of the pain, and get some mobility back. I
just wanted to feel human. I was also taking pain medication which
contained acetometaphine. Every medication I was taking contained
acetometaphine. During this year my cardiologist asked me if I drank
alcohol on each visit. I told him no, each time. In April of 1998 I
started to pass out once again. I told my cardiologist, and he once
again asked me if I drank. I said no, and asked why. He told me my liver
enzymes were too high. He recommended I see an internist. By June of
1998 my internist found that I had chronic viral hepatitis C. A biopsy
confirmed it. He recommended that I see a specialist in this field.

During June of 1998 I also received a letter from my LTD, CNA, who said
I must attend an neurological IME. So I went to the IME for an exam.
After studying the IME's demeanor, and general attitude. I realized this
was an adversarial relationship. He denied a witness into the exam, and
basically stated I was a waste of his time. I never had an exam that a
doctor sticks a the end of a unsterilized safety pin into the head of my
penis, or scrotum before!! He did not perform any test that my
neurologist did either. I just could not understand it. I also informed
this IME that I was just diagnosed with chronic viral hepatitis C. He
said that does not cause any problems! He looked at my blood work and
said because of my liver enzymes, I must be an alcoholic. I told him he
was out of his mind, and that he did not know me, and how could he draw
conclusions like that. The exam was over.

In August of 1998 I received acceptance to undergo treatment for
Hepatitis C with Rebetrol. In August I also received a letter from CNA
of termination of benefits due the IME's report. The IME stated that
there was basically nothing wrong with me, and that I was a malingering
bed wetting alcoholic that could return to my old job, or any job for
that matter!

In September of 1998 an appeal with CNA was filed, but CNA investigated
itself, and found no reason to change its findings.

In January of 1999 I was denied Social Security based on the IME's
findings!!! Being that I was feeling so good about myself, I thought it
would be wise to see a psychologist so I could have someone to talk to.

By March of 1999 we discovered that the Rebetrol treatment did not work,
and had to be discontinued. This treatment was quite brutal. It left me
totally incapacitated.

In June of 1999 I won a case against Allstate for lost wages concerning
this auto accident. I filed this case with my state's Insurance

In August of 1999 I sought out an ERISA type attorney. I found a few
attorneys. After speaking with them, I felt as if I was bleeding in the
water being circled by sharks. I got out of the water. Now I know what
everyone is referring to about lawyers.

In April 2000, with the help of my friends, we put together a six inch
thick binder of documentation stating my case, and sent it off to the
New York State Insurance Department. This case is up for review in
November of 2000.

I hope it's favorable for me, because I am a single parent, and I am
about to lose my house. I have two wonderful teenage sons, of which one
is severely Autistic. I cannot handle him any more. Sometimes he hurts
me. He is 5'10" about 240lbs., and gets a bit violent sometimes. My
younger son is an honor student. I often think that if I were to step
out, my sons could live with their grandparents, and the sale of the
house, and my life insurance policy would cover them for the next few

I always was and will be a results oriented person. But having the
chronic pain, numbness, fatigue, herniated discs, untreatable hepatitis,
dupytrens, is a bit disheartening. I went from a person who enjoyed
sports, camping, fishing, pets, playing video games, to being almost
totally helpless, and hopeless.

I just cannot wait until this nightmare is over.

If you have any advice.....

Thank You,

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Email me, Bill Hammel at
bhammel AT graham DOT main DOT nc DOT us

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Created: September 21, 2000
Last Updated: September 21, 2000