Husband Lost Job over Terrible Memory Problems; What to Do?

Updated on September 04, 2009
L.N. asks from Irving, TX
5 answers

My husband has been having extreme problems with his memory. He has recently lost his job over it. He is 68 and a doll, we've been married since 1972. He's been going to a psychiatrist for a couple of years, mainly for sleep aids bec he worked nights and never could sleep decently during the day. Upon going to psych the dr. said, I think you may have Minimal Cognitive Disorder(not Alzheimers). So hubby has been on meds for that. But I just heard recently that if you have memory problems people typically go to a neurologist, not a psych!!! To say this whole situation has been a crisis for us just can't really sum up what we've been through - emotional and financial stress to the max. I'm trying to get him well, but need a reliable doctor. He has decent insurance but not amazing. He has $500 or more left on his deductible this year and we just don't have it (I've thought about taking him to family doctor and having a battery of tests run just to see if there's a physical reason for his memory challenges; just don't know how much that will be and half scared to find out, frankly). We can do copays though. His psychiatrist has really let us down so far. We need solid medical documentation for my husband's insurance company to approve disability benefits which we really really need, and his psychiatrist, believe it or not, has not been taking good notes in our sessions and disability was declined: not enough medical backup to prove hubby has problems, they said. Several critical incidents, stories, etc. that we've pointedly told the doctor, he never bothered to even write down. Hard to believe, isn't it? It's been unreal. Advice, anyone? We need solid medical backup, and time is running out to get the disability papers in. Does anyone know of a good neurologist? I'm willing to travel just about anywhere in the DFW area for my husband, I just want someone that knows what the heck they're doing and who actually writes down what their patient and attached caregiver report during medical visits!!! Also, has anyone else out there dealt with this health issue? I know it's not uncommon, but no one I know has a clue what we're going through or how upside down our lives have become. I'd appreciate anyone's insights or advice. Thanks so much, in advance.

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So What Happened?

Hi, everyone, and thanks for your notes of encouragement and advice. It meant a lot. Although we're not alone in this, it feels much like we are at times. I am looking into the neurologists that you recommended. Again, thanks for your help, I greatly appreciate it.

More Answers

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V.A.

answers from Dallas on

In his letter of disnissal, did they cite the memory thing as the cause for letting him go? That could be a lawsuit in the making. As for the neurologist-try Dr. Peter Gonzalez in Irving.

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E.J.

answers from Dallas on

I don't know anything about this company, but received an email recently. You might check out the web-site
www.mindminders.net

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K.S.

answers from Dallas on

My husband is on disability and has been for 2 1/2 years. He had his private disability insurance payments terminated the end of June because of a lack of documentation of his medical condition. Part of his diagnosis is physical and part is mental. As a result of his medications, I believe, he has suffered memory loss.

We have filed an appeal. As part of that process, his psychiatrist needed to do an hour long evaluation of his condition. His psychiatrist's office was only sending in office notes for his visits even though the insurance company had been sending letters and forms to the office requesting more detailed information on his situation.

Unless specifically requested to conduct a thorough exam, the doctor will not do this kind of exam. Usually they are involved primarily in medication management rather than psychotherapy. The office notes the doctor dictates are minimal and relate mostly to medication changes and the patient's appearance.

Sometimes the disability insurance company will send an applicant to an independent evaluator for information on the patient's condition.

At 68, your husband should qualify for Social Security retirement benefits and Medicare. Does he have a pension plan or a 401K?

Be sure to check your dates for an appeal of the insurance company's decision. Also check to see when that policy lapses. Chances are that the premiums were being paid out of his paycheck and they are no longer being paid. If he is of retirement age, his disability insurance may not pay benefits under the employer's group plan.

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D.W.

answers from Dallas on

Hi, I do know exactly how you are feeling and what you are going through. I am currently doing the diability papers for my mother who recently spent two months in the hosp. for meningitis and had a stroke due to the illness.One plus for you is you have some sort of insurance. My mom has none. But I just want to tell you that the [email protected]____.com medical ceenter are great! It is a teaching hosp. so they desire to get to the bottom of "weird" problems with peoples health. We went throught the ER, so we encountered these docs a little different than you will need to. But I bet if you call St.Paul and ask what neurologist they have on staff and which ones, which most do have private practices, they can give you numbers.These doctors under the guidance of God saved my mothers life. We will also be in the market to see a neurologist for my moms issues with memory and of course follow up once her benefits get approved. And I can tell you, I will definately be useing an MD from or associated with St.Paul or you can even try Parkland. I hope you are spiritual. Because I also want to tell you that the power of prayer is greater than any MDs knowledge. I wish you and your husband well. If I can be of any further assistance by answering any more questions, please feel free to ask. This is just a battle the war is not over. God bless the both of you. I know first hand illnesses are not easy for the sufferer or their main caregiver. But keep the faith and trust God for guidance.
many blessings
D.

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B.P.

answers from Dallas on

Dear L. N,

I have some issues with water retention behind my eyes and have to see a neurologist. My doctor is Kevin Conner in Arlington off of Matlock. I have not dealt with the issues you describe, however, I can tell you he is one of my favorite doctors. He is very kind and thorough. Not sure if he still is, but he used to be the official Neurologist for the Texas Rangers, if that means anything.

If I were you, I'd give it a shot and call his office. He has a nice, although somewhat abrupt sounding admin, but she has a heart. Tell her what is going on and ask about cutting you a deal on the price for a second opinion. When they hear your age, your story, your money situation, they may cut you a deal. Doctors understand hard times, too.

My husband just went to a doctor this past week regarding his blood pressure. The Doc knows he's been unemployed for 8 months. Normally, the blood work, etc should have costs us over $150. The doctor charged him $25 for the office visit and that was it. We were stunned and relieved. I say give it a try. You never know. Good luck! B. P.

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