United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
DOUG P. LAMORE, Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
BARBARA B. CRABB DISTRICT JUDGE
Doug B. Lamore contends that he has been disabled since March
17, 2014 by Type I diabetes that is hard to control, as well
as by unspecified arthralgia and neuralgia. The
administrative law judge hearing his claim for disability
insurance benefits under the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g), denied it after concluding that, although
plaintiff had the impairments he alleged, he retained the
residual functional capacity to perform work at a medium
level, with certain qualifications. For the reasons set out
in this opinion, I am affirming the administrative law
judge's conclusion that plaintiff's impairments do
not limit his ability to do medium work.
following facts are drawn from the administrative record
Plaintiff's Social Security Application and Background
Doug Lamore was born on July 20, 1964 and was 49 on his
alleged disability onset date of March 17, 2014. Since then,
he has not engaged in substantial gainful activity. He
receives long-term disability benefits from a prior employer
of $3, 095.00 a month. AR 150-51.
filed for disability insurance on June 2, 2014, alleging
disability resulting from Type I diabetes, unspecified
arthralgia and neuralgia. After his claim was denied
initially and upon reconsideration, he requested a hearing.
An administrative law judge held a hearing on January 3, 2017
and denied plaintiff's claim on February 28, 2017, in a
written opinion. AR 19-29. Plaintiff sought review of the
decision from the Appeals Council, but his request was denied
on February 23, 2018, AR 1-3, making the hearing decision
defendant's final decision.
hearing before the administrative law judge, plaintiff
testified that he had left his job as a maintenance
technician in 2014 because he could no longer control his
diabetes and, as a result, was incapacitated three to four
times a week from having blood sugar that was either too high
or too low, AR 38, and caused him bouts of dizziness and
bumping into walls. AR 41. He said that when this was
happening, he could do nothing for relief but sit.
Id. On one occasion, his dizziness had lasted as
long as eight hours. AR 42. He also said he had problems with
his hands and feet that were the result of neuropathy and
caused him constant pain in his feet and intermittent pain in
his hands that made him feel as if pins were stabbing him in
the bottoms of his fee or the tips of his fingers, AR 45, and
that this reacion tended to occur when he was having an
insulin reaction. AR 45. He classified this pain as about a
two or four. AR 42.
also testified that he had kidney disease that had been
classified as stage II, but had recently been re-assessed as
stage 1, and he had depression that “kept him
down” and required medication. Id. Before he
stopped working, he had obtained this medication from a
pychiatrist, but was now receiving it from Dr. Keller, his
primary care physician. AR 39-40.
said that he had tried to commit suicide in 2013, but had not
made any attempts since then, AR 42, although he said he
still thought about it approximately once a week. AR 43. He
said that he finds the medication he takes for his depression
helpful and that he tended to his own personal needs without
assistance unless he is having an insulin reaction, in which
case he needed his wife's help to help him become steady
and get him some food. Id. On a typical day,
plaintiff watches out for his daughter, who is autistic, and
helps clean up the house and do laundry. AR 44.
completed high school and spent six months in tech school.
From 2001 to 2014, he worked as a maintenance technician,
repairing equipment, which sometimes required him to lift as
much as 75 pounds. AR 36-37. He left the job to go on
disability, when he felt he could no longer do the work
because of his diabetes. AR 37, 44.
Plaintiff's Medical History
has a No. of medical problems, starting with his long history
of Type I diabetes mellitus. He is considered a
“brittle diabetic, ” because of wide swings in
his blood glucose levels, of which he is generally unaware.
This is because the dropping levels fail to trigger the
secretion of epinephrine, which generates the characteristic
symptoms of hypoglycemia. AR 38, 41. He was hospitalized for
this problem on August 10, 2015. AR 498. In addition to his
diabetes, plaintiff suffers from the severe impairments of
unspecified arthralgia (joint pain), AR 39, and neuralgia
(abnormal dermal sensation). He also has depressive symptoms
that began in 2011.
also has mild (stage II) kidney disease, chronic recurrent
depressive disorder, vitamin D deficiency and other problems,
AR 288-89, but he does not contend that any of these is a
severe impairment or that it results in any more than minimal
limitation on his ability to perform basic mental work
activities. He has been seen for his diabetes, arthralgia and
neuralgia by Drs. Michael Keller, Mandeep Brar and Nina
Michael Keller, M.D.
record includes relevant reports from Dr. Keller of his
scheduled contacts with plaintiff for the period from March
2015 through July 26, 2016. For example, he wrote on March
27, 2015, that plaintiff had reported frequent fluctuations
in his blood sugar and secondary loss of consciousness, no
foot ulcer, but some tingling in his foot. AR 312. On
examination, Dr. Keller found that plaintiff had normal gait
and station, but “abnormal sensation; mild diminished
sensation BL feet.” AR 312. On June 25, 2015,