Explained that in order to be eligible for social

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explained that in order to be eligible for social security disability benefits she would have to prove disability under social security law and that her disability is so severe that she could not do her past work or any work in the local or national economy. To help determine if there is work Ms. Smith could do, we discussed her typical daily routine. Ms. Smith states that she is able to take care of her personal
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needs such as bathing, toileting and dressing but she requires the use of hand bars, a shower bench occasionally, and to get dress sitting down. She does the family shopping about once a week but has to have assistance with getting groceries and other items in and out of her vehicle. She also needs help in putting items away that require she bend or stoop. She states that she gets up early, around 5:30 or 6:00 am to get her grandson up and ready for school. She starts her day in a lift chair that reclines in order to keep the swelling from being so bad in her knees and ankles, especially her left knee and ankle. She can do light house work but has to take a break every 20 minutes to sit down due to burning pain in her left knee and pain in her right hip area. She can walk a total of about 300 feet a day but not all at the same time. Her husband prepared a path for her so that she could walk from her back porch to the edge of the yard. The distance is approximately 30 feet and she does this several times a day to help with soreness and stiffness in her legs and feet. Ms. Smith states she does the minimum she has too in order to manage her physical condition. Even with taking these precautions, she still experiences nights when she cannot go to sleep due to discomfort and pain. The lack of sleep affects her ability to focus and concentrate the next day on even routine tasks such as making a shopping lists or gathering ingredients for a recipe. Lack of sleep in combination with her pain medication affects her ability to concentrate and focus on what she is doing for example watching a 30-minute television show or reading a novel.
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During this interview, Ms. Smith expressed her sense of loss over her physical condition and sadness in not being able to do what she once did. Ms. Smith states that the heaviest thing she lifts is a 4-pound bag of sugar with an amount heavier than that resulting in pain and difficulty in ambulating if she has to walk. She reports that she does not climb anything except an occasional step if she has to go somewhere that does not have a ramp. She cannot climb a complete flight of steps without it taking a long time. She has to put her “good” leg up and then pull up her right leg so she avoids them if at all possible. Ms. Smith states she cannot stoop, bend, squat, crawl, crouch or twist without severe hip pain. Although, she has had problems with swelling in her hands, as documented in the medical records, she can occasionally handle and finger items without difficulty. However, when her hands swell she has to use ice and heat to help with the edema and pain. Ms. Smith states
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  • Fall '19
  • Working time, Orthopedic surgery, David Smith

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