United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
HONORABLE RONALD E. BUSH CHIEF U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
before this Court is Petitioner Betsy Monzella's Petition
for Review (Docket No. 2), seeking review of the Social
Security Administration's final decision to deny her
claim for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits.
See generally Pet. for Review (Docket No. 2). This
action is brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). Having
carefully considered the record and otherwise being fully
advised, the Court enters the following Memorandum Decision
15, 2013, Betsy Monzella (“Petitioner”) filed an
application for Disability Insurance Benefits, alleging
disability beginning October 1, 2012. This claim was
initially denied on September 18, 2013 and, again, on
reconsideration on October 24, 2013. On October 30, 2013,
Petitioner timely filed a Request for Hearing before an
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”). On December 10,
2014, ALJ Lloyd E. Hartford held a hearing in Boise, Idaho,
at which time Petitioner, represented by attorney Joseph F.
Brown, appeared and testified. Impartial vocational expert,
Cassie Mills, also appeared and testified at the same
December 10, 2014 hearing.
February 26, 2015, the ALJ issued a Decision denying
Petitioner's claim, finding that she was not disabled
within the meaning of the Social Security Act. Petitioner
timely requested review from the Appeals Council (while also
submitting additional medical records) on April 28, 2015 and,
on July 18, 2016, the Appeals Council denied Petitioner's
Request for Review, making the ALJ's decision the final
decision of the Commissioner of Social Security.
exhausted her administrative remedies, Petitioner timely
filed the instant action, arguing that “[t]he decision
of the Commissioner is without foundation, not supported by
substantial evidence, and is, in fact, contrary to the
evidence presented, ” while also claiming that
“[t]he Commissioner erred in his failure to apply the
appropriate standard of law.” Pet. for Review, p. 3
(Docket No. 2). In particular, Petitioner identifies the
“issues of this case” as “(1) whether the
ALJ gave specific and legitimate reasons in support of his
weighing of the medical opinion evidence; (2) whether the ALJ
gave specific, clear, and convincing reasons in support of
his finding that Petitioner's allegations were not fully
credible; and (3) whether the evidence submitted to the
Appeals Council undermines the evidentiary basis for the
ALJ's findings.” Pet.'s Brief, p. 1 (Docket No.
15). Petitioner therefore requests that the Court either
reverse the ALJ's decision and find that she is entitled
to disability benefits, or, alternatively, remand the case
for further proceedings and award attorneys' fees.
See Pet. for Review, p. 3 (Docket No. 2).
STANDARD OF REVIEW
upheld, the Commissioner's decision must be supported by
substantial evidence and based on proper legal standards.
See 42 U.S.C. § 405(g); Matney ex. rel.
Matney v. Sullivan, 981 F.2d 1016, 1019 (9th Cir. 1992);
Gonzalez v. Sullivan, 914 F.2d 1197, 1200 (9th Cir.
1990). Findings as to any question of fact, if supported by
substantial evidence, are conclusive. See 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g). In other words, if there is substantial
evidence to support the ALJ's factual decisions, they
must be upheld, even when there is conflicting evidence.
See Hall v. Sec'y of Health, Educ. &
Welfare, 602 F.2d 1372, 1374 (9th Cir. 1979).
evidence” is defined as such relevant evidence as a
reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a
conclusion. See Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389,
401 (1971); Tylitzki v. Shalala, 999 F.2d 1411, 1413
(9th Cir. 1993); Flaten v. Sec'y of Health &
Human Servs., 44 F.3d 1453, 1457 (9th Cir. 1995). The
standard requires more than a scintilla but less than a
preponderance (see Sorenson v. Weinberger, 514 F.2d
1112, 1119 n. 10 (9th Cir. 1975); Magallanes v.
Bowen, 881 F.2d 747, 750 (9th Cir. 1989)), and
“does not mean a large or considerable amount of
evidence.” Pierce v. Underwood, 487 U.S. 552,
respect to questions of fact, the role of the Court is to
review the record as a whole to determine whether it contains
evidence that would allow a reasonable mind to accept the
conclusions of the ALJ. See Richardson, 402 U.S. at
401; see also Matney, 981 F.2d at 1019. The ALJ is
responsible for determining credibility and resolving
conflicts in medical testimony (see Allen v.
Heckler, 749 F.2d 577, 579 (9th Cir. 1984)), resolving
ambiguities (see Vincent ex. rel. Vincent v.
Heckler, 739 F.2d 1393, 1394-95 (9th Cir. 1984)), and
drawing inferences logically flowing from the evidence
(see Sample v. Schweiker, 694 F.2d 639, 642 (9th
Cir. 1982)). Where the evidence is susceptible to more than
one rational interpretation, the reviewing court may not
substitute its judgment or interpretation of the record for
that of the ALJ. See Flaten, 44 F.3d at 1457;
Key v. Heckler, 754 F.2d 1545, 1549 (9th Cir. 1985).
respect to questions of law, the ALJ's decision must be
based on proper legal standards and will be reversed for
legal error. See Matney, 981 F.2d at 1019. The
ALJ's construction of the Social Security Act is entitled
to deference if it has a reasonable basis in law. See
id. However, reviewing federal courts “will not
rubber-stamp an administrative decision that is inconsistent
with the statutory mandate or that frustrates the
congressional purpose underlying the statute.” See
Smith v. Heckler, 820 F.2d 1093, 1094 (9th Cir. 1987).
evaluating the evidence presented at an administrative
hearing, the ALJ must follow a sequential process in
determining whether a person is disabled in general
(see 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520, 416.920) - or
continues to be disabled (see 20 C.F.R. §§
404.1594, 416.994) - within the meaning of the Social
first step requires the ALJ to determine whether the claimant
is engaged in substantial gainful activity
(“SGA”). See 20 C.F.R. §§
404.1520(a)(4)(i), 416.920(a)(4)(i). SGA is defined as work
activity that is both substantial and gainful.
“Substantial work activity” is work activity that
involves doing significant physical or mental activities.
See 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1572(a), 416.972(a).
“Gainful work activity” is work that is usually
done for pay or profit, whether or not a profit is realized.
See 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1572(b), 416.972(b).
If the claimant has engaged in SGA, disability benefits are
denied, regardless of how severe her physical/mental
impairments are and regardless of her age, education, and
work experience. See 20 C.F.R. §§
404.1520(b), 416.920(b). If the claimant is not engaged in
SGA, the analysis proceeds to the second step. Here, the ALJ
found that Petitioner “did not engage in substantial
gainful activity during the period from her alleged onset
date of October 1, 2012 through her date last insured of
September 30, 2014.” (AR 27).
second step requires the ALJ to determine whether the
claimant has a medically determinable impairment, or
combination of impairments, that is severe and meets the
duration requirement. See 20 C.F.R. §
404.1520(a)(4)(ii), 416.920(a)(4)(ii). An impairment or
combination of impairments is “severe” within the
meaning of the Social Security Act if it significantly limits
an individual's ability to perform basic work activities.
20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(c), 416.920(c). An impairment
or combination of impairments is “not severe”
when medical and other evidence establish only a slight
abnormality or a combination of slight abnormalities that
would have no more than a minimal effect on an
individual's ability to work. See 20 C.F.R.
§§ 404.1521, 416.921. If the claimant does not have
a severe medically determinable impairment or combination of
impairments, disability benefits are denied. See 20
C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(c), 416.920(c). Here, the ALJ
found that Petitioner had the following severe impairments:
“degenerative disc disease of the spine, arthralgia of
the knees, and obesity.” (AR 28-29).
third step requires the ALJ to determine the medical severity
of any impairments; that is, whether the claimant's
impairments meet or equal a listed impairment under 20 C.F.R.
Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1. See 20 C.F.R.
§§ 404.1520(a)(4)(iii), 416.920(a)(4)(iii). If the
answer is yes, the claimant is considered disabled under the
Social Security Act and benefits are awarded. See 20
C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(d), 416.920(d). If the
claimant's impairments neither meet nor equal one of the
listed impairments, the claimant's case cannot be
resolved at step three and the evaluation proceeds to step
four. See id. Here, the ALJ concluded that
Petitioner's above- listed impairments, while severe, do
not meet or medically equal, either singly or in combination,
the criteria established for any of the qualifying
impairments. See (AR 29-30).
fourth step of the evaluation process requires the ALJ to
determine whether the claimant's residual functional
capacity (“RFC”) is sufficient for the claimant
to perform past relevant work. See 20 C.F.R.
§§ 404.1520(a)(4)(iv), 416.920(a)(4)(iv). An
individual's RFC is her ability to do physical and mental
work activities on a sustained basis despite limitations from
her impairments. See 20 C.F.R. §§
404.1545, 416.945. Likewise, an individual's past
relevant work is work performed within the last 15 years or
15 years prior to the date that disability must be
established; also, the work must have lasted long enough for
the claimant to learn to do the job and be engaged in
substantial gainful activity. See 20 C.F.R.
§§ 404.1560(b), 404.1565, 416.960(b), 416.965.
Here, the ALJ determined that Petitioner has the RFC
“to perform light work as defined in 20 C.F.R. §
404.1567(b), ” including:
standing and/or walking for a total of about six hours in an
eight-hour workday, and sitting for a total of six hours in
an eight-hour workday. She can frequently climb ramps and
stairs, crouch, kneel, and crawl. She can never climb
ladders, ropes, and scaffolds. Due to obesity and knee pain,
the claimant should avoid all exposure to hazards, e.g.,
machinery and heights, and concentrated exposure to
fifth and final step, if it has been established that a
claimant can no longer perform past relevant work because of
her impairments, the burden shifts to the Commissioner to
show that the claimant retains the ability to do alternate
work and to demonstrate that such alternate work exists in
significant numbers in the national economy. See 20
C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(a)(4)(v), 416.920(a)(4)(v),
404.1520(f), 416.920(f); see also Matthews v.
Shalala, 10 F.3d 678, 681 (9th Cir. 1993). If the
claimant is able to do other work, she is not disabled; if
the claimant is not able to do other work and meets the
duration requirement, she is disabled. Here, the ALJ found
that, through the date last insured, Petitioner was capable
of performing past relevant work as a customer service
representative/teller. See (AR 34). The ALJ then
went on to find that there are also other jobs that exist in
significant numbers in the national economy that Petitioner
can perform, including ticket taker (light), cashier (light),
parking lot attendant (light), ticket taker/counter attendant
(sedentary), document preparer (sedentary), and charge
account clerk (sedentary). See (AR 35-36).
Therefore, based on Petitioner's age, education, work
experience, and RFC, the ALJ concluded that Petitioner
“was not under a disability, as defined in the Social
Security Act, at any time from October 1, 2012, the alleged
onset date, through September 30, 2014, the date last
insured.” (AR 36).
The ALJ Properly Considered Petitioner's Treating
medical opinion of a treating physician is entitled to
special consideration and weight. See Rodriguez v.
Bowen, 876 F.2d 759, 761 (9th Cir. 1989).
Such deference is warranted because the treating physician
“is employed to cure and has a greater opportunity to
know and observe the individual.” Id. However,
a treating physician's opinion is not necessarily
conclusive. See id. at 762. If the treating
physician's opinions are not contradicted by another
doctor, they may be rejected only for clear and convincing
reasons. See Lester v. Chater, 81 F.3d 821, 830
(9th Cir. 1995). Even if the treating
physician's opinions are contradicted by another doctor,
they can only be rejected if the ALJ provides specific and
legitimate reasons supported by substantial evidence in the
record. See id. A lack of objective medical
findings, treatment notes, and rationale to support a
treating physician's opinions is a sufficient reason for
rejecting that opinion. See Tonapetyan v. Halter,
242 F.3d 1144, 1149 (9th Cir. 2001); see also
Morgan v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec. Admin., 169 F.3d 595,
601-02 (9th Cir. 1999) (ALJ may discount
physicians' opinions based on internal inconsistencies,
inconsistencies between their opinions and other evidence in
record, or other factors ALJ deems material to resolving
ambiguities); Chaudhry v. Astrue, 688 F.3d 661, 671
(9th Cir. 2012) (“The ALJ need not accept
the opinion of any physician, including a treating physician,
if that opinion is brief, conclusory, and inadequately
supported by clinical findings.”).
the ALJ found that consultative examiner James Bates,
M.D.'s opinions merited “great weight, ”
whereas treating physician Richard Manos, M.D.'s opinions
merited only “little weight.” (AR 34). Petitioner
claims that the ALJ's elevation of Dr. Bates's
opinions (and, likewise, those non-examining source opinions
relying upon Dr. Bates's opinions) over those from Dr.
Manos was not based on specific and legitimate reasons
supported by substantial evidence in the record, given that
“Dr. Manos's assessment was based on a review of
objective evidence as well as his interview and examination,
where[as] Dr. Bates had minimal information on which to base
his assessment.” Id. at p. 8. Stated
differently, according to Petitioner, at the very least, the
reasons for rejecting Dr. Manos's more complete opinion
should apply equally to Dr. Bates's more deficient
opinion. See id. at p. 11 (“If there is a
question as to how the limitations were arrived at, it
applies to both assessments, not just to the one more
favorable to Petitioner. The ALJ's finding in this regard
was neither a reasonable interpretation of the evidence, nor
a legitimate reason for giving greater weight to the opinions
of Dr. Bates and the non-examining sources.”). As such,
Petitioner submits that the ALJ improperly analyzed the
medical evidence in assessing the opinions of Drs. Manos and
Bates. The Court disagrees.
his September 2, 2014 “Physician's Assessment of
Physical Activities, ” Dr. Manos noted that Petitioner
required longer or more frequent daily rest breaks; that
Petitioner's “conditions” required two or
more sick days from work per month; that Petitioner could
“frequently or occasionally” lift and carry 20
pounds without injury or pain; and that Petitioner could sit
for four hours, stand for two to four hours, and walk two
hours in an 8-hour workday (each for 30 minutes at a time).
See (AR 315). Except, as noted by the ALJ, there is
no underlying basis for these referenced physical limitations
- especially when considering that Dr. Manos only saw
Petitioner twice, and never during either visit did he
perform any testing that substantiated these opinions.
See (AR 34) (ALJ reasoning: “[T]he claimant
reported seeing Dr. Manos only twice. The claimant did not
recall speaking with Dr. Manos regarding her ability to stand
and/or sit, nor did Dr. Manos send her for any testing that
might be used as a basis for these opinions.”) (citing
hearing testimony (AR 42-111)). An ALJ may “permissibly
reject . . . check-off reports that [do] not contain any
explanation of the bases of their conclusions.”
See, e.g., Molina, 674 F.3d at 1111
(9th Cir. 2012); Crane v. Shalala, 76
F.3d 251, 253 (9th Cir. 1996); see also
Holohan v. Massanari, 246 F.3d 1195, 1202
(9th Cir. 2001) (observing that the regulations
“give more weight to opinions that are explained than
to those that are not.”); Tommasetti v.
Astrue, 533 F.3d 1035, 1041 (9th Cir. 2008)
(ALJ may reject physician's opinion if it is based
“to a large extent” on a claimant's
self-reports that have been properly discounted as not
credible [(see infra)].”); Ellison v.
Colvin, 2014 WL 4853126, *6 (D. Idaho 2014) (“When
a physician relies on Petitioner's subjective complaints,
which the ALJ properly discounted in an adverse credibility
determination, that is a legally sufficient reason on which
the ALJ could properly rely to accord less weight to
true that there are notations within Dr. Manos's limited
treatment notes that Petitioner is grappling with back and
leg pain. See (AR 316-19). But, importantly, whether
Petitioner suffers from these impairments is not at issue
here. To be clear, the ALJ found in no uncertain terms that
Petitioner's degenerative disc disease of the spine and
arthralgia of the knees was “severe, ” and that
Petitioner's residual functional capacity is negatively
impacted. See supra (citing AR 28-29). And, for the
most part, these treatment notes reflect Petitioner's
periodic subjective complaints of pain. However, largely
absent from such notes are any corresponding opinions or
findings from Dr. Manos (1) paralleling the opinions reached
(in the “Physician's Assessment of Physical
Activities”) as to Petitioner's alleged functional
limitations, or (2) quantifying in any consistent degree
Petitioner's pain statements and resultant limitations.
See, e.g., (AR 319) (Dr. Manos's July 23, 2014
treatment note: “Neurologic, motor, iliopsoas,
quadriceps, hamstrings, tibialis anterior, extensor halluci
longus, gastroc soleus and peroneals were tested. They were
5/5 except for the left tibialis anterior and EHL which I
would rate as 4/5.”). These realities support the
ALJ's decision to question Dr. Manos's opinions.
See Carter v. Colvin, 651 Fed.Appx. 721, 722
(9th Cir. 2016) (“The ALJ provided
‘specific [and] legitimate reasons' for giving
little weight to some of the treating doctors' opinions.
In particular, it was proper for the ALJ to give little
weight to a portion of Dr. Sandra Ritland's opinion that
was uncertain and speculative, as well as a portion of Dr.
David Little's opinion that did not rest on mental status
testing.”) (citing Chaudhry, 688 F.3d at
also noted that Dr. Manos's opinions do not exist in
isolation but, rather, are inconsistent with other medical
opinions in the record. See (AR 31-34). For example:
• In November 2014,  treating physician, Jennifer Holliday,
M.D., diagnosed Petitioner with degenerative joint disease,
but nonetheless found that she exhibited full 5/5 strength in
her bilateral lower extremities with no edema. (AR 31)
(citing (AR 303, 309)).
• In September 2013, Dr. Bates made the following
observations: “Stands in an upright position. Gait is
within normal limits. [Petitioner] can toe walk, heel walk
and tandem walk. Overall movement patterns are stable but
slow. [Petitioner] reports using a cane on occasion with
flare ups [but] [d]id not require one today for the
examination. Can raise up from a squat. Transitions up and
down from the chair and on and off the examination table
within normal limits. No significant difficulties
noted.” Additionally, Dr. Bates noted that Petitioner
had “mild restrictions” of the cervical spine and
full range of motion in her lumbosacral spine; that
Petitioner's major joints of the upper extremities are
within normal limits, as are the major joints of the lower
extremities (but knee flexion is limited by “body
habitus” (physique)). Dr. Bates found that
Petitioner's limitations “would restrict activities
sitting, standing, and walking, ” but recommended
“general changes of position every 10-20 minutes”
and “[w]ork, lifting, [and] carrying at a light
level.” (AR 32, 34) (citing (AR 288-90)).
• Medical consultant, Ward Dickey, M.D., opined that
Petitioner could occasionally lift and/or carry 20 pounds;
could frequently lift and/or carry 10 pounds; could stand
and/or walk about six hours in an 8-hour workday; could sit
about 6 hours in an 8-hour workday; had unlimited push/pull
restrictions; could frequently climb ramps/stairs, but never
climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds; had unlimited balancing
and stooping restrictions; and could frequently kneel,
crouch, and crawl. (AR 33) (citing (AR 119)). Accordingly,
Dr. Dickey concluded that Petitioner could perform certain
past relevant work as a “member service rep.” (AR
33) (citing (AR 122)); see also (AR 33) (citing (AR
132-36) (medical consultant, Myung Song, D.O., affirming Dr.
Dickey's opinions at reconsideration level)).
setting, the Court's duty is not to resolve the
conflicting opinions and ultimately decide whether Petitioner
is once-and-for-all disabled as that term is used within the
Social Security regulations. Rather, this Court must decide
whether the ALJ's decision that Petitioner is not
disabled is supported by the record. On this record, there is
a lack of corroboration in the medical record, alongside
conflicting medical opinions which gave rise to the ALJ's
decisions on how to consider the opinions of Dr. Manos. The
ALJ's decision to discount and give little weight to
those opinions is supported by clear and convincing,
specific, and legitimate reasons for doing so. Hence, because
the evidence can reasonably support the ALJ's conclusions
in these respects, this Court will not substitute its
judgment for that of the ALJ's, even if this Court were
to have a different view. See Richardson, 402 U.S.
at 401; Matney, 981 F.2d at 1019.
trier-of-fact, the ALJ is in the best position to make
credibility determinations and, for this reason, his
determinations are entitled to great weight. See Anderson
v. Sullivan, 914 F.2d 1121, 1124 (9th Cir.
1990); see also Reddick v. Chater, 157 F.3d 715, 722
(9th Cir. 1998) (ALJ is responsible for
determining credibility, resolving conflicts in medical
testimony, and for resolving ambiguities). In evaluating a
claimant's credibility, the ALJ may engage in ordinary
techniques of credibility evaluation, including consideration
of claimant's reputation for truthfulness and
inconsistencies in claimant's testimony, or between
claimant's testimony and conduct, as well as
claimant's daily activities, claimant's work record,
and testimony from physicians and third parties concerning
the nature, severity, and effect of the symptoms of which
claimant complains. See Thomas v. Barnhart, 278 F.3d
947, 958-59 (9th Cir. 2002). Also, the ALJ may
consider location, duration, and frequency of symptoms;
factors that precipitate and aggravate those symptoms; amount
and side effects of medications; and treatment measures taken
by claimant to alleviate those symptoms. See SSR
96-7p, available at 1996 WL 374186 (discussed
supra). In short, “[c]redibility decisions are
the province of the ALJ.” Fair v. Bowen, 885
F.2d 597, 604 (9th Cir. 1989). However, to reject
a claimant's testimony, the ALJ must make specific
findings stating clear and convincing reasons for doing so.
See Holohan, 246 F.3d at 1208 (citing
Reddick, 157 F.3d at 722).
alleges that the pain she experienced as a result of her
impairments impacted her ability to use stairs, bend down,
sit or stand for long periods of time, while also affecting
her ability to bathe, shave, and use the toilet. See
(AR 235) (“Function Report - Adult” identifying
physical abilities before impairment: “Go up stairs
easily, be down on my knees to clean out cabinets and such,
cannot sit for long periods of time or stand without being in
a lot of pain [(now)], I could also see better. . . . I am in
pain when standing in the shower, feet, legs, and back. It is
difficult for me to put pressure on one leg while I shave the
other - it causes pain in knees, leg, and feet. Painful
sitting down [(on the toilet)] and getting up, especially
knees, but back also.”). Her pain also prevented her
from preparing more than simple meals, carrying a laundry
basket, or doing more than dusting and wiping counters off.
See (AR 236). She would go shopping some weeks, but
other times would have her daughter pick things up for her.
See (AR 237). She had to do chores at a reduced pace
to avoid aggravating her pain; had difficultly sitting down
long enough to take care of her bills, read, or watch movies;
and was no longer able to go for walks as she had in the
past. See (AR 236-38).
reiterated these difficulties at the December 10, 2014
hearing, testifying in response to questions posed by the ALJ
and her attorney:
ALJ: Now, now when you filed your application for Disability
Benefits, you complained of quite a lot of problems. You said
you had back problems, dizziness, knee problems, nerve
damage, degenerative disk, disk and lower back keeps breaking
up, severe knee pain in both legs. Leg aches. Left leg aches
due to nerve damage. Dizziness, sometimes room spins. Blurred
vision, pain, dizziness in both feet. Pain stiffness in both
Q: I didn't think dizziness in both feet was wright. Pain
and stiffness in both feet. Numbness in left foot, plantar
fasciitis. Feel tired all the time. Chronic fatigue. In a lot
of pain most of the day. Are you still alleging all those?
A: Pretty much, yes.
Q: Are you alleging any new symptoms?
A: Just the last time I tried to go for a walk I had a lot of
hip pain, which was new to me. And when I went to one of the
doctors they said that that was probably caused from either
my knees or my back and they called it a transfer lesion, you
know. And I told them, I said well, I've never had
problems with my hips, you know, in the past.
A: So I just thought it was weird because the pain was so bad
I didn't even want to walk for very long.
. . . .
Q: Do you know what caused - did you have the doctors examine
you to determine what was causing the hip pain?
A: Well, like I said, the one orthopedic doctor, his
assistant said that it was a transfer lesion and it could be
caused because my knees, the way I understood it, and I'm
not a medical professional, but they said I had trochlear
dysplasia of the knees. And he said that the grooves in my
knees aren't deep enough so it causes them to go out so
they're not aligned properly. And on top of that I have
cartilage thinning and especially, I guess, in the one leg
it's really bad. And you can hear like when I goo up and
down steps or get up, you can hear my knees grind. But
anyway, he just said that because of the back and the knee
pain that that's what was causing the hip pain because
everything's out of align.
. . . .
ATT: Okay. So in September 2012, you lifted a sofa?
Q: After that, was the pain that started then as severe as it
is now, or has it gotten progressively worse since you lifted
A: I would say it's gotten worse, but the thing is before
theat I wasn't on the Gabapentin, and the Gabapentin
helps with the pain because I was getting to a point where I
couldn't even bend over.
Q: Okay. So what types of things could you do when you first
had the pain after lifting the sofa?
A: Not too much of anything because I was pretty limited. I
mean I was, like I said, getting worse to the point where if
I even tried to bend over, if I tried to lift anything, it
just was causing me way too much pain.
Q: Okay. What did you do to help with the pain?
A: I immediately started taking some old Gabapentin that I
Q: So Gabapentin, that was at that time would have been six
Q: Okay. Not necessarily the smartest thing to do.
A: No, but I was told by a pharmacist that it's safe to
take even if it's older. It's ...