"What about my Disability??"
Monday January 7
35 year old male comes to clinic with cough, congestion, etc...no fever and further history, physical exam, and work up suggests no sign of serious illness...more like the common cold. Symptomatic treatments are given (no antibiotics). A note for work for that day is given (since he missed work for his appointment). He is to return to work Tuesday...
He questions the receptionist "She must mean next Tuesday right? Return to work next Tuesday?" "No she wrote you can return tomorrow."
He stomps back to where I am, "You didn't mean tomorrow, you meant next week right? Return to work next week?" "No sir." He goes home disappointed and upset but not before leaving short term disability papers he wanted me to fill out so that he can recouperate from his cold.
He returns to clinic today and sees a colleague of mine. Same symptoms. He again brings another copy of short term disability papers for my colleague to complete, then asks, "The doc I saw Monday said I could go back to work now - aint that crazy?" "Um, no" my colleague responds. "You can return to work" Me nor my colleague would complete the disability papers because he did not qualify. He does not have a disablity. I see people working all the time with cough, congestion. I've had the common cold 3xs since I've been pregnant and I'm still working. (Aside: the key here is of course frequent thorough hand washing)
Since when does having a cold or lingering cough equal disability??? Did I miss the memo?
That reminds me of a patient I had last year who wanted disability because she has reflux.
I just don't get it!