Haddon testified that he has continual stomach pain from bleeding ulcers, for which he has taken Maalox, Mylanta and Tagamet for 14 years (R. 22, 23).
Haddon has declined surgery to treat his ulcer, and he has also avoided having x-rays (R. 35, 33). On several occasions he has visited emergency rooms to obtain blood transfusions due to loss of blood from vomiting and dehydration (R. 29, 30, 32-34). Often he has no appetite, and he has lost weight--at the time of the Hearing he was five feet eleven inches tall and weighed 135 pounds (R. 21, 24).
Haddon also has back pain, which is sometimes linked to his stomach pain. That back pain causes him to have problems bending and lifting (R. 23, 29). Sometimes the pain in his stomach and back wakes him up (R. 37).
Haddon gets dizzy if he stands for more than a few hours (R. 22). Essentially he spends his days drawing and reading (R. 26).
Since 1968 Haddon had used illegal street drugs. For two years before the Hearing he had gone daily to a Veteran's Administration methadone treatment program (R. 25, 211), and at the time of the Hearing he had been off of heroin for a year (R. 22).
Since 1985 Haddon has been treated at several hospitals for stomach pains and vomiting blood. Haddon was hospitalized for four days beginning December 2, 1985 at Cook County Hospital, being diagnosed there with duodenitis (R. 229). On March 4, 1986 Haddon was transferred from St. Bernard's Hospital to the University of Illinois Hospital, showing symptoms of epigastric pain radiating to the back with nausea and vomiting of undigested food (R. 91, 153). There he was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis (R. 163). Rather than undergo an endoscopy and have a naso-gastrointestinal tube inserted, Haddon left the hospital on March 7 (R. 99, 149). On May 20, 1986 Haddon was admitted to Michael Reese Hospital with abdominal pain, vomiting and fever (R. 166). Physicians there were unsure of the etiology of his symptoms (R. 171). After again refusing a naso-gastrointestinal tube (R. 166, 177), Haddon was discharged on May 23 with a diagnosis of probable gastroenteritis, pancreatitis and opiate abuse (R. 166).
On October 17, 1987 Haddon was admitted to the detox unit at the West Side VA Hospital (R. 249). He was diagnosed with heroin dependence and accepted into the substance abuse program (R. 249).
After having treated Haddon in the emergency room at Englewood Hospital in April 1987, Dr. Brahm Gupta saw him on several occasions between April 7, 1987 and March 12, 1988 at Dr. Gupta's clinic (R. 29, 57-60, 75-79). Dr. Gupta reported
that Haddon had a duodenal ulcer and took his medicine only irregularly. However, Dr. Gupta opined that Haddon was fully capable of doing work, taking care of himself and his house, shopping, paying bills and other ordinary daily activities (R. 58). Dr. Gupta also judged Haddon capable of managing his own funds and of carrying out and understanding instructions (R. 60).
Dr. Kuangjyh Chen, an internist, examined Haddon on a consultative basis on January 19, 1988 (R. 71-73). Dr. Chen reported no significant physical or mental abnormalities. Haddon told Dr. Chen that he did his own shopping and cooking, that he got along with others satisfactorily, and that he liked to play the saxophone and draw. He also told Dr. Chen that he was in school (R. 72-73).
On August 29, 1988 Haddon went to the West side VA clinic, complaining of stomach pain and inability to keep down food (R. 243-44). He was diagnosed with viral gastroenteritis and was told to drink plenty of fluids and eat bland foods (R. 244).
Statutory and Regulatory Framework
Section 1382c defines an individual as "disabled":
if he is unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months. . . .