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Leslie W. Luckett v. Michael J. Astrue

August 15, 2012

LESLIE W. LUCKETT, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Byron G. Cudmore, U.S. Magistrate Judge:

E-FILED

Wednesday, 15 August, 2012 11:39:55 AM Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

OPINION

Plaintiff Leslie W. Luckett appeals from the denial of his application for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits and Supplemental Security Income (collectively "Disability Benefits") under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act. 42 U.S.C. §§ 416(i), 423, 1381a, and 1382c. This appeal is brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g) and 1383(c). Luckett has filed his Motion for Summary Judgment (d/e 14), and Defendant Commissioner of Social Security has filed a Motion for Summary Affirmance (d/e 16). The parties consented, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), to have this matter proceed before this Court. Consent to Proceed Before a United States Magistrate Judge, and Order of Reference entered February 28, 2012 (d/e 13). For the reasons set forth below, the decision of the Commissioner is affirmed.

STATEMENT OF FACTS Plaintiff Luckett was born April 14, 1982. He completed the eighth grade. Luckett suffers from type I diabetes, hypothyroidism, depression, and injuries to his dominant right hand. He worked as a laborer on a paint line. Answer to Complaint (d/e 10), attached Certified Transcript of Proceedings Before the Social Security Administration (R.), 64-65, 188, 190. Luckett stopped working in January 1, 2007, when his employer closed and he re-injured his right hand when he hit someone with a closed fist. R. 74, 190.

On January 2, 2007, Luckett went to the emergency room at Blessing Hospital in Quincy, Illinois (ER). R. 342-44. Luckett went there to have his right hand examined. An x-ray showed that he broke his right fifth metacarpal in his little finger when he hit the person the day before. He was given a splint and discharged. Luckett returned to the ER on January 9, 2007, complaining of back and hand pain. R. 355-57. The back x-rays were normal. The hand x-rays showed the prior fracture of the fifth metacarpal. R. 355. Luckett was prescribed pain medication and released. R. 357.

On April 14, 2007, Luckett went to the ER due to a sore on his calf. R. 344. On examination, the doctor found multiple sores on Luckett's legs, buttocks, face, and chin. Blood tests showed very high blood sugar levels and an elevated white blood cell count. R. 346-47. The doctor found normal range of motion, normal sensation, and normal motor function.

R. 347. Luckett was given insulin and left against medical advice. R. 347. On July 11, 2007, Luckett went to the Northeast Missouri Health Council medical offices (Clinic). He saw Elizabeth Schrage, a Registered Nurse Practitioner. R. 243, 411. Luckett told Sage that he was diagnosed with diabetes when he was eight or nine years' old. He stated that he did not follow the proper diet for his condition. He also told her that he needed thyroid medicine. On examination, Schrage found that Luckett had limited use of his right hand due to an old injury, but had good sensation in the hand and no neurological deficits. R. 243, 411. Schrage ordered blood tests and prescribed thyroid medicine. R. 243, 411.

Luckett returned to the Clinic on August 10, 2007, for a scheduled follow-up visit. R. 239, 409. Schrage reviewed the results of the blood test. She noted a sore on Luckett's lower left leg and multiple scars on his legs from previous sores. R. 239, 409. Luckett reported that he had diarrhea when his blood sugar was too high. Luckett requested a hearing evaluation. He also reported that he needed glasses, but could not afford them. R. 239, 409. Schrage prescribed medication and insulin syringes. Luckett returned on August 13, 2007, for a recheck of the sore on his leg.

R. 327, 408.

On November 30, 3007, Luckett went to the ER due to excessive vomiting. He reported that he drank whiskey the night before. R. 299-301, 323. Luckett reported that he had diabetes, but did not check his blood sugar levels because he could not afford it. He reported that he smoked two packs of cigarettes a day, "got drunk about once a month," and used marijuana. R. 299, 323. He reported that he had surgery on his right forearm after he punched through a window. He reported that he had numbness in his right hand since that incident. R. 299, 323. On examination, the doctor found wounds on his legs, scaly patches of skin, and multiple scars. R. 299, 323. Luckett's blood glucose level and his white blood cell count were high, but his potassium and sodium levels were low. R. 285, 327-28. Luckett was diagnosed with diabetic ketoacidosis, hypothyroidism, and leukocytosis. R. 301, 325.*fn1 He was given insulin. He refused to stay because he felt depressed there. Luckett left against medical advice. R. 301, 325.

On January 23, 2008, Luckett returned to the Clinic to see Schrage because of sores on his hands, arms, and legs. R. 234, 404. He stated that he had picked at the scabs and made them worse. Schrage prescribed thyroid medicine and antibiotics. R. 234, 404. Luckett returned to the Clinic on March 20, 2008. He stated that the sores were not healing. He also stated that he was not good about taking his insulin, did not watch his diet, and occasionally smoked pot. R. 248, 402. Schrage found multiple wounds on his hands and legs from sores. She found sensation present in both feet. R. 248, 402. Schrage ordered blood tests and prescribed medication. R. 248, 402.

Luckett returned to see Schrage on April 11, 2008. Luckett still had sores and also was not sleeping well. R. 247, 401. Luckett reported that he drank alcohol, did not follow his diet, did not test his blood sugar levels, and did not take his insulin properly. Sometimes he did not take the insulin, and sometimes he took too much at one time. R. 247-401. Luckett said he could not afford test strips to test his blood sugar. R. 247, 401. Schrage found multiple sores on Luckett's hands and legs and a fungal infection on his feet. Schrage prescribed an antifungal medication, an antidepressant, and blood glucose testing strips. R. 247, 401.

On April 25, 2008, Luckett returned to the Clinic. On examination, Schrage found that Luckett had flaking skin on his legs and hands and multiple sores on his hands. R. 245, 398. Schrage prescribed medication.

R. 245, 398.

On May 3, 2008, Luckett went to the ER. He reported that he had been vomiting and had diarrhea for five to seven days. He also said he had a rash on his feet. R. 270. He reported that his right hand was previously reattached surgically. R. 270. He reported that he had eight beers and five to six shots the night before. R. 270. His blood glucose level was elevated. R. 271, 274. He was diagnosed with vomiting and hyperglycemia. R. 269. He was given anti nausea medication. He felt better and was released. R. 269, 271.

On July 14, 2008, Luckett saw Schrage at the Clinic. Luckett had sores on his body and also blisters on his feet. R. 396. Luckett also complained of back pain. Luckett stated that he hurt his back when he was working; he hurt it lifting an automotive transmission. R. 396. Schrage found sores and decreased protective sensation in his extremities. R. 396. Schrage prescribed thyroid medicine and antibiotics. R. 396.

On July 14, 2008, Schrage completed a form that Luckett had provided to her entitled, "Medical Source Statement of Ability to do Work-Related Activities (Physical)." R. 250-53, 390-93, 426-29. Schrage opined that Luckett could occasionally lift 50 pounds and frequently lift 20 pounds. Schrage opined that Luckett had limited ability to reach, handle, finger, and feel with his right hand. Schrage stated that Luckett had partial numbness in his right hand due to injury. Schrage opined that Luckett could stand and/or walk less than two hours in an eight-hour workday, and needed to alternate between standing and sitting. R. 250-51, 390-91, 426-27.

Schrage opined that Luckett was limited in his ability to push or pull with both his upper and lower extremities. She opined that his ability to push or pull with his upper extremities was limited by his decreased grip strength in his right hand. His ability to push and pull with his lower extremities was limited by weakness and loss of feeling in his legs and feet due to his diabetes. R. 251.

Schrage opined that Luckett had unlimited ability to hear and speak, but had blurry vision when his blood sugar was too high. R. 252, 392, 428. Schrage opined that Luckett had limited ability to tolerate noise, humidity, wetness, extreme temperatures, and work hazards such as machinery or heights. R. 253, 393, 429.

Luckett next went to see Schrage on September 29, 2008. Luckett still had sores on his body and blisters on his feet. Luckett reported that he was not compliant with his insulin. Luckett stated that he did not have money to buy test strips. Luckett also complained of back pain. R. 388. Luckett also reported feeling depressed and upset because he had been to St. Louis. His sister had been murdered in St. Louis. Schrage recommended counseling. Schrage noted that Luckett's sores and blisters were somewhat improved. R. 388. Schrage prescribed thyroid medication, antibiotics and an antidepressant. R. 388. Schrage noted that Luckett needed ophthalmology and endocrinology consults. R. 388.

On November 10, 2008, Luckett went to the ER with a laceration of his right thumb. R. 263-64. Luckett had decreased sensation and limited range of motion in his right hand due to previous injury. R. 264. Luckett was given antibiotics and pain medication, and was released. R. 265, 268.

On December 23, 2008, Luckett went to see Schrage because of a burnt left wrist. Luckett reported that he stopped taking the antidepressant because it made him feel "hot-headed." R. 382. On examination, Schrage found an inflamed abrasion on Luckett's left forearm. R. 382. Schrage prescribed medication and ordered blood tests. R. 382.

On January 21, 2009, Luckett went to the ER for nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. R. 255. He was diagnosed with gastroenteritis and was released. R. 255-57.

On March 9, 2009, Luckett saw Schrage again at the Clinic. Luckett reported that his blood sugar levels were improving. R. 381. Luckett complained about a knot behind his nipple. He also stated that he had diarrhea multiple times a day. R. 381. On examination, Schrage found multiple sores on Luckett's hands and feet and a lump behind the right nipple. R. 381. Schrage prescribed Bentyl to be taken before each meal. Schrage also scheduled appointments with a gastroenterologist, an ophthalmologist, and a dermatologist. R. 381.

On May 7, 2009, Luckett saw Schrage again. R. 380. Luckett had glasses at this time. Luckett reported that he could not keep his blood sugar under control. He also reported having angry outbursts when his blood sugar went too high. R. 380. On examination, Schrage found folliculitis on his arms ...


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