United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Western Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
D. JOHNSTON MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Angel Michelle Rose Luna brings this action under 42 U.S.C.
§405(g), challenging the denial of social security
2010, when she was 19 years old, plaintiff filed applications
for disability benefits and supplement security income. She
alleged that she has ongoing pain in her knee stemming from
two surgeries, one in 2003 and one in 2004, and shoulder,
neck, and back pain from a 2005 car accident. Dkt. #27 at 4.
These problems continued and, in 2010, she had thoracic
outlet surgery and first rib resection. The surgery was
performed by Dr. Zarnke who prescribed various pain
medications. Dkt. #27 at 6. Plaintiff also has alleged that
she suffers from anxiety and migraine headaches, the latter
problem began around April 2011. In the summer of 2012,
plaintiff began treatment with a neurologist, Dr. Lawrence
Wilkin. Id. at 7. He prescribed pain medications for
plaintiff’s migraines, but they made her feel
“foggy.” In letter dated October 12, 2012, Dr.
Wilkin opined that plaintiff had suffered severe and
disabling pain “over the last eight years without any
improvements” and that she is “completely and
totally disabled from any occupation.” R. 462.
21, 2013, a hearing was held before an administrative law
judge (“ALJ”). Plaintiff testified that she
graduated from high school and had four months of college
education; that she had two knee surgeries; that she was in a
car accident in 2005 and another one in 2008; that she had
surgery (performed by Dr. Zarnke, an orthopedist) in 2010;
that she last worked as a nursing assistant but was fired in
December 2009 for working “at a slower pace”;
that she has shooting pain going from her left shoulder into
her arm; that if she walks half a block it feels like her
lung is caving in “where [her] rib is gone”; that
Dr. Zarnke told her a few months after the surgery that there
was nothing more he could do to address the pain; that she
then saw Dr. McCarty, an orthopedist, who told her that she
did not need any further surgery and that plaintiff was
“going to [have to] live with” her problems; that
she then began seeing Dr. Wilkin who “prescribed [her]
a lot of medicine that’s made it a lot better”;
that she gets migraine headaches lasting anywhere from one to
five days; that after she started taking Topamax for the
headaches, they occurred once or twice a week; that she has
two children, a one and five years old; that her mom and
husband do most of the child care; and that she has trouble
playing with her children.
this testimony, the ALJ asked plaintiff about two alleged
discrepancies that had “caught [his] attention”
and would later become key anchor points in his ALJ’s
decision. R. 97.
first concerned a motorcycle ride. Here is the testimony,
with the ALJ asking the questions:
Q Let me bring something to your attention. It’s from
August, of 2010. It’s at Exhibit 3-F. It was when you
were still going to the Pain Center.
She happens to mention that you got pain from the top of the
shoulder, the trapezius muscle, that went down to your waist.
It stopped at the mid-biceps and the elbow; but it was the
way that the specialist wrote it down that caught my
She mentioned that you had the discomfort when you were
riding a-on a motorcycle for a ride.
Q So I don’t know if you remember saying that. 
CLMT: Yes. I do remember saying that. My brother had got a
new motorcycle. He lives right across the street, and we live
on a dead-end. He’s, like, you know, do you want to get
on and try to ride. I’m, like, well, okay. And we rode
to the stop sign.
When I-his bike seat sat taller than his seat. So I’d
have to lean down over him, and I couldn’t do it. My
arms started to shake. It sent a shooting pain from my elbow
up the back of my arm and into my shoulder and one from
rotator cuff up into my neck. It runs, like, right behind my
Because she had asked what movements are worse, or have you
noticed anything now than you had before.
BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE:
Q Okay. So this is not something you were making a habit of;
it just happened to be an isolated occasion. Correct?
A Yes. My family was trying to find something that I would
enjoy doing with the problems I had, and I ...