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Posted: 8/4/2012 7:26:08 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/4/2012 7:33:08 PM EST by 4JOINTS]
My wife, who is 55 years old, worked @ the Hanford site from 1976 to 1982. She worked with the engineers that were inspecting the welding and spent approximately 60% of her time in general office areas, 20% in the physical plant and 20% outside by the large tank assembly area's.
Three weeks ago we got a letter from Oak Ridge Associated Universities, they were hired by the department of energy to track down former employees at sites that were found to be hazzardous, and offer them a supplemental medical screening. We called the 800 number for the screening interview and answered a lot of questions as to where she worked, and what she was exposed to and worked around. She was exposed to plutonium, berylium, lead fumes, welding fumes, cesium and a few other bad elements. Her badge that they all wore went int the critical alarm twice and was reported.
Oak Ridge then sets up an actual medical screening, with a clinic that they sanction, close to where you live, Charlotte, NC for us. We went to the medical screening, they took 8 vials of blood, and a couple of chest x-rays, did lung volume tests, hearing and vision tests and urinalysis. The results were suppose to take 6 to 8 weeks to come back, however, we got a call from a nurse with the company that Oak Ridge hired to look over the results (Denver, Co) and she wanted to let us know that there were elevated blood sugar numbers and her liver numbers were elevated and they would fed ex the written report to us, got the report 3 days later. Then the nurse called again 2 days ago to say that they saw some abnomalities in her chest x-rays and would be fed ex'ing that also! The remaining "45" pages of the report will follow in another 4 or 5 weeks.
My wife is in poor health, she has had breast cancer, peripheral neuropathy, psoratic arthritis, has been diagnosed with MS, she is losing her hair, has alot of pain. She hasn't driven in 4 years, uses a walker and in the last three years she has been hospitalized at least once every year, with severe respiratory infections and during those three years has been in intensive care over 90 days, the last time she needed a trach tube for 32 days w/ventilater. Currently is on 16 different meds, the co-pays alone run over $450.00.
I am seeing a butting of heads with a government agency in our future and am hoping that someone here may of had some prior dealings and or advice for me. More than likely nothing will be accomplished with out legal help, so if anyone knows of a law firm that deals with something like this, please let me know! Anything would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, 4 joints (that's because both my knees and both my hips have been replaced)
Link Posted: 8/7/2012 9:06:26 AM EST
Before looking at official channels, IMO the first thing you should do is review their findings with her physician and see if there is anything unexpected. You and your wife have my sympathy. She sounds like she's got it pretty tough right now. The staff who reviewed the reports may have seen things that her own doctor knows about, but they have to follow protocol and contact the patient to ensure that she is aware of the conditions.

Also, peripheral neuropathy, pain, age, and elevated blood sugars indicate Non Insulin Dependant Diabetes, which would both surprise me and disturb me if her regular doctor was not aware of it. It may be that the treatments she receives either cause it or conflict with the care, so that should be discussed, too.
Link Posted: 8/8/2012 8:12:12 AM EST
Thanks for the reply and suggestions. Fortunately we have had a great doctor, since my first joint replacement, besides being a good doc, he also has a degree in mechanical engineering and has served in uncle sam's Navy, so those are two things that we have in common. He and his family have become good friends of ours, I can text him, day or night, with anything.
You're absolutely correct, to wait for the remaining 40 some pages of the DOE medical screening, that is suppose to show in another 4 weeks. It hasn't been a good year, so far, thanks to the corporate greed, I was let go in january. Any work that I look for has to be something that can mainly be done from my home office, so I can take care of and keep an eye on my wife.
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 6:37:26 PM EST
We have filed for compensation with the Hanford Resource Center and had a conference call with them last week, their purpose is the assist past Hanford employees with filing and the documents etc that are needed, from start to finish.

The conference call took an hour and 15 minutes, during this time we found out that Katherine did qualify for compensation under section E, which covers 22 types of cancer. The remaining health issues of the MS, nerve damage, chronic resperatory infections are all grouped and covered under another section. The approval of her compensation for her bout with breast cancer is dependant upon one thing, being able to come up with the documentation fo her cancer diagnosis and surgery.

This is our problem, her breast cancer surgery was the spring of 1995 at Providence - Sacred Heart hospital in Spokane, Wa. that was before we got married and unfortunely due to her health she has some dimentia and memory is really spotty. She doesn't remember the doctor's name, I sent the official request for medical records to the hospital with her signatures and it came back that the records had been destroyed after 10 years (from the patients last visit, which is Washington state law) just in case I called the hospital and double checked that the records hadn't been converted to electronic, and I checked with the billing department to see if they had anything listed as far as a procedure code that translates to breast cancer surgery (which would be acceptable proof) We do know the insurance company, it was Aetna insurance, I have contacted then, to see if they have kept anythin on file, if itemized, that would be excellent, kind of being bounched around. Our primary care physician (good guy, x destroyer crewman) is setting up an appointment in our area (Charlotte, NC) with a breast cancer specialist, to make sure nothing is reoccuring and to do what ever tests (CAT scans, MRI, etc) that can verify the past surgery and the reason (cancer) for it and give a professional opinion of how long ago the surgery took place.

Being able to get the compensation would be a blessing towards covering her $450+ copay for meds every month and other medical expenses and I think add to her morale that something was done for her!! THANKS FOR ANY AND ALL SUGGESTIONS. HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYBODY!
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