by the company that he should either "get fixed up or not come back." Plaintiff has not worked since July 24, 1968, nor has he sought employment.
At the hearings on July 9, 1969 and July 29, 1969, plaintiff appeared and testified on his own behalf. Also the testimony of an impartial vocational expert was received. The essential finding of the Hearing Examiner was that plaintiff had a chronic mid-back problem which was minimal and associated with few, if any, abnormal medical findings associated with his allegations of thoracic pain. It was concluded that plaintiff had nothing more than mild or minimal discomfort on full thoracic motions and that this discomfort did not preclude him from performing light and sedentary jobs designated in the testimony of the vocational expert.
It is the plaintiff's contention that the Hearing Examiner, in making these findings, has disregarded the testimony of the plaintiff himself. At the hearing, plaintiff testified that various motions by him caused him to feel like he had "a nail in his back" or a throbbing or pounding sensation in his back. He stated that he could only lift 50 lbs. once or twice without then experiencing such pain, that he would have difficulty in repeatedly lifting weights of 15 to 20 lbs. because of the pain he would experience in bending or stooping, that he could not twist or turn with a weight, and that he could not sustain a weight upon his outstretched arms but only could hold a weight against his person. He testified that he could only stand or walk for about an hour without being required by the pain to sit down. He stated that he could sit on a hard seat for about an hour, but then the pain would require him to stand up. He stated that he could sit in a soft seat for several hours without being required to stand. Plaintiff also stated that he could not work continuously for eight hours in a day in any type of work without having an opportunity to lie down for an hour after three or four hours of work.
It is clear that the Hearing Examiner did not accept claimant's testimony as conclusive with respect to the severity of the pain experienced by him but rather considered the statements of the claimant in the context of other evidence appearing before him. The medical evidence indicated that plaintiff's fusion of his lower dorsal spine was solid. There was no evidence of deficits in the musculature, sensory, reflex or circulatory areas. Also, myelogram subsequent to the fusion showed no defect. With respect to plaintiff's range of motion after the fusion, the medical evidence, with but a singular exception, indicated that the motions of plaintiff's thoracic spine were unrestricted. At the conclusion of plaintiff's stay at the St. Francis General Hospital for an exploratory operation to examine the previous fusion, a consultant at the hospital observed on May 14, 1969 that plaintiff suffered at that time from a chronic mid-back pain which was minimal.
Also considered by the Hearing Examiner was testimony offered by the plaintiff himself with respect to the activities in which he had engaged subsequent to his spinal fusion. Plaintiff testified that these activities consisted of driving every day, shooting at targets with a pistol and rifle, flying as a student aircraft pilot, attending church, hunting small game, cooking, dusting, gardening, mowing the law with a power mower, window shopping and grocery marketing.
The term "disability" as applicable to claims for benefits under both §§ 216(i) and 223, supra, is defined in § 223(d), supra, which provides in pertinent part:
"(d)(1) * * *