testified that he had had high blood pressure all of his adult life, (Tr. 46), and it evidently did not prevent him from performing the work which the Secretary found he could still perform. Also, despite his long history of hypertension, there is no medical evidence in the record that plaintiff has suffered from hypertensive vascular disease, ischemic heart disease with chest pain, or congestive heart failure which could cause functional impairment. (Tr. 14). Finally, Dr. Reilly, with full knowledge of plaintiff's hypertension as well as his gallstones, considered that plaintiff could perform heavy exertional work. (Tr. 109-25, 133-34). Therefore, a reasonable person could find that plaintiff was capable of performing the heavy exertional work of his occupation.
Plaintiff's medical treatment record also documents back symptoms. However, he alleged it only after he filed his claims for benefits, and after he had been seeing Dr. Reilly for five months without seeking any evaluation or treatment for a back problem. Plaintiff's silence on the subject is difficult to understand if, as he alleged, it was so severe that he could walk for no more than fifteen minutes without his leg dragging or without his falling down. (Tr. 38). Also, when plaintiff did report back symptoms, Dr. Reilly could find no neurological deficits and no muscle spasm. (Tr. 129-30).
A significant back problem also is contradicted by the fact that plaintiff failed to report any significant back problem when he answered questions concerning his medical history during his hospital stay for gall bladder surgery. (Tr. 168, 170). According to the hospital record, plaintiff took no medication for back pain. (Tr. 168, 170). Also, Plaintiff was examined at this time, and the physician, Dr. Boron, reported no abnormalities on physical examination, and gave no diagnosis relating to the back. (Tr. 170-71). In light of these facts concerning plaintiff's claim of back pain, the Secretary did not err as a matter of law in discounting plaintiff's testimony concerning his supposed back limitations.
Plaintiff also alleges that the ALJ erred by failing to consider the combined effect of his impairments, but articulates no factual basis for this assertion. Dr. Reilly was aware of all the relevant evidence when he made his functional capacity assessment. Plaintiff does not identify what facts were unknown to Dr. Reilly, much less offer proof on the question of how such additional facts would affect an assessment of functional capacity. Plaintiff's allegation is, therefore, unsupported by the record.
The other functional limitations plaintiff alleged are not substantiated by his treatment record. There is no reference in the treatment record to any side effects from medication prescribed for plaintiff's hypertension. Plaintiff has produced no evidence from his physicians corroborating his story. Likewise, there also is no corroboration in plaintiff's medical record for his testimony regarding a problem with his hands, although the problem purportedly was so severe as to wake him at night and make him unable to hold objects. Therefore, the ALJ was reasonable in crediting plaintiff's testimony only to the extent that it corresponded with what he told his physicians for purposes of treatment.
It is not necessary to review further the decision of the ALJ. After thorough review of the evidentiary record, the factual findings of the ALJ, and the application of the appropriate federal regulations, this court is satisfied that the Secretary's final decision is supported by substantial evidence. Upon consideration of the entire record, a reasonable person could conclude that plaintiff was not disabled. Accordingly, the Secretary's motion for summary judgment will be granted.
An appropriate order will follow.
Date: January 27, 1994
ORDER OF COURT
AND NOW, this 27th day of January, 1994, for the reasons stated in the opinion filed this day, IT IS ORDERED that defendant's motion for summary judgment (Document No. 10), be, and the same hereby is, granted; and,
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff's motion for summary judgment (Document No. 8) be, and the same hereby is, denied.