• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

0 Neutral

About dgraham82

  • Rank
    E-3 Seaman
  • Birthday 09/25/1982

Previous Fields

  • Service Connected Disability
  • Branch of Service
    Air Force

Recent Profile Visitors

488 profile views
  1. well with my schooling I've had a hard time with that as well, been going on and off for a while with no real progress towards a degree. I'm using my post 9/11 currently but that expires in March so I will either be switching to my reserve gi bill or Voc rehab.
  2. Well I have not been able to hold down a steady job since I left the military. I'm currently in school however. I just started that a few months ago.
  3. Just a quick question. I recently was awarded 80 percent. 70 percent PTSD/depression/tbi, 30 percent post traumatic headaches and 10 percent tinnitus. In my dbq's I noticed a few spots where it states my disabilities affect my ability to maintain work. Does this mean I'm eligible for tdiu? If so how do I file for it?
  4. Finally got my rating back. 80 percent total. 70 percent PTSD, mdd and tbi, 30 percent post traumatic headaches and 10 percent tinnitus
  5. I filed my claim April 16th, had the last of my 4 c&p exams on sept 8th. Moved to prep for decision sept. 10th. Hopefully it goes by fast, however my claim is being handled in Oakland and I've read nothing but bad things.
  6. I'm currently 30% for MDD, I opened a new claim, for TBI, Tinnitus, Migraines and PTSD. So far it looks like all of them have been connected to my service. I am just waiting on the rating decision now.
  7. wondering if anyone can help decipher a possible rating out of this info. SECTION II: ----------- Clinical Findings: ------------------ 1. Evidence review ------------------ In order to provide an accurate medical opinion, the Veteran's claims folder must be reviewed. a. Medical record review: ------------------------- Was the Veteran's VA e-folder (VBMS or Virtual VA) reviewed? [X] Yes [ ] No Was the Veteran's VA claims file (hard copy paper C-file) reviewed? [ ] Yes [X] No If yes, list any records that were reviewed but were not included in the Veteran's VA claims file: If no, check all records reviewed: [ ] Military service treatment records [ ] Military service personnel records [ ] Military enlistment examination [ ] Military separation examination [ ] Military post-deployment questionnaire [ ] Department of Defense Form 214 Separation Documents [ ] Veterans Health Administration medical records (VA treatment records) [ ] Civilian medical records [ ] Interviews with collateral witnesses (family and others who have known the Veteran before and after military service) [ ] No records were reviewed [X] Other: VBMS was reviewed. Records available in CPRS were reviewed. The veteran provided history and clinical information. b. Was pertinent information from collateral sources reviewed? [ ] Yes [X] No 2. History ---------- a. Relevant Social/Marital/Family history (pre-military, military, and post-military): The veteran was born in Los Gatos, CA and grew up Sunnyvale and Patterson, CA. He was reared in an intact family. The veteran had 2 younger biological siblings. He reports he went through the 13th grade (joined service after 9/11), graduating HS with 2.0 academic marks. Attended 3 weeks college before service. The veteran notes he had friends. He denies behavioral problems/ arrests. He endorses alcohol use/abuse - "drank 3 out of 4 weekends" a month ("6 beers over 2 hours"); denies drug use. The veteran denies a history of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. The veteran has been married 1 time for 5 years (2003 - 2008) and has 3 children. He states he is not close to his ex-wife. Ex-wife has primary physical custody of his 2 younger children, and vet has physical custody of the older child. The veteran attributes failure of the marriage to his drinking and his irritability. He lives with his oldest daughter and has phone contact 3 x a week with his younger daughters. The veteran states he is close to his children. He describes limitedly close relationships with his siblings/extended family - vet lives with his parents; brother and sister are less than 1 mile away, but he sees them only 2-3 x a year primarily on birthdays. The veteran has resided with his parents since his divorce, except for the year he lived in Dubai. He comments he has no friends. b. Relevant Occupational and Educational history (pre-military, military, and post-military): 5 years Active Duty + Air Guard from 2008-2012 and was given a Honorable discharge. The veteran was exposed to combat - mortared daily + there were shots at the jets outside the gate. Denies a history of MST. Education: The veteran notes he did go back to school after service, attaining an AA degree in Culinary Arts with passing academic marks, except for one class he failed due to taking care of his grandmother. He did not obtain any degrees in-service. Occupation: The veteran is currently employed on a part-time basis as part of the work study program (receptionist) at the VSO, last working 4 days ago. He describes his work performance as "good", his attendance record as "good" with 3-4 missed days from work in the last 1 month due to medical appts, and his ability to get along with his supervisors as "fine" and his coworkers as "fine" - "all veterans". He admits to being fired from 1 previous job - reportedly due to attendance - missing 1 day a week - "did not like being there" - "everyone there pissed me off". The veteran mentions he has held ~ 4 jobs since service. He is not on State Disability or Social Security Disability. The veteran does report some PTSD issues of anger and irritability and difficulty getting along with supervisors and coworkers - previous job was "not organized" and staff always late causing him to work harder. Activities: Watches TV, computer, nightly walks with daughter. c. Relevant Mental Health history, to include prescribed medications and family mental health (pre-military, military, and post-military): The veteran reports a history of family mental health problems - M' grandfather died of cirrhosis after WWII due to drinking, cousin died from heroin, father became depressed after vet went to Iraq. The veteran denies pre-military mental health problems, but did "get angry at parents for rules". To reiterate, he does not have a history of childhood trauma. He denies developmental problems or learning disabilities. The veteran states he was not treated in-service for mental health or substance abuse issues. He reports his first mental health treatment was ~JUN 11, 2015 at the Modesto Clinic for PTSD, depression, and alcohol. The veteran denies previous psychiatric hospitalizations. The veteran denies previous substance abuse programs other than mandatory classes for his squadron. The veteran has been in previous outpatient mental health treatment. The veteran is currently in outpatient treatment with BOYOVICH,JENNA and PEDDU,VANDANA DEVI (Modesto VA OP MHC and Livermore VA OP MHC). Previous diagnoses have included: See above. The veteran is taking psychotropic medications currently: "1) PRAZOSIN HCL 1MG CAP TAKE ONE CAPSULE BY MOUTH AT PENDING BEDTIME 2) SERTRALINE HCL 50MG TAB TAKE ONE TABLET BY MOUTH PENDING EVERY EVENING". He does not report a history of previous psychotropic medication. The veteran reports he has not made any previous suicide attempts or acts of self mutilation. The veteran does have a history of fights. Last fight - 2009 - in the Air Guard. Denies domestic violence Current MSE is negative for expressed psychotic symptoms or acute suicidal or homicidal ideation. Reports some road rage Last CRRS Mental Health Progress Note: AUG 21, 2015. d. Relevant Legal and Behavioral history (pre-military, military, and post-military): Denies history of pre-military behavioral or legal problems. Denies history of military behavioral or legal problems - letter of reprimand - ex-wife bounced a check at the PX. Endorses history of post-military behavioral or legal problems- $3000 in tickets - speeding and reckless driving + driving without a license. Denies history of being on parole or probation. Denies current legal problems. e. Relevant Substance abuse history (pre-military, military, and post-military): Minimizes history of pre-military substance abuse. Endorses history of military substance abuse - when returned from Iraq. Endorses history of post-military substance abuse. Any previous substance abuse-related legal charges: Denies. Last drink: 06/2015 Last drug use: Freshman year of HS - "tried MJ" f. Other, if any: Iraq 3. Stressors ------------ Does this stressor meet Criterion A (i.e., is it adequate to support the diagnosis of PTSD)? [X] Yes [ ] No Is the stressor related to the Veteran's fear of hostile military or terrorist activity? [X] Yes [ ] No Is the stressor related to personal assault, e.g. military sexual trauma? [ ] Yes [X] No 4. PTSD Diagnostic Criteria --------------------------- Please check criteria used for establishing the current PTSD diagnosis. Do NOT mark symptoms below that are clearly not attributable to the Criteria A stressor/PTSD. Instead, overlapping symptoms clearly attributable to other things should be noted under #7 - Other symptoms. The diagnostic criteria for PTSD, referred to as Criteria A-H, are from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5). Criterion A: Exposure to actual or threatened a) death, b) serious injury, c) sexual violation, in one or more of the following ways: [X] Directly experiencing the traumatic event(s) [X] Witnessing, in person, the traumatic event(s) as they occurred to others Criterion B: Presence of (one or more) of the following intrusion symptoms associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic event(s) occurred: [X] Recurrent, involuntary, and intrusive distressing memories of the traumatic event(s). [X] Recurrent distressing dreams in which the content and/or affect of the dream are related to the traumatic event(s). [X] Intense or prolonged psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event(s). [X] Marked physiological reactions to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event(s). Criterion C: Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic events(s) occurred, as evidenced by one or both of the following: [X] Avoidance of or efforts to avoid distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated with the traumatic event(s). [X] Avoidance of or efforts to avoid external reminders (people, places, conversations, activities, objects, situations) that arouse distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated with the traumatic event(s). Criterion D: Negative alterations in cognitions and mood associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more) of the following: [X] Inability to remember an important aspect of the traumatic event(s) (typically due to dissociative amnesia and not to other factors such as head injury, alcohol, or drugs). [X] Persistent and exaggerated negative beliefs or expectations about oneself, others, or the world (e.g., "I am bad,: "No one can be trusted,: "The world is completely dangerous,: "My whole nervous system is permanently ruined"). [X] Persistent, distorted cognitions about the cause or consequences of the traumatic event(s) that lead to the individual to blame himself/herself or others. [X] Persistent negative emotional state (e.g., fear, horror, anger, guilt, or shame). [X] Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities. Criterion E: Marked alterations in arousal and reactivity associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more) of the following: [X] Irritable behavior and angry outbursts (with little or no provocation) typically expressed as verbal or physical aggression toward people or objects. [X] Reckless or self-destructive behavior. [X] Hypervigilance. [X] Exaggerated startle response. [X] Problems with concentration. [X] Sleep disturbance (e.g., difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless sleep). Criterion F: [X] Duration of the disturbance (Criteria B, C, D, and E) is more than 1 month. Criterion G: [X] The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. Criterion H: [X] The disturbance is not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance (e.g., medication, alcohol) or another medical condition. Criterion I: Which stressor(s) contributed to the Veteran's PTSD diagnosis?: [X] Stressor #1 5. Symptoms ----------- For VA rating purposes, check all symptoms that actively apply to the Veteran's diagnoses: [X] Depressed mood [X] Anxiety [X] Suspiciousness [X] Chronic sleep impairment [X] Mild memory loss, such as forgetting names, directions or recent events [X] Impaired judgment [X] Disturbances of motivation and mood [X] Difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships [X] Difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances, including work or a worklike setting [X] Inability to establish and maintain effective relationships 6. Behavioral Observations -------------------------- Causally attired tattooed male wearing an Operation Iraqi Freedom hat. 7. Other symptoms ----------------- Does the Veteran have any other symptoms attributable to PTSD (and other mental disorders) that are not listed above? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, describe: "Impulsive with driving and money" Motivation - has to be forced to get out of the house most of the time. Checks locks at night, does not like to have blinds open. Gets anxious if not 15 minutes early for appts. 8. Competency ------------- Is the Veteran capable of managing his or her financial affairs? [X] Yes [ ] No 9. Remarks, (including any testing results) if any -------------------------------------------------- The veteran does meet the DSM-5 criteria for PTSD. His claimed stressor is, at least as likely as not, related to the veteran's fear of hostile military or terrorist activity during his tour of duty in Iraq. NOTE: VA may request additional medical information, including additional examinations if necessary to complete VA's review of the Veteran's application.
  8. I found my on myhealthevet under blue button
  9. Hello I recently had a C&P for TBI. I just received the DBQ from the exam and have a few questions. I was wondering if anyone could help me decipher this? LOCAL TITLE: C&P NEUROLOGY 16258 STANDARD TITLE: NEUROLOGY C & P EXAMINATION CONSULT DATE OF NOTE: AUG 18, 2015@08:30 ENTRY DATE: AUG 18, 2015@13:24:15 AUTHOR: PETERSON,KENDRA EXP COSIGNER: URGENCY: STATUS: COMPLETED Initial Evaluation of Residuals of Traumatic Brain Injury (I-TBI) Disability Benefits Questionnaire * Internal VA or DoD Use Only* Name of patient/Veteran: Indicate method used to obtain medical information to complete this document: [X] In-person examination Evidence review --------------- Was the Veteran's VA claims file (hard copy paper C-file) reviewed? [ ] Yes[X] No If no, check all records reviewed: [X] Military service treatment records [X] Military post-deployment questionnaire [X] Veterans Health Administration medical records (VA treatment records) [X] Other: vbms and cprs records reviewed electronically SECTION I: Diagnosis and medical history ---------------------------------------- 1. Diagnosis ------------ Does the Veteran now have or has he/she ever had a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or any residuals of a TBI? (This is the condition the Veteran is claiming or for which an exam has been requested) [X] Yes [ ] No [X] Traumatic brain injury (TBI) ICD code: v15.52 Date of diagnosis: 2007 [X] Other diagnosed residuals attributable to TBI, specify: Other diagnosis #1: Cognitive disorder NOS ICD code: 294.9 Date of diagnosis: 2007 Other diagnosis #2: Post-traumatic headaches ICD code: 339.2 Date of diagnosis: 2007 SECTION II: Assessment of facets of TBI-related cognitive impairment and subjective symptoms of TBI ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. Memory, attention, concentration, executive functions -------------------------------------------------------- [X] A complaint of mild memory loss (such as having difficulty following a conversation, recalling recent conversations, remembering names of new acquaintances, or finding words, or often misplacing items), attention, concentration, or executive functions, but without objective evidence on testing If the Veteran has complaints of impairment of memory, attention, concentration or executive functions, describe (brief summ ary): Alert, oriented, flat affect, good eye contact. Please see full Neuropsychological testing from 7/23/2015. 2. Judgment ----------- [X] Normal 3. Social interaction --------------------- [X] Social interaction is occasionally inappropriate If the Veteran's social interaction is not routinely appropriate, describe (brief summary): Tends to isolate himself and avoid interactions. 4. Orientation -------------- [X] Always oriented to person, time, place, and situation 5. Motor activity (with intact motor and sensory system) -------------------------------------------------------- [X] Motor activity normal 6. Visual spatial orientation ----------------------------- [X] Normal 7. Subjective symptoms ---------------------- [X] Three or more subjective symptoms that mildly interfere with work; instrumental activities of daily living; or work, family or other close relationships. Examples of findings that might be seen at this level of impairment are: intermittent dizziness, daily mild to moderate headaches, tinnitus, frequent insomnia, hypersensitivity to sound, hypersensitivity to light If the Veteran has subjective symptoms, describe (brief summary): Insomnia, headaches, anxiety 8. Neurobehavioral effects -------------------------- [X] One or more neurobehavioral effects that frequently interfere with workplace interaction, social interaction, or both but do not preclude them If the Veteran has any neurobehavioral effects, describe (brief summary): Apathy, depression, social isolation 9. Communication ---------------- [X] Able to communicate by spoken and written language (expressive communication) and to comprehend spoken and written language. 10. Consciousness ----------------- [X] Normal SECTION III: Additional residuals, other findings, diagnostic testing, functional impact and remarks ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. Residuals ------------ Does the Veteran have any subjective symptoms or any mental, physical or neurological conditions or residuals attributable to a TBI (such as migraine headaches or Meniere's disease)? [X] Yes[ ] No If yes, check all that apply: [X] Hearing loss and/or tinnitus [X] Headaches, including Migraine headaches [X] Mental disorder (including emotional, behavioral, or cognitive) [X] Other, describe: Scheduled for Audiology Evaluation and Mental Health Evaluation. Neuropsychological Testing completed 7/2015. Please see attached DBQ headaches. 2. Other pertinent physical findings, scars, complications, conditions, signs and/or symptoms ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- a. Does the Veteran have any scars (surgical or otherwise) related to any conditions or to the treatment of any conditions listed in the Diagnosis section above? [ ] Yes [X] No b. Does the Veteran have any other pertinent physical findings, complications, conditions, signs and/or symptoms? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, describe (brief summary): Neurological Examination: Mental status as described above and in Neuropsych Testing. CN intact without nystagmus. MOTOR normal bulk/tone/strength throughout. DTRs 2 and symmetric throughout. COORD and GAIT normal. Able to tandem. Romberg not present. 3. Diagnostic testing --------------------- a. Has neuropsychological testing been performed? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, provide date: 7/23/2015 Results: Full result in cprs. Mild cognitive inefficiency and slowing of processing speed; no frank cognitive impairment. Dx: PTSD, R/O Alcohol use disorder. PTSD/depression/ and frequent headaches might all contribute to his cognitive inefficiency. Also noted sleep disorder. b. Are there any other significant diagnostic test findings and/or results? No response provided. 4. Functional impact -------------------- Do any of the Veteran's residual conditions attributable to a traumatic brain injury impact his or her ability to work? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, describe impact of each of the Veteran's residual conditions attributable to a traumatic brain injury, providing one or more examples: Although cognitive inefficiencies do not preclude him from working, it has made academic achievement difficult and could interfere with him working in highly intellectually- demanding jobs. 5. Remarks, if any: ------------------- Based on review of records, condition of service, and history from veteran, it is my opinion that it is at least as likely as not that the veteran sustained a traumatic brain injury while serving in the military. The severity of the TBI is difficult to determine with certainty due to lack of documentation but based on his account would be considered mild to moderate. In regard to any residual symptoms of TBI, his main complaint is of memory and concentration problems. In addition to TBI he has comorbid psychological symptoms of PTSD and depression, as well as chronic sleep deprivation. While the Neuropsychological Testing performed in July 2015 did not show frank cognitive impairment, it did show mild cognitive inefficiency and slowing of processing speed. Given the nature of the TBI described and the duration since the event, as well as the presence of co-morbid conditions, it is my opinion that TBI sustained during military is less likely than not the predominant cause of the mild cognitive symptoms or the subjective and neurobehavioral facets that he is experiencing, although I cannot exclude that residuals from TBI are a minor contributing cause without resorting to speculation. See attached DBQ Headaches. Kendra Peterson, MD C&P Examiner (Board Certified Neurologist)
  10. I cannot remember the exact reason the PTSD was denied, however my c&p exam was done by a civilian psychologist outside the VA. luckily both my primary Doc and the PolyTrauma doc put in their reports the head trauma relates directly to a close range mortar blast in Iraq. So far the only hiccup I have had is neuropsych.
  11. As for the chain of events.... June 2014 Filed intial PTSD, tinnitus and hearing loss claim Nov 2014, Claim denied instead received SC at 30 percent for undiagnosed depressive disorder. June 11th 2015, went in for my initial VA appointment. My Primary care doc did an initial tbi assessment. He then referred me to polytrauma for a secondary eval. Also referred me to mental Health for a PTSD assessment. The Same day Mental Health told me initial assement indicated PTSD. Referred me to a clinician for PTSD Diagnosis Reopened PTSD claim June 14th went in for CT Scan at doctors request, Report states I have a small arachnoid cyst on my posterior fosso. (neurology apt scheduled for July 23rd) June 23rd Diagnosed with PTSD by a VA Mental Health Clinician. June 25th went in for secondary TBI eval, Doc Diagnosed me with a mTBI prescribed medicine for the constant headaches I get states cyst was minor and probably not related at all to my symptoms but neurology would go over that with me in july. Then referred me to neuropsychology. Added TBI to claim June 30th did the Cognative testing. Also saw a psychiatrist for medicine related to PTSD diagnosis. Was prescribed Zoloft and a sleep medication
  12. It was not a c&p eval, simply a referral from the Polytrauma doctor who diagnosed me with mTBI. I mentioned that I was having trouble in college. The Doctor I saw in Neuropsychology was a Clinical Neuropsychologist. I just read his report and the cognitive test he gave me was called RBANS my total score was in the 18th percentile. He also recommends further testing, though In the report he goes on to state Minor Cognative discrepancies believed to be related to veterans recent diagnosis with PTSD. I was diagnosed with PTSD by a different person at a different clinic.
  13. Hello I was recently diagnosed by a Polytrauma doc with mTBI related to a mortar blast in Iraq. I mentioned I was having memory problems, she recommended I go to neuropsych for cognitive tests. Now I did this and the Nueropsych doctor confirmed I have minor memory problems. However he said they were not related to the TBI instead he blamed them on my PTSD and occasional drinking. He also stated he believes the TBI has healed itself. I currently have a claim in for PTSD and TBI. Will this negatively affect that claim? I have read on various websites that the VA tends to downplay TBI by relating a lot of the symptoms to PTSD and Depression. Would it be a good idea from a Civilian doctor? Or jst wait for the claim process to finish it's course and see what happens?