DonH

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About DonH

  • Rank
    E-3 Seaman

Previous Fields

  • Service Connected Disability
    PTSD
  • Branch of Service
    Marines
  • Hobby
    Fishing
  1. Bertha, You are a walking wealth of knowledge. Whenever, I observe your posting, I generally stop to read. Interesting reading about PLS as a variant of ALS. Particularly as it relates to my husband's gradual worsening condition of indeterminate onset after Vietnam/Agent Orange Exposure. My husband finally took my advice and made it known to his VA doctors that he has lost use of his right hand. Since he is left handed, he has managed to cope for many years as he gradually lost use of his right hand.. This issue with his hand has been a gradual process over the years to which it is not one that can continue to be ignored at this point. It first became more noted about 9 years ago. However, his right hand has become increasingly clawed and deformed looking. One of his fingers on his right hand is completely crooked and immobile. He cannot push back on force when right hand or fingers are pushed on with force. My husband cannot screw lids off jars with his right hand. He can no longer grasp the car's steering wheel to steer the car with his right hand. The responsibility of preparing his ostomy bag by cutting a hole to fit the size of his stoma and clipping the ostomy bag closed at the end is completely on me now. Because my husband can no longer use scissors for cutting and cannot clip items together due to the loss of strength/use of his right hand. On the possible/likelihood of the contributing condition of my husband's neuropathy in both feet and hands; the VA's desire is to continue to blame my husband's past use of heavy alcohol consumption for his neuropathy. To that effect, he was denied the neuropathy claim. We appealed that denied finding. it is presently on appeal. He now has been determined to have DM2; but, his neuropathy was denied prior to the DM2 determination. My husband use to always say that a pinched nerve was causing his hand to gradually become worsened to the point of losing all use, The VA doctors in the neurology department are saying his hand has increasingly become worsen over time due to a pinched nerve in his neck and degenerative narrowing of his spinal cord. After my husband's MRI, we had a consult . it was proposed to operate on my husband's neck to relieve the pinched nerve. In discussing possibilities of the underlying cause, degenerative arthritics was mentioned. They also seemed to think tht my husband's condition could be related to the neuropathy;; however, had gone beyond neuropathy. ALS and MS was sort of mumbled by the doctors as a musings of wondering to pinpoint. Then, after the X-ray, the supervising/Chief doctor called to say upon viewing the X-ray, surgery would not alleviate the problem. So, next month, my husband has an upcoming EMG, So it seems, the jury is still out to say exactly what has caused my husband to lose the use of his right hand.
  2. My mothers is on TRICARE; she had her own SS Benefits; but, when Dad passed, she received an increase. I'm mot sure what SBP is. I remember some sort of offset. I don't recall exactly what type it was. My brother told me that the state has some type veteran's benefits, also contributable to help the veteran's widow.
  3. Thanks, Berta. Great resource of advice as usual. REPS is what I meant. I just got the spelling incorrect. Also my mother is a DIC recipient. My father was career military and 100% disabled veteran/permanent and total. He served in Korea and as a last tour of duty in Vietnam. He was AO exposed with DM11 and cancer (prostate); several other service connected disabilities to also include COPD. My mother is in her late 80's who more recently entered a memory care assisted living facility. It is a lovey place. She resides in Colorado. My father left her reasonable comfortable......but, yet as time goes on, long term expense is always a consideration of concern. If she, too, would be a candidate for more untapped/unknown financial supplements, that would be good to know.
  4. Berta, Are you saying if your husband dies from a service connected disability/ the wife is considered a Gold Star Wife even her veteran husband if not dying in battle? My husband is Purple Heart Vietnam Veteran, In addition to PTSD, Agent Orange Exposed, DM11, Cancers, etc. So would that make me eligible if I would be the longer liver? SBP? RESPA? Wife of DonH
  5. Excellent case! I was listening to the Podcast with James Cripps. I heard you reference my husband's case. Thanks!
  6. Great advice Berta, I'll be speaking with my husband's independent Agent in the next early days of the New Year just to see where her head is regarding the (a) still pending appeal; (b) the 1151/FTCA (c)IMO/IME----regarding the seeking the Head non VA surgeon to write an IMO/IME to support not only the possible negligence on the rectal cancer but also provide enough medical rationale ,due to any possible medical errors the VA might have been, to state that the veteran's prostate cancer is permanent and total and was compromised by the negligence they found regarding the rectal cancer. Actually, my husband\s rampantly rising PSA was first noted by his psychiatrist for PSTD as she glanced over my husband's physical health progress, And upon further examination and testing; Prostate Cancer was diagnosed. Oh, by the way, is there some service connected illness resulting from a veteran contacting VD while in Vietnam. I found out not too long ago my husband contacted a veneral disease while in Vietnam. This occurred prior to my meeting my husband to subsequently marry him. I was so shocked when he stated this information to one of his doctors. My husband says he told me, But, I don't recall. I cannot believe this type information would slip my mind. Anyway, does VD contacted while in Vietnam have a significance to being service connected?
  7. Berta, My husband still has full blown Prostate Cancer-----it has not been cured; just being contained to not get worse. Containment lasting indefinitely. Also, successful containment, not a cure, though, keeps the PSA at a low point....for how long? No one knows for sure. That's why it has been so crazily exhaustive as to how VA keeps running behind my husband with the threat to reduce his rating from 100%..Since my husband already had radiation for the rectal cancer, he is vulnerable and at risk for having radiation treatment again.............which possibly could lead to a curative solution, if he were not at-risk for having additional radiation. My husband was even farmed out to a local Houston hospital that has a well known name for being on the cutting edge of new/advanced procedures toward curative procedures for cancer. i.e. gold seed implantation. It seems our local VA does not have this particular expertise. They can only offer more radiation. The VA Medical Center in Virginia was an option once upon a time for advanced cancer procedures; however, upon consideration, it was discovered that program was no longer available. In the final analysis the outside source deemed my husband too vulnerable and at-risk to attempt a curative procedure that would only make my husband's condition worse.......and to that effect, if my husband's cancer was being held in check with the Hormones Shots; and his quality of life was tolerable as being reasonable. Then to proceed with a procedure that albeit possibly curative....but residuals effects would worsen quality of life causing my husband to be unable to urinate without an appliance. In their final analysis their advise was not to anything further but; just maintain the status quo since the status quo was working as doable. The Head surgeon from the well known hospital source was warily pessimistic due to my husband's having had a re-sectional surgery upon removal of his Spincheter; the aggressive severity of his Prostate Cancer; the complications of already wearing of an appliance/ostomy bag; the severity of the presenting residual effects, constant frequent urination; urine retention; severity of the erectile dysfunction; and my husband's age (74). Why pray tell, does VA keep assuming that my husband's is already cured and/or is going to get better to be cured......indicating that he has met the required improvement to be reduced? The outside hospital wouldn't touch my husband with a 10 foot pole because of the severity of his health condition as being riskily operable and not one they were wiling to take due to residual effects of past re-sectional operation (there is no rectum to place the gold seeds) as well as the aggressive severity of his Prostate Cancer and its residuals!
  8. Wow, Bertha! How courageous and honorable in your hard work of determination that you kept your promise to your late husband! It is obvious that you have acquired outstanding expertise in battling these claims over the years! Kudos to you in the name of your husband's, service to his country, good name, and determination for you continue the fight in his behalf! Congratulations! Whenever we finally hear the outcome of the still pending appeal will determine what steps we take next. It's ambiguous that the appeal is still pending but, yet, E-Benefits exhibit that there are no pending disabilities. Bertha, when you mention ancillary benefits, it got me to thinking........I'm still unsure as to what ancillary benefits we qualify for (Champ VA, commissary privileges,, and educational benefits, etc.) even at this point with my husband being 100% accorded the Prostate Cancer; however, every 90 days or so, VA keeps trying to reduce him..
  9. Bertha, You stated:" I have 4 DIC awards. They are finally all correct." If you don't mind my inquiring, how did that come about? Thanks for the names of Oncologist.........We live in Houston, Texas, though Our Remand was sent to the Wisconsin office who reviews remands..
  10. Berta, The NOD was separate……. Rectal is a soft tissue cancer because it is a cancer of the tissue and muscle. VA requested that we submit research to that effect. We did submit the research to that effect. VA sent a list of cancer that were excluded as being soft tissue cancers. Rectal cancer was not listed on the exclusion list. To that effect, we argued, how can a cancer not on the exclusion list be discounted? VA denied the claim anyway. Upon denial that rectal cancer was a soft tissue cancer. We did a NOD. Bertha, when stating our grief of disappointment under 1151 was just courteous word description used. We conveyed that medical malpractice had occurred in 1151. There were no new forms whenever we submitted our written complaint of medical malpractice/1151. We typed it in good clear English that to proceed with an operation when medical records clearly state that the radiation had zapped the rectal cancer indicates that the right hand really didn’t know what the left hand was doing causing a medical mishap. And, in addition to that fact, the surgery was a blotched one. The robotic surgery had to be ditched from the beginning because the doctors ran into a lot of scar tissue because of the radiation. I wonder why the doctors did not know that radiation produces scar tissue? The robotic needle punctured my husband’s colon. And he bleed profusely and was losing so much blood that they had to give him a blood transfusion. When at the point of proceeding again with the operation, the traditional type of operation was done. My husband’s sphincter was not saved; per the operating doctors explanation as to why, the cancer had gone below the sphincter and it could not be saved. Yet, the medical records state the radiation zapped the cancer. So why did my husband become maimed to be rendered incontinent accorded his bowel movements? And contradictive answers were given when we made inquiry. Or did by puncturing my husband colon render my husband loss of his sphincter? The fact remains had the doctors read the medical notes, the facts of the cancer being zapped made the surgery unnecessary. An unnecessary surgery gone awry to be botched and leaving my husband unnecessarily maimed with the loss of a very necessary body part. Surgery occurred in January 2012. My husband has been angry (not helpful to his PTSD) about the fact that he was never told that the radiation had zapped the rectal cancer, had he known, he would not have gone through with the surgery and would have his sphincter without having to wear an ostomy bag. Furthermore, the operation took much longer than anticipated from a 9 in the morning until about 10 or 10:30 in the evening. My husband recalls that the operation room was helter skelter the morning or his operation and the head operating doctor was not a happy camper regarding this fact. He further remembers feeling apprehensive due to the doctor becoming very angry and agitated because the operating room was not in order as expected. My husband recalls feeling like telling the doctor to postpone the operation because of the doctor’s obvious upset-ness. My husband was put-off in feeling he didn’t want a doctor in an upset mood to operate on him. In 2015, an aggressive Prostate Cancer was identified. The prior rectal surgery, the prior radiation makes the doctors tread lightly regarding radiation this go-round of cancer. The radiation could possibly be curative. But, the doctors are selecting to prefer the hoemone shot thearapy which has contained the cancer. The doctors are not eager to do radiation. ) Other issue being claimed or increases being sought: *VA denial of my husband's Neuropathy in both hands and feet—being denied (My husband has Diabetes 2/10% controlled by diet. *VA denial of My husband has degenerative disc back issues related to musculoskeletal arthritis) (X-rays from an outside doctor submitted) Increase in PTSD from 30% being sought Increase in hearing from 0% being sought. My husband wears a hearing aid on both ears Increase in Hypertension from % being sought. Erectile Dysfunction is at 0%.......we did not at the time of the BVA indicate an increase. Yet after the Prostate Cancer exhibited my husband frequency of urination is rampant; leakage (wears pull up diapers; changes frequently) and sexual ability of performance is none existent . BVA held via Video Conference 12/11/14 The 1151 written claim was referenced and brought up and discussed in detail during the BVA BVA remand to Madison, Wisconsin in 5/15 E-Benefits no longer showing pending disabilities. But, is exhibiting a statement there are no disabilities pending. Oh by the way, my husband turned 74 this past July 2016.
  11. Bertha, thanks! On January 9, 2016 I described the beginnings of what occurred with my husband. True to form your response was excellent as it also today. my initial inquiry is under: 1151 Payment Regs :as To Two 100% Ratings,one Sc , The Other 1151. The Rectal cancer preceded the Prostate Cancer. My husband lost his sphincter and wears an ostomy bag........we discovered the loss of his sphincter could have been avoided. we filed a claim for a soft tissue (rectal cancer is a cancer of the tissue and muscles ) cancer presumptive to agent orange. we were denied. we filed a nod. we filed a complaint stating our grief of disappointment under 1151 regarding my husband losing his sphincter due to the right hand not knowing what the right hand was doing. at that time it was just possible to write out your complaint. however , we received notification that we needed to submit our complaint on a new form. we eventually found an agent to represent us. she filed a 9 and requested a BVA Hearing. .My husband had a Video Conference with the BVA on December 11, 2014. My husband's Appeal has been in Remand status since May 2015. Therefore a described above is the status. The appeal is still showing as an open appeal to have been remanded broncovet. Shortly afterward the C-File request was granted, there appeared simply a message which states that there are no disabilities pending. However, we have not received any written communication from VA at this point. My husband was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer about 1 1/2 ago---he did get 100% on that claim. However, they have attempted to reduce him on at least a couple of occasions----but the C&P as well as the doctor's reports and agent replies they have not reduced my husband.. The cancer is being maintained via Hormone shots; not cured though. Unlikely because since he already had radiation for the rectal cancer, the VA doctors are reluctant to give radiation again. Although we have an agent, I still do additional research and seek findings from others who have had similar experiences. Thanks for your input. as well broncovet.
  12. My husband had a Video Conference with the BVA on December 11, 2014. My husband's Appeal has been in Remand status since May 2015. On EBenefits denied disabilities, i.e. Rectal Cancer. even though, a later presenting Prostate Cancer was granted as presumptive to Agent Orange. Additionally, secondary disabilities to Agent Orange denied. To that effect, were the reasons for appeal. Those were the disabilities shown and listed as pending "disabilities".. We were able to get our C-File request granted on November 23, 2016. Shortly afterward, there appeared simply a message which states that there are no disabilities pending. However, we have not received any written communication from VA at this point. So, I guess my question is: Does anyone know what does the "disappearance" of the listing of all the pending disabilities mean to be replaced by the simple statement: "There are no disabilities pending.." Cheryl-Wife of DonH
  13. My husband had a Video Conference with the BV disabilities A on December 11, 2014. My husband's Appeal has been in Remand status since May 2015. On EBenefits those denied disabilities on appeal were shown and listed as pending "disabilities".. We were able to get our C-File request granted on November 23, 2016. Shortly afterward, there appeared simply a message which states that there are no disabilities pending. However, we have not received any written communication from VA at this point. So, I guess my question is: Does anyone know what does the "disappearance" of the listing of all the pending disabilities to be replaced by the simple statement: "There are no disabilities pending."
  14. PS. My husband also received SC connected to AO for Diabetes II at 10% because it is presently controlled by diet and limited exercise. Oh, his Prostate Cancer was rated at 100%. He had a Gleason Score of 9 out of 10. However, VA stated my husband would be reexamined within 6 months which is almost here. So the 100% on his Prostate Cancer is not permanent. Wife of DonH
  15. Regarding Nehmer. According to Nehmer, was retro pay credited further back prior to and up until 2010? My husband was just rated SC for Prostate Cancer connected AO diagnosed in July 2016. In November 2016, he was paid retro back to August 1, 2016. Had his diagnosis been prior in 2010 would his retro go back further? Now, there is an appeal at the BVA for rectal cancer as a soft tissue cancer connected to AO which VA denied in 2012; yet, his cancer was diagnosed in 2011. The VSO did not list it on the claim because he said, it wasn't the right type cancer for AO. My husband did go to the VA in mid 1990's for PTSD and became discouraged because they told him, he would have to go through a simulated version of the war. My husband wanted no part of being in a sumultated war! Then in 2008 he went to the VA again with PTSD complaints. He was eventually awarded retro in 2012 back to 2008 for PTSD at 30%. He did a NOD because 30% was too low. That's presently, also, on appeal at BVA. It appears my husband received his AO SC connection too late to benefit from Nehmer, if I'm understanding correctly. Wife of DonH