hedgey

Senior Chief Petty Officer
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    518
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About hedgey

  • Rank
    E-7 Chief Petty Officer
  • Birthday 09/12/1959

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Profile Information

  • Location
    VARO is Buffalo, NY
  • Interests
    100% IU P&T - 70% for PTSD; 30% for IBS secondary to PTSD; 10% LF residuals injury; 20% LF residuals with RSD & metatarsalgia; 10% RF plantar fasciitis with RSD - 90% schedular

Previous Fields

  • Service Connected Disability
    100
  • Branch of Service
    USA

Recent Profile Visitors

810 profile views
  1. I hope this isn't the case, but it's a possibility. What if he hasn't identified her as his spouse in his VA records? I meant to talk to her about this years ago when I knew he started treatment for PTSD. I didn't want to insult her by suggesting he would do that, but now I'm kicking myself... :(
  2. Berta, I was typing while you entered your last post. I'll convey that to her.
  3. Berta, thanks for your help (thanks for the bump, Tbird) They are in Florida. Apparently he's been mixing up his meds lately. Over the past few days he forgot to take them and she thinks he just took all of the forgotten doses at once. He was on an anti-psychotic as well as anti-depressant & anti-anxiety meds. If he'd been laying on his side and not on his back, everything would likely be different right now. I truly do not believe he would take pills for suicide. He was a medic and EMT for years and saw the vegetables that overdoses often create. No, if he wanted to end it, he would have done it more violently with less chance of recovery.
  4. My ex husband is in the hospital dying from an overdose yesterday of his PTSD medications. Because we had a daughter together, and he wisely married a wonderful woman for his 4th wife, I want to help her as much as possible. Ex was a Viet Nam medic in 1967-68. He's 100% for PTSD, but not for more than 5 years (it was so hard for him to ask for help). What will VA be looking for on the death certificate to consider it a service-connected death when the vet has PTSD? If it seems bizarre to think there's a way to influence what the certificate says... when my father-in-law died in the nursing home a few years ago, I gave them the list of his SC conditions and they were happy to list one of them as his cause of death. Please help with this question. I talked to the ICU nurse and he's in a coma, no brain activity, lungs full of gastric fluid. She doesn't think he'll last the night. I really want to help this woman. She was the best stepmother I could have prayed for for my daughter. He wasn't often the best dad, but she was great and deserves whatever benefits we can get for her. She would definitely be eligible for DIC, as long as the VA counts his death as SC.
  5. I normally ignore all the advertising on television for medications, but I have a lot of trouble sleeping, and the sleep aid commercials sometimes get my attention. A couple of months ago I saw one for Belsomra. It's different because instead of increasing the sedation effect in your brain, it supposedly switches off the "be awake!" activity. I won't lie, the ad was also cute. But it sounded like it might be worth a try. I asked my VA psychiatrist about it. She looked into it and learned that it's still not on the VA formulary, but since I'd been on almost every drug they have, the VA agreed to let me try it. I started at 10mg, which did very little, so she bumped me up to 20mg per night. It really helps. Now it can cause sleep paralysis in some people, and I did have one episode of it my first night taking 20mg. It was terrifying until I remembered that it was the Belsomra causing it. That was the one and only time I experienced that. Since then, I really think it's been helping drop off to sleep more easily. I'm still waking up to nightmares, but by then dawn is usually coming and it's not so bad. Maybe this will help someone else?
  6. I just got the award letter over the weekend granting me 30% for Irritable Bowel Syndrome as secondary to PTSD. My better half is positive that I should have been awarded SMC-S statutory based on my new ratings: 100% IU P&T - 70% for PTSD; 30% for IBS secondary to PTSD; 10% LF residuals injury; 20% LF residuals with RSD & metatarsalgia; 10% RF plantar fasciitis with RSD - I researched some here on Hadit, and I found this in a thread from July : That was written by Asknod. So my first question, which was whether TDIU was good enough to count as 100% seems to be answered. My second question, as to where a condition rated as secondary can be counted... I'm not sure. I called my VSO this morning and she said she would research it for me. She apologized that she didn't know the info right off the top of her head, but the SMC's are confusing on a good day... I feel like a greedy bastard asking for more. Then my other half say stop thinking that way and remember all the years (25 +) that I didn't ask for anything from the VA, not even a vaccine or flu shot.
  7. Thank you again, everybody. I can't measure what it means to me to have you folks here to cheer for me. Tbird, this was a big deal to me for the same reasons. It's painful and scary and it definitely affects the people you live with. Maybe you could try again? Maybe something has changed in the VA mind about connecting digestive distress (not too strong a word!!) to anxiety. I can't believe I'm the only one who will ever get approved. One question at the Comp & Pen seemed especially important in retrospect... she asked whether taking the Ativan for anxiety had any impact on my IBS. Well, yeah, it does. It calms down everything for a little while. Not for long, but for a little while.... I'd take it all day long if I could. But that would mean me sitting in my chair literally counting the flowers on the wall. That question was not asked at my first Comp & Pen for IBS secondary to PTSD. Thanks again, everyone. :)
  8. I looked it up, Bronco. Medical Care Cost Recovery. I don't think it applies to me here, because I went to my own private practitioner outside the VA. I couldn't face the crowded waiting room and all the anxiety of letting the VA doctors getting so up close and personal. <<< shudder >>> I'm extremely lucky to have outside insurance that doesn't cover everything, but does a pretty good job. My better half just came home from the club, and said I should be eligible for SMC-S because I have TDIU which made me a 100% disabled veteran, and now all my other separate disabilities add up to more than 60. Is that accurate? I thought you had to use "VA Math" to hit the +60 mark. Someone said that you use regular math for this situation. Is that right? My better half gets SMC-s but his "other disabilities" add up to over 100... Plus he has 100% for one single disability.
  9. Thanks again, everyone. It's so cool and warm to see "old friends" popping up to shake my hand. Bronco, what's MCCR. Have I been away too long?
  10. It doesn't say that the 30% for IBS is permanent - should that worry me? I guess in retrospect, the other ratings don't say P & T except for the TDIU and the PTSD. Leave it to me to worry a gift horse in the mouth!
  11. Thank you all so very much!! I can't tell you how much it means to have a place where people will understand and celebrate with me about something like this. :)
  12. I haven't been a regular visitor in well over a year, but still must say THANK YOU to Hadit and everyone here who gives so much of their time and wisdom. I'd been suffering with Irritable Bowel Syndrome for years. About 18 months ago I had an attack during a session with my VA psychiatrist. When I came back into the office, she was very sympathetic and mentioned that IBS is frequently an issue for PTSD sufferers and people with anxiety problems. I had read here or on a different veterans' forum that getting any kind of tummy trouble approved as secondary to IBS was almost impossible. But this was not something I'd ever had a problem with before the PTSD. I talked to my private gastroenterologist (can't stand the thought the VA doing any kind of scopy on my {shiver} and she agreed that PTSD/anxiety were very likely to aggravate IBS. So I got the DBQ disability form for IBS (from here, I think!) and had my gastroenterologist and my VA psychiatrist both fill one out and wrote a statement of my own to go with it. Submitted all back last spring. My first Comp & pen didn't go very well, I didn't think. The examiner was skeptical, plus she didn't have my DBQ from my psychiatrist or all of the records from my gastroenterologist. She didn't believe that it was a daily problem. In fact, in the record of the comp & pen she used the words "amplification of symptoms" although she suggested it was due to my mental state. I cried when I read it because I can tell you with absolute honesty that I did not exaggerate. It was no surprise that my claim for IBS was denied. But my intrepid VSO at the OPH said "pshaw! I'm submitting an appeal right now!" She did the appeal paper and I just resubmitted the DBQ's. Last week of September I had another Comp & Pen. Different experience completely. This examiner was sympathetic and kind and patient when she had to wait for me to come back from the restroom. Last week in the mail came the white envelope: 30% for IBS secondary to PTSD was granted!!! If it hadn't been for my VSO I would have crawled back into my corner and just let it go. I'm so blessed to have her. Especially since she isn't one of those "you have 100% TDIU, what more do you want?" She understood that I'm worried about the toll this IBS is taking on my body... Anyway, THANK YOU, Hadit!! You folks are the ones who gave me so much courage in the first place, years ago.
  13. THANK YOU, EVERYONE!! I cannot express how much your words of support mean to me. It's like having a big ol' life raft of comrades pull me out of the water after the ship went down. A life raft with truly good buddies and complete with loads of rations and fresh water. Plus a box of flares and a solar satellite radio. You have thrown me life lines (that is not too strong a phrase, believe me.) I have placed a call to my Gastroenterologist and will talk to her today or tomorrow. She's always been very compassionate and helpful, so I'm sure she will write a statement, complete with citations of medical findings. The DBQ she wrote for me is very strongly worded and includes the DX codes for PTSD, MDD, OCD and GAD. In my records, she has repeatedly noted that my IBS is worse when I'm stressed, etc. So I feel confident that I will have the best possible support in that respect. Thank you so much, again. My dear spouse thanks you too - I've been like a caged puma for the last 24 hours!!
  14. Thanks, man, I appreciate the support. I freaked and came here first. As always, there's someone here who "hears" me. I'm much calmer now (thanks to lorazepam and some time in the dark). It's not the first claim I've ever had denied, but it always hurts. It always feels so dang personal.
  15. I'm so upset, I'm in tears. I didn't even look to see what the examiner wrote about my feet. Her conclusion about my Irritable Bowel was that it was less that likely that my IBS was related to my PTSD and she attached some medical finding that said there was no concrete evidence of comorbidity. She also said something about amplification of symptoms that could not be connected to my state of mental health. I understand what amplification of symptoms means - it means that she thinks I was overstating my distress. All I know is that I was sitting there with cramps that were making me sweat. My DH was there and chimed in that I suffered from "tummy trouble" constantly and that it was running our lives. So I had handed her my Gastroenterologist's DBQ that specifically stated the IBS was definitely caused or aggravated by my PTSD. I also came home and submitted that DBQ via IRIS because even though I had already submitted it back with my original claim, but the examiner didn't have it or see it in my records. My question is whether there is any point in asking my Gastroenterologist to write a statement for me. He already filled out the DBQ, and the VA has requested my records. But is there any hope? I have always gleaned that whatever the C&P examiner says goes, never mind that they see you for 45 minutes out of your life and they are a NP at best. Is there any hope at all that the VA might actually take the word of my MD - specialist?? :(