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Senior Chief Petty Officer
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rpowell01 last won the day on October 11 2015

rpowell01 had the most liked content!

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93 Excellent

About rpowell01

  • Rank
    E-8 Senior Chief Petty Officer
  • Birthday 09/30/1968

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  • Interests
    Trying to deal with my pain. Everyday, all day. Research, research and more research.

Previous Fields

  • Service Connected Disability
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  • Hobby
    Fishing whenever I can..
  1. Permanent and Total!!!

    Shingles, shingles, shingles, I remember having that back in the summer of 2007 or 2008...The Chicken Pox virus never goes away and if you ever had Chicken Pox you most likely will get Shingles as its the "adult" form of Chicken Pox. The virus goes dormant in our nerves and whenever it comes back as Shingles. I had it start in my upper left shoulder blade then it followed the nerve all the way down my left arm. Whenever I went to work I was told to leave as it was contagious at that point. So I went straight to the ER and as soon as I walked in the Nurse and Doctor knew exactly what it was. I've heard of shingles but never really knew about it before then. That was the first time I've ever taken any type of pain medication besides Tylenol 3 because I had both of my wisdom teeth removed after they broke apart the same day which I didn't know they were wisdom teeth!!! They put me on hydrocodone and Lyrica and finally after a month the pain went away. I've always thought Shingles was the worse pain until about a month ago. I helped my son mow the yard and using a self propelled mower I somehow did something. Two days later both my legs were in severe pain, could barely walk. Decided to go to the ER only to get a Steriod shot and boom it helped 90%. From there my left calf was in severe pain and it felt like I ripped a muscle again like I did about two years ago because the nerve was spasmed so severe whenever I walked up a bank at a lake we were at you could hear the rip, like leather tearing apart. That took 3 months to heal. Then last Thursday I had to get an MRI on my right shoulder. Laying there somehow fixed what was going on in my lumbar spine or sacral joints down low as whenever I got up the pain in my calf was gone!!! You believe that? Just like that it was gone...Talk about weird, that was weird.... Yesterday I go see a Neurosurgeon and he wants to do a lower and upper Myelogram to see if he see what is exactly causing my issues as the MRI really is not showing much enough to consider surgery. At C6-C7 my disc is pinching my Esophagus and he said he wasn't big enough to do surgery. I was like "CRAZY" because there are days I cannot swallow food and liquids. Navy04 I don't use the VA any longer for my medical treatment. I left them back in March of this year and it was the best move I've ever did. They VA was under-dosing me on my pain medications. I was still on 15mg of Morphine SR after 3 years. Noway this should have been like this and because of the Feds stupid policies they were hurting me worse. I now see a pain management MD outside of the VA and that guy kept on apologizing to me whenever he seen my medical records from the VA. He said he can see the VA was treating me wrong. Currently I am prescribed Oxycodone 15mg 5 x a day and Morphine SR 30mg 2x a day. After my last visit they wanted to up my Morphine to 3x a day and I said nope. I try my best not to take the Morphine twice a day and the way I do it is I end up falling asleep early now and try to sleep all night. But there are many nights where I cannot sleep or only sleep 3-4 hours so I end up taking the second dose. I really hate these pain medications, I hate them with everything in my heart. I am going to start looking into the Medical Marijuana here in Florida. We have a doctor 20 miles away who prescribes it. It is delivered to the front door. Also you cannot smoke it, you can only take it orally or by vapor which is a great thing because orally you get better results. I am a bible thumper and believe in The Word with all I have but I also believe God created that plant as a medication. Think about it, its pure and pharmaceuticals don't want to dispense it because it doesn't cause other problems in our bodies. These companies want you to stay sick and ill, thats how they make their money. Its all about GREED, GREED, GREED and I can tell you they will burn whenever that day comes when the Sheep is separated from the Goats... Sorry for writing so much..I do that a lot...Navy04 anyway we don't have to get our treatment from the VA and they cannot make you do that. I have a friend who is 60% TDIU and P&T and never he has never went to the VA. All his surgeries were done outside of the VA. So do not let them tell you that you have to get treatment from the VA, that is a lie. Ever since I left the VA it felt like a huge monkey was taken off my shoulders, I cannot explain it.
  2. Permanent and Total!!!

    Thank you... I am posting this information on here in this topic because I don't know where to post it. Its very important information for people here in Florida. If you filed for Permanent and Total Disability you need to go to the property appraiser's office and file for the exemption RIGHT NOW and here is why. Under Florida Law you can only be approved for exemption the year you filed for it. Yes you are asking yourself "How can somebody file a Veteran Permanent and Total Disability exemption if they have not been approved"? Well the answer is in in Florida Law 196.081 Section (5) and it reads: (5) An applicant for the exemption under this section may apply for the exemption before receiving the necessary documentation from the United States Government or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or its predecessor. Upon receipt of the documentation, the exemption shall be granted as of the date of the original application, and the excess taxes paid shall be refunded. Any refund of excess taxes paid shall be limited to those paid during the 4-year period of limitation set forth in s. 197.182(1)(e). So I was approved for Permanent and Total Disability all the way back to February 2016 but since I did not file an exemption in early 2016 I will not be able to get any of that money back. Thank you Veteran Affairs and Florida Dept of Veterans Affairs for NOT informing people of this and this Florida Law!!! So I will get this year's exempted and every year after so the bank will have to pay me what is in my Escrow account currently which is something...Boy the VA will stick it to you every way they can because if I knew about this law I would have filed for the exemption last year whenever I filed for P&T!!! But I will say this Florida Law is also stupid and unfair in many ways because it doesn't allow somebody like me to get refunded back to 2016 even though the VA dated my P&T back to February 2016....Maybe JBasser or somebody will post this information for others who lives in Florida. Remember, you need to file for P&T exemption the day you file for P&T....
  3. Permanent and Total!!!

    R3dneck you were correct "The fight is never over"....Why? Because for sometime now I have been problems swallowing liquids and foods. I told my VA primary doctor about this and his reply was "This would be caused by the brain"...I told him I didn't think this is the case and of course the guy didn't do anything!!! Yesterday I had a new Cervical MRI, upright MRI at that because its been found with my case that upright MRIs shows everything different than the types of MRIs where a person lays down. Its unbelievable the difference upright MRIs show and these MDs are not being honest with people about MRIs. Gravity is a HUGE, HUGE problem for our spines and whenever you lay down Radiologist will not see the true problems that radiologist would see if you were sitting or standing in an upright MRI. Gravity and weight causes the spine to collapse and its proven that it can be 1/2 up to 1 inch. So with that said I brought the MRI CD/DVD home and behold the very first thing I seen what C6-C7 actually pinching my Esophagus!!! No wonder I have been choking and in pain whenever I swallow!!! I was looking in the regs but cannot find exactly what claim I would file this under. I do know that if a diagnosis is not under the regs they have to properly align it up to the closest diagnosis. So the diagnosis is called Dysphagia. From this website: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1144952-clinical it reads that "Rarely, dysphagia or airway dysfunction has been reported secondary to cervical spondylosis." Well from what I've been reading its not that rare because a lot of people get this same exact issue at the same exact level, C6-C7...So I am asking to see if anybody can help me find exactly what diagnosis do I file a claim under because this is a serious problem for me. EDIT: I want to add something. Originally the VA rated my legs and arms at only 10% each. Whenever I confronted them with the Permanent and Total Disability issue that I was going to bring up at my BVA hearing and why the St Pete RO actually in fact tried to hide it and actually refused to decide on even though all the evidence showed that my conditions are Permanent and Total Disability, they finally approved the P&T. Good!!! But as I was talking to JBasser yesterday over the phone I realized they increased both my legs and arms from 10% each to 20% each. So I was hoping that would put me over the 100% mark but a no-go, it only put me at 91%. So the St Pete RO increased my arms and legs to 20% each and then gave me P&T. The way the VA rates people is actually very unfair because the more contentions you have the harder it gets to get 100%. Think about this for example, I have a friend who was rated 100% just for PTSD alone. That is his only contention and he gets 100% while I have 7-8 contentions that I am only rated at 90% TDIU with P&T. So, the way the VA rates people is a scam and unfair, big time and it really needs to be fixed. Somebody who has more problems with their body should be rated higher than somebody who only has one problem. You ever heard of this saying, its not he one big thing that hurts people but all the little things that hurts them. This saying is true and should be for VA Ratings. O' well maybe they will get it right one day.
  4. Permanent and Total!!!

    You are correct R3dneck and with all the pain I am suffering with down in my lumbosacral joints I may go ahead tomorrow and setup the colonoscopy. Trust me if it wasn't for the pain killers I take which is 15mgs of Oxycodone 5x a day and 30mgs of Morphine SR twice a day I would have to wear a diaper and me being 49 and stubborn I just cannot do that. This is how bad it is, July 6 I go outside to help my son mow the yard, I don't have a big yard so I mowed the front side with my self propelled mower. Just because of doing that I ended up at the Emergency Room on Saturday July 8 because I could not walk, severe pain in my thighs (all the way around) and pain in my calves. To be honest it was the worse pain I have ever felt in my entire life!!!! I was given a Morphine shot (which was worthless IMHO) but what helped was the steroid shot. Since then I have been living with severe left calf pain. My Pain Management PA was thinking "CLOT". I told her no its my nerves so she wants me to get the ultrasound done. I know my body, been through this before but not this severe. This is how I know its from my sacral joints. This evening I had my wife massage my left buttocks (cheeks). Just with her touching my butt cheeks I was screaming in pain. So I told her to use her elbow right next to my butt crack and man I almost passed-out because of the pain. Its the worse burning pain ever there is. I know it no clot but its the nerve. My family, no my dad we don't have heart issues but I do know people can get leg clots because of spine issues due to lack of exercise. So I will get it setup to be checked out next week. Anyway I appreciate your comments and I will keep fighting and fighting since I feel a substantial portion of my spine issues could have been resolved with surgery but that VA Surgeon refused to grant me surgery I am going to make them pay because what they did is now cause severe nerve damage. I cannot even poop without pain shooting down my legs, thats how bad it is...
  5. Permanent and Total!!!

    Its been a long, long road, well since January 2010 whenever I first started having all the upper bilateral radiculopathy pain in my arms, December 11, 2010 whenever I joined Hadit, then on June 18 (I think that was the day) when all the lower bilateral radiculopathy started, to currently today. Its been a long tough mountain I have been climbing and at times it feels like there is no end in sight. Some days are better than others but lately its just been that bad. Whenever I say bad, my life is good, family great, finances great, its just all the pain, all the depression that I've been going through. I've begged many times for the VA to do something, some type of surgery on both of my cervical and lumbar spine but nothing, the surgeon keeps denying me. Back in March 2014 I was granted SSDI retro back to April 2012 the day I went out of work. Not even two weeks later I received a packet from the VA granting me TDIU. Since then I've had both legs and both arms granted serviced connection along with a couple of other things which put me up at 90%. I still had two contentions left, bladder and bowel incontinence. The VA knew it has been diagnosed by Dr. Bash, a VA MD and a VA Surgeon. The only thing that stopped the Regional Office from really approving the bowel incontinence was me getting a colonoscopy completed just to rule out anything else. Too be honest, I've been proned and poked and I have had enough of it and missed that procedure and decided I will take my chances at BVA. All this went on back in 2015. Last month I received my SOC for the bladder and bowel issues and requested a delay so I can get the colonoscopy completed outside of the VA, as I quit going to the VA back in March of this year. Since they do not want to do surgery on my neck or lumbar spine then they are not going to treat me any longer as I felt I was being badly treated. Whenever I sent that Form back I request the RO to complete my request for Permanent and Total Disability that they actually put under the rug back in I think June of 2015 or 2016 ( I cannot remember). I had the C&P Exam but they really never answered the P&T issue nor sent me a packet, nothing. Today I get on ebenefits and what do I see? A commissary letter showing: "This is to certify "my name" is an honorably discharged veteran of the Army and is entitled to disability compensation at the 100 percent rate due to service-connected disability(ies). This total disability is considered permanent. You are not scheduled for future examinations." So I am done!!!! You hear me? I am done!!! I want to thank JBasser, JDorle and ALL OF YOU, the WHOLE HADIT community for helping me these past 7 years. You don't know what this means to my family, as my daughter was crying because I told her the Permanent and Total Disability was for them, not me. Its always been about them since I realized I could not ever go back to work back in April 2012. I know this is hard for people to say but I want to thank that person, whoever you are the St Pete Regional Office, for doing your job and doing it correctly, doing it per the CFRs and what the medical evidence shows you.
  6. john999 you are absolutely correct. Tampa, VA has a Chronic Pain Rehab Program that both the PM neurologist and your PCP keep pushing on me. I told them if they will not do surgery they will never get me into the CPRP because all its for is to get veterans off the pain medications. These psyche doctors believe that because they now know pain comes from the brain they can treat it their way. But, what they do not get is the brain is perfect and if outputs pain signals that means there is something wrong. There is where the buck stops there with me and the CPRP. And your right they do not understand the depression the chronic pain causes then they want you to take this other medication which in turns causes other damages in your body, blah, blah, blah. Its the same ole' note. When and its just a when that Florida gets on the ball with this Medical Marijuana I am moving over to that. For one its natural, not created by these pharmacists and chemists who try to play God. Last, I've weaned off the pain meds and was off of them for over a month and my wife cried along side me whenever I was in pain. The VA does not care because if they did they would have approved surgery years ago on my spine.
  7. Okay thanks for the heads up..
  8. I've been taking Morphine SR 15mgs 2x a day for over a year now and all it has done is keep my in my bedroom the majority of the time. A friend of mine who was in an automobile accident some years ago takes both Oxycodone 60mgs 4x a day and Morphine SR 100mgs 3x a day. I asked him how does he even get out of the house. He told me his doctor (private doctors by the way) gave him Adderall to help counter the drowziness of the Morphine SR. Has anybody on here taken both Morphine SR and Adderall? Does it help with "pepping" you up while taking the Morphine SR? I am tired of feeling tired and weak all the time while dealing with the pain on top of that. So I asked my VA PCP to see if he can prescribe me some Adderall to help offset the effects of the Morphine SR. Its on the VA formulary list and I need something to give me a pep so I can get outside and move around!!! Feedback appreciated.
  9. Believe it or not St Pete Regional Office!!! Yea I cannot believe it myself. I am now going to write a letter requesting why my PT claim was never delivered with a denial letter to my house and why did the RO add that claim to a pending appeal. This is a CUE in itself because they violated so many CFRs because they first did not deliver me any approval or denial letter for the P&T and the RO added it to a pending appeal so they can delay the process. This is a NO GO per the CFRs. So I am going over the ROs head and writing to some folks in Washington DC and I may add the letter to both President Trump and the new Secretary of the VA and to both my Senators here in Florida. Here is the thing, I have evidence from the VA, Dr. Bash which proves I have bladder and bowel incontinence and I have evidence from both Dr. Bash and Social Security which shows I am P&T. The VA RO is just sitting on both of them. that's fine they are going to have to pay all that tuition fees and the Dependent Education retroactively. They wanna play ball then I am to play because I've won all my claims with the help of JBasser and others on here who showed me the path to go. Its about reading both the Federal Veterans Rules and Regulations and the Veterans Benefits Manual that you can buy from lexisnexis!!!! If you know the CFRs and have case laws the VA is usually backed in the corner. Don't ever let them tell you no if you have evidence, they will try to deny you but whenever you request a De Novo Review thats where it usually gets overturned like all my denials have except the bladder and bowel issues. For some reason they are sitting on this. What they don't realize is I still have it ever after herniating 2 discs in my neck and my L5-S1 and the VA refusing to do surgery on them. Ole' well they are at fault here thanks to the previous leadership...
  10. Sorry for late reply. I submitted it and the next day it was approved so I must have filled it out correctly and today they gave me the retro since she has been in college since August 19, 2016. I just totally forgot about this with all the pain and meds I was taking at the time....
  11. Thanks to JBasser for reminding me earlier I realized I am able to receive dependent compensation for my daughter who is a Full Time College Student. Besides filling out VBA-21-674-ARE, do I need to send anything else in with this form such as unofficial transcripts, etc.... Thanks
  12. Got a question for anybody who has been on Opoids for some time and then came off of them. I started on pain meds; Oxycodone back around October 2013 for Cervical and Lumbar DDD/DJD with Upper and Lower Radiculopathy. For some reason i haven't been part of this new opioid pain medication cut back. I think its because of the severity of my pain and all the tests they run still shows current radiculopathy with current polyneuropathy bilaterally in my legs. Anyway, from October 2013 up to December 2015 or January 2016 I was on Oxycodone 5mg. The 5mg effects ran its course (its life ran out). Instead of just upping the mgs to 10mgs my VA Neurologist added Morphine ER 15mg to the prescription. So then I was taking Oxycodone 5mg and Morphine ER 15. I was against this from the beginning because I didn't feel right taking Morphine as it didn't set right with me. So I complained to him an a secured message in an email. So what does Pain Management do they set me up an appointment with somebody else in the office. I thought I was going back to see him. Whenever I go to the appointment I am there seeing some PA, no Neurologist. What does she do, she takes me off the Oxycodone and ADDS Morphine IR 5mg and leaves the Morphine ER 15mg!!!! After about two weeks I sent my PM Neurologist a Secured message and told him I wanted an appointment with him and nobody else. Long story short I finally told him to just take me off the Morphine IR and put me back on Tramadol and leave me on the Morphine ER 15mg. Well since day one of the Morphine ER 15mg I have been depressed and in a dream. I have been stuck in my bedroom since December 2015 and I do not leave out of it unless its necessary. The Tramadol has run its life out about a month ago because its only a synthetic opiod and whenever you start taking real opiods Tramadol will quit working. So Tramadol doesn't even work anymore. So last week I have had enough of the Morphine ER and started to wean off of it. Today I received my last bottle of Morphine ER and I sent my VA PCP advising that I am weaning off and how I have been doing it. Instead of taking one a day I have been taking one every other day. Yes I have been paying for it with withdraws and this ringing in my left ear but I am determined NO MORE!!!! I'd rather suffer in pain than to be depressed like I have been because of the Morphine ER. So I asked my PCP that if I come off the Morphine ER would he fill me a prescription of Tylenol 3 with Codeine on an as needed basis to only be refilled every couple of months. My question is as anybody or do anybody take Tylenol 3 with Codeine or does the VA prescribe this? I know whenever I was in the Army I was prescribed this once but that was back in the mid 90s. I just do know I will need something for my pain as I do not take any Lyric or Gabapentin any longer because of the horrific weight gain it caused. The weight gain caused more pain. So it was agreed they give Topromax 50mg 3x a day which actually helps you lose weight. I've lost 20lbs since taking it. Good note for people who may want to take this medication is for me I cannot stand drinking sodas anymore. Topramax somehow changes the taste of the soda to me and its awful. Thats a great thing though!!!!
  13. CHOICE program

    Not really that is for veterans who are home bound because of spinal cord injuries. I will research more and call the VA Choice program to talk with somebody about this then if I have to contact Senator Rubio's office to see what can be done about this.
  14. CHOICE program

    Not really that is for veterans who are home bound because of spinal cord injuries. I will research more and call the VA Choice program to talk with somebody about this then if I have to contact Senator Rubio's office to see what can be done about this.
  15. Can anybody tell me if this qualifies a Veteran to be able to use the VA's CHOICE program... The VA has refused Cervical Spine surgery on me THREE TIMES. So I decided to finally get away from the VA and go see an orthopedic surgeon in my area. I just recently had a new MRI and the results are now showing I have Cervical Myelopathy at TWO levels. I go this Wednesday (Tomorrow) for the follow up MRI to see what the treatment plan is. I hope its surgery because I am tired of all this pain and not having a life. Since the VA Neurosurgeon has refused me three times for surgery and with the NEW MRI evidence and maybe the Orthopedic Surgeon will say surgery is the only treatment, would this qualify for the VA to pay for this surgery through the VAs CHOICE program? This surgeon is already in the VA Choice Program provider list, I just looked. Remember the VA Neurosurgeon REFUSED to do the surgery not once but THREE separate times. Keep in mind the VA Bay Pines in St Pete NOR James A. Haley has a Neurosurgeon on staff and uses a consultant to make decision if surgery is necessary and if he says yes the VA sends you out to the cheapest doctor in town. After my uncle inlaw just went through this a little over a year ago the cheap surgeon cause paralysis in his left arm I said NOPE, not going there.