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puppyduks last won the day on May 4 2015

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About puppyduks

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    E-3 Seaman

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  1. Thought I would give another update. I successfully tapered and am benzo free. Went for a few weeks with no meds and my fibro was really painful. VAMH doc put me on 20mg Cymbalta. I start taking it today, I hope it doesn't make me tired or spacey. Hope everyone is doing well, thanks for your support.
  2. Thank you everyone for all your support and well-wishes! I am lucky to be employed, the pay is ok and because the work is so unpalatable/inhospitable, my employers will put up with a lot of "behavorial quirks". They overlook a lot of my issues and just try to let me work by myself as much as posssible. I don't know what I would do if I couldn't work this job though, since I have not lasted that long at any other normal job.
  3. Thanks everyone here is an update. Switched from the 30mg temazepam to 10mg diazepam in one day. No problems except quite a few sleepless nights. But as the diazepam built up in my system I started feeling really, really tired all the time. I took the 10mg diazepam for two weeks and then cut it back to 7.5mg a few days ago. Still no noticeable symptoms because I am sooooo tired all the time. I now take a one hour nap after work, and still crash out all night at bedtime. Although I never sleep completely through the night but I have been like that for years before the benzos. I wish I could taper faster because this extreme tiredness gets old. But I am in it for the long haul and looking forward to the day I am free of it.
  4. Filed April 2013 and just got my rating. Had a couple snafus along the way but it all eventually worked out. I was rated 70 PTSD, 40 Fibromyalgia and 10 FOR IBS. So a total rating of 80. I can not tell in words the feeling of relief and validation I have right now. It was a long haul but it has been worth the struggle. For those still going through the process, hang in there. The tunnel may feel never-ending but keep on keeping on... the light is there at the end even if you can't see it.
  5. Thanks, I hope you are able to get off the pain meds without too much trouble.
  6. Taking Temazepem 30mg at night for sleep. Been on it for a year. I want to come off it. Has anyone successfully tapered down and if so, can you share how you did it? Also, how did it affect your family while you were tapering? Thank you.
  7. Hi, sorry I have not updated in a timely manner. I had my C&P's and the 4 hour exam was really only about an hour. The PTSD one I am not sure how long it lasted, it seemed like it lasted maybe 36 hours, it was rough. I am guessing maybe 2 hours? The docs were all very nice and professional, not their fault for it being rough, just my own issues. There was no colonoscopy, just a routine exam and answering a lot of questions. I looked on my healthevet and the notes from the C&P's say that I have fibromyalgia and IBS and PTSD. The fibromyalgia and IBS they said impacted my work. I really hope they don't say that I am unemployable. I may not play nice with others and may not be the easiest employee to manage, but I would hate to not be able to perform some kind of useful work even if it is a greeter at WalMart. The PTSD they said had reduced reliability in most areas work, social, cognitive etc functioning. I am really relieved to know that my fibromyalgia is not some rare disease or cancer that I picked up in the war that is slowly killing me (what I thought previously). It sucks to have, but it won't kill me so that's good. The IBS- well, now I have an explanation for all those extra bathroom breaks that I needed for all these years at work, that I got harassed by my supervisors for because they thought I was just lazy and wanted extra breaks. Validation is a wonderful thing. :) the PTSD- I am really bummed. This is the third doctor that has said I have it. I don't want to have it. I want to be normal like I was before the war. Still trying to come to terms with this one. Almost 2 years at the Vet Center/VA and I still don't want to accept that I have it. I am not sure what my rating will be but I already have the knowledge that I was most interested in: The diagnoses. Thank you all for your advice and comments, and good luck with your claims.
  8. Did my last exam today. Huge weight lifted. Wish me luck on my results.
  9. I am not sure what "secondary" means. I put Fibromyalgia, PTSD, Depression, IBS and CMI on the original claim. When the VA closed out and denied my claim in error late last year I got them to re-open my claim. They re-opened my claim but it now says for Fibromyalgia, GAD, MDD, PTSD. They did not put IBS or CMI on the re-opened claim. So I am not sure how the "claimed conditions" thing works. I have two C&P exams coming up. One is for "medical" and one is for PTSD. The one for "medical" is the 4 hour exam. I just don't know what they are going to examine. I am guessing an exam for Fibromyalgia since my IBS claim did not get re-opened? Edited to add that the VA has already taken about 21 vials of blood, done x-rays (everything normal, no arthritis) and sent me to the VA neurologist.
  10. Thanks guys (gals?). The exam just says "medical". I am claiming Fibromyalgia. The VA did the blood and x rays long ago, then sent me to VA neurologist who said it was Fibromyalgia with a possible Gulf War Illness Component. I am also claiming PTSD. I am a Desert Storm vet (gal). One of my symptoms is IBS so I was worried they would do a colonoscopy at the C&P. I would need to make arrangements for someone to drive me home if that was the case. The C&P paperwork was vague about whether I would need someone to drive me home, or if I would be okay to drive after the appointment.
  11. I have an exam scheduled. The guy said it is a 4 hour exam. What will happen in the exam, and will it really be 4 hours, or is that just a "guesstimate"?
  12. Berta, I heard that they have 3 different software versions that they are trying to consolidate or at least get them compatible so one can show the other's info... just what I heard so not sure how true that is. I can tell by the way they talk if the reps are new or less experienced employees. It is frustrating to get a rep who doesn't have a good grasp of the system but I guess they gotta learn somehow. One good thing about that number is that you will probably get a different rep the next time you call. After the VA denied my claim because I did not show up for a C&P (I was not notified of exam date/time) and I got conflicting information from two different reps while trying to get the error fixed, I emailed Ms. Hickey for help. She replied the same day. My case got re-opened within two days. I am now waiting for them to contact me to schedule the exams and it is back on track. I went into the OPC yesterday to update my financial papers since my salary has changed. There were some ladies there with a huge cake, giving pieces to everyone who walked in. I was too anxious to see what the cake was for (I have really bad anxiety and panic at the VA and everything becomes a blur). But my five year old daughter was all over that cake. Everyone was really nice and helpful but the VA medical clinics just make me want to bolt. The same feeling you would get if you were standing on the edge of a cliff and someone accidently jostled you. I had to take the papers outside to fill them out. I felt like an idiot. But I got them turned in.
  13. Not sure if this is common knowledge or not but in case it could help anyone.... If you call the 800.827.1000 number during business hours to check the status on a claim or ask a question, the recorded message will tell you that all representatives are busy helping others and please try your call again later. If you get up early in the morning and call before business hours, you can utilize the callback feature. At the prompt, select the option to leave your name and number and have a representative call you when it is your turn in line. Say your name and confirm your number and hang up. Then, KEEP YOUR PHONE HANDY until you receive a call back (I have even answered it dripping wet from the shower). It may show up as a restricted or unknown number, ANSWER THE PHONE. It will be a recorded voice telling you that there is a call for "Your Name". ACCEPT THE CALL. Then voila! Real live person. And they have almost all been super friendly, courteous and willing to help you get your concerns heard/questions answered. They have never failed to call me back, and it is usually pretty fast, within a couple hours or so. MUCH better than waiting on hold or getting frustrated and upset by repeatedly calling in a futile effort to get through faster. Hope this helps and that it is not simply redundant info. :)
  14. Thank you for your words of support and suggestions. I am just sick over this. I am trying to cope the best I can. I found the exam calendar on the EBenefits web site. I guess I will have to just check it every day. I have also started calling the 800-827-1000 number every Monday to check the status on my claim and make sure nothing has gone awry. I always leave my number for a callback and I usually get a call back within 30 minutes. I may up the calling to twice a week just to make extra sure. I am always polite even when the rep is curt.
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