My name is Greg. This is my first post. I'm 28, an was deployed to Iraq/Kuwait in 2005-2006. Shortly after coming home, I started noticing a lot of trouble with funning, and general energy issues. I went to a doctor (I was on active duty, but at a reserve post, so I had Tricare Remote), and I was diagnosed with depression. That didn't fit, because I'm generally happy. I can't really explain why I feel this way, but I have always felt this was a physical issues. Literally, within a span of a week, I went from running a 12-minute two-mile to failing my PT test. Ever since then, I struggled with feeling weak, fatigued, and just not 100%. I also have pain. I ache quite a bit, and sometimes it feels like I have a persistent, under the skin sunburn.
So, after I got off active duty (i'm still in the reserves), I started seeing my own doctor. She put me on a few anti-depressants that didn't do anything to help me. I asked for her to do some blood work, and it came back with slightly lowered T-levels, as one would expect from somebody who doesn't feel like exercising anymore. Finally, after testing my heart, lungs, thyroid, and blood tests, she diagnosed me with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. She said that fibromyalgia also fits some of my symptoms, but she didn't diagnose me with that.
Anyways, I submitted my CFS to the VA for a disability after reading that it fell under the category of presumptive illness. I filed for a few other things (bursitis in my shoulder, broken wrist, nothing major), and was turned down for everything. The wrist and shoulder were issues I was in physical therapy for while I was on active duty. I do not have a LOD on them. For CFS, they said that my slightly decreased Testosterone levels accounted for all of my symptoms. They did not conduct an exam. I had one appointment with the VA where I went in and they read of the items I was filing for and asked me to confirm that was it. I confirmed and left. It was literally less than 5 minutes.
I work a regular job. My condition does affect my performance (I feel hazy quite a bit and have trouble concentrating, I am often late for work because I have trouble getting out of bed, ect.) Luckily, my job has flex scheduling and generous time off, or I'd have been fired. I don't know how I'm going to convince the VA to recognize my conditions. I am not out for money or anything (its nice, but I have a job), but I want the recognition that I'm not crazy. I'm also fairly young, and I feel like crap all the time. I'm afraid this issue is going to get worse when I'm older, and I want the VA support system there in case things become too much for me and my family to handle.
I posted here because CFS/FM symptoms are more closely related with Gulf War Illness than the OIF/OEF stuff, and figured I might get more insight from these forms. If you guys have some advice on how to approach this situation, I'd greatly appreciate it. I recently got in contact with a VFW VSO, and am working on filing my NOD. I got my denial in January, and I should have been working harder on fixing this sooner...I just kind of got depressed and didn't feel like dealing with it for a bit.
Thanks for any help you guys offer.