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Second Class Petty Officers
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commodog last won the day on March 29 2017

commodog had the most liked content!

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About commodog

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    E-4 Petty Officer 3rd Class

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  • Service Connected Disability
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    What's a "hobby"? Heh...

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  1. On the west coast that number is sort of "low average", particularly in and about Silicon Valley. I tended to stay more inland, towards the central valley, hence ~71k. Before enlisting I worked for Apple and a few other companies. Primarily in a Desktop Support role, and then later specifically in Systems Engineer roles. (I specialize in SMS pre-SCCM/Active Directory/Application Packaging, and am proficient with Exchange.) I grew up very deeply embedded and personally involved in the rise of Information Technology and its culture in and about various locales in California, and knew some very prolific "hackers" (Most would refer to themselves as "crackers" or "phreakers"), If I could dive back into this workforce without the traits of TBI + PTSD, I would in a heartbeat. Unfortunately there is no known cure at this time. Berta, I am unsure if I qualify for SSDI, and I will be direct with you in saying sometimes I let my self-pride keep me from deserved benefits.
  2. It's a fair comment, Buck. I worked it out at one point, and due to my primary background and previous earnings, I am worth, functionally, somewhere between 71k/yr and 90k/yr (Information Technology background and degree) with a high life earning of exactly 71k/yr (Systems Engineer). The truck driving was me trying to step out of the corporate environment and into my own little closed cabin because of my PTSD/TBI issues getting me consistently released. High there was ~60k/yr. Problem was, there isn't much difference in environment and expectations, really. Even with the non-taxable rate, it's still probably close to, at a minimum, ~2k/mo difference, which really is substantial. I agree with you on the fight thing. What's really irritating is when all of the documentation and evidence is plopped right in front of them, but you still need to argue with them over it, or "present more evidence", having sufficiently given them everything that could be rationally or logically required. What is more irritating, is hearing about a brother or sister stepping into the parking lot to blow their brains out because someone told them "no, go away". That's inexcusable. I try to remember, however, that 90% of the staff are genuinely trying to do the best they can to make proper medical diagnoses and give proper treatment, but that 10% of rotten-to-the-core apples keeps sitting on top of the barrel for all to see, and that's what they are often judged by. System needs fixing, for sure. In my case I feel like it's doing it's job at the moment.
  3. Thanks, brother. I really needed this today. I will continue to pursue treatment as I usually do.
  4. Hey Vetquest and Bronco, First and foremost, I am in no way interested in "getting to 100% scheduler", and am content and grateful with what I receive already. It is merely the combination of my PTSD and TBI symptoms that I believe warrant me receiving TDIU P&T for being unable to work. I strongly feel that the VA has gotten these ratings, in my case, "right". I'm not a "funds chaser". If I felt I could work again without getting fired for hostility/forgetfulness/inattentiveness, you can bet I would. (I am a very independent and prideful person, and it's taken a long time for me to adjust to this.) Second, I have a long history with the doc, and tend to trust this particular mental health provider, but their comment threw me for a loop since I have always been extremely direct with them, hence the question here. Third, my initial award for TDIU Permanent and Total was July of 2016. So I am, in effect, only 2 years into it. For vetquest specifically: TBI and PTSD are rated separately, I am 80% PTSD, and 10% TBI (omitting other conditions). I am no neurologist by any stretch of the imagination, but I just thought it was weird that a mental state can further degrade because it was smashed on real hard 15 years ago. I can just chalk that up to more medical stuff I don't know. I've always had anisocoria and anger inhibition since the fall, but I come across in reality as a verbose, articulate, and analytical person (Until you actually spend some time with me, and watch me struggle with the aforementioned stuff). Lately, I have without question begun to slip cognitively, and my memory and attention issues seem to be getting worse. Not much truly frightens me, but damn, I'd at least like to watch my little ones grow up before I'm completely nutty.
  5. Hello all, Ever since suffering a cold knockout from a vehicular fall, and down the side of a levee/cliff during the invasion of Iraq (14-20 feet, directly on back of head: ACH was worn at the time, and NVG's [AN-PVS5's] were on my face.), I have had a variety of cognitive issues and total behavioral personality change. I am already 100% Permanent and Total (as the title says), and diagnosed with mTBI and PTSD, to which the majority of my award is granted towards PTSD. My LOC (Loss of Consciousness) was probably around 30 minutes if you consider me "coming to" briefly from time to time (being fireman carried by my TC, and then lifted by said TC, MOPP gear, M16 and all into the bench seat of a 5-ton) and being pushed on the shoulders as I lay in the fetal position, in utter confusion (I couldn't even "think" straight), on the bench seat by my TC who kept trying to get me to stay awake while he concurrently drove. I'm filling you in with this cursory amount of detail so you guys can get a feel for my background and situation. (Circumstances and type of injury.) What I want to seek your guys advice on, is this: I have a memory/focus issue that seems to be getting worse. I do things that seem to be gaps in processing tasks. For example: - Driving - Briefly lose "awareness" (presence?), but come to seconds later. - Daily routines or tasks: (a) Leave house, forget I locked it. Get out to car, can't remember whether I locked it. Go back to door, door is locked. Go back to car, can't remember if I locked it. (If wife is in car, she reminds me almost always as soon as I get in car.) (b) Make coffee - Fill coffeemaker with water, insert coffee grounds, turn on, walk away. Come back to coffee all over floor several minutes later. Forgot to put in cup or pot. (Put something in stove, and totally forget about it until it's burned.) (c) Have a difficult time coordinating tasks, and find myself extremely frustrated when doing so. (d) I sometimes go into long segues or overcomplicated verbiage. Internally, I feel like I'm struggling to say what I mean, and everything seems to "run together". My doctor wrote something to the effect of "This is either a sign of his cognitive dysfunction, or he is avoiding questions/conversations.", of which I assured said doctor it is not the latter. I have talked to my psych doc, and my doctor is telling me that these symptoms sound TBI-related, and put me in for a "Second Level Evaluation" with polytrauma. I have been to polytrauma before, and they did what I think was a best-case effort, and I went back to work. (Was driving a concrete truck at the time, and eventually got fired for , frankly, being forgetful/inattentive. Am now staying at home and doing home improvement projects to keep me busy/"fulfilled') I have to admit, I have a bit of fear about what the reality could be, as I am fairly young (early 40's), and have children and a wife. My questions, are as follows: - Does my doctors assessment that my apparently degrading cognition and processing is related to my TBI seem reasonable? Are they stretching? (I know *some* of you have psych degrees, or have seen this thing before.) - Could going back for more second-level polytrauma assessment affect my current rating? My wife is currently an honors level student (Deans List, Presidents List, and Academic honors), utilizing Chapter 35, and a state tuition waiver for spouses of those 100% P&T, and I do not want to ruin her frankly amazing pursuit of her degree. Any insight whatsoever will be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Commodog
  6. Thank you! She is so excited, and definitely the right kind of person to be a nurse. (empathetic, compassionate, solid work ethic, but won't be pushed around). Appreciated as always, Berta! Happy holidays to you and yours as well!
  7. Hello Berta, He did in fact write the (9 years continuing) diagnosis of "PTSD/TBI/Major Depression NOS", while also writing I "reported no depression". This after agreeing that my dosage of medication (psychotropic) needed to be increased in the same exact report. I was actually informing him of major waves of extreme depression I had been having towards the evening, which is what prompted the medication change to which he agreed and authorized. I just thought that was highly contradictory. I have been able to spend time with my daughter over the past year, since receiving TDIU w/P&T. I have taken her to ride her dirtbike, gone to museums with her, and although I derive very little pleasure (usually none) from any activities, I understand how important this is for her development and health, and she giggles and smiles the whole time, which is about the only fulfillment I have. The Mrs. *JUST* got approved for state sponsored tuition waiver on the basis of my permanent and total disability. She is also enrolled in Chapter 35. As of January 1st this upcoming year, she is studying to become a registered nurse, and for the moment wants to focus on helping those with head injuries (like myself). So as you can see, there is a lot on the table here as well, and although my conditions have not improved over the span of ~14 years, and have continued to get worse, I do fear a reduction for potentially pithy and/or malformed reasons and inarticulate diagnosis as seen in my most recent record. Thanks again, Berta!
  8. Hey guys, So I was awarded TDIU P&T this year (2017). I am fully aware that any benefit can be reduced, but was told that P&T is exceptionally unlikely to be reduced. Is this true? If so, what is the general or broad consensus for continuing appointments versus not continuing appointments? Kind of pissed about some stuff the head doc put in recently. I let him know I wanted to change some dosage on my meds, which do work, because they aren't taking the anxiety and depression down a notch like they used to. He agreed, and then wrote in his report that I reported I was having no depression, while also giving me the diagnosis NOS of TBI/PTSD/Major Depression at the end of it. My previous head doc was amazing, and listened to everything and developed a strong rapport with me (I have paranoia/trust issues, so that's important to me). Thanks guys! commodog
  9. Shooooot it happens to even the best of us. :D
  10. Hey Gastone, I just pulled out my award letter, and there is nothing in there I see about the 21-4140 on any of the pages. I went over it 3 time to be sure I wasn't missing it, but sure enough, nothing there about the 4140.
  11. Perfect, Buck! Thanks for the clarification!
  12. Ok, so if I received my award letter at the end of May this year (2017), then I should file the 4140-1 on May of 2018? Sorry for the confusion, but I changed the dates initially because I like my ambiguity. My award letter was sent to me at the very end of May 2017. It retropaid back to July of 2016. So if I sent in the 4140-1 next May, I am good to go?
  13. Quick and easy question (one hopes): Veteran files for TDIU April 1 2015. TDIU is approved, and award letter is dated June 2016. What month should the 4140 be filed? Thanks!
  14. Very cool, Gastone, and thanks. You're always helpful. I just wanted to know where I sit, and what to expect.
  15. Hey guys. So, I received my award letter, a good chunk of backpay, and my AB8 and other forms clearly indicate permanent and total. My question(s): Do I still have to recertify every year for TDIU? Will I still expect a 5 year review of my rating? Thanks! Commodog
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