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Johnny K.

Third Class Petty Officers
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About Johnny K.

  • Rank
    E-3 Seaman
  • Birthday 10/22/1952

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  • Location
    Saint Petersburg, FL

Previous Fields

  • Service Connected Disability
  • Branch of Service
  1. Thanks,Commander Bob, I have not told the Psych yet, but I have an appointment next week and I see my Vet Center Counselor tomorrow. I have been taking Prazosin (a blood pressure regulator) for 2 years to combat the nightmares I used to have, which were filled with images from traumatic stressors, and it worked very well to help me sleep without bad dreams. But since starting the higher dose of Mirtazipine the "new" nightmares are downright dangerous. I thrash around pretty bad.
  2. I have been in treatment for Service Connected PTSD for years with the VA. Lately, I have been experiencing a really scary sleep disorder. I awaken 1-3 times nightly beginning about two hours after going to sleep with visions of death related experiences. My death. It has been in the form of people and sometimes huge animals, I can feel it coming in my sleep but I cannot escape. I am usually screaming when my wife awakens me. Last night I had three episodes, the last just before I got up. I thrashed around so forcefully that I am afraid for my wife. The episodes are becoming more frequent both in how many times per night and times per week. When I searched sleep disorders I found this one, which sounds much like what I am experiencing and has been related also to PTSD. I take Mirtazipine and Alprazolam along with a declining dose (weening off of) duloxetine. Have you of you ever heard of this? REM Sleep Behavior Disorder
  3. Thanks Mobie, That sounds like great advice, and I'll run it by my VSO. Doc
  4. Thanks Cloudy, I got the DRO letter in the mail today, explaining the decision. Now it's back to work on the appeal. My VSO had me sign a form to ammend my claim to include MDD. You have all been such a huge help I cannot put it into words. Doc
  5. Dear CG, Yes B) I got service connected for PTSD at 0%. But that is only the new beginning. I also have MDD , conceded as "more likely than not SC" by the C&P shrink. Now I need to have that diagnosis included in my claim. Just one little step at a time....I'll get there B) Doc
  6. Hello Susan, Thank you for your sacrifices. My sympathies to you and your family. Your husband is a hero to our country. I am an old USMC / Navy Hospital Corpsman. I am in remission with Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma. I had surgery, radiation and chemo beginning in September of 2000-February of 2001. My oncologists told me that the cause (etiology) of my cancer was unknown but was NOT caused by smoking, but was certainly exacerbated by "stress". The cancer was not esophogeal but was in the buccal mucosa inside my cheek. I was a grunt platoon corpsman with the Marines from 1973-1992, including my Reserve duty and a recall during the first Gulf War. I am now a disabled vet with a VA disability rating of 0% for PTSD and major depressive disorder. I would like to get service connection for the cancer, but I do not know how to make that happen. My brother Jim died of lung cancer last year at age 59. He received his first disability check the week before he died. He, too, was a Hospital Corpsman on the Hospital Ship USS Repose off the coast of Vietnam in 1967-1969. My VSO says the VA holds lung cancer to be a "presumptive" service connected disability. My best to you on your quest, John
  7. Thanks Entropent, I filed for PTSD in 2000, got denied and failed to appeal because of cancer surgery, and chemo/radiation. I filed a new claim for PTSD IN 2005, and now, since this DRO decision, I am adding Major Depressive Disorder, which the C&P psych conceded as service connected. I just keep punching the clock and filing appeals. They can play the numbers game all they want- I will not give up until I get what they owe me. Or die. Doc John
  8. Doc John (johnny k.), on hurricane watch in sunny Florida.
  9. Hi Berta, I saw a Fee For Service psychiatrist for my C&P exam. It was at 11:30 A.M. and he must have been hungry. He did a very brief and incomplete exam, not even mentioning hyper-vigilance, insomnia, etc. When he asked his first question it was about when I was first seen for my symptoms, and I said 1981. Then he asked what the psych's initial diagnosis was and I said " dysthymia (major depression)" and before I could say "but, he later changed his diagnosis to PTSD", the quack had moved on to the next question. Because of this poor exam (which did concede SC major depression but failed to service connect me for PTSD, I asked to see the DRO. After she read all of my IMO opinions, she put me at 0% for PTSD and now I am adding the Major Depressive disorder and TMJ to my ammended claim. The VSO sent me the DRO's transcript, but I have not received the actual opinion letter yet. The DRO meeting was only on Sept 12, so it should come soon. Oh, and now I have found out the VARO at Bay Pines has hired the quack (Dr. Mack) as a staff psychiatrist- no longer fee for service. My Vet Center counselor says that this guy has not diagnosed PTSD in any claimants and five of her clients have documented PTSD diagnoses from IMO's which have been ignored by him. Maybe that is how he got the staff position? B) Thanks Doc Johnny K.
  10. Hey Testvet, Here is what Berta said on the topic earlier, I really appreciate her, too: date='Jul 29 2007, I am astonished that the VA has not awarded you yet with the evidence you mentioned. Do they have all of that evidence? Did they ever refer to it yet in any Statement of the Case? Have they attempted to rebutt those IMos with any VAola quackola medical opinions? I would certainly bring all of the above opinions to the DRO hearing and make sure they are fully considered- and are made part of the record---- My Rep at a DRO hearing- claimed he highlighted my IMOs -but the DRO record shows this never happened and that VA did not even have any IMos from me. I hope the AL will sure show up for the hearing. When the VA has enough medical evidence to make an award -they should award- they should NOT do any doctor shopping to try to find a VA opinion against your claim. When MY rep called me before the DRO conference (it wasnt really a hearing) he said he was sure he would walk in with my IMos and walk out with an award. I dont know what he walked in with- my IMOs disappeared from that point for over 2 years-in spite of being re-sent by me many times-and he never gave them to the DRO. I will look for the regs and post them here- that show that VA -with enough medical information to award (regardless of where it comes from-claimant or VA )is supposed to award. You have a preponderance of evidence - actually it is really too late for VA to doc shop- I sure hope the AL knows the regs in and out on this one. Berta I saw the VA psychiatrist yesterday for my quarterly eval. He was not even aware of my claim, although I assumed he was. You know what they say about "assume". I was not aware that the claims people do not talk to the medical people so yesterday I had him enter information about my claim into my VA medical record. He really only seems interested in controling my meds- not in counseling or therapy. I have decided to stay with him and also get an IMO letter stating my employability and other conditions of my disability. But I guess I need a Psychiatrist who specializes in PTSD, what do you all think? The DRO 's transcript did not mention that I have to be on meds all the time so I will get a statement from the doc to that effect. John D. (cloudcroft who is very sharp, too) states that the VA psych's opinions are given more weight than a civilian doctor's. But I have two VA psychiatrists so far: one VA psychiatrist for my C&P (who said I have SC major depression but not PTSD) and another on a regular basis for treatment. Plus I have four psychologist opinions ( two from VA and two civilian) stating I have service connected PTSD already recorded in my C-file and the VA medical records. I will not give up even though the battle just makes my symptoms worse. Thanks for the encouragement! Got to go . Doc Johnny K.
  11. Carlie, I would just like to say amen to your assesment of St.Pete RO. The transcripts of my recent DRO meeting were filled with inacuracies. The Vet Ctr on 1st AVE North is very reliable. And they keep good records. And always get that date stamp! Johnny K.
  12. Berta you were so right in this message. We were organized and had copies of health and military records ready to display to the DRO. The American Legion rep was invaluable... and taking my wife along gave her a chance to correct me, remind me and generally share how my illness manifests in our daily life. See my new thread " Zero% after DRO" in the VA Claims Reserarch Veterans Affairs Claims and Benefits Research forum. My American Legion rep has advised me to get an IMO to write up my disabilities so we can appeal to get a higher rating in the future. THANK YOU AS ALWAYS. THIS WEEKEND MY WIFE AND I WERE AT A WEDDING RECEPTION SEATED WITH THE WIFE OF AN AIR FORCE JET PILOT WHO IS MIA ALONG HWY 1 VIETNAM SINCE 1969. THIS LADY REMINDED ME OF YOU--HER MISSION IS TO HELP OTHERS THE YOUng MEN AND WOMEN WHO ARE FIGHTING FOR US NOW. With deep respect, (Doc) Johnny K
  13. Hey I consider myself a marine anyway after being a "grunt corpsman" for 16 years.Hell, I still fold my scivvies. Chloracne is nasty stuff. I saw some of it way back in about '72, caused by chemical burns in a torpedo shop in Charleston. Haven't heard much about it since then but my Marines were in a hurt locker for about ten days until we got the chems all washed out and the blisters cleared up. Did you have much scarring from the exposure? Doc John
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