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First Class Petty Officer
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kent101 last won the day on November 20 2017

kent101 had the most liked content!

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About kent101

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    E-5 Petty Officer 2nd Class

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  • Service Connected Disability
  1. This sounds good. I think I'll win because I didn't have sinusitis before entering the service. The doctor saw my treatment record when I self reported sinusitis and was given medication for allergies/sinus problems. I had more than one record where I wrote down I was taking medication for allergies/sinus problems. Before I ever filed the claim I did my homework and made sure I got all the things I needed for the claim. That's why I didn't understand how they could deny me. The doctor at the C&P exam said it was more likely than not my sinusitis was caused during basic training. I read his C&P exam.
  2. I have treatment records saying that I self reported having sinusitis and they gave me medication for allergies.
  3. I looked at my C-File and the reason they denied my sinusitis was that they said I had no treatment for it in my medical records. In one of my medical records it shows that I told my doctor I had sinusitis. The doctor didn't treat me for it after I told him about it. So the VA says because the doctor didn't treat me for sinusitis that it doesn't matter if I mentioned I had it. At my C&P exam the doctor said it was more likely than not that my sinusitis was caused during basic training. The C&P doctor said also that I had allergic rhinitis. On my last claim I applied for rhinitis and they denied that too. The C&P doctor years before then said that my rhinitis was more likely than not caused during my service too. It's been 5 years so far waiting for my BVA appeal. When I wrote the letter I said "How's it my fault that the doctor failed to treat me for sinusitis when I reported it"? Do you think I'll be giving this sinusitis disability rating or not?
  4. I just got my C-File on CD. It took about 8 months. Most of it was stuff I already had such as the paperwork used in filing a claim. I think the only new thing I got out of it was the copy of my C&P exams.
  5. I was working at 70% with PTSD, but I had to quit. The problem working with PTSD is if you find yourself in a toxic work environment it'll make your PTSD a lot worse. The trick is finding a job where you can take a break any moment you want to and not work hard enough to stress yourself out.
  6. I think it was about 8 months ago I filed. EBenefits says they closed the claim about a week ago. Now I'm waiting for it to be mailed to me. I hope it comes this week in the mail.
  7. My C-File FOIA shows it was completed on ebenefits this month. How long do you think it'll take to get it in the mail?
  8. I see now the VA is using ecstasy on Veterans saying it helps cure mental illness. Ecstasy causes some major brain damage. The VA Hospital forcefully did lobotomies on 2000 WW2 Veterans and ruined their lives. Roman Tritz’s memories of the past six decades are blurred by age and delusion. But one thing he remembers clearly is the fight he put up the day the orderlies came for him. “They got the notion they were going to come to give me a lobotomy,” says Mr. Tritz, a World War II bomber pilot. “To hell with them.” The orderlies at the veterans hospital pinned Mr. Tritz to the floor, he recalls. He fought so hard that eventually they gave up. But the orderlies came for him again on Wednesday, July 1, 1953, a few weeks before his 30th birthday. This time, the doctors got their way. The U.S. government lobotomized roughly 2,000 mentally ill veterans—and likely hundreds more—during and after World War II, according to a cache of forgotten memos, letters and government reports unearthed by The Wall Street Journal. Besieged by psychologically damaged troops returning from the battlefields of North Africa, Europe and the Pacific, the Veterans Administration performed the brain-altering operation on former servicemen it diagnosed as depressives, psychotics and schizophrenics, and occasionally on people identified as homosexuals. The VA doctors considered themselves conservative in using lobotomy. Nevertheless, desperate for effective psychiatric treatments, they carried out the surgery at VA hospitals spanning the country, from Oregon to Massachusetts, Alabama to South Dakota. Roman Tritz talks about the scars from his lobotomy. The VA’s practice, described in depth here for the first time, sometimes brought veterans relief from their inner demons. Often, however, the surgery left them little more than overgrown children, unable to care for themselves. Many suffered seizures, amnesia and loss of motor skills. Some died from the operation itself. Mr. Tritz, 90 years old, is one of the few still alive to describe the experience. “It isn’t so good up here,” he says, rubbing the two shallow divots on the sides of his forehead, bracketing wisps of white hair. The VA’s use of lobotomy, in which doctors severed connections between parts of the brain then thought to control emotions, was known in medical circles in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and is occasionally cited in medical texts. But the VA’s practice, never widely publicized, long ago slipped from public view. Even the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says it possesses no records of the lobotomies performed by its predecessor agency. Musty files warehoused in the National Archives, however, show VA doctors resorting to brain surgery as they struggled with a vexing question that absorbs America to this day: How best to treat the psychological crises that afflict soldiers returning from combat. Between April 1, 1947, and Sept. 30, 1950, VA doctors lobotomized 1,464 veterans at 50 hospitals authorized to perform the surgery, according to agency documents rediscovered by the Journal. Scores of records from 22 of those hospitals list another 466 lobotomies performed outside that time period, bringing the total documented operations to 1,930. Gaps in the records suggest that hundreds of additional operations likely took place at other VA facilities. The vast majority of the patients were men, although some female veterans underwent VA lobotomies, as well. Lobotomies faded from use after the first antipsychotic drug, Thorazine, hit the market in the mid-1950s, revolutionizing mental-health care. The forgotten lobotomy files, military records and interviews with veterans’ relatives reveal the details of lives gone terribly wrong. There was Joe Brzoza, who was lobotomized four years after surviving artillery barrages on the beaches at Anzio, Italy, and spent his remaining days chain-smoking in VA psychiatric wards. Eugene Kainulainen, whose breakdown during the North African campaign the military attributed partly to a childhood tendency toward “temper tantrums and [being] fussy about food.” Melbert Peters, a bomber crewman given two lobotomies—one most likely performed with an ice pick inserted through his eye sockets. And Mr. Tritz, the son of a Wisconsin dairy farmer who flew a B-17 Flying Fortress on 34 combat missions over Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe. “They just wanted to ruin my head, it seemed to me,” says Mr. Tritz. “Somebody wanted to.” Counting the Patients A memo gives a partial tally of lobotomized veterans and warns of medical complications. A note about documents: Yellow highlighting has been added to some documents. The names of patients not mentioned in these articles have been redacted, along with other identifying details. All other marks are original. The VA documents subvert an article of faith of postwar American mythology: That returning soldiers put down their guns, shed their uniforms and stoically forged ahead into the optimistic 1950s. Mr. Tritz and the mentally ill veterans who shared his fate lived a struggle all but unknown except to the families who still bear lobotomy’s scars. Mr. Tritz is sometimes an unreliable narrator of his life story. For decades he has meandered into delusions and paranoid views about government conspiracies. He speaks lucidly, however, about his wartime service and his lobotomy. And his words broadly match official records and interviews with family members, historians and a fellow airman. It isn’t possible to draw a straight line between Mr. Tritz’s military service and his mental illness. The record, nonetheless, reveals a man who went to war in good health, experienced the unrelenting stress of aerial combat—Messerschmitts and antiaircraft fire—and returned home to the unrelenting din of imaginary voices in his head. During eight years as a patient in the VA hospital in Tomah, Wis., Mr. Tritz underwent 28 rounds of electroshock therapy, a common treatment that sometimes caused convulsions so jarring they broke patients’ bones. Medical records show that Mr. Tritz received another routine VA treatment: insulin-induced temporary comas, which were thought to relieve symptoms. ‘Anxious to Start’ The VA hospital in Tuskegee, Ala., asks permission to perform lobotomies. To stimulate patients’ nerves, hospital staff also commonly sprayed veterans with powerful jets of alternating hot and cold water, the archives show. Mr. Tritz received 66 treatments of high-pressure water sprays called the Scotch Douche and Needle Shower, his medical records say. When all else failed, there was lobotomy. “You couldn’t help but have the feeling that the medical community was impotent at that point,” says Elliot Valenstein, 89, a World War II veteran and psychiatrist who worked at the Topeka, Kan., VA hospital in the early 1950s. He recalls wards full of soldiers haunted by nightmares and flashbacks. The doctors, he says, “were prone to try anything.” https://taskandpurpose.com/fda-just-designated-mdma-breakthrough-therapy-ptsd-treatment/ http://projects.wsj.com/lobotomyfiles/
  9. Buck, from what I read on the citation nr: the VA has to show sustained improvement for a year to reduce a rating. If you have a few records during the year showing your symptoms then you can know you have evidence you need to win at the BVA. That's why I'm going to the VA and if they refuse to record symptoms I'll get a few appointments with a private doc who will record symptoms to cover my back.
  10. If his therapist isn't recording his symptoms then that isn't good therapy. His therapist has multiple patients and isn't going to remember his symptoms exclusively. He should be worried about that. The VA is disarming veterans from fighting a fraudulent ratings reduction if the therapist didn't do their job properly. Veterans need treatment records proving they didn't have sustained improvement when the VA says they did. Without the records to prove their was no sustained improvement the VA can do whatever it wants. The problem with going to the VA for treatment in the first place is that it provides the VA with treatment records to start the paper work process of reducing benefits when sometimes it's not justified.
  11. Here buck, read this Citation Nr: file on a Vet who had to go to the BVA to get his PTSD rating back after being reduced. The problem with your therapist not recording the symptoms you reported are that those records are going to be used to judge you at the C&P exam. If you can't prove you didn't have sustained improvement and you get a reduction, how you going to fight it? That's why I'm going to the VA for my first appointment soon to test the waters. If my therapist does the same thing I'm going to say "Why aren't you recording the symptoms I'm telling you? I know you have multiple veterans you're currently treating, so if you don't record my symptoms I don't see how we can work together since you won't remember my problems". Then if that doesn't work I'll immediately stop going and get the cheapest therapist I can who's going to record those symptoms. The last therapist I had at the Vet Center was so concerned about getting me out to be social so he could write down "Veteran has had social improvement" or something like that, because he just wanted to focus on my social functioning and not the underlying problems. So I dumped that therapist. https://www.va.gov/vetapp12/files5/1231506.txt
  12. I was honorably discharged, but I lost rank because my Platoon Lieutenant said my performance wasn't good enough to give me my rank on time. I think my performance was that way because I had PTSD. Then when I was on rest and recreation from the combat zone I tried to buy some marijuana to calm my nerves. My battle buddy opened the door when the MPs knocked without looking through the peep hole at our hotel. I couldn't throw the stuff away in time so we got caught. I took a urine test and showed negative for marijuana. I believe the stuff was either hemp or cat nip. My platoon sergeant tried to put the blame on me. I ended up getting a field grade article 15 after telling a jag lawyer it was our marijuana. I did it because my Platoon sergeant was threatening me with a court martial. I lost my rank, but I think it was inequitable because of the threats and it wasn't thc laced marijuana. I asked for my rank back a year ago. You think they'll give it to me?
  13. MST Claim

    I got service connected without a VSO helping me. All I did was go on ebenefits and fill out the claim form. I researched using this site and militarydisabilitymadeeasy.com. A year later I got my C&P exam. One month later I'm rated 70% for MST and non-combat for a stressor from my peacekeeping mission. You have more evidence than I did for my MST claim. Just file it yourself and you'll probably get service connected.
  14. It's gotten so bad at my local vet center I was told I can't change therapist because the others are full. The only other alternative is to go to the VA or pay out of pocket for a private therapist. I'll have to pay out of pocket because whenever my next C&P exam comes I can't show up with paper work that says I'm having sustained improvement when I'm not. The Vet Center therapist refused to put down one single negative thing and made up negative things about me. I'll have to pay out of pocket because if this had happened to me at the VA it would have increased my anxiety knowing that now the C&P exam doctor will have access to false information.
  15. It would be good to do a background check on your VA providers to see if they've been in trouble outside the VA. That would be good information, especially if their reports has caused you to get a reduction letter for your disability. Neurosurgeon John Henry Schneider racked up more than a dozen malpractice claims and settlements in two states, including cases alleging he made surgical mistakes that left patients maimed, paralyzed or dead. He was accused of costing one patient bladder and bowel control after placing spinal screws incorrectly, he allegedly left another paralyzed from the waist down after placing a device improperly in his spinal canal. The state of Wyoming revoked his medical license after another surgical patient died. Schneider then applied for a job earlier this year at the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Iowa City, Iowa. He was forthright in his application about the license revocation and other malpractice troubles. But the VA hired him anyway. He started work in April at a hospital that serves 184,000 veterans in 50 counties in Iowa, Illinois and Missouri. Some of his patients already have suffered complications. Schneider performed four brain surgeries in a span of four weeks on one 65-year-old veteran who died in August, according to interviews with Schneider and family members. He has performed three spine surgeries on a 77-year-old Army veteran since July — the last two to try and clean up a lumbar infection from the first, the patient said. Schneider’s hiring is not an isolated case. A VA hospital in Oklahoma knowingly hired a psychiatrist previously sanctioned for sexual misconduct who went on to sleep with a VA patient, according to internal documents. A Louisiana VA clinic hired a psychologist with felony convictions. The VA ended up firing him after they determined he was a “direct threat to others” and the VA’s mission. As a result of USA TODAY’s investigation of Schneider, VA officials determined his hiring — and potentially that of an unknown number of other doctors — was illegal. Federal law bars the agency from hiring physicians whose license has been revoked by a state board, even if they still hold an active license in another state. Schneider still has a license in Montana, even though his Wyoming license was revoked. VA spokesman Curt Cashour said agency officials provided hospital officials in Iowa City with “incorrect guidance” green-lighting Schneider’s hire. The VA moved to fire Schneider last Wednesday. He resigned instead. Cashour also said the VA would look into whether other doctors had been improperly hired. “We will take the same prompt removal action with any other improper hires we discover,” he said. A USA TODAY investigation in October revealed how the VA has for years concealed shoddy care and mistakes by medical workers when they leave the agency, allowing them to escape their pasts and potentially endanger patients elsewhere. The results of the investigation of Schneider and other VA practitioners with problem pasts reveal potentially dangerous shortfalls when they join the agency as well. In response to the findings, Cashour said the agency is also initiating an “independent, third-party clinical review” of the care Schneider provided with complications in Iowa City relayed to USA TODAY by patients or family members. In an interview, Schneider maintained that he has not provided substandard care. He blamed poor outcomes for patients on other providers involved in their treatment or on unfortunate complications not caused by his care. Schneider said his insurance company decided to settle some of his prior cases regardless of their merit, and he filed an appeal of the Wyoming revocation, a case that's still pending. "I'm a neurosurgeon; neurosurgeons across the country get litigation because of complications related to surgery," he said. Of 15 malpractice complaints identified by USA TODAY, four were settled, and two were dropped by plaintiffs. Six others were deemed valid by a trustee after Schneider filed bankruptcy in 2014, court records show. The trustee rejected the other claims. One malpractice lawyer and neurosurgeon who is not familiar with Schneider’s case said that in general, having a dozen malpractice claims in as many years raises red flags. “That’s certainly not usual. It’s definitely an outlier.” said Larry Schlachter, author of Malpractice: A Neurosurgeon Reveals How Our Health Care System Puts Patients at Risk. For Schneider’s former patients and their family members, news of his hiring at the VA and return to the operating room after his Wyoming license was revoked came as a shock. “What in the world?” said Scherry Lee, who is awaiting payment for a malpractice complaint against Schneider after a failed neck surgery in Wyoming in 2012. She says it left her in debilitating pain with difficulty speaking and swallowing. “How does this happen, especially with a neurosurgeon?” Less than two months after Montana issued Schneider a medical license in 1997, Jason Zimmerman was rushed to the emergency room at St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings. He had excess fluid building up around his brain that was creating dangerous intracranial pressure, according to court records. A tube and valve system that had been implanted to drain excess cerebrospinal fluid had malfunctioned. His family sued Schneider and a practice partner alleging they provided substandard care and Zimmerman suffered “profound neurological injury” that left him permanently impaired, the complaint says. He and his family members ultimately dropped their malpractice suit because they worried Zimmerman’s prior substance abuse would impede the case, his sister Wendy Conaway told USA TODAY. Schneider blamed his partner for the injuries. But it was only the first of four malpractice claims he would face over the next five years from surgical patients at St. Vincent hospital. The others settled for undisclosed amounts, court records show. They included the case of Lloyd Hickey, who was paralyzed from the waist down after Schneider allegedly implanted a device improperly in his spinal canal, and Carmen Riddle, who lost bladder and bowel control after three spine surgeries by Schneider. The wife of Thomas Deiling settled her wrongful death claim against Schneider after her husband died from complications after four surgeries. “I continued the lawsuit hoping I could force him out of practice, but I couldn’t because of the cap on medical negligence lawsuits,” Jeanine Deiling said in a recent interview. She said Schneider failed to properly diagnose and quickly treat a pervasive infection that ended up eating away at her husband's spine. Her best hope, Deiling said, was to add hers to the list of malpractice claims, and “if enough lawsuits added up, he’d never be able to get malpractice insurance and he’d have to quit practicing.” Schneider did stop performing surgeries in Montana, but he started performing them in Wyoming instead. And he formed a company, Northern Rockies Insurance Company, that provided his own malpractice insurance, a move that eventually helped land him in bankruptcy and unable to pay off all his claims. At hospitals in Cody and Powell, Wyo., and a surgical center in Sheridan, Wyo., Schneider performed operations between 2006 and 2012 that eventually prompted at least eight more malpractice complaints. The case that captured the attention of Wyoming Board of Medicine officials was Russell Monaco, a father of two who went under Schneider’s knife in 2011 for a procedure to decrease pressure on nerves in his lower back, according to a wrongful death suit filed by his wife, Kathy. After the operation, he was prescribed a litany of narcotics that can depress breathing, including fentanyl, oxycodone, valium, and Demerol. Monaco’s oxygen levels dropped dangerously low, but Schneider discharged him anyway, medical board records show. He went home and took the medications as prescribed, the lawsuit says, but his family found him dead the next morning. The coroner determined the cause of death was “mixed drug overdose.” “I tried to wake him up and yelled and the girls came down screaming,” his wife, Kathy Monaco, told USA TODAY. “It was horrible, I mean, I live that day over every day.” The Wyoming Board swiftly placed restrictions on Schneider’s license and ultimately revoked it in 2014. Schneider filed bankruptcy in December that year, leaving malpractice claimants hanging without payment even now, including the Monaco family. In an interview, Schneider laid blame for Monaco's death on a physician assistant who prescribed the medications. He said an aide in the operating room caused Hickey's paralysis, and he blamed Riddle's injury on a hematoma caused by medications prescribed by another provider. In Deiling's case, Schneider asserted standard tests didn't initially pick up the infection or indicate he needed more timely treatment. Vetting revelations The VA hiring process is seemingly rigorous. Applications are vetted, education and licenses verified, references checked, and interviews conducted. For clinical hires, a review and approval by a professional standards board also is required. But when applicants disclose prior problems with medical licensing short of revocation, malpractice or criminal histories, VA hospital officials have discretion to weigh the providers’ explanations and approve their hiring anyway. The VA hospital in Muskogee, Okla., hired a psychiatrist in 2013 with multiple disciplinary actions against his Oklahoma license, including for sexual misconduct, according to internal documents obtained by USA TODAY. Hospital officials knew about his past, but approved his hiring anyway with the condition he be closely monitored during his probation period, the documents show. And yet the psychiatrist, Stephen Lester Greer, went on to have a sexual relationship with a VA patient and ended up pleading guilty in August to witness tampering for trying to persuade the patient to lie about it to federal investigators. The VA hired a psychologist to work at a clinic in Lafayette, La., in 2004, despite his revealing previous felony convictions on his application, according to the internal documents, which don’t identify the provider by name. The VA didn’t run a criminal background check until a year after he started work. It showed eight arrests, including for burglary, drug dealing and reckless driving resulting in death. Still the VA allowed him to continue practicing until two years ago. By that time, the VA had received multiple complaints about patient mistreatment by the psychologist. An internal investigation found he was a “direct threat to others, (and) to the Department’s mission.” The VA fired him earlier this year. The VA hospital in Jackson, Miss., hired ophthalmologist Daniel K. Kim, despite his being sanctioned by licensing authorities in Georgia. During his subsequent surgeries at the VA, a World War II veteran was blinded in 2006 and he allegedly implanted the wrong lens in another patient’s eye in 2012. Kim has denied any wrongdoing, and a VA investigation suggested a nurse assisting Kim caused the blinding. Psychiatrist David Houlihan landed a job at a VA hospital in Wisconsin in 2002 and was promoted to chief of staff two years later, even though the Iowa Board of Medicine had charged him with engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a patient and taking patient medications home. He went on to earn the nickname “candy man” at the Tomah, Wis., VA because of the prolific amounts of narcotics he prescribed. The VA fired Houlihan in 2015 after revelations a 35-year-old veteran patient had died from mixed drug toxicity at the facility. He has denied any wrongdoing, but agreed to surrender his medical license in Wisconsin earlier this year. Some of the VA’s policies can attract medical workers with past malpractice or licensing problems. Agency clinicians aren’t required to have malpractice insurance — the federal government pays out claims using taxpayer dollars — making the VA a good fit for providers who may have difficulties securing malpractice insurance in the private sector if past issues have rendered them too risky. The Iowa City VA had been looking for a full-time neurosurgeon for nearly a year when Schneider came along. In his job application, Schneider disclosed “all the issues” and the VA hired him after a “group of his medical peers thoroughly reviewed” his file and “approved his competency,” the VA said in a prepared statement provided to USA TODAY. Schneider began work in April at an annual salary of $385,000. Complications soon began cropping up. Schneider, who describes himself as a spinal specialist, performed surgery in July to remove a benign tumor from a 65-year-old patient's brain. Richard Joseph Hopkins survived three more brain surgeries for ensuing complications before dying Aug. 23 from infection. “Rick was strong, he was a bull,” his sister Annette Rainsford said. “Why would you go into someone’s head four times?” James Wehmeyer, a 77-year-old Army veteran, said Schneider performed his first spinal procedure in July. The neurosurgeon subsequently did two more operations to try and clean up infection from the first, prompting concerns something might be amiss with his treatment. “I thought that, but I didn’t know,” he said. “I’m not a doctor.” Wehmeyer said it’s been a month since his last surgery, and a nurse still visits him at home every three days to clean out the wound, which he said hasn’t healed. “There’s a big hole in there they’re trying to close up,” he said. At least three other patients suffered infections after procedures Schneider conducted at the Iowa City VA — two deep-wound and one superficial — but they were cured with antibiotics, Schneider said. In September, Schneider was arrested on federal criminal charges of lying and trying to conceal assets in his bankruptcy case in Montana. His patients in Iowa City showed up for surgery but had to be rescheduled when he didn’t show up for work. Schneider told his VA bosses what happened when he got back to Iowa. He continued practicing. Schneider, who pleaded not guilty to the charges, said in an interview that infections suffered by his VA patients were not his fault, but rather complications that can occur in neurosurgery. He said Hopkins' case was a "tragic" example, where he developed two brain bleeds and then fluid buildup, each requiring another surgery. "I've had a great run at the VA with zero issues," he said. "Have I had to take patients back (for surgery) for post-op infection? Yes. I mean, I can't prevent every infection." One of Schneider’s patients from Wyoming said that whatever the case, the VA never should have hired him. “Here the veterans, they went and served their country, and they’re messed up and everything,” said Michael Green, who is awaiting payment for a malpractice claim that alleged Schneider placed a screw incorrectly in his lower spine. “And then turn that guy loose on them, that’s what doesn’t make sense. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/12/03/usa-today-investigation-va-knowingly-hires-doctors-past-malpractice-claims-discipline-poor-care/909170001/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter