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About IMEF-Gunny

  • Rank
    E-3 Seaman

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  • Military Rank
  • Location
    Hoosier State
  • Interests
    Family, Firearms,Grilling & Wine!

Previous Fields

  • Service Connected Disability
  • Branch of Service
  • Hobby
    Firearms, Family, Grilling & of course Wine!
  1. So, here's where I am as of yesterday: Filed 6/16 Gulf War Vet (Gastro-intestinal disturbances, Short term memory loss, Bi-lateral arm/shoulder pain, sleep disturbances) Recieved 2 letters (same mailing, one acknowledging my filing an FDC claim/ one acknowledging I did not opt for FDC claim, but traditional) Called VA, they said "You did not file FDC, your claim is traditional) January 2017 scheduled for first C&P exam (Unaware of which contention it was for) immediately after C&P rated 30% for IBS - VSR added stool incontinence to my claim as a disability (deffered) * My C&P examiner was an 87 year old Iranian doctor who was a family practioner working at the VAMC. He thoroughly examined my stomach issues, took xrays and check me for hemmoroids. He asked if I had hemmoroids, I said "not that I am aware of". He checked me and said I didn't have hemmoroids. He noted that I had stool incontinence requiring wearing of a pad. He asked me if I had any other issues, I said "Yes, I don't sleep well. I wake up 6-20 times per night....mostly due to shoulder/arm pain and joint stiffness. I also have very serious short term memory problems, which is my greatest concern". He said memory is mental health and asked me NO other questions. Memory loss, bi-lateral arm/shoulder pain, stool incontinence, Sleep disturbances all deffered checked VA notes - discovered that my C&P was returned to doc as incomplete, He was suppose to check all other contentions as well. Doc answered that "Veteran complained of stomach problems and about his hemmoroid, Veteran denied having any other issues". I uploaded a letter disputing the docs answer as it was not accurate at all. April 2017 called Peggy and told VA was waiting for STR's.....from Records Management center (told them RMC did not hold my records NPRC did) April 27 - uploaded STR's to ebenefits, called Peggy and they sent that info to VSR May VA still waiting on STR's from RMC - no response from RMC Called RMC - RMC says they replied 3 times, stating they did not hold those records as I left USMC in 1992 Clicked "Decide claim now" as i had nothing else to send them Yesterday - all deffered items denied "Not service connected" Waiting on BBE to file NOD. So, my question is...... A. Do I have a decent chance for getting scheduled for a new C&P if I was denied due to Doc's answer? B. Do I have a decent chance if they say, they couldn't obtain STR's? C. Do i ask for DRO review in my NOD? Any advice greatly appreciated. I have a VSO.....they've done absolutely "0" for me.....told me "it's your claim, do what you want", they are out....I'm on my own. Currently rated at 30% IBS. I have another intent to file, started 8/16, I'm considering a PTSD claim. I have a buddy letter for stressor and have been diagnosed with PTSD at local VAMC, on medication. Had a mention of suicidal ideation, in my STR's, prior to Marine Corps boot camp (possible aggravated by later service(Gulf War)).
  2. WOW.......aid and assist.......relative term apparently for that one!
  3. So, Ebennies is a hard habit to break for a vet with anxiety....we all know that, but it NEVER updates, so I call Peggy "somewhat" frequently. Sometimes you get very polite folks who dig and look, sometimes you get a bolo! I call yesterday, right off, this guy sounds like he has the enthusiasm of a tortoise traveling through a marshmallow cream field in 130 degree heat.....I'm sure (in his defense), he has answered 1,000 questions since 8am, but he's no "people person" by 4pm! He says (with a very preturbed tone) "Shows here that you just called 2 days ago for a status update, and you want another one already?"......."I seriously doubt anything has changed in 2 days, but i'll look"......"no, nothings changed" ....."anything else"? Think he's frustrated.....try being a vet 360 days into an initial claim...a Vietnam vet who is STILL fighting for "Presumptive" conditions.........hell, who knows.....maybe he is! Alas, I digress..... - Carry on
  4. My VAMC MH diagnosed me with PTSD after several sessions, reading my letters, files, buddy statements and interviewing my spouse. I refused that diagnosis. I am being treated (finally agreed to take medication) and it has helped me a lot. However, I have not filed a PTSD claim. I feel like, compared to a lot of my brothers out there ie; Vietnam veterans (God bless all of them), who seen, on average 20+ days of combat action per month, my actions, incidents were trivial in comparison. For 26 years I drank, occassionally cried/melted down, nearly lost every job I'd ever had, never fit in (nor want to), haven't slept a full night, had/have no friends to speak of, and have & continue to be viewed as "intense and or intimidating" by all who know or meet me. 0 family relationships outside my wife & kids, wrestle with alcohol use and I have few real emotions anymore......but I'm trying. In the last 3 years, things have intensified 100 fold.......felt like my mind was breaking. I got to where I distanced myself, even from my kids and sat on many occassions, alone drinking with a 9mm in my lap. My next step will be visiting the Vet Center, maybe, for a group session. Baby steps.......but I still will likely never file a PTSD claim.
  5. I may, someday, file a PTSD claim, but, at the moment my focus is on the presumptive issues. I will not file for SA, as I don't believe that, if I have it at all, that it could be SC.....especially considering I've been a smoker for 35 years. I'm deaf as shit and have tinnitus to, but I've worked in factories most of my life since I got out, so.......there again, it probably was from my time (I can remember firing a saw to the point it was physically painful, thought my ears would bleed), but I can't say definitively it was SC. I have none of the audiograms my company done on me in the early 90's hard to prove SC anyway at this point. Frankly, even if I have an issue, if I don't personally believe something that plagues me is SC, then I would never file a claim for it.....integrity is of the highest importance to me, as I'm sure it is to most Marines. Semper Fi
  6. I have not filed a PTSD or SA claim. My VAMC NP prescribed me Prazosin for sleep issues (Psych NP believes I have nightmares, even though I told her I never remember my dreams) based on my spouses description of my sleep. My wife and I have not slept in the same bed or bedroom in atleast 8 years. Wife says I'm restless all night and I shake in my sleep. Before Zoloft, I was up anywhere from 6 - 20 times per night....average I'd say was 10-12. I'd always wake up with tremendous arm/shoulder pain and stiffness, to the point it was painful and took me several minutes to move them enough to go back to sleep. The only exam I've had was January 2017 for my stomach. No activity since on my claim. I did not mention the name of my VSO, because I'm guessing this individual is not representative of ALL VSO employees for the originization, but yes, it is a major hitter in the Veteran's Orginizations. I try to give benefit of the doubt and not make waves, but I may take your advice and file a complaint about the STR's via IRIS. What I don't understand is, they sent me paperwork initially acknowledging that I file an FDC claim (Which I did not) and in the same mailing sent me the exact same envelope acknowledging that I chose not to file FDC, but rather a standard filing. Question is, if had been an FDC claim, they would have accepted the Strs' that I uploaded. Right now, they're saying they cannot accept the STR's that I uploaded in April because they need STR's from records management to assure they are complete records? Weird........ Thanks for the input all! Semper Fi!
  7. I appreciate the kind words. I continue to trudge my way along. Unfortunately my VSO has had no contact with me. They sent me a letter once, basically saying if you call us, keep it short because were so busy helping people we don't have a lot of time. The one and only time I called them, I asked their advice about removing bi-lateral arm/shoulder pain from my claim, as I thought it was causing my sleep issues, after starting the Prazosin, it seemed to lessen, so I felt like maybe it was secondary to or caused by my sleep issues instead. I felt like claiming it might be an integrity issue if it was indeed caused by my sleep problems (I was up anywhere from 6 to 20 times per night)The VSO guy said, "it's your claim, do what you want". I told him that I had muddled through so far alone and seem to be doing ok on the claim myself, he laughed at me and said "again, it's your claim, do what you want". I hate to change VSO's at this point in the game, but I might be better off to do so. Talked to the VA again today. Gal said they have sent 3 requests to Records Management Center with no response. Told me I could call the RMC and inquire. I did and RMC said, all the VA has to do is call their office and they will direct them to the records, she said they already know that, so she didn't understand why they hadn't just made the phone call. Called VA and passed that on, they said, we've sent 3 requests and the claim will not move forward until we get the STR's or a negative response.......Quagmire! <sp Oh well.......eventually has to go somewhere I suppose. Semper Fi!
  8. I'm a Gulf War Vet, Marine Corps So, here's my timeline: Filed June 6th 2016 (Gastro-intestinal distubances (Alt. diarrhea/constipation, bloating, leakage), sleeplessness,Short term memory issues, bi-lateral shoulder pain, bi-lateral arm pain) January 2017 - First C&P (lasted about an hour, DBQ, x-ray, hemmoroid check) Awarded 30% for undiagnosed illness (Gastro-intestinal) All other items deferred pending further evidence gathering VSR added stool incontinence to my claim based on C&P results January 13,2017 - Found out through myhealthevet VA notes that the C&P exam was sent back to doc (VA hospital) as incomplete as he was suppose to conduct a screening of all contentions January 20, 2017 - VA doc responds to request that "Vet only complained about his stomach and his hemmoroid" "Vet denied any other issues" Uploaded a letter to my claim disputing his response (He asked if I had any other issues, I said yes and explained all of them to him, he asked if I had hemmoroids, I said "Not that I am aware of" April 2017 - Request showing request 1 (VA medical facility) (Found out they were awaiting STR's and IANG records from Records Management) April 2017 - Uploaded complete STR's and IANG records, in my posession, that I FOIA'd back in December 2016 May 2017 - Pushed the "Decide my claim now" button No movement since. Call Peggy.....decision made, awaiting signature. Call next day, gathering evidence stage & waiting on STR's, IANG records. Has been the same person will say done, just waiting on signature, next will say gathering evidence, no decision made.....every call is a different answer...ah, anxiety + Ebenefits = Zoloft Currently being treated for PTSD via local VAMC (Zoloft, Prazosin, Bupropion + therapy) My STR's show Gulf War service, med call for lower lumbar injury, no (in country med reports I'm aware of....happens with Corpsmen in theater), no private records from 1990-2007 (Doctor's office threw them all away in 2014 per state law's retention policies), all I have is, DD214's/DD215's, buddy statements and C&P's to prove my issues. I feel pretty fortunate though....they could have denied me across the board after the C&P docs answer (He was a very nice guy, an 87 year old Iranian General Practioner/Family Medicine doctor at the VA hospital.....probably the memory issue that caused the discrepancy at my C&P)
  9. Thanks for the replys.
  10. That was my thought as well. I was just curious if the NP's diagnosis would carry the weight needed to even be considered, as it is my understanding, one of the criteria for a PTSD claim is to have a current diagnosis of PTSD prior to filing.
  11. I am currently service connected for Gastro-intestinal issues at 30%. Former Marine, Gulf War vet. I have four additional contentions which are deffered for further evidence. I did not file a claim for PTSD or anxiety. I have been diagnosed by the local VAMC MH Psychiatric NP with PTSD. My question is, does this diagnosis, being made by an NP, meet the requirement for a diagnosis to later file a claim for PTSD? I have scheduled group therapy sessions at the Vet Center, BIG step for me. I am currently being treated with Zoloft, Bupropion and Prazosin. Thanks in advance for any opinions/help on this question.
  12. No takers on venturing a guess? Called Peggy said that a decision has been made on something, they are waiting for the BBE decision letter to be drafted. There has also been an internal request made for my STR's and Out Patient notes (I assume VA outpatient). Never a dull moment on the VA roller coaster.....Ebbennies still says "Gathering Evidence" as deferred contentions seem to be taken one at a time.
  13. By the way, I have also been diagnosed with and am being treated for PTSD by the local VA clinic. The diagnosis was by a Psychiatric NP, who has prescribed me Zoloft (which has helped me alot), Prazosin (which gives me bad headaches) and Wellbutrin (Which I'll have to quit as it causes me to be angry, hostile and have rage issues again).
  14. So, first of all, thanks for creating/maintaining this community as it has been a great source of information as well as stress relief! So, filed a claim June 2016, Gulf War vet, Gastro-intestinal disturbances (Bloating, diahrea, constipation), Sleep issues, Bi-lateral arm/shoulder pain, Short term memory issues. On January 2017 I had my first C&P exam. The exam was scheduled at a VA outpatient center. Doctor was an 87 year old Iranian fellow. I broke down emotionally, as I usually do when I'm at the VA for whatever reason. Exam, much to my suprise, seemed to go very well. He filled out DBQ for gastro issues, xrayed my stomach, checked me for hemmoroids (which I told him that I did not think I had), requested I fax him a copy of my gall bladder surgery when I got back home. Very briefly towards the end, he asked if I had any other issues, to which I answered "Yes, I have sleep issues. I'm up 6 -20 times per night, which I believe is due to my arm/shoulder pain and stiffness and I also have pretty severe short term memory issues. The memory issues are my biggest concern. His only answer was "Memeory is mental health" and he sent me on my way. Very shortly after the VA reviewed my C&P, I was rated at 30% for the gastro issue. Also the VSR handling my claim added a new disability which is listed as deffered being Stool Incontinence (because it was noted in the C&P exam for my stomach. Now, months later, I gained access to his notes via myhealthevet. Apparently, it was supposed to be a full Gulf War Exam ( For all of my contentions). The VA deferred all other items and sent the C&P examiner a notice of an incomplete C&P for diability rating purposes, adding that he needed to examine me and/or address all contentions listed. His answer back to them was that I complained about stomach issues and my hemmoroids and that "The veteran denied having any other issues". I added a letter to my claim disputing that fact, adding word for word what he asked me, examined me for and what I told him when he queried me for my "other" issues. I feel fortunate to be where I am at this point, as my STR's only list a visit (during boot camp) for a lower lumbar injury and sprainged ankle. My private doctors from 1980's - 2007 did not have any of my medical records, where I complained of chronic stomach issues, a un-explained rash I had for over 6 years (from Desert Storm) and anxiety. My records were destroyed after 7 years (2014) because I switched doctors in 07 and had not been back to that office. My old doctor did write a letter explaining that they destroyed my records, but I was his patient from 80's until 2007 and they could contact him if need be. So, do you think, given the C&P docs answer (which would make 0 sense for me to deny my contentions in a C&P), that the VA will likely deny me for all of my deferred contentions? Any opinions, input is welcome. Thanks for your input and thank you for your service! -Gunny