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Through the looking glass

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About Through the looking glass

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    E-3 Seaman

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  • Military Rank
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    Reading, spending time with my kids, watching anything with sports, and board games.

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  1. Through the looking glass

    Rogue C&P Examiner?

    Yup, I found out a few years after a C&P that my examiner suggested 70% for PTSD and the VA did nothing. I now have a CUE in after reading that C&P exam and seeing so many errors. I also never go to VA mental health. I had one therapist that completely retraumatized me and I never went back, I pay out of pocket for someone outside the VA (I don’t think I’ll ever do mental health through the VA again).
  2. Through the looking glass

    New medication

    Thanks guys. I am taking this for Ankylosing Spondylitis(AS). I have been in a battle with medication to stop the progression of this disease for years now. Unfortunately, every biologic medication I’ve taken before this either didn’t work, stopped working or put me in the hospital. The one I was on before this worked for 2-3 years and then stopped. After many tests my doctor and I have found that my disease has been progressing and in a very aggressive manner. This new medication, even though hard core, is one of my last resorts. I have been pumped full of steroids to get me through until I start this new medication, and have felt awful. I hate steroids. I have been in and out of the hospitals for so many things connected to AS as it has attacked my liver, heart, eyes, GI system, and lungs. The damage and pain I suffer make this medication worth the risk. (And the fact that I’ve already been on all the alternatives). Again, thank you for your input. If there is anyone else that has taken this medication or had a loved one take it, I would still love to hear about your experience.
  3. Through the looking glass

    New medication

    Hi, I’m going to be starting a new medication called RENFLEXIS (biosimilar to remicade). I’ve been on multiple biologics up until this point so I am familiar with how TNF blockers work. The part that makes me nervous is the medication is administered through an infusion and the complications appear to be more than the other meds I’ve taken. I wanted to see if anyone on here is on this, or has been on it, that can share their experience? I feel positive that it will help me, just nervous having to switch things up yet again.
  4. Through the looking glass

    Non-VA care

    Thank you everyone for your advice! I have a lot to think about. I’ll keep you up to date on things.
  5. Through the looking glass

    Non-VA care

    Buck, “Also now that the VA is Paying out compensation for a degree level of pain you might ask your VSO or your claims rep about that?” ive never heard of this before. I am currently recieving SMC-l for a&a, would this actually be worth pursuing? In my case I have a straight lumbar, and cervical spine. My thoracic spine is starting to show scoliosis. As of right now my right hand/arm has limited mobility and on bad days the nerve pain is unbearable. Currently I’m starting to notice loss of strength in my left leg. It’s been scary because I’ve fallen a couple times now when I went to step and the leg didn’t support me. I also have squaring of the vertebrae and have multiple sections where there is no space between vertebrae causing them to start fusing together. My biggest struggle is that my spine isn’t my only ailment, so I’m constantly fighting one thing if another isn’t to bad that particular day. I have a wheelchair that I use when things are really bad (I’m very stubborn and would rather walk painfully and slowly, than use the damn thing. I’m still struggling with accepting my situation). Im glad I can’t see the needle for my injections, I’d probably freak out. PTSD/depression/anxiety has also been a demon I’ve been battling. Recently with my health not being so good, I’ve noticed that I have not been doing well in that area as well. I rarely sleep, either the pain, nightmares, or paranoia keep me up. I’ve been having more panic attacks and cry randomly for no reason. I honestly feel like a big hot mess right now. I feel like I just can’t win. anyway, there is my rant. Thanks for all your info. I really hope this new device will help your wife and I will seriously be looking into it. I see my rheumatologist and spine doc. This week so I’ll bring it up then.
  6. Through the looking glass

    Non-VA care

    Treysnonna, please let me know what you think afterwards. I would appreciate all the input I can get on the subject. Good luck on your surgery, and really hope it helps you.
  7. Through the looking glass

    Non-VA care

    Porgee, thank you you for your input. If I do decide to go this route there will be a lot of research that goes into it and I will more than likely get a 2nd and 3rd opinion on the matter.
  8. Through the looking glass

    Non-VA care

    Thank you!!
  9. Through the looking glass

    Non-VA care

    Buck52, I am running into the same issue, with “having too many injections” I did notice some complications this last time and have been concerned that steroid injections are not going to be an option for me in the near future. I’m glad she is getting the care she needs, sometime I think that’s the hardest part when we are super ill. The VA health care I’ve received up until recently has been good. The cynic in me feels that since things have gotten more complicated, I am now getting resistance from either the system or certain providers.
  10. Through the looking glass


    PWRSLM, yes my husband does recieved SC disability, but is only rated as combined 50%, and not P&T. He fortunately, is a lot better off Health wise than I am, which I'm grateful for or I'd be lost!
  11. Through the looking glass

    Non-VA care

    Buck52 no I'm not on SSDI, and you're not the first person to tell me I should apply. The whole process seems so daunting to me that I just haven't done it. Also, even though the drive is long to see the specialists I see, my care has been really good through the VA hospital I go to. Recently, however, things haven't been good and I've come to realize that one of my doctor's hasn't been quite on top of things like I thought and I've had to go in for more treatments. It's been very frustrating, as I have to come to terms with my failing body. I will have my husband help me put in my application for SSDI this weekend and get it done. Ill ask about that new implant my next appointment as well. Thank you
  12. Through the looking glass

    Non-VA care

    Hello all, I receive steroid injections in multiple locations for my spine. My rheumatologist at the VA put in for me to receive the injections closer to my home (the nearest VA hospital is a 4 hour round trip drive, we have a small outpatient clinic 30 min from my house, but it only handles basic needs and none of the specialty care I require). The request was denied. The advocate that would have helped veterans with these types of issues was let go recently and when I talked to a different patient advocate, they said it’s been a mess since then, as many veterans who qualify for outside care have been hitting road bumps (so to speak). My question, is who do I contact to find out why it was denied, and how do I approach the issue?
  13. Through the looking glass


    My A&A is at the SMC-L level. Its been a long road to get to this point. I recently found out that a lot of the problems I’ve been having are due to issues with my spine. The point of increasing my current rate for my back (Currently at 40%) is to prove to the VA that I need a higher level of SMC. I have lost the use of my right hand due to these back problems, and the VA is not acknowledging that. Let me clarify, I am already service connected for the back issues, I’m looking for a % increase. I was awarded A&A because of mental health, and many physical ailments. I struggle daily with taking care of myself and need assistance everyday. I currently am working with a company for a service dog, and should have him home with me this time next year. He will help a lot with mobility and comforting me after nightmares. I hope that clarifies things a bit. And yes, everything I have been doing is for my spouse, not me. I need him home helping me (we still have young children at home), and I constantly fear that things will take a turn for the worst and I will leave them all without, it’s a scary thought for me. I honestly don’t remember my old handle on here. I wish I could though. The email I would have used is deactivated now, as someone hacked it (multiple times) and I decided it wasn’t worth keeping it.
  14. Through the looking glass


    Hello all, ive been here before many years ago and have had both progress and frustration in my battle with the VA(yes I call it a battle, it been rough). Anyway I served in the Navy for 5 years and was able to get out early to go to college. I ended up dropping out of college that first semester, because the trauma from my service was too much and I was having a really hard time coping. My husband who also served in the navy went and got VA disability as soon as he was discharged, I however did not. I was so jaded and messed up mentally, that I couldn’t disconnect military service from the help I would receive from the VA. It wasn’t until 5/6 years after I was discharged that I finally put in a claim. At first it was a nightmare, then I highered a lawyer and things became less stressful for me, knowing I had someone fighting for me. Anyway, fast forward to today and I recently was granted my A&A claim (May the waiting game begin on the change in SMC and any backpay), and finally have progress on my PTSD claim. Currently I am putting in a claim for an increase for my back, and will see how that goes. i don’t know yet if I have anything to add to the forum, so I will be in the background supporting and following you all, and commenting when I feel the need arise. I am so grateful for the power of the internet and how it is bringing us together to help one another.

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