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Everything posted by flow1972

  1. I haven't gotten the letters in the mail yet, but va.gov shows the claim complete; and the "download your letters" shows me at 40% SC now. (I was only at 10 before). I am glad it's finally over at least for now. Such a stressful process that dug up so many things I didn't want to think about. I feel they came in right where I should be. My private doc had filled out the DBQ before we submitted for the C&P. She specializes in Sexual Trama cases, and I really like her. She and I both felt like 30% is where I fit in the criteria. I'm glad the VA agreed with her assessment. I am grateful to everyone on this site for all of the advice and guidance in the process. Now, I will move on to get the conditions I have that are affected by stress secondary connected.
  2. It was a long day...literally 3 hours in that room. I'd been dreading it since I began this process. They honored my request for a female examiner. So, that was good. The questions she asked started with my childhood family life and moved forward from there. Basically, yes my parents were divorced...childhood sucked...no, I was never sexually abused...yes, my Father was married to someone who was physically abusive toward him and everyone in the house for a short period of time. No school problems, never in trouble, had a core group of friends, blah blah...Honor Graduate in Basic..moving on.... She asked if I dated in High School (uh, yeah...)..I wasn't "popular" or "unpopular"..just your average teen. One boyfriend mainly off and on thru High School. FFWD to service overseas..she asked about my EPR's 3's both years...I failed my first time testing for Certification after Tech School..Passed on second try...and I put on a little weight..so...I was on weight management program...3 1st year overseas. Second year...all of those issues were corrected, but I was given a 3 again anyway that was blamed on an old phone bill from my first 6 months in Country that somehow found it's way to the 1st Sgt just before I left Country...funny that I'd just reported a Sexual Assault right before that.... Were there any significant relationships while Stationed overseas...yes...one. I was in it when the incident happened. It ended immediately after. We moved on to my next duty Station...3 months after the Assault...magically, changing Command and pretending none of what happened actually did...I became a leader in my new Duty Station....elected Vice President of the BOSS program that year, Sat on Board for Post Improvement, President of Single Airman's Program, etc...I said it's amazing what happens when you leave everything that happened in another Country and shut it out and pretend it didn't happen. She asked about any other relationships or significant life events at my next duty Station...I married and had my first Child. She asked about that marriage..yeah...it ended shortly after my son was born..she asked why...well...he showed up at the Hospital to pick my son and I up after I gave birth with another girl. Oh, so he was unfaithful? Had a girlfriend? Yeah...he had many..she just happened to be the one at the time. Got out of military just before we divorced, officially. Next relationship...well..my second son's Father walked out the day I found out I was pregnant...yeehaw...I really had some relationship issues apparently. Then we discussed my current husband whom I've been married to for 19 years and how I feel like he thinks I'm not good enough or he's doing me some sort of kindness by being with me because "something is wrong with me". How he says I make him a worse person...etc... I have issues with anger, and I was forced to Anger Management many years ago by my then employer. The guy they sent me to decided I had ADD to explain my impulse control and asked my PCP to prescribe Concerta which didn't help because I don't have ADD. I saw him a total of 3 times. My PCP was trying to find the cause of my stomach problems at that time and had just diagnosed a "Spastic Colon" and then decided maybe Paxil would help...too many side affects...then Welbutrin...then Celexa....nothing really helped enough to deal with the side affects, but I was willing to try them all if they would help "fix" whatever was wrong with me. After years of struggling, I figured out that running helped more than anything...so that's what I do now and have done for years. Then she got in to the actual "PTSD" criterian type questions...anything I answered "Yes" to..she would ask something about "how often" or how many times in the last month does this or that happen...several times I had to tell her I didn't know how to answer that....I don't keep a spreadsheet. Describe a dream I'd had...how long was it taking to get to sleep (I don't know...sometimes I can't get to sleep at all..other times I eventually do and as long as I don't have a nightmare..I stay asleep). All very impersonal...clinical...and specific to the words..."within the last month"...then how much time have I missed from work in the last 12 months..for what? When was the last time I took a trip...we went on a Cruise this past summer...Was it fun?...Well, yeah...it was nice to get away from everything...Where did we go?...I don't know...it stopped several times...somewhere in the Carribean. I didn't even think to tell her about the Stand Up Comedian on the Cruise who did a whole set on how nobody had ever tried to Sexually Assault her and she had decided that it's because those people put out "Victim Vibes"....It took all I had not to walk out...and I sent the Cruise Line a letter after. She asked about current friend groups...I told her we have people we associate with, but I don't have any "close friends"...nobody I'd call up and just confide in. I don't trust people enough for that. Do I have any hobbies?...Yes, I ride a motorcycle... She asked why "all of this came up now"? I felt that wasn't an appropriate question. This isn't something that "just came up now"...it's something I've shoved in the back of my mind and tried to pretend didn't happen. I'm trying to understand what I've been fighting all of these years. I'm being asked to move up at work...and I refuse...I can't control my environment when I move above where I'm at...at my age I've learned ways of mitigating issues at work by retaining control over meetings and who I'm forced to be in front of....but it creates friction when I don't want to take on more responsibility. We talked about how I always get dinged on my communication at work while I typically am rated high on the actual work that I do. How I have difficulty focusing on tasks when something triggers me, and the loss of focus causes me to make mistakes. I was given some True/False test to complete that asked all kinds of crazy things...I think that's to determine if you're high risk for malingering. Then she asked if there was anything we hadn't discussed that I felt we should. I explained the things about the event that really bother me...how his Commander treated me left me with zero trust in men in general (especially those in charge)and how I truly think that in the greater majority most of them don't think things like this are a "big deal" or somehow it's our fault in some way but would give lip service to how "horrible it is" in social circles..how I never go without being armed as long as it's not against the law where I am(because that will never happen to me again)...how I felt like her questions were geared toward something that "just happened" where I feel like I've had years and years to build deep-seeded beliefs that affect who I am and how I became this person. She said she'd take all of that in to consideration when she did her report.... All-in-all, she came off as very "mechanical" with no real "feeling" behind anything. I felt like someone sitting in front of a car insurance agency's legal team who was trying to find more reason to deny my claim than approve it....I was as honest as I could be...that's all I know how to be...she made a point not to get in to the specifics of my assault because she had the report and didn't feel the need to. I was at least glad for that. So now...I wait....I hope this helps to give someone an idea of the C&P for this if they've never been through it...
  3. Question: Do I need to submit every single URI occurrence "since service", or just 1 or 2 most recent where the word "Asthma" is used and/or an inhaler is prescribed? Also, do I "need" to get a doc to literally write something saying "the current Asthmatic Episodes" are related to the same condition as the ones in Service; or will the C&P do that? Asthmatic episodes don't "go away"..you either have reactive lungs or you don't..so not sure what "else" it could be related to.
  4. Really good info! The only thing I guess I need to do is get an "actual diagnosis" for whatever they want to call it. That provisional diagnosis was just before I got out; and they never sent me back for any other tests. (Never had a PFT before or during service). Never used an inhaler before service, but I'd meet the 10% criteria during and since service. The thing about Docs is...they just take the fact that you say.."I've been told I have Asthma or "Asthmatic something or other" and write that down. Then, they prescribe the inhaler and so forth. They never "Actually diagnose you with anything..that I've seen." They may write a note about Asthma symptoms or something...but not.."this person has Asthma" or whatever. I "do" however have proof they found me "Allergic" to dust while in service...never had an allergy test (or allergies that I knew of) before service. So..sounds like I need to see an Allergy Doc and get an "Actual Diagnosis" to then connect to the "Provisional" one. Oy...so ridiculous. Any person with a logical brain could look at the record and see..."Asthmatic Symptoms in Service"..."Asthmatic Symptoms after Service"...huh...these are likely related or the same condition. Duh.
  5. This will probably come up for me. My entrance exam notes Asthma "No issues since 7 years of age". It also notes 0 Medication and Zero Known Allergies. I believe I contracted RSV as an infant and had some "Asthmatic" episodes in early childhood just based on what we had happen with my own daughter and RSV. I never had any issues after 1st grade that I recall..and no inhalers or anything. There is even an entry in my records where they did a "Medical Records Review" as part of my security clearance where it states "No history of chronic medical issues". As soon as I got in to Tech School, I started getting URI's, Walking Pneumonia (once), and Bronchitis quite often. When I got back from Germany, they sent me to the allergy doc. It shows "Provisional Diagnosis" - alergic rhinitis and asthmatic bronchitis with allergy testing only showing reaction to dust. That's one of the things I'm working on getting SC for. I figure they're going to balk at it because it's on my entrance Exam..but they state in their own words..no issues since age 7..I was on no medications for anything...and they even did a full medical records review. So...it was "aggravated by service" at the least. One question I have is...do I need "another diagnosis" to file..or just show that I continue to be prescribed an Inhaler for episodes and meds for allergies?
  6. Wow! No other words for that debacle. Completely despicable to treat our Veterans that way...
  7. I can't tell you enough how much I appreciate all of the assistance and information I've been able to pick up from this forum. I feel like an idiot going this long and just having no clue the benefits that were actually available to me.
  8. How on earth were they able to say the injury was "Pre-Existing" if you'd been in for 6 years with no problems!!?? That's just crazy! How did you finally get it all straightened out, and how long did it take you?
  9. I get what you're saying...the issue for me is the whole "putting me in front of a person in charge who will now judge my integrity as I am forced to recite what I already wrote in my statement". This particular situation...is part of what I carry with me. It is the reason I don't talk to anyone about it...or haven't for a long time. To be 21..all alone in a foreign country...and have some Commander you don't know request your presence in his office (by yourself) so that you can "tell him" what OSI already gave him in a written statement...while he looks at you with disdain and talks to you like you're a whore (sorry for the word choice..don't know how else to say that) and you're being one is now a problem "for him to deal with" that you probably brought on yourself....yeah...really don't want to relive the exact scenario...ever. I wouldn't take a person with PTSD from a Combat situation and make them walk in to a Combat situation to prove they have it....so...I'm doing it because I have to, but it's making things worse...not better...
  10. Wow! You are wealth of information! I have done quite a bit of what you already outlined. I have my SMR's already. I already requested and rcvd my in-patient records from in service. I don't have the X-Ray scans though. I'll have to request those. I haven't been seen by a VA Doc/Facility yet. I just got registered to use them last week. I've gathered most of my CMRs. I do have a gap from when I got out for a few years...can't remember the PCP I used way back then. I had surgery on my hand just a little over a year after leaving service though, and I finally have those records being sent to me. I think the old PCP is on them as the "referring physician". I have my personnel records, but I noticed the leave requests and such weren't included. Not that I need those at this time; just noticed that kind of stuff wasn't included. I got out in 1996, and I've kept the giant file of my SMR's for years. Just figured they'd come in handy one day...and here we are. LOL I'm also in the process of scanning everything and noting what each sheet contains and date as well as making a spreadsheet to cross-reference. I'm a Data Analyst (actually a BI Manager now), so I'm all about detail and easy look-up. I have the OSI Investigation Report and am in the process of obtaining the Action Report from the assault that happened to me in Germany. So...I'm getting up to speed as quick as I can. I've decided to focus on one thing at a time...otherwise, it's just too much information to unpack and really understand. I have my C&P for my PTSD due to MST claim coming up in November. I'm SERIOUSLY not looking forward to that....literally to the point of it's making me sick to my stomach. So...to take my mind off of it, I started building out a folder itemizing the many URI/Bronchitis/Walking Pneumonia/Asthmatic Bronchitis/Allergic Rhinitis/Allergy entries in my SMRs. Building out a time line..then going to work on the CMRs that link to that stuff and see what it all looks like. That's a lot in and of itself..so, one major thing at a time. Really appreciate the info!
  11. Thank you. I do have all of my SMR's. I kept them when I got out. I even got a copy of the records from when I was hospitalized for Pre-Eclampsia while stationed at Ft Hood. I'm pretty organized...I'm a data person..so... LOL Also, for the record...I'm a "Gulf War Era" Vet but did not serve "in" the Southwest Asia Region. I was in Germany and Texas for the duration of my service. So, I don't believe those "presumptive" conditions apply to me.
  12. Thank you for the reply. I have submitted the OSI Investigation Report of the MST event. I have also submitted a DBQ filled out by my private Dr. for that case. The RO MST Coordinator has contacted me and scheduled me for a C&P on November 18th. She asked me to sign a release for them to gain access to my CMR's (which I've declined to do). I will be providing the notes from my Dr. related to the PTSD specific to the MST event. I do not feel comfortable giving full access for whatever they want to an adversarial company. She also mentioned that my OSI Investigation Report did not include the Action Report. I told her that when I submitted the FOIA request for the report all they sent me was the Investigation Report. The status shows Closed. Recommended for action. I then explained that the only information on the action taken I was ever given was a phone call from some person at JAG that let me know my case had been closed and the subject was being processed out of the AF. I'm not sure why they need the action report. They have the OSI Investigation report with the summary of statements and their recommendation for action. At any rate, I've submitted a second FOIA request to obtain the Action Report specifically in case that becomes an issue. It is apparently "housed" with the OSI Investigation Report but "Owned" by a different agency that must approve the release separately. (eye roll) I am making the notes I need to properly convey my symptoms on my "worst day" as recommended. The RO MST Coordinator explained that I did not have to switch my Dr to a VA Dr and that I could continue seeing my private Dr. for treatment if I wanted. I could use the VA as well or both. I was worried about that since so many people were saying you "have to have a diagnosis from a VA Dr". What I'm taking from that is that whomever administers the C&P will be the "VA Dr" whose opinion they will use for diagnosis. Yes, I have a VSO...but to be honest...I have no confidence in her. She has submitted both the claims I've done with incorrect information (wrong Birth Date, wrong phone number for me, wrong previous last names, etc...). It took her 9 months to submit my husbands bilateral hearing loss/tinnitus claim. I had to contact her several times to remind her. She never told me the things I've learned from this site. The local MST Treatment Coordinator was never contacted by her or the VA Hosp when I tried to make my initial appointment. I didn't even know there was such a person until I read it on my own. The VSO also seems very indifferent with regard to certain conditions, so I've decided to just do the research on my own...and try to understand what she should be telling me anyway.
  13. Some of you know, I'm new to all of this. I feel like I'm trying to build a 5,000 piece puzzle with no picture or instructions to look at. I currently have 10% SC for Tinnitus. I have a C&P scheduled for the 18th of November for my PTSD caused by MST Claim. I have a ton of things in my SMR's as well as CMR's that I have no idea how to connect the dots on. Is there some "place" or "person" that assists with this stuff??? I feel lost, and I'm a Data person. I have currently diagnosed conditions: 1. Carpal Tunnel 2. Raynaud's 3. IBS/Spastic Colon 4. Current Gastritis 5. Just had my Tonsils out at 46 (yep...tonsil lesion after decades of recurrent pharyngitis/Strep/Tonsilitus) 6. Lower back disk degeneration (been on my Xrays for years) 7. Arthritis in hands (not RH) 8. Cold Sores 9. Asthma/Allergies 10. Right Hip (Injections a few months ago) 11. Vertigo (I believe it's Motorist Vestibular Disorientation, but the one time I asked my PCP about it, they thought it may be my allergies causing it) I left service back in 1996. I had just had my first child and was still recovering from the affects of Pre-Eclampsia. ( All over my SMR's.) No physical at Separation. I have things in my SMR's where I had Asthma as a child but no issues since early childhood (on my Entrance paperwork). I also have an entry where they state there was a review of my Medical Records (Security Review for Above Top Secret) and "No Chronic Illnesses" or something to that affect. I literally had 9 cases of URI/Bronchitis/Phneumonia or a related lung issue in my 5 years of service logged in my SMR's. There was 12 cases of Strep/Pharyngitis/Tonsillitis along with a visit for some stomach issues that went on for several weeks (pretty sure this is when my IBS started showing up), a broken 9th rib (got kicked by a horse in Germany), Left Ankle Overuse Syndrome (I don't know why it says this because I'm pretty sure that's when I got sever shin-splints in both legs), Right ankle sprain, left knee strain, left hand and wrist injury, left thigh myalgia 2nd degree strain..then I started having to be given meds for allergies/Asthma episodes again the last few years in service. I had a ganglian cyst removed from my right hand just a little over a year after I left service...I've read there isn't a "known" true cause but arthritis can be a possible cause... I'm just overwhelmed with what relates to what and so forth. My Carpal Tunnel...you know they'll try to say that's 100% due to my work as a Data Analyst when the "know" hand/wrist injuries as well as job duties that require repetition also contribute...I even have a note in my SMR's about my fingers being numb while I was pregnant, but I guarantee they'll attribute that to the Edema from the Pre-E. So.....how do you work through it all in the best way NOT to screw yourself????
  14. Thanks, everyone! So, I spoke to my private doc (I really do love her). She fully understands the adversarial relationship the VA tends to have and will provide me only the notes and records she feels they need to see that directly relate to the PTSD due to MST. I have chosen NOT to sign the VA's form. I will submit my own records to them. I actually just found out today that somehow I was scheduled for a C&P exam on November 18th. I was never contacted to schedule it. I only know because I called the local MST Coordinator trying to find out what exactly is needed from my private provider. The local MST Coordinator (whom I've never spoken to before today) told me she isn't the one who requested the records. It's the "Regional" MST Coordinator from the Claims side of the house. The local one only deals with the treatment side of things, apparently. I"m so new to all of this...it's just crazy confusing. The local one kept apologizing for the fact that when I'd originally called to try to seek treatment through the VA, they didn't handle my request correctly. They told me they couldn't see me for over a month, so I went ahead and found my own provider. They also were supposed to notify her of my call...they didn't. She said she will assist in trying to continue care with my current provider through the VA as much as she can since they totally hosed all of that up.
  15. My claim is currently in Evidence Gathering. My MST Coordinator has a DBQ that my VSO sent me to have my Dr (Private/Non VA) fill out. It was filed with my claim. She also has the AF OSI Report concerning the incident in question. Two things: 1. The FOIA Request I did to retrieve the AF OSI Report gave me the report summary and my hand-written statement of account. The report summary discusses all statements, but they are redacted in my copy. The report status shows Closed. Recommended for action. The MST Coordinator said she had the report but it didn't show what action was taken. I told her that I was never "sent" anything explaining the action taken. All I ever got was some generic phone call from some JAG person months later letting me know the case had been closed and that the subject had been "offered" CC but refused and was subsequently being discharged from service. (I won't get into how crazy it makes me that someone can be "offered" jail time and "refuse") MST Coordinator said she was going to see if she could obtain the action report. I don't understand why they need that. Any ideas? I have since submitted a second FOIA Request (after learning that even though the Action Report is required to be given to OSI they "can't" release it to me without a FOIA Request being submitted and approved by the owners of that report which is AFLOA. (Freaking ridiculous) 2. She sent out a release letter to sign that will give them the ability to get my records from my private Dr. Should I sign it? Or should I get those records and send them only what they need? My fear is that I talk about lots of things with my Dr. Some aren't specifically about this. Will they get that info and try to use it against me? The stress of this, is literally about to do me in. One of my "triggers" is being put in front of some person in charge and having them judge me while forcing me to recount every detail I've already written in my statement. I am literally stretched thin thinking of being put back in that same situation. It's unfathomable to me that the VA should be allowed to literally put an MST Survivor through the EXACT situations that caused a lot of the issues we suffer from. They wouldn't stick a person with Combat PTSD back in Combat for their claim. Before I go off on a tangent...thanks in advance for advice.
  16. I just happened upon this thread and find it quite interesting. I am SC 10% for Tinnitus, and I've had issues with situational vertigo for the last few years. My Primary Doc (private) told me she thought it may be allergy related. I started taking Sudafed 12 hour once a day; and it seems to keep the vertigo at bay. I recently (yes at 46) had my tonsils out...loooooooooooong time coming after years of repeat tonsilitis/strep, I developed a lesion on one side...(long story). At any rate, I mentioned my vertigo to my ENT and the fact that the Sudafed helped...he was dumbfounded. Said there isn't any benefit from the Sudafed that "should" affect the vertigo. Makes me wonder if it's not really "allergy-related" and could possibly be MN. Literally happens only when I'm driving on the highway at more than 55 mph in curves...makes me feel like I'm going to fall over...
  17. So, my regional MST Coordinator contacted me today. I DO NOT need a diagnosis from a VA Dr. My diagnosis from my private Dr. is fine for them to process my claim. She was very nice, and she kept saying she was sorry for having to ask me certain things. I am lucky in that I did report my incident. It was investigated by OSI, and it was sent forward for action. I was able to do a FOIA request and obtain the report and investigation interviews. The MST coordinator is going to see if she can obtain the records on the action taken because I was never given anything and wouldn't know how or if I could obtain those. All I ever got was a phone call at my next Duty Station telling me the case had been closed and that the subject was being processed out. My understanding is that he was "offered" an Article 15 with 6 months CC and "refused". So, they kicked him out. I still have no understanding of how a sexual predator can possibly "refuse jail time" and just get out processed with nothing about him being a predator on his record. That makes me crazy! At any rate, she told me that I will have to attend a C&P Exam and she will request a female administer it (by my specific request) then she is sending out a form for me to sign that will authorize them to obtain my medical records from my private doc. She said I can decide to start getting treatment from the VA, continue with my private doc, or both...it's my choice. My best guess is that the C&P examiner is the "VA Dr" that will either diagnose or not in this case.
  18. First, I'm so entirely confused right now; that I am just about to forget all of this. I am stressed to the brink, and I feel like I'm right back in the same hell that gave me the condition in the first place. My VSO rep is a straight drunk, and he/she is HORRIBLE at their job. I was never referred to an MST Coordinator or even knew they were someone different than the VSO. I was instructed that I needed to get my condition diagnosed. I was told I could use the VA (which I'd never known about or used before). I called the VA, and they told me it would take over a month to even get the first appointment. After waiting as long as I have to actually admit I needed help, I didn't feel that waiting over a month more was the best course of action. I wasn't even sure I'd be able to convince myself to go if I didn't go soon. Too much time passing would weaken my resolve. I have PI, so I made an appointment with a private PsyD, LCSW who specializes in dealing with these kinds of issues. I've been in treatment since April of this year. I love my provider. My diagnosis, in her opinion is Chronic and classic PTSD. I told my VSO I was in treatment, and she waited until a few weeks ago to go ahead and file my claim. In the mean time, I submitted a request to obtain the police report and subsequent investigation of the event in question. I did finally get the report that proves the event occurred. I feel lucky I have that. My VSO sent me the DBQ and told me to have my provider fill it out. I sent it to my provider, and she did so. She filled it out with all PTSD DBQ Criteria met. I supplied that to my VSO. She filed my claim. Now, I am reading that my physician's DBQ and diagnosis won't be accepted? Does that mean they will automatically deny my claim without even doing a C&P, and I'll have to start all over again seeing some VA Provider? I am literally sick to my stomach over all of this ridiculousness!!! It's not enough what my command put me through when I was assaulted...now, I have to literally put myself through the EXACT SAME TYPES OF EVENTS that shaped who I became. Someone please tell me I'm misunderstanding all that I'm reading...
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