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drago

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  1. Just got the paperwork for the poly trauma eval which is scheduled for Monday. I believe the appointment is for a “neuropsychological evaluation”, and paperwork says the appointment will be 3 hours long. The MOCA I just took lasted about four minutes… I called the office where eval will be to ask what all is entailed in the test, but had to leave a message, and I’m guessing the office may be closed on Fridays. Soooo… any insight from anyone as to what all may be involved?
  2. Thanks EI Train, I appreciate the information and the offer to pm. It will be really interesting to see how it turns out. My $.02 would be that the 70% for PTSDby itself is appropriate, as I really do struggle with that... a LOT. At the time, based on the initial report, I can see why the actual VA rater assigned TBI as present, but bundled it with PTSD as they are similar. I'm HOPING that now when considering the hypersomnia which is a new civilian diagnosis and is now being treated, as well as the new info if it gets included (the notes really were notes, I was going to fill in a lot verbally) the rater (not QTC evaluator) will consider that as "more". The hypersomnia has been a problem since the actual incident itself and has been a lifelong thing. Just be kind of nice to have some sort of acknowledgement, even if it doesn't move the needle toward 100. My apologies to the group as well because I think I'm perhaps a little more talkative in my posts than necessary, but its really kind of cathartic and helpful to just get this "stuff" out there. Thank you for listening and the support.
  3. Separate question then: For higher rating purposes, would it be better to have them find a decision of no TBI, and then submit hypersomnia as a stand alone item? Or maybe for conversation to say that TBI had originally been denied, and then submit hypersomnia as a stand alone? Hope that makes sense...
  4. It will be interesting to see how it turns out. In my case, it's not that any one thing is severe, it is just many mild symptoms, that combined make life a bit difficult. Ultimately, as I've said before, and i think like many going through the process, I just want to be "heard". Yesterday's appointment would have been 20 minutes if I would have let it. Even by trying to explain some of my symptoms, I felt I was very much annoying the evaluator. I think the evaluator's preference would have been for me to simply say the issue is hypersomnia, do the MOCA, and be done. Also, I had taken with me "my notes", which were a list of my VA ratings, civilian diagnoses, and then examples of each category on the DBQ. So for memory, attention, concentration I noted how I was unable to tell my wife where a funeral was held for a friend the week before. I couldn't remember which road it was on. So I listed that, and similar things. At the end, as the evaluator was pretty much forcing the appointment to end, I handed the notes and asked if they would help. The answer wasa grudging "sure", then a quick review and then looking at the computer, then the notes, then the computer a statement of "oh... these align with the actual form" with a dead stare at me. I said yes, I reviewed the previous eval and the form that is available online, and made my notes to match because I thought we would probably go section by section in this appointment. I know it is dangerous to ascribe motive to looks and statements, but I think that format at the very least caught the evaluator off guard, and perhaps had a hint of "unethical" in the look and questions. Could be my own paranoia though.
  5. Hi All, Just had TBI review. I'll not go into great detail in the unlikely occurrence the actual examiner would happen to read this post LOL... but stranger things have happened... Anyway, I'd call the review very light, basically with reviewer asking me (after she realized I was already service connected TWICE) what about my TBI has changed since the initial. I said now diagnosed with hypersomnia. She asked why I thought that was connected to TBI. I said because civilian dr said so. She asked why he said that, i said I'm assuming a medical reason but don't really know. Then was given the MOCA and passed with flying colors except for the very end when asked to repeat the words from the middle of the test. So new question... how much weight does the MOCA carry in the process?
  6. Thanks for your replies. EI Train: I am rated for PTSD 70%, and then was also rated at TBI, but PTSD and TBI were bundled together to be 70%. However, the original TBI exam wasn't real thorough. My incident was 30+ years ago too, and I never realized I had PTSD until the C&P a year ago. I can see the influence it had now that I'm seeing a counselor, but never realized how it had affected me (and still is). I did look up the MOCA, and actually found some images of at least the first page. I stopped looking though because I didn't want to develop some kind of practice effect. LOL pacmanx1: I checked out your link, and I didn't realize there were other descriptions/links to the left that also discuss polytrauma. Thanks for that
  7. Hi All, Me again... another few questions that hopefully someone can shed some insight on. Over the last few months, as I've gotten deeper into the VA medical side, they have talked about a polytrauma referral, basically saying it could be helpful in me getting to a better place. I was involved in an incident and sustained a significant concussion. I agreed to the referral, and had an MRI that did not show any abnormalities other than something with sinuses. I'm now scheduled for a neuropsych exam. I'm not sure what all that entails, and I can't seem to find much "meat" of what polytrauma is about, other than kind of marketing info that it's "good". So the questions: Does anyone have any experience with poly-trauma, what it is, is it helpful etc? It is worth following up on and if not, are there any consequences to cancelling it out? Has anyone had any experience with poly-trauma evals affecting ratings? This may just be in my head (and probably is), but it's starting to feel like things with VA medical are just data collection for VA rating side, to look to show why a veteran is over-rated (rating is too high). I'm just not feeling good about how it seems the rating side of VA can access my medical records whenever they want. Thoughts from the group? *BTW... I am very thankful for everyone putting up with me, and continuing to hang in there with me.
  8. FYI, I actually moved a couple of these questions to a new post. Seems like this thread was getting long and wandering a bit.
  9. Hi All, Once again, hoping this is posted correctly. Not sure, but can't quite seem to get the hang of this particular version of a forum, so my apologies if I'm doing this wrong. Real quick background, I'm rated for PTSD/major depression/alcohol/TBI at 70%, kidneys 60%, bladder 10%, headaches 0%, and seems like something else I'm forgetting at the moment. Those were all completed about 13 months ago. Pending is a back issue, hypersomnia, hypertension, and heart disease. Total after VA math is 91% (maybe 92?). I was involved in a training in which another soldier died. Due to the hypersomnia claim, the VA has asked that I be reviewed for the PTSD and TBI. In preparing for those reviews, I've found various mistakes in both reports, some which seem immaterial, and some that may matter. For example: The report states I was cleared of charges at trial. That is inaccurate. I was cleared of charges during the investigation phase due to a malfunctioning piece of equipment. I was never charged (that I know of... 1st sarge got defense attorney involved pretty quick, so I kind of lost track of a lot of the process). I was in the brig for a while, and then on supervised house arrest until the investigation was over, which I told the examiner. Seems immaterial to the overall findings, but still not accurate. The report states that I was "dazed for 3-4 minutes". That is inaccurate. I was dazed for 3-4 days, not minutes. Depends on the clinical definition of dazed I suppose. I have zero recollection of the minutes following the incident (probably 3-4), and only wispy memories of the 3-4 days following the accident. Frankly, as I've thought about it over the past year, I'm not completely sure what is actual memory, and what is "recollection" based on what my squad members who were supervising me told me about the incident. I'd like to get those cleared up, but don't want to get tagged with a "veteran has changed his story" line somewhere. I guess the answer is they are inaccuracies, and I need to take them head on, but was interested in the thoughts of those who have more experience with this sort of thing. Should these inaccuracies be addressed in the these review exams, or is there a different and/or more appropriate process to challenge the inaccuracies?
  10. brokensoldier244th: Thanks! Exactly what I was looking for. deedub: Thanks. I think I'm going to make all my notes on the copies of the original exams and take them along for reference. I'll offer to leave them with this examiner, and he can take them if he likes. Reviewing the docs is interesting, as I'm surprised by the lack of detail in them. The TBI eval was bounced back for more info by the VA, and even the second additional review (which I attended) did not have a lot of additional detail, and much of what I said was left out. Lots of check boxes left unchecked, such as endocrine problems. My throid blew out about 4 years after end of service. Specialist I went to at the time looked at blood work and immediately asked if I was in the Army. I asked why he asked, and he said if they see a male under 35 for hypothyroid, it's guaranteed they were in the army. "I don't know what they do to you guys, but it takes your thyroid right out"... Also, and this I hope someone can comment on this. Both reports have inaccuracies as to what I said. I don't think they are material to the findings but I A.) don't want trouble because it would be alleged I lied, and B.) some of it is painful and I would just like the record to be accurate. For example, one report describes the incident and says I was cleared of wrongdoing at trial. That is incorrect. I was cleared in the investigation phase and never went to trial. Like I said, I don't think it matters in terms of do I have PTSD/TBI, but it's inaccurate and frankly painful. I'll correct that with these new folks hopefully. Like I said, I just don't want to be accused of lying.
  11. Hi Everyone, Me again...LOL, sorry to be a pain... I'll try to brief... Does anyone have a link to the TBI REVIEW C&P? I was able to find the PTSD review ver. March 2021 straightaway, and can find initial Initial TBI form, but can't find the review form...
  12. Thank you both. Have either of you, or anyone, ever left notes with the examiner? Kind of a written confirmation of what was said?
  13. Good info, thanks brokensoldier244th. I just had a moment of enlightenment, and thought I need to toughen up, stand tall, and prepare for these exams like I would anything else. Not "study" per se, because I think that could imply embellishment. But be prepared, so I called my VSO and asked for a few things. That way I can be prepared for when they ask a question, I can have examples and such ready as opposed to "oh, I don't know, let me think...". Because thinking in the moment like that is not my strong suit.
  14. Hi Everybody, Please tell me if I should start this as a new thread, and I will, but it does pertain to the stuff already typed, so I'll keep it with this thread for now. I now other forums get very particular about what is in one thread and what should be a different thread. So, I've been looking around on Hadit and carumba... doesn't give one a reassuring feeling about the VA and their processes. Anyway, three main things I wanted to bring up... I read a post titled "requested increase, and they removed my service connection" which has some similarities to my situation, but not necessarily a ton. One thing stuck out from poster 63charlie about being sent to a general C&P physical exam (sorry I haven't mastered the art of quoting between threads yet). I thought this exam overall was for the ischemia., but now it sounds like maybe I would be well served to be prepared to talk about everything? I tend to be a "minimizer", so if I think I'm in a heart exam and someone asks about PTSD, I would be likely to say something like "well, I'm managing it" or "you know, some days good, some days bad, today is good" etc ESPECIALLY if they make it sound like an off the cuff comment/conversation. That makes me think maybe I would be well served to be prepared to talk about everything? Degen Disc Dis Issue-someone also mentioned in that thread (I think), about a first examiner from VA denying a claim, then the veteran getting a positive opinion. The overall take was it was 1:1 tie with opinions, and a tie goes to the veteran. After reading the letters I've been sent and seeing the reports on my back, the initial VA examiner said due to concrete lifting. We asked for another review, and a person I've not met did some sort of remote review, and confirmed that opinion and threw in some of the other facts listed above, including the erroneous or misinterpreted ones about treatment. I then submitted a buddy letter from my PT WHO HAS TREATED me, that said undoubtedly from service accident. Does that basically boil down to 2:1, I lose? I mean, that's kind of like a 3 Stooges "you lie and I'll swear to it" kind of thing, since the second remote reviewer had no new info! Does anyone know a good place to gain more than a basic bit of knowledge in all this? For instance, in the above referenced post, there are acronyms that I don't know the meaning of such as "CUE" and "NOD". I'm thinking like almost a playbook of what the VA does? For instance, I never thought about a general exam being a booby-trap, and maybe it's not. It certainly was explained to me that the "VA just likes to get a sense of how you are doing, make sure nothing is being missed". Which, I interpretted as "the caring folks at the VA, maybe they do have my back". I did have a moment of "but they could just check my VA medical to see that?" NOW, I think that "nothing is being missed" can equally mean not being missed in terms of you are being over-rated and over-compensated! Thanks everyone for all the help and support
  15. brokensoldier244th: Thanks for the reply... since headaches are their own condition, they probably can't just do a re-look with this set of re-evals since this set is for PTSD and TBI? Also, is it possible (not necessarily likely), that the hypersomnia could increase the overall PTSD/TBI rating? The original rating letter for PTSD describes what would have to happen for PTSD to go from 70 to 100, and it is pretty substantial. Would the same rules apply now that TBI is in with PTSD? I guess I'm thinking along the lines of "we didn't realize the sleep disorder (now we know it's hypersomnia) was this bad" so PTSD won't go up, but TBI will? Sorry to belabor this, but if I have an inkling of what *could* be the outcome, it's generally easier to deal with. As opposed to getting a letter saying "yup, you've got it, but we kind of took that into account, so no change". Hopefully that makes sense... Headaches, ironically, they aren't' worse, they were just never properly acknowledged in the first place LOL EDIT**-also, is there a place on the va.gov website to see everything a person is rated for? I've not found the website to be especially helpful so far.
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