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Everything posted by Jayg

  1. Abnormal gate was the key to my success. I had bilat flat ft and an ankle injury sc. I filed for knees, hips & low back secondary to those by way of altered gate. One thing I did wrong was wear newer shoes to a C&P exam. Duh! C&P report conclusion? It said "No specific wear on shoes. No evidence of altered gait." That round was denied. (excepting 2 or three comments on such things in my records like "significant truncal shift", and "Trendelenburg lurch and a comment else where in the C&P report about "antalgic gait." Fortunately, I wore cheap soft soled boots to work while I still could and saved them for the leather when they wore out. I happened to have 3 pair well and lop sidedly worn boots that I took a host of photos of and included in my NOD. That was my battle too. Nobody was denying I had those conditions, just that my sc had any responsibility for them. I waded through medical studies and things like OSHA reports indicating the connection between altered gait and my secondary conditions. Many here contend "internet print outs" don't carry any weight. But I feel they were a significant part of my success too. It still took an IMO but, it didn't hurt matters handing them over to the doc that gave me the IMO either. He cited a number of the studies in the letter he sent in. It worked for me, it just took 5 years to get to that point. I wish you far better luck.
  2. Yeah, I got one of those. Same thing. Besides, all this is moot. Those VA quacks have carte blanche and are exempt from LAW< never mind rules. My last few C&Ps would have put some people in prison otherwise. Isn't it against the law to falsify government records? Not at VA! One rebuttal of a C&P exam I submitted ran over 30 pages including the copies of records I submitted proving the lies. Exam said I had antalgic gait but exam summary said gait was steady and even indicating no altered gait! Said no uneven shoe wear but the photos of the shoes I wore proved otherwise. Also said there were no other records indicating altered gait. But what is a Trendelenburg lurch? Pronounced truncal shift? there are many others. The examiner pushed my limbs to get the desired range of motion results til I jerked and yelled coming off the table onto the floor from the pain. Hey! No witnesses allowed and she denied touching me to my face, right there. They stated my radiological exams made no statements of conditions those reports clearly did. The list is far too long to go on here. There were a couple others almost as bad. Those rebuttals and their perfidy may have had some influence in getting my claim approved in the face of abysmal C&P exams. I don't know. But it's clear that they were not accepted as true. But I have no doubt those same people are still there doing the same things. These people are a power unto themselves and care nought for rules, regulations or law. Change will have to come from the top. That's the only way to break up this mess.
  3. Personally, I can't figure out how in the heck the system works. I hardly seem to get paid the same twice and often feel I'm getting way over paid. (I take it gratefully considering it a "tax refund.") But if my calculations are right, yesterday, I got $.60/mile. Today, (I happened to have back to back appointments) I got $.44/mi. Then again, I go to a VAMC about 65 miles from me but there is a VA clinic within 20 miles. If I get a treatment at the hospital I could have got at the clinic, the only pay the fare for the clinic. (and I don't have any complaint with that either, for the record.) But how they figure the amounts is beyond me. By the way, how you get the money varies a little from location to location. In my local hospital, you first have the sign out clerk "put you in" for your travel pay. Then you go to the cashier's window, sign the form and get your $ all at one stop. At times I have to go to Houston. There, like another person said, (after having the clerk send in the request for travel pay to the cashier's window), you sign the form at one window and pick up your $ at another. But, can someone please explain how when the mileage stays the same, amount of $ changes time to time (not counting the change for Clinic distance rate) Thanks!
  4. Personally, I would think he would do well to obtain full copies of all his records and go over them with a fine tooth comb. I have not had a mental, though it was close, (my rating is solely based on physical) but I know more than once what I saw and heard said and done in the exam room wasn't exactly (or occasionally even remotely!) what went into the record of that visit. Secondly, and someone with a background of experience with mental health treatment might want to double check mo on this, seek an IMO- Independent Medical Opinion. Get a diagnosis from somebody retained by you (or your spouse) and having no obligation or interest in how VA might feel about your condition. Being independently obtained, you also have the option of whether or not you want to show it to anyone at VA. (I am assuming you aren't in as bad shape as claimed though should the IMO agree with the prior diagnosis, you might consider the implications carefully) Another thing would be to do some serious personal research into just what all can get you such diagnoses. Personally, I don't have a lot of faith in shrinks. Who knows what otherwise seemingly innocent mannerism or remark could have brought that down upon you. Good luck!
  5. I am indeed sorry for your suffering but am most grateful to hear of your most rapid success in getting your TDIU. It took me 5 years and I wouldn't wish that on anybody. (well, a few politicians maybe...) Berta, you well know that having your "ducks in a row" and being "well armed with evidence" doesn't mean squat when you have C&P examiners falsifying records, pushing your limbs until you yell during range of motion testing and then deny it to your face (but hey, no witnesses allowed). Then at the end when I finally got it approved I needed 3 signatures and a person at the regional office had my file for several weeks and refused to release to anyone to sign off on! (one case where it was good to have a service organization rep. My organization's supervisor had to go straight to the regional office manager and had my file ordered released and hand carried it through for the signatures.) No, this vet had a lot more going for him/her (sorry, no offense meant!) than just being prepared.(Not that I'm suggesting anything less will do!) Hopefully, wherever they had their exams done and their regional office make a regular practice of treating their veterans as honestly as they have this person.
  6. As I type here, now, the letters appear but I have no cursor, no little blinking thingy...here... but, I have no such problem anywhere else. Halp!please...
  7. I just recently got IU but, I had no recent visits to try to file so I can't tell you about that part. But my teeth are shot. I was examined at VA where they determined I need total extraction and that it'll require surgery. They sent me close to home to a fee base surgeon who will do the extractions. I will report back to VAMC for fitting & manufacture of dentures. The dental surgeon said Dallas will go implants but not so much from Shreveport... where I go. I'll have to look into that... This is my limited experience anyway.
  8. Don't worry overmuch about what VA says... I too wear VA authorized Custom fitted braces and same for shoe inserts. I wore all of the above to my last C&P and they said I had neither braces nor inserts. They actually did acknowledge I was using a cane.* * A tip here. Get your VA to issue you a cane if you have not. That tacitly implies you actually need one. I had an earlier C&P note that though I used a cane, VA had not seen fit to authorize one calling into question whether or not I actually needed it! Just note what VA says in denial and disagree and bury them in rebutting documentation. You will eventually succeed. Remember, all the delay just means a fatter retro at the end. B)
  9. I know VARO physically sent my file to the VAMC where the C&P exams were done. But my file is some 5" or 6" thick and I sure as heck didn't see anything like that present in the room in either of my last two exams. It is possible they reviewed it prior to the exams. My medical records were available on the computer. They stated repeatedly that the records were reviewed But... The exam reports were so horribly falsified there's no telling if they bothered to read it or not. I was able to rebut many of their statements with nearly 30 pages from my file. (I did have a recent copy) I mean they stated I did not have any special shoe inserts when I wore them to the exams and the authority for their custom fitting was in my VA med records. They said I had no unusual shoe wear when the shoes I wore were so worn and there were photos of three such pairs of shoes in my C file. They said my gait was steady and even in the same report they described my gait as being antalgic. Even so, my med records have a statement that I had "Trendelenberg Lurch." The report said my X-ray report did not indicate hallas valgus when the report did in fact say there was... The list goes on and on... Did they bother to read my file? Perhaps. They sure denied a lot of things my file said I claimed were wrong. Moreso than can be accounted for by chance. They knew specifically what to address.
  10. Why hard on VA? Speaking solely for myself here based on my own experiences. I posted my results in the "success stories" too. But--- that "success" came only after 5 years struggle, forced into bankruptcy while raters pass my file from desk after desk after desk, month after month, year after year. Years of watching my wife struggle to pay bills and keep us fed because I couldn't. To cry and beg on the phone for one more exception, or extension... Of having my VA doctor, my only doctor, as much as refuse to make a nexus statement or any statement for my claim. Of finally finding a doctor to write me an IMO on credit- to have to PAY a couple thousand dollars for a statement because the VA examiners blatantly lie and falsify records unpunished. Then of having a rater hold onto my file for weeks literally refusing to allow it to be given to people wha can release my rating... The above is but a brief overview of the causes of my resentment. The amount of griping is only indicative about how widespread problems with VA are. Nuff said.
  11. "and he has [not?] rec his check..." I had mine within a week. (this was last Dec.) But then, by the time my claim got done it was getting special handling and that may have expedited things.
  12. You really want to see that C&P exam. Mine was so badly and utterly falsified my rebuttal was 30 pages long (copies from my records disproving the many lies they wrote.) And I am not just talking minor indiscretions- At my exam I was wearing special shoe inserts that were authorized by VA, I asked the examiner if she wanted to see them and she said no- that's because she was writing that I didn't have any. She said my shoes had no abnormal wear when they did, as do two other pair there are 8x10 photos of in my claim file. They said a statement from my doctor in my medical records was "actually made by a student physician's assistant and erroneously perpetuated throughout the record." They said I had "antalgic gait." That must have been a slip because they"corrected" it in the summary where they wrote my gait was "steady and even." They said X-ray reports didn't say things they in fact did.... And the list goes on- and on and--- You can imagine how much more that it took me dozens of pages to rebut. And there were two exams like that. They went so far as to say it "was not medically possible" that bad knees and back could be the result of combined effects of flat feet and ankle injury. Oh yeah. You want- you need- to see what's in that C&P report! You should be able to get a copy from the examining facility (VAMC?) release of information office. If the exam was done by an outside provider, you'll have to get it from your VARO. And if I recall correctly, my file was with the "rating team" for about 2 years. They just kept passing it from one rater to another. They moved it about every 90 days I think it was.
  13. My most heartfelt condolences. It was hard going for my mom too. Just knowing she would have been glad to have done was what I clung to. Find some thing that gives you some relief and hold it close.
  14. I have got the go ahead to release his info. His name is Dr. William Kalichman. He maintains a regular practice and can only take one or two people at a time for review and IMO. You can email him at... maule@owt.com What I did was mail him copies of my smrs, civilian medical records, entire claim file, x-rays- everything I thought he could use to determine my case. Things he cited from every segment of that pile clearly demonstrated that he had thoroughly examined every facet of my case... From here, all arrangements are between the applicant and him. I do not have any connection with any further proceedings and I do not make any profit from this. He helped me, a few vets from his practice and appalled at the injustice desires to help others. That's all I want out of it too. To help other vets.
  15. Dont give them the satisfaction!!! As others before me noted, File an NOD, request a hearing and go live your life. The time is going to pass anyway. We are not so different, you and I... Just 6 weeks or so I was at 40% and like others, had been fighting this for years, 5 for me. They blatantly falsified C&P exams- said I had antalgic gait then said gait was steady all in the same report. Said a statement made by me doctor wasn't made by the doctor but by an student physician's assistant and that the comment was "erroneously perpetuated throughout the record." Said I didn't have shoe were that they had photos showing I did have, said I didn't have shoe inserts that were prescribed by VA and I had worn to the exam- probably why they said they didn't want to see them... It's a lonnggg list. Then I actually got my rating but due to the retro required 3 signatures and a person at the VARO with my file was just holding it and not passing it to anyone to sign! It took my TX vet Rep's supervisor going to the top VARO supervisor to make the so & so let go of it. Took them 2 days to finish after it was held for a month or more. But here I am today, 80% actual and 100% by way of IU. But you quit now, you lose-they win. For Crise sakes, don't let it happen! You ain't the first to be fed up. Lord I know. Times I wanted to quit- I just didn't have any choice. but if nought else, hand it over to a lawyer, vet rep, wife, brother, cousin, neighbo, somebody, Anybody- Just don't quit.
  16. Just heard from him. He's been tied up in business and will let me know how to answer y'all. Remeber, I hadn't told him I was going to find him a whole forum full of prospects... I think he could be another available like Dr. Bash so am frankly trying to nudge him into it. He just has to realize it would be good for him. I figure this could be a win/win for him and vets too. Just remember, this man will NOT be "selling" IMO's. Your case will have to warrant support. But at least you can get a review to find out where you stand before shelling out bucks for an opinion VA would love to get their hands on. So please bear with me, us. I'm trying to build something here. btw, he doesn't have a link, he doesn't 'advertise' as such. but I'm hopeful to be able to release contact info shortly.
  17. In my case, "My doctor" is a VAMC doctor.He's a good doc,cares about his pt's health, but will not go anywhere near writing a medical opinion for us. I talked him into putting a comment in my records- "Flat feet which may cause low back and knee problems" is as far as he would go. And I can't blame him because shortly thereafter he went on administrative duties for the next several months. The "docs" thatwrite for the C&P department- at Shreveport's Overton Brooks VAMC are a pack of Lying so & so's. They blatantly falsified a few C&P exams of mine. Just check some of my back topics for this past year for details. Getting that outside imo is the reason, likely the only reason, I got my rating. It should not be this way, you're right. But for some of us, anyway, it absolutely is.
  18. My health records were lost in service back in '80 and hadn't been seen since at the time I filed for benefits and I only had copies of my first hitch. My injury occured in the 2nd, 'natcherly.' So I kept submitting for my records time and again until one day the missing records materialized in my mail box. As far as I know, I still have the only copy extant. So by all means you can do a repeat request. I think I will do the asame again myself. I recently realized I don't have everything from my first hitch either. Much of my care at Ft. Knox was at a local 'clinic' and I only got records generated from the main hospital, nothing from the clinics, and those should include a blow to the head.
  19. I still haven't heard from T-Bird on this one. I would think for now, passing the info through PM would be the best thing by far. Let me see just how doc wants to handle this, I don't know how many he is able to handle at a time. (I didn't mention I was going to put it to y'all here. I'll get back to y'all soon. Again, the Dr. doesn't live in Texas. It was a mail order deal. See my description below.
  20. I live halfway across the continent from him. I just boxed up copies of all my records and sent them to him. A lot of folks use Dr. Bash who are no where near him either. That's why I figured posting my doc's interest would work the same way. Yes?
  21. I have got the go ahead to release his info. his name is Dr. William Kalichman. He maintains regular practice and can only take one or two people at a time for review and IMO. You can email him at-... maule@owt.com What I did was mail him copies of my smrs, civilian medical records, entire claim file, x-rays- everything I thought he could use to determine my case. Things he cited from every segment of that pile clearly demonstrated that he had thoroughly examined every facet of my case... From here, all arrangements are between the applicant and him. I do not have any connection with any further proceedings and I do not make any profit from this. He helped me, a few vets from his practice and appalled at the injustice desires to help others. That's all I want out of it too. To help other vets. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The doctor who wrote my IMO is definitely vet friendly and eager to help. I know him as a fellow moderator on another site we share. That's what prompted me to ask him if he'd he me. Here's a comment from a PM he just sent me... "I just won another case with a Korean War Vet. The bittersweet part is that he is very old and sick and may not live to reap the benefits, but his family will. Let me know if you know anyone else that can use my services." I can say, he'll need some help perfecting his delivery to VA- my IMO got bad marks when posted here but it won me my IU in any case. He is also well aware of the "At least as likely as not" rule. He read and cited my medical history, my service medical records, X-rays, and resourced and cited studies that did demonstrate the otherwise tenuous connection between arthritis with old injuries. He got opinions from others more expert at reading those X-rays than he is and cited their consultation. In other words, he didn't just lightly skim my stuff and just pencil whip an opinion, he was thorough. His background or fields he can help in? - PTSD or Psych won't be one unfortunately. Some comments on his background from 'My Doc.': "My specialty is internal medicine and aviation medicine. One of the hats I wear is that I do pilot physicals for the FAA. I am also a pilot. In addition, I am the Medical Director of the hyperbaric oxygen and wound treatment center at ---- Medical Center. For what it's worth my college and medical school degrees are from Rutgers University in New Jersey. I did my residency and chief residency in internal medicine at Yale University in Connecticut. And then I was working at the Palo Alto medical clinic and on staff at Stanford University. The resume goes on. My credentials would likely carry some weight with the VA. I should mention that when I did medical testimony, the lawyer that hired me only lost one case, and that one had nothing to do with the medical aspect of the situation. Right now, I'm being trained in surgical and hyperbaric wound management. I'm being 'promoted' to Medical Director of the wound clinic of my local hospital, and they are shipping me out for additional training. His earliest medical training... 1984-1990: Emergency Medical Technician and Paramedic working for various ambulance squads in New Jersey, both for pay and volunteer. 1990-1994: Medical Resident, Yale University School of Medicine, Norwalk Hospital, and Norwalk, Connecticut. 1993-1994: Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, Norwalk Hospital, Norwalk, Connecticut. 1994: Emergency Department Staff Physician, Yale University Hospital, New Haven, Connecticut. So you can see he has the background and experience to be listened to by any VA raters who will acknowledge an outside IMO. But again, as I said, he'll need a little hand holding till we get him trained in perfecting the VA acceptable IMO. I have his complete curia-vitae (sp?) but will with hold that until cleared by Hadit moderators. I also will withhold contact info on that same count also until directly cleared by the doc to do so. He asked if I knew anybody else that needed help. I don't know that he meant a forum full of us. :( His fees? I don't know, you'll have to talk that over with him. He'll charge for his worth but I do not believe he will gouge anybody. (or I wouldn't be posting this here at all.) I have 'known' this fellow (at least as far as internet allows) for a few years. He seems a very decent, caring, and Christian gentleman for those as what that counts for. He will not just write up something for cases that don't merit them either, so don't look for that. But we can expect every benefit of doubt.
  22. I'm in on this too though with IU it little affects my claim. The big question now is surgery or not surgery. I suffer the pain and numbness too but at least I can still walk (albeit with difficulty and that not far) The docs at the nearesst VAMC are inclined to think my back pain is as much the result of bad feet, ankles, hips and resultant altered gait as my actual back problems so they're tending towards the opinion thaat back surgery won't do me any particular good and that NOT having it won't do any particular harm. (another important consideration.) But I'm supposed to be getting a second opinion from the back crew down to Houston who are said to be among the best/second to none in the back surgery dept. So we'll see. The thought of surgery scares me as much or more for what they can screw up as what they can or can't fix... I know this sounds paranoid- and I am- but I'm one of those poor sods that if something goes wrong- I'll be there, and most likely on the receiving end, when it happens. My wife and some others I know now allow that I'm not as crazy that way as they first thought. This is true. I swear!! So if anybody is likely to get crippled for life by such surgery- I promise you- it'll be me! Now- try to decide about back surgery with something like that on board! :( :(
  23. I'm not sure who you're apologizing to- since you've said nothing offensive that I have read, I know I don't need it. I do know you've been going through the ringer lately. So yes, please do take some time for yourself, friends and family and try to set aside, even if just for a while, the worries of the day. And I'm here to help revere Texas too. Some fall, y'all ought to catch the "Lost Maples." And for those unreconstructed rebels there's a heck of a good research center at Hillsboro College. A great place to immerse yourself in history. For some East Texas beauty get to Caddo Lake or historic Jefferson. The spring after green up is the perfect time for those places. A meander among the Cypress can be right relaxing as can a stay at a bed & breakfast where there's no TVs, just tea on the veranda with the sound of insects, birds and rich with the the scent of flowers. The wife & I did that one time and would again but the kids are still a bit young to allow full appreciation of such- (or to let in a house full of valuable antiques! :( ) The fishing is pretty darn good hereabouts too! :(
  24. That's a good C&P. With this comment- "Last page from C & P report-- IT IS MOST LIKELY CAUSED BY OR A RESULT In-service event:"- you should come out well. However, you may want to keep in mind the idea of appealing the % granted. VA is notorious for low balling ratings first time around on the hope vets will just take it and go. Good luck and please, keep us posted.
  25. Great advice. I forgot to mention it but as Bronco said, get copies of all your hospital/Med Center/Clinic/et al visits. If your visit is in the morning, you can often get the records before you leave. Just go to that facility's release of information office. They'll usually have the forms you need right their- they're one page and simple. I usually simply request "all records generated X to X (dates of treatment). If you have a lot of pages you'll have to leave the request with them and they'll mail them to you. But catching it every visit, they'll crank them out for you right there. (At least they will where I go.) This is very important because as ooften as not what is printed is not what you said or what you heard said and those records are what the raters will be looking at. For instance I have a hard time deciding what I feel on the pain scale. So once I said it was 4-6. They recorded only "4". Another thing is that I use a walker to navigate the hospital- Very often I'll find the visit's checklist for ambulatory aid has not been checked. Then it can get downright dishonest. When once I fell, I twisted my ankle. It was bruised, stiff and swollen. I hobbled into er leaning both on my cane* and the wall. It was all I could do to get to the check in desk. The record for the visit? They did not check use of a cane and said,"Pt walks easily w/out discomfort." :( :( I submitted that for correction pointing out the diagnosis was a "sprain" and one does not walk easily w/out discomfort, on a sprained ankle! They did change it. * I only use the walker if I'm going to be moving around a big place on foot. So you see, you want those records!
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