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Master Chief Petty Officer
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Everything posted by Vync

  1. Bravo Sierra! I wonder if the VA was using medical doctors as contractor when the ruling was issued...
  2. The RO is about a 90 minute drive. Last time I went about 8 years ago, they were not very helpful. I'm not an expert on the revised claim appeal options, but for the Cushing's claim, I am sending the new Supplemental Claim Request form. For my heart claim, I'm just sending a regular Statement in Support of Claim because the VA stated a decision letter for it was never mailed and did not even exist in the system. I would not be surprised if I hear back from the VA and get asked to file a Supplemental claim also. Typical...
  3. Maybe I should write my response to them in crayon
  4. My fuzzy memory recalls something about the VA being required to develop claims to maximize benefits (i.e. explore potential secondary claims). My recent claim was for "Heart condition due to medications for TMJ, upper and lower spine". Is the VA required to fully explore side effects of medications to treat all SC disabilities or just the specific scope requested? I ask because I found many medications used to treat other SC disabilities may cause risk factors (i.e. hypertension, weight gain, high cholesterol). I'm hoping to be able to tie these in as secondary conditions which contributed to my heart attack.
  5. This is a weird situation... Earlier this year I requested claims for Cushing's and heart condition. I recently received a decision letter for the Cushing's (denied due to no diagnosis). I called 1-800 and talked with them about it. I will be sending in a supplemental claim request with evidence and release auth forms on Monday. However, the lady said my heart claim was closed at the same time as my Cushing's claim. She asked if I received the decision letter. I indicated I received it, but it made no mention of anything to do with my heart. She then opened up their copy of the decision letter and confirmed what I saw. She sent an inquiry over to let the team who worked my claim know about it. === It is obvious that the presumption of regularity was broken here === Is my claim really closed? Should I send in a Supplemental Claim Request or just a Statement in Support of Claim on Monday?
  6. @Berta thank you so much for providing this link! It has helped shed light to help answer the question, "Why did I have a heart attack?" My brain fog has got a little better and I finally got around to reading it carefully. I feel the NSAIDs and other medications may have contributed to elevating my risks (hypertension, high cholesterol, and overweight), but sumatriptan was proably the medication that triggered the actual heart attack. I'm writing everything out to help me keep track of what to submit to the VA and for the IMO. The VA knew I had other significant underlying cardiovascular diseases (AFIB, hypertension), but prescribed it anyway The prescriber (VA) should be aware... The VA still continues to give me this medication even after I had my heart attack, despite the clear warning. The scare part is I have been taking it once to twice a week since! Not any more... The first dose of it was given in the VA ER, but no ECG was done. Hmm... The VA has prescribed it for years, but never once performed "periodic interval cardiovascular evaluation" per the recommended follow up guidelines. I first took the pill, then two hours later the injection, and then 30 minutes later the heart attack.
  7. I am working on this separately
  8. Per www.myhealth.va.gov, the VA has never performed a heart echo. However, they did perform a nuclear stress in 2016 (ejection fraction then was 68%, post-MI it was 49%) I looked over medications given to me by the VA from 1996 through the present which were given frequently (total of 37, but I was taking 12 when I had the heart attack). I bounced those off of drugs.com and rxlist.com to see possible side effects by themselves. What I found was surprising: 2 linked to Hyperlipidemia (HCTZ and propanalol) 12 linked to Hypertension (albuterol, HCTZ, sumitriptan, etc...) 23 linked to Irregular heartbeat, I have AFIB (albuterol, omeprazole, sumitriptan, etc...) 8 linked to Myocardial Infarction (sumitriptan, etc...) 12 linked to Weight gain (HCTZ, lansoprazole, mometasone furoate, etc...) All the meds I specifically named are among those I took the day of the heart attack. They were also daily meds, except sumitriptan which I took once or twice weekly. The NSAIDs were linked to AFIB, hypertension, and myocardial infarction, but I have not taken any NSAIDs since mid-2018. Additionally, Mometasone Furoate and a few other corticosteroids were prescribed 61 times and are linked to Cushing's. I then looked in my medical records to examine my weight gain (another symptom of Cushing's) over the years from when I left the service to now: 1995: 165 lbs, 2013: 194 lbs, 2017: 209 lbs, 2018: 224 lbs, 2019: 220 lbs, Now: 195 lbs My non-professional opinion: 1. Army service causes SC disabilities. 2. VA gives me meds to treat SC disabilities. 3. Medications given to treat SC disabilities are linked to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, weight gain, and some to heart attacks. 4. I end up having all those problems. The C&P doc claimed I had 5 risk factors for heart attack, but three of those are linked to the medications. Hmm...
  9. Yes, I was taking Pravastatin 40 mg daily for a couple of months prior to the heart attack. Afterwards, I am taking Lipitor 80 mg daily.
  10. I didn't know it either until I looked it up. I am not rated for any other heart issues, but do have high cholesterol, AFIB, and hypertension. I did file a previous claim for hypertension some years ago, but was denied. I recently learned that medications I have been taking for years are known to cause AFIB, and hypertension. Exploring those options...
  11. Just in case, I filed a claim for my heart attack (still in the works). After having one you are automatically given a single 100% rating for three months.
  12. Not TDIU, but am P&T. No single 100% rating. The single 60% rating is by itself (not secondary to anything and nothing is secondary to it).
  13. 100% P&T. Haven't worked since April 5th. Hoping I can get approval to return to work later this month. I asked about the likelihood of SMC-S to potentially cover the months of lost work.
  14. Normally I have to drive in to work daily.
  15. What is the statute of limitations for FTCA/1151's?
  16. I agree. It does help, but if pain is all over then it does get old fast.
  17. I called the WH hotline the other day regarding an Internal Medicine doc performing a heart exam. The exam was very narrow of scope and failed to explore other obvious causes which were in my records.
  18. After my heart attack in early April I have brain fog and am trying to determine if I qualify for SMC-S or housebound. I'm 100% P&T for 10+ years and filed a claim for heart attack at the beginning of May. I am not medically cleared to return to work yet. Bilateral ratings 20%, 20%, 10%, 10% = 48% Single ratings 40%, 30%, 30%, 30%, 20%, 10%, 10%, 10%, 10% Factoring in the bilateral and singles, I calculate 96% I also have a separate single rating of 60% I looked up SMC-S laws and found: Would I qualify?
  19. No, I have not taken that. Thanks for looking into the sumitriptan. Definitely going to do this. I really wish my brain was working right. It took me an hour to this look up: I'm already in the look to have the VA cover my medical bills. While in the hospital, I signed the VA letter authorizing to be transferred to the VAMC if they have a bed available. Thankfully, they never did. The VA sent me to cardio rehab at a non-VA facility about a mile from my house. Covered!
  20. I saw my non-VA cardiologist today. He honestly does not have the time to go through my entire VA records, which is what I expected. He is writing a letter to the VA letting them know I should not be given sumitriptan. He felt it was significant in that it is a vasoconstrictor and raises blood pressure. I've been taking it a couple of times a week for several years. Going to wait and see what the letter contains and then wait on the denial letter to arrive in the mail. On the bright side, he said my walking treadmill test findings were promising, despite not making it even to six minutes.
  21. Don't know if this is possible. They might agree to transfer your care elsewhere, but I would assume they would fight trying to pay travel for the extended distance.
  22. I think I just had a deficient C&P exam the other day. Internal Medicine doc trying to opine for a cardiology issue, but failing to be thorough or factor in what I said. On the bright side, at least she wasn't eating a submarine sandwich like my neurology C&P doc in the 1990's.
  23. Got my C&P exam results and the doc opined "less likely than not". My thoughts: 1. The doctor was an internal medicine doc, not a cardiologist. 2. The doctor's statement considered NSAIDs ==only==, in the capacity of treating TMJ and musculoskeletal disabilities (both SC). 3. The doctor failed to consider other medications used to treat SC disabilities, despite me telling her: - Injected steroids into my spine (three days prior into my lower back, couple of times a year previously) - Migraine medication: sumitriptan (take one or two pills a few times a week, sometimes followed by injections) - Asthma medications: albuterol and inhaled steroids daily - Steroid injections into my spine once or twice a year 4. I was also diagnosed with AFIB. There was no consideration given to medication causing it, despite being on albuterol since 1992. Now to wait for the denial letter in the mail. Any thoughts or recommendations?
  24. I might be going the FTCA/1151 route pending the outcome of my heart attack claim (claimed as secondary to medications used to treat SC disabilities). Some of my doctors were bonafide providers, while others were not. I did have a lumbar pain block done via community care just a few days prior to my heart attack, however NSAID use on/off for 24 years may have played a greater role. One thing this list might overlook is past providers/contractors who are no longer in the VA system. They have been treating me since 1995.
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