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Geo4K

Second Class Petty Officers
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About Geo4K

  • Rank
    E-4 Petty Officer 3rd Class
  • Birthday December 11

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    geokuech@yahoo.com

Profile Information

  • Location
    New Mexico
  • Interests
    Muscle cars

Previous Fields

  • Service Connected Disability
    80%
  • Branch of Service
    US Air Force
  • Hobby
    Muscle Cars, marksmanship
  1. Yes, I have been treated over the course of these past 5 years for the headaches and sleep - although I have not been seen for a few years for the increased depression - but I have only caught myself feeling much worse after the failure of the RF nerve burn on 30 June. I will be addressing this the next time I see my doc in 2 1/2 weeks, and resume treatment with a physc provider of some sorts. Back to an earlier question I had, would it be reasonable of me to try to tie in my lack of ability to fall and to stay asleep with my pain? I am sure I could get my doc to write a letter to support this. Would the VA support such a thing? Thank you,
  2. Thank you Berta. What I was considering is telling the VA that my condition was worsen over the years and my pain is greater now - my diagnosis is degenerative disc disease. My condition has deteriorated and the headaches that come with it have increased in frequency and pain. I have thought that you could go back and tell the VA that it has worsened over time and they would reevaluate you and consider it again. Is this the case? I have tried everything thrown my way for relief. Injections, botox, PT, the nerve burn, and nothing has provided me with any meaningful relief. After the failure of the nerve burn in June, I came to the realisation that there is nothing out there to help me and I am going to have to ride this out until I die. That, my friends, is depressing and what turned the key for me and has dragged me down to how I feel these days. You know, I looked down to pick up my glasses just a bit ago and Zap, my neck explodes and my my knees buckle. Is't a drag... I do have private care and to date my doc has been extremely supportive of me and has written several letters and even used the phraseology that I asked him to, that the VA looks for. An IMO/IME was surely going to be in my new round of dealings with them (VA). I want to get my ducks all in a row and take time to address my claim as well as I can.
  3. Please, members with some experience here, your thought are valuable to me. I poured my heart out here looking for validation or some sort of becoming grounded - if I am off base. I am really soliciting your views. This site was instrumental in support of my successful rebuttal to the VA that raised me from 40% to 80%. Chime in. Many Thanks - and I'll be patient and not check back until Monday. George
  4. OMG, I just spent an hour plus typing this up and it vanished. Guess I should have copied it to a Word doc before trying to post. What a pisser… In 2011 I was given a SC rating of 50% for occupational and social impairment with reduced reliability and productivity…. It was tied to a SC disability of degenerative spine disease of C5-C7. Since that time my neck has gotten worse and with more pain. My mood has turned pretty dark as I find my thoughts drifting off to being dead and therefore out of pain, now on a daily basis. So far the only thing that has kept me from doing anything drastic has been the stigma it would attach to my family. I fear my temper has deteriorated as well and I basically lost my last real friend a month or two ago. I was last seen (medically) at the VA in 2011 as well. Now that I want to return for counseling, they tell me that since greater than 2 years have gone by I need to reestablish myself and go through cattle call again…. That’s in mid-November. They also gave me a 0% SC for muscle tensions headaches. Looks like their biggest beef with my claim is that I did not use the term Prostrating Episode. I did however describe my 2-3 severe headaches a month that requited me to take Imitrex, NorCal, and lay down in a quiet dark room for 2-3 hours… was that not enough for a 30% rating here? Seems to me that I described a “prostrating episode”, but you tell me please. My headaches have increased in frequency to up to 5 a month – despite the occipital injections, and Botox shots (30+ per visit). Botox injections were so bad that I tensed up during the procedure and ended up with shooting neck pain. I quit the Botox after 2 tries. They weren’t very effective either. Other than sleeping them off in a quiet dark room for 2-3 hours, nothing helps much. In order to quell the neck pain, I have tried facet injections (helped some but lasted no more than a week) and on 30 June I had radio frequency nerve ablation in the C-spine. That hurt me so bad…. I had no idea how much pain I would be in as the nerves “died” until I read on why I was hurting so bad 2 weeks post procedure – turns out it’s real common. Pain went away after 7 whole weeks. See, though I have tried just about everything thrown I me. Now I am just tired of trying. BTW: I was rated at 20% for my neck issues… The crux of everything else I have, except Tinnitus. Something I have not, until now, wondered about is my sleep issues. I have been on sleeping meds for 5 years. Got off the Ambien to something less harsh. But I have trouble sleeping due to the pain I am in. Either falling asleep or staying asleep – or both. Is this something the VA would look at? All this had added up to me fearing for my job. I am a federal employee with 10 years in (post retirement from the USAF. I recently had to drop down 2 grades as previously a Contracting Officer (GS-1102) to something less in the critical thinking arena. Still, I have missed a ton of work over the past several years. I stayed up typing this as the sharp pain in my neck makes it impossible to sleep right now and I am on track to missing one more day of work. I fear I will lose my job due to absenteeism. The whole point of this post is my asking you all for “what you think” – I feel I may have left somethings on the table. It took me 5 years after I retired from the Air Force to file and that got me 80%. Another 5 has gone my and I feel much worse for the wear. I would appreciate to hear from you all. I have laid it all out there for you to see. My candor has never been an issue. Gratefully, Geo
  5. rootbeer22, your description of a tight chest is similar sounding to me - I call what I get "flaming butterflies" in my stomach. I do feel for you... I hate this process and it has kept me from addressing things much longer than it should have. I wish you well.
  6. A have an approved appointment (think Tricare) for Neuropsychological tests, a phone consult with my PCP to talk about my last MRI and am waiting for an appointment with my neurologist (he scheduled the Neuro Psyc tests but hasn’t seen me yet). I am making sure that I have followed the advice previously listed above.... Of course my doc(s) want to be quite certain before they make their decision on a diagnosis’s for me and I understand that. I'll look forward to the conversation on Wednesday as to what my doc has to say - even looking some of those terms up, I don't really understand them. I walk around daily in a near drunken stupor. Always a bit off balance, foggy headed and poor recent memory. Just imagine all the money I save on just being sober! I'd like to say I also avoid the hangovers, but I continue to get the most incredible sharp focused headaches several times a week and sometimes several times daily. It’s been quiet for me here, I keep posting info/my thoughts and am sure that when something interesting hits I’ll get some feedback.
  7. Thank you to all how have read on this and will comment on my words here. I am trying to connect my mild concussion in 2003 to my worsen memory speech and cognitive skills. Had my MRI this evening and the results have already been posted, so I shall copy them over for you to read and perhaps provide some needed translation, and other... I am sure my civilian doc will call be soo. He is a great guy. George. MRI BRAIN W/WO CONTRAST - DetailsAbout This Test Details Narrative EXAM: MRI BRAIN WITH WITHOUT CONTRAST CLINICAL INDICATION: Headache(784.0); Dizziness and giddiness; Memory loss; Other signs and symptoms involving cognition; Unspecified disturbance of conduct COMPARISON: None. PROCEDURE: The following pulse sequences of the brain were obtained: Sagittal T1, axial gradient echo, axial T2, axial T2/FLAIR, axial T1, axial fat-sat postcontrast T1, coronal fat sat post contrast T1, sagittal fat sat postcontrast T1 and axial diffusion-weighted imaging with ADC map. CONTRAST DOSAGE: 20 mL IV gadolinium (MultiHance). FINDINGS: The scalp soft tissues are unremarkable. The calvarium, skull base And visualized facial bones demonstrate normal signal intensity. No evidence of an extra-axial fluid collection or hemorrhage is seen. No evidence of a mass lesion, mass effect or midline shift is identified. The brain demonstrates normal volume. The ventricles demonstrate normal size and morphology; the basal cisterns are patent. The cerebellar tonsils terminate at or above the level of the foramen magnum. The proximal visualized cervical cord demonstrates normal homogeneous T2 signal. Nonspecific small punctate foci of increased T2/FLAIR signal are seen scattered within the bifrontoparietal cerebral white matter. The brain parenchyma is otherwise unremarkable in its signal intensity and morphology, without evidence of intracranial hemorrhage or acute infarction (abnormal diffusion restriction). The gray/white matter differentiation is normal. No abnormal enhancement is identified. The major intracranial vascular flow-voids are present and unremarkable. The ocular globes, orbits and retrobulbar structures are normal. The visualized paranasal sinuses and mastoid air cells are well pneumatized. Impression IMPRESSION: Specific multifocal small punctate foci of increased T2/FLAIR signal within the bifrontal parietal cerebral white matter. Differential diagnostic considerations include minimal microvascular ischemic disease, disease, hypertension, posttraumatic sequela, migraine headaches and vasculitis/inflammatory disease. Component Results There is no component information for this result. General Information Collected: 07/09/2015 6:48 PM Resulted: 07/09/2015 7:50 PM Ordered By: xxxxxxxxx, MD Result Status: Final result This test result has been released by an automatic process.
  8. Folks - I copied all this over to the TBI forum. Sorry, didn't mean to clutter it up here.
  9. Here is a copy I sent to my PC Doc. It took be quite some time to decide to write it. I constantly second guess myself. It's why I took nearly 4 years to file after I retired from the USAF. I feel that TBI may be responsible for how I am now. I rarely drink, then it's never more than 2 a day. I do not exceed my prescribed dosages on the RX and I don't do any other drugs or meds. I do however walk around like I am "buzzing" I am flighty and get rotten headaches. Anyway, I'll see what my daoc says next week. I am sure I'll end back up in some form of counseling too - did that previous for over 1 year. Dear Doctor Xxxxxx, 18 June 2015 Let me start out by saying that I am grateful that I am under your care and I have you as my primary physician, you have done much for me over the past years. I bet all your patients feel similarly. After noting some troubling events over the past several months I have been taking stock of myself and I have developed some concerns about my health. Last year I had emailed your staff and noted, among a few other things that I seemed to be slurring my words. Much to their credit, they wanted to see me ASAP as stroke seemed to be on their minds but as I explained, I had no other related issues and I just noted that my speech had deteriorated. I also trip over the floor or drag a foot. I complain that my legs like to try to drop out from under me when I walk – this has been on-going for some time and I have not yet actually fallen. I have become increasingly clumsy, bumping into walls and going around corners as if I am several inches displaced from where I think that I actually am. I am overly sensitive to noise for some time now and it can be at near normal conversation levels. At other times I really have to concentrate to understand words. I hate to be in crowds. I continue to have headaches, ringing in my ears and a dizzy/vertigo/off-center fuzzy feeling that I have trouble describing to people. I have occasionally done some impulsive things that could have been better thought out. I have become lethargic and a poor attention span, both at work and at home. I’ll have one of my kids walk over to speak to me and soon find myself drifting away from the conversation. This is very hurtful to both them and me. I no longer stay in touch with old friends as I see no sense in it. For some reason, I drop stuff too. Keys, phone, whatever, it just slips out of my hand. What has concerned me the most lately is that during conversations I find that I am often starring at the other party (and them at me) as I struggle to formulate the words to reply. I have in my head a gist of what I want to say, I “feel” it in me, but I struggle to get the words out. AND when I get them out, sometimes I slur my words. I can see it in people’s faces sometimes. The spur to action for me was 2 weekends ago when I said something to my son and he said “What?” I tried twice more before I got the otherwise simple words and message out. Then later to my wife I said something and immediately asked her “did you understand that” (Was I articulate)? It’s happening more often. I still get a numb feeling at the top rear/rear of my head. I have done some research from multiple sources and I can only surmise that when in 2003 (while active duty in the Air Force) I slammed my head against an object unwilling to move (a truck roof while climbing in), I not only hit hard enough to damage my C-spine, but I also hit my head hard enough to jar my brain subjecting myself to perhaps a TBI(?). I did not black out but I did “see stars”. I hope that I am not coming off as playing doctor, but after a great deal of thought and that self-inventory, I feel that perhaps this particular shoe fits me. I fear for my job as my performance has dipped at work and I fear for my family if I should continue to slide. I am a Contract Specialist and I deal with procurement law every day at work. It is a demanding job that I feel less and less suited for. It leaves me feeling anxious and I often feel my heart racing as I think all this over. I hate that it took me some many years to understand that something mechanically was wrong in my neck and now wonder if at that same time I caused myself even more harm. Sometimes I didn’t know enough to ask the right questions. In addition to my concern for the health of my brain, yes, I also feel depressed. No, I do not feel like harming myself or others. I can no longer feel comfortable thinking that “I’m just getting older.” I currently am scheduled to see you on XX July at X:00 for a routine follow-up. Should you feel that you would want to see me sooner, I will try to accommodate that too. Thank you for your time and consideration.
  10. I am going to quote my original post & replies from the "Intro" forum as it now fit better in here: 1. (My post) Hi all - it's been several years since I last posted. I checked every once in a while but felt that I would step away for a bit as reading about some of the stuff that the VA pulled on others resonated heavily with me - I got upset. So, I have helped 2 others get started with their claims that were stalled. One happened fairly fast and came with a pretty good lump sum - and she bought a new Jeep.... the other is still in the waiting for a C n P exam game line, he said if it went well, then the cheeseburgers were on him! That's why I do this! :) Anyway and on a personal note, I am trying to get my stuff squared away for a TBI claim. First, please understand that towards the end of my last round I was a hot mess. I was so put off with the give-a-krap my first claim was given and all that I had to do to have them reconsider, mostly to my satisfaction, that I have put this off. I am at 80%. It's not like I am trying to now swing for the fence, but I fear for my ability to continue to support my family. My first claim was based upon a very hard blow to the right side of my head in 2003, while in uniform and at work on base. I slammed my head on an object unwilling to move. It whipped my head all the way over to the left side as my body was moving to the right, but my head stopped. I saw stars. Sucked it up after a rest (I was a MSgt and working with a younger crew - if I wanted to wait, no one was complaining and they all saw the hit I took) and got back to work. Anyway I retired 18 months later from an overseas base. a few years after that I was still eating aspirin etc like it was free candy and puzzled about my severe headaches I nearly always seemed to have. Eventually was rated for DDD in my neck, radiating pain, tinnitus and some social adjustment issues. Seems to me now, that with my more pronounced mumble mouth, my dragging a leg, unsteady walk, vertigo and walking into corners with a deteriorating memory, continued depression and a few other "issues" that I may have not just hit my head so hard that I crunched my neck up, but I may have also bounced my brain against the inside of my skull. I have asked to meet my doc and discuss the possibility of a TBI from that event. I actually have to often times work to say my thoughts although I know them inside of me.... I work in a high stress job as a contract specialist in federal procurement law and this fog I have is killing my productivity. I hope that it is still reasonable to file for this. I got the idea during my research that it is sometimes overlooked and in 2003 it wasn't nearly as brought up with todays IEDs going off. Please feel free to comment on this - with thoughts, etc. This weekend I will sit down and write a better post in the TBI area. This has been very upsetting to me as I feel myself becoming less than what I was - and it has been the recent speech issues both articulation and execution that have made me decide to do something again. I just had no idea 5 years ago that a TBI might-should also be considered.... thanks all. 2. Berta's Reply You will need proof that this event happened in service. If you received no treatment for it, then you will need Buddy Statements verifying that you hit your head. "Seems to me now, that with my more pronounced mumble mouth, my dragging a leg, unsteady walk, vertigo and walking into corners with a deteriorating memory, continued depression and a few other "issues" that I may have not just hit my head so hard that I crunched my neck up, but I may have also bounced my brain against the inside of my skull." You have symptoms however that could be attributed to other causes , as well as to TBI. Maybe even due to the DDD if that is getting worse,or causing more secondaries. What has your doctor said about those symptoms? Do you have HBP or cholesterol problems?. Any hearing loss problems? I am sure no doc but I hope you have relayed all of those symptoms to your PCP and ,you are right in thinking you might have a TBI. VA rates TBI on residuals. What has VA attributed these symptoms too? 3. broncovet's reply Berta is right on again, and I can only add my 2 pennies. You need to first, focus on Service connection for TBI. It sounds like the blow to your head was documented in your SMR. This is good, but make sure it IS documented. Now, you need 2 more things for TBI service connection: 1. Current diagnosis of TBI 2. Nexus linking your in service head blow to current diagnosis of TBI. Order your cfile if you have not already, and see if these 3 things are already documented. If not, you will need said documentation, which COULD happen at C and P exam, but may not. You could go to your VA doc and ask him if he thinks you have TBI from your head blow in service, and, if he agrees, could he document the same. Sometimes simply asking nicely works well. If he balks, then you have to try other stuff, such as an IMO/IME. 4. Geo4K, on 21 Jun 2015 - 9:46 PM, said: Thank you for your replies. The blow to the head is documented in my file - it was there for my current compensation for the DDD and acknowledge at that point, so I hope that is helpful. Hi Berta - I do have some hearing loss - associated with or consistent with tinnitus my exam said. My HBP is controlled with Hydrochlorothiazide and Losartan and my cholesterol levels makes my doc happy with that and nearly all my chemistries, except I have noticed my bilirubin seems to me creeping up. It's just that now, some 5 or so years later, I have noticed a discernible difference in how I am. I have either become worse in my VA acknowledge claimed "areas" - the DDD, or I missed the fact, those years ago that I hurt myself in ways I hadn't imagined. The stress that I am in now is difficult to bear. I do not like dealing with the VA like this and I has lost a great deal of myself at work, in the sense that I am less productive than I have been in the past. I have trouble staying on task and focused. Looking for reasons - when I have the motivation - the TBI is a likely consideration. Either that or like I said above, I have simply gotten worse. I had a miserable weekend until neck pain caused me to take a prescribed Hydrocodone and that took the edge off the pain and of course mellowed me out. My wife has encouraged me to seek 100% disability and some form of social security - if that is a thing, and wants to get the stress out of my life. She's trying to look after me, I just don't know how much that would come close to what I am making right now as a federal employee. She knows that I have trouble staying focused at work and being on task for 8 hours of work. You really need to keep your wits about you in acquisitions/contracting. Is there any chance that a mod could move this to the more appropriate TBI forum? I do not mind you questions or suggestions. I meet with my doc next week to discuss the letter I sent him. It pretty much laid out what I am going through these days. I apologise that this post bounces around like this, but it's kind of how I think these days. (There - all caught up now) sorry if it's messy.
  11. Thank you for your replies. The blow to the head is documented in my file - it was there for my current compensation for the DDD and acknowledge at that point, so I hope that is helpful. Hi Berta - I do have some hearing loss - associated with or consistent with tinnitus my exam said. My HBP is controlled with Hydrochlorothiazide and Losartan and my cholesterol levels makes my doc happy with that and nearly all my chemistries, except I have noticed my bilirubin seems to me creeping up. It's just that now, some 5 or so years later, I have noticed a discernible difference in how I am. I have either become worse in my VA acknowledge claimed "areas" - the DDD, or I missed the fact, those years ago that I hurt myself in ways I hadn't imagined. The stress that I am in now is difficult to bear. I do not like dealing with the VA like this and I has lost a great deal of myself at work, in the sense that I am less productive than I have been in the past. I have trouble staying on task and focused. Looking for reasons - when I have the motivation - the TBI is a likely consideration. Either that or like I said above, I have simply gotten worse. I had a miserable weekend until neck pain caused me to take a prescribed Hydrocodone and that took the edge off the pain and of course mellowed me out. My wife has encouraged me to seek 100% disability and some form of social security - if that is a thing, and wants to get the stress out of my life. She's trying to look after me, I just don't know how much that would come close to what I am making right now as a federal employee. She knows that I have trouble staying focused at work and being on task for 8 hours of work. You really need to keep your wits about you in acquisitions/contracting. Is there any chance that a mod could move this to the more appropriate TBI forum? I do not mind you questions or suggestions. I meet with my doc next week to discuss the letter I sent him. It pretty much laid out what I am going through these days. I apologise that this post bounces around like this, but it's kind of how I think these days.
  12. Hi all - it's been several years since I last posted. I checked every once in a while but felt that I would step away for a bit as reading about some of the stuff that the VA pulled on others resonated heavily with me - I got upset. So, I have helped 2 others get started with their claims that were stalled. One happened fairly fast and came with a pretty good lump sum - and she bought a new Jeep.... the other is still in the waiting for a C n P exam game line, he said if it went well, then the cheeseburgers were on him! That's why I do this! :) Anyway and on a personal note, I am trying to get my stuff squared away for a TBI claim. First, please understand that towards the end of my last round I was a hot mess. I was so put off with the give-a-krap my first claim was given and all that I had to do to have them reconsider, mostly to my satisfaction, that I have put this off. I am at 80%. It's not like I am trying to now swing for the fence, but I fear for my ability to continue to support my family. My first claim was based upon a very hard blow to the right side of my head in 2003, while in uniform and at work on base. I slammed my head on an object unwilling to move. It whipped my head all the way over to the left side as my body was moving to the right, but my head stopped. I saw stars. Sucked it up after a rest (I was a MSgt and working with a younger crew - if I wanted to wait, no one was complaining and they all saw the hit I took) and got back to work. Anyway I retired 18 months later from an overseas base. a few years after that I was still eating aspirin etc like it was free candy and puzzled about my severe headaches I nearly always seemed to have. Eventually was rated for DDD in my neck, radiating pain, tinnitus and some social adjustment issues. Seems to me now, that with my more pronounced mumble mouth, my dragging a leg, unsteady walk, vertigo and walking into corners with a deteriorating memory, continued depression and a few other "issues" that I may have not just hit my head so hard that I crunched my neck up, but I may have also bounced my brain against the inside of my skull. I have asked to meet my doc and discuss the possibility of a TBI from that event. I actually have to often times work to say my thoughts although I know them inside of me.... I work in a high stress job as a contract specialist in federal procurement law and this fog I have is killing my productivity. I hope that it is still reasonable to file for this. I got the idea during my research that it is sometimes overlooked and in 2003 it wasn't nearly as brought up with todays IEDs going off. Please feel free to comment on this - with thoughts, etc. This weekend I will sit down and write a better post in the TBI area. This has been very upsetting to me as I feel myself becoming less than what I was - and it has been the recent speech issues both articulation and execution that have made me decide to do something again. I just had no idea 5 years ago that a TBI might-should also be considered.... thanks all.
  13. Here - I haven't been on for some time... got a message today from another member with a question and it woke me up. I'll try to hang around more and help any that I can. Best Wishes to all for this new year.
  14. Hmmm, I just read my post - wow, sorry about the mess... but man, Ambien kicks like a horse. Normally I take it as I walk to the bedroom - it's safer that way. Anyways, thank you all for your well wishes and for not saying anything for how that post read! Best Wishes, George
  15. So, here it is: After 23 months, several claims/reconsiderations and you gotta be FN kidding me letters, the VA came through for me with a 80% service connected disability rating. Bastards - I never asked for anything that I thought I didn't deserve and was a valid claim. And, it took me over 4 years to file and figure out that I needed to file My wife came to me in the garage - I was installing a window regulator in her van - I was stressing becasue the part took 10 days to get to me and I might have forgotten to put it back together ! She left and tore the big white envelope open, Heart pounding away, hands greasy and shaking I start to read - but without my glasses..... stress, I see something about a 50%, a 0 to 10 and a 10 to a 20. i JUST WANT TO GET TO THE ON IN THE LETTER WHERE IT SAYS WHAT THE OVERALL RATTING IS! IT SAID 80%. i just stood there, did a little more work and took a deep breath and found her. Look dear, we car live pay off our bills now. I need to make a plan for this. I looked at the one SC rated at 0% for migrains and dizzy spells and may let it slide... They acknowledge it and I think thay it would be hard to move past 80% I am pleased. I do l need to add Michelle as a full time college student at UNM shr is worth another $192 a month,this could push my pay to $2K monthly. It was a lot of work ad many dleeplessness nights. and the Packers are undefeated --- Its all well my friends,1 I could have posted more hehlfo infom but i not at my best right now When I come back in here, I'll be relaxed ad ready to help all,. Great folks in here helpef me go from less that 50 all the way to 80 - I never exoected this big reward I'll try not to post after U take my ambien,,,, but I was so happy and wanted to share - please excuse me. Not to be a chump, I'll pay the dues and join the DAV as a lifetime member now - I can afford it. I am free
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