I have the site on my favorites for daily visits, but I never realized that there was a forum. I have corrected that little deficiency now.
I am a DS/DS vet and was awarded 40% when I separated 13 years ago. The guy in Atlanta missed about 1/2 of the things I had, but I had a job lined up that paid well, and did not want to miss any days. While on medical hold in Germany, I had gotten into computers, and got out during the heyday, so I more than doubled my income within 2 months, and then it kept going up...well, for awhile anyway.
I found out last summer that I am a Priority 2, had vocational benefits that are no longer valid, etc. The local state Veteran Services agency set me up and resubmitted me for a C&P. I go to Tuskegee based upon past experience with Atlanta, and the fact that I do not drive into Atlanta, or any place crowded like that.
So, here is my experience from last week's C&P.
I want to start by saying that I have never been so personally offended by any medical "professional" in my life, as I was, at this appointment. I checked in at 12:38. My appointment was at 13:00. There were no other folks in the waiting room. I was summoned at 13:28.
Upon entering this individual's office, I was informed, "as soon as you walked through that door, you are suing the US Government." And, "I am basically a medical investigator, who will gather facts to submit for consideration of compensation." She had a degree from Harvard, prominently displayed on her wall. I will refer to her as Beth. Beth has a Master's from Harvard in Rehabilitative Medicine, according to the degree on the wall, but I cannot find anything about that specialty on Harvard's website.
I had to provide specific dates of events and other such information that I do not have. She did not have my medical records to reference that ALL of these issues occurred following my exposure to chemical nerve agents in Iraq and the experimental pills we had to take to protect us against the effects of such exposure. She informed me that she was reporting that I have undiagnosed problems, which occurred at unspecified times. All the information is in my medical records, but since she didn't see them, they do not exist. She also informed me, upon examination that I don't have these problems, after she had previously informed me that she is not an orthopaedic specialist so could not tell me about my joints, and the grinding in my knee. Oh yeah, when I moved my knee, and it made its loud grinding noises, she asked me to stop because it was a horrible sound. Nope, nothing wrong here.
I am also supposed to have my hearing loss (they issued me hearing aids) considered, as well as the ringing in my ear (both of which was missing from my first exam - although it was in my medical records). She told me to talk to Audiology, who told me prior to this that it is C & P that determines compensation, which is logical. Now I have to get that figured out. And they wonder why veterans go off on folks.
So after 2.5 hours of being talked down to, I had to go get additional x-rays made before I could leave. That went well, as the radiology staff was as courteous, efficient and friendly as always. They had a radiology student there and she was just so damn cute, with that sweet southern accent, and just all-around adorable. I wanted to take her home.
There was more said in the C & P, but I have taken notes, because I am sure an appeal will be in order. My first C & P, when I first got out, was nothing like that. This was an absolutely horrible experience. A non-doctor making medical determinations, in spite of military and VA doctor's opinions, backed by the National Institute of Health and other medical findings, related to Gulf War vets exposed to the demolition and release of nerve agents near our AO in Iraq, plus pills and other environmental factors.
I did have a talk with Audiology 3 weeks ago about my hearing loss. As I said, I have hearing aids and also ringing in my ears, constantly. I was informed that it was normal, and the VA does not look at anything but the 1,000, 2,000 & 3,000 ranges for hearing loss. I have moderate-severe in my left ear of the 4,000 and 5,000 ranges. Does anyone have experience with this? Also, since I requested hearing as part of C&P and it was not done, what is my next step?
Thanks for all the information from folks with much more experience on these matters, than I.