Jcastle replied to Jcastle's question in Appealing Your Veterans Compensation Disability Claims NOD, DRO, BVA, USCAVCThank you all for replying to my post. Much has happened since last I wrote last. My claim is nearing the one-year mark. My claim has been assigned to the Phoenix VARO , and given to the VARO manager. I guess I should clear up a couple questions that most of you have asked, the main one being around my 1151 claim. I have about 20 different disabilities; some of them stem from my service in the Marine Corps,others stem from VA doctors screwing up. My Marine Corps claim, stems from when I went to the doctor, I told him That I thought I had cancer, I told him that I thought I had M.E.N.-1, I asked him to test me, so he drew blood, I returned a week later, and he told me I did not have cancer or M.E.N.-1. He was wrong. Six years later, I went to the doctor with strange, painful symptoms. and what do you know, it was M.E.N.1, and cancer!!! The very thing I had asked the doctor to test me for. Due to this, I filed a claim with the VA for malpractice and negligence. Based upon the malpractice and negligence of a Navy doctor, I asked to be tested for cancer and was not. Because of his lack of skill as a doctor, I now suffer from cancer. Once I was discharged from the Marine Corps, I became a firefighter. I was eventually diagnosed with cancer. As a result, I had surgery to remove it. During the surgery to remove it, the doctor accidentally removed too much stuff. There are four glands in your neck. They are called the parathyroid glands. The doctor intended to remove Some of these glands. He accidentally removed all of them. He removed a lot of tissue at the time, and in some of the extra tissue was one of my glands... oops!!! As a result, I have filed an 1151 claim for having all of the glands removed. Unfortunately it is very difficult to live your life without all four of those glands. It makes life very difficult. so, I have,claims from a disability incurred when I was caught in an explosion while in the Marine Corps, the initial reason for my USMC medical discharge; A claim for negligence resulting from the doctor not testing me for cancer properly; and and 1151 claim from the VA doctor screwing up during my surgery. At all of these together, and I have maybe five years left to live, and it is all their fault. If the diagnosis would have been made timely, I would be fine be looking at a lifetime of pleasure and happiness until age 90. At this point,10 years would be a miracle... all because a Navy doctor was too lazy to study, and do the proper tests. I am hopeful that my claim will be evaluated at a 100% disability rating I just wish I had more time. Thank you all for your time and consideration, I will let you know as soon as I hear. It can't be much longer! sincerely James. This post has been made, using Dragon NaturallySpeaking. My arthritis from my cancer has made it very difficult to type. Dragon NaturallySpeaking is fantastic! I recommend it to all of you. I was able to post this in 10 minutes, versus two hours of typing. Semper Fi.
Jcastle replied to Jcastle's question in Appealing Your Veterans Compensation Disability Claims NOD, DRO, BVA, USCAVCThank you all for the advice and your experienced input. The name of the disease is "Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia type-1" or M.E.N.-1 for short, there are three types, I have type-1. It usually begins in the early 20's and presents in 90% of patients as parathyroid tumors, which is what mine started with, which caused the joint pain and subsequent joint damage. After seeking multiple sources of advice, most notably a VA legal representative at my local VA hospital, not a service rep, but an actual VA Legal rep, I have decided to do the following, and I actually am confident that I will eventually win; Feres doctrine does not apply by the way, because it is not a tort claim, it is a VA claim. I have claimed 1151, malpractice, Neglence, and most importantly, the Military doctor did not meet the 'Minimum Standard Of Care'. I found the actual page of my med rec's from the USMC that has the doctor's 1993 notes on it. It has M.E.N.-1 as the 'provisional diagnosis' on the paper, then... no diagnostic tests being ordered in order to properly diagnose it. I wrote a chronological narrative establishing a time-line of my request to the doctor for diagnosis and treatment for M.E.N.-1 to my discharge without proper testing or diagnosis. I Included two separate letters from two well known doctors in the research side of the field of endocrinology, both experts on M.E.N.-1. The letters each state that the Dr. did not meet the minimum standard of care which was expected at that time for M.E.N.-1. They listed all of the required tests required of a Dr. if a patient is suspected of having M.E.N.-1. Both doctors state in their letters that is is likely that if tests would have been run, tumors would have been found based on the size and growth-rate of that cancer type. I Quoted VA regs that state that any evidence that is 50-50 is to be found in the Veterans favor. I pointed out that the 1151 claim is indisputable, and that not only did the Dr. not meet the Minimum standard of care, it is likely that I had evidence of disease based upon the objective evidence found in 2000 when the tumors were removed, and that the known growth-rate of the cancer coupled with the tumor size proves the 50-50 possibility of the existence of disease at the time and that the 50-50 falls in my favor. Finally, I summed up my argument siting examples of cases where doctors failed to diagnose other endocrine diseases such as diabetes due to insufficient diagnostic testing in which the VA found in the Veterans favor, easily and without much debate at all, due to it's simple black and white nature. So, with Gods grace and some luck and a hell of a lot of time, I think that there is a pretty good chance of winning. It took me a long time, and a lot of thinking to come up with this strategy. All of your advice factored into my decision in how to tackle this, so thank you all and Semper-FI!!! I will update you most likely in about 12 months when I receive my letter... and hopefully my 100% rating! Thanks again brothers in arms, James C.
In '93 I was a Marine at Camp Pendleton. I recieved a letter from my paternal uncle. He also was a former marine being treated by the VA. The letter stated that he had been diagnosed with a genetic disorder which causes cancer of the endocrine system. If one had the disease, cancer was guaranteed. The chances of having the gene on my fathers side of the family is 50%. The letter stated that all members of my family needed to go to the Dr. to be screened for the disease. I took the leter to the clinic and discussed it with the Dr. He took blood and asked me to return in a week. I did, and the Dr. told me that I was not a carrier of the disease. I was involved in a training explosion in which I recieved numerous injuries, resulting in a medical discharge which I am now 40% disabled. After discharge, in '94 I eventually became a fireman. In 1999, I began having serious joint issues. I went to at least 5 different specialists. Nonee of which could find the cause. The pain became severe, eventually preventing me from doing the thing that I loved most, fighting fire. I finally went to the VA, they ran all kinds of expensive tests that the other Dr's were not financially willing to run. Of course, I had the rare genetic disease that causes cancer, and had thyroid cancer to boot. I was shocked to say the least! I requested my military med rec's. They showed that the Dr. only sent my blood to the lab asking for routine blood results, and a thyroid level test! There were at least 5 different tests that needed to be done to rule out the disease. One of which was a test for thyroid cancer. The cancer coupled with the major permanent and untreatable joint damage has left me permanently cripled, and the thyroid cancer destroyed my parathyroid glands. The parathyroid glands and thyroid were all totally removed. Living without a thyroid is inconvient, Living without parathyroid glands is cripling and can be fatal. I have to take huge amounts of oral medication every 12 hours, or I die within 12 hours of missing the meds. Needless to say, I had to give up firefighting, and am unable to work. I applied to the VA for a service connected rating, my doctors stated that by the size, growth rate and damage taht had taken place, I absolutely had cancer in '93, If they would have just looked for it, it would have been easy to find, and I would not have lost my parathyroid glands, or suffered joint damage. The VA denied the claim stating their stance on genetic predispositions, and that without symptoms, or evedence of illness, the genetic disorder itself is not enough to base a claim on. I responded and stated that the reason that the evedence was missing was because of a misdiagnosis by the USMC (ok, Navy) Dr.and I included the letters from my VA doctors stating that the cancer was present in 93. The VAcontinued to deny the claim. I have 5 kids at home and am living barely able to get by. I need to know what I should do. I am sure that if a smart lawyer were able to argue in front of a medically inteligent panel, I would win. Any advice is welcome. I am hospitalized for weeks at a time every 3 months or so and in between times I am stuck in my easy chair on enough morphene to kill a small country. I wish I could sue for malpractice, or have my discharge changed into a retirement. At the least, 100% unemployable! As it sits, I am raising a family of 7 with SSD and 40%.