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Found 8 results

  1. I'm sorry, but I'm having trouble figuring out how to word my question. Basically, I take meds for depression that have been effective. Are disability rating based on being on meds or not being on meds?
  2. I have service connected Chloracne, Diabetes II, and heart disease. In Dec, 2019 I was prescribed by the VA to take 25 mg per day of the relatively new drug Jardiance. My cardiologist said that it would help with my Diabetes as well as the heart disease. I then started complaining of huge boils coming up in my right and then left inner groin. After many dermatology and emergency room visits, no diagnosis or treatment, other than a look see and another bottle of antibiotics.antibiotics. On July 1, 2020, things got a lot worse, so another trip to the ER and another bottle of ills. The pain was so great that I took some very strong opioids and slept away a day and a half. On July 3rd I once again returned to the ER. I have no memory of opening the ER door or seeing anyone. I woke up weeks later in the VA SCIU with really bad pain. I didn't know why I was there or what had happened to me. I deduced that I must have been involved in a really awful car crash, perhaps someone was killed! Was it my wife, or maybe my grandchildren! With the covid 19 restrictions in place, no visitors. I asked everyone attending me but I got no answers. Some time weeks later my cardiologist appeared at my bedside and told me that I had to have emergency surgery for Fournier's Gangrene, a flesh eating bacteria that was caused by a perfect storm, created by the Cloracne, the Diabetes, and the medication, Jordiance. I had lost my private parts, including from three inches above my navel in the front to include my anus in the back. I have huge skin graft sites in my upper legs. the grafts were used to reconstruct from my buttocks to my navel and everything in between. I was given a 4.74% chance to survive the operation. At this time ,I am close to two months out, where I was given a 17.11 % chance of survival of 180 days. There were only 19 cases of Fourniers Gangrene in 35 years, that is until they started prescribing Jardiance, now the FDA has identified 55 new cases. The drug goes by several names such as Jordiance, Emphgliflozin, Canagliflozin, and Dapagliflozin, Dapagliflozin is better better known as Farxiga. For a more complete story on my experience with the drug listen to the September 17th podcast in Exposed Vets. There will probably be a follow up broadcast later on this year, If I can survive the 180 day period, which is up December 3rd. And yes, I am making plans for the future. All I can say at this point is, If you have heart disease and/or diabetes check your medications! especially if you also have chloracne or another skin disease. Inform family and friends. The next time a tv commercial on such drugs Jordiance comes on, listen to the known side effects that are also listed. Merry Christmas, and Happy new year!
  3. So. I don’t know exactly where to start but here it goes. I’m 100% permanent. I have bulging discs, annular fissures, disc disease from my C-T spine. I have patellar femoral in both my knees as well as torn patellar, I’ve had two shoulder repairs and anchors in both and they are about to go back in on my right shoulder as the repair wasn’t done correctly. I’ve been in PT on and off for nearly 6 years. As well as injections in my knees and shoulders. They tell me I need knee replacements but won’t as I’m in my 30’s. I have been on pain medication 5/325 oxycodone since 2016. I cannot sleep at night because I’m in so much pain. I’ve invested in a therapeutic mattress ($3600) and still have difficulty getting to sleep and waking up multiple times at night. I’m just always in pain. And I can’t get comfortable. The medication I’m on has been getting me sick. They have me taking 3 of them at night as over the years it’s stopped working as well. Even though it helps me with pain and getting to sleep, It destroys my stomach. I waited nearly 2 months for a consultation with pain management because I wanted the medication adjusted to a higher dose with lower quantity as my new pcp won’t adjust it and says I need to go through pain management. The pain management doctor instead told me the reason for my pain is the pain medication and he wants to put me on gabapentin as well as a sleep medication. I’ve been down this road before with sleep medication. They’ve prescribed me antidepressants to help with sleep(wtf?) and I had issues with low libido and became emotionally unstable. Or the medication would cause me to be groggy the following day. I explained this to the doctor but he basically said that it wasn’t possible. Ultimately I don’t want to be on any medication. I don’t want to be an experiment either for them to keep tossing meds at me and do the “let’s see if this works”. I am averaging 3-4 hours a night of sleep and I work 12 hour days. I really just wanted some help and I can’t function exhausted. It’s causing issues with work as I’m calling out or I’m just a d-head because I’m tired. I don’t understand why they would rather me take so many of these pills at once when it’s getting me sick and not helping me. does anyone have any suggestions on what I can do? Or a different medication I can try to help me sleep at night without the side effects? I am considering getting private care at this point.
  4. So I pretty much have my statements together. I feel pretty confident especially since I do have a CAB. However, I am already diagnosed with Chronic PTSD by my psychiatrist who works for the VA. I am also being treated by him with medication. And it helps me out alot. Will the doctor who I see during the examination judge me off of how he see's me in my current condition and say I am fine even though I am medication to help with PTSD? I typed up a very lengthy paragraph in the remarks section of the 21-0781 and stated two incidents like directed. Surely they wouldnt judge on my current well being because I am being treated. Also it has been 1 year and 3 months since I got out, and I have been on medication for about 2 and a half months. Also, one of my parents committed suicide a day after I got back from deployment. I was on the fence about bringing this up, but I would be lying through my teeth if I brought up all the things that happened since I was 19 and didnt bring this up. Will this hurt my case in any way?
  5. Am I the ONLY ONE OUTRAGED by this prejudiced, stigmatizing, doubled standard *%#! calling VETERANS drug addicts!! That is exactly what is happening here! Oh, Holy Mother of God! How are you all not speaking out about this injustice? We have bore the Injuries on the Battlefields resulting in lifetime injuries of pain and suffering to our Knees, from jumping out of planes, boats, trucks, helicopters; to our Necks and Spines from carrying the loads not meant for the human body; suffered the TBIs -with constant migraines....these are but a few that are DENIED their CHRONIC PAIN MEDS by the very Doctors in Chronic Pain Clinics by Anesthesiologists that receive their training from the Prestigious State of Art Pioneering STANFORD UNIVERSITY in CALIFORNIA who just released "National Pain Study" in clinicalpainadvisor.com, dated 5/27/16 - Where Sean Mackey, MD, PhD, Stanford Pain Management Center at Stanford University evaluated 5,300 Chronic Low Back individuals, "Do opioids make a difference to patients with Chronic Pain? The Answer was, YES!" When I presented this STUDY TO MY GMC. - She threw Secretary McDonald's Letter at me, dated 8/1/16 (yet C-SPAN didn't air until 8/12/16) and said, we are VA- not Stanford. Although, Stanford Residents and Surgeons, fill VA Hospitals to gain their experience, practicing on Veterans before they leave to get "real jobs." I have been a Successful, Functional, less Painful with my Significant Back Injury w Sciatica for over 10 years and now being told there will be no Opiates for Vets. I say to Secretary McDonald, it seems YOU want all Disabled Veterans to go to the Streets to find alternative pain medication. That seems to be CONGRESSES ANSWER TO VETERANS SINCE AGENT ORANGE and the Viet Nam War-altho it still has never been declared a WAR!! We need to Stop this AND STAND UNITED! Disabled Veterans are NOT Drug Addicts, we have fought the fight once, we should not have to endure another battlefield for the respect we have already earned. God Bless America! God Bless our Veterans still Fighting the Good Fight
  6. Got a new primary care doctor who is very condescending and refuses to listen to me about how my care is fine. Been at this VA for 13 years with same Primary care doctor and we had everything dialed in on my Medications and Narcotics for pain. Took one look at my prescriptions and already wanted to change my narcotics the first day. I told her they are fine, just as they have been for the last three years. I just saw my old Primary doctor a month ago for my year narcotics review and everything is on point. She immediately started spouting your taking to much, I'm not ( It was just reduced last year by 10mg a year ago against my adamant objection.) So, she ordered the usual blood and urine song and dance and I went an did it after my appointment at 4 pm in the afternoon. A week later I get a call that I need to go see the pain management clinic. I'm thinking why? I saw them a couple years ago and the current med plan is the one we came up with after months of trying all kinds of choices that would null my pain but still allow some daily activity. It was locked in, they were happy, I was sorta happy, and my primary then was happy that we found a good balance while not perfect was acceptable. Come to find out today, I stopped by after a phone call from my new Primary doctor's nurse to talk to them about my blood and urine test. I figure they found my levels were low or something stupid. NOPE. They found a trace amount of ethanol in my system and thats why I need to go to Pain Management to get off narcotics and start all over. I'm thinking, WTF? I didn't drink that day. I don't ever drink alcohol, don't even have any at my house? So instead of asking me why there was alcohol in my system. They berated me about you can't any alcohol at all why taking narcotics. EVER! NONE! I'm a damned adult! I think I can do as I please if it's not affecting me or my medication consumption. NO, you had alcohol in your system and that is alcohol and narcotics abuse. They both continued to verbally chastise me and tell me if I don't go to the pain management they were going to cancel all my narcotics. Went to patient advocate to tell him this isn't right to treat me like an idiot and hold hostage my pain as a means to wield their power to control how I live my life. He didn't seem to care, only stating that they are right, you can't have any alcohol ever. I also wanted to complain about my new Primary and her bitchy nurse an that they are unacceptable to be my Primary Care Doctor and I want to be assigned to someone else who has been here several years and not some doctor from Russia who got her medical degree from a box of cereal and Online college. Apparently you can only make a request to get a new Primary Doctor if the reason is good enough which is judged by some magical person he wouldn't tell me who gets to make this decision. They would let me know in 30 days. I know the doctor I would like. I had him several times when my Old Primary was out of office and when she needed a second opinion she would bring him in. But that is also against the rules. You cannot pick or choose any doctor you would like because you don't like your current doctor. WTF? So I might have to stay with this horrible doctor? Even though she has a god complex, likes jacking up years of work getting my meds correct, doesn't care what my old doctor has to say nor does she want to talk to her or review her old notes. SO, how can I dump this doctor? Keep My meds the same? Make the Patient Advocate get my doctor changed, an remove their ability to affect my medical records or my life until I get a doctor with common sense? Or pick the doctor I really want and trust?
  7. In a recent post about my upcoming DRO Review Asknod and I talked about whether or not medication and its making you better affects your rating, i.e. if im better with medication will the va reduce me or if i file a claim will i get a lower percentage? The answer it seems (and chime in if there is a case, recent ruling or CFR change we are unaware of) is that...It depends. Jones V. Shinseki (Click to read case) states that... "Thus, to the extent that the Court did not explicitly hold in Otero-Castro that the Board may not deny entitlement to a higher rating on the basis of relief provided by medication when those effects are not specifically contemplated by the rating criteria, it does so today. This ensures that all similarly structured DCs are interpreted and operate in the same manner so that diagnostic criteria are applied consistently. Therefore, as DC 7319 is silent as to the effects of medication, the Board erred in denying entitlement to a higher disability rating based on the relief provided by the appellant’s anti-acid (sic) medication." In laymens terms, if you DC (Diagnostic Code that your claim is evaluated under, example "headaches" can be under 8100 which is "migraines) does not specifically state anything regarding medication and how it makes you better or more able to function, etc. then it CANNOT BE CONSIDERED when rating you. Examples: 1) If you have migraines, but the docs give you a medication that helps make them better, more easier to deal with you CANNOT be rated lower based on how you feel now, but on how the illness affected you prior to going on the medications. 2) For Flatfoot (DC 5276) you can see below in the table they specifically mention if not improved by orthopedic shoes (a treatment) and you have the other symptoms mentioned you are due a 50% rating, however if your condition is better using the orthopedics, depending on your unique issues, you will not be due to the 50% rating. 5276 Flatfoot, acquired: Pronounced; marked pronation, extreme tenderness of plantar surfaces of the feet, marked inward displacement and severe spasm of the tendo achillis on manipulation, not improved by orthopedic shoes or appliances Bilateral50Unilateral30Severe; objective evidence of marked deformity (pronation, abduction, etc.), pain on manipulation and use accentuated, indication of swelling on use, characteristic callosities: Bilateral30Unilateral20Moderate; weight-bearing line over or medial to great toe, inward bowing of the tendo achillis, pain on manipulation and use of the feet, bilateral or unilateral10Mild; symptoms relieved by built-up shoe or arch support 3) In the Case of Hyperparathyroidism you will see specifically the words medication mentioned. So lets say you have this condition.... You take medication and you no longer have GI symptoms or weakness, but require and will continue to require medication, you are due 10% You take medication but you still have GI symptoms and weakness, you are due 60% You cannot take medication for one reason or another due to allergy, conflicting with other medications, etc. and you have GI symptoms and weakness you are due 60%. The VA can deny you 60% if you had the symptoms before but the medication eliminates it. there are of course numerous unique factors that could play your case differently. 7904 Hyperparathyroidism Generalized decalcification of bones, kidney stones, gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, anorexia, constipation, weight loss, or peptic ulcer), and weakness100Gastrointestinal symptoms and weakness60Continuous medication required for control10Note: Following surgery or treatment, evaluate as digestive, skeletal, renal, or cardiovascular residuals or as endocrine dysfunction. If you have been denied claims because the VA states that your medication has "ameliorated" the symptoms of your illness (VA speak for you dun got better) and you look in the 38 CFR and see NO mention of medications or treatments in the DC you were rated under you have a case to have that appealed and reverse (in my opinion, contact a lawyer for a true legal opinion). I wanted to put this out there for folks who are going to be submitting claims, initial or increase and have this concern or have had claims denied in the past because the VA said their medications made them better. Research your specific issue, first look and see what DC they rated you under and check that in the 38 cfr and make sure they didnt sell you on bad info. also read ASKNOD\'s article on this case specifically.
  8. I'm a journalist doing investigative reporting for Huffington Post and a book on issues related to mental health care. Because I'm still querying VA spokesmen and insiders, I'm not posting my full name and publication here, but I'll forward all my contact details and information and publications to anyone interested in speaking to me on or off the record. I'm looking into needless, preventable deaths or other major harm caused by overmedication due to psychotropic drugs, especially Seroquel. I'm also interested after the VA Phoenix scandal, how long waits are now for mental health therapy services, and is over-medication still widely practiced? I'm looking for recent examples of harm caused by these practices. Thanks, Art I hope the forum responders or administrator will let me know how I can directly communicate and respond to those interested in speaking to me. Sincerely,Art
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