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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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Are You Taking Chantix ?

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WASHINGTON - An anti-smoking drug sold by Pfizer Inc will carry more prominent warnings that patients be monitored for unusual activity including agitation, depression and suicidal behavior, the company said on Friday.

The world's largest drugmaker said it worked with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to update an earlier label change enacted last year for its drug Chantix.

The new label offers a similar recommendation to monitor patients, but the language is more prominently located to better get the attention of doctors, Pfizer officials said.

Basically there was an evolution of thinking of where it would be best to place (the advice) on the label," Pfizer Vice President for Medical Affairs Ponni Subbiah said in an interview.

It directs doctors to observe patients on Chantix for "serious neuropsychiatric symptoms, including changes in behavior, agitation, depressed mood, suicidal ideation and suicidal behavior," according to Pfizer.


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I used it, and it worked. I had the crazy, vivid dreams and stomach pain with it, though. I stopped using it after about 2 months because I couldn't taste anything. Taste came back in about 2 weeks and I stayed tobacco free for about a year. When I had my last, and most severe flare-up of my back, which started last summer and is still in progress, I went back to my olsd friend tobacco. I smoke and dip, and I doubt if I'll ever quit again. That was about the most miserable year of my life. Maybe I just didn't give it long enough...

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On my 4th day of not smoking, no crravings and only side effect is stomach aches, but you have to consider every morning










duragesic patch

all at once, some times with coffee only sometimes I eat something and drink coffee b4 taking them so I dont and cant blame the stomach problems on chantix, the prozac and chantix are both fairly new to me. So many pills and on a empty gut (sometimes) I cant complain. And considering I have sleep apnea and I think COPD, heart disease I cant smoke anymore, I am just killing myself with tobacco. If I ever live anywhere the marijuana is legal for mediicinal purposes I will smoke it, eat it or vaporize it. Its up for vote in michigan in november and legal in five cities in michigan, including ann arbor where the VAMC is. I have a letter from a medical proffesional that recommends that I use marijuana for pain and stop the duragesic and oxycodone and that marijuana would be beneficial to my health. Therefore I can legally smoke and grow marijuana if I live in Ann Arbor, but I dont and I dont use it (currently).

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I don't think that it is the other medications you are taking. When I use to smoke too much, I would get that stomach ache and not smoke for a while. Chantix, is giving me the stomach ache also. I recognize this as an effective way to associate the desire to smoke with the stomach ache.

This is the reason that so many people gain weight when they stop any other way. With Chantix, I can see that I will not gain weight as long as I am taking it. This is my ninth day on Chantix and the first day without smoke.

I don't have much of a choice, back surgery will not be done with out quiting smoking. Bones will not heal with nicotine in the system. This is what my neurologist told me.

I haven't been told this. This is my current opinion on the drug Chantix.

I have really been having many rotten dreams. Problem with the dreams is that I seem to remember them when waking.

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Thanks for telling me that the taste came back in two weeks. I have to stop taking this as the hopeless feelings are back and very strong. I just started thinking, the heck with everything, when I remembered my Dr.'s warnings. I just called him, and the Doctor said stop taking now.

Because your taste came back I suspect these rotten feelings will stop in a couple of weeks. I don't think that people with PTSD should not take this medication unless they have an iron stomach. It's back in my room for a few weeks now.

I will do it on my own. Its funny that the back pain and smoking are a busy vicious cycle that seems to regenerate itself. The back pain helps cause smoking, and surgery can not be done unless you are smokeless.

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    • Yes 

      After a PTSD/Unspecific MDD Diagnose From the VA Dr's

      The gold standard for diagnosing PTSD is a structured clinical interview such as the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS-5). When necessary, the PCL-5 can be scored to provide a provisional PTSD DSM 5 diagnosis.

      Any clinical clinician such as MD ,Psychiatrist even a L.C.S.W. (Certified)can perform the Diagnostics Evaluation Employed by the the VA

      ...They just need to figure out your symptoms and put together a list of your symptom's that you possess or show from the evaluation...I am not 100% Sure just how they do this ?

      being I am not a Dr or clinical clinician 

      Once a Diagnoses of PTSD is given they try to set you up with a Therapist to help with your New dx And how to adjust or cope with the Anxiety and Depression the PTSD can cause.

        you learn the tools to cope with and depending how severe your symptoms are ? 

       They test /screen you with phychoeducational type therapy treatment usually at first.

       Warning  some of this therapy can be very rough on a Veteran  from holding on to guilt  from the trauma its self or you maybe in a  ''stuck point''from memories and guilt or from the stressor's or anything that reminds you of the trauma you endured.

      The therapy works  even if we think it don't,  I recommend Therapy for all PTSD Veterans  it could very well save your life once the correct therapy is in place and the Veteran makes all his Clinical Appointments.

      I still have Combat PTSD it probably will never be cured completely but we can learn the tools it takes to cope with this horrible diseases 

      even learning breathing techniques  Helps tremendously during a panic attact.

      I have guilt from the war in Vietnam  ( I ask my self what could I have done to make a better outcome/difference?..and also I am in what the therapist calls stuck points. working on that at present once a week for 90 minutes.  I am very fortunate to have the help the VA gives me and I am lucky I have not turned to alcohol or drugs to mask my problem.

      But I have put my family through a living hell with my angers of burst.and they all stood by me the whole time years and years of my family life was disrupted because of me and my children &spouse  never deserved it one bit.

      That's all I want to say about that.

      At least I am still around. and plan to be tell my old age dying day.
    • No timeframe gotta love that answer it’s even better when you ask 1800 people or call the board directly they’ll say you’ll know sooner then later. I had mine advanced and it was about 2 months later until I had the decision in my hand which seems forever but in the present system in 2016 lightning fast...
        • Thanks
    • I am serviced connected for ankylosing spondylitis back in 1985. I had a C&P exam on 7-7-19 since I am asking for an increase in my cervical, thoracic, and lumbosacral ratings. After speaking with the DAV to find out progress and info on my exam, the Rep. noted sort of what I expected. Radiculopathy was noted and ROM was 0-15 for cervical, and 0-25 for back. I am currently rated as Cervical 30%, Thoracic 10%, and Lumbosacral 40%. The main question that I have is relating to the thoracic 10% and lumbosacral 40%. I am confused on these two. Is Lumbosacral separate from the thoracic/others ? Since my back ROM is at 0-25, does this mean that my thoracic might increase from the 10% to a higher rating ? I am confused how they break down my ratings from cervical at 30%, Thoracic at 10%, and Lumbosacral at 40%. Also, with the radiculopathy, is this something that they will rate also ? I am currently at 90% total combined for all my disabilities. I hope this helps for someone to give me advice/answers.
      • 4 replies
    • Thank you @GeekySquid for your reply. 


      I have redacted personal information for my documents listed below. 

      I look forward to your reply. 

      HEADACHE STR 2006 copy_Redacted.pdf


      Pages from Original Denial-Grant Reasons_Redacted.pdf
    • Hello Defenders of freedom!

      I have a question pertaining to this denial for headaches. The decision letter is quoted below. 


      3. Service connection for headaches.

      "We may grant service connection for a disability which began in military service or was caused by some event or experience in service.

      Your STRs are negative for any treatment of or diagnosis of headaches. On your post-deployment exam in 2005 you denied any headaches. On separation, you denied any headaches. VA treatment records are negative for any treatment of or diagnosis of headaches. On VA exam, the examiner stated there was no evidence of any residuals of a traumatic brain injury.

      We have denied service connection for headaches because the evidence of record fails to show this disability was incurred in or caused by military service."

      From my understanding these 3 points must be overturned to successfully win a CUE case:

       (1) either the correct facts, as they were known at the time, were not before the adjudicator or the statutory or regulatory provisions in existence at that time were incorrectly applied; 

      (2) the error must be undebatable and of the sort which, had it not been made, would have manifestly changed the outcome at the time of the prior determination

      and (3) a determination that there was CUE must be based on the record and law that existed at the time of the prior adjudication in question.  

      @Berta, or veterans out here who have knowledge/experience, tell me what facts you think would be needed to prove this denial for headaches was an error? 
      • 14 replies
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