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I Need Some Help



I had this posted under Traveling Board. I am going to repost it under this. I do not where to go from here.

I was an aircraft loadmaster for 30 years-1970 - 1972 Active duty; 1972-1980 Air National Guard Technician(GS); 1984-1990 Air National Guard Technician(GS);1991 Desert Storm; 1991 - 2003 Air National Guard Technician(GS). I had 11380 flying hours and 4850 active duty days and inactive duty days for training. I have documentation of these on official AF records stating only about 200 hours were flown in a GS status.

I was on active duty for a trip to Bolivia with heavy pallets aboard 27 Nov - 30 Nov 2000. I have letters from the other crewmembers attesting to the heavy pallets and the lack of offload equipment. They all indicated I strained myself. I went to a civilian doctor on 6 Dec 2000 and was told I had two hernias-one left and one right. I needed an operation. I had to go to a civilian doctor because we do not have a full time flight surgeon on the base; even though the clinic grounded me and I had to have documentation from the civilian doctor to the military clinic stating I had hernia, had an operation, and was ok to go back to flying. The doctor screwed up and wrapped the ilioinguinal nerve someway around the mesh. He sent me to a pain specialist who tried creams, which did not work, then he tried the nerve injections, which did not work. The only thing that worked was massive doses of Neurontin, which I could not take because I was on flying status. I would take lots aspirins and the pain was still bad. This was the only way I could maintain flying status. I was put on active duty the last time from 23 Aug 2002 - 20 Nov 2002. This was to attend the initial C-17 Loadmaster school. During this time, I found I could not push cargo or do any straining. I came back after the school, told the flight surgeon, who grounded me. I went back to the pain specialist who put me on massive dossages of Neurontin until I had a spinal cord stimulator installed in 2004. I was released from service because I would not pass a flight physical or maintain world wide mobility. I had a spinal cord stimulator installed in 2004. I had to do something the Neurontin made me like a zombie. I cannot lift, strain, squat, or most anything else normal people do.

After the stimulator was installed, I was prescribed Ambein to help me sleep. I was staying tired all the time and could not get enough sleep. I had always attributed this to my flying over many time zone during the month(I was always on active duty these time--I have the records). My wife also complained about me being tired all the time along with one of my commanders. I have this documented with letters from them. I just thought I was getting older and could not bounce back like I did when I was younger--I was in my 50's during this time. My pain specialist told me there was something else and sent me for a sleep study. I had an index of 39 events per hour and averaged 17 seconds in duration. I know I had sleep apnea when I flew and it was just diagonsed as "Jet Lag". I have letters from commanders stating I flew at cabin altitudes of over 5000' for 30 years. I have letters from the Chief Aerospace Medicine which states "It is likely that the symptoms of sleep apnea were overlooked by CMSgt Herrington as the fatigue and sleepiness associated with sleep apnea would be difficult to discriminate from "jet lat" often seen following long missions. All this being said, it is more likely than not that CMSgt Herrington's sleep apnea was aggravated by his long hour of flying at high cabin altitude."

I also have a letter from my pain specialist which states he prescribed Ambein to help me sleep. He reported this was discussed by he and I and talked about flying over several time zones a month made me chronically tired and fatigued. This was prevalent after I stopped flying which cause him to suggest a sleep study. He stated-"It is likely that the symptoms of sleep apnea were overlooked by Mr. Herrington and the fatigue and daily somnolence were more than likely due to the previously undiagnosed sleep apnea. This would be difficult, that is sleep apnea would be difficult to discriminate from "jet Lag." all of this being said, it is probable Mr. Herrington had sleep apnea several years before it was diagnosed and was misdiagonsed as "jet lag."

I also have a letter from my private physician, "The specific date of his sleep apnea is impossible to know with certainty. It is reasonable to presume that it was developing prior to being diagnosed in 2005. It is reasonable to suspect, and perhaps to presume that he was dealing with some measure of sleep apnea in the years beginning around 2000, and therafter, especially because of the significant weight increase that was developing through the time of his life."

I filed in 11 July 2005--was granted 10% for tinnitus denied hernia and sleep apnea Disagreed and filed supplemental information on 4-10-06--denied again. DRO hearing--denied. Last appeal filed Feb 2008 noting errors on DRO hearing and submitting new evidence. Which I had already given the Person who conducted the hearing, but he failed to mention it. Was told by the 800 number I would have a hearing by the Traveling Board in September. Called DAV who is helping me and was told the same. I asked about the evidence I submitted in Feb 08. They know it was submitted, but do not know if I will receive a SOC on it or it will just go to the traveling board.

Where do I go from here?

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Once a decision is made by the BVA you have 60 days to appeal to Court of Veterans Appeals. You need to see a lawyer quick.

Good Luck

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