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Sleep Apnea


fedtech

Question

I went and had a sleep test done and the results showed I stopped breathing 103 times an hour for a durration of 15-27 seconds. If you figure that up I don't breath about 36 minutes an hour. My oxygeon level drops down in the 70's. The Army came out with a regulation in AUG 2003 and said if you have sleep apnea and it could not be corrected you would get a medical discharge. The National Guard discharged me due to that and as a result since I was a Full Time Federal Technician for the National Guard the Federal Employee Branch put me out on a disability retirement.

I am drawing a monthly retirement from the Federal Branch for disability. I had 22 1/2 years time since I bought back my Marine Corps time. I had 27 years military service in the Marine Corps and National Guard. Monday though Friday I wore the uniform and worked for the Indiana National Guard. On weekends I was a traditional Soldier So I had two incomes.

The VA says i am not disabled. I have been fighting them for over four years now. They say even tough I might have worked full time Mon-Fri as a Technician I was only in the service 39 days a year and the Sleep Apnea is not service related. The stipulation on my Tech job was that I had to be affiliated with the National Guard and when they kicked me out I lost my job.

I asked the VA to write me a note and tell the Federal Government I was not disabled and let me go back to work. They didn't see the humor in that. The Tech job for the Electronics slot is only paying $28 an hour.

The Fedearl Technician Branch say I am disabled and paying me a disability retirement, the National Guard discharged me because of Sleep Apnea. The VA says I am not Service Connected. Two agencies against one and I am in the middle.

How can I show a Service Connnection. I served the Government in uniform for 27 years. It is in my Medical Records about the test results. I have the letters from the Military Dept of Indiana Medical Branch showing I have Sleep Apnea and discharged me.

Somewhere in the 27 years I belonged to them I got Sleep Apnea. How can I get the VA to pay?

I also have Acute Achillius Tendonitus in both ankles from either preparation for or running the APFT each year. It was in my annual medical records. I can't even climb a ladder or go up several fights of stairs without my ankles hurting the next day. The VA said it is not Service Related. I don't know of anyone that could go out and just run an APFT each year and not prepare for it. The VA say that is not Service Connected.

I was expected to be ready each drill weekend and do my job according to Army Regulations. If they say I was only in the Military 39 days a year that doesn't make sense to me. My hair grew between drills and I had to get it cut before each drill to meet regulations, wouldn't jogging be the same in preparation for a APFT be the same? I had to maintian some sort of fitness

Does anyone have any ides on how to connect these to service

Thanks

FEDTECH

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I am in a very similar situation as Fedtech. I have 22 years total AD & guard time., and was recently diagnosed with OSA. The main difference I have with him is that I suffered a broken nose while on AD, and the VA has already certified it as service connected - 0%. My civilian doctor gave me a letter stating in his professional opinion the nasal trauma is causing significant nasal airflow problems and most likely a significant factor in my OSA. I just filed it, along with all his documentation including sleep studies, with the VA yesterday as an additional factor to my broken nose. Do you guys think that will help any, or am I SOL, too?

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Coogvet: SO long as your civilian doctor provided an nexis between your nasal issues in service and your sleep apnea now, you should be able to get it service connected.

Edited by mags1023
used wrong word;
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After a cursory read, Don't recall seeing anything regarding SMR's or  your supporting evidence, or C & P DBQs and Denial Letter information.

When you have the time, how about posting redacted Pdf's of the above items. Would give us a much better understanding of your situation.

Just having a non VA Dr opine about the possible etiology, of your SA, probably won't get the job done. Your going to be looking at Dueling Medical Opinions. I trust your Dr is a Board Certified Sleep Specialist, preferably a Neurologist.

When you review the comprehensive Medical list, regarding the most likely currently recognized causes of SA, how do you stack-up.

Semper Fi

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My doctor is a board certified otolaryngologist specializing in the treatment of disorders of the ears, nose and throat, including treatment for snoring and sleep apnea (that is from his group's website. there is no way I could have typed that without copying it, hehe). I had him give me a copy of my whole file along with the letter, which I included in my amended claim to the VA. It includes 2 sleep studies, one without CPAP and one with CPAP, and a CT scan of my sinus region. He showed me the actual CT pictures, my septum is severely deviated, and at one point actually forms a "J" shape. The passage also narrows dramatically at that point. When I came back from deployment in 2008, the VA representative during demob had me file my initial claim, and I received a service-connected designation for my neck at 10% (degenerative disk - neck spasms) and for my nose at 0% (Broken nose). Everything else was non-service connected. It wasn't until recently that my wife finally convinced me to go to this doctor because my not breathing while sleeping was scaring her. The doctor telling me the nose trauma was a significant factor in my OSA is why I even thought of sending this to the VA.

Edited by Coogvet
typos, and clarification
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