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Any Advice?


EODMOMMY

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I am new to the board, but I have lurked for a little while. I just recently started posting.

My husband was medically retired from the Air Force in October of 2002, after serving for 21 years. We started his VA disability claim when we where notified he was going to be medically retired.

The Air Force Physical Evaluation Board retired him on these Categories:

Category I: Unfitting Conditions which are compensable and rateable: Gastroespohageal Reflux Disease associated with non-cardiac chest pain and dyspnea on exertion. (I actually think the PEB board messed up on this one, because his doctor who did the package to the board listed Cardiac Syndrome X as a reason also). The Air Force gave him a 10% rating, not that it did anything for us, since he would get his retirement pay.

Category II: Conditions that can be unfitting but are not currently compensable or rateable: Chronic knee and Shoulder Pain. He did injure his shoulder and knee while on active duty and had surgery on both of them. His shoulder was separated, but the ER docs made it worst, because they thought it was dislocated and tried to manipulate it back in place, finally an orthopedic doctor who was in the next room came into the room we where in and said that his shoulder should have gone back into the joint by then and asked what my husband's name was and looked at the x-ray and came in and said that it was not dislocated, but it was separated. So he had surgery on his shoulder in which they pinned it, but it didn't work, because he bent the pins somehow and they had to remove them. If you look at a shoulder x-ray of him now, he is missing part of his clavicle, because the pinning process never got to take effect to grow new bone. Plus it got worsen when he got shot by a Sherman Tank....he is not a WWII vet, but he got shot by a Sherman tank...you should see the doctors' faces when they hear that one. He was at a 50th Anniversary of VJ day and was setting up charges for a plane flyover, so it would look like they where bombing. This person driving the tank thought it would be funny to shoot over the EOD guys' heads and when he aimed the tank (which was moving) hit a dip and a wad from a 75mm shell hit him square in his injured shoulder. It took an old retired Marine to get the guy out of the tank after it happened, he wouldn't open up the hatch. Of course I didn't find out about any of this till after he was seen at the ER, the doctors wanted to call me and he said "NO!" and the other EOD guys told the doctor it wasn't wise...they knew me too well!! Anyways, he also reinjured the shoulder again while on a range clearance, he got hit by some bar that was sticking out of a truck. The VA did give him 10% for his shoulder.

Once he got his first VA decision which was 20% for his shoulder and knee. They did put the GERD as service connected, but gave him a 0%, because they said it was being controlled by medicine. That is debatable, he still has a lot of acid reflux, regurgitation and he gets chest pains, which is part of our NOD on the decision. The gastroenterologist doesn't feel the chest pains are related to the GERD, because he put him on a course of meds (basically overdosing him on reflux medication) for a few weeks and it didn't help the pain any. His cardiologist came up with the Cardiac Syndrome X or vasospasms. He has had 3 cardiac caths (2 while on active duty) which came back normal (no blockages or other abnormalities) and echocardiograms, stress tests, etc. He does show some occassional EKG changes when he gets near max exhertion and starts to have some chest pains. He has high cholesterol and high triglycerides and is on 3 meds at the moment for that and was diagnosed as being borderline insulin intolerance. Which is common in Caridiac Syndrome X. When he gets a chest pain episode and the nitroglycerine doesn't help he ends up in the ER, he doesn't have to be doing anything ot get the attacks. He has had several admissions to the hospital to run tests when these episodes happen, but they usually come back normal or inconclusive. The cardiologist can't say if the chest pains are cardiac related, GERD related or both. All I know is I am tired of the VA saying that angina is a symptom (yes, I know it is), but his is chronic and started while on active duty. So they will not give him a rating other then 0% for this under his heart or under GERD. It has gotten to the point that my husband will ignore the attacks unless they are so bad that his gets diaphoresis and will almost pass out. It has worried his co-workers many times. I am afraid that one day he will ignore it and it will be the real thing.

I need to get him to call the VA, but he is working and going to school, so most of the time he is asleep or at school or work. The VA won't talk to me and the our state's Department of Veteran Services is suppose to be helping out, but I haven't seen or heard from them.

When he was retired, I found a job before he did and was working full time, but my boss and I came to blows over favortism in the office and the fact that I was not getting out of work when I was suppose to and was always late to pick up my kids at daycare. By that time my husband had found a job and told me to quit. This was before his first VA decision came thorugh. I am in school at the moment and work part time subbing for our school district, but that isn't enough live on with three kids. My husband's first job actually put him in the hospital because of his condition...they had him working 18 hour days, because the district manager wouldn't get off his butt to find another manager to help him out. He was working 40 miles away and I wouldn't let him drive home, because I was affraid he would fall asleep at the wheel. So I had him stay at a motel near his work. If he did get home, he would almost have to turn around and go back to work. This went on for about a month. I went up to visit him at work and he looked awful, he had lost a lot of weight, which I had noticed before this, but this one night he was so pale and in pain. I called 911, but he refused to go to the hospital, because he didn't have anyone to close the store. So the kids and I stayed till closing time and I took him to the ER. He was admitted to the hospital for a week. All his cardiac enzymes elevated, except the one for his heart and his metabolism was way out of wack. It was only a matter of time and he could have gone into heart failure. His district manger was pissed when the store didn't open the next day and called me (BTW, I forgot to mention I called him on his cell phone and left over a dozen messages up till about 3 a.m. in the morning), he said he was out of town and that it was his answering service I got, which I knew was B.S. Luckily, someone steered us towards another job and they hired my husband knowing his condition and have been wonderful working with him when he has had chest pain episodes.

So any suggestions on my husband's situation?

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Has your husband had an endoscopy? People with persistent GERD usually have an endoscopy. Don't get it done at the VA. Go to a good specialist and have it done. They knock you out for it. I have heard that sometimes the VA does not knock out patients for endoscopies.

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BTW, I wonder if the VA would give me anything for everything I have been through because of all this. All the phone calls telling me my husband is being taking to the ER by ambulance and all the B.S. I had to put up with at his last base because he had a terrible doctor and all the B.S. the VA has caused... I now get anxiety attacks, which are being treated....I am just kidding of course, not about the anxiety attacks, but all the stuff this has put my family through....but my anxiety attacks started when my husband started getting these chest pain episodes, I should get a rating just for having to go through all this. LOL Of course then the VA would be really, really overloaded!! B) :)

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Has your husband had an endoscopy? People with persistent GERD usually have an endoscopy. Don't get it done at the VA. Go to a good specialist and have it done. They knock you out for it. I have heard that sometimes the VA does not knock out patients for endoscopies.

He had an endoscopy done while he was still on active duty by a civilian doctor. They did detect a small hiatal hernia, which the VA won't recognize and if I remember right, some errosions in his stomach. They did a biopsy, but didn't it came back normal for...uggh, by brain just went blank...the bacteria that causes many ulcers. But the base lab did blood work and found he had that bacteria in his blood stream and treated him as if he had an ulcer, just on G.P.

With my brain going blank, I would have to look at my husband's medical records to find out exactly what the gastroenterologist said. Going though his medical records is like going through an encylopedia.

Edited by EODMOMMY
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Has your husband had an endoscopy? People with persistent GERD usually have an endoscopy. Don't get it done at the VA. Go to a good specialist and have it done. They knock you out for it. I have heard that sometimes the VA does not knock out patients for endoscopies.

I had to have this done once. I was knocked out. There was no way they where going to stick that thing down my throat if I was not unconscious. I have heard of colonoscopies done without sedation, but never endoscopies...to easy for the patient's gag reflex to kick up and cause problems and patients freaking out. But I wouldn't put it past to the VA to try to do one without sedation.

Mine was done because I was on the MAX amount of Mortin every day for three months due to TMJ, Motrin was the only thing that would help my pain. Narcotics didn't even help. But they had to switch me over to a narcotic drug, because the motrin was killing my stomach. I had errosions in my stomach over a month after taking motrin. My doctor had me listed as NO NSAIDS PERIOD! I couldn't tolerate Vioxx or Celebrex, it would cause me the same kind of stomach pain. They have now kinda lifted the No NSAID's on me, but tell me to watch out when I take them. About a month ago a slipped on something my kids left out and my hurt my right knee (which I had surgery on for a torn meniscus)and it was hurting, so I took some motrin. I only took a total of 600 mg of motrin that day and my stomach was hurting so bad!! I wanted to go to the ER (which says something about the pain, I hate going to the hospital), but my husband was at work and I didn't want to call him. Luckily, I had a doctor's appointment the next day and my doctor put me on Reglan and Nexium (for 10 days) along with my Prevacid. I think he was worried I had an ulcer, I don't know, all I know was I was in pain. The meds helped, thank goodness, or I wold probably have been off to the gastroenterologist again.

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He had an endoscopy done while he was still on active duty by a civilian doctor. They did detect a small hiatal hernia, which the VA won't recognize and if I remember right, some errosions in his stomach. They did a biopsy, but didn't it came back normal for...uggh, by brain just went blank...the bacteria that causes many ulcers. But the base lab did blood work and found he had that bacteria in his blood stream and treated him as if he had an ulcer, just on G.P.

With my brain going blank, I would have to look at my husband's medical records to find out exactly what the gastroenterologist said. Going though his medical records is like going through an encylopedia.

Now I remember the bacteria...it was H. Pyloric. With the kids out of school, I am surprised I even have a brain left. B)

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I have had 2 stomach surgeries, with only a small portion of my stomach left, due to ulcers. I also have GERD. I have been told by my doctors that the H. Pyloric bacteria research has shown that this can cause ulcers, which I wish had been known long ago before my surgeries. If I have a flareup and go to the doctor, there is an antiobiotic regimen that they can put you on to clear the problem up. But, because of the type of antibiotic treatment, they must be certain first that you do have this type of bacteria lurking in your stomach.

As far as the GERD is concerned, he has me on Prevacid. Seems to help somewhat.

mssoup1

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Guest frank
I am new to the board, but I have lurked for a little while. I just recently started posting.

My husband was medically retired from the Air Force in October of 2002, after serving for 21 years. We started his VA disability claim when we where notified he was going to be medically retired.

The Air Force Physical Evaluation Board retired him on these Categories:

Category I: Unfitting Conditions which are compensable and rateable: Gastroespohageal Reflux Disease associated with non-cardiac chest pain and dyspnea on exertion. (I actually think the PEB board messed up on this one, because his doctor who did the package to the board listed Cardiac Syndrome X as a reason also). The Air Force gave him a 10% rating, not that it did anything for us, since he would get his retirement pay.

Category II: Conditions that can be unfitting but are not currently compensable or rateable: Chronic knee and Shoulder Pain. He did injure his shoulder and knee while on active duty and had surgery on both of them. His shoulder was separated, but the ER docs made it worst, because they thought it was dislocated and tried to manipulate it back in place, finally an orthopedic doctor who was in the next room came into the room we where in and said that his shoulder should have gone back into the joint by then and asked what my husband's name was and looked at the x-ray and came in and said that it was not dislocated, but it was separated. So he had surgery on his shoulder in which they pinned it, but it didn't work, because he bent the pins somehow and they had to remove them. If you look at a shoulder x-ray of him now, he is missing part of his clavicle, because the pinning process never got to take effect to grow new bone. Plus it got worsen when he got shot by a Sherman Tank....he is not a WWII vet, but he got shot by a Sherman tank...you should see the doctors' faces when they hear that one. He was at a 50th Anniversary of VJ day and was setting up charges for a plane flyover, so it would look like they where bombing. This person driving the tank thought it would be funny to shoot over the EOD guys' heads and when he aimed the tank (which was moving) hit a dip and a wad from a 75mm shell hit him square in his injured shoulder. It took an old retired Marine to get the guy out of the tank after it happened, he wouldn't open up the hatch. Of course I didn't find out about any of this till after he was seen at the ER, the doctors wanted to call me and he said "NO!" and the other EOD guys told the doctor it wasn't wise...they knew me too well!! Anyways, he also reinjured the shoulder again while on a range clearance, he got hit by some bar that was sticking out of a truck. The VA did give him 10% for his shoulder.

Once he got his first VA decision which was 20% for his shoulder and knee. They did put the GERD as service connected, but gave him a 0%, because they said it was being controlled by medicine. That is debatable, he still has a lot of acid reflux, regurgitation and he gets chest pains, which is part of our NOD on the decision. The gastroenterologist doesn't feel the chest pains are related to the GERD, because he put him on a course of meds (basically overdosing him on reflux medication) for a few weeks and it didn't help the pain any. His cardiologist came up with the Cardiac Syndrome X or vasospasms. He has had 3 cardiac caths (2 while on active duty) which came back normal (no blockages or other abnormalities) and echocardiograms, stress tests, etc. He does show some occassional EKG changes when he gets near max exhertion and starts to have some chest pains. He has high cholesterol and high triglycerides and is on 3 meds at the moment for that and was diagnosed as being borderline insulin intolerance. Which is common in Caridiac Syndrome X. When he gets a chest pain episode and the nitroglycerine doesn't help he ends up in the ER, he doesn't have to be doing anything ot get the attacks. He has had several admissions to the hospital to run tests when these episodes happen, but they usually come back normal or inconclusive. The cardiologist can't say if the chest pains are cardiac related, GERD related or both. All I know is I am tired of the VA saying that angina is a symptom (yes, I know it is), but his is chronic and started while on active duty. So they will not give him a rating other then 0% for this under his heart or under GERD. It has gotten to the point that my husband will ignore the attacks unless they are so bad that his gets diaphoresis and will almost pass out. It has worried his co-workers many times. I am afraid that one day he will ignore it and it will be the real thing.

I need to get him to call the VA, but he is working and going to school, so most of the time he is asleep or at school or work. The VA won't talk to me and the our state's Department of Veteran Services is suppose to be helping out, but I haven't seen or heard from them.

When he was retired, I found a job before he did and was working full time, but my boss and I came to blows over favortism in the office and the fact that I was not getting out of work when I was suppose to and was always late to pick up my kids at daycare. By that time my husband had found a job and told me to quit. This was before his first VA decision came thorugh. I am in school at the moment and work part time subbing for our school district, but that isn't enough live on with three kids. My husband's first job actually put him in the hospital because of his condition...they had him working 18 hour days, because the district manager wouldn't get off his butt to find another manager to help him out. He was working 40 miles away and I wouldn't let him drive home, because I was affraid he would fall asleep at the wheel. So I had him stay at a motel near his work. If he did get home, he would almost have to turn around and go back to work. This went on for about a month. I went up to visit him at work and he looked awful, he had lost a lot of weight, which I had noticed before this, but this one night he was so pale and in pain. I called 911, but he refused to go to the hospital, because he didn't have anyone to close the store. So the kids and I stayed till closing time and I took him to the ER. He was admitted to the hospital for a week. All his cardiac enzymes elevated, except the one for his heart and his metabolism was way out of wack. It was only a matter of time and he could have gone into heart failure. His district manger was pissed when the store didn't open the next day and called me (BTW, I forgot to mention I called him on his cell phone and left over a dozen messages up till about 3 a.m. in the morning), he said he was out of town and that it was his answering service I got, which I knew was B.S. Luckily, someone steered us towards another job and they hired my husband knowing his condition and have been wonderful working with him when he has had chest pain episodes.

So any suggestions on my husband's situation?

I CAN:T ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS MYSELF BETRA HAS BEEN HELPING ME THAT I AM VERY GREATFUL FOR HER HELP.BUT ONE QUESTION I CAN ANSWER IF YOUR HUSBAM WRITES A LETTER GIVING THEM PERMISSION TO TALK TO YOU THEY WILL THIS WAY YOU CAN CHECK ANYTHING WITH VA WOUTHOUT GETTING HIS PERMISSION EVERY TIME
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  • HadIt.com Elder

EOD

You and Berta Simmons have an awful lot in common. You need to talk to her. She understands VA malpractice and their lying nature. If you give the VA people a choice between lying and telling the truth they always lie. It's in their blood.

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John- you said a mouthful there-

'So any suggestions on my husband's situation?"

Yes- if these med tests were all done by the VA regarding the ECHO ,the treatments, etc-I suggest getting him to a Real doctor, a real cardiologist-

The word you used-diaphoresis-is why I filed an FTCA claim against the VA for wrongful death. Then I found much more and proved my case.

"the attacks unless they are so bad that his gets diaphoresis and will almost pass out. It has worried his co-workers many times."

I see no relationship of this to your husband's GERD -this could certainly indicate heart disease.I am not a doctor -just that my husband died due to VA care and I learned a lot.

My husband dropped dead in 1994. I was shocked as he had been recovering from a major stroke but managed to get through the PTSD 21 day in house program 2 weeks before he died.

When the death certificate and autopsy said major heart disease and significant brain trauma-I was even more shocked as a VA cardiologist told me in 1992 after his stroke, that there was Nothing wrong with his heart. The autopsy revealed an older myocardial scar- I kept thinking back to a fainting episode he had while employed at the VA.I got his med recs from VA. The med cert for that ER visit said he was diaphoretic-and EKG was abnormal- and they were going to give him more tests for cardio disease. They never did.

They said it was a sinus problem and gave him sudafed and sent him home-

he was in a daze and for three days his VA boss kept calling here -when are you coming to work---

(the same boss that told EEOC he was lousy worker somehow now couldnt get by without him)

Somehow he got back to work and within one month he started having transcient strokes that the VA also misdiagnosed-

My point here is diaphoresis can indicate heart attack or at least something is going wrong with your husbands electroytes. Rod also had diabetes that the VA never diagnosed properly or treated.

"All his cardiac enzymes elevated, except the one for his heart and his metabolism was way out of wack. It was only a matter of time and he could have gone into heart failure"

"was diagnosed as being borderline insulin intolerance. Which is common in Caridiac Syndrome X. "

It is also probably VA's way of saying- 'this vet might be diabetic but we will treat the symptoms as that is cheaper than proper assessment.'

Did VA ever give him HB1ac tests , or OGTT? for diabetes?

Do you have all of his med recs?

I could write a book here on what I see- if this is all about his VA medical treatment-

I really believe he needs a real doc and cardiac assessment- and that diabetes should be ruled out or-if he has diabetes-it should be properly treated.

Dont be like me and Rod- he filed a Section 1151 claim in March 1994 saying he felt his PTSD care was improper -and adding to additional disability such as his major stroke.He felt it was because they would not give him the real PTSD doc, only the VA employee shrink- who didnt have a clue on PTSD and could not medicate it or give him adequate ways to deal with his anger, constant anxiety and constant flackbacks. He stated that since his PTSD care was so lousy he feared he also had heart disease and other strokes that they misdiagnosed and that he would die from their negligence.

By Sept 1994 our congressman had intervened and he was getting better PTSD care from a real shrink.

Then in October he suddenly dropped dead.

I re-opened his 1151 and (this took time-I am not a doctor) found ( this all took months of work ) that the diaphoresis had indicated a heart attack , I did not have the autopsy results for many months-

but it finally came and proved the veteran was right all along in his 1151 claim and the myocardial scar from this 'sinus' condition was actually a heart attack.

You probably have the basis for a Section 1151 claim.

But the most important thing I see here is that this veteran is probably not being properly treated for serious medical conditions- if his treatment is entirely from the VA.

Lots of probables- but dont be like me and Rod-

Pres Clinton- after Rod filed his 1151 claim- said the VA was the best Gov health care system in the world (Clinton was pushing for gov health care) Then

Rod almost withdrew his 1151 claim- we started to believe that maybe he was getting the best treatment he could get-Congressman Houghton had definitely helped with the improved PTSD care.

But the truth is-we were dopes who believed what the VA said and now he is dead.

The GC med report 3 years later said his care was so crappy that it was indefensible.

It happened in seconds-he was standing there talking to me,put his hand on his heart and then flipped right into the air and collapsed.Sudden death syndrome due to undiagnosed diabetes which led to undiagnosed heart disease.As soon as I began CPR I knew he was dying.

Dont let your husband die like this because of lousy VA health care.

And- spouses of disabled vets- make sure you know how to perform CPR.

They told me this was such a massive heart attack , death came so suddenly -that CPR could not have revived him-but there is great peace knowing I tried and -in many other cases- CPR CAN revive someone.

Edited by Berta
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John- you said a mouthful there-

'So any suggestions on my husband's situation?"

Yes- if these med tests were all done by the VA regarding the ECHO ,the treatments, etc-I suggest getting him to a Real doctor, a real cardiologist .

All his tests where done by either the military or a civilian doctor. He has a civilian cardiologist that the base sent him to while still on active duty, whom I trust, because we used him when I was working for a doctor in town. He was in the hospital last in Feb., they ran everything on him, except a cardiac cath. He had a cath done a little over a year ago. Of course he had one doctor at the base who I hated, he only saw this doctor once. The whole situation is long and for another post, but he was incompetent and I filed a complaint against him, you know following the chain of command, which was useless. But I was worried about my husband and he was being taken to the local hospital by ambulance, so I wanted to get down there. Let's say nothing ever happend due to my complaint and he got promoted.

The word you used-diaphoresis-is why I filed an FTCA claim against the VA for wrongful death. Then I found much more and proved my case.

He was that way once while on active duty. He had just gotten out of the hospital in the town we live in. He was suppose to see his military doctor (new doctor) who did nothing. My mother-in-law and I went to lunch with him and he looked so bad and didn't want to eat, he had a doctor's appointment later and I had to get my kids from school. Basically the doctor that day didn't even lay a finger on him and made him an appointment for the next day with the Internal Medicine doctor who he had been seeing, I made him take his behind back to the clinic and go to the Acute Care clinic, that is when they decided to take him to the hospital by ambulance.

His latest attack he was the same way, but I got a call from one of his co-workers who said he looked real pale and she thought he was going to pass out and that they had called an ambulance. He spent 4 days in the hospital.

I see no relationship of this to your husband's GERD -this could certainly indicate heart disease.I am not a doctor -just that my husband died due to VA care and I learned a lot.

My husband dropped dead in 1994. I was shocked as he had been recovering from a major stroke but managed to get through the PTSD 21 day in house program 2 weeks before he died.

When the death certificate and autopsy said major heart disease and significant brain trauma-I was even more shocked as a VA cardiologist told me in 1992 after his stroke, that there was Nothing wrong with his heart. The autopsy revealed an older myocardial scar- I kept thinking back to a fainting episode he had while employed at the VA.I got his med recs from VA. The med cert for that ER visit said he was diaphoretic-and EKG was abnormal- and they were going to give him more tests for cardio disease. They never did.

They said it was a sinus problem and gave him sudafed and sent him home-

he was in a daze and for three days his VA boss kept calling here -when are you coming to work---

(the same boss that told EEOC he was lousy worker somehow now couldnt get by without him)

Somehow he got back to work and within one month he started having transcient strokes that the VA also misdiagnosed-

Sudafed is bad to give someone who has either heart or blood pressure problems. I had a bad reaction to Sudafed and it gave me palpitations (I was in my 20's at the time). So it is listed in my records that I am sensative to Sudafed (not allergic, just hypersensative to it). So if I ever had any congestion and they had to put me on one of the meds that had PPA in it, but they have since pulled it from the market because of causing heart problems, strokes, etc....funny thing, Sudafed can cause those simliar problems, but I don't think they have had enough cases to pull it off the market, well except for the whole Meth thing. Of course PPA was also the same ingredient that was in over the counter weight loss drugs. I found that out from a pharmacist friend, because I didn't want to go to the doctor to get a refill of my medication and found out at that time Dexatrim was the same strength as the prescription sinus congestion medication I was on.

My point here is diaphoresis can indicate heart attack or at least something is going wrong with your husbands electroytes. Rod also had diabetes that the VA never diagnosed properly or treated.

"All his cardiac enzymes elevated, except the one for his heart and his metabolism was way out of wack. It was only a matter of time and he could have gone into heart failure"

"was diagnosed as being borderline insulin intolerance. Which is common in Caridiac Syndrome X.

This is why I have been fighting on the Cardiac Syndrome X...I know in the appeal process you are not suppose to cite previous cases, but I found one that was almost identical to my husband, except it was a female...you can look it up it is Docket No. 99-12 443

It is also probably VA's way of saying- 'this vet might be diabetic but we will treat the symptoms as that is cheaper than proper assessment.'

Did VA ever give him HB1ac tests , or OGTT? for diabetes?

He had a GTT done, but no HBa1c test that I know of, it was done by his military doctor on the advice of his civilian cardiologist, but I need to take him to the doctor about his feet...which is something else I could add to his disability claim, because he had problems with his feet while he was on active duty, but he is driving me nuts with it, because he comes home and is limping from standing on his feet for over 8 hours. But I never thought about it during our original claim, because the main concern was his heart. But I will talk to his doctor to have an A1C test done on him. When they did the GTT, his blood sugar was borderline high after 3 hours, but another test they did which is called Insulin Intolerance, which he was diagnosed as having mild insulin intolerance, basically you might as well say he was diagnosed as having mild diabetes.

Do you have all of his med recs?

I could write a book here on what I see- if this is all about his VA medical treatment-

Yes, I made him make two copies of his military medical records. I don't have all the civilian records, but I know how to get them, plus our doctor should have dictation for all the civilian treament he has had since he retired. He has never been treated by the VA, I wouldn't let him. There are other issues that need to be addressed to the VA, but I think at the time we originally filed we did it on the most urgent problems. For the past three years we have just been trying to survive, keep a roof over our family's head and food on the table. If it wasn't for me bugging him, we would not have gotten this far. But I have been in school, I have one quarter left and have a little more free time. Plus the kids are a little older and don't need as much supervision or help as they did when he retired.

I really believe he needs a real doc and cardiac assessment- and that diabetes should be ruled out or-if he has diabetes-it should be properly treated.

My big beef has been they never did any C&P on his heart when he had his VA physical. I even used that in our appeal and mentioned that there is a Heart Exam sheet under the C&P Exams.

Dont be like me and Rod- he filed a Section 1151 claim in March 1994 saying he felt his PTSD care was improper -and adding to additional disability such as his major stroke.He felt it was because they would not give him the real PTSD doc, only the VA employee shrink- who didnt have a clue on PTSD and could not medicate it or give him adequate ways to deal with his anger, constant anxiety and constant flackbacks. He stated that since his PTSD care was so lousy he feared he also had heart disease and other strokes that they misdiagnosed and that he would die from their negligence.

I wonder if all this is causing depression and axiety on my husband. I know we have had more stress and fights since the military retired him. I don't think he could be classified as PTSD. He did have flashbacks for a while after we got to Texas, because he had to go to the Air Show crash they had at Ramstein back in 1988. Since he was in the bomb squad, they had to check the planes to see if the charges for the ejection seats where safe, so they could investigate and clean up. He found parts of the pilot's body and that dark humor came about which is normal when you are in a job like that (We use to joke about things when I worked as an EMT), but he was helping with recovery of the injured and dead and came across a pregnant woman who was burned and dismembered...that is as much as I can go into it, because it is really sad and horrible how he found this woman. For several years he would have flashbacks on that, but never told anyone except me, because in the military the last thing you want is to be red flagged for any mental problems. But over the years I don't think it has caused him any problems. Just stress from all the problems with having chronic angina.

You probably have the basis for a Section 1151 claim.

But the most important thing I see here is that this veteran is probably not being properly treated for serious medical conditions- if his treatment is entirely from the VA.

I am still learning all the VA stuff. I read on the FAQ about the 1151, but I don't know if that would apply to us, since he has never been treated by the VA, it is more about getting a correct disability rating.

Lots of probables- but dont be like me and Rod-

Pres Clinton- after Rod filed his 1151 claim- said the VA was the best Gov health care system in the world (Clinton was pushing for gov health care)

Don't get me started on the Universal Health Care...My mom was from Canada and I always hear people say the U.S. needs a health care plan like Canada...No we don't! My aunt who has been fighting colon cancer for over 10 years, has had do to figthing for treatment. Her latest chemo she is going through is not approved in Canada, but it is here in the U.S., so her medical insurance wouldn't pay for it and she had to apply for this special program that would pay a percentage for her treatment, all the questions on the paperwork almost gave her a nervous breakdown, she had to account for every penny they had. Also my uncle, who is a truck driver had a herniated disc and was causing him so much pain, he couldn't sleep. It took nine months for him to see a specialist, but by then the pain wasn't giving him any problems, so he was told to come back when it did, even though he still has a herniated disc. I could go on, this one is probably the best example and the saddest....my one cousin who had asthma, died while on a camping trip here in the U.S., my aunt said they got better treatment in the small town hospital they had to go to then they did in Canada. Plus most people think that healthcare is free in Canada, it isn't anymore, their premium is deducted from their income taxes now, I think my aunt told me. She doesn't have to pay a premium, because she is considered 100% disabled because of the cancer.

Then Rod almost withdrew his 1151 claim- we started to believe that maybe he was getting the best treatment he could get-Congressman Houghton had definitely helped with the improved PTSD care.

But the truth is-we were dopes who believed what the VA said and now he is dead.

The GC med report 3 years later said his care was so crappy that it was indefensible.

It happened in seconds-he was standing there talking to me,put his hand on his heart and then flipped right into the air and collapsed.Sudden death syndrome due to undiagnosed diabetes which led to undiagnosed heart disease.As soon as I began CPR I knew he was dying.

This is one of my fears! I am really touchy about the heart problems. I lost my mom to heart problems. She had a freak heart attack, she had not blockages in the arteries on her heart, they think what happened was a clot came from somewhere and caused the attack. After she had her heart attack, she had so many problems and about 3 years after her heart attack she died from an electrical episode with her heart. They brought her back, but it took over 45 mins and by that time she was brain dead. Going through all that and waiting for her to die was one of the toughest things I ever went through and effects me to this day.

And- spouses of disabled vets- make sure you know how to perform CPR.

I do know how to do CPR, I haven't been certified in years, but it is like riding a bike. I use to teach first aid and CPR when I was in high school and I was an EMT.

They told me this was such a massive heart attack , death came so suddenly -that CPR could not have revived him-but there is great peace knowing I tried and -in many other cases- CPR CAN revive someone.

That is true. In all the calls I went on in the fire department as an EMT I can't remember many who survived due to CPR. It isn't saying CPR isn't good, but sometimes the attack is so bad, even if they do get the person back with the use of CPR and drugs, the outcome most of the time is not good. One main thing is oxygen, it has been a long time I can't remember the % of O2 that is exhailed by our lungs, but usually their is some brain damage if CPR is done and they have been down for a while. But if it is a major coronary attack, the outcome usually isn't so good.

Edited by EODMOMMY
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I have had 2 stomach surgeries, with only a small portion of my stomach left, due to ulcers. I also have GERD. I have been told by my doctors that the H. Pyloric bacteria research has shown that this can cause ulcers, which I wish had been known long ago before my surgeries. If I have a flareup and go to the doctor, there is an antiobiotic regimen that they can put you on to clear the problem up. But, because of the type of antibiotic treatment, they must be certain first that you do have this type of bacteria lurking in your stomach.

As far as the GERD is concerned, he has me on Prevacid. Seems to help somewhat.

mssoup1

I am on Prevacid and it was working great, but now it isn't doing as well. They tried me on aciphex, which is the one the military has a contract with, so it is the only proton pump inhibitor you can get at a military pharmacy. But it didn't do a thing for me, I was living on Tums with it. So I pay the $9 copay for Prevacid. I know with my recent episode, my doctor put me on Nexium in the morning and Reglan before I ate and Prevacid at night. If he changes me to Nexium, I am going to have him send me to gastroenterologist again. On our insurance Nexium is a $22 copay, but it can be lowered to $9 with medical necessity. Plus, I don't think I can be on Reglan for longterm, what I have read it is recommended for no more then 14 days.

My husband is also on Prevacid. But he still has problems.

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I CAN:T ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS MYSELF BETRA HAS BEEN HELPING ME THAT I AM VERY GREATFUL FOR HER HELP.BUT ONE QUESTION I CAN ANSWER IF YOUR HUSBAM WRITES A LETTER GIVING THEM PERMISSION TO TALK TO YOU THEY WILL THIS WAY YOU CAN CHECK ANYTHING WITH VA WOUTHOUT GETTING HIS PERMISSION EVERY TIME

I need to do up a release of information letter for him to sign. Because he is so busy with work and school it will never get done, unless I do it. Knowing the VA, they will lose it. Of course, they will talk to me if he calls up and tells them it is ok to talk to me and then hands the phone to me...why can't they just make a note in the computer of this fact?

I know the last time we called the VA, someone had to call us back. My husband was in the shower and just had gotten out. I asked the lady to wait a moment, but she wouldn't. She was so rude!! She told me to give him this message...It can take up to 5 years for appeals. Plus it was denied because angina is a symptom not a disease. I argued with her, since I have done medical billing and there is a code for angina, unspecified...which is the same code they use for Cardiac Syndrome X. She just kept insisting about it being a symptom. Then I got really angry at her and told her, what are you people going to do?? You cant take care of the Vets that are in the system now, what are you going to do when all these guys come back from Iraq and Afghanistan.....she hung up on me. B)

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Edo

Your husband's foot problems could be plantar fasciitus. If you want to find out more go to www.healspurs.com and read Scotts Handbook on PF. If could be peripheral neuropathy as well.

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