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LadySgt

How Should I Proceed?

Question

Good Afternoon All,

I want to preface this note by saying that I stumbled across this site by accident, while searching for information regarding getting an increase in several of my service-connected disabilities, including migraines & chronic lower back pain. For the most part, everyone seems to be especially helpful and supportive of one another and it is truly refreshing to know that there is a community out there in which the individual understand exactly what I'm going through. So thank you all for providing valuable, relevant information.

A little background: I served in the Army from 2001 to 2005. I deployed with the advance party to Baghdad, Iraq in March 2003 and remained there until June 2004. During this time our Camp was constantly barraged with mortar attacks. I was a member of numerous convoys which engaged in small arms fire, and one that was struck by an IED. Two of our soldiers died and a friend and member of my section (Motor Pool) received a Purple Heart for schrapnel sustained during the incident.

I redeployed in June 2004 and ETSd several months later, upon which I filed for and was granted C&P. After getting out, I was referred to a MH specialist by my PCP. The private psychiatrist had diagnosed me with PTSD and I filed an additional claim shortly thereafter. I had been seeing the psych for several months when I was involuntarily mobilized as a result of my reserve membership. When I received my orders, I notified VA that I ws being mobilized so that they would cease payment of my C&P benefits. When I finally got off active duty, I wrote an additional letter to VA to have them reinstate my benefits. There was no mention of the PTSD claim and I didn't pursue it.

Fast-forward to last year: Migraines have significantly increased in frequency and severity. I miss work, a lot. I'm a federal employee and I've reach a point where I fear I'll lose my job because of my poor attendance. If I'm not calling in, it seems I'm leaving early to try to prevent a full-blown migraine. In addition, I've been extremely irritable and my anger has been ridiculously unpredictable. I get so angry for reasons that most people, self included, don't understand. I've lashed out, lost friendships, and caused strained relationships with close family members, especially my mother with whom I was once extremely close. I even had to get rid of my Yorkie and Shih Tzu because I reacted so violently to small things that they did, that I feared I'd hurt them. I have trouble sleeping at night between getting up to constantly ensure the doors and first floor window are secure, and the dreams. I never recall my dreams but when I awake my heart is pounding and I'm pretty worked up. Because I usually only get a few hours of rest, I get migraines fairly often which last for hours and at times days. the migraines, while varying in intensity, almost always prevent me from sleeping, resulting in yet another migraine. It's an endless cycle.

Despite all of these things, I thought I was coping until recently when after I blew-up at my mom she said, "The Army changed you. you're completely different and I think you should see someone." The thing is, when I was diagnosed, I didn't really believe I had it. In my experience, doctors tend to take the assembly line approach, getting you in and out as soon as possible. I also think that with diagnosis and meds they usually just throw everything at the problem and hope something sticks. They've never given me meds that's worked for my migraines (without making me feel all weird in the process), they've prescribed everything under the sun for my lb pain but could never give me a conclusive diagnosis, though I've heard everything from muscular strains and tears to SI joint dysfunction. Needless to say, I rarely go to the doctor.

I've said all of this to say, how should I go about this claim? I've registered for healthcare services at the local VA hospital. The DAV officer has urged me to file now, despite the lack of medical evidence. Should I or should I start seeing the doctor, actually seeking treatment and then file? Sorry for the long post, I just didn't want to ask your opinion without providing sufficient background. Thanks in advance.

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LadySgt,

Welcome to Hadit.com

What is the breakdown of your current 70 % SC.

Include the Diagnostic Codes if you have them.

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In addition to carlie's question: you are already s/c for PTSD? Many of your symptoms fall under PTSD, except for migraines. Did you ever lose consciouslness when your convoy was struck, or had a blast injury? If so, that could be a symptom of TBI (traumatic brain injury) & i would have it checked out. You will need to show proof that you were in the unit that was struck & that you were seen for it in service.

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LadySgt,

Welcome to Hadit.com

What is the breakdown of your current 70 % SC.

Include the Diagnostic Codes if you have them.

Thanks, Carlie.

I don't have the diagnostic codes. Where would I get that info? The rating breakdown is as follows:

Migraine Headaches: 30%

Asthma: 30%

Carpal Tunnel: 10%

Chronic Lumbosacral Sprain: 20%

Allergic Rhinitis: 0%

The PTSD was not granted. I filed but the claim was never acknowledged. I saw the civilian psychiatrist shortly after getting off active duty.

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In addition to carlie's question: you are already s/c for PTSD? Many of your symptoms fall under PTSD, except for migraines. Did you ever lose consciouslness when your convoy was struck, or had a blast injury? If so, that could be a symptom of TBI (traumatic brain injury) & i would have it checked out. You will need to show proof that you were in the unit that was struck & that you were seen for it in service.

I wasn't knocked unconscious and sustained no blast injury. Also, I was not seen for PTSD during service, as I started my ETS process immediately upon my redeployment and was just anxious to get the preliminaries finished.

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i would put in for PTSD. They've eased the standards on ti & it sounds like you have enough to file for fear of terrorist/military hostility.

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