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Hereditary Angioedema In The Usmc?


Tanker

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Hello all! I will start off by saying that i do no have issues with the VA as of right now, but moreso some questions. I am still currently in the USMC. I've been in for sometime and have served in OIF and have just under two years remaining on my contract. I enjoy the Corps. and people I've come across along the way. Before my deployment, my mother was diagnosed with Hereditary Angioedema (HAE). I was informed about what it was, symptoms, and that i too could possibly have it. However it is roughly 2 and a half years later and still have not been tested for it. Reason being, i didn't wan't to miss my deployment, and leave my brothers, and most of all, leave the Corps. I do not know if i have it or not. I have never had the acute attacks, but looking at pictures, i may have had a few outbreaks of the rash's that also come with HAE. (again not confirmed). I considered getting tested privately and keeping the results to myself, but had fear of having an acute attack at work and getting a dishonorable due to me having knowledge of the disease. I haven't had an attack, and felt confident that i would at least make it until the end of my contract. But this changed last night when my mother was hospitalized from an attack in the throat. It was a scary ordeal for my whole family, and me especially knowing that this could be potentially lurking around the corner. So i am putting it into action to get tested. NOW my questions (finally) are if i do have it, is it an automatic discharge, and will i be covered for any kind of medical bills for being diagnosed while in service? Don't get me wrong, i am not looking to cheat the system for a hereditary disease, i just have no real idea what i'm doing and what options i have still being in service. Any feedback is much appreciated, and from looking at other forums it seems like "Hoppy" may be knowledgeable with this topic?

Tanker

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Tanker,

HAE is a very rare disease, as you may know. I'm from the Vietnam era, so I was not that thrilled to go into the military at that time. On my medical statement and during my physical I tried to tell them that I had something wrong with me. Growing up with this disease, we were just too poor to seek medical attention, and even if we had, there were no doctors that knew of HAE in my area. To make a long story short, I received zero care, I was only sent to the shrink. I was a Pole Climber at the time, and the heat and stress will bring out attacks. Now, my kids (39. 36 and 32) all have the gene, but they like you have never had an attack. However, they all wear medical alert braclets. This disease can really affect a person with HAE during Dental procedures. The gas that puts you to sleep can make your airwaves collapse. I had told this stupid Dentist that I had HAE, and ask him if he understood. He said he did, I almost died in a Dentist Chair. Any procedure were they are going to put me under, that would normally be on an out-patient basis, they will only do it in a hospital setting with all the right equipment and meds available. My point to you is that I know that you love the USMC, and want to be with your buddies, but you can not take this disease lightly. Just be careful.

Papa

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Tanker

I don't know anything about the disease but, based on your comments and Papa's this is obviously a serious disease and not to be taken lightly. Based on the name you are using I am going to assume you are in armor. I know you want to be with your buddies while they are deployed but, think about this what if during your deployment you are put in a situation where you are put under a lot of stress and all of a sudden you have an attack at the worst time and it causes one or more of your buddies to be injured then how would you feel. If you are going to be tested, who knows what if it comes up negative. I would wait till I got tested and then make that tough decision.

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Please keep in mind that there are two types: HAE, and the Angioedema (I think that Hobby has this type). HAE, is in my opioion much worse. I have suffered with it since I was 4 years old.

Papa

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WOW! Thank you all for the info and advice. I may have failed to word it correctly in my first post but i HAVE already deployed and came back, and with plenty of stressful situations involved i was lucky enough to have no attacks. I do however know, that it was an immature, and dangerous choice i made to go about it the way i did. I have not tested myself out of fear for getting discharged from the USMC. But now with recent events, I have really awakened to the dangers of this disease and i am not taking it lightly anymore. In regards to some of your posts, I do wish for a reply from Hoppy, but do not know how to go about reaching him. I found his profile but cannot view it or send him a message. I am left hoping he stumbles upon this using the keywords in the topic i have posted. I am still wondering the main two questions i had as well, whether or not it IS in fact an immediate discharge, and if there is in fact anything to claim for such an occurance due to having the diagnosis while still in service. Again i am open to any and all advice or information. And thank you all again for helping!

Tanker

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