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Went For My Opthalmic C&p Today.


Greg88

Question

Hi everyone, I've been service connected Type 1 Diabetic for the last 36 years, I've been at 100% since 1998. Todays C&P was the 1st one in 14.9 years. Since 2001 I've been using private opthamologist and PCP since my wife had good insurance, in 2006 I was told I had mild diabetic retinopathy same in 2007 and 2008, this was diagnosed by one top retina guys in the field. The usual visit lasted 2 hours with tons of pictures of the inside of the eye (which you can have done at JC Penney these days for $35 bucks) So I showed up 10 minutes early to exam, not one other PT. there, now this is an Optometry clinic not an Opthalmologists clinic (surprise #1) There was a 5 minute wait and the Optometrist started exam, I gave her the letters showing what my opthalmologist found and she did a 35 minute exam, she said saw a healthy retina, I asked her about the mild retinopathy and she tells me "with good diabetic control it will go away" which is crap, it will heal but it will scar the retina. Not one picture was taken of the inside of my eye. So now I'm wondering should I be worried.

Gregory

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Have you looked at the VA's exam schedule for the eyes. It should tell you what a complete exam should consist of and if your exam was complete. Get hold of the exam results and see what they say before you begin to worry too much. If the exam says everything is fine you then get one of your doctors to poke holes in the exam and write a counter exam. Your MD's should top the evaluation of an optometrist. Was it a VA doctor that did the exam?

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Hi again Greg....Did she actually say that you no longer have diabetic retinaopathy? This is definitely not the first time where diabetic retinaopathy has disappeared according to VA exams: http://www.va.gov/ve...193.txt - just noticed that the appeal case link does not work. It's Citation NR 0307193 Docket No 01-08 267 Maybe this will work: www.va.gov/vetapp03/Files/0307193.txt

Like John999 said I would not worry for now.....just request a copy of the C&P exam that was done today and see what it actually says.

If after reading the copy of the C&P exam you feel that the diagnosis is incorrect - I would get your eyes checked again on your own dime. The last time you had them checked, according to what you wrote was in 2008. I would not just let that latest C&P exam - if it does say anything contrary to what you believe you do indeed have - stand on it's own.

Edited by USMC5811 (see edit history)
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USMC, interesting, I brought the letters from the Opthalmologist and she did not put them with my records, I called after posting the message and they said they had all they need for the C&P, the thing about this is the retinopathy does not disappear and not putting a copy of the opthalmologists letters in with my file makes me more suspicous. I don't trust the VA at all, especially whe it comes to ratings, it seems that their looking for a way to decrease things and have you start again. Looking at the case you've posted they don't give a lot of evidence for their denial. How soon will the C&P be available.

Gregory

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How soon the C&P exam is available depends on a few things. If the exam was done by the VA at a VAMC one can usually pick a copy up almost the same day after signing the privacy act paperwork. If the exam was done by a contractor of the VA - it depends on how long it takes for that contractor to get the exam results back to the VA. Sometimes contractors will give you a copy directly and sometimes they won't because the VA is the one that paid for the exam. One of my contractors took over 2 months to get the exam to the VA - another one only took a few days. As soon as the VA gets it (sometimes you can see this on ebenefits) you can get a copy. I sent a letter directly to my RO, you would probably have to change the wording "my current compensation claim" to something else though but this is what I sent:

DATE

Insert your RO address here

RE: Request of copies of all C&P exams/reports – Privacy Act, 5, USC, 552a

To Whom It May Concern,

This is a request under the Privacy Act, 5, USC, 552a for copies of all C&P Exams/reports pertaining to my current Compensation Claim.

In an effort to assist with your search for these records, I am providing the following additional information about myself:

Name:

Service Number:

DOB:

If you deny this request, please cite each specific exemption you feel justifies the refusal to release the information and notify me of appeal procedures available to me under the law.

Thank you for consideration of my request.

Full Name

Address

Telelphone #

I got a copy of all my C&P results back pretty fast......within a week after mailing my request....every RO is different though.

That case that I listed ...shows an exam done by the VA on one month where the VA doc stated the vet had retinaopathy. He was sent for another exam just a few months later (VA usually just tests once a year for this according to their own medical guidelines - odd that they did two tests within a few months) and that VA doc said he did not have retinaopathy.

I could not find any medical research that says that it will disappear completely. Mayo Clinic says the following: If you have nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy, you may not need treatment right away. However, your eye doctor will closely monitor your eyes to determine if you need treatment.

It may also be helpful to work with your diabetes doctor (endocrinologist) to find out if there are any additional steps you can take to improve your diabetes management. The good news is that when diabetic retinopathy is in the mild or moderate stage, good blood sugar control can usually slow the progression of diabetic retinopathy. Which can be found here: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/diabetic-retinopathy/DS00447/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs

Edited by USMC5811 (see edit history)
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USMC, yes is it was done at a VAMC, so I will call tommorow and see whats going on with it. The thing is that on my orginal claim back in 1997, I never complained of retinopathy, the C&P examiner put it down without an exam, the VA had done all my eye exams through 97, no one mentioned retinopathy in 21 years before the exam, I saw it when they awarded the 100% and asked my DAV rep about it he said "don't worry about it." The key thing at this point is it was'nt my reason for filing in 1997 and it's still not now, the problem is that the Diabetes DBQ that NP will be using does not get into depth about whats keeping me 100% disabled. As my wife said to me tonight, "you are a lot sicker now than you were then" the question is will the VA see that.

Gregory

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Greg did you look at section 3A on the DBQ for Diabetes? I believe you mentioned that you suffer from neuropathy - they should also then do the form/exam for neuropathy. Also the symptoms in 3B of that form also require they fill out different forms for each of those symptoms. 3B also has a space for the examiner to fill in "other complications" that are not covered in 3A and 3B. Then there is also section 4B that an examiner can fill in even more symptoms etc. that are not specifically addressed. Hopefully you get a descent C&P examiner that is willing to listen to you and read your medical documentation and annotates them on their C&P exam documentation.

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USMC, I was filling out the Diabetes DBQ to let my Dr. know what I will be dealing with, the examiner will be a NP, I'm wondering if she will just follow the DBQ or go into the questions more deeply, from what I've read some of the NPs just follow the DBQs tootha and nail, I wonder what her reaction will be if I hand her a filled out DBQ before the exam. I checked Ebenefits nothing on the Optical C&P. The Medical C&P is scheduled for 2 hours, I'm betting dollars to donuts she's done in 30-40 minutes.

Greg

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So far, from my own and my husbands C&P's, it looks like a 50/50 chance as to whether one gets a good C&P examiner that does a correct/complete exam and does not just write whatever they happen to feel like writing. We each had 2 doc's that were very fair, appeared to give a crap and actually wrote very good reports that actually reflected what our current symptoms/disabilities are. Then we each had 2 that were as cold as ice, on the verge of being considered rude .....my dogs have gotten better treatment and a more thorough exam at a busy vets office:(

Let us know how it goes for you....

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USMC, I'm wondering how this going to turn out overall, I have documented proof to bring with me, but will the NP even look at it and then it comes down to the point of the actual Rater to make a descision. I have been at 100% for the 14.9 years, so there going to need a lot more proof than just an NPs opinion. I think the DBQs in some case's hurt more than help, because they keep the examiner locked in on just those items.

Greg

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