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flyfisher

Fibromyalgia

Question

I served in the Persian Gulf during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. I have been recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia/ Myofascial syndrome by two seperate nurse practioners one of them being my primary care provider and the other in the pain clinic. My primary care provider filled out a Disability Benefits Questionnaire where she stated by pain was not responding to treatment and that her opinion that it was least as likely as not related to my service in the Persian Gulf and exposure to possible environmental causes. I have filed a claim with my VSO and still waiting on a decision. My primary care provider has completed all the blood work to rule out other causes such as arthritis. I have been referrred to neurology and rheumatolgy but have been denied to be seen as they tell me to be treated for chronic pain in response to the referrals.

Has anyone else who served in the Persian Gulf claimed fibromyalgia as a presumptive illness and been granted service connection. I am trying to gain information in case my claim gets denied. Any help would be appreciated.

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On 5/13/2015 at 5:01 PM, Awesomer said:

From the research I had done over the years, Gulf-War syndrome/fibromyalgia syndrome has been thought to be attributed to experimental flu-shots they had been inoculating the troops with in preparation for deployment to the Middle-East. I actually served 2 one-year long tours on the DMZ in Korea and never actually went to combat. However, we were prepared for rapid-deployment at that time in '91, meaning we all had our shots and we were ready to go. The suspected toxic chemical thought to be responsible was "Squalene MF59".

I joined in November 2005. I was given a slew of vaccines in Basic. When I got to my first unit, I received my "pre-deployment" vaccines which included smallpox. I had a terrible reaction to the smallpox, resulting in MULTIPLE peritonsillar abscesses and tonsillar surgical intervention. Whole body ached, joints, everything. Anthrax vaccine was, at this point, "voluntary." Deployed 2006-2007.

Deployed again in Iraq 2008, "Anthrax" vaccine was now made by the DoD to be "MANDATORY" (y'know, 'cause of all the anthrax related deaths over the years) and I was threatened by my leadership, after I refused to take it, with the usual "general order #1, you're our property. If you don't take this, you'll just go to jail." Which in hindsight, would've been a much better alternative. A few years in jail or a lifetime of disability? Mid-tour, I develop chronic inflammation. Wrists won't work to do pushups, costochondritis in my chest so bad that I could hardly use my left arm and literally felt my ribs grinding on my sternum.

Late 2008 deployment, we get a new "SNIFFABLE" flu-shot. I refused again. I get told the same "get stuck or go to jail" shpeel. I am less than 1 year from getting out, so I take it. I develop whole-body stiffness and tension. I have never before felt such pain and agony in my body. I could hardly put my boots on my feet I had such intense pain. This lasted for about 8-9 days, gradually lessening in intensity, however, I am never the same physically. Before this deployment, I never had an ache or pain in my body. I never knew what "knee pain" was or would wake up every morning with my arms numb and tingling. 

After I got out, I made so many excuses for my failing health. I was only 22, so of course, I thought I could "get better" by listening to my doctors and doing things that would help me. I had knee pain, wrist pain, shoulder pain, hip pain.. feet were so tender I simply cannot walk more than 2 minutes on my bare feet. Physical therapy didn't work. The more I did, the more tired I would become. I would work on my car, lets say, replacing a starter.. only to be left completely debilitated for the next 2-3 days.. couldn't use my hands properly because they were so "sore" and "weak". I constantly had to tell my young wife that I couldn't do things because I was tired, sore, and weak. The weakness is the absolute worst I think. Pain sucks, but being physically unable to hold a wrench without my hand "giving out" or being able to lift something because my muscles just won't work right is a huge huge problem for me. Mowing the lawn cripples me. I just turned 30 last month.

I am close to being 100%, but the closer I get, the more "real" being disabled becomes. I am 30. I still have dreams of what I want to be "when I grow up" y'know? But really, my life is symptom management. I probably will never be able to own a boat or go on a family vacation to Hawaii and go surf with my boys on such a low fixed-income. It doesn't matter that it's tax free and all that garbage. I never wanted to be on benefits, and I still don't. I would much rather be PHYSICALLY ABLE. What good is money if you can't enjoy it? Even if I had 300 million, it wouldn't change my damaged physiology. I wanted to be a role model for my children and family, not living a cursed life.

Edited by OIFMedic

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I was just diagnosed by a rheumatologist with fibro on 22 March and have filed my claim. I was deployed to the UAE in 1998 and Saudi in 2000 so my claim is presumptive. I did not have my Dr fill out any paperwork for me since a nexus is not necessary for a presumptive claim, however part of my documentation does show a neck injury while on one of these deployments. Ebenefits says I should get my results in June or July. 

Oh, I also made sure to include proof of my 6 anthrax vaccinations.

Edited by AFgal
typo

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On 7/17/2017 at 10:49 AM, OIFMedic said:

I wanted to be a role model for my children and family, not living a cursed life

Unfortunately, you are going to have to do that with the cards you have been dealt. Sounds like you have a wife and kids and a family. Some don't have that. Perhaps you can look into things you can do and try not to dwell too much on things you can't. 

I think I know how you feel. I didn't join until I was 22. By the time I got out at 27 I had an injured neck and back that VA has fought me tooth and nail for going on over 30 years. It is really hard to cope with feeling like doing the easiest and simplest thing, working on your vehicle or mowing the yard, is going to screw you up for a couple of days. 

Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Best of luck in your journey.

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Hi all,

I am a Marine vet who served in Operation Desert Storm. I have a question for whoever can answer it. I have this burning feeling in my right leg (back muscle) from my calf all the way to my butt. It is constant and never goes away so I drink just to be able to sleep at night. Can someone tell me is this Fibromyalgia? I also have submitted a claim for PTSD and a host of other issues. I asked the VA to examine my right leg but still nothing yet. I just completed my C&P last week. Any help on the Fibromyalgia question will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

 

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Do you use the VA health system? If so, contact your PCP and tell him/her you want someone to look at it. They don't have to know if you have a claim open. If diagnosis is confirmed, try to get words from the doc if it could be related to D.S. If affirmed, get them to put it in the exam record. If not a VA patient, get a private eval. You should be getting an eval and diagnosis whether it is DS or not. And self medication isn't the answer either; you can get plenty of personal advice here on that too.Of course you could contact the RO and ask when you will have the C&P for your leg. That might be the quickest way outside of a private doc. If you go private, come back and we can advise more, but start a new question.

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