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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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    • Howdy all,

      The VA DRO denied my claim for an earlier effective date for my sleep apnea. They originally denied it in 2008 but granted it in Nov 2019 secondary to my GERD. I was rated for GERD in 2001. So I had it in 2008. I have attached the 2008 denial, 2018 approval, and the NOD SOC. All of my medical files and the medical articles and VA Citations referenced were in existence in or before Jan 2008. The only new items were the NEXUS letter from Dr Bash and a few extra buddy letters. The original denial states that my medical records show no diagnosis or treatment and only isolated complaints of symptoms. The denial does not even list my wife's or my lay statements as evidence reviewed. I have symptoms listed numerous times in my SMRs:

      a. Medical visit dated 24 Feb 76 for problem sleeping and depression.
      b. Physical exam dated 24 Jan 79 listed frequent/severe headaches" dizziness, and
      nervousness.
      c. Physical exam dated 07 Nov 83 listed frequent/severe headaches.
      d. Physical exam dated 16 Jan 85 listed frequent/severe headaches.
      e. Admitted to hospital 05 Aug 86 for chest pains and anxiety.
      f. Medical visit dated 14 Jul 87 for problem sleeping and morning confusion.
      g. Physical exam dated 25 Feb 88 listed dizziness.
      h. Physical exam dated 07 Oct 91 listed frequent/severe headaches
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      j. Hernia repair surgery dated 22 Ang 94 surgeon had to insert devices of some
      kind in each of my nostrils that went down into my throat to keep rny airway
      open and stop my disruptive snoring.
      k. Physical exam dated 29 Sep 99 listed frequent/severe headaches.

      So could you all take a look and let me know what you think.

      Redacted VA NOD SOC 04-09-2020.pdf
      VA 2008 Denial of OSA Redacted.pdf
      VA Claim Decision Ltr 08 Nov 2018 Redacted.PDF
      • 3 replies
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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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Hello Flyfisher, I am interested about hearing more about your pressure points and perhaps about the onset of your problems.

I am 27 y/o male who deployed 2x to Iraq totaling nearly 21 months of service in theater. I have multiple possible exposures including: biological, anthrax and smallpox vaccines, burn pits, etc etc. I have a history of inflammatory problems throughout service and after service that were nonexistant in my life and I have no family history of these types of medical problems. My wife and I have been dealing with these ailments for years on our own, however I am SC for PTSD and arthritis in both ankles, sinusitis, etc. I do go to the VA mental health clinic and see a psychologist there.

I am very concerned about my health as of right now. I have bad pain in my feet, ankles, knees, wrists, neck, inner elbow, hip, back 24/7. I also have point tenderness at nearly all tendons and points of attachment of my lower extremities. My wife is a massage therapist and she is amazed at how tender and how many points on my body are inflamed on a daily basis. I have been diagnosed with costochondritis, have early onset of hammer toes, etc. Honestly, the pain is now coming to a point where it severely effects me every day of my life. I have a 3 year old son who I simply cannot be active with. I am having more pain, more stiffness, less mobility, and as a result, more depressive thoughts and feelings as the days roll on. I also have many other symptoms related to PTSD and who knows what including memory loss and trouble concentrating.

Over the years, I have continually told my primary care at the local VA about my pain and she would reply "well there's not much we can do about that other than offer you medications." Now I am at a point where I think all of these separate issues could be apart of something greater. I am now trying to go to the WRIISC in DC to go through their diagnostic tests, and hope I can get some type of diagnosis or SOME type of answers. I am very upset about my primary care not having the wherewithal to do some blood tests or even consider the possibility of some type of degenerative condition which I fear I may have as a result of exposures.

A little history. I eat well, I am one of those "organic" people. I eat raw fruit and veggies, nuts and generally eat very healthy. I understand micronutrients and nutrition. I am a student of biology at USF with a history working in healthcare. I buy awesome shoes that support my feet properly. I try and exercise to the best of my ability, and I am not overweight. I take my vitamins and drink plenty of water daily. I do not smoke and have limited alcohol consumption. I try and make make conscious health decisions every single day and yet I have these debilitating aches and pains all day every day.

Sorry for the crazy long post, but I've been out for 5 years, been dealing with this for 6, and I am just looking for some possible answers. After looking at the onset/symptoms for fibro and RA I am concerned about my undiagnosed ailments.

Thank you,
OIFMedic

Edited by OIFMedic

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OIFMedic

Posted Today, 11:14 AM

Hello Flyfisher, I am interested about hearing more about your pressure points and perhaps about the onset of your problems.

I am 27 y/o male who deployed 2x to Iraq totaling nearly 21 months of service in theater. I have multiple possible exposures including: biological, anthrax and smallpox vaccines, burn pits, etc etc. I have a history of inflammatory problems throughout service and after service that were nonexistant in my life and I have no family history of these types of medical problems. My wife and I have been dealing with these ailments for years on our own, however I am SC for PTSD and arthritis in both ankles, sinusitis, etc. I do go to the VA mental health clinic and see a psychologist there.

I am very concerned about my health as of right now. I have bad pain in my feet, ankles, knees, wrists, neck, inner elbow, hip, back 24/7. I also have point tenderness at nearly all tendons and points of attachment of my lower extremities. My wife is a massage therapist and she is amazed at how tender and how many points on my body are inflamed on a daily basis. I have been diagnosed with costochondritis, have early onset of hammer toes, etc. Honestly, the pain is now coming to a point where it severely effects me every day of my life. I have a 3 year old son who I simply cannot be active with. I am having more pain, more stiffness, less mobility, and as a result, more depressive thoughts and feelings as the days roll on. I also have many other symptoms related to PTSD and who knows what including memory loss and trouble concentrating.

Over the years, I have continually told my primary care at the local VA about my pain and she would reply "well there's not much we can do about that other than offer you medications." Now I am at a point where I think all of these separate issues could be apart of something greater. I am now trying to go to the WRIISC in DC to go through their diagnostic tests, and hope I can get some type of diagnosis or SOME type of answers. I am very upset about my primary care not having the wherewithal to do some blood tests or even consider the possibility of some type of degenerative condition which I fear I may have as a result of exposures.

A little history. I eat well, I am one of those "organic" people. I eat raw fruit and veggies, nuts and generally eat very healthy. I understand micronutrients and nutrition. I am a student of biology at USF with a history working in healthcare. I buy awesome shoes that support my feet properly. I try and exercise to the best of my ability, and I am not overweight. I take my vitamins and drink plenty of water daily. I do not smoke and have limited alcohol consumption. I try and make make conscious health decisions every single day and yet I have these debilitating aches and pains all day every day.

Sorry for the crazy long post, but I've been out for 5 years, been dealing with this for 6, and I am just looking for some possible answers. After looking at the onset/symptoms for fibro and RA I am concerned about my undiagnosed ailments.

Thank you,

OIFMedic

The thing about fibromyalgia is not only there is no cure; there is no standard of medical treatment. Medication that works for one person may not work for another. There is no standard of laboratory test to prove or disprove that a person has it. There is no magic pill to take away the pain. The only thing a person can do is try to see a rheumatologist for management. I say management because I have had several rheumatologists to tell me that they cannot do anything for me except monitor my condition to see if and when I may need surgery. They have also told me that I will most likely not need surgery because my pain is in my muscles, nerves, and tendons. Fibromyalgia is a bear to deal with. It is very frustrating and depressing knowing that you are very limited in the things that you can do and there is nothing you can do about it. Keep in mind that fibromyalgia is a cluster of symptoms from; Fatigue, IBS, Migraines, Sleep Disorder, trigger point pain, numbness and tingling in your extremities and other conditions that will just irritate you. Most doctors' will try to treat the separate symptoms but all that does is put medication in your body that seems not to work but if you don't take the medication you feel worst. I hope you find some help but unfortunately I have not.

Edited by pete992

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The thing about fibromyalgia is not only there is no cure; there is no standard of medical treatment. Medication that works for one person may not work for another. There is no standard of laboratory test to prove or disprove that a person has it. There is no magic pill to take away the pain. The only thing a person can do is try to see a rheumatologist for management. I say management because I have had several rheumatologists to tell me that they cannot do anything for me except monitor my condition to see if and when I may need surgery. They have also told me that I will most likely not need surgery because my pain is in my muscles, nerves, and tendons. Fibromyalgia is a bear to deal with. It is very frustrating and depressing knowing that you are very limited in the things that you can do and there is nothing you can do about it. Keep in mind that fibromyalgia is a cluster of symptoms from; Fatigue, IBS, Migraines, Sleep Disorder, trigger point pain, numbness and tingling in your extremities and other conditions that will just irritate you. Most doctors' will try to treat the separate symptoms but all that does it put medication in your body that seems not to work but if you don't take the medication you feel worst. I hope you fine some help but unfortunately I have not.

Thank you for this. I think only recently am I coming to terms with the possibility of being "disabled" for the rest of my life. It's been kind of a devastating thought at this point in my life right now. Been suffering for 6 years (since 21) already and have a baby on the way. I have 2 boys that I may not be able to be active in their lives *as I thought.* Expectations and realities for me are kind of a bummer right now.

I understand that there is no modern medicinal cure that has been studied and published. I am just now starting the process of starting diagnostic testing (getting appointments made) so that I can get some clues as to what I may have, although I think my current symptoms and past history, including the costochondritis diagnosis in 2008, I would be surprised if it were not fibromyalgia. I would like to get it documented and service connected so that at least I can have some type of history of care if it progresses even further.

It would just be nice to have a better idea what I am afflicted with so that I can start self-treating NOW (possible diets or stretches that may help, what to avoid/what to consume type of stuff) so that I don't have to wait on the VA boneheads to take a year or two to tell me that I might have a condition.

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I'm still pretty knew to this forum, but I'm grateful for how helpful you guys have been.

I feel like I'm losing my mind. I honestly can't remember when the problems started but best guess is around 2 years ago. I did 1 tour in Iraq in 2007-08. I'm currently rated 10% for back injury and 10% for tinnitus. Recently I stumbled upon an article about Gulf War Illness and I'm starting to wonder if the problems I've been having are connected.

The worst has been the pain. It is everyday but it moves around. Sometimes it's pretty much everywhere in my back, legs, arms, neck, knees, hips and elbows. Other times it might be just my back and legs, or back and neck etc. It's like a severe throbbing pain, and it's always worse after any sort of activity. I worked on my car one Saturday and I could barely function for the next 2 days from the pain and stiffness. Headaches have also become a regular occurrence

On top of that I've had trouble sleeping and always feel like I've barely slept. I always wake up frequently in the night. Depression and anxiety are frequent (but more depression than anxiety). Fatigue is less frequent than pain but definitely noticeable. My memory is slipping (which my wife is kind enough to point out constantly), and I regularly forget what I'm doing (like standing in the family room trying to figure out why the hell I'm in the family room). My left eye twitches uncontrollably at times, and I have persistent red bumps on my thighs and waist.

I'm not sure what to do. I am honestly affraid to bring these symptoms up with my doctor. I've been with him for about a year, and I suspect that he won't believe me because I've never mentioned these problems before. Hell, I was even embarassed to tell my wife about the pain. She knows about my back injury, but until last week she didn't know about the rest of it. I've started a log to describe the symptoms day-to-day, but even that has been difficult.

What would you guys suggest? It feels like I'm losing my mind.

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If you don't feel comfortable at the VA get an outside opinion.

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      Give a financial gift to help with the upkeep of HadIt.com. HadIt.com is NOT a non profit. Gifts are not tax deductible, they are just gifts. 
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    • Howdy all,

      The VA DRO denied my claim for an earlier effective date for my sleep apnea. They originally denied it in 2008 but granted it in Nov 2019 secondary to my GERD. I was rated for GERD in 2001. So I had it in 2008. I have attached the 2008 denial, 2018 approval, and the NOD SOC. All of my medical files and the medical articles and VA Citations referenced were in existence in or before Jan 2008. The only new items were the NEXUS letter from Dr Bash and a few extra buddy letters. The original denial states that my medical records show no diagnosis or treatment and only isolated complaints of symptoms. The denial does not even list my wife's or my lay statements as evidence reviewed. I have symptoms listed numerous times in my SMRs:

      a. Medical visit dated 24 Feb 76 for problem sleeping and depression.
      b. Physical exam dated 24 Jan 79 listed frequent/severe headaches" dizziness, and
      nervousness.
      c. Physical exam dated 07 Nov 83 listed frequent/severe headaches.
      d. Physical exam dated 16 Jan 85 listed frequent/severe headaches.
      e. Admitted to hospital 05 Aug 86 for chest pains and anxiety.
      f. Medical visit dated 14 Jul 87 for problem sleeping and morning confusion.
      g. Physical exam dated 25 Feb 88 listed dizziness.
      h. Physical exam dated 07 Oct 91 listed frequent/severe headaches
      i. Physical exam dated 25 Aug 93 listed headache.
      j. Hernia repair surgery dated 22 Ang 94 surgeon had to insert devices of some
      kind in each of my nostrils that went down into my throat to keep rny airway
      open and stop my disruptive snoring.
      k. Physical exam dated 29 Sep 99 listed frequent/severe headaches.

      So could you all take a look and let me know what you think.

      Redacted VA NOD SOC 04-09-2020.pdf
      VA 2008 Denial of OSA Redacted.pdf
      VA Claim Decision Ltr 08 Nov 2018 Redacted.PDF
      • 3 replies
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