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Vync

Tbi/head Injury/dementia/lyme Disease Claim For My Father, Vietnam Veteran

Question

Hello everyone,

I am in the early stages of helping my father file some claims. We received his C-file recently and I went through it very carefully. He spent one year in Vietnam during the late 1960's and retired around 1990.

After having MRI's done each year, my father was recently diagnosed with early stages of dementia and put on aricept. Dementia does not run in our family on either side as far as we have researched.

The only head injury claims in his medical records are detailed below.

1. I found a medical record from Vietnam from a motor vehicle accident. It does not say much, but it does indicate that he was pinned under the vehicle. Back then the records he has are limited to just a couple of sentences. My mother said he mailed her pictures of the crashed vehicle, but he are looking for them in boxes. I don't think it explicitly explains head injury, but one might assume that being thrown and pinned under a vehicle during an accident would result in one. I realize the VA does not think this way.
2. I found another record from the late 1980's where he hit his forehead while walking underneath an artillery cannon. Apparently, he was knocked out cold and transported to the base hospital via ambulance. We also have a nice home video of him removing the bandage to see the nasty wound.

Now here's where it gets tricky...

I also found a number or medical records, especially in the 1980's, where my father was treated for insect bites/stings from mosquitos, bees, chiggers and ticks. In one record, he reported having over 100 ticks on him. Some records also report a large circular-shaped rash in conjunction with being bitten. The medic actually drew a picture on his records. I looked carefully for lyme disease. After looking on on the web, I found that some patients with lyme disease develop memory loss and problems with concentration.

I know we need to get him checked for Lyme disease titer.

I know an IMO would also help a lot.

Are there any other recommendations or ideas?

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Thanks for helping him Vync,

Check this list out carefully.

http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/conditions/

If you need the sarcoma list, I will find the posts on that here for you.

Dementia can be caused by vascular disease.


It was one diagnosis my husband had, ( SC for AO DMII,AO IHD, 1151 for CVA, PTSD)

Now is the time to see if any current additional medical problem your father has can be associated with either an inservice event (such as if he had a stressor during the war) or if he has any of the AO presumptives,or if he in fact also has PTSD. But of course his memory might be too impaired by the dementia but maybe not...
even with significant brain damage and dementia, one thing my husband never lost his memory of, .....was Vietnam.

Also disabilties from a brain disorder due to physical causes can be separated by VA from MH disabilities such as PTSD, in some cases.

The VA was able to do that for my husband ( after a little battle with me)

Did the VA ever rule in or out TBI?

Lyme disease. Here is a winner from Dr Craig Bash's web site.

As you know Dr Bash has been a GREAT radio blog guest here ( shows are in our archives, and I myself have had 2 GREAT IMos from him :


ORDER

Entitlement to service connection for Lyme disease is
granted.

http://www.va.gov/vetapp07/files1/0706719.txt

Also there is contact info here for John Dorley, his right hand man..John is .very user friendly like Craig is...

It is minnesoda something.... others will post it and he always gives this info out on the radio shows.

Here are some of his shows: Dr Craig Bash and John Dorley

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/haditcom

When you find the show, just click on the icon to hear it





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Sorry to hear of his issues, and great to see you being there for him. Good luck and God Bless!!!

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If a vet has a documented head injury and there are any possible symptoms of TBI I think he/she should file a claim. Medical science is in its infancy regarding TBI. I did read a report in the National Geographic discussing blast concussion and the military and VA don't even understand it. Often the only way to tell about subtle damage to the brain is an autopsy. My father-in-law was concussed in WWII. After he was discharged he had epilepsy. The marines denied him a medical retirement even though he spent 6 months in a military hospital. They said he was all well and kicked him out because of his unusual behavior after he got out of he hospital. VA denied him anything and he just got worse and worse. I only knew him in the last few years of his life and I tried to help but he and his family were no help because they were ashamed of his problems.

John

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Vync,

I would also be looking at Parkinson's disease which is an agent orange presumptive disease. Dementia is associated with Parkinson's disease.

As a Vietnam veteran, I appreciate what you are doing for your father. You are a good son. I had a jeep roll over accident in Vietnam and the SMRs were not very detailed regarding the extent of my injuries and some of the hand writing on the medical notes was not legible.

Good luck to you and your father.

GP

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    • Yes 

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      The gold standard for diagnosing PTSD is a structured clinical interview such as the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS-5). When necessary, the PCL-5 can be scored to provide a provisional PTSD DSM 5 diagnosis.

      Any clinical clinician such as MD ,Psychiatrist even a L.C.S.W. (Certified)can perform the Diagnostics Evaluation Employed by the the VA

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        you learn the tools to cope with and depending how severe your symptoms are ? 

       They test /screen you with phychoeducational type therapy treatment usually at first.

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      The therapy works  even if we think it don't,  I recommend Therapy for all PTSD Veterans  it could very well save your life once the correct therapy is in place and the Veteran makes all his Clinical Appointments.

      I still have Combat PTSD it probably will never be cured completely but we can learn the tools it takes to cope with this horrible diseases 

      even learning breathing techniques  Helps tremendously during a panic attact.

      I have guilt from the war in Vietnam  ( I ask my self what could I have done to make a better outcome/difference?..and also I am in what the therapist calls stuck points. working on that at present once a week for 90 minutes.  I am very fortunate to have the help the VA gives me and I am lucky I have not turned to alcohol or drugs to mask my problem.

      But I have put my family through a living hell with my angers of burst.and they all stood by me the whole time years and years of my family life was disrupted because of me and my children &spouse  never deserved it one bit.

      That's all I want to say about that.

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    • No timeframe gotta love that answer it’s even better when you ask 1800 people or call the board directly they’ll say you’ll know sooner then later. I had mine advanced and it was about 2 months later until I had the decision in my hand which seems forever but in the present system in 2016 lightning fast...
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    • Thank you @GeekySquid for your reply. 

       

      I have redacted personal information for my documents listed below. 

      I look forward to your reply. 

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    • Hello Defenders of freedom!

      I have a question pertaining to this denial for headaches. The decision letter is quoted below. 

       

      3. Service connection for headaches.

      "We may grant service connection for a disability which began in military service or was caused by some event or experience in service.

      Your STRs are negative for any treatment of or diagnosis of headaches. On your post-deployment exam in 2005 you denied any headaches. On separation, you denied any headaches. VA treatment records are negative for any treatment of or diagnosis of headaches. On VA exam, the examiner stated there was no evidence of any residuals of a traumatic brain injury.

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       (1) either the correct facts, as they were known at the time, were not before the adjudicator or the statutory or regulatory provisions in existence at that time were incorrectly applied; 

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