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  • Trouble Remembering? This helped me.

    I have memory problems and as some of you may know I highly recommend Evernote and have for years. Though I've found that writing helps me remember more. I ran across Tom's videos on youtube, I'm a bit geeky and I also use an IPad so if you take notes on your IPad or you are thinking of going paperless check it out. I'm really happy with it, I use it with a program called Noteshelf 2.

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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims

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    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   

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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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    • Mere speculation in your VA C and P exam

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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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Hi,

 

I’m going to be starting a new medication called RENFLEXIS (biosimilar to remicade).  I’ve been on multiple biologics up until this point so I am familiar with how TNF blockers work. The part that makes me nervous is the medication is administered through an infusion and the complications appear to be more than the other meds I’ve taken.  I wanted to see if anyone on here is on this, or has been on it, that can share their experience? I feel positive that it will help me, just nervous having to switch things up yet again.  

Edited by Through the looking glass

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What conditions do you have for the reason of this treatment? are you 65?

Here is some information you may already have read about  but just putting it on here for you to read if you Have not read up on this type treatment.?

 

What should I tell my doctor before I take RENFLEXIS?

You should let your doctor know if you have or ever had any of the following:

Tuberculosis (TB) or have been near someone who has TB. Your doctor will check you for TB with a skin test. If you have latent (inactive) TB, you will begin TB treatment before you start RENFLEXIS. If your doctor feels that you are at risk for TB, you may be treated with medicine for TB before you begin treatment with, and during treatment with, RENFLEXIS. Even if your TB test is negative, your doctor should carefully monitor you for TB infections while you are taking RENFLEXIS. Patients who had a negative TB skin test before receiving infliximab products have developed active TB.

Lived in a region where certain fungal infections like histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis, or blastomycosis are common. These infections may develop or become more severe if you take RENFLEXIS. If you do not know if you have lived in an area where histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis, or blastomycosis is common, ask your doctor.

Infections that keep coming back, diabetes, or an immune system problem.

Any type of cancer or a risk factor for developing cancer, for example, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or had phototherapy for psoriasis.

Heart failure or any heart condition. Many people with heart failure should not take RENFLEXIS.

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection or think you may be a carrier of HBV. Your doctor will test you for HBV.

Nervous system disorders (like multiple sclerosis or Guillain-Barré syndrome).

Also tell your doctor if you:

Use the medicines Kineret® (anakinra), Orencia® (abatacept), or Actemra® (tocilizumab) or other medicines called biologics used to treat the same problems as RENFLEXIS.

Are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, are breast-feeding, or have a baby and were using RENFLEXIS during your pregnancy. Tell your baby's doctor about your RENFLEXIS use. If your baby receives a live vaccine within 6 months after birth, your baby may develop infections with serious complications that can lead to death.

Recently received or are scheduled to receive a vaccine. Adults and children taking RENFLEXIS should not receive live vaccines or treatment with a weakened bacteria (such as Bacille Calmette-Guérin [BCG] for bladder cancer) while taking RENFLEXIS.

What should I watch for and talk to my doctor about before or while taking RENFLEXIS?

The following serious (sometimes fatal) side effects have been reported in people taking RENFLEXIS.

You should tell your doctor right away if you have any of the signs listed below:

Infections (like TB, blood infections, pneumonia)—fever, tiredness, cough, flu, or warm, red, or painful skin or any open sores. RENFLEXIS can make you more likely to get an infection or make any infection that you have worse.

Lymphoma, or any other cancers in adults and children.

Skin Cancer—any changes in or growths on your skin.

Heart Failure—new or worsening symptoms, such as shortness of breath, swelling of your ankles or feet, or sudden weight gain.

Reactivation of HBV—feeling unwell, poor appetite, tiredness, fever, skin rash, and/or joint pain.

Liver Injury—jaundice (yellow skin and eyes), dark brown urine, right-sided abdominal pain, fever, or severe tiredness.

Blood Problems—in some patients taking infliximab products, the body may not make enough of the blood cells that help fight infections or help stop bleeding. Tell your doctor if you have a fever that does not go away, bruising, bleeding, or severe paleness.

Nervous System Disorders—numbness, weakness, tingling, changes in your vision, or seizures.

Allergic Reactions (some severe) during or after the infusion—hives, difficulty breathing, chest pain, high or low blood pressure, swelling of face and hands, and fever or chills.

Lupus-like Syndrome—chest discomfort or pain that does not go away, shortness of breath, joint pain, rash on the cheeks or arms that gets worse in the sun.

Psoriasis—new or worsening psoriasis such as red scaly patches or raised bumps on the skin that are filled with pus.

The more common side effects with infliximab products are respiratory infections (that may include sinus infections and sore throat), headache, rash, coughing, and stomach pain.

 

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I am not familiar with this particular med.  However, my personal policy on meds is that I usually "look up" that particular medication and its side effects before I take it.  Then, after I take it for some time, I try to determine if the benefits of this med outweigh the risks.  If so, I continue it, if not, I discuss it with my doc and often discontinue it, possibly in favor of another med. 

Doctors call their office a "medical PRACTICE".  When they give you a pill, the doctor has no guarantee, nor do you, that this pill will help you..it may well do more harm than help.  Lots and lots of drugs are "pulled" off use by the FDA.  This is because enough people who took it got a very poor result.  I take charge of my own health care, am pro active, and am not above suggesting an alternative medication to my doctor if my research shows an alternative to be better.  

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This is some very heavy medication  so you need to be absolutely sure you need it or see if there is an alternative.

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Thanks guys.

I am taking this for Ankylosing Spondylitis(AS).  

I have been in a battle with medication to stop the progression of this disease for years now.  Unfortunately, every biologic medication I’ve taken before this either didn’t work, stopped working or put me in the hospital.  The one I was on before this worked for 2-3 years and then stopped.  

After many tests my doctor and I have found that my disease has been progressing and in a very aggressive manner.  This new medication, even though hard core, is one of my last resorts.  I have been pumped full of steroids to get me through until I start this new medication, and have felt awful.  I hate steroids.  

I have been in and out of the hospitals for so many things connected to AS as it has attacked my liver, heart, eyes, GI system, and lungs.  The damage and pain I suffer make this medication worth the risk. (And the fact that I’ve already been on all the alternatives). 

Again, thank you for your input.  If there is anyone else that has taken this medication or had a loved one take it, I would still love to hear about your experience.

 

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    • Exams that were being sent strictly to contractors before, due to VAMCs not being open, are starting to be routed back to VAMCs. This is going forward from last Friday- not sure if prior scheduled exams will be re-created for VAMC vs vendor.
      • 7 replies
    • Mere speculation in your VA C and P exam

      M21-1, Part III, Subpart iv, Chapter 3, Section D – Examination Reports III.iv.3.D.2.r. Examiner Statements that an Opinion Would be Speculative Pay careful attention to any conclusion by the examiner that an opinion could not be provided without resorting to mere speculation (or any similar language to that effect). VA may only accept a medical examiner’s … Continue reading
      • 0 replies
    • A favor please - just changed servers so if you have a moment...
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    • It's time to ask for help from the community. If you can help with a gift it would be very appreciated.

      Fund HadIt.com Veteran to Veteran LLC


      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. 
      • 11 replies
    • 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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