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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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  • 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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Vync

Filing a claim for a heart attack due to NSAIDs

Question

During the process of recovering from a major heart attack, I have begun collecting and reviewing my medical records and exploring risk factors. The most obvious factor is long-term NSAID use. The Army prescribed Ibuprofen almost daily. The VA and other doctors have prescribed various NSAID medications daily for about the past 20 years to treat my SC musculoskeletal and TMJ disabilities.

The heart attack was a STEMI (aka "widowmaker") with numerous blockages ranging from 10-20% to 99%. The angioplasty began about two hours after the heart attack started, lasted over two hours, and several stints were inserted. I have some cognitive issues like short term memory loss, difficulty making decisions, and greatly reduced physical stamina since the event occurred which has made things much more difficult. I only partially remember visiting the VA cardiologist last week, but do remember him saying the NSAID use is a major factor in having a heart attack. He also said he could tell I had a heart attack by just looking at my EKG.

I am considering filing the claim via Ebenefits this week and just letting the VA handle the C&P. I am already SC at 100% P&T (more than 10 years in effect). If things go downhill, the additional rating might make it easier to qualify for some level of SMC, A&A, or even SSDI.

Any advice or guidance is greatly appreciated.

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On 4/23/2019 at 8:33 AM, Berta said:

There is plenty of  recent news on the association of long term NSAIDs use and heart attacks:

https://www.pbm.va.gov/PBM/vacenterformedicationsafety/nationalpbmbulletin/NSAIDS_and_CV_Safety_NATIONAL_PBM_BULLETIN_080415_FINAL.pdf

In any event this is a strong basis for a Section 1151 claim.

Or a claim for disability due to treatment of a SC condition,like what you have- maybe best to file both ways.

 

That VA bulletin will be added to my complete outlined that I heavily drafted from start to kidney failure and then a stroke. That bulletin shows a strong basis for a Section 1151 claim, indeed it does.  Since the average physicians knows for decades about NSAIDs toxicity.  Yet in the mid-2000s the VA by pass that with Nurse Practitioners to pass it out like candy. Having NPs give out meds is illegal and only physicians can do so.

What I refer to as the Triangle of the kidney, heart and brain. Because these three organs, after reading miles of medical publications in journals, are linked together, and most doctors aren't aware of that.

Which is why my case is now going to CAVC.

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On 4/23/2019 at 6:45 AM, Vync said:

TMJ disabilities.

Any advice or guidance is greatly appreciated.

You need to go see a TMJ dentist specialist, NSAIDs wont cure that and if its all documented in your c-file you're set, but a mouth piece like what football player wear will. Not going to be cheap, mine was 6k total for everything that specialist did but 1100 after insurance. 

Have you lawyered up? 

Go see a Nephrologist, because you likely have one kidney and not know it. That would can get you to SMC-L. Then after that kidney doctor done all the exams, test, and treatment. Get your thyroid levels checked. Hire Dr. Anaise for an IMO since he is a Transplant Surgeon.  I did and that IMO from him made my attorney get all the bogus crap VA claimed I had, thrown out at the BVA, and the result was that it made the scale even, where I now have obtained additional medical evidence to be in my favor at the CVAC.

Go private, because we all know the VA's job is to deny, destroy your health, until we're all dead. They know all the problems and how to cure them - yesterday's Vietnam Agent Orange to today's Gulf War Syndrome.

I don't want to know the next poison for the military in 20 years that will get them sick--it will happen unfortunately. 

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Posted (edited)

Oceanbound, this veteran was denied at BVA for stroke (TIAs) and issues and went to the CAVC, and the court found the BVA had erred and he won when he returned to the BVA:

https://www.va.gov/vetapp18/files9/18133810.txt

In part:

"The Board concludes that the Veteran has an additional disability of exacerbation of hypertension, TIAs, and residuals of serotonin syndrome caused carelessness, negligence, lack of proper skill, error in judgment or other instance of fault on the part of VA in providing mislabeled medication.  Further, the August 2018 VHA opinion supports a finding that the medication error and subsequent additional disability was an event not reasonably foreseeable.  Accordingly, the criteria for compensation under 38 U.S.C. § 1151 for additional disability, including hypertension, TIAs, and residuals of serotonin syndrome, due to VA treatment have been met."
 

The stroke part of my FTCA case was fairly easy to win- (actually all the malpractice charges I made were)

but it took a lot of time reading and trying to understand medical terms, many trips to law libraries and medical libraries etc etc- and the internet then was Nothing like it is now.I dont think I had a single internet orint out for the FTCA/1151 claims.

At one point A nurse, when he was hospitalized at the local VAMC,  pulled me aside and said, 'can you get him out of here before they kill him'-she did not know that I had confronted his doctor , and said I would call my Congressman if she did take immediate action and the CT scan she told me was broken, was miraculously fixed in ten minutes-and it revealed not the problem she said he had ( labyrhithitis) but 6 areas of brain damage , to include the recent undiagnosed massive stroke.

The other 5 areas I proved were misdiagnosed TIAs, and without proper treatment and diagnosis they led to the massive stroke.

I am bringing this up because I was reading the final medical report from VA Central and the cardio doc stated the nurses were far more observant than the doctors, in his medical care.The nurse who told me to get him out of there said she had made a specific entry in the records- but I never found it.

Still the nurses notes ,although not extensive , kept cartegorizing his symptoms which were not indicative at all of labyrinthitis, He had a bad fall one night and a nurse told me about it but that never appeared in the med recs.

I asked the doctor about it ( my husband didnt remember it  due to the stroke, but complained of shoulder and head pain) I asked if an X ray was done and the doctor said Yes. But no X ray had been done.

Even a Chaplain note in the medical record was part of my evidence.

We cannot overlook a single thing. But this is why it pays to get an IMO/IME.

I did miss something however- due to my daughter's insistence, I re opened my claim.

I proved he had undiagnosed and untreated Diabetes Mellitus due to the Vietnam War.

It awarded a direct SC death.

There is no Honor in a 1151 death. It means the very system that the service of veterans created, caused the death of the veteran.

I was able to decifer and get a brief free IMO from a former Neuro doctor who had diagnosed diabetes but his diagnosis was crossed out and not part of my FTCA /1151 claim. Also I looked up one word in his autopsy that I thought I understood, for the FTCA issue, but medically it was a nexus to his heart disease (undiagnosed and untreated)that indicated the affects of diabetes to his heart.

I prepared a cover letter for Dr Bash referring to the specific medical entries ,in the med recs I sent, that proved he had DMII and he did the opinion in less than a week.

Since the RO refused at first to even re open my DIC claim on a new basis, I knew I would need IMOs this time because it was not an OGC FTCA issue.I could not claim malpractice again.I claimed direct service connected death. 

My long point here is that these types of issues are aggressively fought by the ROs.Even the BVA can make errors, as in the case above. The CAVC will consider everything in the established record.But the claimant cannot add to that record, when it is at the CAVC.The best thing that can happen is for a CAVC remand back to the BVA due to an error.That opens the door for even more evidence if it is needed.

The only 1151 claim I ever saw go fast with no BS, was the claim I wrote for a friend of my husband, filed about 3 months after I filed my 1151. They awarded 100% P & T under 1151 with no rigamorale.

The vet from the older board who just won a 5 figure retro ,who I helped,long ago, said part of it was for his 1151 issues but he does not have the formal award yet.He did get the cash in his bank account.This took him YEARS!

Both vets above are with the same VARO I have-I guess it all depends on having a rater who can read.

 

 

 

Edited by Berta
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On 4/25/2019 at 8:25 PM, Oceanbound said:

That VA bulletin will be added to my complete outlined that I heavily drafted from start to kidney failure and then a stroke. That bulletin shows a strong basis for a Section 1151 claim, indeed it does.  Since the average physicians knows for decades about NSAIDs toxicity.  Yet in the mid-2000s the VA by pass that with Nurse Practitioners to pass it out like candy. Having NPs give out meds is illegal and only physicians can do so.

What I refer to as the Triangle of the kidney, heart and brain. Because these three organs, after reading miles of medical publications in journals, are linked together, and most doctors aren't aware of that.

Which is why my case is now going to CAVC.

Yeah, since I had an MI that bulletin should be a key factor.

For what it's worth, NP's can give out meds legally. They are restricted from prescribing certain classes of stronger meds, like narcotics.

The crazy part is no doctor or NP at the VA ever told me face to face that taking them for extended periods could lead to an MI/heart attack.

Additionally, the VA cardiology team did a stress test three years ago and said everything was fine (after being hospitalized for Afib). They did not perform any follow up at all.

 

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On 4/25/2019 at 8:59 PM, Oceanbound said:

You need to go see a TMJ dentist specialist, NSAIDs wont cure that and if its all documented in your c-file you're set, but a mouth piece like what football player wear will. Not going to be cheap, mine was 6k total for everything that specialist did but 1100 after insurance. 

Have you lawyered up? 

Go see a Nephrologist, because you likely have one kidney and not know it. That would can get you to SMC-L. Then after that kidney doctor done all the exams, test, and treatment. Get your thyroid levels checked. Hire Dr. Anaise for an IMO since he is a Transplant Surgeon.  I did and that IMO from him made my attorney get all the bogus crap VA claimed I had, thrown out at the BVA, and the result was that it made the scale even, where I now have obtained additional medical evidence to be in my favor at the CVAC.

Go private, because we all know the VA's job is to deny, destroy your health, until we're all dead. They know all the problems and how to cure them - yesterday's Vietnam Agent Orange to today's Gulf War Syndrome.

I don't want to know the next poison for the military in 20 years that will get them sick--it will happen unfortunately. 

I am 30% for TMJ and the VAMC made me an industrial strength splint I wear when I sleep. I chewed through the earlier ones so I asked them to make it extra thick.

Have not lawyered up yet. Still doing my own research and making sure I have all the records.

After reviewing the labs, my kidneys appear to be functioning normally. The blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels were slightly elevated, but that is normal for a while after a heart attack. They were normal before the heart attack. My VA primary care doc is not bad, but I have a non-VA primary care doc I see regularly and she loves going overboard on the testing. She likes to have a complete picture before making decisions.

I like your advice about getting my thyroid checked. Ironically, I have been losing weight at a steady pace. I have an appointment to see an endocrinologist in July. They are non-VA, so I can trust them.

 

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