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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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    • So, my lawyer sent an IME w/ IMO and filed a supplemental claim solely for IU on March 20.

      It was closed on March 25, and va.gov just states claim closed and nothing more.

      Hopefully, I get good news.
    • Thanks for the responses. I am filing a new claim but will continue pushing the NOD. My new question is it stated in law or statute that if during the claims process the VA finds conditions that could possibly rate service connection that was not originally filed for, the VA will “invite” the veteran to file the claim on the claims form. Reason I ask is that my private DBQs, NEXUS letter, and even the VA nurse examiner's DBQs lists bilateral upper radiculopathy as present. If it is written in statute or official guidance it might qualify as a CUE. Just looking at all angles. 
    • Everyone needs to read our stories so they can try to avoid these screws by the va...
      Thank you, everyone contributes, good or bad, all of our stories will help others, and yes, they have been stated by others for ages, over and over, but we just get depressed, and the time turns into years as they screw us..

      Welcome to the department of Veterans Affairs!  I can honestly say, "been there, done that".  

      Even after winning my tdiu in 2017, it was back to the drawing board as VA hornswaggeld my effective date.  (but of course).  

      I finally won my tdiu effective date in Feb. 2020, 18 years after I first applied!!!  

      Here is how they managed to drag mine out 18 years:

      1.  They never adjuticated my decison until 2009, where they called it "moot".  

      2.  I appealed, said it was not moot because it could result in an earlier effective date and SMC S under Bradley vs Peake.  The judge agreed with me, and ordered VARO consider me for extra schedular TDIU, under 4.16 b.  

      3.  The VARO piddles with  the remand for 3 years, and hoped I wouldnt notice.  I noticed and raised cane until they adjuticated it.  (denied of course).  

      4.  Finally, after the baord denied again, I hired a lawyer, in 2014, and appealed to CAVC.   

      5.  The lawyer won a remand, got an IMO and I won tdiu in 2017.  But at the wrong effective date, even after 15 years.  

      6.  I hired another lawyer, Chris Attig, and appealed the effective date, and he won a remand for effective date.  Trip 2 to CAVC.  

      7.  Mr. Attig won a remand, and advised me to get another IMO.  

      8.  The board awarded my earlier effective date in Feb. 2020.  

           So, I do have advice fighting VA for TDIU, they fought and fought and I hung in there and won it all.  

      ADVICE:  Dont count on VA, they could easily throw your fax in the trash.  Follow up!  
    • "Keep in mind that due to the nature of the digestive system, VA would most likely combined your conditions and pay you at the higher rate to avoid pyramiding".    That is one of my main gripes.  They are only listing the GERD with hiatal hernia and ignoring the rest of my gastric issues such as the gastritis which I also had in service.  I included it in my 2007 request for increase and again in 2019.  The info from the civilian dr that stated I had the gastritis with H pylori was not even provided to the examiner in 2007, nor did he have my VA health records. The 2019 request was based on an EGD I had AT THE VA in Jan 2019.   I filed for an increase 6 Mar and they did an ACE on 27 Mar and downgraded to noncompensable on that date.  The only reason I was thinking CUE:  38 CFR § 3.326 - Under Examinations  it states (c) Provided that it is otherwise adequate for rating purposes, a statement from a private physician may be accepted for rating a claim without further examination".  
    • Enough has been said on this topic. This forum is not the proper forum for an attorney and former client to hash out their problems. Please take this offline
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I m thinking about asking my VA primary care provider(NP) to taper me off of hydrocodone.  It has become such a hassle to get it refilled and get it delivered.  So many times I have missed the UPS delivery because I could not get to the door on time before he drove away.  Every so often I have to go into the clinic for a urinalysis for drug screening before the nurse will refill it.  

 

I ve been taking this medication for about 15 years for pain. It reduces the pain level about 30%, enough for me to function.  If I go off of it, the alternative  I plan to use reduces the pain about 20%, so my daily functionality will be reduced.  I have to weigh the two approaches.

What are the health effects of long term opiod use besides possible addiction?

 

Any suggestions or ideas

 

 

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My doctor says if you are taking opioid's for a long time you are addicted.  I hate the drug tests and the looks from the pharmacist.  It is your decision and if you can function without them that is good.  I need to research the long term effects myself, I can say it is better than high doses of aspirin or Motrin.  My suggestion is if you can, do taper off.  It is much better off than scrambling to find a new doctor if something happens to yours.  I just am stuck since the pain is more than I can handle without the opioids.  I did do without them for several years and then finally gave in when I was unable to sleep at night or walk.  

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When you taper off, just make sure not to overload on the tylenol. Get a referral to the pain management clinic (not just to physical therapy). They have some potential alternatives that might give you relief.

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This is just my opinion, so that and two bucks will get you a cup of coffee. I am not speaking from personal experiences on any opioids, because fortunately, I never had a long term need. I had surgery for my gall bladder at the VA and my surgeon said after I woke up that I did well but I would have to take some for a few days. I said NO I DON'T. He said, yes you do or I can't release you. I told him I was deathly afraid of taking any of that crap and could handle the pain. Again he said, with a wink and a nod, ok. If I prescribe some and you take them home, what you do with them is your business. We agreed to disagree. But I will say this, you can only make informed decisions based on the info that is available at the time you do the research. But, that said, time usually provides data that may change what the medical profession recommends at at any time. Case in point; my recent post on malaria pills. The DOD said it was ok to use; now, not so much. Substituting one pain reliever for something else may be the right decision now, based on current medical evidence, but years fro now. Who knows? 

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5 hours ago, vetquest said:

My doctor says if you are taking opioid's for a long time you are addicted.  I hate the drug tests and the looks from the pharmacist.  It is your decision and if you can function without them that is good.  I need to research the long term effects myself, I can say it is better than high doses of aspirin or Motrin.  My suggestion is if you can, do taper off.  It is much better off than scrambling to find a new doctor if something happens to yours.  I just am stuck since the pain is more than I can handle without the opioids.  I did do without them for several years and then finally gave in when I was unable to sleep at night or walk.  

There is a difference between addicted and dependent,  yes they seem like the same thing but here is the difference......addiction is when you are using something other than how it is prescribed to you, taking it more often, more than you are supposed to at a time but taking a drug you are prescribed and then titrating off of that drug because you have become dependent on it, which can happen with many medications, some anti-depressants are like this, benzos, many meds, even meds that you don't even think about honestly.  There is so much of a stigma  and even shame associated with those who take and need opioids or any other medication that may be abused in some way.  It is perfectly normal to want to titrate off of something that may not be working for you any longer but like someone mentioned above make sure you go to the pain clinic and know what other options are available to you.  Sadly, if you do decide to completely go off of them you might not be able to go back on them.........so many doctors are just refusing to prescribe them at all now.  I hope it all works out well for you.  If you are in a medical legal state I highly suggest you at least try medical marijuana.

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  • Our picks

    • So, my lawyer sent an IME w/ IMO and filed a supplemental claim solely for IU on March 20.

      It was closed on March 25, and va.gov just states claim closed and nothing more.

      Hopefully, I get good news.
    • Thanks for the responses. I am filing a new claim but will continue pushing the NOD. My new question is it stated in law or statute that if during the claims process the VA finds conditions that could possibly rate service connection that was not originally filed for, the VA will “invite” the veteran to file the claim on the claims form. Reason I ask is that my private DBQs, NEXUS letter, and even the VA nurse examiner's DBQs lists bilateral upper radiculopathy as present. If it is written in statute or official guidance it might qualify as a CUE. Just looking at all angles. 
    • Everyone needs to read our stories so they can try to avoid these screws by the va...
      Thank you, everyone contributes, good or bad, all of our stories will help others, and yes, they have been stated by others for ages, over and over, but we just get depressed, and the time turns into years as they screw us..

      Welcome to the department of Veterans Affairs!  I can honestly say, "been there, done that".  

      Even after winning my tdiu in 2017, it was back to the drawing board as VA hornswaggeld my effective date.  (but of course).  

      I finally won my tdiu effective date in Feb. 2020, 18 years after I first applied!!!  

      Here is how they managed to drag mine out 18 years:

      1.  They never adjuticated my decison until 2009, where they called it "moot".  

      2.  I appealed, said it was not moot because it could result in an earlier effective date and SMC S under Bradley vs Peake.  The judge agreed with me, and ordered VARO consider me for extra schedular TDIU, under 4.16 b.  

      3.  The VARO piddles with  the remand for 3 years, and hoped I wouldnt notice.  I noticed and raised cane until they adjuticated it.  (denied of course).  

      4.  Finally, after the baord denied again, I hired a lawyer, in 2014, and appealed to CAVC.   

      5.  The lawyer won a remand, got an IMO and I won tdiu in 2017.  But at the wrong effective date, even after 15 years.  

      6.  I hired another lawyer, Chris Attig, and appealed the effective date, and he won a remand for effective date.  Trip 2 to CAVC.  

      7.  Mr. Attig won a remand, and advised me to get another IMO.  

      8.  The board awarded my earlier effective date in Feb. 2020.  

           So, I do have advice fighting VA for TDIU, they fought and fought and I hung in there and won it all.  

      ADVICE:  Dont count on VA, they could easily throw your fax in the trash.  Follow up!  
    • "Keep in mind that due to the nature of the digestive system, VA would most likely combined your conditions and pay you at the higher rate to avoid pyramiding".    That is one of my main gripes.  They are only listing the GERD with hiatal hernia and ignoring the rest of my gastric issues such as the gastritis which I also had in service.  I included it in my 2007 request for increase and again in 2019.  The info from the civilian dr that stated I had the gastritis with H pylori was not even provided to the examiner in 2007, nor did he have my VA health records. The 2019 request was based on an EGD I had AT THE VA in Jan 2019.   I filed for an increase 6 Mar and they did an ACE on 27 Mar and downgraded to noncompensable on that date.  The only reason I was thinking CUE:  38 CFR § 3.326 - Under Examinations  it states (c) Provided that it is otherwise adequate for rating purposes, a statement from a private physician may be accepted for rating a claim without further examination".  
    • Enough has been said on this topic. This forum is not the proper forum for an attorney and former client to hash out their problems. Please take this offline
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