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Headaches in STR's - Migraine's now


madog31
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Question

USN 2/1979-12/1980.

My question, beginning in service I have had near daily headaches.  At least three or four times a month they result in throbbing, pulsating and radiating migraine that results in my missing work and staying home in bed in a dark and quiet room, sometimes for hours and sometimes for up to three days.  They are diagnosed and treated through the VAMC, however they are not SC.

One day when talking to my PCP about waking daily with a headache, she asked about my sleep and ordered a sleep study I have OSA and was put on a CPAP machine.  This cut down on the daily wake-up headaches, but the migraines still develop.  OSA was never diagnosed in the service (I was discharged a year before the first CPAP machine hit the market), so I' not sure how I was supposed to have STR's with sleep apnea in them if it wasn't a diagnosed condition at that time.

I have a lay statement from my mom who obviously knew me before service, during and after discharge. wrote a lay statement and my PCP wrote an IMO note saying she believed it was more likely than not sleep apnea began, or was present during service. 

When I submitted my claim for OSA, I also claimed migraine secondary to OSA.  Both were denied.

Regarding Migraine, they were never diagnosed as migraine in service, but my STR's state the following "K/O Muscle headache c/o of throbbing headache everyday x 3 wks: does radiate, throbbing R side occipatal region, states relieves some when pushing or pressing hi head together with his hands"

I was planning on submitting a new 526EZ to claim migraines directly as they are the same throbbing and radiating headaches as in service, but are now diagnosed at the VAMC as migraine.

Is this enough for direct SC for migraine?  Suggestions?  Advice?

Edited by madog31
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I was rated for migraines ten years after service with evidence that I started having headaches after a heat injury.  If you have evidence of headaches in service and a current diagnosis of migraines it is not an impossibility to get rated.   You need evidence that you had headaches in service, that you are having migraines now and you need is a civilian doctor to say that your migraines are related to your service and provide you a nexus, "it is at least likely as not that he patient's migraines started in service" or something along those lines.  

If you are denied and you have all of the three requirements I would appeal to the BVA.

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maddog31 You should be going after OSA AND headaches. There are a lot of comments on both here on Hadit. Because you have already been denied, you need to get a strong IMO from a sleepdoc/specialist. Has to say the CPAP is not only diagnosed but necessary for your well being. It has a 50% rating if approved, but they try very hard not to approve. So do your research on getting a doc that can write a successful IMO. Has to tie in the STR's/evidence with your symptoms now. I am sure you can tie in the headaches as well, secondary to your sleep disability. Create a "headache " log. Time of day, frequency, duration, if you took any meds to kill it, any prostrating ( have to lie down in dark room for several hours & you can't function.) Look up the diagnostic code for migraines (headaches) here http://www.militarydisabilitymadeeasy.com/search.php and compare your symptoms to the rating criteria. Do the same for your sleep disorder. Your IMO has to address your current symptoms relative to the different ratings. Your mom's "buddy letter" is good, and your doc's statements on your OSA are helpful, but IMO you better get some big guns or it wont fly. It's worth it if you jump to 90 or 100% scheduler. 

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Make sure the doctor write that he/she reviewed your SMRs and it is their medical opinion that your headaches are as least likely or not began while you where on active service or something to that.  I know you said you were out for a year but was it a full 365 days or less or more?

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