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MUCMI/CFS


Grilla79

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Lordy.  I would appreciate any advice on how to file or what to file for.  First the demographics - 64 year old, 7 years Air Force, 8 year break, 13 years ANG w 2 tours to Iraq, retired 2011.  On the Burn Pit Registry,  Sleep Apnea 50%, lumbar arthritis 10%, tinnitus 10%, left sided sciatica 10%, GERD 10%.  all approx 2012 date.  PTSD 70% 2019.  Started experiencing more muscle and joint pain than I'd ever had about t5 years ago.  2-2.5 years ago it was really ramping up.  Told my civilian doc i know pain, this isnt normal.  referred to rheumatologist who ruled out many things then reached a diagnosis of seronegative RA. Before we could get into that, i decided to herniate a lumbar disk and had a fusion April 2020.  The joint pain, especially hands and feet is wicked.  Steroids helped but i got a little crazy, now i'm on methotrexate.  This was trending towards an autoimmune diagnosis and with an elevated C-RP and relief i felt i had a good shot at establishing service relatedness, esp with the PTSD diagnosis.  my rheumatolgist's diagnosis has gone from seronegative RA, to inflammatory polyarthritis, now polyarthropathy over the course of 3 months.  I got the email announcing extension of the presumptive service relationship for MUCMIs and while i was reading up on it i started thinking a MUCMI claim was the way to go, except I know that its a mistake to file a claim  tied to a diagnosis.  Much better to file left wrist condition/ pain, right wrist condition/pain, and so on. I don't care what anyone calls it, i only want to make sure I have a fighting chance of getting medical treatment for it as i get older.  So i have pain out off proportion to findings, I'd say.  Painful joints, painful muscles, can't do half the physical things i used to 4 years ago.  I do have insomnia or poor sleep, memory has gone absolutely to shit, sometimes I have trouble finding the correct word while speaking.  Also unbelievable fatigue.  5 years ago i'd go 24-36 hours straight to finish a remodeling project or something and go to work; now i'm no good after dinner.  So yesterday I get the bright idea of filing for a claim along the lines of CFS.  But i want to check here and see what the others say.  I've looked at multiple CFS posts here and none of them looked like they worked out well for the vet.   Oh yeah the perfect finish is I'm 2 weeks away from the deadline to file after my intent to file last year.  I'm about ready to file for the joint "condition/pain" for both hands, wrists, sets of fingers, feet and ankles and see waht happens.  IF i dont get what i think is right, at least then I can hire an attorney to manage the paperwork and all.   

So to summarize,  wicked joint and muscle pain.  If ive been sitting or lying down for more than 20 minutes i have to hold on the furniture to get across the room.  The pain wakes me up.  I'm way past exhausted, can't remember simple things someone told me the day before.  I can't do half what i used to do physically. and its only getting worse .i have all the paperwork and all the forms and medical records to file for increase in back condition/pain, add right sided sciatica since its clearly in my deployment records. then file claim for condition/pain for both hands and fingers, both wrists, both feet, both ankles, both knees, both shoulders and try for a service related nexus due to auto=immune basis (More likely than not).  orr do i switch gears last minute and go down the MUCMI CFS path.  
 

 

sorry for the novel - not thinking clearly

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Dont exclude either one. (arm/wrist pain or undiagnosed illness.:

You posted:

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 Much better to file left wrist condition/ pain, right wrist condition/pain, and so on. 

I agree.  As you pointed out, your diagnosis changed several times in 3 months!  

There is no requirement that Vets be an expert in diagnosis conditions to win benefits.  "My left writs conditions" is fine.  Let the applicable doctors diagnose it.  

Regulations for undiagnosed illness are here:  https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/38/3.317.  

If you meet that criteria, then proceed accordingly.  This said:  

Keep focus on basics:  

DOCUMENT:

1.  Current diagnosis (or, try to get your doc to opine on your undiagnosed conditions.  

2.  In service event or aggravation

3.  Nexus, or doc's opinion your diagnosis is at least as likely as not related to your in service event. 

The Caluza elements win claims.  (above).  Its a bit different if its secondary..but you dont have to know the difference between primary, secondary, presumptive, etc.  

You are also gonna need your symptoms documented.  No symptoms means, at best, a zero percent rating.  

I suggest "burning down NO bridges" but instead file for 

1 Arm/wrist pain.

2.  Undiagnosed multi symptom illness under 38 CFR 3.317

      Let the VA sort it out, dont try to do the raters job for him.  

Edited by broncovet
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 I got the email announcing extension of the presumptive service relationship for MUCMIs:

Yes, and that info is at hadit and here from CCK:

https://cck-law.com/blog/understanding-medically-unexplained-chronic-multisymptom-illnesses-mucmi/

This is a BVA grant for you recent diagnosis

"ORDER

Entitlement to service connection for nonspecific 
inflammatory polyarthritis and/or psoriatic arthritis is 
granted.

Entitlement to service connection for psoriasis/eczema is 
granted."

"FINDINGS OF FACT

1.  After resolving all reasonable doubt in the Veteran's 
favor, nonspecific inflammatory polyarthritis and/or 
psoriatic arthritis has been shown to be causally or 
etiologically related to the Veteran's military service 
during the Persian Gulf War.

2.  After resolving all reasonable doubt in the Veteran's 
favor, psoriasis/eczema has been shown to be causally or 
etiologically related to the Veteran's military service 
during the Persian Gulf War."

https://www.va.gov/vetapp09/files3/0925539.txt

I am sure there are more like this at BVA but I have not checked-I just googled for this one

If you do a search for your diabilities at BVA, others will pop up. I dont have time this AM to search there but will later if I can -and you can narrow this down to the most recent decisions. Not all will be speciic to uyour case, and many will probably show up as denied BUT the reasons for denial are as important as the awards are.Also the remnds are important.

There is medical literature Available via google to associate your disabilities with the Gulkf War.

https://www.index.va.gov/search/va/bva_search.jsp?QT=nonspecific+inflammatory+polyarthritis&EW=Gulf+War&AT=&ET=&RPP=10&DB=2021&DB=2020&DB=2019&DB=2018&DB=2017&DB=2016&DB=2015&DB=2014&DB=2013&DB=2012&DB=2011&DB=2010&DB=2009&DB=2008&DB=2007&DB=2006&DB=2005&DB=2004&DB=2003&DB=2002&DB=2001&DB=2000&DB=1999&DB=1998&DB=1997&DB=1996&DB=1995&DB=1994&DB=1993&DB=1992

Also there might well be more recent sutdies than these that associate similar disabilities you have with your Gulf War service"

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9487234/

I hope you do not need an independent medical opinion to succeed but if you do an IMO/IME rheumatologist would have the most updated abstracts and treatices to bolster their opinion, if the VA denies it.

I still see a few  Gulf War claims from tim to time at the BVA from veterans who were not in the Gulf War- as well as claims defined oonly as  "Gulf War Syndrome"-yet  a ballpark claim of "Gulf war Syndrome", is not a valid claim.

Please note all- of the updates here for Afghanistan veterans, etc , and the definition of Persian Gulf War Veterans has been expanded recently.

i HOPE THOSE VET REPS AND VSOS OUT THERE ARE WELL INFORMED OF THESE CHANGES.

 

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thanks so much to both of you.  

while i do not have an IMO, I do have copies of all (6-8 visits) rheumatologists notes in my collection of medical records - and undifferentiated inflammatory polyarthritis is one of the diagnosis she documented.  

 

thank you for the link that includes this statement.  Is that something I can include or at least reference  in my claim?   (as i have been drafting a statement in support of claim  form that provides additional detail on the onset and symptoms - as I have read in VA training/email subj Adjudication Claims based on service in the gulf war and southwest asia  (feb 2, 2010)that a vet is "fully competent to testify to any pain he may have suffered"

 

 

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A CFS claim while having a PTSD rating is extremely difficult.  Even with a diagnosis from a MD.  I know because I have one and got denied due to my PTSD rating.  However, I think Fibromyalgia describes what you are dealing with.  I got rated 40% for it.  If I were you, I would look into that.  

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