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#277909 - 05/05/17 06:43 PM Active Duty Air Force - Advice  
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matt_usaf Offline
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I was diagnosed with AS a few months ago, and I'm now starting the process for a MEB. I'm currently waiting for the VA to schedule appointments for me to be examined. I've been on humira since November, and I feel great. Without humira, though, I was always in pain. I took a lot of ibuprofen to help manage the pain, but it never fully took the pain away.

I'm asking for advice and seeking experiences of people who were examined by doctors as part of the MEB. I know when I eventually have to go see a doctor, I'm going to be fine since I'm on the humira. But do I need to express to the doctor that when I'm not on medication, I'm in absolute pain? I'm sure it's not as bad as everyone else, but it got to the point where it was agony getting out of bed and trying to walk around. My entire back and neck would be stiff as a board.

When I've gone to the doctors in the past, and indicated to them how tight my back and neck were, they just told me to stretch. The only thing is, is that I only brought up the tightness in my back and neck to them when I visited them for another reason. Meaning, the tightness in my back/neck wasn't the main reason I visited them. It wasn't until I PCSd that the doctor did a blood test on me, and found that I had HLA B-27.

I'd hate to get separated and not have health care. My son has Type 1 Diabetes and my wife has cancer. So...healthcare is a definite must for me! I'm by no means trying to game the system. I want to stay in the military. But, I also know how I am without medication and it seems like the military is willing to tell me, "well even though you're better with medication, we're still going to separate you with no retired benefits, so good luck paying for your humira, insulin, and cancer checkups for your wife."

#277928 - 05/08/17 09:44 PM Re: Active Duty Air Force - Advice [Re: matt_usaf]  
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Gslsls Offline
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Hello, by you being on humira and feeling great is a clear indication the medication is improving. Your pcm when writing your meb should annotate the medication is needed. Did a rheumatologist make your diagnosis? I believe a rheumatologist needs to make it in order to receive some type of disability. How many years have you been in? Just bc they do an meb doesn't mean you'll get discharged. You could be returned to duty with limitations. On the cc intent letter, it should be made clear that you want to stay in and you can do your job if that's the case.

#277930 - 05/09/17 01:55 PM Re: Active Duty Air Force - Advice [Re: matt_usaf]  
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matt_usaf Offline
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I do see a rheumatologist and he was the one who made the diagnosis.

As part of the process, I was initially told to Return to Duty by a board of doctors, but medical standards at AFPC didn't agree and decided that a full MEB should occur. I'm thinking that medical standards is just following protocol. But I'm as good as anyone else and I don't see a reason why I should be discharged.

#277957 - 05/11/17 06:26 PM Re: Active Duty Air Force - Advice [Re: matt_usaf]  
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Gslsls Offline
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That doesn't make sense to me. Are you medical?

#277958 - 05/11/17 06:27 PM Re: Active Duty Air Force - Advice [Re: matt_usaf]  
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Gslsls Offline
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Sounds like someone at the Mdg didn't agree and decided to do a meb. I'm not sure what "full meb" is....a meb is a meb

#279288 - 10/16/17 02:29 PM Re: Active Duty Air Force - Advice [Re: matt_usaf]  
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SaffireSara Offline
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Hi, Matt!
I am sorry to have seen this so late in the game, but please push for full medical retirement vs separation. AS is a life-long chronic illness. I know it is tough one to "prove" if you don't have enough changes on x-ray etc but be firm with them. They will try to screw you over, cause they won't want to pay for a medical retirement. I fought for my now ex-husband, but this was after severe injuries in Iraq, and they tried to separate him with 10%. The system is completely different now in comparison to what it was then. If you need further help, feel free to email me as I am not on these forums often, but I did everything for the original medical retirement and then again for PDRL after him having been put on the temporary list. I also used to do VA disability claims professionally for a bit, so if you need any tips let me know. sarnalishaw@gmail.com

Sara


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