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Awaiting confirmation #101689 01/10/06 11:56 PM
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MIgrunt Offline OP
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I'm a 17 year veteran of the U.S. Army (SFC, Military Intelligence). After fighting with several doctors in several states and two countries, I was finally diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in September of 2002. I was eventually boarded out in June 2004. I started to have neck and back problems about a year ago. I also had severe tingling and numbness on my right side to include my arm and leg. I also had severe spasms. I've just started going to a Neurologists and Rheumatologist on the outside. The Neuro has looked at some MRIs I recently had done and the tech says I have signs of AS in the lower neck and pelvic area. I'm still waiting to go the Rheum for blood test results and his review of the MRIs. Don't know of any family history of this. My husband, retired 12B, has been having similar problems and we are awaiting his results. I have read that AS can be caused by baterial infections. Considering places I have been it wouldn't surprise me but I must wait to see if I do have the gene marker. Has anyone heard about any link between FM and AS or are they considered to complete seperate conditions?

Re: Awaiting confirmation #101690 01/11/06 02:58 AM
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mont974x4 Offline
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The lack of decent rest and the muscle spasms along with tender spots are inline with Fibro as well as AS. I asked my doc how they diagnose between fibro and early stage AS (pre-skeletal changes) and his response was that I had fibro too. So, based on that I'd say that AS and fibro can certainly go hand in hand.


Jay

NOTE: If you aint here to help row the boat then you are welcome to walk the plank.
Re: Awaiting confirmation #101691 01/11/06 10:05 AM
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mmparker Offline
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Can you share the details of your disability board? What board adjudicated your case? Did you have 17 years at theat point. Did they consider COAD? Retired or separated? What percentatge at what VASRD code. I am working with Congress and DoD to help straighten out issues with the military disability seapartion process and your case looks like it may touch on many of these issues.

Thanks,

Re: Awaiting confirmation #101692 01/11/06 02:31 PM
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MIgrunt Offline OP
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Sir, I had 16 years when I was sent to the medical board. I went through Winn Army Community Hospital at Fort Stewart, Georgia. I received my MEB results @ 30 JAN 04. My PEB results were convened on 19 FEB 04 at Ft. Sam Houston. I was medically seperated at 10% with the code of 5025 on 1 JUN 04 (17 year anniversary). I then submitted my records to VA.

VA Tiger Team (Ohio)rating decision, 20 APR 05:
1. Service connection for fibromyalgia with depression - 40%
2. Service connection for degenerative joint disease of both knees - 10% each knee, combined at 10% overall
Overall rating of 50%. I have to pay back the Army my seperation pay before I can get my full VA benefit (about another 8 1/2 years).

I know I could have gone to Fort Sam and fought the decision but by this time I was mentally, psychologically and physically worn out. I gave my time, life and love to the Army as best I could. I had more important things to worry about at the time. I do miss the Army and I hope that what I did contribute helped to make it and the world a little better!

Re: Awaiting confirmation #101693 01/11/06 02:47 PM
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MIgrunt Offline OP
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Thanks Montana, a little bit of humor sure does a body good smile . It has been a tough road but I'm making it through. My husband is having his own medical problems but at least he got to retire. It's "funny" about the pain, I'm sort of used to it now, getting better at dealing with it. It's the recurring anxiety attacks and mild depression that makes it worse. My rheumo has me on Cymbalta (60mg) that has helped alot with those two conditions though my back is really killing me. I really hate taking drugs since the Army O.Ded me on Motrin.

Re: Awaiting confirmation #101694 01/11/06 02:59 PM
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mont974x4 Offline
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Dpression can sure be a problem for us. I admit I had a hard time going from a hardcharging paratrooper at 20 to self-retired stay at home Dad at 30. I enlisted at 17 with parental consent have a total of almost 9 1/2 years between active duty and NG service.

I am still fighting for my benefits and I was ETS'ed in Aug 01. LtC Parker is a great source of info on this process. It seems that every vet we come across has been wronged which led to Mike, Ken, and myself joining together to start FtSpondy, which is linked in my signature. lol Be kind, we are just getting started.

I am currently on celebrex and enbrel, which really helps a lot. However, just taking enbrel makes us non-deployable. I was not diagnosed until after the Army told me I couldn't reenlist again and I was home. I also take tylenol PM at bedtime and it has helped me too.


Jay

NOTE: If you aint here to help row the boat then you are welcome to walk the plank.
Re: Awaiting confirmation #101695 01/12/06 11:29 AM
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mmparker Offline
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Deborah,

With your permission, I would like to add your story to the group I am presenting to elements of Congress and DoD who are looking into issues with disability separtions and retirements.

Re: Awaiting confirmation #101696 01/12/06 11:43 AM
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MIgrunt Offline OP
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No problem, Sir. Anything I can do to help out.

Re: Awaiting confirmation #101697 01/13/06 01:34 AM
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mmparker Offline
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Thanks,

Your case hits on three points that are have the interest of the folks I am engaging on DES issues:

1. The separation vice retirement of service members close to twenty years.

2. The modification of the VASRD criteria by DoD and the Services resulting in separation level ratings.

3. The fact that DoD and the VA can come up with drastically different ratings for the same condition using the same records although both are mandated to use the VASRD criteria by Congress.

Stay Tuned.


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