19 years 2 months refered to IDES

Mk45Gunner

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#1
Initial problem was for right hip arthroscopic surgery for torn labrum and ligamentus teres which is what the LIMDU was for.

- 1st LIMDU 1/2015 -7/2016
- 2nd LIMDU 7/2016-1/2017
- Cleared from my LIMDU because the hip healed up fine.
-Signed IDES referal 3/2017 after failing Overseas Screening

I had a bad flare up last month so here I am. Well Now that this process is official for me, I figured I'd start a new timeline thread. My 20 year mark is January 2018 and this has me nervous.

The last 5 years has been a steady decline of my health since my last Iraq deployment in 2010. The reason I was given for the referal was for Psoriatic Arthritis but there's much more going on than that. A few of the major problems are as follows.

Psoriasis - Probably 20 to 30 percent coverage.

Psoriatic Arthritis - multiple joint problems. Hips, elbows, neck and fingers are the worst. Tried Methotrexate and Prednisone about a year ago but I couldnt deal with the side effects so i stopped. Rheumatologist suggested Otezla but was denied by Tricare even after Appeals. Tricare is basically forcing me to take Humira so I'm starting that next week.

Hashimoto Thyroiditis - Been taking Levothyroxine for about 2 years and my levels arent getting any better even after upping the dosage twice.

Fibromyalgia - tried Cymbalta and Savella which helped a lot but again I couldnt deal with the side effects. Pain management jumped me up to Hydrocodone which made me feel like I was 20 years old again but after a few months I had to stop because I was feeling the addiction take hold. So now I just started on Gabapentun.

Migraines w/ aura, Headaches- take Butabitol which helps.

Grade 1 Spondylethesis L5 S1.

Plenty more problems but thankfully nothing worse than these.

Time to start getting my resume together I suppose. I doubt I'll be found fit but I'm gonna fight for the 20 thats for sure.
 

Almost_Separated

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#2
You can definitely make it to 20 no problem! You may end up with a pretty decent rating based off of how many joints you have giving you pain (I speak from experience). Migraines were my 2nd highest rating. I would recommend going to TAPs or whatever your branch calls it as soon as possible, and then go again right before you get out. I am really glad that I went a year ago, because it really set me up for success!
 

Mk45Gunner

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#3
Fingers crossed for sure.

I've been doing quite a bit of reading and I'll definitely be appealing whenever it's possible. I also have 62 days of leave on the books so that'll help out as well..... hopefully.

We have TAP but they changed the name to Transition GPS. Pretty sure I need to be found unfit before I can attend, according to the website.
 

jahlon

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#4
Someone else had posted something similar, and since I have all this free time now, I've been reading the "timelines" for everything.

With 9 months until the magic 20, you should be fine; however, you definitely want to slow roll everything when the ball is in your court. If you have 10 days to respond to something, respond on the 10th day. Nobody can fault you for this, nobody can call you out, you are just considering your options, and rightfully so. Every decision you make has to be weighed against "how does this set me up vs how I'd be set up if I got a natural 20 year retirement plus disability"
 

YellowHammer

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#5
You want to hit 20. Start working CoC now on how much terminal leave they will let you take (assuming you have plenty built up). Don't take any that you don't absolutely need to before the end. Also look into LoS retirement PTDY and if that can be worked in (varies from location to location).

If I was in your position I'd personally wait until the last day possible to sign any documents. There will be a few items with timed responses that you are entitled to wait the full allotted time. It's not dishonest nor noteworthy. The process gives you 10 days then take the full 10 days. Run everything past the lawyers before signing too.

I'm all for doing things within the rules and there is nothing wrong with slowing things down as long as it's time built into the process.
 

Mk45Gunner

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#6
Thanks for the Info!

I was going over the Diagnoses on the Abbreviated Medical Evaluation Board Report and the 3 things listed are....

Other psoriatic arthropathy
Fibromyalgia
Hypothyroidism

I asked about my back/neck not being listed and he's apparently grouping those under the Fibro and Arthritis. Does this make sense or should it be separated. Neither of those have caused my L5-S1 Spondlythesis/ buldging discs/ pars defect etc etc.

Should I just wait for the NARSUM before worrying what is and/or isn't included? Thanks
 

Mk45Gunner

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#7
So I asked my PEBLO about the back and was told I was told it needed to be on my LIMDU forms in order for it to be rated by the DoD and the only thing the DoD rates is the referred conditions. I thought it was for all the unfit conditions? She said to talk to the referring doc so I shot him an email about it. We'll see I suppose.

Suppose he refuses to add anymore conditions, should this be a concern or should I ask for the IMR?
 

chaplaincharlie

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#9
It might be worth and hour consult with an IDES/MEB/PEB attorney to conjure ways to slow the process to a crawl!
 

Mk45Gunner

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#10
Charlie,

I have spoken to the IDES Lawyer in Illinois as well as the VA rep about this and surprisingly they actually solicited ways for me to slow the process. To be honest I wasn't expecting the support I've received so far to get me to my 20 year mark. We'll request a formal PEB regardless of the what the VA sends back and if need be he said we'll cancel the FPEB request prior to going to DC. Not sure if that's legit or not but I plan to anyhow.

My PEBLO's aren't quite as supportive but thankfully this site has helped out immensely.

He brought up requesting Permanent Limited Duty. I forgot to ask but when in this process would this be requested? At the FPEB?
 

Mk45Gunner

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#11
VA Exams have been scheduled.

With all the stuff I'm claiming, I'm seeing a General Doctor at 0830 and then a hearing doc at 1330. So that gives this doctor 5 hours to cover all of my claims? Does this sound right that I'm not seeing any specialists?

I'm also still seeing a sleep doctor on the 3rd of May because of the UARS. I have 3 civilian psychiatrist appointments that the CMO of the Clinic recommended talking to when he referred me to the MEB.

I'm not going to lie, I'm a little nervous they're going to try and push this through as fast as they can.

Here is what I've claimed so far on my 21-526EZ. I was told by my VA rep we can and will add more claims once we find out the verdict from the last couple of issues.

PSORIASIS
DEVIATED SEPTUM
GERD
TINNITUS
HEARING LOSS
ARTHRITIS MULTIPLE JOINTS
CERVICAL NECK ISSUES ( DDD )
RIGHT SHOULDER CONDITION (MRI SCHEDULED)
INIGUAL HERNIA
MIGRAINES (HAVE MY LOG)
HEART MURMUR W/ PALPITAIONS
APPENDECTOMY SCAR
RIGHT HIP SURGERY
KIDNEY RENAL CYST
CYST ON NECK
HYPOTHYROIDISM/ HASHIMOTOS THYROIDITIS (REFERRED)
BILATERAL FOOT CONDITIONS
PSORIATIC ARTHRITIS (REFERRED)
FIBROMYALGIA (REFERRED)
SPONDYLETHESIS (LUMBAR REGION)

THINGS I NEED TO ADD AFTER REVIEWING MY PCM NOTES.

CHRONIC GASTRITIS
UARS
PSYCHIATRY RESULTS
RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME
CHRONIC GASTRITIS
 

jahlon

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#12
You should be nervous that they are going to try to push this through as quickly as they can because...guess what? They are going to try to push this through as fast as they can.

But, look at it this way. It has already been almost a month since you first posted, and you are only just now getting to the C&P exams. Plus, you don't even have your C&P exams till 10 May, which while small, is another chunk of time.

You still have the C&P report getting processed and returned.
The board evaluation, outcome, response time (remember to take every minute of your response times)
Then the results will go to the VA for ratings, and this can take 8+ weeks.
Then, your request for a Formal Board will push out several weeks/months.

I'd be nervous, but I'd rate it as being about a nervous as getting stung by a bee when you go outside today. In fact, my money would be on the bee.
 

Mk45Gunner

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#13
HA.

I do take some solace with the fact my Exam is 45 days out from the start after looking how long it's taken others. Oh I'll definitely be fighting to hit that 20. I do have 60 days on the books so I have that going for me lol.

I did question my VA rep about the list being inaccurate and he re-assured me we would add every condition and even better said " We WILL get you to your 20" I take that with a grain of salt right now after reading some of the interactions some have had with their PEBLO's and Reps.
 

tony292

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#14
You have many options to slow the process. Request an IMR, you and your lawyer can give any trivial reason, it is your right to have one if you wish. Then request an FPEB, then later a VARR, then after that a disability agency appeal (not familiar with what the Navy calls it, in the Army it is USAPDA appeal).

So you are at 19 and 3 months now. You said you'll have 62 days terminal leave, don't take any leave until then, save it all. This effectively gives you 19 and 5 months now. You get ten days to respond at every appeal level, that is at least 50 days as you get ten days to respond to the following five things:

MEB findings
IMR
FPEB findings
VARR
Disability agency appeal

So that 50 days gets you effectively very close to 19 and 7 months. Each stage that I mentioned above will have its own timeline. The VA takes VARRs on a first come first served basis, FPEB does the same, so does the disability agency... etc. so really what it comes down to is the wait times for each. If you get near the Holidays, all processes slow to a crawl as people involved in the process take leave/vacation.

I think you can easily make it. My process took over a year.
 

Mk45Gunner

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#15
I can't seem to figure out how to edit my post but my Spondylethesis is a referred condition as well.
 

Mk45Gunner

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#16
You have many options to slow the process. Request an IMR, you and your lawyer can give any trivial reason, it is your right to have one if you wish. Then request an FPEB, then later a VARR, then after that a disability agency appeal (not familiar with what the Navy calls it, in the Army it is USAPDA appeal).

So you are at 19 and 3 months now. You said you'll have 62 days terminal leave, don't take any leave until then, save it all. This effectively gives you 19 and 5 months now. You get ten days to respond at every appeal level, that is at least 50 days as you get ten days to respond to the following five things:

MEB findings
IMR
FPEB findings
VARR
Disability agency appeal

So that 50 days gets you effectively very close to 19 and 7 months. Each stage that I mentioned above will have its own timeline. The VA takes VARRs on a first come first served basis, FPEB does the same, so does the disability agency... etc. so really what it comes down to is the wait times for each. If you get near the Holidays, all processes slow to a crawl as people involved in the process take leave/vacation.

I think you can easily make it. My process took over a year.
I've looked over your timeline previously and have paid close attention to the dates between certain requests so hopefully I can mirror yours as closely as possible.

We're only allowed 60 days of terminal leave so I'd lose whatever balance is over 60 by October 1st. Unless it's different going through this process. If it is, I'm all ears.
 

Babs77

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#17
You need to be aware of your timeline, but I think you have a great chance at making your 20 years. I was at 19.5 when I started my MEB. It took just about a year for me to complete the entire process to include adding terminal leave and PTDY. The best thing I can recommend would be to work with the IDES Lawyers.... they were a huge help for me. Good luck!
 

Mk45Gunner

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#18
C&P exams are complete. Let me just say I understand the frustration of veterans after my first visit. Show up at 0815 and it took 10 minutes to find where I was suppose to be. Get there and they tell me my appt is at 0930. BS i have the voicemail still tellimg me 0830. Get done with that and get to audiology and they tell me the appointment isnt with them. Well OK, I ask if theres another audiology dept and they say no. Comedy.

So finally she tells me there was some confusion because I had IDES after my name. First impression boy!

I'm going to make a seperate exam post.
 

Mk45Gunner

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#19
Sleep study shows Sleep Apnea this time. First study last year only showed extremely heavy snoring but didnt get a lot of REM sleep then. This time I did get deep into REM and had an AHI of 9.1 with oxygen levels on 91%.

Go in for the Cpap study next week. I'm actually pretty excited to think about waking up feeling rested and not like I didnt sleep at all.
 

jp_over

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#20
I received my CPAP several months ago and it's made a big difference in my quality of sleep and life; hopefully you'll see similar results!