Asthma: any precedent of <30% TDRL?

BreatheEasy

Registered Member
#1
Been going through the MEB process for 1 1/2 years now for asthma and finally awaiting results from PEB. in my little bit of research i've been comforted seeing that everyone has received the minimum 30% TDRL for asthma, and one service member on here even got 60% PDRL!

i'm in week 5 now of waiting for my IPEB results to come back, and growing more anxious by the day. it seems the rationale for all those service members to receive the 30% rating were entitled to that because of DAILY use of meds. i have always attempted to push myself to the limits to meet normal standards and specifically stated to the doctors that i will not weaken my body by taking meds unnecessarily on a daily basis. i take them only when i have severe attacks and/or taking meds will prevent me from going to the ER. after i stopped smoking i no longer had daily random unprovoked attacks making daily meds unnecessary. one would think this attitude of perseverance would SUPPORT my case, not weaken it.

however, i did see a memo posted on here from a respiratory medical colonel in May 2009 stating that there will be NO MINIMUM frequency in use of asthma medications to determine a lower PEB rating. that is a really great thing for those like me who attempt to push themselves and not strain the medical system with unnecessary meds. so my question is, will my non-daily use of meds be grounds enough to receive the TDRL? my MEB was initiated because even WITH meds i still cannot conduct normal PT.

please let me know what you think. this is a really helpful website and i would like to assist people in similar medical situations to mine going through the MEB process in the future.
 

Jason Perry

Benevolent Leader
Site Founder
Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#2
BreatheEasy,

Welcome!

First, you need to have a 30% or greater rating to be retired (assuming less than 20 years of service). TDRL or PDRL will depend on stability of the condition (the Army has more stringent standards for placement on TDRL, so a PDRL finding is more likely in the Army). So, no, it is not possible to get a TDRL finding with less than 30% rating.

Hope all goes well for you!
 

BreatheEasy

Registered Member
#3
very fast response, thanks. perhaps i was too long-winded or just didnt explain myself properly. i understand medical retirement starts at 30%, that's why it is so important to me that i receive that rating.

my question is has there been anyone out there that has received less than 30% for asthma? or has there been anyone rated for asthma which does not take DAILY meds? with each passing day i grow more and more worried. i've been going through this for so long, i just want it over quickly with a happy ending...
 

BreatheEasy

Registered Member
#4
yet another incredible injustice i have been punished with by the army. IPEB results came back today, Fit for Duty. unbelievable. leave it to me to be the FIRST one out of tens of thousands that have gone through my medboard office to have been found fit by IPEB for this condition.

the appeal is underway, and this time i'm not going to be a motivated, hard-working soldier. i'm going to take every daily medication they've been trying to shove down my throat and windpipe for a year now and play into their little game to make my profile more limiting. i will also be adding in my medical conditions/prescriptions incurred during my 15 months of medboarding: skin, nerve, and cardiac conditions.

what other information should be added into my appeal? their reasoning for fitness was my lack of DAILY meds and my PFT scores didnt outright prove lung deficiency. of course they wouldn't, i wasn't having an asthma attack DURING the test or i would have been passed out on the floor. i saw someone on here requested a methalcoline challenge during their PFT. i tried to request that but they said the army discontinued these? is this true? is there a section on here regarding written appeals prior to the FPEB?
 

tinman

PEB Forum Veteran
#5
yet another incredible injustice i have been punished with by the army. IPEB results came back today, Fit for Duty. unbelievable. leave it to me to be the FIRST one out of tens of thousands that have gone through my medboard office to have been found fit by IPEB for this condition.

the appeal is underway, and this time i'm not going to be a motivated, hard-working soldier. i'm going to take every daily medication they've been trying to shove down my throat and windpipe for a year now and play into their little game to make my profile more limiting. i will also be adding in my medical conditions/prescriptions incurred during my 15 months of medboarding: skin, nerve, and cardiac conditions.

what other information should be added into my appeal? their reasoning for fitness was my lack of DAILY meds and my PFT scores didnt outright prove lung deficiency. of course they wouldn't, i wasn't having an asthma attack DURING the test or i would have been passed out on the floor. i saw someone on here requested a methalcoline challenge during their PFT. i tried to request that but they said the army discontinued these? is this true? is there a section on here regarding written appeals prior to the FPEB?
Where you ever prescribed daily meds for your Asthma? And if so what were the meds that they told you to take? I see in a previous post that you didnt like taking the medication unless you felt it was necessary to do so. Was this just a case that you told your provider that and they put it in your NARSUM? How would they know you werent taking your medication?

The first thing i did was take the methalcoline challenge. And that was last August. I am still waiting for my process to end, but i hope i can help answer some questions for you. We are going through a similar situation. Good luck with the appeal!
 

BreatheEasy

Registered Member
#6
hey tinman. likewise, i would like to have a happy ending to my medboard story and help others by telling them my experience.

unfortunately, i found this site too late and i have many regrets as to how i should have handled almost every step of the process. the first week i reported these breathing issues to the physician i requested a methalcoline challenge test because i was continuously told i was just "malingering" and i wanted to prove to them outright my symptoms were for real. they said some service members died from the MC challenge in 2009, so they discontinued the test. it then took me 7 months to finally get my P3 profile, which should have only taken 24 hours.

for my NARSUM i told the physician that i was purposely not taking daily medications in an attempt to push myself and fit in with the rest of my unit. this may seem ridiculous to an outside observer, but these are the types of emotional tribulations a soldier goes through when they are denied entrance into WTU and are forced to stay in a deploying unit. i now realize that was a bad decision since the PEB specifically looks for people to be on daily meds if their PFT results are normal. when i see my pulmonologist later this week i will request a MC challenge and a reinstatement of the daily meds.
 

usafaviator

PEB Forum Veteran
#7
I gotta ask...why wouldn't you take the meds if they help you get better and perform better? I would think that (especially in the Army) one would want to be as physically capable as possible, and if that requires a daily low dose asthma med...why not? Asthma never gets better...only worse. You have something that (physically) puts you at a disadvantage to your peers...the meds only help level the playing field again. I was Spec Ops for 7 years, so I know where you are coming from with the warrior mentality. Not taking meds that can help at least mitigate the symptoms might be a reason the board return fit for duty...if your records show that you were prescribed meds, and you admitted to not taking them (for any reason), and your symptoms didn't get worse, a board might question the diagnosis of asthma. I take daily meds (cortiocosteroids) and once in a while albuterol. I assure you, if your asthma is bad enough, you will notice if you don't take the meds for a day. Steroids take time to work into your system (weeks) and must be taken regularly/daily to maintain...kind of like anthrax shots (you have the first six dosages over a period of time, then the annual booster). That's why some of us have to take this s*** on a daily basis...it's not about a rating or code, but about getting better.
I don't think that most docs will willy-nillly prescribe steroid usage unless proof (PFT's, Metho tests, etc.) demonstrate the need for daily meds. Corticosteroids can have some severe short and long term side effects up to and including death.
The 30% rating requires certain FEV's or daily usage of meds such as bronchodialators. If you're taking regular (but not daily) rounds of corticosteroids or have the FEV's, you might get 60%. DAily high dose corticosteroid or certain FEV's can get you 100%.
As for "taxing the medical system" buy accepting meds: 1) that's one of the benefits we fight for!
2) accepting meds under false pretenses is "taxing" the system. Accepting meds prescribed and deemed necessary by a doc is self preservation.

If your symptoms are light or non-existent without the daily meds...congratulations. Some of us don't have that luxury.

+++climbing off soapbox++++
 
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