Air Force ART injured while deployed being penalized

FRAUSCHMID

PEB Forum Regular Member
I am an Air Force ART and was injured (shoulder) Dec 08 while deployed, moving weapons. The injury was documented, LOD done. I was kept medicated until return to home station. Prior to leaving Ramstein, I was told by the clinic that I would be continued on orders until my shoulder was fixed, not to worry they said. Well, worry is all I do. I get no support from the local clinic, no info at all, cannot even provide AFI guidance. I have bounced on/off orders, which resulted in my have to restart medical care several times, tricare vs. private insurance vs. clinic preauthorizations. the clinic rejects doc notes at a whim. Currently, I have been diagnosed with a glenoid labral tear, with possible pinch nerve in neck. I have recently been taken off (no notice) medcon orders with no explanation. I am on light duty which has been determined as I will sit at a desk for 9-10 hours, if I am unable to sit (which is often impossible due to pain after 2-3), I must lay on the floor next to my desk for the remainder of my duty day. Additionally, I am on pain medication that prevents me from driving, however the supervisor, requests that I be at work, so I am unable to take the medication to control the pain.
I have no idea where to turn, IG won't touch this, he says there are too many officers involved already. There is more to this, but I am running out of room.
 

Aleph0

PEB Forum Regular Member
FRAUSCHMID,
Are they considering surgery or are you being sent down the rehab/physical therapy route?
My advice, not knowing much about your situation, is to go downtown for care (if you can get a gap in orders); military medicine does not like "damaged goods" like us and a bum shoulder is like a bad back-I can't see it and you can't really prove it's bad, so it must not be real. Enough to make you spit!
A torn shoulder labrum is no joke! I am glad that you had the LOD done. I tore my labrum way way way back when, and just sort of gutted it out for years. Bad idea. By the time it got to be unbearable, I was an ART and when I asked for an LOD (at the military doc's suggestion) the front desk at the clinic said no, it's too much hassle and it probably won't get approved anyway. So I waited until I banked enough sick leave to take off 8 weeks for recovery and had the surgery on my own dime. Well, since I waited so long, the surgery was unsuccessful and fifteen months after the surgery they approved an LOD. If I only had a time machine I could get the surgery and rehab paid for. Now I am finally at the MEB, seventeen months after career-ending surgery. And I still go to "work" every day, drawing full pay in a non-existent light-duty slot. Nice gesture, but also a threat: play nice or else the gravy train will end!
They say an ART is a dual-status technician, but in reality you have no status. The civil service passes the buck to the military side, and the military folks just want you to go away. Good luck with this. It really can feel like you're completely unable to control your career, your life, or your destiny. But stay on this forum; you are not alone.
 

FRAUSCHMID

PEB Forum Regular Member
thanks for your response, I feel like i am going crazy with all this. The Civilian side of the house says it is not their problem, military says if I can answer a phone I'm fine. the flt doc has not even seen me since Jun 09. Any and all documentation from the civ doc is deemed unacceptable,--errrrrr. To date they took me off orders as a personal request of flt doc to AFRC/SG ( don't remember seeing that a part of the process). So basically, I am barely getting medical care provided by AFRC, but I am getting some but all time off for appts come out of my hide.

Anyways, hang in there, its good to know I'm not alone.
 
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