Camp Lejeune timeline

thanks4urhelp

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20221015 rough date of injury
20230524 limdu initiated (221 days)
20231025 meb referral (154 days)
20240123 meb acceptance (90 days)
20240129 va/legal brief (6 days, delay due to course attendance)

Referred for low back pain, thoracic back pain (2 conditions listed)

244 days since LIMDU initiated, 90 days to get accepted. I see my PEBLO to go through the VA & legal brief first thing this coming week. 471 days this Monday since injury.

It was denoted that I am psychiatrically fit for duty, though there are notes claiming otherwise and recommendation for restriction of firearms. This is largely irrelevant since the board has nothing to do with mental.

I've had to fight with my PCM/MO for every inch of this process. Despite finding a disc bulge and protrusion between two segments of my thoracic spine, imaging seems to mismatch with my pain. PCM submitted tentative diagnosis of fibromyalgia to pursue a referral for rheumatology which will be investigated in parallel with this board. I intend on mentioning this tentative diagnosis in any and all examinations. The only documented place of this tentative diagnosis is in TRICARE inaccessible to me. I'm going to try my best to get this added to my board, but would like guidance on this.

I have multiple range of motion tests through sports medicine and physical therapy that corroborate my inability to bend beyond 20 degrees at their highest estimations of ROM, 10 degrees at the lowest.
 
20240129 - Briefs finished, claims submitted. Personal statement made and submitted to legal, appointment for 20240201 with DES attorney.
 
20221015 rough date of injury
20230524 limdu initiated (221 days)
20231025 meb referral (154 days)
20240123 meb acceptance (90 days)
20240129 va/legal brief (6 days, delay due to course attendance)
20240129 Briefs finished, claims submitted. Personal statement made and submitted to legal, appointment for 20240201 with DES attorney.
20240202 Personal statement draft submitted to DES attorney
20240205 C&P exams scheduled (10th, 15th, 22nd, & 27th) I don't know if it's a coincidence that each exam is 5 days apart. Made me raise a brow though.
 
20240222 Finished my general health exam, NP concurred with fibromyalgia and checked off on it on the DBQ. Once that DBQ is submitted I intend to do everything in my power to get it added to my DoD side as an addendum the first chance I get to give rebuttals. ROM taken in the exam for my boarded condition concurs with a medical retirement. Luckily had a great and thorough examiner who listed all my ROM very accurately.

Also finished hearing exam and mental health exam. Both very straightforward exams.
 
20240227 TBI C&P finished. Drove an hour away to speak to someone for about 10 minutes, told I was diagnosed, and that those diagnoses will be submitted to the VA promptly. The exam felt pretty impromptu.
 
Similar issue as you as well as similar timeline. Lumbar spine injury 01Mar22. Light Limited Duty on ship for 68 days with no diagnosis. Flown off ship for MRI which revealed multiple bulging discs in lower back as well as extruded disc at L5/S1. Continued on LLD for 128 days total. Multiple steroid injections, nerve block and Radio Frequency Ablasion which showed no improvement. Severe back pain with Radiculopathy down both legs. Placed on first LIMDU after 128 days LLD. Elected for microdiscectomy on 31Mar23. Surgery went terribly, woke up worse than I went in. Continued to decline after surgery. Placed on second LIMDU. 27Jul23 MRI revealed severe infection in my spine four months post surgery. Completely dissolved L5/S1 disc and infected the bones above and below. Eight week IV treatment for infection through 25Sep23 with hospitalization. Continued to decline, lost all ability to control left foot and left leg atrophy noted. Place on third LIMDU Oct 2023. Elected for L5/S1 spinal fusion and facectectomy on 7Nov23. Woke up feeling the same as before. Still no improvement. Surgeon stated that it looked like the first surgeon drilled into my nerve root bundle in my spine and that was most likely the cause of all my problems. After 500 days LIMDU, Med Board initiated on 11Dec23. Completed all exams by 14Feb24. Received email this morning that my case has finally cleared the MEB portion and is being sent to PEB today. This process has been long and painful as has yours I'm sure. Hopefully we both get some traction soon on our cases and can move on with our lives.
 
Similar issue as you as well as similar timeline. Lumbar spine injury 01Mar22. Light Limited Duty on ship for 68 days with no diagnosis. Flown off ship for MRI which revealed multiple bulging discs in lower back as well as extruded disc at L5/S1. Continued on LLD for 128 days total. Multiple steroid injections, nerve block and Radio Frequency Ablasion which showed no improvement. Severe back pain with Radiculopathy down both legs. Placed on first LIMDU after 128 days LLD. Elected for microdiscectomy on 31Mar23. Surgery went terribly, woke up worse than I went in. Continued to decline after surgery. Placed on second LIMDU. 27Jul23 MRI revealed severe infection in my spine four months post surgery. Completely dissolved L5/S1 disc and infected the bones above and below. Eight week IV treatment for infection through 25Sep23 with hospitalization. Continued to decline, lost all ability to control left foot and left leg atrophy noted. Place on third LIMDU Oct 2023. Elected for L5/S1 spinal fusion and facectectomy on 7Nov23. Woke up feeling the same as before. Still no improvement. Surgeon stated that it looked like the first surgeon drilled into my nerve root bundle in my spine and that was most likely the cause of all my problems. After 500 days LIMDU, Med Board initiated on 11Dec23. Completed all exams by 14Feb24. Received email this morning that my case has finally cleared the MEB portion and is being sent to PEB today. This process has been long and painful as has yours I'm sure. Hopefully we both get some traction soon on our cases and can move on with our lives.
Jesus Christ. This is the nightmare scenario I feared. I wasn't a candidate for surgery, but I keep hearing cases of people seeing very unfavorable results from surgeries while in the military. I'm sorry this happened to you. My issues kicked because my ROM is so limited from pain, but nothing could help that, so they got stuck and kicked medboard.

Sounds like your case is moving as smoothly as it ought to. You're right in front of me timeline wise, and I was told about 2 weeks from exam completion that things would progress and that seems to agree with your timeline as well.

I'm keeping this timeline as current as I can, and I'll do a composite review when everything is set in stone. Please feel free to chime in or vent any frustrations at the system: I'm sure myself and anyone who happens to read this can sympathize.
 
Be thankful you're not a candidate for surgery. I advise against it now to everyone I know that has back problems. It seems a general consensus that it doesn't really help that much. My first surgeon stated that if I didn't have the surgery then "how long would I wait until I was using a walker." She basically scared me into the surgery and then ruined my life with her negligent surgery. She is now out of the Navy so there is nothing really that I can do regarding her.

Anyways, it does seem like my case is moving along smoothly and luckily my PEBLO is awesome and always answers the phone or responds emails quickly. She actually just called me while typing this to just give me an update.

I'm thinking about making a post outlining my timeline for those that would find it useful. I know a lot of post on here have been very useful to me.
 
Be thankful you're not a candidate for surgery. I advise against it now to everyone I know that has back problems. It seems a general consensus that it doesn't really help that much. My first surgeon stated that if I didn't have the surgery then "how long would I wait until I was using a walker." She basically scared me into the surgery and then ruined my life with her negligent surgery. She is now out of the Navy so there is nothing really that I can do regarding her.

Anyways, it does seem like my case is moving along smoothly and luckily my PEBLO is awesome and always answers the phone or responds emails quickly. She actually just called me while typing this to just give me an update.

I'm thinking about making a post outlining my timeline for those that would find it useful. I know a lot of post on here have been very useful to me.
Yeah man absolutely, more info on this stuff is better. I couldn't find many timelines regarding back MEB's which is why I decided to post my info, I'm sure different perspectives would be helpful. My SSgt who just medically retired had a very similar debilitating surgery done on him by a surgeon who left to begin their own practice, seems like an all too common idea to "experiment" in an environment where there's no culpability as service members sign many of their rights to litigation away. Scary stuff.

Glad to hear things are relatively smoother now. I'd definitely keep tabs on your timeline. Wishing the best.
 
There's talk of sending me to WWBn, but I'm skeptical this will happen. I spoke to my attorney on Thursday (20240229) and clarified I cannot access TOL PP (Tricare Online patient portal, disappearing on October of this year) to see my DBQ's. When I go into the portal and click on "Health Record", I am greeted with the following error:

"We are unable to display your Health Record as the demographic data from the data feed does not match the TOL demographic data."

There's a post on a reddit Air Force thread about pasting a link while logged in and receiving this error and it downloads a file where a composite record is meant to be. Despite this, the downloaded file is almost entirely blank and useless.

I've opened a support case with Tricare, but I don't think this will go anywhere. My attorney told me to follow up next Thursday to check if he or his IDES attorney peers have gained access to the DBQ's. I have my final C&P exam on 20240305 for an in-person overnight sleep study at a facility. I'm going to guess that 2 weeks after that C&P I will get my NARSUM and my ability to give rebuttal should I want to will present itself.

I'm expecting good things as my examiners so far have been quite good, especially my general health examiner which saw me for my boarded condition (low back pain, pain in thoracic spine).
 
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20240306 Completed my C&P exams and reminded my PEBLO to submit the NMA to my CO. My CO sent the NMA to my OIC, who sat and filled it out with me. My OIC marked me as deployable despite my limitations stating I cannot participate in field or shipboard duties, citing my doctor's opinion that I don't currently have diagnoses for things that limit my MOS duties when they spoke over the phone. This slightly concerns me, but my PCM is unaware of the diagnoses made in my VA exams so this is somewhat understandable. I do wonder if this detail throws a wrench into things or if I'm overanalyzing it. I made it known I do not wish to continue service and was given an opportunity to explain why. I also explained my initial injury. I was told by my PEBLO that it'll take about two weeks for my NARSUM to come back, and I should have all my DBQ's at that point. I'll then review everything with legal to know the next steps.
 
20240307 I spoke to my OIC who spoke to my CO who will speak to my MO. Quite the mouthful. Before signing off on my NMA, the CO will get clarification on my situation straight from the doctor. Seems kind of like it's defeating the purpose of a "non medical" assessment but beats me. Will return with the verdict from this.
 
20240309 I spoke to VES (contractor appointed to my claims by the VA) and they got me in contact with a VLO. They explained to me that it will likely take a decent amount of time for all of my exams to be submitted to the VA. They used to guarantee 30 days, but quote the PACT act for a lack of guarantee. Only one of five exams have been submitted as of right now. PEBLO estimates 2 weeks from C&P completion for NARSUM to be ready. Seems to be off in this estimation because of what VES is saying.
 
Recompiled timeline - no personal notes

202210XX
- Injury sustained.
20230524 First and only LIMDU cycle
20231025 Referred to IDES (154 days)
20240123 Case accepted by MEB (90 days)
20240129 VA/Legal Brief & Claims submission through MSC (6 days)
20240205 C&P exams scheduled through VES (7 days) (10th, 15th, 22nd, & 27th)
20240210 Tinnitus C&P (5 days)
20240215 Mental C&P (5 days)
20240222 General/Head-to-Toe C&P (7 days)
20240227 TBI C&P (5 days)
20240305 Sleep study C&P (7 days)
20240306 NMA pending (1 day)
 
20240313 VES told me that all of my exams have been submitted to the VA except my GenMed exam, which includes my boarded condition. I'm told my sleep study was just submitted yesterday and GenMed needed to see the diagnostics before finalizing and submitting their findings. I'm told I will have all of my exams submitted to the VA by Friday or early next week. Will post when the VA has all my exams, and when my PEBLO reaches out to me with my NARSUM & NMA.
 
20240322 OIC informs me NMA was corrected to mark that I am NOT deployable by the CO. Little victories.
 
I'm not gonna make this part of my timeline by adding it into the notes but I think it's a good idea to remind anyone who reads this for their own record to fight where you may have to to advocate for yourself. I'm keeping the details of a majority of this vague to preserve plausible deniability, but the principle of it is important. This process is incredibly taxing and it affords very little room to breathe, as a mistake could cost you everything.

This varies by branch and I'm not sure about other branches, but Marines if you are facing issues with equal opportunity reach out to your EO rep. It's a resource that is too often shunned, but can heavily leverage circumstance in your favor should you need to utilize them to fight an injustice. Often times there will be an active effort to solve it before a formal complaint is made.

My superiors made an active attempt to hinder my career progression by keeping me from attending a course that is required for me to promote. I was offered no recourse until I consulted equal opportunity and I am now enabled to go to the course. It is in no uncertain terms that the promotion order states there is no medical prerequisite in order for an individual to promote. If the only thing holding you back is your medical limitation, cry out for representation.

Those of junior grade ensure you are tactful in your responses, and make up for your lack of freedom in your speech in cunning. Know that if you dare to challenge your superiors, it doesn't take much to slip up and destroy your case. Be careful in how you represent yourself at all times. Those of senior grade, you likely know when something is amiss.

I will post further updates, as there will likely be future challenges to my promotion despite this small victory. Will recompile a simplified timeline every couple of updates.
 
20240322 (retrograde) informed on 20240325 that everything is with my PEBLO, and is currently being reviewed by the docs at the MEB level for what I would assume is the NARSUM. PEBLO is claiming they don't have the NMA yet - going to clarify what is going on soon with that.
 
20240402 Checked LIMDU Smart (I think this is exclusive to DoN but I could be wrong) and saw that my DBQ files were posted there. I guess that's my recourse for all the trouble I had with Tricare Online.

Barring mental health, almost everything came back resoundingly in my favor. NMA was also confirmed to have been submitted to my lawyer from my PEBLO after checking this.

I'm slightly annoyed that fibromyalgia didn't get added to the DoD side of things given that a work up was attempted and failed due to local resources being lacking. I can't be too upset though, I'm beyond the 30% threshold for my referred condition so there's not really a fight to be had there.

Final review with my lawyer scheduled for tomorrow.
 
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