Curious about retirement possibility with husband's condition

navywife2010

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Hi all,

Sorry if this is not the right place for this. I'm new to the forum.

My husband was diagnosed a year ago with Ulcerative Colitis. He was taken off his ship and placed on Limited Duty. He just finished his second round of LD and the doc wants to send his MED board to PEB. He is on a steady dose of mesalamine and Apriso and enemas. He also is currently on his second dose of Prednisone. He feels like a million bucks when he is on the Prednisone, but he can't take it forever. The minute he starts tapering off, all the bathroom issues start up. He also gets knee, ankle and hip pain. He was told he also has IBD related arthritis, which was put on his PEB forms.

Additionally, he has sleep apnea, rashes (from UC flares), nighttime teeth grinding and other issues.

We were told by the PEBLO yesterday that he will "more than likely" be medically retired. Anyone with this particular autoimmune issue know how true that is? We are trying to plan for the future (hard in the military, we know) and make financial plans accordingly.

Thanks in advance for any feedback! We appreciate it!
 

navywife2010

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Hi, GSFLOWER,

Thanks for the response! I feel like he might be between 30-60%, depending on what the definition of "bad health" is to the Navy. He's had two flares this year alone while on meds, and he's been diagnosed with anemia. It's a weird disease since he can be fine one week and horrible the next.

We see the VA rep next week. Any advice you would like to pass along? Thanks!!!!
 

maparker

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The arthritis should be rated as part of the condition as well.

Mike
 

limbolife

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Honestly be patient your in the supeperbowl with no quarters. When he does the C&P exams at the VA and you get that paperwork back you can literally Google every diagnosis and how the doctor wrote it up to find the individual percentages. He will have 45 days to process out and up to 60 days of leave. That's 105 days to find a job or get enrolled in school. I would look around 50-70 % with what he's claiming. Be strong and remember his life is in limbo and he has many hidden stressors. Everyday wake up be there for each other can say one day closer to the 295 day goal. He needs to keep out of trouble hince tongue tied and best bearing. Best of luck.
 

navywife2010

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Hi Mike,
Yes, his GI doc wrote UC and UC-related arthritis as the two conditions my husband has that are service-connected issues. That's what's going off for the informal PEB. All the other stuff: sleep apnea, rashes, etc. we were told to claim with the VA rep next week. Thank you for your response!

Hi Limbolife,
Patience has been a new word in our vocabulary. My husband was very active before and was a Nuke machinist mate, so being in this weird in-between stage has been tough, for sure. For the 50-70%, is that the VA side or the Navy side? We are still learning all the lingo and whatnot. Thank you for the good reminder; if anything, this whole process has actually brought us closer! :)
 

thman558

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I'm currently going through the process as well. My doctor waited to initiate my MEB until I ended up having colectomy. I tried the Remicade, Humira, maintaining a strict diet, but no luck. I know the UC will put him on the TDRL (Temporary retirement listing) pending the disability percentages for awhile. He will have to continue to follow up with the VA after separating/retiring for disability percentage determination until significant time has passed for them to consider PDRL.
 

navywife2010

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Hi thman558 and everyone,

I'm sorry to hear about you having to get a colectomy. That's rough. :( What branch are you in? I hope they take good care of you.

One thing I've learned is to keep track of everything and ask for copies of everything. At my urging, my husband has made several extra appointments prior to MEB...which is how we found he has sleep apnea and UC related arthritis. I don't know what happens to all these other appointments he has after the initial packet is sent in, but I imagine they get counted in some way? We see the VA Rep tomorrow to do all the claiming, so we went through and pulled all the codes for what he has. Not sure if this will irritate the rep or make them happy, but we tend to be pretty proactive when it comes to trying to get things done smoothly.

Additionally, he's on Prednisone now and doing great. It's when he tapers off that he doesn't do so great. Hoping he won't have to do Humira and whatnot...the side effects lists of those meds are awful.

If anyone has advice to share with us regarding visiting with the VA rep tomorrow, please share!

Thank you all for your answers and help!
 

thman558

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I'm going through my MEB with the Air Force. I too have UC related arthritis, but I will mention this.. In my situation I was originally diagnosed with UC, however upon physical exam and continued therapy my symptoms transitioned to Crohn's. I had a unique situation because I had been hospitalized for my arthritis more than 5 times within the year. I had constant knee effusions and it was terrible. Originally my doctors stated if I elected to have surgery there was a chance my UC arthritis would go away, however if I had Crohn's disease it would continue to stay dormant in my system. There hasn't been very much research related to removal of disease and the impact on inflammatory arthritis. Prednisone was the only drug that would help regulate my symptoms, but I had to continue to take it at a very high dose.. 60mg and I weighed 140lbs at the time. I continued to take that drug for about 3 months at that dosage to hold me over until surgery. I always had a very painful pulsating pain in my rectum and the drugs were never curing the disease, at times I saw reduced blood in stool but that also came with side effects, either from the disease or meds Prednisone, Humira, Remicade. I tried them all...(chronic cough, erythema nodosum, fevers, aches, vommiting, etc)..The AF at this point has taken very good care of me. Once I was approved for the MEB and after meeting with the Peblo I ended up seeing my VA rep (all located in the same clinic). The VA rep had already reviewed my medical records and had my claims recorded on the required VA forms. I ended up going over all the diagnoses with him to ensure everything he had recorded was accurate. He did a great job, there wasn't anything missing. He also told me what the VA exams will be like and told me his story regarding VA examiners who help veterans and those who don't care. I'm here if you have any more questions, I'm still waiting on my ratings.. So I'll keep ya posted

Btw.. We lost Eagles Founder due to UC and RA.. It's a bad disease
 
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