HELP!! ETS or fight for MEB

SHAY1982

Registered Member
#1
Current issues: Lower back pain, mild sleep apnea, and I go to behavioral health. I have been in 7 1/2 yrs 1 deployment 3 duty stations

I have been fighting about my lower back now since 2016. At first it was the normal back pain like a pulled muscle or something. Gradually it continue to get worse. I started going to sick call to see my PCM. He just told me I needed to stretch more and put me in physical therapy. That was not working. I continue to go see him and continue to complain about the same thing. Still he just insists to just keep doing therapy.
June 2016 I get in a car accident and the back pain shoots up from a almost bearable pain to a my husband has to help me out of bed pain. With the accident I started going to Arrowhead who had me do a MRI. Turns out the area that I kept complaining about was due to it basically being bone on bone at my L5. At this point now I am doing Physical therapy, shots in the back, and chiropractor. Still nothing is working. Now its August 2016 and I am still on temporary profile. Around September I find out that I have orders to go to Korea. I continue to ask my PCM is how can we fix the pain I am having because now I am in pain from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to sleep. I can no longer run or walk long distance. He just says continue to go to physical therapy. So he signs the paperwork saying I can PCS to Korea even though I am on temporary profile. I arrive to Korea may 2017. The following week after arriving I go see my PCM and tell her what has been going on. She sends me to the ortho to have a MRI. While there the MRI results are the same. Basically that the pain in my back that I have been complaining about for so long wasn't just a figment of my imagination. The ortho doctor puts in that I need surgery on my l5. Go back to my PCM and she starts medical curtailment paperwork. it takes about 6 months for me to finally end up back stateside. keep in mind I am still on temporary profile an have been every month since august 2016. Get to my duty station with a new PCM and go through my whole saga all over again. He suggests physical therapy but I refuse because I did it at my first duty station as well as Korea and I knew all it did was hurt me more. So he just keeps me on my temporary profile. Finally may 2018 I have my spinal fusion surgery. Now its July 2018. So I sent my PCM an email asking if I qualify for MEB. I get a call back from his office that I have a appointment with him on Friday July 13th. I then get a call from a lady that says she is my case manager. So I ask her do I qualify for MEB. First she goes no you don't qualify because you have been on temporary profile and not permanent profile then she goes on to say we have to wait 9-12 months to see if the surgery worked so I can be reevaluated. I inform her that my ETS date is Jan 19, 2019 and that by the time my recovery is over I will be out. this is when she says she wants to see me right after I see my doctor. I'm just so tired of getting the run around. first being told there is nothing wrong with you when you know there is something wrong and now the thought of not even being MEB but just plain ETS. I am a damn good Soldier, I have never been in trouble and practically ranned my 1st duty station company for 4 yrs. due to the fact I ranned the orderly room by myself. I was always the person that let the new 1sg and new commanders know what was going on and what or how some paperwork needed to be completed because they didn't know. Im stressing all the time.
I was just diagnosed with a mild case of sleep apnea 2018. I have been going to behavioral health since 2015-2016. I have gained at least 30-40lbs since all of this started due to not being able to work out. I cant even walk a mile anymore let alone run. Did I mention im still on a temporary profile. Help I don't know what else to do. Time is running out.
 

Berazil

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#2
I'm sorry you are going thru this, I understand your frustration. I also had a spine fusion, (Feb 2017) in my case because I was not near a military hospital my surgery was performed by a civilian neuro surgeon. Even before my surgery he wrote a letter to my command explaining my diagnose, the procedure and that I would probably require a military medical evaluation to determine if I would be able to continue military service. His recommendation was that would not be fit for military after my surgery. Six months after my surgery my command sent me to see a PCM at a Naval facility and the doc looked at all the letters from civilian surgeon and referred to a MEB.

I would suggest you go see a doc outside the military and get a second opinion about your condition.

I can send you a copy of my docs letters so you can have an idea. Best of luck to you.
 

SHAY1982

Registered Member
#4
I'm sorry you are going thru this, I understand your frustration. I also had a spine fusion, (Feb 2017) in my case because I was not near a military hospital my surgery was performed by a civilian neuro surgeon. Even before my surgery he wrote a letter to my command explaining my diagnose, the procedure and that I would probably require a military medical evaluation to determine if I would be able to continue military service. His recommendation was that would not be fit for military after my surgery. Six months after my surgery my command sent me to see a PCM at a Naval facility and the doc looked at all the letters from civilian surgeon and referred to a MEB.

I would suggest you go see a doc outside the military and get a second opinion about your condition.

I can send you a copy of my docs letters so you can have an idea. Best of luck to you.
I would very much appreciate that. My surgery happened at william Beaumont which is a army hospital. It's kinda hard to get a outside doctor when pretty much everything around here is connected to the army.
 

chaplaincharlie

Staff Member
PEB Forum Lifetime Supporter
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#5
If you choose to ETS, you should file for VA 6 months prior (that means now). Then you will have the long fight with the BCMR to have your ETS recharacterized. The VA will work up all your contentions. Regardless of MEB or ETS the sleep apnea will likely NOT be unfitting. Based on your symptoms the back is likely unfitting. There is no detail about mental health, so that could go either way. The nice thing about getting your VA done now is that you will have evidence of your medical condition while you are AD.


As for forcing an MEB, others may have some help for you.
 

SHAY1982

Registered Member
#6
If you choose to ETS, you should file for VA 6 months prior (that means now). Then you will have the long fight with the BCMR to have your ETS recharacterized. The VA will work up all your contentions. Regardless of MEB or ETS the sleep apnea will likely NOT be unfitting. Based on your symptoms the back is likely unfitting. There is no detail about mental health, so that could go either way. The nice thing about getting your VA done now is that you will have evidence of your medical condition while you are AD.


As for forcing an MEB, others may have some help for you.
I start going to my Soldier for life classes at the end of this month
 

SHAY1982

Registered Member
#8
so here is some new information. today I was suppose to have an appointment with my PCM but due to a donza it was cancelled. But I still had an appointment with my case manager that i just received. I flat out asked him why haven't I been put in for a MEB since I have been on profile for 477 days. He goes well since you just havd your surgery on may 24th enough time has not assed for us to see weather you will get better or not. he said to just look at the surgery date as day 1. So basically to just look at it like everything else I have done and have been through have not counted for nothing. UGH this is so frustrating.He also mention that if I do end up just ETSing that most likely I wouldn't qualify for VA disability.
My appointment for my PCM has been rescheduled for Aug 1.
 

Edi

Registered Member
#9
so here is some new information. today I was suppose to have an appointment with my PCM but due to a donza it was cancelled. But I still had an appointment with my case manager that i just received. I flat out asked him why haven't I been put in for a MEB since I have been on profile for 477 days. He goes well since you just havd your surgery on may 24th enough time has not assed for us to see weather you will get better or not. he said to just look at the surgery date as day 1. So basically to just look at it like everything else I have done and have been through have not counted for nothing. UGH this is so frustrating.He also mention that if I do end up just ETSing that most likely I wouldn't qualify for VA disability.
My appointment for my PCM has been rescheduled for Aug 1.
what your case manager told you is nothing but a lie
 

SHAY1982

Registered Member
#11
Gets even better. just received a phone call from the 8hr sleep clinic that I go to. The reason why I have not received my CPAP machine is because my referral was cancelled by Tricare. Now I have to go back to my PCM and get him to redo the referral all over again.
 

SHAY1982

Registered Member
#12
I know several people that have not "ETSd" some all the way to retirement and still qualify for VA disability.
so I can still qualify for disability? I honestly don't believe that anything is gonna get better. I'm on
oxycodone for pain
ondansetron for nausea
methocarbamol for muscle spasm
magnesium citrate because im constipated
was on gabapentin but today they changed that to Duloxetine for nerve pain
docusate to soften my stool
acetaminophen for inflammation
 

Edi

Registered Member
#13
so I can still qualify for disability? I honestly don't believe that anything is gonna get better. I'm on
oxycodone for pain
ondansetron for nausea
methocarbamol for muscle spasm
magnesium citrate because im constipated
was on gabapentin but today they changed that to Duloxetine for nerve pain
docusate to soften my stool
acetaminophen for inflammation
Yes you can still qualify for disability
 

MackValdez

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#15
Yes, regardless if you just finish this term, Go until retirement, OR get MEB'd and get discharged early, a VERY important part of your out-processing will be to complete paperwork with the VA and get the ball rolling on your disability rating!
 
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