Should i apply to BCMR for medical retirement

Alexspencer

Registered Member
#1
THIS IS A LONG STORY BUT INFORMATIVE. SORRY FOR TYPOS..

I was Air Force from 2004 to 2011. In 2006 i was told that i had a thyoid goiter. They did biopsy and said it was benign but i needed thyroid medication. It grew over the years to massive size to where my trachea was being forced to one side of the neck. Breathing when doing PT got considerable worse along with the symptoms of hypothyroidism(fatigue,hard to focus,depression).

They recommend immediate surgery to remove the entire thyroid but i requested that only the thyroid with the goiter be removed. Post surgery i received notification thst the goiter was cancerous. At age 25 i was shocked and didnt know how to handle that news. They did bone marrow and other tests to rule out cancer in other areas.

I originally signed up for 6 years with bonus so 2010 was my original date of separation but i was informed that they wanted to do an MEB. Following the surgery i started having other complications connected to the hypothyroidism and surgery. I was not responding well to medication and was far from stable. I went into mental health counseling where after 2 months i was diagnosed with Adjustment Disorder with depression and anxiety.

I starting missing work and having trouble keeping up in PT which never used to be an issue. I remained in service until i was found fit for duty in May 2010. I appealed the decision on the grounds that my health was the worst It's ever been and im having alot of issues at work and in my personal life due to fatigue, depression and other health factors. I provided proof of all claims by having my supervisors, commander and therapist write letters of their assesment of my current state. Commander acknowledged a big change to my job performance and physical capabilities since i was on an ongoing physical profile for over a year with non deployability listed the entire duration of the profile. I kept said profile throughout my entire Medical Hold until i separated.

By april 2011 came around, i was still awaiting a decision on my appeal but i started having majore problems with fitness. I gained about 40 pounds in a year and a half. I was placed in a new fitness program i not know was used to push people out of the service with no benefits. Main symptoms of hypothyroidism are weight gain, depression and other mental issues.

I started recieving article 15 punishment from our new commander simply for fitness paperwork they did not recieve on time. This was just the forms you used to personally record your exercises performed at home.

I recieved an offer by a contract company at the same base and i cancelled my appeal. I cancelled because i did not want to continue getting in trouble for health issues i could not magically make better.

After i cancelled the appeal i recieved a notice from the contractor saying i dont seem to have an active TS clearance. They said the military could keep me active but it wasnt active to the outside world. So i got screwed since i was on Med hold, they refused to renew my clearance.

Could not stop the cancellation of the appeal so i separated since i was denied reenlistment. One month after separation i sent in my VA package after returning to my hometown to my family. One year later i was rated( 100% hypothyroidism,50% depressive disorder secondary to hypothyroidism,50% migraines, 30% scar from surgery, 6 other 10% ratings) so overall rating is 100% VA.

In 2017 i was reevaluated then upgraded to P&T (permanent and total) with no change to ratings.

I want to file a BCMR to challenge the fit for duty decision again since seconday symptoms were not considered originally. I had my reasons for canceling the appeal(to move on) but i think with my initial and current VA rating, it should hold some weight to getting medical retirement.

I've also figured out how i became hypothyroid and Why it led to cancer (no family history of either). Wisdom tooth abscess from them leaving a piece of my tooth in the socket. (Malpractice by Military dentist?!?)

ALL THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS WELCOMED
 

jeeperrs

Registered Member
#2
This is a very tricky case. The fact you withdrew your appeal and chose to separate before the MEB is going to be the biggest issue. You will want your doctor to provide a NEXUS letter connecting the access to the cancer. That will be your best chance. Due to the complexity I think an attorney may be the best option to help you. The military will hold onto the evidence that you chose to separate from the military. In that separation you probably signed some documents that state you accept leaving the military on your own and deny wanting to go through a MEB or other hearing.
 

Alexspencer

Registered Member
#3
This is a very tricky case. The fact you withdrew your appeal and chose to separate before the MEB is going to be the biggest issue. You will want your doctor to provide a NEXUS letter connecting the access to the cancer. That will be your best chance. Due to the complexity I think an attorney may be the best option to help you. The military will hold onto the evidence that you chose to separate from the military. In that separation you probably signed some documents that state you accept leaving the military on your own and deny wanting to go through a MEB or other hearing.
You make some good points and I did consider they might use that to deny a further investigation.

I was found fit for the thyroid cancer. That was what they started the MEB for. I told them in my appeal that the secondary conditions were the real issues they should be focused on evaluating. In the appeal, I had statements from my commander, all immediate and shift supervisors, endocrinologist and therapist who diagnosed me with Adjustment disorder with anxiety. The only reason I cancelled the appeal was to get out of there since they started writing article 15's on me for fitness blunders. I had a clean record so they had nothing else to try and force me out or punish me with.

I am going to apply with NVLSP to get some assistance in reviewing my case to see what we can do to review the events prior to my discharge. They say getting the records could take about a year from the VA record management center.

I also hope they will accept the request at the AFBCMR since it's been over 6 years, going on 7 but I've only lately been able to get my life together to start trying to set the record straight.
 
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