Military And PD
Posted 14 May 2013 - 11:24 AM
My name is Bryan.
I was diagnosed with Parkinsons 4 years ago. Been a pain in the butt... I have a question and am looking for help or direction in the matter. I have no history of PD in my family and when I was diagnosed. I have researched causes and there are many. The only one I can think of is the toxic chemicals I used while in the Military. My Neuroligist at the VA believes that may be the case. I have been denied 3 times by the VA, because they say I can not prove it was service connected. All the chemicals have been baned fron the Navy over the years. Any one here going through the same problems?
Posted 14 May 2013 - 05:38 PM
I am not a human being trying to have a spiritual experience; I am a spiritual being having a (sometimes difficult) human experience.
First symptoms: right-hand tremor, constipation and restless arms 1978 (age 25). Depression and anxiety (non-motor symptoms) began in 1989 and worsened through the years. Last inpatient episode June 2013.
Diagnosed December, 2010 by a regular neurologist (age 57). After negative reactions to Requip, Mirapex and selegiline began Sinemet 25/100 3x/day. First MDS visit in Houston in February of 2011 was inconclusive. Second MDS visit at Baylor Fort Worth in May/June 2011 diagnosis changed to Parkinsonism, Sinemet stopped. Third MDS visit in August 2011 in WA State: received a confirmed diagnosis of idiopathic PD which had started on the right side and had now crossed to the left side as well. Restarted on Sinemet 25/100 4x/day. A short trial of Amantadine caused audio hallucinations in September 2011.
Current medications at age 62: Sinemet 25/100 ODT every 2.5 hours while awake (7/day). One Sinemet 25/100 CR between midnight and 4 AM. Trazodone 200 mg at bedtime, Fluvoxamine 300 mg at bedtime. Clonazepam 0.5 mg morning and afternoon, 1 mg at bedtime. Vit D3 2x/day, Calcium Carbonate Susp. 5 cc daily, Baclofen 10 mg 3x/day, Flonase two sprays 2x/day, Calcitonin-Salmon nasal spray once daily (for osteoporosis). Gel eye drops as needed throughout the day, Restasis Eye drops 2x/day, Nighttime eye ointment at bedtime. 02 2L per nasal cannula while asleep. Walker, electric wheelchair, moist and soft or pureed foods and 115 caregiver hours/month keep me sane.
All of the above subject to change based on progression, stress level, and dyskinesia. Whew! I'm glad I finally wrote that all out.
Posted 14 May 2013 - 07:54 PM
I’ve got a disability rating from the V.A. for Parkinson’s based on what they call the “Presumptive Clause”. I served active Navy from 1979 through 1987, was out for about 10-years until I joined the Reserves in 1997 and finally retired in 2011.
I first filed my claim in 2007 after having been back from my second deployment as a Reservist (Kuwait for a year) when I started experiencing tremor that I could no longer ignore. At that point in time I was ignorant about the potential connections between my service and Parkinson’s and only filed the claim because my buddies urged me to; I had no expectations that it would be accepted and true to my expectations, it was denied based on no proof of service connection. Several months went by and I got a call from the Wisconsin Department of Veterans affairs (I think that’s what they are called); apparently they review all rejected V.A. claim applications (For Wis residents). They explained to me that they felt my claim was inappropriately denied and that the V.A should have granted the claim because the “Presumptive Clause” basically says that any degenerative brain condition that manifests symptoms within one year of discharge from active duty is presumed to be service connected. They asked my permission to appeal the rejection—of course I gave it—and about a year later, I was approved. Apparently, for certain conditions this clause removes a good portion of the otherwise required proof of service connection. I don’t know what caused my Parkinson’s but apparently the V.A. seems to think there is sufficient reason to assume a connection.
I found a site that does a pretty good job explaining the presumptive clauses:
I also found someone’s blog page that describes his experiences with getting a rating from the V.A.: myparkinsonsadventure.blogspot.com
I don’t know what era you served in but during my active days we used degreasing solvents (Quite extensively without personal protective equipment and frequently without ventilation). The solvents were Percholorethylene (aks: dry cleaning solvent) and Trichloroethylene. In recent years, exposure to both of these chemicals have been associated with significant increase in incidences of Parkinson’s. Also recently the V.A. has approved the use of the presumptive clause—I believe without time limits—for exposure to agent-orange.
I suggest you contact the county Vets Rep. or a Veterans organization to help you decipher the clause and see if you can apply it to your situation
I hope what I’ve provided assists your pursuit of a rating.
Improvise, Adapt and Overcome
Posted 15 May 2013 - 01:46 PM
Does the VA only treat PD if it is service related? Only about 5% of PD is traceable in the family tree. Most people never know why they develop it. I may be naive, but I thought any veteran could get services at a VA center for life.
You are a bit naive, if you are a Veteran you MAY get benefits, based on an enormous list of conditions. and if you look up VA benefits you will find that Veteran's are classified in order of ,for lack of a better word, importance. Those with Service related injuries are at the top of that list with a number 1 classification, it goes down from there. My husband was in the Air Force during the Vietnam period, but not in a war zone, his eligiblity ranking is 8 and there are more after that. also to get accepted for help you have to jump through flaming hoops basically.
But they have recently changed some things about PD and the VA so the OP might have a better time now, again there are those Hoops!
Posted 15 May 2013 - 04:47 PM
Edited by carruthers209, 15 May 2013 - 10:38 PM.
Posted 16 May 2013 - 01:55 PM
Thank you for the information. I was in the Navy from 82-87. I was a Boatswains Mate. I used the same solvents. :Percholorethylene (aks: dry cleaning solvent) and Trichloroethylene" also Zinc Cromate and Red Lead. All now banned by the Navy. I have been working with the DAV here in Colorado. I also assist Veterans Get into the VA, paperwork etc. I do get my treatment through the VA. I am listed as a G8.
I am trying to get as much information to back my case as well as (hopefully) assisting others in my situation get some closure in theirs. I am not the only one with PD that served their country. Thanks for your info...
Edited by Bryan Kleine, 16 May 2013 - 01:57 PM.
Posted 03 June 2013 - 02:36 AM
Posted 03 June 2013 - 09:41 AM
Posted 03 June 2013 - 12:38 PM
Edited by Rogerstar1, 03 June 2013 - 12:40 PM.
Posted 27 June 2013 - 01:50 PM
Posted 27 June 2013 - 03:20 PM
google veterans benefits network-a lot of knowledge here, all veterans. where you on the ground or of the coast of a war zone? DON'T GIVE UP! do all the above quickly.
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