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Matthew Hulse

Gulf War Veterans with pd.

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Doubtful  IMO. Even more doubtful you'll find an attorney to handle your lawsuit on a contingency fee basis.

Edited by Rogerstar1

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This is something I posted in the Caregiver's site and then thought how those who served in the military may also be interested.

 

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Stuck in survival mode: Insights into turning down your stress levelDecember 2nd, 2014 by Julian Ford in Psychology & Psychiatry /
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Stress is not good or bad; it is a physical reaction from your body and brain that is intended to help keep you safe.

 

Stress is not good or bad; it is a physical reaction from your body and brain that is intended to help keep you safe.

A clinical psychologist and professor of psychiatry at the UConn School of Medicine, Julian Ford has spent the past two decades researching stress and trauma. He has edited or authored 10 books, including co-authoring Hijacked by Your Brain: How to Free Yourself When Stress Takes Over (Sourcebooks, 2013). Here, he offers a glimpse into his work as well as one approach we can all use in managing our own stress.

When stress takes a hold of our daily lives, most of us know how we should handle it: Eat healthfully. Exercise. Pace ourselves. Tend to our relationships. But most of the time, we feel too stressed to maintain the discipline necessary to take these seemingly simple steps. We've come to believe that we are just too stressed to use our stress-management skills.

Stress is ubiquitous in modern life, and stress-related medical and psychiatric illness is increasingly recognized as a worldwide epidemic. Although scientists are working to determine how stress affects individuals, families, communities, and entire societies, and to develop techniques for stress management, there still is no cure for common stress.

Losing Control

My own research over the past 20 years has focused on those suffering from extreme stress syndromes caused by exposure to trauma – such as life-threatening violence, abuse, or disasters – and those who have developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is an acute anxiety disorder in which the sufferer often revisits, or relives, a traumatic event through flashbacks and nightmares. Unfortunately, it is far from rare: Comparable in prevalence to depression, PTSD affects as many as one in every 10 adults in Western societies, and one in every 15 children and adolescents. Developing effective therapeutic interventions to enable traumatized people to recover from – or to prevent – PTSD is one of the most pressing agendas for scientists and health practitioners today.

In my book "Hijacked by Your Brain," I explain that there is an alarm center deep in our brains. When we are stressed, that alarm can essentially take control of areas in the brain that manage our memories and enable us to think clearly. For someone victimized by PTSD, that alarm is on high alert. Until it gets reset, the brain is stuck in survival mode, often causing the brain's memory and thinking centers to "crash" like a computer's hard drive, and resulting in persistent feelings of stress that seem unstoppable. Instead of exploring the world so that we can grow, develop, and engage fully in our lives – using what I've called the "learning brain" – the brain of a PTSD victim shifts to hypervigilance and a fight-flight state – a "survival brain."

Resetting Your Alarm

There is no direct biological intervention that reliably resets a hypervigilant brain. Medications designed for depression and anxiety help with some PTSD symptoms in some cases – but not consistently – and they do not fully or permanently restore the survival brain's capacity to make and to retrieve ordinary memories and to think clearly. However, psychological therapies have been shown to reset brain activity in related disorders, such as depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Studies are underway in my lab and my colleagues' labs to test whether victims of PTSD could similarly benefit.

The most consistently effective psychological therapies for PTSD are designed to change how people remember extremely stressful or traumatic experiences – but not to enable them to reset their brains' alarm systems. To address this gap, my research has focused in part on developing practical skill sets for resetting the brain's alarm when it has become stuck in survival mode. Changing how one feels and thinks when recalling traumatic experiences may indirectly reset the brain's survival alarm, but there might be a more direct path if we can help people to re-engage the brain's memory and thinking centers on a 24×7 basis, rather than only when recalling stressful memories.

The educational and therapeutic program I have developed, "Trauma Affect Regulation: Guide for Education and Therapy" (TARGET), shows individuals how experiencing extreme, chronic, or traumatic stressors can lead the brain's alarm to react self-protectively and become stuck in survival mode. They also learn how to use their brain's memory and thinking centers throughout the day (and at night) to reset their alarm back into learning mode. TARGET then teaches several common-sense, practical skill sets to engage the brain's memory and thinking centers and reset the alarm – strategies that anyone can use in moments of high stress. One of these approaches is called "SOS," which stands for Slow down, Orient, and Self-check.

Feeling stressed? Try the "SOS" approach right now:

Slow down

Re-enter the present moment. Observe what's happening in your mind and body. Perhaps count to 10, close your eyes, or take three deep breaths.

Orient to your core values

Focus your mind entirely on one thought. That thought – an image, an emotion, a goal – is whatever at this moment is most important to you in your life. Focusing on just one thought turns down your brain's alarm.

Self-check

Take a moment to assess the level of stress you're feeling as well as your level of personal control, or your ability to think clearly, on scales of 1 to 10.

If slowing down and orienting don't turn down your stress, doing a self-check can help activate your learning brain, leading you to begin feeling better and thinking more clearly.

Stress is not good or bad; it is a physical reaction from your body and brain that is intended to help keep you safe. Instead of avoiding or trying to "get over" your stress reactions, SOS may be a way to help you regain the one essential skill that chronic stress takes away: the ability to stop and to think clearly so that you can make the right choices.

Thinking clearly when you are under stress is a challenge we all face as humans. We've all got an alarm in our brains, and we all experience stress reactions that can threaten our health, happiness, and success. Fortunately, we all also have potentially highly effective memory and thinking centers in our brain, and we can learn how to harness those capacities. Use your stress reactions as a reminder to pay attention to what really matters in your life. Reorienting yourself to the emotion you want to feel right now is the key to turning down your alarm and effectively managing stress.

Provided by University of Connecticut

"Stuck in survival mode: Insights into turning down your stress level." December 2nd, 2014. http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-12-stuck-survival-mode-insights-stress.html

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I agree. 

 

It would also be interesting to hear what is the one thing that is most important to people at this moment in their lives that they would choose to focus on. 

I find mine would always be the same thing.  How about you (keeping in mind that it refers to core values)?

Edited by Linda Garren

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Hi All, boots on the ground in Vietnam 68-69. I am now going through the claim process for Parkinson's. Let you know how l make out.

 

bq173

 

173rd Airborne

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Hi All, boots on the ground in Vietnam 68-69. I am now going through the claim process for Parkinson's. Let you know how l make out.

 

bq173

 

173rd Airborne

qg173.  Thank you--very much--for your service in a very difficult war.  I remember that time so well.  I (and no doubt others here) will pray for you as to your Parkinson's being addressed by the VA.  Glad you will let us know how you make out.

Edited by Linda Garren

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Thank you Linda.

 

My VA claim update:

 

Well, they sent it back to me, seems they need more evidence that I have been diagnosed with Parkinsons. Damn, it was their 3 Doctors that diagnosed my new friend and the VAMC has all of my medical records.........hmmmmmm

 

All evidence sent in today so a future update will follow .......Hope not in 12 months.

 

May everyone have a happy and healthy holiday.

 

BQ

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BQ, I'll pray for you, that this gets straightened out soon.  Every time I hear something like this that a veteran has to contend with, it is very upsetting.  It's so unfair.  So unfair.

 

Please keep us updated, and all the best to you.  Do you have someone in the ranks who can pull some strings for you and give you some help to get this moving faster?

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I'm a Gulf War vet with Parkinson's.  I was diagnosed in 2012, but I know I had it for about far longer.  I myself have been looking for others that served that are experiencing the same problems that I have.

 

My name is Donald Goram, I served with C Co. 19th Engineers

 

 

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Sounds all to familiar to me i was stationed at Al Khars, Saudi Arabia in 94-95 and again in 96-97.  We were all exposed to the governments readily admitted moderate levels of pesticide.  We were in tents with roads surrounding each tent and the mosquito trucks never stopped spraying, our uniforms were impregnated with pesticides that we soaked into our skin with sweat, and then if that wasn't enough handed personal pesticides to spray on our selves. Just saying.

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 One other thing that might come into play and something to definitely consider is the botox injections that so  many PWP find beneficial may be out of the question for those of us that received the botulism vaccine.   

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I am 40 year old gulf war veteran.  I have just begun with the VA, what a horrid program that is.  I am still using the VA but they only have one last chance.  The neuro there can not or will not even classify my tremor correctly.  He has called it everything but a resting tremor.  And also told me parkinson's is never unilateral.  They have drawn blood 6 or 7 times in the last 3 months.  Fortunately i found these forums that made me feel like i was looking in a mirror.  I have private medical insurance so i went to a new primary care physician outside the VA who agreed that the chances are pretty good that my suspicion of parkinsonism but not idiopathic parkinson's is correct.  He agreed to refer me to an MDS who was suggested by NPF but i have to wait until april to see him.  Also as we find out what our issues are keep in mind that if the MDS suggest botox injections the botulism vaccine will preclude you from being able to receive those treatments.


 


My story so far is.


 


Resting tremor in the right arm


Right leg drags


Head tilts forward and down most of the time


Dizziness when standing frequently


Cognitive Impairment


ED


Constipation


Speech problems when upset


Skin issues (possibly melanomas) both legs and arms


Skin issues left leg three holes have developed on my knee along with another hard knot on the same knee


A place on my left arm that has not healed in 1 year 


Reoccurring "boils behind both ears"


Allergies since returning from the Gulf


Loss of smell


Extreme fatique


Sleep  issues


Adjustment disorder due to health concerns


Body stiffness


Right hand often draws up and inward or sticks straight out.


 


I started a blog when all this became debilitating or at least to the point that i could no longer ignore it.


http://myjourneywith...a.blogspot.com/


 


I am also considering a non-profit in the near future to help bring light to the other gulf war veterans.


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I am a Vietnam vet with PD dx in August 2013. I applied for VA disabilty compensation May 23, 2014. On December 22, 2014, I received notification from the VA that my claim was approved and I was rated 40 percent disabled. I would be happy to answer any questions and offer what help I can.

Msgt®

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Budget Victory for Veterans

Posted 12/31/2014 | In The News

veteranflag1-300x199.jpgfrom – Baltimore Sun – by Garry J. Augustine

The omnibus appropriations bill approved by Congress and signed last month by the president finally closed the book on federal budgeting for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, more than two months late and only after another threat of a government shutdown. Lost in most of the media coverage of this massive legislation is a very significant victory for millions of veterans that will prevent this very type of political gridlock from threatening veterans’ benefits during any future budget battles or government shutdowns.

 

This short but consequential legislative provision is the culmination of a long legislative road sparked by the last government shutdown. In October of 2013 as Congress and the administration once again failed to complete the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) budget on time, veterans and their families came within days of not receiving their disability, pension, education and survivor benefit payments. Many veterans rely on these VA checks to make ends meet. Moved by the plight of veterans forced to worry how they would pay their bills, DAV (Disabled American Veterans) and a coalition of other leading veterans organizations launched a campaign to pass new legislation ensuring that Congress will provide full funding for all mandatory veterans benefits up to a year in advance. Advance appropriations, as it is known, will guarantee that the VA has sufficient resources in place to guarantee benefit checks go out the door on time, every month and every year.

 

Ironically, the same broken process that has delayed and jeopardized veterans’ benefits for 23 of the past 26 years became the very catalyst that spurred this landmark change in federal budgeting. With enactment of the omnibus spending bill, Congress has effectively acted to protect veterans from Congress and all the partisan politics that have regularly stalled federal budget agreements.

This past spring, on this very page of The Sun, the Maryland State Commander of DAV, along with the state commanders of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, called upon Sen. Barbara Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat, to use her power as chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee to get this legislation enacted. It appears she was paying attention. In the midst of the partisan wrangling surrounding the omnibus appropriations bill, Senator Mikulski spearheaded a successful effort to include the advance appropriations provision as part of the omnibus spending bill agreement she was negotiating with her Senate and House counterparts. With DAV and other veterans service organizations securing support from key leaders on the Senate and House Veterans’ Affairs committees, and with assistance from the bipartisan supporters of advance appropriations, particularly Congressman Jeff Miller, a Florida Republican and head of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, this provision was ultimately adopted into the omnibus legislation.

 

As a result, Congress is now authorized to fully fund mandatory veterans benefits — such as disability compensation, low-income pension, widowers’ support and GI Bill education benefits — up to a full year in advance. This law will help to ensure that no amount of partisan gridlock, or even a government shutdown, will again deny veterans the benefits they and their families need and were promised — benefits earned through service and sacrifice. Millions of veterans will no longer have to worry whether congressional gridlock will threaten their financial ability to keep the lights on or food on the table. Thanks to this important, if unheralded, legislative victory, past, present and future members of our armed forces will no longer be used as political pawns during unrelated budget showdowns. Even in an increasingly partisan and political environment in Washington, D.C., our nation will be able to fulfill at least this one promise to the men and women who served.

 

Noworkky and all our other beloved vets, you can read comments that follow this article by accessing it through this site:  http://amac.us/budget-victory-veterans/

Edited by Linda Garren
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Hey gulfvet, I like the non-profit idea. I know what you mean about looking in the mirror. In the last few months I talked to other Vets that were active during the same time periods as myself. I don't know if I feel better knowing that there are others in the same situation, or even more upset knowing others have had to suffer. I read your blog. What a nightmare. Believe me, been there...  If you're not crazy when you enter, you darn well will be close to it when you leave. I know there are some/many that work there that really do care. And some hospitals are better than others. The VA has some videos on parkinson's. The videos are pretty good. They are supposed to be on the "cutting edge" in this battle of parkinsons/parkinsonism. I guess some of the docs haven't got the memo.

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Thank you Linda for posting that article about funding for Veteran's benefits. That certainly is good news. I appreciate your support for Veterans.

In my experience applying for disability compensation, It was pretty hassle free and relatively quick. The VA doctor even called me at home to expedite the process.

From start to finish it only took six months. Thanks again

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That's wonderful, noworkky.  It's good to hear things like this after hearing horror stories about veterans not getting help with service-related medical problems for sometimes years, if then. It really does upset me to see the government take advantage, giving lip service of honor to Veterans, but not really supporting them very well after being injured serving our country.  I'm hopeful things have turned around after what has been going on has been exposed.

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Gulfvet and others,

 

I am a 20 year AF retiree who would have a hard time connecting my PD to anything service related 18 years after retirement except maybe prolonged exposure to jet engine exhaust.  I salute all you guys from the gulf war campaigns forward and hope our country does right by you all as you richly deserve.  Working with VA on the paperwork, delays  etc is stressful all in itself.

 

I read various veterans newspapers and bring up the following website for your perusal. Perhaps you already know about it.  I don’t endorse the organization without knowing about it but it maybe of assistance.

 

http://parkinsonsaction.org/our-work/veterans/ 

 

 

God Bless You!

 

DB

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