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Author Topic: Gulf War Veteran diagnosed by VA with Mixed Connective TIssue Disease
sidewinder
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Hi. This is Shaun Orris writing you good folks here. Today I got a mixed bag of news from VA Regional concerning my claim for service connection for unspecified autoimmune disorder, namely LUPUS. I was denied service connection for LUPUS because I did not have a doctor diagnose me for it.

I will leave out the details of locations, but here is what the VA put in writing:

Your were seen at VAMC **** in June 2007 for aches and pains. That examiner diagnosed fibromyalgia overlap syndrome. In August 2007 your main concern was medication refills and optimization of pain medication. No autoimmune condition was diagnosed. At a follow-up visit on November 13, 2007 you still had complaint of generalized arthralgias, and FIBROMYALGIA WITH MIXED CONNECTIVE TISSUE DISEASE was diagnosed. You were advised to have repeat lab work and x-rays of the shoulders and left hip.

You have not submitted any additional medical evidence in support of this claim.

... Service connection for an unspecified autoimmune disorder, to include lupus, affecting vision, skin, kidneys, brain, heart, and lungs is denied because the medical evidence of record fails to show that this disability has been clinically diagnosed.

WTF!!! Earlier it it stated in the first paragraph: Lab tests found positive ANA. The examiner reviewed your records and diagnosed +ANA and fibromyalgia.


Now, please explain to me how it is that VA denies a service connection disability claim for "unspecified autoimmune disorder ..." when the second paragraph clearly states that on November 13, 2007 I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia with MIXED CONNECTIVE TISSUE DISEASE. That folks is an autoimmune disease. I should also make note I am awaiting a BVA hearing concerning VA's denial for service connection for fibromyalgia because the assholes blame a car accident as the cause of the fibromyalgia !!! (wtf)

The 2007 booklet titled "Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependants" concerning Gulf War veterans such as myself with Gulf War Syndrome states the following at Chapter 2 page 18:

" Gulf War Veterans May Receive Disability Compensation for Chronic Disabilities

... The following are examples of symptoms of an undiagnosed illness: chronic fatigue syndrome, FIBROMYALGIA, skin disorders, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, neurological symptoms, neuropsychological symptoms, symptoms involving the respiratory system, sleep disturbances, gastrointestinal symptoms, cardiovascular symptoms, abnormal weight loss, and menstrual disorders. ... [ Lou Gehrig's Disease is also part of the horrific mess loosely termed Gulf War Syndrome] "

It is all there in black and white, yet VA wants to play games and force veterans of the Gulf War such as myself to survive on sustenance pensions and be forced to wait for the incredibly long appeals process, while debt goes into collection ruining credit reports and so much more.

You tell me, does this make any sense to any of you?

*** Please note: I am a recipient of the Anthrax Vaccine Lot# FAV 008 and I was also found to have a mycoplasma in my blood by the former Chief Medical Director for NASA 1991-2001 in an expensive blood work done by way of PCR. USS Independence Yokosuka Japan 1992 Operation: Southern Watch (Persian GULF). ***

[ January 08, 2008, 10:04 AM: Message edited by: sidewinder ]

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REV 18:4/ Re: Babylon
And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." KJV

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Gale
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Shaun,

The only thing I can perhaps determine from this is that you need to establish "chronic" effects from your illnesses. That is to say that you need to show that your illnesses have been going on for at least 6 months. So, you have to provide documentation (doctor's reports) from the initial time of manifestation and diagnosis through a period of the next 6 months or longer.

I would make sure you get a follow-up appointment that confirms your conditions are still present and file for an appeal. Don't become too discouraged... I feel fairly confident you will eventually win your appeal. Just make sure you fatten up that C-file with as much documentation as you can. If possible, you might also consider obtaining an IME (Independent Medical Evaluation) from a private doctor to support your appeal.

Others here may have additional advice or words of support, as well. Keep us posted and good luck.

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HONOR OUR VETERANS WITH BETTER CARE AND BENEFITS

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I would like to add that anything that you send to the VA or VSO is to get postal return receipt. I can't stress this enough. Then there will be no questions on dates. To add to Gale's advice VA WATCHDOG has a great article on Nexus letter.

http://www.vawatchdog.org/08/nf08/nfJAN08/nf010708-1.htm

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Gale
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Thanks! That's good info and I have now added it to our Library of Useful Links:
http://www.gulfwarvets.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=14&t=000151

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HONOR OUR VETERANS WITH BETTER CARE AND BENEFITS

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sidewinder
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Thank you for you kind words and advice.

[ January 11, 2008, 02:22 AM: Message edited by: sidewinder ]

--------------------
REV 18:4/ Re: Babylon
And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." KJV

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sidewinder
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Mixed connective tissue disease

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/mixed-connective-tissue-disease/DS00675/DSECTION=1

ARTICLE SECTIONS

Introduction
Signs and symptoms
Causes
Risk factors
When to seek medical advice
Screening and diagnosis
Complications
Treatment
Coping skills

Introduction
Mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD) is a rare autoimmune disorder that causes signs and symptoms of other connective tissue diseases. People with mixed connective tissue disease experience features of three other diseases — lupus, scleroderma and polymyositis. For this reason, mixed connective tissue disease is sometimes referred to as an overlap disease.

Signs and symptoms of these three other diseases usually don't appear all at once. This makes diagnosing mixed connective tissue disease somewhat complicated. Often people with mixed connective tissue disease are first diagnosed with lupus. As the disease progresses and other signs and symptoms become apparent, the diagnosis is corrected.

Mixed connective tissue disease occurs most often in women and is usually diagnosed in young adults in their 20s and 30s. Children have also been diagnosed with mixed connective tissue disease.

Mixed connective tissue disease is somewhat of a controversial term among arthritis specialists (rheumatologists). Some question whether mixed connective tissue disease is its own specific disease or whether it's a precursor to another connective tissue disease.

Signs and symptoms
Mixed connective tissue disease doesn't have a unique set of signs and symptoms. Instead, people with mixed connective tissue disease usually have signs and symptoms of lupus, scleroderma and polymyositis, including:

Fatigue
Muscle weakness
Joint pain
Joint swelling
Swollen fingers
Mild fever
Raynaud's phenomenon — blood vessel spasms that interrupt blood flow to the fingers, toes, ears and nose
PREVIOUS NEXT: Causes

( MORE ON THIS TOPIC:
Lupus
Scleroderma
Polymyositis
Raynaud's disease )

Causes
Doctors don't know what causes mixed connective tissue disease. The disease is part of a larger group of diseases known as autoimmune disorders. When you have an autoimmune disorder, your immune system — the part of your body responsible for fighting off disease — mistakes normal, healthy cells for intruders. As a result, healthy tissue in your body is damaged, causing signs and symptoms of disease.

It isn't clear what causes your immune system to attack your body. Doctors believe a complex mix of viruses, chemicals and genetic factors may be at play.

Complications
Mixed connective tissue disease and its treatment can lead to serious complications, including:

Pulmonary hypertension. High blood pressure affecting the arteries in your lungs (pulmonary hypertension) is the most common cause of death in people with mixed connective tissue disease. You might experience difficulty breathing or chest pain if you have pulmonary hypertension. People with mixed connective tissue disease usually need to take medications to control pulmonary hypertension.

Heart disease. People with mixed connective tissue disease are at risk of developing heart conditions, including enlargement of parts of the heart and inflammation around the heart (pericarditis). Your doctor may routinely monitor your heart with an electrocardiogram.
Side effects of long-term steroid use. Steroids are commonly used to manage the signs and symptoms of mixed connective tissue disease. While these medications are effective, they don't come without risks. If you take steroids, your doctor will likely monitor you for adverse effects, such as bone loss due to osteoporosis or avascular necrosis, muscle weakness and infection.

Pregnancy complications. Women with mixed connective tissue disease may experience flares during pregnancy. Babies born to women with mixed connective tissue disease are at risk of being born with a low birth weight. If you're planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor about this risk.

Treatment
No cure exists for mixed connective tissue disease, although treatments can help manage the signs and symptoms of the disease. Your treatment may vary from another person's because your signs and symptoms may be different.

While no standard treatment exists, the most common treatment for mixed connective tissue disease is corticosteroids, such as prednisone.

People with mild forms of mixed connective tissue disease may not need any treatment. You may require treatment only during flares or you may require constant medication. Work with your doctor to ensure that your signs and symptoms are adequately controlled.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/mixed-connective-tissue-disease/DS00675/DSECTION=1

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REV 18:4/ Re: Babylon
And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." KJV

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sidewinder
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I am also diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and this all falls into my Gulf War Syndrome as VA Regional has put in writing. I just filed a claim for Rheumatoid Arthritis as part of Gulf War Syndrome as of two days ago via the DAV.

For those of you that don't know, Mixed Connective Tissue Disease is three autoimmune diseases. Here is what MayoClinic describes it: People with mixed connective tissue disease experience features of three other diseases — lupus, scleroderma and polymyositis. For this reason, mixed connective tissue disease is sometimes referred to as an overlap disease.
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/mixed-connective-tissue-disease/DS00675

So it turns out I have 4 autoimmune diseases plus irritable bowel (Gulf War Syndrome) and fibromyalgia too, as well as chronic pain and chronic headaches and a 'mood disorder'. I'm told all these diseases fall under Gulf War Syndrome from the DAV who is handling my claims, even though I do the bulk of the work - they just file my claims.

Gulf War Syndrome is the Agent Orange of the 21st Century

[ February 28, 2008, 04:04 PM: Message edited by: sidewinder ]

--------------------
REV 18:4/ Re: Babylon
And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." KJV

Posts: 59 | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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