AF MEB Fibromyalgia & much more

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia' started by NLynn, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. NLynn

    NLynn PEB Forum Regular Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I am new to this MEB thing and really need some help. This post might be a little long, so I apologize in advance & thank you for taking the time to read it. I have been having Fibromyalgia symptoms since approx. 2004, headaches and some body aches. Over the past years this has progressed into something truly horrible and was recently diagnosed as Fibromyalgia. In 2010 it got real bad and late 2011 it reached the level that I am at now. I am in pain 70% of the time, 7 days a week often at a 7/8 on the pain scale. My back neck & shoulders feel like they are being crushed, I have near constant headaches, both of my knees hurt and I am absolutely fatigued almost constantly. It hurts to sit for more than 20 minutes, it hurts to stand for more than 20 minutes, it hurts to walk, bend over & turn my head. My ankles, wrists, fingers (thumbs especially) & hips flare up. I have no quality of life left.

    My average day looks like this:
    6:00 - 6:30 wake up in massive pain (even on weekends & can't fall back asleep due to pain)
    9:00 - Naproxen, Provigil & Percocet kick in, energy increases a little and pain drops to a 4/5
    12:00 - 12:30 pain is back in full 7/8 mode & I am starting to feel exhausted
    16:30 - I get home & lay down because I can't keep my eyes open & I am in massive pain (additional pain pills and Provigil are now barely even taking the edge off)
    19:00/19:30 - I wake up to cook dinner for my husband, we eat at 19:45/20:00, when he gets home
    22:00/22:30 - I fall asleep again

    My husband has to pick up my slack on a regular basis. I have spent weekend after weekend just lying down.

    In addition to this, I have several other medical conditions. My chronologic record of medical care lists:
    Fibromyalgia (also lists Myofascial Pain Syndrome, Upper, Mid & Lower back pain seperately)
    Dismennoreah
    Palpitations
    Patellofemoral Syndrome
    Lumbago
    Chronic Fatigue (doesn't state syndrome)
    Arrythmia
    Migraine Headaches
    Circadian Rythm Sleep Disorder (Jet lag type)
    Pain in TMJ
    Simple Goiter
    Chronic Rhinitis (constant congestion, frequent colds and sinus infections, wheezing and sore throat from post nasal drip and a deviated septum and a calcified tumor in my sinuses)
    Chronic Colitis (also lists Lymphocytic Colitis)
    Atypical Chest Pain
    Tendonitis of the Achilles Tendon
    Plantar Fasciitis
    IBS
    Adjustment Disorder with Anxiety & Depressed Mood
    Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
    Dyspnea
    Metorrhagia
    Conjunctivitis
    Vocal Cord Dysfunction (with syptoms of an asthma attack or heart attack upon exertion)
    Mild Degenerative Disc Disease

    I am also pretty certain that I am suffering from PTSD and will find out soon if this is the case.

    For the past 4 years, I have been exempt from parts of the PT test and for the past 1 year, I have been exempt from all but the waist measurement. The profiles were all 3 month profiles & in the meantime I tried EVERYTHING they could think of to get better. For some reason, MEB was mentioned at several doctor's visits, but it was never initiated. I assume now that since I am Air Force, but have been stationed with the Army for the past 4 years, I was kinda lost in the shuffle. Frequent TDY's & the long list of various problems have sometimes prevented me from following up as needed but I did my best and have an incredibly thick chronologic record of medical care to prove it.

    About 7 months ago I PCS'd to an Air Force base and my clinic is near by. I have been jumping through even more hoops, trying to get better. I am seeing a civilian Pain Management doctor & a chiropractor. About 2 months ago my PCM referred me to Rheumatology for the Fibro and said that if they can't help, then we will need to initiate the MEB. He also told me that he is going to renew the 3 month profile. The Rheumatologist said "I have never seen a person with such severe Fibro improve enough to suddenly be considered fit. I am referring you to Pulmonary for a sleep study, Behavioral Health for counseling on how to deal with chronic pain & need you to get these labs done. Come see me again in 2-3 months and I will write your narrative for an MEB." Of course I panicked. I'm a lifer! I've got 11 years in and want to get get better, not get out.

    Well, it took a bunch of people (family, co-workers & leadership) to convince me that the MEB might be the best thing for me. I am on my second tour in a special duty assignment that frequently goes TDY. With the immense amount of pain & stress that I am under I am working short days and I have been pulled from all TDYs because of the risk to me and the mission. I scheduled all of the referrals & so far have seen BH & done the labs. My appointment with Pulmonary for the sleep study is coming up.

    2 weeks later I was pulling up my SURF for unrelated reasons and I noticed that it said something about a code 37. I looked it up and lo and behold, I have already been coded for MEB. One of my bosses gave me a number to someone he thought could give me some insight. It turns out, it was the number to the PEBLO's office, so I scheduled an appointment.

    At the appointment I noticed that he had a copy of my most recent profile, which I somehow never received. I looked at it and noticed that suddenly it stated that I am expempt from running & push-ups. However, that I am able to do crunches & walk and that the person sees no medical reason to exempt me from these components. This profile was for 1 year & apparently it was the one that coded me 37.

    I tried calling my PCM but he was busy. I was told that I need to make an appoinment with him to have the profile fixed. The earliest appointment was 2 weeks out, so I took it. Meanwhile I became past-due on my PT test and my EPR is also due. I picked up a copy of my medical records for myself. As I was flipping through I noticed that they had found a tumor in my sinuses on a CT scan 1 year ago. No one had ever told me about it. I was really stressing out now.

    Last week, my supervisor told me that he needs a PT score so please get the profile fixed sooner. I called my clinic again and explained my situation to the person on the phone. She recommended that I see a different provider that had an opening that day and get him to fix the profile. I did just that.

    The doctor walked in, didn't say hi or anything. Just asked, in a very derogatory way "What's wrong with your eyes?" Apparently they were red and glossy. I explained that I am always fatigued. He gave me the hardest time changing the profile. He left the room, returned 5 minutes later and said "I just talked with your PCM and your PCM knows as little about you as I do." He sighed repeatedly & finally said that he would change the profile, but only for one week, until I can see my PCM. I asked him if he would also give me some peace by telling me what this tumor in my head is all about. He sighed again and said "Well, only if I can find it quickly". In the end, after several more sighs while he was searching, he told me that it's calcified so don't worry.

    Well, I never received the profile from him and today was my appointment with my PCM. I asked him why he changed the profile and he told me that he didn't. He said it must've been some type of oversight and that removing those restrictions made no sense and that he will change it back to what it was supposed to say. He left the room to make the changes, came back 5 minutes later and told me that it can't be changed because apparently someone with more rank than him called the SGP made the changes and was also the person that recommended the MEB without even my PCM knowing. Then he started justifying why the changes were made, basically stating the opposite of what he had said just 10 minutes earlier. He said that I sould be doing these exercises since they will help with my Fibro (I exercise btw., just that I do as much as I can and when I can). Also, he said that pain is not a reason be given a profile. A profile is only for when exercise potentially makes a condition worse. I explained to him that exercise at the Air Force level does make my condition worse, it increases my pain and incapacitates me for several days. He said that it might make the pain & fatigue worse but it isn't making the condition itself worse. I started crying. I told him that that can't be right, I've been on profile for so long, most of it because of pain. Additionally I have all of these other conditions. He started questioning them as if I were making them up. They are in my records! I told him that this profile is what the MEB is going to look at. If they see that suddenly I can do these things that I have been exempt from, they will think it's not as bad as it really is and possibly even that it's getting better. I mentioned the PT test that I have to do & if I fail it I will get a bad EPR. He told me that he can only advocate for me to an extent, since it is his boss that made the change. He also said that the issue will be addressed at the next DAWG.

    I left feeling terrified. I talked to the Patient Advocate and she told me that she will talk to the Col. in charge of the clinic next week and then call me. I also talked to my supervisor and he said that my leadership will possibly get involved (they have been great through all of this) and see what, if anything, they can do. I'm really scared of this whole mess. I already feel like I am being messed over and it's only just beginning.

    Again, thank you for taking the time to read all this. I really hope someone on here has some insight into where I should go from here. My anxiety is through the roof. I have given 11 years of honorable service to the Air Force. I have never been in trouble, have always gone above & beyond and have always believed in the Air Force. Now I will either be out with no plans for the future or in with a bad EPR because of a failed PT test, which will hurt my chances of promotion.
     

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