Sleep Apnea with CPAP, nexus for Service Connection?


PEB Forum Regular Member
Oct 10, 2009
Derrol TurnerJune 11 at 6:04pm
I am curretly under a MEB myself, here is my entry into FB/burnpits page. Can you tie Sleep Apnea to all of this? All service connected.

Burn Pit March 24th, 2009, I entered my story on now Dec. 15th, 2009 the story continues…
I, TSgt Derrol A. Turner, USAFR, was deployed to Bagram AB, Afghanistan (Camp Cunningham) in spring of 2004. Here they burn all the trash in a very large open pit which was about 100-200 feet deep. All the waste was driven down to the bottom area and poured out into a continuous burning fire. About three weeks into my stay I was finding it hard to breathe. I went to see the Doctor there and was given some meds. I carried on with duties and came home.

In 2005 I volunteered to go to Balad AB, Iraq to do my part; I spent 5 months there until I left on 28 Dec 2005. If you have ever been there you know what I am talking about with the burn pit located in the northeast corner of the base. Lucky us, the wind seemed to always blow the smoke directly at us while we worked on the flight line and at night when we were sleeping in H6 (housing area). I did go and see the Doctors a couple of times for coughing and diarrhea. Again I was given meds and carried on with my duties. I am a reservist who was on active orders for over 6 years in support of OEF and OIF. I was having back problems as well during this time frame and went to see a chiropractor before losing my Tricare benefits, the typical full back x-ray was taken and this is when I noticed the bottom ½ of my right lung was missing on the x-ray. I went to the base clinic and had a chest x-ray taken in which they found 2 large nodules/masses in my lower right lung and a CT scan was ordered ASAP. The CT scan showed a total of 7 nodules/masses in my right lung and scarring in my left. A Line of Duty was initiated and pushed through rather quickly to confirm the injury as active duty, deploy related. I contacted the VA and started a claim in November of 2007. I again deployed to Qatar for 4.5 months last summer and the claim was held until I was released from active duty in Sept 2008. It is now March 24, 2009 and I still have not heard from VA as to my medical board rating for compensation and disability. I also have problems with my stomach now and shortness of breath, I am still waiting on VA….
Dec 15, 2009 I just watched your video about Water purification in Iraq and guess I can be added to the list. I blame both the burnpits and lack of water treatment to be the causes of my medical problems. I was healthy before I went over! It took 614 days to finalize my claims with the help of Senator’s Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint of South Carolina. I received my first VA judgement on April 3rd, 2009, my main claim, pulmonary nodules with lung scarring, shortness of breath and diminished lung capacity was deferred requesting more information. (A year and a half later and they still want more information) After returning from Qatar I had to re-accomplish all the medical tests I had taken previously. All tests showed worsening. A diagnosis of multiple stable nodules was given. A quote from VA: This disability is not specifically listed in the rating schedule; therefore, it is rated analogous to a disability in which not only the functions affected, but anatomical localization and symptoms, are closely related. I have read of nanotechnology to scan for very small particles in your lungs but have not started anything yet. Here is where I would recommend to the VA that they use civilain doctor’s evaluations so as to speed up the Claims process’ instead of requiring all claims to go through a VA doctor.
With the Line of Duty determination, service connection has been granted for all my claims, I have been diagnosis with noncalcified pulmonary nodules with scarring, dyspnea (a sign of serious disease of the airway, lungs, or heart), PTSD, vascular calcification, arteriosclerotic heart disease, degenerative arthritis, L2/3,L3/4,L4/5,L5/S1 disc herniations and buldges worsening, disogenic disease L5/S1 with sclerosis and osteophyte, left hip radiculopathy, it goes on and on. Nearly forgot, can’t forget claim for memory loss. Again, I was healthy when I went over and I am proud to be an American and be able to serve and take the fight to the enemy for my country. We all go through a predeployment physical and nobody is sent over in bad shape. I volunteered to go to Prince Sultan AB, Saudi Arabia in 2002, Afghanistan in ’04, Balad AB, Iraq in ’05, Sicily ‘06/’07 and Qatar in ’08. I never expected my worst enemy would be contractors!
Now with my new symptom, Chronic Obstructive Sleep Apnea,… let alone I am having problems breathing with my lungs it is now my entire respiratory system giving me problems. Peninsula ENT and Plastic Surgery of Charleston have told me that I need three operations to try and help with my breathing. I had the first procedure done Oct 23rd, 2009 to try and clear my nasal passages. My right side had completely closed up and my left was partially obstructed, the doctor even stated that there is a “hostile environment” present. Basically it looks like my throat and airways are trying to close up on me.The procedure was done and as of today continuos positive air pressure does not help. Next is a tonsilictomy, then finally, a UPPP, uvulopalatopharyngoplasty. Basically a big word for cutting everything out of your throat so you can breathe. With an overall efficacy of only 40.7% for the UPPP, I wonder if a tracheotomy isn’t the right move. My story continues… I believe surgeries only stop the progression of a disease not fix it, we must fix the problems that caused these issues for myself and everybody who has served in the AOR. You can help… Please contact the law firms of BurkeONeil if you feel you have been harmed in any way by the Burnpits or Water Treatment Plants of KBR in Iraq and Afghanistan during your service for OEF and OIF.