Diagnosed with degenerative neurological condition

tkb

Registered Member
Hi all,

I've been reading through a lot of the information here and am finding it extremely helpful. I do have a question though that I've not been able to find the answer to.

I was recently diagnosed with a genetic neurological condition called spinocerebellar ataxia. I've not yet been contacted by a peblo, but have been watching my p3 profile morph from "can kinda still contribute" to "leave this guy alone". All functional activities are now checked No, and my APFT events section is marked No across the board for primary and alternate events.

Anyway, I'm wondering what people think about the possibility of the PEB finding me still fit for service. I love the Army and joined because I felt it was my duty, but with this diagnosis I want out, badly. I've given the Army the best years of my life, and now want to enjoy some time to myself before it starts getting bad.

Any thoughts? I've also been unable to find anything about a potential rating. I thought it said it was treated as syphilis, but couldn't find the link again. I've been in for 15 years so am under the impression it will be automatically considered service connected.
 

tkb

Registered Member
I recommend you do a search for the condition on militarydisabiltymadeeasy.com
Thanks. I found it again under analogous conditions, Code 8014: Meningovascular syphilis. I find it a bit strange that they'd rate it under that, because the symptoms present more like the description for Parkinson's. Tremors, trouble with balance and coordination, that sort of thing.

Any thoughts on if they'd find me still fit for duty? Based on additional reading, the fact that my p3 profile restricts pretty much any deployment unless neurology services are immediately available, no apft events at all, and not able to carry/fire weapon or wear gear makes me think this is a done deal. I just want to make sure.
 

tkb

Registered Member
Case law: http://www.va.gov/vetapp15/Files4/1530542.txt

Your condition was rated in this case under 8017; ALS.
Wow, thanks! While luckily I'm not at a level where the poor vet in the case file appears to be, it will eventually end up that way. I've bookmarked the link you provided to show to my peblo once I'm contacted. As I said, as of right now the only info I'm getting has been watching my p3 go from provisional to valid, and then new codes popping up on my ERB (PC RP) and checking the profile again to find it was greatly expanded in favor of more restrictive limitations.
 

chaplaincharlie

Staff Member
PEB Forum Lifetime Supporter
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
I'm sorry to hear about your disease. The VA folks that rate illnesses should be well aware of relevant case laws. They have lots of guidance. The PEBLO is basically a gate keeper. He/she has little to do with your ratings other than pushing and tracking the paperwork.
 

tkb

Registered Member
I'm sorry to hear about your disease. The VA folks that rate illnesses should be well aware of relevant case laws. They have lots of guidance. The PEBLO is basically a gate keeper. He/she has little to do with your ratings other than pushing and tracking the paperwork.
Thanks chaplaincharlie for your answers so far. Don't be too sorry about my condition, without negatives to frame the positives we'd all have a whole lot less appreciation for things. I also get to make the joke that everything that's wrong with me is all in my head. So far, coworkers in the ops shop are unsure how to respond to that one.

I'm tracking on the peblo. I'm just anxious to be contacted so that I know the ball is rolling. It's been 3.5 weeks since the official diagnosis and the first permanent profile. I hate being in limbo, watching things change in MEDPROS and on my ERB but not being contacted yet. It's also my desire to just GTFO as soon as possible to do some things I've put off because I've never had the time.
 

chaplaincharlie

Staff Member
PEB Forum Lifetime Supporter
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
@tkb

Wanting things to be resolved is common. I encourage people to treat an MEB/PEB like a financial decision and look at the long term. Being found unfit is never a reflection on our character or being, but a military decision as to our future usefulness medically speaking.

The PEBLOs have a rough job. Most are contractors and have little influence to get commanders or providers to comply with deadlines.

Appreciate your sense of humor. Keeping thing in perspective helps.

Best wishes as you progress though a slow system. I went into multi-system failure and 13 months late began terminal leave.
 

tony292

PEB Forum Veteran
I am so sorry to hear of your diagnosis. My diagnosis was myasthenia gravis, but before that I was told by a COL Cheif of neurology that I had ALS. He told
Me straight to my face that I would be in a wheelchair in 3 years and dead in 5 years. Luckily he was wrong and I get to live much longer! But not knowing and thinking the worst case was extremely hard for a long time.
 

tkb

Registered Member
I'm very sorry you had to go through that. Thankfully my symptoms immediately made my neurologist think SCA, so they ordered a genetic panel just for that and it came back. I'm almost a textbook case, though my symptoms are more severe than typical for my type.

I did my initial intake to IDES today at met my peblo, I have to say she was nice. Gave me a lot of information, asked if I wanted to stay in or get out (I told her get out ASAP), and explained the process to me. We scheduled some dr. appointments for early in January and she said there's a very good chance that if the VA rated a type of SCA as something that they'd follow the legal precedent set.

Now it's a lot of talk with the wife about after the Army, play the hurry up and wait game, and interview for jobs as a software developer.
 

tkb

Registered Member
Updates. Things are moving along quickly out at JBLM.

I had 3 of 4 QTC appointments today, my last is scheduled for early next week and that should wrap up my VA evaluations.

I spoke with my MEB provider who recommended that I speak with my speciality provider as he felt I have another condition that should be failing. He also assuaged some of my concerns that by some fluke I might be found fit for duty and told me that there's no chance in hell. Yay!

Now I'm in a weird spot as a few of my providers, a counselor at SFAC, and my unit have asked about awards. Has anyone gone through the process of getting a purple heart after the fact? It's clearly documented in my medical records, I'm just not sure what else may be required.

All in all motoring along. Hoping for a quick turnaround from VA back to the MEB so it can go forward to PEB. It'll be interesting to see what my NARSUM says. I'm also wondering what will come of a recent finding from my physical therapist regarding my shoulder. She's 99% sure I've torn my labrum and informs me it's neither a fun surgery or recovery. If it is something that is going to delay me getting out I don't think I'm going to do it.
 

Bobmoran

Registered Member
It is similar on the level that all of them are neurological degenerative diseases. but the defining factor for Bovine spongiform encephalopathy is transforming your brain into a sponge-like structure. thats what "spongiform" means:) there are similar diseases in many species; long time before BSE, we've known about Scrapie in goats and sheep. So when we are talking about all of them, we use the term TSE - transmissive spongiform encephalopaty then i suggest you to check and read the article Being independent as a wheelchair user | Healthy Howard
 
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