US Navy Officer just diagnosed with fibro

Hey guys! I'm an officer in the Navy and I just got diagnosed with fibromyalgia, after struggling for about a year. (those of you who went longer undiagnosed, I don't know how you did it). I was wondering if anyone out there knew anything about medical boards and disability as relates to fibromyaglia. I could use the information...everyone here has been remarkably unhelpful. They're like "good job, you have fibro. Sucks being you". So yeah. I would appreciate any advice you've got. Thanks in advance!

http://www.va.gov/vaforms/form_detail.asp?FormNo=21-0960C-7

http://www.military.com/benefits/military-pay/special-pay/combat-related-special-compensation.html

http://www.webmd.com/fibromyalgia/guide/fibromyalgia-work-and-disability

http://usmilitary.about.com/od/theorderlyroom/a/medseparation.htm

Dear Kim,

Here are some links that may be of help to you. Contacting your local VA rep would be a great help to you as well. There is also a patient advocate in all VA hospitals who are usually well versed in all areas of disability.

I am in the final process of getting all of my info ready to contact an attorney at the moment, and from all I have read here on the site, it seems as though they always want something else besides fibro for civilian SS disability. Some common illnesses related to this are PTSD, depression, Irritable Bowel Syndrome...

Did the military actually diagnose you? I have to wonder what 'their' definition of the word is, as there are so many versions, and it evolves slowly.

Thank you for your service to our country, it means a great deal to me. I hope that you can find some answers here.

Wishing you well,

SK

Thanks so much for the links, I really appreciate it.

Yes, I was diagnosed by the military. Near as I can tell, they use the same criteria as the civilian docs...You just have to get a military doc that actually gives a hoot. It was some questionnaire I've found online a couple times.

It will help you tremendously if you can learn all you possibly can about Fibromyalgia, and you will seldom find the same definition twice! Though this info is from PainAustralia, this is a very good definition of FMS.

http://www.painaustralia.org.au/images/pain_australia/An_Evol_Stress-Response_Hypothesis_for_CWP.pdf

Here are some related articles from our archives here on site that may also be of help to you. You will have to be your own best advocate!

http://www.livingwithfibro.org/main/search/search?q=definition+of+fibromyalgia

I can use all the help I can get, thank you :)

I worked at the VA regional office for 20 years and my main tip is document, document, document. See the dr as often as u can and don’t leave out any symptoms. The reason is they can service-connect fibro but also things related to it such as depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue, insomnia, migraines, etc. The more medical information u have the better ur chances. Good luck!!!

Excellent, thank you.

The VA does rate fibromyalgia up to 50% depending on how disabling it is. U can talk to a VA counselor at 1-800-■■■■■■■■.

What about fibro with spinal arthritis/facet joint syndrome?

That should definately up the percentage! With Va, you have to be more than 100% to get the full benefit!

I feel for you, my story reads pretty much the same! Hope they have you on some good meds! Did they name the type of arthritis yet?

We have a group, 'Fibro and arthritis' that you may want to join.

http://www.livingwithfibro.org/group/fibroymalgia-and-arthritis

They said facet joint syndrome, I'm not sure if that qualifies as type. But basically my joints have broken down in my lumbar spine. They killed the nerves in my lower back, right side, but that won't last more than about a year. In the meantime, my fibro apparently was making my arthritis feel WAY worse than it actually is. Awesome, right? After the injections, I still feel the pain everywhere else but at least I don't get dead leg anymore. So that's nice.

what drug did they put you on. Ask for Savella- it completely cleared my fibro-

you can Google it- it took me years to find- it is the best, nothing like the other drugs- Cymbalta and lyrica

Hi KMC --- I read a post below about Savella. I have also been on Savella for over 3 years now. It does have some side effects, but believe me, they are well worth it! It took about 6 months for me to get the most benefit, but I started noticing the pain was gone in about 2 months. The fatigue was still pretty bad for me, but I struggled along. I started taking a supplement called, "Protandim" (you can Google it) which gave me back my energy. I know it sounds too good to be true, but for me it has been amazing. Now, I don't have a ton of other physical problems like a lot of people with Fibro seem to have. I just have Fibromyalgia (a little arthritis, now that I am 55, and plantar fasciitis because I love to Zumba and it kills my feet). Definitely give Savella a try. No weight gain--in fact, it sort of suppresses my appetite. I have found that most people I tell that I have Fibro are not interested in hearing about it and don't ever ask how I am doing. It is kind of sad for me. But, I should be thankful that I am doing so well! I don't even take naps anymore, but I still need my 8 hours of sleep. Anyway--good luck. These message boards are really helpful--you can learn a lot. If you do try Savella, take your first dose with food (nausea is a big side effect) in the morning. If you like to work out (like I do) take it AFTER you work out so your heart doesn't race through your chest. Then take your second dose 8 hours before you want to sleep. I take my second dose around 2 or 2:30 in the afternoon. I just started doing this! I read about it on one of these support sites, and it has helped me sleep so much better! Plus, it gives me more of a boost in the afternoon to make it through. --Kathy

Hi Kim, nice to meet you. Do you have any other joint issues besides the facet joint syndrome? I ask because I have fibro and also Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. EDS is a genetic connective tissue disorder that causes the body to make bad collagen. I have osteoarthritis in my lower back, right shoulder and both knees. I almost didn't chime in because I don't know if you have any other symptoms of it. I also don't know if an EDS diagnosis would help with military disability or not. Doctors don't look for EDS though, and fibro can be a symptom of EDS sometimes. So I like to spread awareness, just in case. Like someone else said though, make sure they have a list of every symptom you have that is related to fibro. I don't like to say I have irritable bowel issues but doctors take more notice of that than if I say fibro. I hope you're able to get things settled as quick as possible and welcome to the group. hugs to all who need one.

I am so glad you love SAVELLA......it saved my life- I just looked up the vitamin above and I want to share a website with you. Quackwatch- when you are there search for vitamins and supplements.....I would buy the Protamdim but quackwatch has made me very skeptical of the vitamin industry. I will take you tip and take my second dose earlier in the day.

I felt better immediately on Savella - I am out to save my fellow fibro-myalgians! try it- if your doctor will not prescribe change doctors.....

Advice is to document, document, document!! Participate in all recommended therapies even if u don't believe it will benefit u. A long paper trail seems to be the key to my success. Long history of attempting various therapies provide several documented opinions of your disability. This gives them lots of information to approve your claim

I don't have any advice, but I see a lot of people here do. All I can offer you are prayers, and those are coming your way and will be daily!

Kimberly :)

I just checked www.webmd.com and the 800 reviewers gave Savella 3 out of 5 stars for effectiveness. FYI. There is not a magic apple. It has an awful lot of side-effects for someone like me.