Being the Military and being Diagnosed with Epilepsy

mavric86

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:noevil:Does anyone currently know the reg's or have info on what happens to a person diagnosed with Epilepsy as far as the United States Air Force is concerned? I have been in for 8 years and I am really getting tired of no one giving me a straight answer. I am a cop as well, so arming up is a no go. I feel so helpless being away from my fiance' (she's back in the states while I am in England.) To make matters worse, I have become quite depressed and I am not always handling it all that well. I am not sure if its a combination of a lot of things, or its because of the medication (I am on Keppra). If anyone has some answers, I sure could use the help. I am new to this site and this disability.
 

Meetz1064

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Now, I'm

not sure myself. But, I do know of 2 people that have gone through similar experiences. One is a member here as well as WebMD's Ep board, the other is a member at WebMD's Ep board.

I will send you a PM in a minute.

BTW, welcome to CWE. You'll like this place. Mr B (Bernard) as made us an AWESOME home here........

Feel free to vent or whatever you need, we'll be here. Buckeye should be around soon with the coffee.......
 

Bernard

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Hi mavric, welcome to the forum. :hello:

The Epilepsy Foundation has a page with an overview of military service with epilepsy. I also found this .PDF document from the air force: AIR FORCE INSTRUCTION, 48-123 VOLUME 2, 5 JUNE 2006, Aerospace Medicine, MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS AND STANDARDS VOLUME 2-ACCESSION, RETENTION, AND ADMINISTRATION:
pages 53-54 said:
A2.12.7. Seizure disorder.
A2.12.7.1. For Active Duty, MEB processing must be done within 90 calendar days of the first episode.
A2.12.7.2. For ARC members, refer to paragraph 4.11.2.
A2.12.7.3. Seizures following omission of prescribed medication or ingestion of alcoholic beverages are not indicative of the controllability of the disorder.
page 77 said:
A3.21.9. Epilepsy occurring beyond the 6th birthday, unless the applicant has been free of seizures for a period of 5 years while taking no medication for seizure control, and has a normal electroencephalogram (EEG) is disqualifying. All such applicants shall have a current neurology consultation with current EEG results (345).
If you are new to epilepsy, I'd recommend reading through the threads listed here: epilepsy 101 threads
 

mavric86

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Thankyou for the welcoming. I am new to all this. The USAF being what it is, it comes down to the almighty dollar and not my well being. My superviser is being really cool about letting me go to medical appts. UK law says I have to be seizure free for 1 year prior to driving privilages being restored. I do want to vent some days. It really feels like to my family, since they are not here to witness things first hand, its not as real for them. Being in LIMBO with the MEB/MRB makes things all the more worse. If I am getting the boot, I would rather just get it over with. I see all this as a blessing in disguise. I am having a hard time with the Keppra. I fight more with my fiance' about things we never use to argue about. mEETZ said you got some experience in all this? How so?
 

Bernard

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Keppra is infamous for its "Kepprage" side effect. Taking vitamin B6 has been reported to help curb that side effect.
 

RobinN

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HI Mavric - Welcome to CWE
Sorry for what you are going through.

My daughter has had seizures for 2 yrs, and we have come full circle after a wild ride and are so happy with her progress. She is med free, using a combination of nutritional changes, supplements, and neurofeedback. Life is so much better since we have taken control of her medical choices.
 

skillefer

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Welcome to CWE mavric! :) This is a pretty friendly site, so feel free to ask questions, vent, or just give us your 2 cents. :)Check out the epilepsy 101 thread that Bernard suggested. And yeah, Keppra has been known to effect moods. And some people here are taking vitamin B6 for that. Just remember, you aren't alone in this. :)
 

Nancy

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Hi mavric -
I developed epilepsy 18 years ago (wow - 18 years ago!! It will be 19 years in Nov.) while my husband was still active duty in the USAF.... (He retired Feb., 1993) At that time, if I remember correctly, it was usual practice to release active duty personnel if they developed E. Of course all policies change again and again.

I hope you're getting the best medical care possible .... that's the most important thing.
 

tinasmom

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Hello Mavric
I hope you get our answers soon. Most people don't understand Epilepsy and simply do not want to deal with it.
 

Navymom

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Hello Mavric - we are just now dealing with your exact problem. My 21 year old son was in the Navy for 2 years and loved it. He wanted to make it his career. Unfortunately, while out for 6 months on a submarine he developed seizures and was diagnosed with epilepsy. It was a 6 month process - he had to receive a diagnosis - before he could be discharged, but he was eventually given a medical discharge because the Navy wants everyone fit for duty at all times. It's been very discouraging. He has now been home with us (just where he does not want to be) for less than a week and it has been stressful. He is on Keppra and Topamax and suffers from tiredness, moodiness, joint pain. But the combination is working for him and right now he's able to drive. We are going to give neurofeedback a try and pray for the best.

Best of luck to you!!!
 

Scott R

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Active Duty Air Force (16+) yrs) with Epilepsy

Hello, I am brand new here and found Mavrics post on being military with epilepsy.

I have been on active duty AF since 1992 and had my first seizure in 1998. I had another in 2006. Since then I have been on a medical profile restricting me from being stationed oversees and from deploying. It is a very depressing thing when you are told after all these years that you are not allowed to do your job. I was supposed to be going to Iraq next week, but now cannot.

I go through an annual medical review and every year get the same restrictions, but they still keep me. I have even asked for a medical retirement due to me not being able to do my job to the fullest, which means deploying, and they say no every year.

Long story short, being diagnosed with epilepsy really sucks and the military may keep you around a while.

Good luck and keep me posted on your situation.
 

batman

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Disabled America Veteran (DAV)

I'm one of the individuals that Meetz was referring to. :woot:

What I know is that when a person in the military starts to experience any type of seizure, and please understand that there are many different types of seizures, the medical matter is "service related".

What I'm going to do is search and collect more information about this, and then add whatever I should find that would be useful, to this very topic thread right here. I will also include my own story and some of what I've gone through with the Veteran's Administration (VA)
 

haird18

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Hello Scott I am glad your here!

There several of you guys here and I am sorry for what you are going through. I also have step brother who served in Iraq 3 tours and we are thanful we still have him. I am sorry I may not understand everything your dealing with,but I know epilepsy isn't fun!
David Hair
 

batman

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Department of Veterans Affairs

Folks, I've been trying to post my reply, but due to the reply containing links to 2 websites, " haven't been around long enough to post links..." So what I'm going to try to do is send a copy of what all I'm trying to post on here, in a private message to someone who I hope has the option to post my reply. :dontknow:

Here's the information, Bruce. I will enable the links for you. M.

Way back in the middle of July 1994, is when I had my very first grand mal seizure, and I just so happen to be with my parents on that very day. I was rushed to a local hospital for necessary emergency care, and then in September of that same year, I started going to my scheduled appointments at a VA medical center. Back then, I did not know about the different types of seizures. When I learned about the detailed symptoms of a simple partial seizure, it made me realize that the symptoms I experienced back in the fourth month of being on active duty in the Navy, which was in February 1987, was when I actually started having seizures - the simple partial seizures. Because of that, I filled out the necessary paperwork through the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), in November 1994, which resulted into a decision being made on my claim for a service-connected disability compensation of 20%, in February 1995. And just so you know, when the necessary paperwork has been sent to the DVA, if a decision has been made for a service connected-disability compensation rating, for the very first time; or, if a decision is made to increase the rating, the disability compensation amount that the veteran will be receiving does not necessarily start when the decision was made by the DVA; the disability compensation amount is going to go way back from when the veteran sent the necessary paperwork to the DVA. So from the point of when the veteran sent in the necessary paperwork to the DVA, up until the decision was made to start, or increase, the disability compensation rating, the veteran will be receiving an additional amount of "backpay". In my understanding, the amount of monthly compensation that a veteran will be receiving is going to be based upon the pay grade that the veteran was at upon discharge AND the percentage for the service-connected disability compensation rating. And for the amount of backpay the veteran will be receiving, it is going to be in the amount for how many months it took the DVA to make their decision for starting, or increasing, the disability compensation percentage rating. One more thing to add here is that as the disability compensation rating increases, the disabled American veteran will receive additional benefits through the DVA.

There is a website available online for the ‘United States Department of Veterans Affairs’, at http://www.va.gov/

Why it was taking me some time to create this posting was because I wanted to search the Internet to see if the information I knew about, was some type of up-to-date information. And sure enough, I found something, but I don’t know if there is anything that is, or will be, more up-to-date than the information I found on the Internet. Instead of doing the copy and paste routine, here’s a link that is going to bring up a small pop-up window in order for anyone to download the document file that I found. The link is at http://www.warms.vba.va.gov/regs/38C...upple-c-39.DOC
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Elaine H

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Hi Mavric

Welcome to CWE mate! If nothing else, make sure you're a regular visitor to this site, it has really helped me since joining, hopefully you will get a lot of comfort and support from it.

Have you recently been diagnosed with epilepsy? I know it doesn't go down very well in the forces here in the UK having epilepsy, and my fiancee, who was on sub marines for many years assures me that you cannot be inthe forces if you have epilepsy, he's now in the fire service, and of course you can't be in the emergency services here with epilepsy. I don't know about the rules and regulations in the USA, but I would be interested to hear, it's all so different over there, some states will let you drive after a few months, some it's longer, it's 12 months seizure free here in the UK before you can drive, it used to be 3 years!! I'm sure you will get the answers you need on this site.

I wanted to tell you that I'm also on Keppra 1500mg am and 1500mg pm, and I might aswell shove them up my nose for the good they do! I'm just recovering from my second lot of brain surgery in London on June 26th, I had surgery the first time in Sept 2000, and I was seizure free for five wonderful years until it came back to haunt me! I know what you mean about the Keppra affecting your moods, I have incredible mood swings, I can burst into tears for no reason, I'll sometimes feel bursts of happiness for no real reason aswell, I hate to say it but it has also killed my sex drive!!! I am terrified that I'm going to lose my wonderful fiance, that really would finish me off!!My auras are the most terrifying thing that happens, I could deal with epilepsy if it wasn't for them! Do you get them?
I know you'll get a lot of support from the guys on CWE, please keep in touch and let us all know how you get on?

Cheers

Elaine x
 
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i have a question.I was in the navy for 4 months when i first started having seizures. i want to know will the navy say that my condition was pre existing. No one in my family have it and all is so new to me. My case has been sent up to the peb board and i'm waiting on my results. If I am find unfit what will be the percentage I will receive. I hope I will receive 30% or more so that I will receive the treatment and medication I need. Someone please respond back.
 

Meetz1064

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Hi there, and

welcome to CWE! You've found a WONDERFUL place to be!! Mr B (Bernard) has made us an AWESOME home here.....so kick off your shoes, and stay awhile.:bigmouth:

Please know that we have a Padded Room here for the days that you need to really rant and rave.....and a Library for research....and the Kitchen to sit and talk about "stuff" in....There's all sorts of neat nooks and crannies here.:bigsmile:

Now, in answer to your question, the person who originally started this thread, Mavric, is going through something similar, and I know a couple of people who have been in this situation. :ponder:

One of them, who posts here once in a while because he has his own board now, Batman, put a couple of links in a post right up above, that you ought to go check out. They would definitely be worth the time spent reading.:agree:


Honestly, I don't think that there is a way that the Navy CAN say that your E is considered pre-existing at this point, if it literally just showed up. Now, if you knew about it before you went in, that's a whole different ball of wax.

Take care,

Meetz
:rock:
 

Elaine H

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Hi Honey

Although I can't answer your question, I just wanted to say, someone will be able to, and I will ask my partner when he comes home, he's a fire fighter, but an ex submariner, I'm pretty sure someone on here will be able to help you, this is an amazingly supportive website!

I hope you get what you need to know, and I'll do my best over here in Blighty to see if I can find out for you mate. Keep your chin up, and keep in touch with us all, welcome to CWE, you are certainly among friends here!!

Cheers

Elaine x
 
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