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Old 09-26-2017, 04:18 PM
 
6 posts, read 2,131 times
Reputation: 15

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Hello,

It has been a long and thorny road, with a lot of bad luck for me. First during Meps they somehow measured my eyesight 1.5 diopters worse than it actually is, while also finding my corrected vision at 20/20, with my prescription glasses. So I get sent to an eye consult.

He finds nothing outside of DODI standards and also sees me at 20/15 with my description. Diagnosis: myopia, mild astigmatism (both within DODI standards), exophoria (meets DODI standards).

The CMO diagnosed me with optic disc atrophy (= optic atrophy, optic nerve atrophy) and TDQ'ed me. I was worried about the diagnosis, of course, so I made an ophthalmologist appointment to get that checked out (comprehensive eye exam with dilation + visual field exam), since it would have been a very serious condition that requires quick medical attention. Turns out, I don't have it. The nerve isn't pale, color vision, visual field, 3d vision and corrected acuity are normal.

She found something that is very common (up to 80% of the population), though and a non condition also within DODI standards, called Peripapillary Atrophy (in my case just a mild one). Kind of means that the Retina can be thinner in some places (in myopers due to their eyeballs being a bit elongated, but it is not harmful), so you have a differently colored hue somewhere. It doesn't do anything besides that and eye doctors usually don't even write it down, because it is medically irrelevant. Unless you had the beta-version of it and a high intraocular pressure, which could hint at Glaucoma, but I had neither. But as common as it is, barely anybody knows about it.

So I think what might have happened is that the CMO read this and made the conclusion that eyes + atrophy = optic (disc/nerve) atrophy. And the SG office went with that.

After I went to get my 2nd opinion I asked if we can maybe let the CMO/SG office know (or just let them take a look at the consult's findings to realize their mistake), but recruiter told me to wait and if I get PDQ'ed we can take further steps.

Now he called me and notified me of the PDQ and told me there is nothing we can do and I feel kind of baffled. How come there is nothing you can do when the CMO makes a clear misdiagnosis? Especially if it is a clear you either have it or you don't problem? How come nobody really thought about how all the findings don't corellate with the diagnosis?

Is there anything I can do?
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Old 09-26-2017, 07:20 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
2,890 posts, read 8,350,929 times
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1. The DODI 6130.03 states you are disqualified for "(10) Current or history of any abnormality of the eye (360) or adnexa (376, 379.9), not specified in subparagraphs 4.h.(1)-(9) of this enclosure, which threatens vision or visual function
V41.0-V41.1, V52.2, V59.5)." (You have stated your condition can cause some issues with color hue, with is a visual function decrease)

ANY ABNORMALITY OF THE EYE

So help me understand how Peripapillary Atrophy is within the standards?

2. The DODI states you are disqualified if "d. Retina: Current or history of any abnormality of the retina (361.00-362.89, 363.14-363.22), choroid (363.00-363.9) or vitreous (379.2x)."

ANY Abnormality of the retina, which you admit you have.

Help me understand how your retinal abnormality meets the standards of military entry?

3. What regulation are you reading that says Peripapillary Atrophy is within standards of military entrance?
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Old 09-26-2017, 07:24 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
2,890 posts, read 8,350,929 times
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I am a recruiting supervisor. I recently had someone disqualified for another eye condition called keratoconus. He was positive he did noth ave keratoconus. He went to a specialist. The specialist did a very specific test called "topography" and concluded that the applicant did NOT have keratoconus. We sent it to the SG, who disqualified the applicant. We were baffled how the applicant could get disqualified for something he didn't have.

My chain of command reached out to the SGs office, and they explained that the specialist was WRONG. They had their own opthomologist review the topography, and the applicant clearly had topographical maps of the eye indicating keratoconus and was actually at risk of going blind later in life.

The person's private specialist was a quack doctor and gave very TERRIBLE medical advice and diagnostics.

It's possible you'll get in, or that the CMO is correct and your eye doctor is wrong.
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Old 09-26-2017, 09:05 PM
 
6 posts, read 2,131 times
Reputation: 15
I am sorry, I worded things badly and probably jumped the gun. I meant that when ophthalmologists do the imaging of the background of your eye it may look a bit brighter. So in order to explain this he mentioned the Peripapillary Atrophy. It doesn't cause any vision issues and is unrelated to the optic nerve/optic disc.

I asked an ophthalmologist who worked for the military before and he said he never dq'ed anybody for that, considering it medically insignificant. And that it is very common, especially among nearsighted people. Nearsighted eyes are a bit elongated compared to people who don't need to wear glasses.

Neither the Meps Eyeconsult, nor the ophthalmologist I went to to get it checked out after I got the letter from the CMO diagnosed me with that, both considered it a "normal" eye exam. I did more tests to rule that out as well, since Optic Atrophy is very serious.

I asked my recruiter if we could forward the additional documentation and explanation, before the decision was made, but he opted for just waiting for the answer of the SG and that we could appeal in case of a DQ. Now he told me that he's not sure if there is even a procedure for that. Maybe I should've pushed more for it before the decision.

I will ask my recruiter if filing for a reconsideration of the PDQ is possible and what he would need me to do.
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Old 09-27-2017, 08:12 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
2,890 posts, read 8,350,929 times
Reputation: 3918
Quote:
Originally Posted by t110e5 View Post
I asked an ophthalmologist who worked for the military before and he said he never dq'ed anybody for that, considering it medically insignificant.

I asked my recruiter if we could forward the additional documentation and explanation, before the decision was made, but he opted for just waiting for the answer of the SG and that we could appeal in case of a DQ. Now he told me that he's not sure if there is even a procedure for that. Maybe I should've pushed more for it before the decision.

I will ask my recruiter if filing for a reconsideration of the PDQ is possible and what he would need me to do.
Recruitment standards are different than retention standards. Unless she worked at MEPS, she honestly wouldn't know. You can stay in the military with HIV, but you can't join with it.

If the SG DQs you, then you CAN submit new paperwork and try again. It's relatively easy to appeal a decision with new medical information. You must have new medical documents to resend the waiver, but it sounds like you do.

Good luck! It may all work out. Let us know!
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Old 09-27-2017, 09:21 AM
 
6 posts, read 2,131 times
Reputation: 15
Do you think it is possible that I could also get the Meps eye consult to testify that he did not diagnose me with it? Since he knows the original findings and can make a judgement. I think it could make a good supplement, maybe a stronger case than the 2nd opinion.

Of course I tried to make sure that my 2nd ophthalmologist wasn't a hack, went for one who had the highest ratings across medical provider portals (which is no guarantee, of course) and made all the tests necessary. Mainly because I needed to know the truth, since the diagnosis itself would be very serious for my eyes.

Thanks, I will talk to my recruiter. I know it's extra work.
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Old 09-27-2017, 11:04 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
2,890 posts, read 8,350,929 times
Reputation: 3918
Quote:
Originally Posted by t110e5 View Post
Do you think it is possible that I could also get the Meps eye consult to testify that he did not diagnose me with it? Since he knows the original findings and can make a judgement. I think it could make a good supplement, maybe a stronger case than the 2nd opinion.

Of course I tried to make sure that my 2nd ophthalmologist wasn't a hack, went for one who had the highest ratings across medical provider portals (which is no guarantee, of course) and made all the tests necessary. Mainly because I needed to know the truth, since the diagnosis itself would be very serious for my eyes.

Thanks, I will talk to my recruiter. I know it's extra work.
The MEPS consult already turned in your medical records. They will not provide letters or testimony, only medical records. Have you actually read the medical records? I've seen cases where the doctor tells the applicant things are good, but then writes something like "possible blah blah blah" and causes a disqualification. Whatever he wrote in the medical records is what they will use to determine your qualifications.

You can see if the recruiter can find out from MEPS what the doctor wrote in the actual records.
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Old 10-02-2017, 03:30 PM
 
6 posts, read 2,131 times
Reputation: 15
I got told what the consults diagnosis was. Myopia, astigmatism (both expected, of course) and exophoria. No word about optic disc atrophy/pale nerve. I am going to ask for the medical records to be forwarded to my ophthalmologist. Also wondered if I could get them forwarded to the eye consult, since he knows his findings best, to get an evaluation (on my own dime). But if it's not possible due to agreements or conflict of interest it would be ok too.

First priority is to get the records checked out, to see if they indeed saw something that is a red flag or if it was something that needs explanation or a mixup.
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Old 12-01-2017, 12:23 PM
 
6 posts, read 2,131 times
Reputation: 15
After getting the medical records released to my physician and a follow-up to the eye consult (as normal patient), the nature of the mixup was discovered and I have all the needed documentation (according to waiver guidelines).

The next problem is now the situation regarding green card holders (if it's relevant to the matter, I filled/submitted forms regarding security clearance in May). The executive order from October (permanent residents need to finish their bg check before they are able to ship out) caused a lot of confusion/uncertainty, it seems. Recruiter says they no longer process permanent residents due to the holdup being too long.

Last edited by t110e5; 12-01-2017 at 01:41 PM..
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Old 12-02-2017, 11:04 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
2,890 posts, read 8,350,929 times
Reputation: 3918
Quote:
Originally Posted by t110e5 View Post
After getting the medical records released to my physician and a follow-up to the eye consult (as normal patient), the nature of the mixup was discovered and I have all the needed documentation (according to waiver guidelines).

The next problem is now the situation regarding green card holders (if it's relevant to the matter, I filled/submitted forms regarding security clearance in May). The executive order from October (permanent residents need to finish their bg check before they are able to ship out) caused a lot of confusion/uncertainty, it seems. Recruiter says they no longer process permanent residents due to the holdup being too long.
Yes, we have people waiting since February and their background checks haven't even been started because OPM (the office that does them) doesn't answer to us or recruiting, and they just aren't doing the investigations. It may be an untold amount of time before the bureaucracy figures this out. We need people to write to their congressman and senators to raise awareness. No legal residents are able to join because effectively, we've made it impossible. The background checks are not getting done, so this is a bar to service completely. You will not be able to join, possibly ever, unless something changes and someone forces a change to OPM's sense of urgency on doing background checks.
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