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Mac_Gyver
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 350
   Posted 10/13/2008 7:44 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm sure this has been asked before but I could not find it when I searched. Is there any branch of the military you can be in with crohn's. From what I have read it do not look like it but I wanted to know f anyone had any prior knowledge around this.

randynoguts
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 6049
   Posted 10/14/2008 2:03 AM (GMT -7)   
not that i know of. some branches have kept people longer than others.. depending on severity. i know you cant get in with it. i was discharged withing 1.5 years of diagnosis, and 4 months of my first surgery. my cousin was able to stay in for several years before he was medically retired..
randynoguts 



     http://www.geocities.com/randynogutsweb/


MMMNAVY
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 10/14/2008 5:56 AM (GMT -7)   
I agree with Randy. Although there was one that said she could stay in with it. But she was out of the military, when she was on this board.
Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease
We will find a way, or make one.-Hannibal (crossing the Alps in the 15th Century on war elephants) 
Make sure your suffering has meaning...
All suggestions/options/opinions are caveated with please consult with your local health care provider...


orangeman
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 36
   Posted 10/14/2008 9:20 AM (GMT -7)   

I am normally on the UC board, but look at this board from time to time.  I know you cannot join the military with Crohn's or UC, but once in, it seems to be service and military specialy dependent.  For example, I am active duty army (14+ years), diagnosed with UC in 2006.  Right now, I am not being told I have to get out.  However, this is due my military specialty (biochemist).  I am able to perfrom all required duties including daily physical fitness, field exercises, etc.  I have been re-evalauted the last two years and the medical officer and Commanding Officer have not pushed for a medical evaluation board (MEB).  I want to stay.

If I was in a different field, I am almost positive that I would have been medically retired already.

I know that if my UC gets worse that chances are I will be sent to the MEB.  I'm crossing my fingers that I can get stay healthy enough to stay and that the addition of 6MP will let me get off the prednisone.  We'll see.      


UC since April 2006; first flare May 2007, hospitalized 28 days.
Remicade infusion brought symptoms under control, but caught MRSA infection from PICC line.
2nd Remicade at 14 weeks, severe reaction, no more Remicade.
tapering prednisone (10mg/day down from 60), started taper 4/10/08 (2.5mg every two weeks)
Flared at 5mg, bumped back up to 40mg for 6 weeks on 7/26, tapering again 5mg every two weeks, (25mg for last week)
Will probably be starting 6MP soon
Humira - 1 shot every two weeks (since December 2007)
Calcium - 2x per day
Multi-vitamin
 


lilturbo
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 298
   Posted 10/15/2008 5:56 PM (GMT -7)   
I was recently put on the Temporary Duty Retirement List due to my Crohn's. It was ridiculously frustrating for me as a young LT Intel officer. I still did my job despite my severe CD, but big Navy saw me as too big a liability. I was based shore side, but regardless, due to the severity of my disease, they medically retired me. I will get re-evaluated every 18 months for the next five years to re-asses my condition.

CD is an automatic trip to the Physical Evaluation Board (PEB), but that does not mean you will get separated. It all depends on how severe your disease is. I have a buddy who has UC. The PEB tried to separate him with a severance, but he appealed and fought to stay in. Lucky for him his disease wasn't crazy out of control and he was able to stay in as a Surface Warfare Officer (ship driver), which is definitely a stressful job! My hubbies XO on his sub had UC, but again, it was controlled with meds. It just depends how severe your disease is and what meds your on.

If they do let you go, make sure you know your rights. Having been through the process I can help you out if you need info/advice/etc. More often than not, the Physical Evaluation Board will try and let people go without giving them medical care. DO NOT take a severance. This will not help you out in the long run. The medical benefits are key. The DOD medical system is completely separate from the DVA medical system, and if you are medically retired you will get treated in a DOD facility but can elect to get care at a DVA facility.

Please keep us updated! Take Care!

-Emma
turboemma.blogspot.com/


MMMNAVY
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 10/15/2008 6:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Well said Emma!
Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease
...I will find a way, or make one. -Philip Sidney 1554-1586
Make sure your suffering has meaning...
All suggestions/options/opinions are caveated with please consult with your local health care provider...


FitzyK23
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 10/15/2008 7:39 PM (GMT -7)   
I must admit that I am shocked that our military can get away with such blatant discrimination...but I guess this is the same military with don't ask don't tell. No offense to any military I am just saying that the federal government in general ends up above the laws every other company is held to. I understand that someone w/ crohns or UC probably could not be in a combat zone or out in a jungle or a desert away from medical care. But if you are working state side or even on a base somewhere safe I can't understand how they can just discharge you. If you are not putting your life or anyone elses life at risk how is it a liability? I could see if you were at sea for months and no where near a hospital if you obstructed but it just seems that with the miliatary desperate for employees they should keep the ones they have and just move them to a position where they can perform safely. I am sure there are plenty of state side jobs in the military. I feel really sorry for all of you facing this. What do you get if you get medically discharged just out of curiousity? Disability? Do you keep your benefits?
27 Year old married female law student (last year!!). Diagnosed w/ CD 4 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD. I am sort of lactose intollerant too but can handle anything cultured and do well w/ lactose pills and lactaid. For crohns I am currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day and hysociamine prn. I also have bad acid reflux and have been on PPI's since age 13. I have been through prilosec, prevacid, and nexium. Currently I am on Protonix in the morning and Zantac at night. I also take a birth control pill to allow some fun in my life.


randynoguts
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 6049
   Posted 10/15/2008 7:53 PM (GMT -7)   
fitzy, it depends on the circumstances... for instance when i was discharged, i was not eligible for medical retirement due to length of service. if i recall at that time (1985) it was differant for each branch. if i was in the army i would have been retired, but in the Air force i could not be unless i had more than 8 years in. so iwas given a severance package and sent on my way. i then had to be rated by the VA. which started me out at 30%. then over the years as i got sicker it was raised several times so now that i am TPN dependant etc.. i am at 100 % level. i have always had medical care through the VA and a pension. although small at first i was working for the post office as well so it was enough. when i had to retire from the PO then everything kicked in and we are comfortable. i would advise that anyone in this position to seek out help from any of the service organizations such as DAV, AMVETS, VFW, AMERICAN LEGION, etc.. and talk to a service officer. its free and they know there way around the paper work. good luck..
randynoguts 



     http://www.geocities.com/randynogutsweb/


MMMNAVY
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 10/15/2008 8:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Fitzy,
It has a great deal to do with your job. I was a SWO, so I had to be deployable. While I was definately trying to hide being sick (but when you are throwing up blood it is hard to do). I also ended up having severe orthro injuries and still have not fully recovered from them. Obviously, this also prevents my return to law enforcement as well, because I feel I would be a danger to my buddies. I left with 10% from the military (because of my orthro) and tried to go at it alone for a bit. Was not successful at it, and went to the American Legion service rep and got 60% after a couple of years. I will say the discharge process has changed in the couple years it has been.
Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease
...I will find a way, or make one. -Philip Sidney 1554-1586
Make sure your suffering has meaning...
All suggestions/options/opinions are caveated with please consult with your local health care provider...

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