Getting a DODMERB waiver - Service Academy/Rotc?

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by ROTC123, Dec 14, 2014.

  1. ROTC123

    ROTC123 Member

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    When I was 15 years old, a month or so into the football season, I had trouble breathing one day during practice. It was around August, so the temperature was usually around 92-100 with high humidity, so I figured that having a hard time breathing shouldn't be that big of a deal. My breathing problems were minimal and I practiced for a few more months with it without it affecting my practice performance, but one day when clearing my throat of phlegm/mucus, I saw that there were small streaks of what looks like blood (never confirmed, but there's not much else that it could be). After seeing this, I decided to go on the safe side and mention it at my doctors appointment that was coming up. The doctor checked out my lungs/nose/throat and said that they were all in great condition, not finding any problems. He concluded that the blood probably came from me coughing so much, bursting small vessels that (over time) accumulated small amounts of blood. I was coughing because ragweed had started growing a few months back (the same time that I had trouble breathing), it grew in large amounts both by my house and right by our practice field. Ragweed usually causes me to have a runny nose/cough a lot, mixed with the heat/humidity and 3 hour practices, it is understandable why I was having a harder time at practice. The doctor just advised me to hydrate more and said that if I wanted to I could have a pulmonary test. Deciding that it would be better to be safe than sorry, I had the pulmonary test and passed without any difficulty, showing no signs of asthma. On the way out, my parent asked for an inhaler to try out (just in case if it turned out not being the ragweed). I did use the inhaler initially, which I regret, but stopped using it shortly afterwards because it had little to no affect. A few weeks later, when the weather cooled down and the ragweed died off, I was feeling back to normal. The doctor called me to have a checkup and, after I asked, offered to give me another pulmonary test to prove that I do not have any form of asthma. If I did take this test and passed again without having asthma, will having an inhaler on my medical record past the age of 13 still disqualify me from getting a DODMERB waiver? I have checked out the forums and seen different answers that ranged from "if you're not diagnosed with asthma, you're good" to "if you have ever used an inhaler past 13 years old, you are automatically dq'd no if's or but's."

    Sorry about the length of the question, I tried to include as many details as possible not to leave any important information out. Also, I was recommended to try out this forums from the GOARMY website because there is a Navy physician who goes through these forums and would have a more accurate answer, if any of you know this person, could you tell him/her about this post? Thank you in advance for the help :thumb:
     
  2. USMAROTCFamily

    USMAROTCFamily Member

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    My DS had a similar situation. He supplied all the records with the test results and he was qualified as soon as DODMERB reviewed the files. We were expecting a DQ and having to go through the waiver process, so were pleasantly surprised when he was quickly qualified.
     
  3. ROTC123

    ROTC123 Member

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    Thanks for the good news! Not getting my hopes too high or expecting an easy waiver, but I was starting to think that it was an automatic DQ no matter the situation.
     
  4. ROTC123

    ROTC123 Member

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    If anybody does know about the Navy physician, it would be great if you could point him this way for a second opinion. I don't doubt the previous poster, but it would be helpful to know if the same guidelines apply the same way as of now.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2014
  5. Usnavy2019

    Usnavy2019 Member

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    I don't think you would need to worry about asthma in this case. Were you ever diagnosed with asthma, specifically allergy induced? If not, you shouldn't have to worry about the asthma standard. Where you could run into trouble is with allergies. You should look into the allergy standards and see if there are any possible red flags.
     
  6. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    I think the physician who you are referring to is KP2001. I am not sure if he has a better answer, but you can try sending him a PM in case he misses this post.

    Stealth_81
     
  7. USMAROTCFamily

    USMAROTCFamily Member

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    Nobody will be able to tell you absolutely what DoDMERB will do. You will only know, for sure, when you apply. They review each file based upon the facts you submit. If they want more details before making a decision, they will request the remedial, which is what they did for my DS. In DS's case, he reported that he had used an inhaler one time after the age of 13, and as I said before, it was not an automatic DQ, because the additional medical records we sent in from a physician stated he did not have Asthma and had the additional test results showing it as well.
     
  8. ROTC123

    ROTC123 Member

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    Usnavy2019: I was never diagnosed with asthma which will go a far way, also, from what I have seen, ragweed is a very common allergen in southern America, hopefully it won't violate any of the allergy regulations. Thanks for the advice!

    Stealth_81: Thanks for pointing me to him! :thumb:

    USMAROTCFamily: Thanks again for the help!
     
  9. ROTC123

    ROTC123 Member

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    So, I got a second set of results back that say that the last portion of the pulmonary test shows that I have a small (easy to control) case of allergy induced asthma. It is only triggered by ragweed and possibly live oaks during late summer and early fall (August-October). I know that this probably just guaranteed a DQ from any branch, but if I applied to rotc/SA's with the intent of becoming a healthcare professional (radiology imaging, microbiology, environmental engineering), could I still have a chance of getting a waiver? Just to add, my most recent doctor's explanation for why the tests have always showed that I do not have asthma is because I have abnormally large lungs (strange as it sounds) which, even with asthma according to her, still have an above average capacity. So... according to the new test I have a form of asthma, but still pass the tests in well above average conditions.
     
  10. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    Your plans after graduation will play no role in the determining factor. Everyone coming into the Service Academies is viewed as needing to an Unrestricted Line Officer (with very few exceptions like color blind and mandated Marine Corps for the Naval Academy). The Academies aren't interested in bringing in people who have limited qualifications at graduation. Now, if you went ahead and got your qualifications elsewhere then coming in as a healthcare professional has much wider latitude in waiver granting. For example physicians get a lot of stuff waivered that would never be waived for a Service Academy (vision being one I see frequently).



    Given you have tested positive for asthma you will likely require further testing/examination; however, a waiver isn't necessarily out of the question.
     
  11. ROTC123

    ROTC123 Member

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    Thanks kp2001! My first pft's results showed that I did not have asthma at all, and that was when I was having trouble breathing. My allergy induced asthma only occurs two to three months a year, and during that time they only affected me during long practices in high temperatures (only caused by ragweed and possibly live oaks). In addition a later test showed that I am allergic to shrimp to the point of needing an epi-pen (although I still eat shrimp every few weeks with no reaction, I don't get how they add up) will what you said about a waiver still apply for SA's and ROTC with the combination of both asthma and shrimp allergies? According to the allergy test, I had little to no reaction to other shellfish, which is odd because they usually go hand in hand.
     
  12. sheriff3

    sheriff3 Member

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    If the tests show you need an Epi-Pen to control a reaction then I think you may have a very ,very large mountain to climb. My advice is to have a very strong plan b in place and be ready to act on it. Your test results coupled with the drawdown of the military may be too much to overcome. To stay in the fight I woud advise you find a retired miltary Dr. preferably specializing in asthma and allergies, get retested. I wish you the best but be prepared for the worst. Good luch.
     
  13. ROTC123

    ROTC123 Member

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    Thanks sheriff, like my asthma, the shrimp allergy has left me confused. I'm not exaggerating at all when I say that I have had shrimp recently and had no problem with it. Based on the test in which whatever causes the reaction in shrimp was injected into my skin, it showed that I had a reaction to it similar to a bug bite. The doctor said that she was required to give me an epi-pen to be on the safe side because of the results, but I honestly think that the ragweed had a much stronger reaction, but it was only classified as a "mild" reaction. I understand completely why I could be a liability in positions such as pilot, but hopefully applying to ROTC or after college to be a healthcare professional will give me a better shot like kp2001 said. I'm planning on having another pulmonary test in the next few months because of the varying results in the past two, hopefully I'll end up being wavier-able.
     
  14. ROTC123

    ROTC123 Member

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    Just to add, my most recent doctor said that she decided to give me the epi-pen because of the recent asthma revelation, which when mixed with a anaphylaxis reaction from the shrimp could be a bad mix. She did tell me though not to be worried about it if I am able to eat shrimp and control my asthma with no inhaler or medication use at all times. It sounds like the epi-pen was just a way to avoid any blame going to her if my asthma and shrimp allergies ever got bad enough to cause a large reaction. I get that asthma is asthma, but I hope that recruiters are open to hear out my story and see that I am minimally affected by my reaction to ragweed/live oaks and no reaction to ingesting shrimp (in case if any of you are raising eyebrows at this point, I'm trying not to under exaggerate my symptoms to make them sound better than they actually are). Thanks again to all of you for all the help!
     

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