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Re: Revival of thei OWCP forum: Please send your stories~

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  • dgkonecny
    My name is Dallas Konecny and I am an Air Force civilian at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. My story starts on February 5, 2004. I injured my left shoulder in a
    Message 1 of 7 , Jul 13, 2007
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      My name is Dallas Konecny and I am an Air Force civilian at Hill Air
      Force Base, Utah. My story starts on February 5, 2004. I injured my
      left shoulder in a bad fall. I had two surgeries on the shoulder each
      followed by PT. I was on and off light duty for over two years. After
      the surgeries, even following all doctor's orders and goung through
      PT, my shoulder just kept getting worde. During this time I was a
      C-130 aircraft mechanic which is a very hard job even in good health.
      But I liked my job and I liked knowing that even though I wasn't
      sacrificing myself for our freedom and security as so many brave men
      and women do, I was supporting them with the aircraft they need. I
      tried so hard to keep working on the planes. I finally got
      disqualified in early 2006 and they found me a new job just 1 week
      before I would go out on disability. Because of all the problems and
      leave from work, my leave soon was gone and was on Leave without pay.
      This sent me and my young family, a wonderful wife, 2 year old girl,
      one on the way, into severe financial hardship. I have submitted 71
      hours of the 256 hours that I am trying to "buy back" 1 1/2 YEARS
      AGO!! OWCP is still dragging their feet and pulling all their usual
      stuff. All the leave I accrue now all goes to doctors appointments,
      etc. So even though I have a great job with "great benefits" I have no
      leave for a family vacation or anything, not even just a day off. If
      it has taken this long for the 71 hours and they are still not
      reimbursed I will never see the rest of it. I also have been trying to
      get an impairment rating for the purpose of a schedule award in hopes
      of restoring some financial security to my family. I have called
      doctor after doctor in Utah and cannot find one to do the evaluation.
      I contacted OWCP many many times to get a referral with no response. I
      sent a letter to my Senator, Orrin Hatch. His representative was very
      helpful in getting an inquiry letter to OWCP regarding the Leave Buy
      Back and the Schedule Award. The only reason the Leave issue has gone
      any where was because of this letter. On the Award issue they just
      sent a response back using wording to make it seem as though they did
      their part, typical.
      I know many others in our organization at Hill that are going
      through the same problems as well as many others in this group. It is
      really good to hear that Senator Schumer is taking interest in this
      case. I really, really think it is about time something is done about
      all the problems we all face. I am glad I found this group, but I was
      deeply sadened to learn that the wonderful men and women of the Peace
      Corps and other services, after all they do for people all around the
      world, are not taken care of by there own country. You all do such
      great work, keep it up and God Bless. I work very hard for the Air
      Force and the United States government and then OWCP has left me and
      my family sruggling to survive. If they worked even 25% as hard for us
      as we do for them something would probably get done. It is time for
      change!!! Thank you all.

      Dallas Konecny
    • Kevin
      This is a great idea, Sue. Having several case histories on hand will be useful if Senator Coleman s staff comes back for more details, too. ... This ...
      Message 2 of 7 , Jul 13, 2007
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        This is a great idea, Sue. Having several case histories on hand
        will be useful if Senator Coleman's staff comes back for more
        details, too.

        --- In owcp@yahoogroups.com, "Sue" <sallie_ali_sue@...> wrote:
        >
        > All,
        >
        > if you are so inclined and have the time to do so could you please
        > provide your story describing your injury/illness, it's relation to
        > your PC service (or service to the federal government [I know not
        > everyone here is necessariy PCV]), and the quality of your care.
        This
        > request is in response to information sent by Nancy Tongue
        regarding
        > Senator Schumer's interest in our case. The more stories we have
        the
        > more compelling a case we make. Please speak up! Just send your
        story
        > as a reply to this email.
        >
        > Kind regards,
        >
        > Sue Trone
        > Peace Corps Georgia 2005
        >
      • Felicia
        I am passing this on from another volunteer ( Nathan Hedges ). Since this is a problem more with the Peace Corps than with the OWCP,
        Message 3 of 7 , Jul 14, 2007
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          I am passing this on from another volunteer ("Nathan
          Hedges" <nathanthedges@...>). Since this is a
          problem more with the Peace Corps than with the OWCP, I
          don't know if it is helpful, but I thought I'd pass it on.
          For your information, the FDA and Roche (the makers of
          Lariam) warn that no one with a history of depression
          should be given the drug because of the severe
          psychological reactions to it.

          Forwarded Message:
          I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Benin, West Africa
          from 5 July to 4 November 2005. I started experiencing
          symptoms almost immediately after talking my first pill -
          headaches, dizziness, slurred speech, hallucinations, and
          finally suicidal ideation - but did not suspect Lariam
          until late October, when I had two suicidal episodes at
          post. I immediately traveled to the Medical Office in
          Cotonou, meeting with the Peace Corps Medical Officer.
          After hearing my symptoms he looked at my chart, saw that
          depression ran in my family and that I had taken
          anti-depressants before joining Peace Corps. He was
          visibly scared, but not for my health or safety, rather
          for his job. He placed me on "Suicide Watch" for two
          days, after which we flew straight to Washington DC where,
          not understanding what was happening, I was admitted to
          the Impatient Psychiatric Wing at Sibley Memorial
          Hospital.

          I was institutionalized for seven days. Throughout the
          experience and afterward, staying four days at the hotel
          where other med-evac'ed PCVs stay, I sensed that my health
          and safety was secondary to Peace Corps damage control. I
          was medically separated on 4 November 2005 and was back
          home in Dallas by the following night.

          For the next three months I experienced severe symptoms -
          headaches, photophobia, depression, dizziness, but
          fortunately the suicidal episodes did not return. I was
          repeatedly misinformed by Peace Corps Post-Service Medical
          Office - the process of getting them to pay for the spinal
          tap, MRI, blood tests and psychiatrist appointments was
          exhausting. After five months of this I was finally
          instructed to apply to the Federal Office of Worker's
          Compensation program. I was almost immediately accepted,
          after which time all my bills were paid. It was like
          night and day.

          As my experiences happened in mid to late 2005, I was
          pleased to find that my experiences with Peace Corps was
          far better than similarly affected PCVs who came before
          me; Peace Corps ultimately did pay all of my medical
          bills. But the emphasis, I think was on damage control,
          not on solving the underlying problem of Lariam. I fear
          other Peace Corps Volunteers are still at risk. I have
          written my senators in Texas, and in Alaska when I lived
          there, as well as the current head of Peace Corps. I can
          only hope my campaign made a difference.

          Sincerely,

          Nathan Hedges
          PCV Benin 2005

          > All,
          >
          > if you are so inclined and have the time to do so could
          > you please
          > provide your story describing your injury/illness, it's
          > relation to
          > your PC service (or service to the federal government [I
          > know not
          > everyone here is necessariy PCV]), and the quality of
          your
          > care. This
          > request is in response to information sent by Nancy
          Tongue
          > regarding
          > Senator Schumer's interest in our case. The more
          stories
          > we have the
          > more compelling a case we make. Please speak up! Just
          > send your story
          > as a reply to this email.
          >
          > Kind regards,
          >
          > Sue Trone
          > Peace Corps Georgia 2005
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
        • Kevin
          The following links to a discussion started by our own Nancy, and may be a good addition to our database of stories:
          Message 4 of 7 , Jul 15, 2007
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            The following links to a discussion started by our own Nancy, and may
            be a good addition to our 'database' of stories:

            http://peacecorpsonline.org/messages/messages/2629/2015148.html

            --- In owcp@yahoogroups.com, "Sue" <sallie_ali_sue@...> wrote:
            >
            > All,
            >
            > if you are so inclined and have the time to do so could you please
            > provide your story describing your injury/illness, it's relation to
            > your PC service (or service to the federal government [I know not
            > everyone here is necessariy PCV]), and the quality of your care.
            This
            > request is in response to information sent by Nancy Tongue
            regarding
            > Senator Schumer's interest in our case. The more stories we have
            the
            > more compelling a case we make. Please speak up! Just send your
            story
            > as a reply to this email.
            >
            > Kind regards,
            >
            > Sue Trone
            > Peace Corps Georgia 2005
            >
          • FourDirect@aol.com
            Kevin, Oh, you are a great researcher. I guess that with having had so many relapses, inbetween which I keep trying to put my life together, my struggle has
            Message 5 of 7 , Jul 15, 2007
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              Kevin,
               
              Oh, you are a great researcher. I guess that with having had so many relapses, inbetween which I keep trying to put my life together, my struggle has been intermittent. I'm so pleased that you found this site once again and I think it is a great place in which we can add our stories. Once we have some strong ones we can gather them and I'll present them to Senator Schumer. Secretly, I wish I had know to approach Michael Moore last year.
               
              For someone who was trying to eliminate "extra" activities, you certainly have been active with us and I am most appreciative!
               
              Please everyone, do go to the link that Kevin just posted and I may try to write back to many who used to participate in this group.
               
              Best,
              Nancy T.




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