Fit for duty - vision

Fit for duty - vision

Joined: 12 Sep 2017, 05:16

12 Sep 2017, 15:06 #1

First off, I'd like to thank anyone for any insight/help they may provide.

Just some background. In September of 2015 I was diagnosed with having Central Serous Retinopathy in my right (dominant) eye. This has been ongoing since that date, with roughly a total of three months where it was "resolved". Current treatment is prescribed anxiety medication since anxiety/stress is believed to be a key factor in who gets it, monthly injections of multiple drugs directly in my eye (any form of laser treatment is off the table since it is center vision thats affected. The leak is directly under the fovea), Imitrex and an anti-seizure drug to try to limit the amount of migraines I get due to my vision being so horrible.Every month when I get an injection, I miss roughly 3-4 days of work. I have to drive several hours to each appointment, and then due to my not being able to see well basically get put on quarters because I'm not supposed to be driving.

A few weeks ago, my PCM FINALLY submitted a referral for a fit for duty. I traveled to Ft. Bliss, TX and was seen by ophthalmology there. They are unwilling to submit saying I am unfit for duty which surprised me. I am 20/40 in my left eye, and 20/250 in my right eye. I suffer from insane migraines now that this has been ongoing.
I've dug into AR 40-501 slightly and a few things don't make sense to me. I am a SSG (P) who is now being discriminated against for positions of leadership due to how much work I miss. I am missing extremely ridiculous amounts of work. I haven't been able to qualify with ANY assigned weapon in 24 months. And it severely limits my abilities to do my jobs.

Chapter 3 states "significantly limit or interfere with the Soldier's performance of their duties if they were to remain in service. "
"may compromise or aggravate the Soldier's health or well-being. (frequent special treatments, frequent clinical monitoring.)"
"may compromise the well being  of other Soldiers."

To me, all three of those are met. It limits my duties and often time interferes entirely. I require ridiculous amounts of times off of work just due to the injections. I haven't even counted the trips to the clinic/hospital for migraines. And the wellbeing of other Soldiers? I haven't qualified in over two years. And yes, I've tried. I was at one point an avid shooter. Not so much anymore.

Further under Chapter 3, for vision and eyes it states:
a. Active eye disease that is progressive, regardless of the stage of activity, resistant to treatment and affects the distant visual acuity or visual fields if does not meet the standards set forth in 3-16e. (which it does not.)
f. Diseases and infections of the eye,when chronic, more than mildly symptomatic, progressive, and resistant to treatment after a reasonable period of time. According to multiple eye doctors, the usual time for this to heal is 4-6wks. Mine has been ongoing for 24 months, with approximately 2-3 of those months where it actually went away for a small period of time.

How do I proceed? I have another appointment in Ft Bliss that I have to drive to next week, and I can't believe they're wanting to retain me after all of this. They get rid of people for shin splints...