Medical discharge - opinions needed?
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  1. #1
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    Medical discharge - opinions needed?

    Hiya, I am the proud fiancée of a new Marine. He just graduated 2nd December at Parris Island, and yesterday left for MCT, Camp Geiger.
    However, earlier today he contacted me saying he has been admitted to ER after having a random seizure right in the middle of the barracks. He told his recruiter before signing up that he has a history of seizures, one when he was very young (maybe four years old, I'm not sure) and two at age seventeen, within months of each other. Tests came back negative at the time and doctors could find nothing wrong with him.

    He signed up at nineteen years old (is now twenty) and it was waivered, but now he thinks he may subject to a medical discharge. Tests will begin tomorrow and are scheduled till Jan 19th. I know there is no way of telling what will happen until the results come back, I just wondered what your opinions are on this or if you have heard of anything like this before. Do you think a medical discharge is likely under these circumstances?

    Any opinions greatly appreciated. I also apologize for any confusion on my profile as I am from the UK and am currently staying in Dearborn, MI, with my fiancé's family. Also, apologies in advance if I have posted in the wrong place or whatever, I just didn't know who else to ask. Thank you.


  2. #2
    Sounds like a medical discharge could very likely happen,Good Luck,Semper Fidelis.


  3. #3
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    Thank you :/ and Semper Fi to you as well sir


  4. #4
    I would agree. Even if they can't figure out what the issue is at the moment, I would think they will HONORABLY medically discharge him. That sux I know, but the alternative is he's on patrol in Sangin province and while under fire, has a seizure and becomes a casualty or worse, causes someone else to become one. That's how this has to be looked at.

    At least he can say he tried, where many wouldn't have bothered. Good luck...and please keep us updated.


  5. #5
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    Thanks, I will keep you'll updated. Also sorry for the many mistakes I have made in this post. Just kind of new to this! You're right, he would be a risk to other people :/


  6. #6
    No, you are fine, believe me. Your post is much better than some I've seen!


  7. #7
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    Thank you. It's just playing on my mind and I needed to ask someone who's a Marine and knows the system fairly well, other than just all the hearsay on the internet.


  8. #8
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    Obviously so far there is no real news, I just know the next medical appointment is not till early January, and the last test scheduled is in late January. I guess they will detain him in a sick platoon or something so they can observe him for awhile? I don't expect to find anything out till at least some time in February. That's a rough estimate - I suppose it could be less or more time. At least we can visit him on Christmas for a few hours!


  9. #9
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    This is a good example why it is important for prospective recruits to tell the 100% truth to their recruiter about medical issues. Evidently our young Marine did, got waivers, and had a recurrence of his issue after boot camp.

    While he may be medically discharged, he faces no military legal problems, no future employer honesty problems, and may gain some medical benefits. He can also proudly claim he legitimately earned the title, and through no fault of his own, was unable to serve his full term.

    I wish him good luck.


  10. #10
    " Do you think a medical discharge is likely under these circumstances?"

    He will undergo some tests, including EEG, possibly CT Scan or MRI, and these tests may come up dispositive. However, based it is likely that a medical board will take place, and it will be based upon medical history.

    A "medical board" is not necessarily like it sounds where the Marine appears before a board, they present evidence, the Marine presents his side and a decision is rendered. Instead what takes place is the doctor that he will see will write a "medical board" decision that most likely will recommend medical discharge under honorable conditions. That decision will be reviewed by at least two other doctors, and if they agree, they will sign off on it. They most likely will agree, and at that point he will be medically discharged. He may or may not be service connected.

    That is what NORMALLY occurs with respect to a Marine who has had even one seizure while on active duty. Now, there are other avenues to pursue. He has to go to medical, has to go through the tests, but he can also go down to legal services and ask to speak to an attorney there. He will need to be persistent if he wants to go this route and see if the attorney will "represent" him before his treating physician - or whomever the physician is that writes the report. One option they may or may not accept is to request that he be put on 6 months medical probation wherein he takes medication for this issue, will continue to see the doctor for check-ups, and if he has another seizure, he need to report that, at which point the medical discharge would ensure. If he has no seizure while on medical probation, the second 6 months would be without medication, and if at the end of that 6 months there are no seizures off medication, he would be returned to full active duty.

    Under no circumstances am I saying they will do this, but I have seen it done exactly is outlined, and that Marine returned to full duty and finished out his enlistment.

    Good luck with this.


  11. #11
    SORRY FOR THE DOUBLE POST. THERE WERE ERRORS IN THE ORIGINAL THAT NEEDED CORRECTING FOR IT TO MAKE SENSE, AND THAT FEATURE WOULD NOT WORK. SO IGNORE #10 AND READ THIS ONE.

    " Do you think a medical discharge is likely under these circumstances?"

    He will undergo some tests, including EEG, possibly CT Scan or MRI, and these tests may come up dispositive. However, based on his past history, it is likely that a medical board will take place.

    A "medical board" is not necessarily like it sounds where the Marine appears before a board, they present evidence, the Marine presents his side and a decision is rendered. Instead what takes place is the doctor that he will see will write a "medical board" decision that most likely will recommend medical discharge under honorable conditions. That decision will be reviewed by at least two other doctors, and if they agree, they will sign off on it. They most likely will agree, and at that point will be asked to sign it and he will be medically discharged. He may or may not be service connected.

    That is what NORMALLY occurs with respect to a Marine who has had even one seizure while on active duty.

    Now, there is another avenue he could pursue. He has to go to medical, has to go through the tests, but he can also go down to legal services and ask to speak to an attorney there. He will need to be persistent if he wants to go this route. Sit down with the attorney, tell him/her the situation, and see if the attorney will "represent" him before his treating physician - or whomever the physician is that writes the report. One option they may or may not accept that the attorney can request is that he be put on 6 months medical probation wherein he takes medication for this issue, will continue to see the doctor for check-ups, and if he has another seizure, he needs to report that, at which point the medical discharge would ensure. If he has no seizure while on medical probation, the second 6 months would be without medication, and if at the end of that 6 months if there are no seizures off medication, he would be returned to full active duty.

    Under no circumstances am I saying they will do this, but I have seen it done exactly is outlined, and that Marine returned to full duty and finished out his enlistment. Having the attorney represent the person is helpful because it demonstrates to the doctor that his command is interested in retaining him. One strike he has against him, though, is the fact that he had seizure[s] before his enlistment.

    Good luck with this.


  12. #12
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    Thank you all so much for your help and opinions.I struggle to find anything clear on the internet regarding this issue, so this is really helpful. Do you know how long this is likely to take?

    He had a scan of some kind, didn't say what, but I don't expect him to find out any results for a few months at least. He is carrying on with PT, cleaning, guard duty and all that stuff, so at least he's well enough to be active.
    I have absolutely no idea what could trigger such seizures, and they've all been under completely different circumstances, so it's impossible to say. I'm sure the doctors will figure it out.
    Once again, thank you and I'll keep this updated.


  13. #13
    The time frame is variable. But the "scan" and EEG results only take a day, once they get to reading them. They may run some other tests, too, such as a full blood panel to rule out any blood sugar issues, anemia, etc. But once that work is done, which can take from a couple weeks to a month, he will meet with the doctor. Total time can be as little as 4 weeks and possibly up to 8. He should pay attention to what they say. If the doctor says they are going to do a medical board, he could get a call within 30 days to come sign.

    Numerous things can trigger a seizure. Flashing lights, certain sounds, and being tired. Other things that can make a person susceptible to a seizure is caffeine, energy drinks, and even cold medication that contains pseudoephedrine. Things he can do to avoid it is to eat well, get as much sleep as he can, and don't take sudafed or like product. Don't drink coffee and sports drinks at all.

    Like I said, in the end, all tests can come back normal, and yet for some reason he has seizures.


  14. #14
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    I mean, I have known people to have seizures for no apparent reasons. And from what I know (through past experiences) seizures can take different forms - fully body convulsions to barely-noticeable "trances." Though I don't think these are epileptic ones. I think stress/tiredness seems more like it. But then again if that were the issue you'd think it would've happened during the first phase of boot camp or something? Judging from the little I know about all this, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

    I guess it's time to stop making assumptions and wait for the answer. Once I again, I can't express how grateful I am for your help. The process is a lot clearer now I know more along the lines of what to expect.


  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by MissChar View Post
    I mean, I have known people to have seizures for no apparent reasons. And from what I know (through past experiences) seizures can take different forms - fully body convulsions to barely-noticeable "trances." Though I don't think these are epileptic ones. I think stress/tiredness seems more like it. But then again if that were the issue you'd think it would've happened during the first phase of boot camp or something? Judging from the little I know about all this, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

    I guess it's time to stop making assumptions and wait for the answer. Once I again, I can't express how grateful I am for your help. The process is a lot clearer now I know more along the lines of what to expect.
    I understand. Yes, there are different types. The full convulsion type you describe was what was called grand mal seizures. It is now called tonic-clonic seizure, but most still refer to it as grand mal. And the barely noticeable "trances" are what are known as petit mal seizures. They are absence seizures and the person may look like they are in a trans because they sort of "space out" or lose focus. Those are your main seizures. There are others if you want to spend time to research it, such as partial seizures, myoclonic, atonic. All of these are "epileptic" seizures, which is simply a surge of electrochemical impulses in the brain that interfer with the normal process. Nonepileptic are usually physiological in nature such as hypoglycemia, and there can be psychogenic seizures, such as trauma, or even emotional stress.

    A doctor will diagnose his situation based on test results and history, and yes, you will just have to wait and see what happens.


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