Here is the situation. I was placed on TDRL by the military last year with a diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I was rated at 60% by the VA, and was
also rated at 10% x2 for each elbow and 10% x2 for each knee due to joint damage as evidenced by x-ray. My total rating is 90%. My situation is somewhat
complicated because I am currently unable to work (as explained below) and would like to try to get a 100% rating, or at least an IU designation.
I have recently seen a civilian rheumatologist, who has diagnosed me with a form of inflammatory spondyloarthritis, and will soon begin treatment with Humira.
While in the military, I did see a rheumatologist, and was noted to have enthesitis and iritis (symptoms of spondlyarthritis), so I could argue a service connection for the spondylarthritis, especially since the military rheumy noted that my symptoms could be an early form of this condition.
Now to the questions:
1. Am I better off leaving my VA rating alone or should I try to obtain a rating for the arthritis? It would seem that in rating the arthritis, a rater I might consider that the CFS was a misdiagnosis and therefore wipeout the separate CFS rating and perhaps the elbow/knee joint ratings. The rater then might rate the arthritis and joint damage as one rating. Thus, success in getting the arthritis rated might result in a lower overall rating. Nobody has officially "undiagnosed" me with CFS, but as CFS is a diagnosis of exclusion, I am not sure one can logically have both conditions.
2. I have a 0% rating for sinusitis. Due to a recently botched sinus surgery, I have double vision that may be permanent. I am considering trying to establish service connection for this secondary condition of double vision. Does applying for a rating of this condition jeopardize other ratings I have been awarded? For example, if it's not in my best interest to try to establish a claim for Number 1 above (because of potential lower rating) does filing for the double vision open up Number 1 such that it could be downgraded?
As mentioned initially, I am now unable to work. The double vision is part of the problem. I would like to get a rating that reflects that. But as the saying goes...be careful what you ask for...
Anyway, any advice will be appreciated. Especially interested to hear what cruiser thinks about this.