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Yes, i'm exceptional!

Posted by simplydorei on Fri, Dec. 22nd (2006) at 23:22
Current Location: Eielson AFB
Current Mood: curiouscurious
So, i'm wondering if anyone here has knowledge or experience of the AF's 'Exceptional Family Member Program' (EFMP) or anything similar in other branches.

Basically, they've diagnosed me with a probable auto-immune disease that needs treatment overseen by a specialist on a monthly basis...and since the interior of Alaska is literally in the middle of nowhere, there's only one such military specialist in the state (and no local civie's). Unfortunately, he's hundreds of miles away.

Our primary care doc & the specialist are both recommending me for the EFMP, but they can't really tell me much about the process from a 'what will probably happen' standpoint. My biggest questions are 1) how long does the process typically take and 2) how likely is it that they will actually give us any input on where they relocate us to? Not that i'd hold my breath waiting for them to do that! :D

And i'm pretty sure that it's silly of me to worry about this...but needing a relocate because of me shouldn't impact his career...right? It gets alls sorts of convoluted because he's still on profile and waiting for knee reconstruction (line of injury) that also has to be done in the lower 48. So, i just worry that someone higher up is gonna say 'forget this!' and find a way to separate him.


nilo at 2006-12-23 09:02 (UTC) (Link)
We're Army, so I'm not sure how long the AF might take to move on this. But the AF does seem to be a bit kinder to its members and families, so that's a plus.

I think your relocated placement would depend on your husband's MOS and the AF's ability to treat you. Hopefully, both could be taken care of someplace where you'd want to be, but I honestly don't know how much of a factor your desire would be.

If you require major medical attention on a monthly basis, I would think you'd most likely wind up at a larger base - like McChord or something.

Good luck and I hope you both are ok.
simplydorei at 2006-12-23 20:52 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, Nilo...i'm positive things will work out, i'm just always focused on the details of it all! :D

innocent_liar at 2006-12-23 11:05 (UTC) (Link)
We're Army, but I'll tell you what our experience has been. My daughter was born while we were stationed in Italy. She has a condition called Arthrogryposis (I didn't know while I was pregnant) that causes her to need weekly occupational and physical therapy as well as visit with an orthopedic surgeon on a regular basis. Anyway...back to when she was born. We enrolled her in the EFMP program and got a 1 year compassionate reassignment from Italy to a place close to Boston. She had 2 surgeries while we were there. Our compassionate reassignment ended this last summer, and according to the EFMP program the Army can't send us somewhere where they don't have the care available to take care of her. SOMEHOW we end up in Alaska. The only orthopedic surgeon in the state does not accept TriCare. So, our only option is to be flown down to Seattle for her doctor visits. She does get OT here in Anchorage and we're working on getting PT going. It's honestly been a very annoying process. But I'm sure if you go somewhere other than Alaska you will have much more luck than we have had. :)

The process of getting into EFMP didn't take long as far as I remember. We were moved from Italy to Boston by the time she was 4 months old and in that time we had been to Germany and D.C. for specialists and stuff. We were pretty much able to choose where we went, we just found a doctor that we liked and then found the nearest base to it and requested it. I don't know if it's always that easy.

I don't know much about it affecting his career, I know my husband had to go off of airborne status because he was put in a non-airborne unit for our compassionate reassignment year. But he's back in airborne now what we are in Alaska.

Anyway, so that my (very long) story. I hope everything works out for you. Good luck!
simplydorei at 2006-12-23 20:55 (UTC) (Link)
Wow. Just wow...i'm so sorry to hear that! What an ordeal.

Thanks for all the details, though. It's good to know what has happened in other cases if for no other reason than to have some sort of parameter of expectations.

And i must say...your daughter is adorable! After that story, seeing that sunshiney smile just makes you feel better. (:
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