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    • I think you should throw it all at them the first time.  If you fail you get more IME's.  Yes, new evidence helps with NOD.  I used VA's voc. rehab, worker's compensation doctor, a couple of private doctors who I knew could write good reports.  I still did not win total victory the first time.  I had to go back twice more with new evidence to get P&T and EED.  Hey, your motto from John Wayne is about the same as Wild Bill's.  If you use the VA then  you will be  insulted sooner or later.    When you get IME you point out to doctor exactly the problems you have with VA's exam and rating.  You can keep up fantasy of the opinion being totally unbiased, but you don't want an unbiased opinion.  You want one that helps you since you are paying for it.  It must appear to be unbiased.  We all know VA exams are biased in direction of default option to be denial or low ball rating.  The evidence you hold back may be the evidence that would have put you over.  Berta says the enemy is not the VA but time.  When you have to appeal a rating you must wait 18 months to two years.  I have had to appeal every single rating I ever got until I got P&T.  It was easier after that since I had little to gain.                        John
    • I Thank everyone for the input. I'm going to the clinic tomorrow for the eye exam & will talk to a patient contact rep about improving the "kicked out" term to something better.
    • I'm interested in filling a gulf war illness claim , my question is do you think it worthwhile, I have the symptoms that are required for the claim , but some of the fall into my ptsd symptoms which I all ready receive compensation for .   if I file gwi , will they try to reduce my ptsd rating.  all I read is so many gulf war claims are denied . I don't want to fill and have it denied and have them turn around and start messing with my ptsd claim . Any thoughts?  
    • My opinion Any new evidence will help you with a NOD. Mine was just a Voc Expert who testifies in VA, SSDI and Railroad Benefits Courts. And even though it sounds silly and anti-progress, i think at this point in time with the games the VA is playing with fast rejections and lowballs have FILLED the frikin Appeals Dockets, we should maybe hold back just ONE bit of evidence, maybe because we kind of already know lowballing is SoP for the bastiches, just have that one bit of evidence ready for your NOD. Once again, just a opinion, and a path i'm taking on my next claim.
    • I thought the same. To be honest I get strong anxiety disgust when I go to the va. Lost trust with the providers there. So part a is free correct? Even if I only have 8 years of solid work and on and off.  As far as part b they are saying that I can lower my rate by signing a earlier effective date my alleged onset date. Which would be a difference of 104.90 starting date June 2011 in which I have to pay an additional 6,517.30. I currently have no medical bills pending throughout that period.  The other one is August 2016 with a premium of 121.80 a month. However, What I don't understand is on the bottom they want to charge me 243.60 due through December 2016. Is that two year enrollment plan?





OldDave

Back Pain - Multiple Bulging Discs - Surgery

13 posts in this topic

I’ve been in the VA Health System less than a year. About 4 weeks ago, I went to my pvt doctor complaining of back pain (I still have pvt insurance). He sent me for X-rays and an MRI and gave me a muscle relaxer and some pain meds. The MRI results say I have multiple bulging discs in the lower spin. Pvt doc wants to refer me to a neurosurgeon. I have my deductible met but my 20% would still be about $3000. I’m not sure I want surgery in any event. I’m feeling a lot better than I was 4 weeks ago. I know that if I do nothing, I’ll end up in pain and flat on my back again. And, I probably won’t be able to afford the pvt insurance next year.

Should I take my X-rays and MRI results to the VA clinic and try for a referral to neurology or orthopedics? I didn’t go there first because I was in pain and not moving around very well. I figured a referral would probably take a few weeks at a minimum.

Any advice would be appreciated

Thanks,

OldDave.

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Old Dave, is this a service connected injury? The reason why I ask is this past Feb. I went to see my Primary Care doc, before she left for good, and asked her to put in a consult to go to a different VA to see the neurosurgeon for my back. Same deal, leg pain and numbness, all service connected though. At that time she told me that she couldn't even refer me since the nearest VA was backlogged with patients just waiting for an appointment for an evaluation. I was approved for fee basis outside the VA. One of my happiest dealigns with the VA, since I didn't want them to operate on me, for the simple reason that the Richmond, Virginia, VA is a training hospital, and from month to month you'll never see the same doc when it comes to backs.

Is this something that just came on you, or have you battled it for years? I've battled mine for years, and finally found an alternative type of surgery, something the VA wouldn't have offered, that gives me more hope. I've been on painkillers for the last 7 years, Vicodin no less, and will have liver issues soon enough I'm sure.

Bottom line is, if it's at a point that you can't stand it, do something about it, but you said it was subsiding so not as bad. In the end it's about quality of life. Mine has been so bad for the last year, that I can't put it off anymore, even at the age of 40. Good luck.

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10thFO, thanks for your response.

I'm not service connected for my back. I'm at 80% though, so the VA should cover the treatment. My first visit to my VA PCP was last Feb. and it just so happened I was having back trouble at the time. He prescribed muscle relaxers and pain pills and I recovered nicely in a week or two. That was the first time in recent years that I've had trouble. I'm 64 so all in all I guess I shouldn't complain. If the worse it gets is two episodes within 8 months I can deal with that. The problem is, if I should have the surgery, the private option probably won't be there next year. Although, after October 2010, I'll be eligble for Medicare. But, between January and October, the VA will probably be my primary care provider.

Have you had the surgery already or are you working on it? I hope it gives you relief and good results. Good Luck.

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Dave, if you will be eligible for Medicare that soon, then I say wait. Use the VA for it's drugs or whatever for now. You should be good until then. I'm having surgery this friday, and it's acutally a surgery that the VA or Medicare will only pay for, more progressive. Private insurance companies won't pay for this yet as it costs more than other more risky to you alternatives. Good luck brother.

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When I was at the VAMC neurological ward for diagnosic workup, a veteran in the bed next to me was in for neck surgery.

After the surgery they told him they would have to put him under again & finish the operation on the other side because they ran out of time on the operating table. They are only alowed so much time for the students to work on you I guess.

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10thFO, keep us posted on the surgery. Hope it goes well for you.

Allan, did that surprise you? You were only in for evaluation. If you were in for a procedure, would you have gotten a little worried? My dad used to say the best hospitals were teaching hospitals. Fresh inquesative minds with experienced teacher supervisors. Of course, dad was never in a VA hospital.

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