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    • Just my opinion, but I would suggest that your doctor also explain exactly how the Xanax that you take to treat PTSD causes YOUR sleep apnea, specifically.  What is it about that medication that leads to sleep apnea?  Add what clinical evidence exists to back him up, like in a journal or something like that, then have him attach his curriculum vital (aka resume).   VA raters who review these forms are not healthcare professionals and need things spelled out in plain English.
    • The VA also said my back was not so bad.  I ended up getting an IMO for $250 from a specialist in Orlando for my service connection.  He said I needed surgery.  They also sent me to a young neurologist who said I needed surgery.  Thanks to the VA dragging its feet, I ended up with permanent nerve damage, to slow to act.   The Choice program has to be approved by the VA Dr.  If they cannot see you in 30 days, you can ask them to give you choice authorization.  The neurology department never gets you in that fast. Its like 7 to 11 weeks to get an appointment, so you should be within your rights to make them give you the choice option. From that point, you can get on the healthnet website and find a good spine surgeon, and get an opinion from them if you need surgery.  They in turn must request authorization from healthnet, and you can get free surgery at the best hospitals in town that way.  If the Choice people dont ask you who you want to go to, tell them, there is a list on the web site based on your zip code.  The orthopedic surgeon in downtown Orlando is the only one in town that accepts healthnet, and comes with good recommendations. Link to healthnet: https://hnfs.com/content/hnfs/home/va/home/veterans-choice.html   go to find a provider link in top left side of front page to find  (surgeon-orthopedic of the spine)
    • I agree.  Any time there is a significant amount of retro on the line,  it is definitely better to hire an attorney who only gets paid if you win.  There are good VSO's out there but there are also vso's that seem to work for VA rather than the veteran,  and they get paid regardless if you win or lose.  Best of luck to you. 
    • Get an attorney. You are in a legal issue.

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Spinal Stenosis

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I was diagnosed with spinal stenosis 3 years ago, 7 months before I retired. The VA listed this as degenerative arthritis (10%) on the explanation of my case. Degenerative Disk Disease is one of the causes of spinal stenosis, and I do have one degenerative disk. Is it a big deal that they listed what they did instead of the spanial stenosisis. Secondly, I am now having pain going down both elgs as a result of the spinal stenosis. I have been through physical therapy and the pain got worse. Yesterday, I had another MRI done and suspect I will be sent to a neurosurgeon. I currently have a claim for increaseed compensation pending although it is not being worked on because I filed a notice of disagreement for my initial rating and that is being settled first. Would I claim the pain caused by the spinal stenosis seperately? When I had my intial physical, I told the examiner about the sciatic nerve pain in the right leg and this was ignored.

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It does indeed answer my questions. I should be seeing the neroulogist in the next couple of weeks and will request that test.

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