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Greetings to all. I just want to let everyone know that this is my first post on this board but I have been a regular visitor for awhile. Thanks to all the info I have read I am now 40% service connected. I have been reading on the Ft McClellan notes that are all over the web. I went to chemical school there in 1994. The list of Autoimmune diseases that are on others websites have been very helpful for my current claim I am submitting next week. I really do not understand this rating thing except I was given two SCs, 20% for my CSpine and 20% for my LSpine. They combined it at most serious which my payment schedule is set at 40%. Hope I got the understanding of it correctly. Anyway, I am about to file on my T-Spine because I believe this is where most of the issues are. Back in June of this year I started having tingling in both hands starting at the same time, I cannot hold things without dropping them, my heart rate jumps from 80 to 120 back to 80 back to 120 for no apparent reason which is causing my blood pressure to rise. I have had all test done to rule out anything with my heart. I have ended up at the ER once this year on a EKG which ruled out any heart attack. I have been on a EKG at my personal Doctor's office and heart was ruled out. Then just this week I read about the information about those who were at Ft McClellan. Could this be the reason my heart is doing what it is? I do have osteo arthritus in my spine due to the damage in my discs. I am getting a MRI on my T-Spine January 4, 2011 so I am hoping that they find something on that. Also reading articles everywhere on the net one of the autoimmune diseases is arthritus which I have. Another is IBS which I was diagnosed with back in 2003.

I am also in need of a little help on getting something answered. On my letter in the table it states:

Mechnical lower back pain syndrome (also claimed as lumbosacral strain and thoracic spine and perviously evaluated under DC 5295)

My question is I never filed for my T-Spine because 14 years ago I filed for my back. I didn't know they separated the spine into 3 things. I asked my evaluator during the evaluation why she was not looking at my T-Spine and she said I never filed a claim for this. Can I file on my T-Spine? Also what would be considered secondary claims? I have had Internal Bleeding Hemorrhoids for 8 years now. I have had surgery once back in 2003. I know it is because of the stress of my back pain that caused this. Also, I am now obese because I cannot do any excessive exercise because of my back and neck pain. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


R Powell

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Your hand problems are likely a result of radiculopathy secondary to the C Spine.

Welcome to Hadit.

I will send you a PM.


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Thanks jabasser and I replied to your PM.

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I had a EMG done because I would drop things. The results said I have carpel tunnel possibly due to my C-spine. Funny thing is I had no idea I had it! Hands didn't hurt or anything except just being clumsy when handling things. By the way, I do have serious problem with the back including radiuclopathy in all limbs, including my butt and shoulders. Thats the reason I had the EMG is to find what nerves was causing my clumsiness in the hands. You might want to ask your Dr. if it would be feasable to have one done! Good Luck

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I think I had an EMG. Is that the they shock you? The Doctor told me that I had carpel tunnel in my left hand. Funny thing is why on a one day notice both hands become numb and tingling? Now it is mainly the left hand causing problems. I remember clearly the day I had the test. He would shock the left hand and I would jump sky high off the table (my kids were there and they would laugh) but on my right hand it felt normal. But both hands were tingling and numb. But I do remember he did call my wife on the phone but I didn't return the call. Maybe he found something else and I guess I need to get the reports from the VA Hospital to find out more.

With all of this, I have been told I have Anxiety and have taken Xanax for it. I don't believe one bit I am crazy so I took myself off of them and I feel better, not great but better. I now take Valium once a day to help me sleep and for the spasms in my T Spine area. This is the only medication I can actually take that doesn't affect the rest of my body. Ultram causes me to break out (allergic), Robaxin makes everything worse and flexeril makes me cranky for 24 hours. Funny but true.

Everything started in the muscular part of my back and now has progress into my spine. I guess all the pulling and spasms of the muscles has caused this and a lot more.


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I assume you mean thoracolumbar spine

This BVA decision as some rating info.


My neighbor, SCed for cervical spine issues also was diagnosed recently with carpel tunnel and is filing claim on that next week.

Are you employed?

I told my neighbor (his POA is State of NY Div of Vets Affairs) to list other conditions he has as I think they are all related to his 10% back problems and also to apply for TDIU.He had to leave his job at VA due to the cervical SC but for years has not considered trying for a higher rating.He is Mil retired so higher rating could warrant CRDP for him.

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Well I guess I am still learning because use to think the spine was the spine. Then I learned it was separated into a few things. The main three things I know are Cervical, Thoracic and Lumbar. Here is what my Medical Description reads on the newest rating letter:

Mechanical cervical spine pain (also claimed as limitation of motion and bulge in neck and previously evaluated under DC 5290)

Mechanical lower back pain syndrome (also claimed as lumbosacral strain and thoracic spine and previously evaluated under DC 5295)

First what are these DC numbers?

Second, in the Army I was diagnosed with a muscle strain. Then at Physical Therapy I was diagnosed with having a T-Spine facet dysfunction at T8-9 and trigger points at the right Rhomboideus Major.

Third, throughout a year and a half I was going back and forth to Physical Therapy to and Internal Medicine Doctor.

Fourth, looking over my medical records carefully today everything started in my T-Spine area. I would complain of pain, over and over and over at every appointment about pain in my mid back. After a year and a half it progressed first down to the lower back then eventually up to my neck.

Fifth, I was discharge with a 10% disability, yes I was young and dumb and didn't know better. I was just in so much pain I wanted to get help elsewhere.

Sixth, whenever I got out of the Army I went to my local VA rep here in the county. Filed for compensation. During my initial evaluation I had to see 2 Doctors that day with the VA. I had copies of my medical records with me and the first Doctor (who barely spoke English) told me he didn't see anything wrong with me. He basically brushed me off like I was a nobody. He would not let me say a word to him about what was going on. Keep in mind this was 1997 and well they didn't have very good evaluators then like they do now. Anyway, I was so upset and mad I was sitting in the lobby waiting on my second appointment and decided right then and there I was not going to deal with somebody telling me what he told me. So I walked away. Behold a few months later the VA sent me the decision. Just basing everything on my military records they gave me service connection for:

Mechanical cervical spine pain

Mechanical lower back pain syndrome

Well I have dealt with it over the past 14 years and have went to my own Doctors and Chiropractors. This year though it has some to the point where other things started affecting me. Such has my hands going numb and tingling, basically everything I stated in my earlier post. So I called the VA and requested another evaluation for increase. The day of the appointment the evaluator was very nice to me and she understood everything I was telling her. I know she has a job and I understand that. But whenever I brought up on why she was testing me on my mid back she stated that I never filed a claim for that. My mouth dropped to the floor and I pulled out my original letter. Sure enough I never filed for the mid back. Back then I did not know they separated the back. I thought the back was the back. So, 5 days later I again went to my local VA Rep and filed a claim on my mid back. As of December 6, 2010 the VA told me they have not received the claim. I told them I filed it on 09/02/2010 with my local VA Rep who stated to me he was going to mail it. Luckily, I made sure I got a copy of it after he filled it out. The VA told me they will allow the copy since they never received it. Today I wrote my Draft Claim Statement and I am about to type it on the computer on the Form. The VA totally missed or I did whenever I originally filed back in 1996 my mid back where the origin of the problems started. On January 4th, 2011 I do have an appointment to have an MRI on my T-Spine. Believe it or not I am hoping they do find something, not that I do want them to, but I am getting tired of the pain. The last 14 years has been the worst in my life. Anyway I am going to send them copies of my records from the Army. I know they have them but I am going to make sure I highlight everything single item that shows my mid back was the origin of the problem in the first place.

Sorry for the long spill or book I just wrote. Maybe it will help others.

Now, a question or two. I was diagnosed with have internal bleeding hemorrhoids related to stress. I also had to have an emergency outpatient surgery because one of them came out and bled. I know this stress is from the pain I had to endure for 15 years because of my back. Can I claim this as secondary?

Next, I was diagnosed with having IBS at the same time I had the bleeding hemmorroids. Can I also claim this as secondary?

Also, I now have an elevated heart rate. The funny thing is I have a trigger point at the left Rhomboideus Major which is right behind my heart. Whenever my this trigger point tightens up really bad I notice my heart rate goes up. I know an elevated heart rate sustained long enough causes the blood pressure to rise also. How do I put it all together? I know the two might not even connect but I am not sure. Or like somebody who PM'd me stated that it could be Pulmonary HTN because of a Paralyzed Phrenic nerve in the cervical C3 and C4. How do I connect the dots?

Again I am sorry for the long spill. I just want to connect the dots and put it together. I think I 3/4 the way there but I need some help on this....Thanks for any info you can provide...

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