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Got My C File....crap,crap,crap.


StreetWalker

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Got my C file yesterday. Looking at the results from my latest C&P exam I can guess that I'm not going to see any increase for my back and most likely get nothing for my GERD.

Taking Norco 5mg 4X a day, Lyrica 100mg 3x a day, Lidocaine patches at night, Desipramine 30mg at night (started at 10 mg about a month ago), Naproxen 440 mg 2X a day. Using my TENS and a heating pad whenever I'm not at work. All this just to get through the day so I can make a living for my family.

I have to keep increasing the Desipramine dose so I can get a decent nights sleep. Between the depression and back pain I can only get 1-2 hours of sleep without medication.

Taking both Prilosec and Ranitidine for the GERD which was caused by the constant bombardment of my stomach my meds for my back.

Right now I'm rated at 20% for the back and from what I can read in the C&P I'm still in 20% land. Guess you've got to be unable to stand or move to get into the 40% range.

Of course all this is not helping with my depression at all. That will be the next claim that's filed.

My current claim finally went from "Gathering of Evidence" to "Review of Evidence" after 8 months in the gathering stage.

I guess the fact that I'm a Letter Carrier that walks 10 miles per day delivering the mail means I'm "healthy" in the eyes of the VA.

What I see is that I haven't been able to mow the lawn for the past two years, I've done a total of 3 hours of active yard work in my yard in the past two years. I can't sit or stand for any length of time without pain. I make it though the day on the job on pills. I'm missing a TON of work due to the back. Unable to finish my route 1-2 times per month. It's just guts, grit and pills that gets me through the day.

Been waiting on a MRI for a couple of months. Only two more months to go till we can get a picture of what's going on in my back. I'm amazed that there's NO imaging done on a back during a C&P exam. They used a 4 year old X-Ray as their imaging. The VA is so behind on their treatment of back issues. The compensation standards are archaic at best and criminal at worst.

No regard for pain or quality of life. Just movement and bed rest.

Sorry this is disjointed. Norco is hitting me hard.

Had to forgo the Lidocaine patches last night as I've got "diaper rash" on my lower back. 12 hours of Lidocaine patches and 4-5 hours of heating pad per day have made the skin in that area of my back red and raw. At least I've got the day off so I can just relax today. Maybe take a trip to the toy (tackle) store and pick up a new lure.

I'm starting to understand the whole concept of suicide. But I still have my wife and my little buddy to live for. My little buddy is a Goffin Cockatoo we've had for 23 years. He's waiting for bath time right now. He takes a shower with me and then sits on my arm for his bath time. Then we come out and it's "Blow Dry, Blow Dry NOW!" time.

Tight lines and good luck to all of us who served.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

If your job duties aggravate a pre-existing service connected injury you can file for worker's compensation if your attempts to get higher ratings via the VA fail. If the USPS tries to get rid of you then file for WC. This complicates the VA process somewhat.

If it were me I would press the depression/chronic pain issues. The way to go with this is to get a high combined rating and then retire on OPM/SSDI and put in for TDIU. I think you will have to give up the ten mile walking route.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

They don't do imaging during a C&P on a established spine condition because it would serve no purpose. Like you said, the rating criteria is based upon range of motion, ankylosing, and incapacitating episodes only. A MRI showing numerous problems at multiple levels wouldn't make any difference on the rating percentage. However, if each time you had to miss work due to the back pain, you would go to the VA ER and get it documented, and request a work excuse for missing a couple days of work, that would constitute a incapacitating episode. Also, the rater does have lattitude to increase the rating on a extra-schedular basis for the veteran's pain and quality of life, but they rarely ever do. You are right, though, working as a letter carrier and being able to walk 10 miles almost every day will hurt your claim, even if they don't admit that, and even though it has absolutely nothing to do with either the diagnosis or the rating criteria. I am detecting a degree of "pissed offness" in your post. That comes with the territory, and is completely normal. Have you ever talked to anyone in the mental health clinic at the VAMC? There is a condition called "mood disorder due to a general medical condition" that goes hand in hand with long term chronic pain. It's that edginess that makes us spineys go off the deep end at the drop of a hat all the time. You may want to look into it, and maybe get a anti-anxiety Rx. PS...it's a rateable condition. Hang tough, brother. You'll learn their language and get the rating you deserve in time.

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Yeah there's some "pissed-off" here.

The Desipramine is a tri-cyclic antidepressant. However the normal adult dose is about 3X where I'm at right now. Due to this medication also being a sedative I can only take it at night. Doesn't do well to sleep too much on the job.

I'm not able to do a mounted route due to the back problems. Tried that and it would totally cripple me in a couple of days. I stay on my route because it's pretty flat for this area and it's got 85% shade coverage in the summer. That's important when your medications make you more sensitive to the sun.

I've not talked to anyone at the MH clinic yet. Going to get a referral next time I see my PCP.

Edited by StreetWalker
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Im right there with you on the c&p for back issues. I had mine 3 weeks ago. I actually stopped when I felt the pain, refusing to move another inch. I also had an opportunity to discuss at length with the Doctor, all my shortcomings, limitations and the daily pain.

That wasn't the case during my initial claim 10 years ago. I had no clue what the process was. When he said bend over and touch your toes, i bent over and touched my toes. When he said bend backwards, i did just that. 5 minutes later, it was over. No questions asked. No interaction. I cut my own throat during my initial claim

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Im right there with you on the c&p for back issues. I had mine 3 weeks ago. I actually stopped when I felt the pain, refusing to move another inch. I also had an opportunity to discuss at length with the Doctor, all my shortcomings, limitations and the daily pain.

That wasn't the case during my initial claim 10 years ago. I had no clue what the process was. When he said bend over and touch your toes, i bent over and touched my toes. When he said bend backwards, i did just that. 5 minutes later, it was over. No questions asked. No interaction. I cut my own throat during my initial claim

Been there, done that, got the lousy rating to prove it.

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