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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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Prominent facet arthrosis of lower lumbar spine, Mild spondylosis of lumbar spine, opens new door.


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Prominent facet arthrosis of lower lumbar spine, Mild spondylosis of lumbar spine, opens new door. I thought my claim was overwhelming before this. 

I had a catscan for abdominal issues: The above (plus other things)  is on the Lab Report Radiologist report, but the Blue Button Notes, omit the part about the spine? 

I have waited 7 days plus since catscan and no followup from PC, although, the notes are flagged: Significant Abnormarlity: Atten Needed

and the notes go into detail about handoff to PC doc, and his signature is there, taking the handoff, but no contact.  

I have talked to Patient Advocate before, actually just before I left the house to go get the emergency room, where they ordered the catscan (but asked me on the way out: do you want the good news or the good news? to which I replied, shoot me with all of it. Which I was told everything was fine, get with my PC later. 

Now to the question: 

 

I have thought and so have doctors that I had parethesia (cop out diagnosis) or PN, but EMG would be normal.  But I have Radiculopathy sypmtoms, in my STR's that are still with me today, that line up with my spine problem, and I have an incident where I broke an antenna that ran under the centerline of a F106, by striking it with my back as I working under the aircraft, that I Red X'd for flight....after I was able to stand up. I sucked it up. 

And my knees are arthritic, I did pound the pavement more than anyone else around me in combat boots, often dehydrated, sometimes on speed (per flight surgeon) plenty of forced dehydration, in sauna and steam and running. 

 

I know alot of you have back problems (spine) I thought I didn't, when I look at those scans, I know better now. Now I know why I bend or break every driver seat in my new vehicles. First one was a Datsun/Nissan sentra, bent two seats in same manner, in the first two months.  It took me a few years to break the weld in my 2500HD GMC Sierra, on the right hand side to match my old Nissan.

Probably my ankles are that way too.  I don't have an image, yet....I did turn it a few years ago and it doubled in size. 

So, I am camping out at the VAMC morning morning, I am done with the CBOC.  I have the form filled out already to change PC, I already spoke to the Patient Advocate a week ago, he said no problem but have to wait in line. I don't like lines, especially when I am hurting.

Any tips? Ideas? Something I am missing? 

Patient Advocate? Another office? ER again? 

I know I need to go the the Records office in the VAMC to get the 'real' records, if I can actually get them anywhere from the VA. 

Then: 

What should I do to find out what's up with my spine? Both for my health and for a claim? First for my health? 

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I noticed something odd on ebenefits blue button. It takes them forever to post labs and scans. However, they usually wind up in my progress notes about three to four business days later. That would b

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I noticed something odd on ebenefits blue button. It takes them forever to post labs and scans. However, they usually wind up in my progress notes about three to four business days later. That would be a good place to start.

Ask the patient advocate to put you in contact with the employee who assigns patients to doctors. The VA patient bill of rights says you have the right to choose your provider. Try to ask for a staff physician, not a resident. Some VA's have various clinics staffed with resident trainees, but may also have another clinic with staff physicians. Not sure if that applies to CBOCs though.

Try and get a referral to VA pain management. They gave me a TENS unit, physical therapy, cane, heating pad, ice pack, back brace, and even referral to an outside chiropractor (because they didn't have one in house) for acupuncture. They also referred me out for lumbar pain block steroid injections. The injections are kind of a mixed bag. Most of the time they provide me with relief. However, you have to keep in mind that they may not always work and steroids are really not the best thing for your body in the long term.

If you have not done so already:
- Ask for a disabled parking permit
- Get service connected for your spine and the peripheral nerve issues

For what it's worth, EMGs are helpful, but not perfect. They are only part of the equation. The doc must take into account other factors such are reflexes, strength/weakness, sensation, and most importantly pain. They must also include issues related to flare ups, which it appears you are having. There are a number of meds which can be given to treat nerve pain including gabapentin, lyrica, muscle relaxers, etc... A lot of my PN issues are due to muscle spams, to the relaxers have their place.

I hope this helps!

 

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Vync, 

Thanks, I did get the back end report and the CD 'today', I told them the truth, I was going to civilian doc, if some doctor didn't get with me and I needed 'my' records.

Then I went and talked to patient advocate, I had waited the required time, and I had options, I just needed to know what the VA was going to do, so I could decide.

I have to say, most of my experience so far with the VA has been positive.  I have my gastro consult moved up to tomorrow, and my skin lesson has been moved up.  I still don't have a PC doc, but, I did request a staff MD, with EARS (at least part of one). 

I talked to local vet in one of the waiting rooms today, he just went through the acupuncture, they have it in the VAMC, that is where I am transferring, he went through 4 appts, and said, it surprised him, it appears to be doing him some good. 

I have had a civilian disabled plate for 9 years, for these same legs, as PN. 

I did go to the State Vet Affairs VSO, and I am hoping I found a good one.  So, yes, the claim is being put together between the doctor visits. 

It looks like I have 1 IMO lined up, I will need one or two more.  I have to call in those buddy letters now, that I have a better idea of what I need. 

Thanks

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