Could probably use some help to show and explain whats going on with me (AS/PsA)

JD2019

New Member
Registered Member
Good Morning All. My name is Chris, 10 years service between Active ARMY and ARMY National Guard. I'm working through my MEB as I type. My pain started as lower back and hip pain, far worse during flare ups and has progressed to pain in hands daily, heels daily, shoulders, knees, ankles, ribs and neck intermittently. After 6+ years of being bounced around for sciatica and other lower back diagnoses, I was finally referred to a Rheumatologist who diagnosed me with Ankylosing Spondylitis. I do also have patches of Plaque Psoriasis on multiple spots on my body.

When it came time to do my claimed conditions I listed out Ankylosing Spondylitis, Sacroilitis (bl) , knee pain (bl), foot pain (bl), Psoriasis, hand pain (bl), wrist pain (bl), shoulder pain (bl), and Gastrointestinal irritation. Through my C&P exam I thought that things went pretty well. There were a lot of questions and a lot of Xrays done to get baseline imaging for all of my claimed pain locations. After all of this I received my NARSUM and I guess I wasn't prepared for what I was going to see. The only things that are accepted as evaluated conditions are AS, Sacroilitis (bl) as a secondary to AS, and Lumbar Strain as a secondary to AS. The reasoning given for most of the other pains not being attached was that there was no documented history for pain in those joints, despite the fact that there is. Most astonishing is how my C&P examiner wrote that I had no skin condition despite lesions on multiple portions of my skin being exposed and easy to see.

Due to the lack of evidence I have now had an emergency appointment with my Rheumatologist who has provided a referral to get the skin lesions evaluated to confirm Psoriasis and I also met with my PCM who essentially brushed me off saying that now that I was in the MEB, the VA would take care of evaluation of my joint pain.

My questions come here. Did I screw up by not specifying that my joint and distal pains were arthritic in nature? Is there a way to get re-evaluted through the VA before they make a final determination? Lastly, how does an evaluator not acknowledge that my pain would have been treated by the nonstop Ibuprofen regimen that I was on and thus wouldn't have required doctor's visits for every ache and pain?

Thanks for any advice or feedback. I think I screwed up and should have been more specific and I hope that I can resolve all issues prior to separation.

As an aside, I am working through the legal counsel to request an IMR. Would a personal statement be helpful to that to try and explain why some of the medical records won't showcase every joint in my body in pain?
 

tsshipp

New Member
Registered Member
Good Morning All. My name is Chris, 10 years service between Active ARMY and ARMY National Guard. I'm working through my MEB as I type. My pain started as lower back and hip pain, far worse during flare ups and has progressed to pain in hands daily, heels daily, shoulders, knees, ankles, ribs and neck intermittently. After 6+ years of being bounced around for sciatica and other lower back diagnoses, I was finally referred to a Rheumatologist who diagnosed me with Ankylosing Spondylitis. I do also have patches of Plaque Psoriasis on multiple spots on my body.

When it came time to do my claimed conditions I listed out Ankylosing Spondylitis, Sacroilitis (bl) , knee pain (bl), foot pain (bl), Psoriasis, hand pain (bl), wrist pain (bl), shoulder pain (bl), and Gastrointestinal irritation. Through my C&P exam I thought that things went pretty well. There were a lot of questions and a lot of Xrays done to get baseline imaging for all of my claimed pain locations. After all of this I received my NARSUM and I guess I wasn't prepared for what I was going to see. The only things that are accepted as evaluated conditions are AS, Sacroilitis (bl) as a secondary to AS, and Lumbar Strain as a secondary to AS. The reasoning given for most of the other pains not being attached was that there was no documented history for pain in those joints, despite the fact that there is. Most astonishing is how my C&P examiner wrote that I had no skin condition despite lesions on multiple portions of my skin being exposed and easy to see.

Due to the lack of evidence I have now had an emergency appointment with my Rheumatologist who has provided a referral to get the skin lesions evaluated to confirm Psoriasis and I also met with my PCM who essentially brushed me off saying that now that I was in the MEB, the VA would take care of evaluation of my joint pain.

My questions come here. Did I screw up by not specifying that my joint and distal pains were arthritic in nature? Is there a way to get re-evaluted through the VA before they make a final determination? Lastly, how does an evaluator not acknowledge that my pain would have been treated by the nonstop Ibuprofen regimen that I was on and thus wouldn't have required doctor's visits for every ache and pain?

Thanks for any advice or feedback. I think I screwed up and should have been more specific and I hope that I can resolve all issues prior to separation.

As an aside, I am working through the legal counsel to request an IMR. Would a personal statement be helpful to that to try and explain why some of the medical records won't showcase every joint in my body in pain?
Have you gotten an update on your status? I was diagnosed with spondyloarthropathy and inflammatory polyarthritis in November. Didn't get my diagnosis to the state medical folks until January. Now I'm living 90 days at a time with my temporary profiles. I was hoping they would start the MEB process, but they put me in a wait and see status. They said my issues are 18 months old to me, but only 3 months old for them. So I had to gather medical records for the last 2 years to submit. Got those in this past week, so the waiting game will continue.

Anyway, we are in the same arthritis class, so I was curious on if anything new had come about for you.
 
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