Where should I go from here?

GAC Attack

Registered Member
So here's the story, I injured my back during a deployment back in beginning of 2014. I was pulling out a component that’s pretty heavy (don't know the actual weight, maybe 50lbs or more). Its rack mounted, but got suck diagonally between the rails. (Keep in mind that this part is located in a very confined area) when I pulled it free I immediately felt something pop in my back and the pain hit me immediately after. My lower back was in so much pain it literally took like 10 minutes to put a pair of socks on. I know I should have when to medical asap, but I didn’t want to get sent home on my first deployment with all the crap going on so I just took Tylenol and Ibuprofen for the pain and gutted it out (Took about 4 weeks for the pain to reside down to a 4 out of 10). During that trip we also had an awful system problem with our aircraft and we spent 6 weeks troubleshooting, doing continuity checks, and rewiring components for 14 hours a day (50% of that time spent in the hellhole for you C130 Guys). Upon returning I was seen for the pain, but was just given muscle relaxers and painkillers. I will not go in depth about the last 2 years, but I've been on multiple TDY's and another deployment. When I returned from my last deployment I finally have had enough of the pain. Went to the doc and got a X-ray done which just showed narrowing throughout L4-L5 & L5-S1. My pain was constantly at least a 4 when I wake up with pain throbbing pain in my lower back throughout my hips and pain going down my legs & when working the flight line or doing simple things around the house it'll will flare up to 7 or 8 to the point where sometime i get home contemplate going to the hospital. I've also been taking Tramadol before my last deployment as need along with Robaxin, Tylenol, and Ibuprofen. After having a record of the pain pills, the X-ray, duty restrictions, and this being see constantly with chronic back pain my doctor told me that after my current physical therapy is over and if it doesn't help the she'd put me in for a MED board, because there's been no improvement. well that doctor left recently and now i have to start from scratch again with new doctors. just my luck, right? Well my last 2 PT tests I was exempt from the Run/ Fast Walk, but still had to do push-ups and sit-ups (which hurt, but i just gutted it out and did them). I've done 3 months of Physical Therapy on base when I got back with no help and just recently finished another 3 months off base with no help (The only thing that actually provided some relief was the ultrasound with hydro-cortisone cream, but temporary, lasted half a day if that). I have another PT test due, but I literally can't do the sit-ups without being in significant pain, but my new doctors won't give me a profile for it. So I had an appt. for my lower back and told the Dr. that I could barely do my job now and doing training for the strength portion of my test was only causing more pain as well. After explaining everything to the doc I was told lots of people in the Air Force have back pain and they can't give out profiles to everyone?! & there isn’t a good enough case for them to give me two exemptions on the PT test and that she could waive the sit-ups if i do the walk. WTF! was then told they wanted an MRI to see what's going on (which I was happy for, because I should've gotten one a while ago when I started complaining about my back after my first deployment years ago). So I got the MRI done and the clinic calls me with the result and told me that I had a small bulging disk at L5-S1 and that was it. Shocked after hearing what they said, I immediately thought that there surely had to be more that for the amount of pain I've been in lately. So out of my own curiosity I went to the hospital where the MRI was done signed the release form and got the report that was sent to the clinic which showed the following...

L4-L5 Bulging disk but not compressing nerve root along with mild facet arthropathy (Both of which I was told shouldn't be causing any pain from the clinic here on base)

L5-S1 Degenerative disk and bulging disk directly compressing S1 nerve root (They said Degenerative disk is associated in older people and shouldn't be cause pain unless there's grinding?!) looking at my own MRI that disk is completely black and at least 3 times thinner than all others.

After seeing what was actually on the report from the radiologist I called the clinic back to see where the miss communication was, because I was told that only thing that’s wrong with my back is the bulging disk at L5-S1.

Later on through the day I got a call back from the clinic saying that the other stuff isn't a problem and they'll put me on more duty restrictions (whatever i needed to be exact), but won't put any more PT restrictions until my next appt. almost a month away (PT test is in 10 days) and recommended that I see a chiropractor and pain management. Seriously? The only reason they wanted to wait for duty restrictions and PT profile was for the MRI result and now they have them, but they will only do light duty restrictions and won't change my PT restrictions. After all this I went to patient advocate and told them everything, but was told that they can't force the doctor to do anything, because it's at doctors discretion. So after being dismissed from the clinic and patient advocate I went to my First Shirt and told him what's been going on but he immediately was only concerned about the PT profile. Long story short the my First Sgt told that the clinic most likely isn't concerned, because the MRI doesn't really show anything wrong with you!? & was then told that maybe if I actually worked out that i wouldn't have to worry about the PT test or my back pain as much. (I'm 6'3 240 and when i got back from my most recent deployment i was 220 decent shape with the same pain. Came back in better shape, because we had to walk around everywhere and i did workout, but didn't do anything that put stress on my back). Then was told that i just need to do the PT test, workout more, and i'll be fine. so no help with my First Sgt. at all, no help from the clinic, and no help from patient advocate(going to have to call back to see what going on)... I don't know where to go from here... Should i just keep pressing on till my DOS which is late 2017 or try and fight for MED Board, because i can't anything without my lower back throbbing in pain radiating throughout my hips and legs.
 

mike314

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
So here's the story, I injured my back during a deployment back in beginning of 2014. I was pulling out a component that’s pretty heavy (don't know the actual weight, maybe 50lbs or more). Its rack mounted, but got suck diagonally between the rails. (Keep in mind that this part is located in a very confined area) when I pulled it free I immediately felt something pop in my back and the pain hit me immediately after. My lower back was in so much pain it literally took like 10 minutes to put a pair of socks on. I know I should have when to medical asap, but I didn’t want to get sent home on my first deployment with all the crap going on so I just took Tylenol and Ibuprofen for the pain and gutted it out (Took about 4 weeks for the pain to reside down to a 4 out of 10). During that trip we also had an awful system problem with our aircraft and we spent 6 weeks troubleshooting, doing continuity checks, and rewiring components for 14 hours a day (50% of that time spent in the hellhole for you C130 Guys). Upon returning I was seen for the pain, but was just given muscle relaxers and painkillers. I will not go in depth about the last 2 years, but I've been on multiple TDY's and another deployment. When I returned from my last deployment I finally have had enough of the pain. Went to the doc and got a X-ray done which just showed narrowing throughout L4-L5 & L5-S1. My pain was constantly at least a 4 when I wake up with pain throbbing pain in my lower back throughout my hips and pain going down my legs & when working the flight line or doing simple things around the house it'll will flare up to 7 or 8 to the point where sometime i get home contemplate going to the hospital. I've also been taking Tramadol before my last deployment as need along with Robaxin, Tylenol, and Ibuprofen. After having a record of the pain pills, the X-ray, duty restrictions, and this being see constantly with chronic back pain my doctor told me that after my current physical therapy is over and if it doesn't help the she'd put me in for a MED board, because there's been no improvement. well that doctor left recently and now i have to start from scratch again with new doctors. just my luck, right? Well my last 2 PT tests I was exempt from the Run/ Fast Walk, but still had to do push-ups and sit-ups (which hurt, but i just gutted it out and did them). I've done 3 months of Physical Therapy on base when I got back with no help and just recently finished another 3 months off base with no help (The only thing that actually provided some relief was the ultrasound with hydro-cortisone cream, but temporary, lasted half a day if that). I have another PT test due, but I literally can't do the sit-ups without being in significant pain, but my new doctors won't give me a profile for it. So I had an appt. for my lower back and told the Dr. that I could barely do my job now and doing training for the strength portion of my test was only causing more pain as well. After explaining everything to the doc I was told lots of people in the Air Force have back pain and they can't give out profiles to everyone?! & there isn’t a good enough case for them to give me two exemptions on the PT test and that she could waive the sit-ups if i do the walk. WTF! was then told they wanted an MRI to see what's going on (which I was happy for, because I should've gotten one a while ago when I started complaining about my back after my first deployment years ago). So I got the MRI done and the clinic calls me with the result and told me that I had a small bulging disk at L5-S1 and that was it. Shocked after hearing what they said, I immediately thought that there surely had to be more that for the amount of pain I've been in lately. So out of my own curiosity I went to the hospital where the MRI was done signed the release form and got the report that was sent to the clinic which showed the following...

L4-L5 Bulging disk but not compressing nerve root along with mild facet arthropathy (Both of which I was told shouldn't be causing any pain from the clinic here on base)

L5-S1 Degenerative disk and bulging disk directly compressing S1 nerve root (They said Degenerative disk is associated in older people and shouldn't be cause pain unless there's grinding?!) looking at my own MRI that disk is completely black and at least 3 times thinner than all others.

After seeing what was actually on the report from the radiologist I called the clinic back to see where the miss communication was, because I was told that only thing that’s wrong with my back is the bulging disk at L5-S1.

Later on through the day I got a call back from the clinic saying that the other stuff isn't a problem and they'll put me on more duty restrictions (whatever i needed to be exact), but won't put any more PT restrictions until my next appt. almost a month away (PT test is in 10 days) and recommended that I see a chiropractor and pain management. Seriously? The only reason they wanted to wait for duty restrictions and PT profile was for the MRI result and now they have them, but they will only do light duty restrictions and won't change my PT restrictions. After all this I went to patient advocate and told them everything, but was told that they can't force the doctor to do anything, because it's at doctors discretion. So after being dismissed from the clinic and patient advocate I went to my First Shirt and told him what's been going on but he immediately was only concerned about the PT profile. Long story short the my First Sgt told that the clinic most likely isn't concerned, because the MRI doesn't really show anything wrong with you!? & was then told that maybe if I actually worked out that i wouldn't have to worry about the PT test or my back pain as much. (I'm 6'3 240 and when i got back from my most recent deployment i was 220 decent shape with the same pain. Came back in better shape, because we had to walk around everywhere and i did workout, but didn't do anything that put stress on my back). Then was told that i just need to do the PT test, workout more, and i'll be fine. so no help with my First Sgt. at all, no help from the clinic, and no help from patient advocate(going to have to call back to see what going on)... I don't know where to go from here... Should i just keep pressing on till my DOS which is late 2017 or try and fight for MED Board, because i can't anything without my lower back throbbing in pain radiating throughout my hips and legs.
With this you do not want to mess around my friend! You will end up like me. Below should give you an idea:
2009 I deployed no back trouble
2011 deployed again back started bothering me, but because of FEAR MONGERING I kept my mouth shut!
2014 went to advanced SERE got the crap beaten out of me at such a point my lower extremities would fall asleep sitting down. Flight doc saw me and wanted me to get help asap. (I told him no because of the ERB we just had and I was scared).
2015 took a PT Test in November and woke up in so much pain went to the doctor. Had an MRI done Jan. of this year my L4, L5, S1, T11, and T12 are DSD, herniated.
2016 Feb- May Went to the ER for back pain 8 times in 4 months
2016 April had an MRI with and without contrast on my back at the ER. L1, L2, (popped up) L4, L5, S1, T11, and T12 DSD, herniation, 2 Annular Tears, and a fiscer on one of my discs.
The pain is rough everyday some days I have to take quarters. from 1 Jan. to today I have taken a total of 3 weeks and it is only July.

My advice get care man. Don't listen to any one if it really hurts like that get quarters or get help from an ER or something. Don't just let this happen, do not end up like me by keeping your mouth shut. I cry some days in my car because of the pain. I have also been diagnosed with 4 mental disorders but these are separate issues. DO NOT WAIT!! I have drop foot, I loose feeling in my legs all the time, I cannot stand for longer than 15 minutes or sit longer than 30. Does this help?
 

bradrich222

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
My question to both of you is, have you had the Anthrax vaccine? There may be a tie between bony, joint diseases and the Anthrax Vaccine.
 
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