MedBoard Questions / Help (Air Force) (Possibly Rheumatological)

Exhausted

Registered Member
#1
I'll try not to drag on too long, but don't want to leave out any details. I'll be at my 7 year mark in August, on an extension until March 2019 due to retraining. I've been having joint pain (started as only both ankles) for roughly 6 years with no injury explanation. I've pushed through a few PT tests to avoid an MEB per my last base's recommendation (I wanted to go career). The first 3 or so years I was told inflammation over and over with no further care despite my constant urges to get further checked out, put on a profile, did physical therapy, and saw a podiatrist. The podiatrist and physical therapist didn't think inflammation, but weren't sure what the issues were, but noted that I had range of motion issues. Started retraining, continued running and working out through the pain. Got to my new base, pushed through another PT test so not to be "that guy" (got above a 90) and was in so much pain I realized I couldn't do that anymore without possibly causing long-term damage, so started getting seen again. It takes months to get seen for each appointment, so finally after another several years of being bounced all over, I've been through Physical Therapy (again), Podiatry (again), Orthopedics, and finally Physical Therapy (yes, a 3rd time). Without getting too detailed, I've essentially been told at each step that something is wrong, they're not sure what but they'll try a few things to no avail. This 2nd podiatrist noticed the range of motion issues same as the previous one but also asked if I had any issues with other joints. He did some tests and we discovered it was not just my ankles that had limited range of motion and that I've been pushing through wrist pain as well caused by extremely limited range of motion in my wrists, that I had just chalked up to "workout pain". He noted range issues in other parts but wanted to be clear that since he's a podiatrist and I wasn't referred for anything other than my ankles, I'd have to go through protocol for these to figure out what's going on, but he believed it seemed rheumatological. I mentioned that to Ortho and my PCM, but the XRays didn't show anything so it was mostly brushed aside as being unlikely. I've been on a profile for my ankles and wrists now for 3-4 PT tests, the pain has gotten worse despite being in physical therapy and getting injected by Ortho, etc.

This last physical therapy appointment was with a new doctor (an intern) and was the final straw. He essentially told me the pain wasn't there, it was in my head (after a 30 minute appointment because he couldn't "palpitate the pain I was describing"), and referred me to BHOP. I went to the BHOP appointment for due diligence and they weren't sure why I was there. I scheduled a follow-up with my PCM because I was unbelievably furious, that I've been dealing with this pain for years just to be told by some jackass intern that it didn't exist, and I demanded to be tested for rheumatological concerns after describing everything from the last several years. She was my PCM, but unfortunately was almost always booked so was not aware of several major pieces since I got shuffled to other people, and decided that I absolutely should've been tested a long time ago and put in for the tests. Unsurprisingly, my ANA came back positive and now I'm to be seen by Rheumatology later this month.

So, here's where I'm at and need advice. I'm basically done. It's been extremely discouraging getting shuffled around different clinics for years, almost always feeling like no one believes you because they spend 5 minutes with you before rushing you out for the next patient. It takes MONTHS for them to move here, you'll never get an appointment scheduled for sooner than 30 days, and the specialty clinics are more like 60 days. I've been getting judged by other squadron members and medical offices for too long, I sadly have no interest in re-enlisting now. I was going to just separate and apply for VA, but after reading these forums and talking to several people, I feel like I should pursue a medboard. Everyone says don't just give up what is owed to you. I just don't know where to go from here since I'm only FINALLY getting to Rheumatology.

Should I ask to be med boarded to start the process now since I only have 8 or so months left? What should I do?

Edit: I may have left out or forgotten details. If anyone wants to know more or go private, just send me a PM!
 

oddpedestrian

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#3
You are on a tight deadline this program seems like the best option start getting treatment for everything you think you have a claim for over all these years. https://www.benefits.va.gov/predischarge/

Even with a med board, they could return a fit finding which is a real possibility since all these doctors are probably writing weak clinical notes in your file.
 

chaplaincharlie

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#4
Under the new DoD directive, if you continue to be on profile, you will likely be reviewed by the DAWG for MEB consideration. Have you seen a a rheumatologist? If not, ask the patient advocate to help get you scheduled to see one ASAP.
 
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