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Old 12-09-2007, 06:12 AM   #1
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I have been working in Iraq for the past 22 months as an Army Contractor. Approximately 40 days ago, I started having pain in my shoulder. I assumed that I had over exerted my self the previous day. I treated the pain with non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs e.g. Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen. After approximately a week I reported to my company’s medic, the Dr (a Turkish national) had me continue on the same course of treatment that I had previously started. Another week elapsed with out improvement, and the Dr informed me I would be transported to Kuwait for further evaluation. Due to circumstances at the time e.g., my supervisor being out of country, leaving me in charge and our property custodian was out of country, leaving me responsible for a few million in property. I also had reasons for not leaving at that time, I would have faced sever tax penalization, if I was forced to return to CONUS before mid November. Thanksgiving day, I was flown off my base (FOB Endurance) spent a few days in transit in Baghdad, and finally made it to Kuwait. On the 25th of November I Went to see a real DR: (a French national), I described my symptoms, and he made a preliminary diagnoses. He said I had inflammation in my shoulder, and that I probably had disc in my neck impinging on a nerve. 2 hours wedged in a MRI machine confirmed his suspicions. On the 28th of November they put my *** on a plane heading state side. My company is attempting to label this non occupational, I am not sure how they can justify that, as I work 12 hours a day 7 days a week. My only other activities are eating and sleeping, and I find it hard to believe one can herniate a disc doing either. I suffered a small fall during this time period, but I did not report it, (I did not think I had sustained any injuries at the time). My company is gracious in the fact they allow me 60 days to resolve medical issues, before I forfeit my position. This has put a hold on all the planed improvements to the miata, and I am relegated to driving a minivan for any thing more then a few mile drive. The miata puts me in a world of hurt if I am in it for more then a few minutes.
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Old 12-09-2007, 08:24 AM   #2
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well sounds to me like you could take some of the 100"s of K's of dollars you where making tax free and fix this real quick or grin and bear it until your TOD is up. You have a high paying low tax job there i would never expext the same percs etc to coveryou. All the same i wish you the best of luck man.
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Old 12-09-2007, 10:56 AM   #3
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two suggestions:

1. chiropractor. if you're slightly out of alignment, a few visits can potentially relieve the pressure on the disk and maybe fix you up quick and cheap. this actually worked for me for a similar disk issue. when I was about 10-11 i couldn't run more than 20 feet in a soccer game without feeling like someone jabbed a knife in my back. few trips to the chiro and i've been fine since.

2. failing the above, arthroscopic disk decompression. totally outpatient and you're essentially back on your feet at 100% in under a week.
http://www.spineuniverse.com/display...ticle2010.html

I actually helped develop a medical device for this application.
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Old 12-09-2007, 10:59 AM   #4
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i know how painful that is as few months ago i went through the same thing. I did nothing and woke up with a horrible stiff neck, i let it go a couple days and it just got worse, the 3rd day i actually left work to go to the doctor. gave me methyprednisone or something like that and sent me off for MRI. yay me 3 bulging discs in my neck causing the surrounding muscles to be inflamed in turn pushing on nerves. a week of steriod i was 85% better. then off to physical therapy which i think did nothing for me and one day i was done and they didn't ask me to reschedule like they always had so i left and never came back. a couple months after that and it doesn't bother me too often, maybe some morning for an hour or so.
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Old 12-09-2007, 11:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by y8s View Post
two suggestions:

1. chiropractor. if you're slightly out of alignment, a few visits can potentially relieve the pressure on the disk and maybe fix you up quick and cheap. this actually worked for me for a similar disk issue. when I was about 10-11 i couldn't run more than 20 feet in a soccer game without feeling like someone jabbed a knife in my back. few trips to the chiro and i've been fine since.

2. failing the above, arthroscopic disk decompression. totally outpatient and you're essentially back on your feet at 100% in under a week.
http://www.spineuniverse.com/display...ticle2010.html

I actually helped develop a medical device for this application.
From a guy who has suffered from disk pain for longer than I care to remember these 2 suggestions sound as good as it gets.

A good chiropractor could really do wonders for you.

The second one, I had never heard about but; y8s for assisting in developing it. I may still shoot you a pm on this subject (a very dear friend is actually on his way to Memorial Hospital in NY with a very large tumor on his spine and I'll send his son, who is accompanying him your link).

Many thanks y8s

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Old 12-09-2007, 11:29 AM   #6
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Ouch dude, that sounds painful both physically and fiscally. Who do you work for, GD?
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Old 12-09-2007, 11:35 AM   #7
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Ouch. I'm sorry man. Get better.

My dad collapsed a disc about 20 years ago. They filed him like a fish, and fixed him up. He was in the hospital for a week, and in bed for a month. He's not had any issues since. But medical procedures are so much better now.
One of his friends (who was in Seal Team 3 for 12 years) literally powdered on of the vertebrae in his neck last year. His symptoms were similar to yours, but more severe and in all his limbs because his spinal cord was kinked. The VA fixed him up with a vertebrae from a cadavor. He was home again in 3 days.
One of my old man's customers, an Army officer (I forget rank), just returned from Kuwait with a collapsed disc. They fixed him up with an artificial disc, and he was good in just a few days. Amazing.

You'll get better. The money's not important; getting better is.
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Old 12-11-2007, 01:50 AM   #8
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A few years back the US government put out a booklet that said conservative treatment, like Chiropractic, should be tried for the first 90-120 days before considering more invasive methods. Arthroscopic decompression is a relatively new porceedure and may be what you need.
If I were you I would enlist the skills of a good work comp attorney to ensure it will be classified as a work injury and your medical bills will be covered.
Second I would try Chiropractic and see if it gives you any relief, you should see results quickly. So don't buy into the sales pich of you NEED to see me for 3 times a week for the rest of your life.
The goal, if what you have stated is correct (disc on nerve), is to reduce the pressure on the nerve thereby enabeling increased functionality in your life. Depending on the length of time the impingement has been in palce will determine the length of time a recovery will take.
Speaking from experience with a ruptured disc in my neck, it was difficult to sit for any length of time as the pain radiating into my left arm and back was excruciating and without treatment eventually lead to atrophy of the left arm and side. Self motivation and the gym was my only salvation for recovery. Don't let it get to far along.
I may have chosen arthroscopic decompression back then if I had the money to pay for it and it was available at that time. And this coming from a Chiropractor.
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Old 12-11-2007, 05:18 AM   #9
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I fell down about 7-8 stairs a few years back. Landed flat on my *** and ruptured two discs. One of them isn't quite a problem yet, but the other became a major problem. So much so that physical therapy, chirporactic, and drugs did nothing. The doctor finally cut on me and told my wife that it was a good thing I was so adamant about surgery because the problem never would've healed. The disc had rubbed clean away and all I had left was bone on bone grinding. I had fusion done because it was so bad, otherwise we would've done disc replacement.
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Old 12-11-2007, 10:22 AM   #10
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try a doctor that doesn't want to do surgery right away. My dad herniated a disc about 15 years ago, went to about 10 different doctors ended up doing a whole lot of stretching and strength exercises. His back is still tight from time to time, but he never had to have surgery.
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Old 12-11-2007, 10:48 AM   #11
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damn milton...sorry to hear that
i'm gonna try to free up some time to help you with your diff and etc.
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