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Don't know where to turn

Hello I am jerry. My story is difficult to wrap my head around but I'll try to explain. I am a disabled Veteran. I am 31 years old. I have always had more back pain than most but in that line of work you suck it up. I noticed that as I aged when I do any manual labor my back gets real bad. As most Americans know the government health care for Veterans is not the best but they do try. Finally went to the emergency room and they x-rayed my back and that's when the doctor told me I was born with something only 2-3% of the world is born with. I was born with a missing L5 which is common by itself but I was also born with my L4 completely fused to my sacrum. Told me as I age and due to weight it will increase in pain. They have not giving me any treatment option as of yet due to having to figure out what was wrong with my liver which they confirmed was non-acholic fatty liver disease. Now that is found they are working to reduce my livers size and have forgotten about my back. Recently with in the last two years I noticed if I stand for a medium amount of time my ankles and shins feel like they are pressurized and turn red and itch and are slightly painful. Over the last two weeks I have had crippling cramps and spasms on the top of my foot on outer side near ankle as well as outer back side bottom of calves. It gets real bad when I am laying on my back or sides to where I have to get up and walk when I can then heat pad them. It happens when im wide awake not during sleep or when I'm drifting off. I have diabetes, gout and diverticulitis as well so medicines and diets are limited. I don't know where to turn or what to ask or what to even think. My wife is supportive as much as she can relate to it. But she is my only support system as of now. So just reaching out to see what is there. Sorry this is so long. Thank you for reading this.


  • MetalneckMetalneck The Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,772
    edited 09/13/2016 - 9:46 AM
    Jerry - Welcome to Spine-health and as always - Thank you for your service for our country.  Sounds like you need to see the best darn Orthopedic Surgeon or Neuro surgeon you can find.  You have low back challenges that seem to be far beyond the scope of "regular" doctors - Is there anyone like that available in the VA system? If not I would look for a teaching hospital that might take on your ortho case or consult with the best outside of the VA system even if it costs.  You are too young and have other issues that need to be considered when assessing your overall being.

    Keep us posted and God bless,

  • LarnersourLLarnersour Los Angeles, CAPosts: 52
    oh wow.. and I've been thinking that I am the one who has problems.. Just wanted to share a word of support and letting you know that I really hope that you're going to be fine and you'll find a good doctor who will be able to take care of you and this condition
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  • Va goes by referrals only and even then it's a toss up for care. I live close to Waco Texas just moved here 4 years ago and don't know much about area so I will look into teaching hospitals.
  • Thank you for the kind words and supportive nature of your comments.
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