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chiefd67 (@chiefd67)

Chronic Pain

Chronic Pain | Last Active: Sep 2 2:01pm | Replies (6)

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I entered the military at age 18 and was assigned to engineering. I weighed 132 pounds when I entered the military (navy) and left boot camp weighing 155 pounds. I am 6' 1" tall and small-boned. I was required repetitively to lift things by myself (often begging for help) that weighed more than my body was designed to handle. I pulled muscles in my back on more than one occasion in a five-year period. I was in an automobile accident and injured my neck, but I or the doctors were unaware of it at the time (the membrane around three of the cervical discs was torn).

I do see the VA but I am not treated by the VA. I have civilian doctors. I despise drugs as they are addictive and can cause other problems if taken for long periods of time. I have had no neck or back surgeries. I do have back and neck issues, and I have burning and tingling pain from my head to my toes. A lot of it comes and goes, but the worst pain and tingling are in my feet and I have a balance disorder which no one has identified as the cause in over ten years (it is not an equilibrium issue that they have ruled out). I have sporadic sharp shooting pains throughout my body, most lingering in one spot for hours before it goes away.

When I go to urinate, any pressure I exert causes burning nerve pain from my crotch to my feet (never addressed or identified the cause and have been to several doctors). I have urinary urgency. I have ED, "oh, it's just an aging thing". No! I believe it is a nerve issue, but who am I, I am not a doctor, but I do know what is going on in my body. I have problems with completely emptying my bladder. Too many doctors and none of them can connect the dots, they simply zero in on the one problem in front of them. Had a new neurologist today do a nerve conduction study on my left leg and arm and he came to the conclusion that my neuropathy is caused by rheumatoid arthritis (RA). I have had neuropathy for well over 15 years and have been tested many times for RA with negative results, but now it is RA – I say bull!

I really need one or two good specialists working together to figure out all my issues and a way forward.

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Replies to "I entered the military at age 18 and was assigned to engineering. I weighed 132 pounds..."

Hi @chiefd67, Neuropathy is the pits, especially when you can't find the cause and you can't find anything that provides relief. I'm also a Navy vet (62-66) who lost all his baby fat in boot camp and did two cruises to Vietnam on two different destroyers. Wished I could blame my neuropathy on the Navy but alas, mine is idiopathic small fiber peripheral neuropathy and most likely genetic.

I just have numbness and some tingling in the feet and legs and minor in the hands but zero pain related to the neuropathy. I was prescribed gabapentin by my PCP prior to being diagnosed by a Mayo neurologist but stopped it after 2 weeks because it wasn't helping. I posted my story in another discussion here – https://connect.mayoclinic.org/comment/310341/.

I did notice you started a new discussion in the neuropathy group – Do Small Fiber Nerves have a connection to Sciatica Nerves?: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/small-fiber-nerves/. I added some videos that I think might be helpful for learning more about your condition.