I've been gone from the msg board for quite some time but my continued pursuit with the VA led me back here.
This post captured my interest in particular because I've been pending appeal b4 BVA (traveling board) since November 2004. My rep is DAV and I have heard from them maybe three times since that time. Any communication or correspondence is always generated by me. In fact, my rep and I had a little falling out last year when he implied that I should just give it up. He suggested that VA had made their decision and I had no "concrete" evidence that supported my claim. I am treated by VA physicians and have a VA/private practicing Rheumy who have annotated their medical opinions (in length) in my VA file. In fact, I was awarded SSD last year, after waiting two years, and it was awarded based on the medical findings presented by the VA doctors.
I been reading several of the posts here the past few weeks, including the one Mike did in detail. I've also visited ftspondy.com. My question is who can I write to, beside my state reps (who did absolutely nothing) to help me expedite things?
SSD has been a blessing, yet it only stretches so far. I cannot get a job (within the restrictions set by my doctor) and recently I was given two new dx symptomatic of the AS. AS is the dx that my doctors wrote to be the definitive dx. However, VA physicians concur that while the military separated me and service-connected me with a back injury...then chronic lumbosacral strain. The actual dx, in their opinion, should have been sacroilitis, especially since now my SI joints are fused bilaterally and there is now bilateral hip sclerosis and erosions suspected asymptomatic of the AS.
I hope this does not dampen your spirit, but with the war at everyones first priority...it could be a long haul. Per representatives at 1-800-827-1000.