My disc herniation and progressive disc degeneration has caused me to be, unfit for duty.
It sometimes feels like I am barely making it, but here I am just moving right along…….
My journey into the Air National Guard (ANG) was through a palace chase process. This meant I was able to stop serving full time for my last year as Active Duty, and would transfer into the ANG to do an extra 2 years part time.
I thought it was a good trade…
I entered in the ANG July 2019.
I was trying to get with the Medical group for a boot waiver. The boots were heavy on my feet and causing sciatic pain when I walked.
I did 2 weekends of drill, and then I experienced paralysis. I was not able to return back to duty since October 2019.
I requested a Medical board process February 10, 2020.
Going through the transition of losing your abilities was tough and shakes you to your root. I had many choices to make regarding my health.
I couldn’t keep pretending like I wasn’t in pain!
With the help of leadership, I was forwarded to the proper channels to start the process. All of my information, and documents were taken and were ready to be submitted for a prior service medical board.
Prior Service Medical Board: The ANG received a defective Airman from Active Duty. During the transition process the airman experienced injury or aggravation from a prior service injury.
This allowed me to have an Active Duty Medical Board process, even though I am in the ANG.
This medical board process is rare. So rare that it took the Medical Group 1yr to get back to me.
I guess there was a lot going on in the unit and with Covid.
While they were sorting things out, in November 2020, I found out I had multiple herniated disc in my neck. This new information changed a lot in my disability case and validated my extreme experiences and symptoms.
My case got forwarded to the Cheif of Aerospace Medicine. My information was then drafted (again) and sent up to see if it qualified for the “Prior Service” Category.
By May 7, 2021 I got an email from the Commander to start the Medical Board Process. We filled out the AF Form 1185 (AFI 36.3212) Commanders impact statement.
It seems everything is aligning, all I can do now is just wait……
I just had to extend my palace chase contract for 1 year. This will allow time for the medical board process to carry out. I am not sure how all of this is going to go. I have decided to be patient and wait for decisions to be made.
I sometimes get sad looking at the big picture. There is a part of me that is mad/sad at my former self. I felt maybe I was being too hard or not giving myself what I needed.
I have learned to forgive and create new life from old dying habits that no longer serve me. I hope we can all transition smoothly to life’s unexpected twists and turns.