Degenerative Disc Disease Disabled Army Vet Seeks Relief Of Medical Debt
by Scott Parmelee
(Kamiah, ID, USA)
I am 35 years old and married to a wonderful 28-year-old woman. We have two awesome boys, nine and three years old.
I served in the Army for just under two years, and was medically retired with an honorable discharge. We currently live in Kamiah, ID.
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I am currently 100% disabled through the Veterans Affairs for lumbar degenerative disc disease with lumbar radiculopathy on my right side.
The pain in my lower back started in 1999 during Basic Training after a lower back twisting injury.
Over the next year and a half, I had many doctor visits and had multiple tests done to find the cause of my pain.
I was diagnosed with lumbar degenerative disc disease, and medically retired in 2001 from service.
Over the last 11 years, my pain has gotten worse, and now I have lumbar radiculopathy (severe pain that radiates from my spine, down my right leg, into my ankle).
That pain has put me in a wheelchair several times over the last two years. I bought a wheelchair for the next time I have a flair-up so that it is immediately accessible.
My Veteran Affairs doctor says I will most likely end up in a wheelchair permanently within the next 5-10 years.
As to financial hardship, what 100% disabled soldier is paid enough to support a family these days, in this economy?
Because of many overdue bills (medical included), we are currently living in a leaky, 30-foot-long, fifth-wheel trailer with no internal hot water (broken hot water heater) in an RV park. It is currently the only thing we can afford.
My youngest son, who is almost four years old, has a medical condition that makes it impossible for him to sweat. He also is allergic to cats, dogs, grass, weeds and an assortment of other things.
We believe that he has a fairly rare disease called ectodermal dysplasia; however, we cannot afford the trip to Seattle (6-8 hour drive each way) to the closest doctor who has minimal knowledge of the disease.
The actual facility that specializes in this medical condition, and that can diagnose him, is in Bethesda, MD which is close to 2700 miles away.
As a 100% disabled soldier I am not able to work. The small town we live in only has about 700 residents and no job openings for my wife.
My wife is hoping to be able to eventually become the manager here at the RV Park we live in, but that is not a definite thing, but would save us the $210 a month lot rent.
I am looking for a financial assistance grant, to help us pay off all of our bills, both current and past due, and become debt-free.
Our lives would become much better, and our youngest son would be able to get diagnosed and treated for his medical conditions.
A child who gets overheated when the temperature is higher than 65-70F is miserable in 95+ summer heat.