I am currently in the Navy. On Dec. 2nd I went to the ER for severe back pain. I was diagnosed with a herniated disc (L5-S1), pinched nerve, and degenerative disc disease. I was prescribed several pain meds, physical therapy for six weeks and limited duty. I was referred to a neurosurgeon and told I did not require surgery at that time. At my follow up visit with my primary health care provider I was diagnosed fit for duty and returned to work. I am military police which requires me to wear a lot of weight from my vest and duty belt. When I returned to work I had been having little pain and that was controlled with anti-inflamatories. Within a couple days my pain continued and even caused me a 2nd trip to the ER. I returned to the Naval Health Clinic for a follow up visit to the ER. I was again prescribed pain meds and 2 weeks limited duty. The pain seems to be getting worse and a couple days ago I noticed numbness in my right thigh. I can't stand or sit in any one position for a prolonged period of time without having to get up or move around. I find it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position and even when I do I wake up frequently to get up and move around. The pain meds I have been prescribed seem to have a diminishing effect and I do not want to continue taking them in fear of becomming dependant.
Right now I have 13 months left on active duty. Upon completion I will have had 12 years continuous active service. I had planned to seperate and return to school full time. I do not want to change my job being as how that would mean reenlising. It seems apparent to me that I cannot continue the next 13 months as a military police officer. My back just can't take the weight of the duty gear and I'm fearful that it would cause more long term damage. My question is this; do the injuries that I have now qualify me for medical seperation and if so, what do I need to do to start the process?