Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saddam's Revenge-20 Years of Gulf war ILlness

i got 21 vaccines in March 91 to deploy to Saudi Arabia for Desert STorm. After i got the last shot of 2.5cc of gamma globulin in each bottom cheek, my legs burned for 48 hours or more. I also had other eruptions from other shots. Before we... could get off the plane, we had to swallow 2 pills. In 2 months, i had a bleeding stomach, pelvic pain, chronic bone pain in my lower legs, Saddam's Revenge(chronic diarrhea). The MASH tent became my second home. We had to breathe in the smoke from the Kuwaiti oil well fires. We experienced severe sand storms where the sand goes in every crevice and your eyes burn. All kinds of bugs, insects, scorpions, sand fleas, sand flies, etc,. When i first got out, they gave me Metamucil. When i got to ORlando, the VA said "it was all in my head." I would take 2 bites of food and have to go to the bathroom. IT was terrible. It got to where i couldn't stand up.I had multiple laparoscopies to find the source of pelvic pain so severe , i couldn't sit up straight. It was terrible. All of the stress trying to get the VA to do something increased the anxiety i had from the war. When i first got home, i would jump at the sound of a fire engine's siren and my body would go into Air Force mode to prepare for an attack. The severe chronic pain led to reactive depression. Then my muscles started aching , 10 yrs after the war i got diagnosed with fibroymalgia, neurogenic bladder. Over the years, i had multiple tumors pop up in major organs, breast, kidney, uterus, ovary and recently, a huge pancreatic cancer scare that took over 1 year to see if it was cancer. I am still not out of the woods. The "thing" is actually in my common bile duct and i need a 2nd colonscopy this year. I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2006 and given the proper meds. I felt alot better. I did deteriorate quite a bit up until 2005. I was using a cane, then a walker with a seat, and then a wheelchair. I lost all my friends because i couldnt stand up or very long, or go too far without a bathroom. It's been a living hell. In 1997, i was diagnosed with lupus. Then the VA said it was RA, then they said the lupus was "psychosomatic". Love that one. Then of course, it was validated again when i moved to Miami and i have had lupus 13 years. I did lose my ability to concentrate or focus but it is coming back. I am ambulatory again, thanks to National Pain Institute and Medicare. The VA in Orlando wasnt doing anything for my severe pain so i used Medicare and got private help. Some of the best medical care i have ever had. They sent me to War Related Injury clinic in DC and that didnt turn up much. I moved to Miami in DEC 07 and now i have a Gulf war illness doctor.
Those vaccines and the toxins made me infertile so i could not have children and then i went into premature menopause so there is no hope of having my own kids. But that's ok. Dr Nancy Klimas has been a source of relief. I think i realize i have had CFS since right after the war. My autonomic nervous system is out of whack and i have orthostatic intolerance, severe at times. I fell more than 7 times last year. Luckily, it is getting better. I dont have an appetite, who knows why? I am in the VA hospital 4 days a week, and then Aventura hospital sometimes on Wednesdays. I go to Dr Maldonado for my FM and Lupus. He has been the best for me as well. I have MCS from breathing in jet fuel in SAudi Arabia. They didnt have time sometimes to turn the jets off. We had to load or download the passengers and bags and let it go. I remember standing out there overseeing and smelling that fuel. Right after the war, i couldnt even go put gas in my car due to the smells giving me asthsma.
I have new spots on my lungs and will get that checked in the New Year. I am deconditioned again now and i have had muscle wasting again but i am walking and going to physical therapy. I am trying to get more into writing my story. I hope this helps at least one other person understand that Gulf war illness, FM,CFS are all real diseases and please dont tell me "But you dont look sick." I know that and i cant explain that either. ...

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