GW Vets case is real! OEF Kuwait 2001 Veteran also has GW Illness from exposure to Nerve Agent from Iraq chem mines
Gulf War Vets your case is real and I feel your pain, literally! OEF Kuwait 2001 - VA finally recongized me at 100% for Narcolepsy/Cataplexy Temporary Paralysis, Sleep Apnea, Arthritis, and other conditions; took a Civilian Sleep and Wake lab to diagnose. VA and military failed to recognize or acknowledge the cause which was nerve agent exposure in Kuwait 2001 when Iraq mines were being cleared. I am now med retired from Fed Govt GS-12. My cognitive skills, short term memory, balance are all damaged. I can barely walk up the stairs with a cane, I cannot bend over to pick up anything without being off balance so I can barely do anything around the house. My muscles are fatigued or they go into rigor making it hard to hold onto things. I appreciate what you all wrote, as it helped me see that I am not alone. VA needs to recognize and link these reports and realize that all of our OEF and OIF Vets are experiencing similar issues, especially Sleep Apnea. We should have a central website for Disabled Vets and Wounded Warriors to share there struggles on, and the VA should read these testimonies to see the bigger picture. Wounded Warrior Project should include Gulf War Vets in their Alumni!
Thank you for your service and thank you for sharing your story and your concerns. VA does collect and compare Veteran challenges shared between generations. There are a number of very large Veteran surveys and VA recently received approval to add Veteran questions to a national health survey that may also add data to this effort.
Thank you again.
Take PTSD for example which it can Combat-Related and Service-connected for some veterans, and just Service-Connected Only for Some Veterans. If you are in a "combat-related zone area" Should all combat -related illnesses/injuries be just that Combat Related. I have these diagnosed disabilities as follows: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic Pain Syndrome Fibromyalgia, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Hypothyroidism, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, PTSD, Anxiety Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and Migraines. According to Military, none are Combat-Related because of "what" caused these illnesses. Really! Really! When they are Unexplained Gulf War Illnesses!
They do that but only to tell us that some to all are service-connected, but none to some are combat-related. I deployed whole and returned broken.
Again, Thank you for your service and thank you for sharing your story and your concerns. I am totally and permanently disabled, and also GS9 medically retired. I am awaken every morning by my clock, but unable to physically get up because of joint and flu-like pains from head to toe which I am at loss of words other than just that. I'm sitting up in bed hoping I can get it together, but only to find myself leaning back into bed unable to process anything but pains, chills, and anxieties. Why have our symptoms been yet classified as "combat-related" just service-connected with all of the pathogens, chemicals in sand, etc.
Gulf war vets that are 100 percent should be included
Feeling uncared for commented
I've been experiencing several of these same symptoms for years and my VA where I live (and work, by the way) has continued to tell me "it's not GW syndrome", or "you've got "mild" neuropathy" and then does nothing but give me some gabapentin (which incidentally was originally given to me for another medical issue), and to this day I have had NO follow-up appointments for this. I have consistant problems with my left calf muscle going into rigor, with considerable pain. I also have short term memory issues and my physician just shrugs it off. I've become so frustrated that I've taken all of my medical care, other than my PTSD care (I have the best psychiatrist!), out into the civilian world. This costs me considerable monies in gasoline costs, and copays. My PTSD is pretty severe and I am very close to verbally exploding on someone at least several times a day...but I keep getting told that I need to work to keep my mind busy. Why should I do that when it creates so much stress for me that I have insomnia even more often than usual? It seems to me that as a Veteran/Employee my medical problems and concerns are just brushed aside, as if I'm not important enough to care about/for. My physician is horrible to her patients, yet nothing gets done about it. I could go on and on, but I don't want this comment to turn into a book. I'm sure there are a lot of other Veterans out there that experience the same symptoms related to GW Syndrome, but their primary care physicians just "pooh pooh" it off like we're crazy. My son is currently active duty and I've told him that he may want to reconsider it as a career because the VA (at least the one I am...or actually...WAS seen at, doesn't take good care of us Veterans). I've never been a complainer, but I served my country for over 20 years and earned care for my service connected injuries/illnesses. I once had a doctor ask me why I was complaining to her about the diagnosis/prescription she was going to give me, as I was getting my care "for free". I told her that I wasn't getting my care for free, but that I paid in advance, by serving my country and serving in combat...risking my life for the freedoms she was enjoying in our country (she was not from the United States originally). Needless to say, I got up and walked out of the appointment, not even stopping to get the prescription she had wanted to give me...yup, you guessed it...Ibuprofen. I was a Medic and am very well versed in medicine, so I am offended when a physician treats me as if I don't have a brain and they can just ignore symptoms that I describe to them...such as with my calf muscle rigor and short term memory problems (I can be in the middle of a sentence and totally forget what I was saying, being unable to continue due to not knowing what I was going to say). I apologize for this comment being so long, but I am SO frustrated. Not only for my own personal situation, but I imagine how many other Veterans out there get the same, treatment or lack of treatment. I bet if there was a survey regarding customer care and treatment sent to every Veteran out there, you'd be surprised at the number of us Veterans that are very unhappy with the care we get. I get very good care from my "civilian" doctor, but I'm hurt that the VA that's supposed to care for me...doesn't give me the quality care that we all deserve. We were underpaid and sent into harm's way for years and years. The very least the VA could do is be certain to give us the care and treatment we deserve.