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Gulf War Syndrome
October 26th, 2016
Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) is the second worse thing to ever happen to me in my life. We don’t talk about the first worse thing. GWS is also known as Gulf War Illness (GWI). It remains undefined but it seems to me a probable cause is organophosphate a type of pesticide. Organophosphate is also found in nerve agents as well as DNA and RNA. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists it as acutely toxic to wildlife, bees, and humans. Other causes are suspected as well. The continuous oil well fires, chemical weapons, and chemical weapon antidotes were all investigated. These others come with their own complications but GWS isn’t one of them. The oil well fires cause acute pulmonary disease and other chronic effects, including asthma and bronchitis. I remember the black rain because the smoke was so dense in the sky. It spotted the letters I would write back home.
250,000 of us are afflicted with GWS. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, serotonin–norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors and cognitive behavioral therapy are treatments for the illness. I’m using a treatment that was in no way designed for GWS but is the most effective that my doctor and I have found. The fatigue and diarrhea are by far the two worst symptoms for me. The fatigue isn’t a sleepy kind of tired. It’s a super low energy level; muscles just not wanting move. When it’s at its worse I lay there in bed the slightest activity causing discomfort. I’m unable to sleep and unable to do anything else. It really is an indescribable curse. To truly understand you’d have to experience it.
I got into a lot of trouble trying to treat the fatigue with stimulants. The details of this aren’t pretty. I go into them more fully in Families Of Addicts. I can say GWS is the reason for my divorce and still my ex-wife sticks with me like a trooper though it all. What’s happened over the past 24 years can’t be undone. I would have finished college. I would have had a much more active role in my daughter’s life and there’s a list of other goals I would have at least had the chance of accomplishing. I’ve had to settle for what joy I can get. I love my daughter and loved watching her grow into the young women she is today. Thank God she was born healthy and without birth defects. Still my life has been drastically altered and not for better.
I have a claim in with Veteran’s Affairs (VA) and let me tell you they are dragging there feet. It’s been years. Originally the VA claimed that GWS was all in our heads. Congress found that their research focused only on psychological aspects and ignored biological prospects. House Representative and ex-Marine Mike Coffman introduced Gulf War Health Research Reform Act of 2014 (H.R. 4261; 113th Congress on March 14th, 2014 which forces the VA to conduct fair research. It’s been a long hard road and I hope my claim gets approved.
Hopefully in the future biological issues due to service will be a lot fewer. Under Occupational Parenting there will still be war. That is to say the practice of it. To me there’s not a question of Should We Stay Practiced At War. Even achieving peace on Earth there’s no guarantee the rest of the Universe is at peace. I would not take back my Military Experience Through The Army though I wish I hadn’t become ill. We have to teach the young to serve and serve in a future capacity. We are space aged and the question of Do Aliens Exist is a simple matter of mathematical probability. Perhaps we’ll know in our lifetime. If not, some not so distant generation will have confirmation that we are not alone. These children need an economy that will last as long as our Sun. Occupational Parenting is that economy. Until next week; keep your homes well.