The following is a personal story submitted to Civilian Exposure and published as part of our new series: “Contamination Chronicles: Personal Stories of Exposure”. If you would like to submit your story, you may fill out our form here or send directly via email to share-@-civilianexposure.org.
I’m a wife and caregiver to my now 82-year old Marine. My husband’s medical conditions NEVER STOP!! It all started in 1991, when he had blockages and ended up with 4 stents outside his heart. I was shocked when he started complaining of what felt like a toothache and even a heartburn episode. He went to his doctor where they told him to immediately go to the ER.
With all this, he had to retire. I was only 44 then. After these issues, my husband was diagnosed with diabetes. A few years later in 2005, there was another shock. He had to have leg bypasses, but opted to have only ONE leg done and at a later date, the other leg. Both were cramping, and he was hardly walking. He got through this but had a toe amputated next.
Later, he had another leg bypass, where they took an artery out of his arm for this. He recovered nicely! Then, came a LOOP BYPASS under his right knee. He was occluded there. Along the way, he also had vasculitis, cellulitus, hives, and liquid drawn from elbows several times. Doctors said crystals were deposited there.
After all this, he was not finished yet. Various medical oddities started to pop up too. We found ourselves at another surgery! This time, an amputation of his right leg, below knee. Then another, now no more toes on left foot and got gangrene on toes. Now, we’re finding out he has clots in his leg.
Then more and more medications! It is unreal what all we have faced up to now. And it didn’t stop there. He had another stent placed. Now in 2020 we learn he has cancer in his liver and lungs. UNREAL. But still not done, the MRI/CT shows all of that PLUS prostate cancer and lymph nodes issues.
I can’t say he will make it!! He is done, beyond, beyond done! He has been bleeding from penis for around two years also. The doctor told us it was from masturbating??? I was floored!! Unreal why he said that too.
We complained and complained to the VA Clinic. People now say that he was exposed to chemicals in service. I’m thinking Agent Orange, 1957-58 at Camp Lejeune and Camp Pendleton. He is already rated at 100 percent disability. Is there anything left to claim? How my husband is still here, who knows!
Note from the Editor: The account/editorial is verbatim from the author without edit, with only the omission of their name to preserve anonymity.
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