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Civilian Exposure - Fibromyalgia and Exposure to Camp Lejeune Water

Neuropathy Issues From Lejeune Exposure

by Civilian Exposure

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 former Marine. In 1971, I was in the Naval Hospital at Camp Lejeune to repair damage to my right knee, which happened over in Vietnam. To the best of my memory it was around the month of June or July of that year. I spent around 30 days or so in the hospital along with physical therapy. Then I returned to the recon platoon at Camp Lejeune and finished out my contract.

During my seven months there, I drank the water every single day. It has been 49 years since I was there and in July of 2016 I had my first experience. It hit me like a ton of bricks pain in my face, neck, my left arm and I thought I was having a heart attack. Went to the VA Hospital and spent two days taking a bunch of tests. They treated me very well. The only test to show anything wrong was an MRI. It revealed 3 discs (4,5,6) were bulging out. Then in December, 2017, it happened again but even worse.

Civilian Exposure - Contamination Chronicles - Stories of Exposure - Fibromyalgia

During all this time I’ve been living with this, some days are better than others. In January of this year it really took off. Complete numbness through out head, face, both arms, legs and feet. I thought now that this has to be stroke symptoms. Spent two days and several test and was diagnosed with a neuropathy issue. I chose to pay for a MRI and CT scan of my head and neck region to see if any nerves were being pinched causing my symptoms, but nothing was found. Also saw a cardiologist outside VA to rule out blockage. Several tests all came back normal for my age which is 68.

I live with the constant numbness daily. I have a stress test scheduled at VA. If I pass that, then it has to be a neurology issue.

  • Author resides in St. Clair Shores, Michigan


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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jim Cardwell October 22, 2019 - 8:49 pm

I went to basic may 67 at PI, Then to Geiger for training, After a couple of months, Went to HA with 1/27th Inf 1st MARDIV, Then to Pendleton for overseas training, a month and a half, went to Okinawa (Schwab, Hansen, Courtney) for one year, After was transferred to Lejeune for 10 Months to ETS, Felt like crap. But left it a lone. Be came real sore in my lower back, so went to see a doc, form 1983 thru 2017, had 5 back surgeries with rods put in each time. Back in 2014 Jan ha a triple by-pass, Knees hurt bad, some days I can’t walk. Now they (VA) say they are going to give me white blood plate to repair my knees, But yet I have arthritis so bad. Most of the time I can not walk, except while I am in a therapy pool. I go 6 days a week, Had part of my jaw removed it rooted out, Had to have gallbladder removed, Had the discs in my jaw (both sides) This is just a small list of the stuff I got, But the VA says none is caused by agent orange or from Lejeunes water. None of my ten brothers and sisters have any of this shit, Except the brothers that where in VN.

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