Home EditorialContamination Chronicles Reservist With Neurobehavioral Issues
Civilian Exposure Contamination Chronicles - Lejeune Reservist

Reservist With Neurobehavioral Issues

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.


On Oct. 25th, 2015, I went to the Johnson City, TN Eye Surgery center to have a cataract removed from my right eye. They decided I needed to see my PCP because I was in atrial fibrillation and my heart rate was 47. I went to a heart doctor for an echocardiogram and a stress test. I was not in A-fib and I passed both tests. The doctor noted that I had a very healthy heart and sent a letter to the Eye Surgery Center indicating that there would be no trouble removing my cataract.

In January 2016, I returned to the surgery center and again they had concerns. I was in Aflutter and heart rate was in the mid-thirties. They removed the cataract and my wife took me to Franklin Woods community hospital. I also had the EKG strip from the Eye Surgery Center. The emergency room nurse hooked me up to their EKG and my heart rate had dropped to 26.

I was immediately hooked up to the crash cart and an ambulance took me to Johnson City Med Center where my heart doctor met me and told me I needed a pacemaker. The following morning, the pacemaker was placed in my chest with no problems. My heart was also shocked to get me into a normal beat.

Around 5am the next morning, I had a stroke that affected my right side. My face, speech and right arm were the only things affected. Everything returned to normal except my speech. I have a stutter to this day.

Two weeks after I was discharged, I passed out two times. I was taken to the hospital where they ran a CAT scan, checked both carotid arteries, and X-rayed my chest. I was back in Aflutter and my heart rate was 80 bpm. Pacemaker was set at 60 bpm. Heart was put back in normal rhythm and medicines were adjusted.

In 2016, I had 8 CAT scans and diagnosed with TIA (transient ischemic attack, aka mini stroke). My feet started dragging. I had severe migraine headaches which I have never had. I had tremors so bad that I could not write, hold a book or an eating utensil. I had balance problems and fell several times. My toes turned under and are called claw toes. Both feet have atrophied and turned inward. I have an unusual gait. If I  walk more than a hundred feet, both of my legs feel like I am dragging through wet concrete. I now use crutches or a wheelchair.

I was finally diagnosed with polyneuropathy, essential tremor, neuropathic tremor, lower body weakness, abnormal gait, atrophy of both feet, two strokes, and Type 2 Diabetes. On the EMG and nerve condition studies, I have no response in my sensory nerves in both legs. I have no reflexes on either ankle. These tests have been run three times and by two different doctors, one in Johnson and one at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.

I have had every test run to rule out known neurological diseases. I had an MRI ran at Wake Forest, and all the rest run at Vanderbilt. In less than 2 years, I have gone from a very healthy 68-year old man to a 70-year old invalid. The doctors tell me what I don’t have, but they can’t tell me what I do have.

I was in the USMC Reserve and served at Camp Lejeune for three months in 1967 plus three summer camps there.

 


Note: The author currently resides in Tennessee. This account/editorial is verbatim from the author without edit, with only the omission of their name to preserve anonymity.

Discuss on Facebook:

Comments

Related Articles

Share Your Comments:

This website uses cookies to enable certain functions and to improve your user experience. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Accept More Information

error: Content is Copyright protected by law. For reprints or sourcing, please contact Civilian Exposure. Thank you.
%d bloggers like this: