... in response to What is Gulf War Syndrome?
  1. Dawn Thomas Dawn Thomas United States says:

    I developed the first symptoms of Fibromyalgia in 1995. I was a nurse corp Officer in the Navy. I was healthy as could be prior to my service. While in the service in 1995,  I developed pain in my right shoulder. At first I thought it was related to packing too much weight on my shoulder but I had been weight lifting and was quite strong able to bench press my own weight. So it was curious to me. I didnt think anything was wrong and waited several months to even visit my PCP. Unfortunately the pain began to progressively get stronger and began to radiated down my arm to my hand. I the sought help from my PCP. It continued to progress the pain now presenting in both arms to hands and my neck. I was continuously having to draw on diagrams of the human body where and how my symptoms presented themselves. After two years the pain traveled to become bodywide. I had no hx of depression for the record.
    One day after describing my symptoms for the nth time now to numerous PCP'S, unbeknownst to me a Rheumatologist was sitting on the sidelines and heard me talking to the PCP. He saw me and in 1997 I wad given a diagnosis of "Fibromyalgia." I didn't believe it. I hadn't even heard of this disorder never mind understanding what it meant.
    My pain progressively worsened. I had a high pain toleranced as evidenced by having both of my children by natural childbirth methods not having any form of pain control. My first child was 8pds 12oz.  Now though my pain on a 0 to 10 scale was an 7. I later developed sleep disorders and cognitive memory problems. I had graduated from my BS degree in Science with a major in Nursing with a 3.86 g.p.a. But by 2000 I had to utilize flash cards to remember many of my patients info.
    By 2003 I was deployed to Iraq. I had been given a smallpox vaccine and my 6th? Anthrax vaccine on the same day. I became so ill I couldn't make it to sick bay which was four decks above my quarters. My commander found me  24 hrs later after not reporting to work for my shift. I was escorted to sick bay, an I.V. was placed and I was given something via the line. It did nothing to relieve the excruitating migraine, photophobia or nausea  I was experiecing. I was medivaced off the ship to Rota Spain. I remember the helo that removed me from the ship but I can't recall how I got from there to the C130? that transported myself and other patients to Spain. I dont remember much but I remember being in Rota Spain and waking up in a bed in a tent. I recovered from the migraine attack within a few days.
    As a side note, I did develope PTSD in 2003 but only after being locked in a room with enemy prisoners of war known as  EPW's for 12 hour shifts. But that is another story.
    In 2005 I was given a medical discharge from the military but denied my military retirement. I developed Reflexive Sympathetic Distrophy or RSD in 2000 after having both of my first ribs surgically removed. This progressed........or was my Fibro dx wrong.....not sure but to end the story the NOW BODYWIDE RSD was dx'd in 2013 by an internationally known neurologist. On the McDill  pain scale RSD or CRPS is rated as the most excrutiating pain a human being can experience. This has left me with Chronic fatique, sleep disorders, and never ending torturous pain. I am bedridden often times more than not.
    I am attempting Ketamine I.V. F. for the neurological disorder labeled CRPS. It is helping me to stop my Opioid patch but I still need oxycodone each day. Today I am bedridden for the third day in a row this week this is Thursday.
    My exhusband was deployed in the Airforce in 1990 to Iraq. He was very healthy when he left but developed MCS after that war. It was the first time I had ever really seen him sick and we had been married since 1978. I wish there were research truly done well for both the veterans and their family members. There are many crosses to bear in our lives but none heavier than being denied recognition that the one you carry is not visible to others eyes and understanding......

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