I'm new here although I've been reading posts for about 2 weeks. My name is David and I am a 54 year old Vietnam veteran who served as a rotary wing (Huey) repairman at Camp Viking north of Danang from '70-'71 and you Marines will recognize the place as Force Logistic Command or FLC aka Red Beach. I've lived in Northern New Mexico my entire life and the reason that I am here is because I recently (2 years ago) suffered a relapse of hepatitis C that I have had since 1971. As the days go by I will be asking questions of you more experienced members of this forum and I appreciate all help that you can provide.
Here is a brief summary of my pending claim for service connection.
In late 1971, a few months after my return from RVN I presented with severe jaundice, yellow eyes, anorexia, dark urine, extreme fatigue almost to the point of coma. This happened over a period of several weeks while I was on active duty at Ft. Hood, TX serving under a commanding officer who was a tyrant. This commanding officer (I'll never forget his name as long as I live) denied me access to medical care for the first 2 weeks of my illness until finally by the 13th or 14th day someone in my barracks realized that I was definitely not faking it and called an ambulance to come and pick me up. I remember almost nothing about my first days in the hospital (Darnall Army Hospital) but do recall being told at some point that my liver was in a state of extreme hepatic necrosis (it was dissolving). According to my records I remained hospitalized for 57 days. The hepatitis was diagonosed as non-A non-B which means it was in all likelyhood hepatitis C.
I completed my 3 year term of service just a few months after my release from the hospital and I was still in a convalescent state of illness. My military liver doctor gave me a sealed packet to take to my local veterans hospital as soon as I possibly could so that I could continue treatment with the VA. I did take that packet to my VA and had a physical and applied for service connection for hepatitis (there was no Hep C at the time) but I was denied because no hepatits was detected in my system and of course there was no hepatitis in my system because there was no detection methods for the as yet undiscovered disease. BUT THE HEPATITIS REALLY WAS THERE JUST WAITING TO RETURN SOMEDAY.
Fast Forward to June 2005 and after 33 years of excellent health and my past bout with hepatitis just a faint memory I get hit with it again and it felt like a sledge hammer. I instinctively knew what it was and went to my primary civilian doctor who confirmed what I already knew but hoped I was wrong.
Currently I am undergoing Interferon treatment at the Albuquerque VA where the doctors, nurses and staff are just the best I've ever seen.
I'll continue this tomorrow with more details of my struggle to get this service connected because you would think that my case would be a slam dunk but guess what? They are blocking me at every turn.