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Mention Of Gwi Still Makes Doctors Eyes Roll....

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I had a visit with a neurologist to go over my migraines and "probably fibroymyalgia but I'm not sure" symptoms and treatments today. It was my first time visiting with this particular doctor. He was quite nice and helpful, willing to go the distance with me to try to find something that will help reduce, if not eliminate, the debilitating headaches 3 to 4 times a week. He was thorough in answering my questions and seemed to understand that I had a grip on my headaches and body pains after dealing with them for 20 years in increasing increments.

Then I asked him if he was familiar with Gulf War Illness. Oh boy, I might as well have asked if he believed in voodoo. I got the eye roll, the "I can only treat symptoms" speech and then I was reasonably dismissed after some other minor discussion.

Why is it that, today, even after the VA has admitted there is something wrong and researchers are finding more and more evidence of neural and mitochondrial damage, that VA doctors just don't want to hear the words "Gulf War Illness?"

Of course, it didn't help that every blood test I've had in the last month (lets say 30 tubes of blood, easily) have all been negative for any indication that there is anything other than having a little high cholesterol wrong with me.

I think that until someone comes up with a definitive cause and definitive treatment(s) for whatever is eating away at our bodies and minds, Gulf War Vets will be treated as a bag of symptoms instead of people with something believably wrong with us. I understand the VA's official take on GWI, but I don't understand why these doctors aren't more curious to look for underlying problems. The answer today was to double my meds and throw in a few new ones. Better living through chemicals, I suppose.

Other GWV's seeing this same sort of disdain for your "imaginary" illness??? I know I can't be the only one.


Desert Storm

B Troop, 2/17th Air Cavalry, 101st Abn Div.

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Your best bet is probably letting your doctors treat your symptoms and not even talk about "Gulf War Syndrome." Remember there are a host of symptoms from the gulf war; migraine headaches, IBS, fatigue, fibromyalgia, diarrhea, constipation, numbness and tingling in arms and legs, sleep problems, nausea,vomiting, widespread pain, depression, respiratory problem, anxiety,intestinal problems and the list goes on. Keep in mind that doctors just want to try to fix you and send you on your way. Remember there are no test for "Gulf War Syndrome" but there are test and treatment for these symptoms even though they may or may not help your conditions. Some medication/treatment works for some people and don't work for other people.

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  • Elder

Pete992 has you covered. ALways remember there are at least two VA's. The VARO is the ones that decided what you are connected for & the percentage that you are paid. See the doctors, get all the help you can get & get copies of everything & then take the fight to the VARO in your claims.

Good luck,


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  • Elder

Ask a private doctor about agent orange and you will get the same eye roll. If you tell them that AO may have caused your DMII or heart problems they will just sort of smirk. They don't know anything about it. Most Vietnam era vets don't know anything either. This is due to total failure of outreach to Vietnam era vets and no outreach to medical community outside the VA. Most VA doctors don't know anything about AO.

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I just got to talk to a Neurologist / Biochemical Geneticist yesterday who actually understands GWI and was able to answer my questions with sincerity and a thorough knowledge of the illness. It was such a relief to finally talk to someone that didn't look at me like I was crazy.

I can't even begin to imagine what you Vietnam vets are going through with AO. I imagine that a good deal of the doctors you deal with weren't even born before that war was over. To them, you're someone they mentioned in history class once upon a time.

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