Got a minute? Or two? I will start with as brief a history as possible. I have deployed to Afghanistan three times. I got the required shots, and took Doxycycline as an anti-malarial. In 2004, I was in Kabul, and experienced sudden loss of libido, sleep problems and weight gain, as well as breathing problems during a dust storm. The dust storms there contain measurable amounts of fecal matter. The other problems came about almost over night, and disappeared on the flight home. Stress is a possible cause, but was not at all noticeable to me.
2005 started similarly, but I can’t relate any health problems, except the antibiotics were harsh on my digestion.
2006 was different. During my four months there, I encountered several minor issues. My feet died on the bottoms. There was no itching between the toes, but the skin on the soles was puffy, white, and sometimes bled in places. I lost about thirty pounds, but I also experienced uncontrollable high blood pressure at that time. Sleep was poor, and diarrhea was common. Just prior to leaving, I developed a sore throat, and heel spurs, and weight gain of around ten pounds a month..
Upon returning in early 2007, I saw my doctor to complain of weight gain, Chantix, and heel spurs. After receiving cortisone injections for my heel spurs, my world suddenly ended. Over a two month period, I lost my strength, stamina, and some motor skills. I bloated, had symptoms like fibromyalgia, Lymes, Lupus, Rhuematoid arthritis. I would swell and turn red. I could barely walk, and had trouble breathing. I wheezed. I got to the point of accepting imminent death, and was ok with that, and took up smoking again. The smoking made me feel much better, but not well. I found what looked like white thread in my stool in October, but the lab couldn’t find the things I saw. My symptoms lessened after that, but have returned to some degree in cycles over the last four years. I have diabetes that seems to come and go, and tumors on my adrenal glands. In fact, with the exception of the spleen, it seems that every organ in my body has something growing on it. A year and a half ago I had agonizing back trauma for no apparent reason. Four months ago, I had agonizing neck pain. These can both be explained by the pathetic condition of my spine, but each occurred without a trigger.
My original primary care doc moved away, and I have finally settled on a new one who shows promise. I have been to a parade of specialists, each who sees a basket case, promises help, then abandons me when it isn’t their first guess. There is a lot more to the story, but anyone who has read this far, already deserves a medal. This is why I feel that I need the professionals at Mayo. I just don’t know how to do that with my HMO.