Late 1991/Early 1992:
While still at
I began experiencing extreme
difficulty controlling the bladder muscles
that start and stop urination. Iwas checked for prostate problems but the prostate was normal. Two yearslater in
while assigned to MCAS El Toro I
underwent a bladder operation intended to correct what the Urologist believed to be “tightbladder neck”.
The bladder neck was surgically widened. The
operationhad no effect whatsoever
on the problem which continues to this day.
Istrongly believe that this problem is related to the nerves that are usedto consciously control urination
. I am forced to sit when I urinate becauseof the time and difficulty it takes to begin urinating – even with a very fullbladder. And when I am able to start, the flow is very slow. There is atendency for me to lose my concentration whereupon the urine flow stops.
I began to experience
additional vision problems
. Whenviewing something up close and then looking up to focus on somethingdistant, I noticed a very bothersome delay in the time it took my eyes torefocus on the distant object. The problem persists.
I began to experience sensory deficits. Specifically, my
sense of alertness and mental acuity seemed dulled
, as if I were on some kind of drug (which I was not). The feeling manifested further by causing me toshuffle when I walked. I often tripped on things because my foot coordinationwas disrupted. I reported these problems to the VA, but no evaluation wasperformed. In 1999 I finally saw a civilian neurologist who prescribed a drugcalled
Lamictal helped significantly but unfortunately myneurological problems were still evolving.
By the year 2000 I had begun to develop
chronic weakness andfatigue
. Although retired and now working in the public sector I was
continuing to exercise at least three times a week.
Running three miles,doing upper and lower body work in the gym at Los Angeles Air Force base.But over the course of two to three years it became progressively moredifficult to run. I forced myself to complete the intended distance, but I wasconsiderably slowed by the profound fatigue that running caused. EventuallyI just could no longer muster the will to endure the pain and fatigue thatrunning exacerbated.
In hindsight I do strongly believe that my diligentpost-military exercise regimen served to slow the onset of the muchmore severe fatigue and muscle pain I now live with.