GBS and the Military
AnonymousMay 1, 2007 at 11:39 pm
My son had GBS in Aug-Sep 2004. He had a fast severe case that he seemed to recover from just as quickly. That being a relative term. A year later, against all Army Regulations he enlisted in the Army. While in Basic Training the gave him both Oral Polio and the Flu-mist vaccine. They didnt bother to take a histroy first so they would be reminded that he had had GBS and he didnt know about vaccines other than the Flu SHOT and he told his drill he didnt think he was supposed to get the vaccine. 8 months later after completing Basic training as an Infantry man and being stationed with his unit in Ft Carson they gave him the Anthrax Vaccine. The manufacturer specifically states that GBS patients should never receive this vaccine. Welcome to the incompetent world of military medicine.
Now my son has heart problems and the Army is trying to kick him out like a piece of trash. They refuse to think that maybe the vaccines they gave him might have something to do with his heart condition.
If anyone has any info they can share about GBS and vaccines I would love to hear from you.
AnonymousMay 2, 2007 at 8:49 am
If you dont mind me asking, what kind of heart probs does he have? Anyway, I believe the flu vaccine contributed to my GBS, along with a few other vaccines all administered around the same time. There are diff opinions/views about GBS and vaccines. Personally, I will never get another one. Sorry to hear about your son.
May 2, 2007 at 10:26 am
Sorry to hear about your son, and thank you for your family and your sons’ bravery! I was actually hoping that cidp would be a blessing in disguise and that the military would not accept my son in the event of a draft? No such luck I guess?! I hope he feels better and tell him thank you for his sacrafices. DAwn, Kevie’s mom 😮
AnonymousMay 2, 2007 at 1:34 pm
Actually any disease involving the nervous system, especially with parlysis is supposed to be an automatic disqualifier. The Army simply ignored their own regulations and enlisted my son anyway. They are desperate for recruits and will do anything to get them. When they are done with them the kick them to the curb. Returning Iraqi vets are being dumped without the support or medical treatment they need for all of their medical problems. To bad the news media doesnt get the entire story out of what these true patriots are having to endure once the military has used them up.
AnonymousMay 2, 2007 at 6:58 pm
Here is some info that may help you in your search – I hope it will provide some relief.
Are you familar with military vaccine healthcare centers? These are not too well known about, even in the military community. Here:
Created in 2001 as a joint effort of the Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Defense, the VHC program and its network of treatment and research facilities are largely unknown even among the military community. Walter Reed Medical Center serves as the headquarters of the program, which also includes clinics at Fort Bragg, Lackland Air Force Base and Portsmouth Naval Medical Center.
Since its inception, the treatment component of the program has helped hundreds of soldiers suffering serious and sometimes debilitating side-effects from anthrax and other vaccinations to get the proper military medical treatment, vaccine exemptions and case management that they would not have access to otherwise.
Also might be worth looking at the legal status of Anthrax Vaccine for Servicemembers – these vaccines are not mandatory as they were never licensed by the FDA for vaccinating military against inhaled anthrax – determined in federal court. It was only licensed for those who were at cutaneous risk from animals (farmers, certain textile workers, etc).
Your son deserves proper medical care, no matter what the cause. He voluntarily gave his life for our nation – but he did not voluntarily give up his health or his career.
best wishes in your pursuit for answers,
AnonymousMay 6, 2007 at 11:06 am
Yesterday, Saturday May 5th, the MN chapter of GBS met with Dr Parry. Truely a great and informative meeting with so many wonderful people in attendance.
Dr Parry, as an expert in GBS told me that whil GBS may affect the heart during the accute stages of the disease, the heart is part of the autonomic nervous system and that GBS does not affect the heart long term. THANK GOD FOR THAT. Which means the Army’s Family Practice doctor is WRONG. With now being able to prove that, the Army doesnt stand a chance.
We of course still do not know the underlying cause of his heart condition, (supraventricular tachycardia) and we suspect that it may have been caused by the vaccines, specifically the Anthrax Vaccine that the Army gave him. Anthrax Vaccine is specifically contra-indicated for GBS patients. Currently Anthrax is a MANDATORY vaccine in the military after receiving FDA approval this past winter. Which is why I am so concerned about reaching out to others in the military who might have had GBS. Having become an advocate for my son during all of this I have gained a wealth of information that I am more than willing to share with others in this particular situation. GBS patients must be ever allert to what may possibly cause them further damage.
AnonymousMay 7, 2007 at 2:29 am
It sounds like you think military doctors go to a special school and upon graduation they become military doctors. These men and women go to the same medical schools as any cililan doctor. In many cases they wouldn’t be able to go to UCLA or some other medical school if it weren’t for the the government paying their way which obligates them to X number of years as a military doctor. I fully agree that the Army medical people who gave your son the anthrax vaccine should not have. My only reason for posting is to let all the people who read this forum know that this is the exception rather than the rule. I am retired military and live near San Antonio TX. My neurologist is at Wilford Hall Hospital at Lackland AFB and my primary care provider is at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston. I talk to many of the troops in waiting rooms or the cafiteria and I see the facilities available to them. I can assure you from what I see and hear that they are not being kicked to the curb, and many of those true patriots you refer to are military medical professionals.
AnonymousMay 10, 2007 at 6:10 am
I agree, that there are many military doctors who are grea, but you also have to fight for your rights sometimes in the military. My son is in the military and his wife has an incurrable cancer. Chemo nor radiation can be given for it. The only way to get it out of the body is to cut it out. They are afraid one day it will massatize in a major organ. She was not going to a military doctor but one that is specilized in that field, in fact they felt lucky that they happen to live close to this doctor who happens to be the top one in his field. They wanted to stop them from going to this doctor but my son called up the military office and told thiem hey we are not talking about a common cold here. This is her life. The military let them continue to go to him. Now that subject aside. I think it depends a good bit on where you are located. Here in central Mississippi, we don’t have very good military doctors or hospitals here. I know any time I mention that I had GBS/MF they wouldn’t give me the flu shot. One doctor told me to never allow anyone to give me one because it could kill me. I am sorry for your son but I would check out all options available for your son. I am thankful for your son serving us as well as mine, even tho my son is in a job that he will not have to go to Iraq, but he came close one time and I just tried to remember somebody’s sons have to go over there.
May 10, 2007 at 11:10 am
Perhaps military doctors should go through some sort of extra training to be able to address issues that are indeed different when in a combat situation, or any other military situation that is different from civilian practice. Obviously, the current situation we are in is less than perfect to say the least. I hope that bad feelings in our own country do not divide us. I am happy for those who are recieving satisfactory care, however, that does not mean all soldiers are recieving great care. We need to be supportive to those who are not and help them. It is obvious that there are problems or heads would not have been rolling at Walter Reid. This mess is just too huge to fix in a short period of time. But in the mean time, perhaps clb 1960 could ask bruno for some assistance on how to get better help for their son. This disease sucks all together, and dealing with military red tape I would imagine only compounds the situation. I am so sorry that this happened to clb’s son and I am sorry it has happened to all of you. Thank you to all who have volunteered, I do appreciate all of your sacrafices. This Memorial Day I plan to reitterate to my boys the sacrafices that these young volunteers have made that allow others to stay home and not be drafted. I hope that clb gets the help that they need for their son and I hope that bruno continues to get the care he needs.
AnonymousMay 10, 2007 at 12:11 pm
bruno179: congratulations on making E-7 by retirement time. You sounded like you were maybe officer material (full bull or higher). I’ve had nothing but hassles with the V.A. since I got sick in ’94. My state VA counselor said since I got a clean bill of health when I retired I’m not entitled to any VA benifits. Even though I was hospitalized for 3 months back in ’95. I’ve tried to get assistance from local groups like DAV, American Leigion, Paralized Vets of America, with no success. I am one of those who did my 20 and feel like I was thrown out with the trash. I do have Medicare and TriCare so that really helps with the bills. But I still feel like I’m on the outside looking in. My location is also a problem in that the nearest military facility is 100+ miles away. I’m really glad to hear you are receiving such good care. Service/care for veterans has always been a hornets nest. It’s been broken for too many years to be fixed overnight, (if ever). Why do you think the politicians have there OWN medical/healthcare? They’d fix it overnight if they had to endure what us pee-ons have to deal with.
Sorry for ranting on. It’s been building for a long time…
Dawn Kevies mom: I am sorry for how your son is being treated, believe me I DO understand. I hope somehow/somewhere he will start recieving what is due him. I’ve learned along time ago, “you can’t fight city hall!!!”
May 10, 2007 at 4:01 pm
Just a little clarification, it is clb’s son not my son. Kevie is only ten, God help us if we are taking ten year olds lol. Seriously, I truly hope that all vets get their due care! I am ashamed that we are not helping you! Dawn Kevies mom. 😮
AnonymousMay 10, 2007 at 11:54 pm
clb_1960 I am so sorry that your son has been a victim of the medical practice in the military. It is never easy see a child (son or daughter) suffer for any reason.
All five of my children were born under the auspices of military care. The doctors in the military do have the same propensity for excellence and failure as doctors in any setting because as bruno indicated they receive the same training. A search of this site will show than many have received correct or incorrect diagnosis/treatment from doctors in various settings. I have more than once gone for a second opinion. Sometimes the second opinion was a conformation and other times a new diagnosis
Among the great things about this site are the many opinions and wonderful support. Thanks for all the help during the short time I’ve been on this forum.
AnonymousMay 11, 2007 at 5:18 am
Yes, sometimes it takes three and four opinions to find out the truth. That was the case for me and by the time I found out what was going on GBS/MF,
the damage had been done. It stopped short of affecting my breathing, but the doctor I had tried to make it sound like I was loco in the head. Anyway all doctors are human and make mistakes. Also, my son is in the military and is a Captain. His wife has a rare form of cancer (chemo or radiation will not help). They can only cut it out once it materiaze(sp) and you know what that means if it gets in a major organ. Anyway tri-care was going to make her go to a different doctor. The one she was seeing was the top in the nation. My son called tri-care and told them that they were not talking about a common cold, they were talking about cancer. They changed their minds. The next day he sent the ladies who helped him flowers. We are all humans and even my insurance wants to question every little thing. You might need to see if you can see someone with a higher rank and talk to them. I am glad that he whated to serve him country but sometimes , recruits are rushed so much they don’t catch all aliments. ( My son went through boot camp with a cracked bone in his foot). He said he was not going to stop for anything. He is 32 and wanted to be in military since 9 yr old. Anyway good luck with your son and maybe someone will listen. Also all doctors military or not do not understand that you can’t take the flu shot. My doctor made me and then saw the bad affect I had. I was in hospital two days later. He deeply apologized to me for not believing me. It happens with many different doctors.
AnonymousMay 28, 2007 at 10:25 am
I am an Air Force vet with 15 years of service who walked away 4 years after my diagnosis with GBS. I tried like crazy to get help with the chronic problems that continue to plague me. I could not get help. Imagine being so tired of fighting the system that you walk away only 5 short years from retirement. I have so many residuals from GBS that the VA rated me at 90% disabled only one month after leaving the Air Force. The Air Force left me with nothing, even after my pleas to be boarded and considered for the TDRL List. I walked away with a disfigured face (from severe nerve damage to it) a limp gait and weak legs (from not receiving any physical therapy) 😡
The VA has been vigourous in thier quest to ease my daily pain and diagnose and treat the number of problems I’m dealing with. The one that has plagued me daily is the constant heart palpitations that started during the first week of my diagnosis. Not one AF medical doctor took me serious in treating it over my 4 yrs post diagnosis. They just told me that I was just more sensitive to my heart beats than other people. Now, with the VA’s help I know that it is a real life threat and real life condition, that they do believe is directly related to GBS. I will be on medication for the rest of my life to make sure that my heart muscle will not wear itself before it’s time. They have been understanding and know that most Active military docs don’t have the long term “sick people” training they need since they treat a mostly healthy active force. I want to say Thank god for the VA, even though they can’t give me back the honor of completing my service until retirement they gave me back my life. 🙂
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.