You would think that the recent findings by a Georgetown University Medical Center report proving Gulf War Illness is real would make a great headline. Perhaps it’s been too long for younger demographic of news media outlets to run with. Is it just old news and no longer worth reporting? I wanted to find out, but my calls and e-mails did not get much response. Most journalists I contacted at the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, NBC News, CNN and FOX News did not even respond. If they did it was mostly just a form type response and it was clear they did not read my question or did not wish to respond.
If you have heard the news the report shows that scans of brain matter in two regions of the brain associated with pain regulation when tested on Gulf War veterans show a loss. This affects cognitive deficits, autonomic dysfunction, severe fatigue and chronic widespread pain that is implicates the central nervous system. You would think that maybe the VA might get the word out to those of us who are Gulf War veterans, but that hasn’t happened either. Perhaps my doctor would be concerned for my health and would wish to run more tests on me, but that definately did not happen as she does not want to treat me for it. When I asked about treatment for Gulf War illness she told me to talk to my veteran’s service officer. This is the fourth doctor to tell me this.
One of my major concerns is that the test also showed that any type of physical or mental effort considerably worsens symptoms. This means that the more I try to do light stretching exercises and walking, swimming or other daily activities along with things such as typing this blog make me worse. I guess that’s not really a surprise to me, but it is very scary and it makes me wonder how much worse it will get over the years. I want all of you reading this who have Gulf War Illness or have a friend or loved one with it to discuss this and find out how it is that we are not getting all the benefits that we deserve for this debilitating condition. We have to do something now before it is too late. We are at a much higher risk for Cancer and ALS and as we age there is no telling how much we can get. I urge you to take action now. Contact your congressman and insist they do more to push for your rights and benefits.
One of the scientists who was involved in the study stated, “Our findings help explain and validate what veterans have long said about their illness.”
Another doctor, Dr. White said “We don’t know the cause of these differences in the veterans’ brain volumes, but the hypothesis is that they are related to exposure to hazardous substances during the first Gulf War. Many troops were exposed to hazardous substances such as pesticides, and other studies have shown that exposures to these substances affect the central nervous system.”
As test results and studies from major accredited universities, government agencies and others continue to be revealed nothing more seemed to be done. In fact, I receive updates from many governmental agencies daily via e-mail and I haven’t seen a thing about this study. I found this on my own and may not have found it had it not been for a routing google search for this blog. It is a very advanced study and shows the most conclusive and revealing results so far in the history of this illness, yet we are still at square one. I fear that if we do not do something to stop this the trend will continue for generations to come.