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Medical Nightmares

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posted on Sep, 28 2008 @ 02:38 PM
My nightmare

This is not meant to be a pity party. This is primarily for those people who are going through soething similiar. If you cannot be civil to those who are in the same prdictament, then do not bother posting a reply.

I am going to recite my history so others will not feel embarassed by what they are going through. Maybe by hearing and discussing these issues we can help each other.

When I was twenty I was disciplined and cocky and arrogant. I had a great, sarcastic sense of humor. I had a great job doing what I loved, serving the country that my family has served for generations. It was all I knew and all I ever wanted to do. I believed in sacrifice. Now, going on forty-one I am tired of just existing. I am bitter, angry, and while not exactly lonely, I find myself alone.

20 years later I am still uncertain what exactly happened, and to a large degree I am uncertain of where I am going. I do not blame the Army for
what happened, I just blame some people for what happened.

Suffering a head injury can have many long and lasting results. I had my first operation in August of 1988. The frontal bone in my skull had been fractured but never treated. During this procedure it was found that the bone seperating the sinus from the brain had become infected and eroded, leaving me susceptable to meningitis. I had my second operation on my 21st birthday. I woke up from that operation with part of my nose and the brow ridge over my left eye removed. I had 2 more surgeries to repair the missing bone in the next year. I was only 22, I was invincible so I sucked it up and moved on. Even though I could not wear a helmet anymore I was honorably discharged from the military. My life was now my own.

In 1990 I started college. In 1990 I had to withdrawel from college to have 2 more operations. It was around this time that I started having problems concentrating. I also started to notice a dull pain over my left eye. Things started looking up around this time. I was still getting headaches but I went back to school and was working.

In 1993 while at the V.A. in Nashville, it was determined that I needed another surgery. I rushed through my finals and was admitted to the hospital on December 17. Well, that surgery was cancelled due to a "lack of information". Since it was too late to enroll for the spring semester I went to work. In June of 1994 I became ill to the point that I could not do anything. It was at this time I was diagnosed with osteomyelitis in my head. In August of 1994 I had another operation. When I woke up from this one I had a tube implanted in my chest. For 4 months I had to sit for 3 hours a day hooked up to an I.V. bag.

In 1995 things were agian looking up. I recieved a scholarship to a great school in a great city. I was 27 and it was like I was starting a new life. I still had bad headaches but I dealt with it. I had no choice. I also apparently had no luck. In 1996 I had to have another operation and spent 18 days in the hospital. I did not have to withdrawel this time but took an incomplete status for the next semester. I did lose my scholarship but by then had become a student that professors respected.
I questioned them, I argued with them, and I tested them just as they tested me, I was finally my old self again. In spring of 1997 I had to undergo another procedure. This was relatively minor so it had no real impact. Finally in December 1997 I graduated with a BFA. It took 7 years but I won.

It was around this time I started to become irritable and angry. I did not notice this but other people did. I started to lash out at others for no real reason. Of course I could find a reason even if there were none. I recieved my first job in my chosen field and had that for a whole two weeks before I was fired. My next job was the Computer services coordinator at the local Kinkos. It was not exactly Graphic Design but it was a good job. After a month I was demoted for argueing with my manager over something stupid. She was an understanding person and did not fire me completely.

In 1998 I was told again that I had another infection that had got out of hand and needed surgery. This was scheduled and cancelled 3 times over a month and a half period. I met the doctor that day (VA). I was so unimpressed with this person I was asking the surgical staff if they would let him operate on them or their family. They of course all said yes and I went through with it. That was my greatest mistake. When I recieved the surgical report I could not believe what I was reading. This incompetent doctor did not remove the plates that were holding the frontal bone in place, but cut through them and never reattached the bone.

In 2000 I got a job offer in Colorado and moved there immediately. Another city and another adventure. Later that year I had another minor procedure. At this time I was going through hell. The pain was only somewhat bearable at this point and made things very difficult. In 2002 I had a doctor that I respected and admired, but had to have another major operation. He did what he could but could not undo the damage done by the idiot before him.

Later in 2002 I had to move back home. Since then I have had to be on constant pain medication, sometimes up to 21 pills a day. I have not been in a major relationship in years, cannot find any job due to drug screening and the inevitable medical questions. I am constantly in agony, I am constantly going off on people. The VA tried to get me to go to counseling for depression but the only thing that happened is I called the shrink a lazy S.O.B for just wanting to put me on antidepressants.

I have no intention of ending it all. I am not a quitter. My parents raised me better than that. I am not, however, laughing anymore.

[edit on 28-9-2008 by capgrup]

posted on Sep, 28 2008 @ 03:18 PM

I am sorry for your agony. I know a person in a similar situation caused by DU.

posted on Sep, 28 2008 @ 06:11 PM
An injury to the frontal lobes is pretty significant and can really change your life. The frontal lobe controls our emotional skills:

Someone with injury (or an aneurysm or artery blockage) to the frontal lobe can undergo a "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" kind of personality change. Phineas Gage was the poor guy who is the "textbook case" for this:

posted on Sep, 28 2008 @ 06:43 PM
reply to post by capgrup

It sounds like you've had a real nightmare experience with the medical complex. I'm so sorry you had to go through all this. You sound like a wonderful human being with persistence and real fortitude.

I am curious, though. You mentioned that you kept getting infections? Are these infections at the surgical sites (brain)? If so, have you ever had a blood-brain barrier disruption with a round of antibiotics? Not many doctors do them and it's an ICU stay, for sure.

I've NEVER ONCE in 20 years seen a doctor do a sterile dressing change. They come in to check your wound and don't wash their hands or put on gloves after touching the charts, the door knobs, the elevator buttons, etc. If you ever have to go through this again, insist that they wear STERILE gloves to touch any wound that goes through your skull, not just the "clean" gloves in a box on the wall of the room.

You're a smart guy with a lot of perseverence. Kudos, btw, for getting your degree. Byrd is right about frontal lobe personality changes. It can be controlled, somewhat, with medications. The VAMC usually has the best surgeons available anywhere. Can't say I'm impressed with the rest of their facility but the surgery is top-notch. Cutting edge stuff. (no pun intended). Make friends with the nurses and let them know of your concerns. If they know what to look for they'll almost always stick their neck out to save a patient. There are usually support groups for neurologically injured people in most major cities. Check online to see what's available in/near your town. They can have a wealth of information. Best of luck to you.

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