The Rest of the Sory

Yesterday I told you about the last days of a young Lieutenant in the Army at Fort Carson, Colorado. 

Here are a few of the follow on stories to that time.  Barb and I were both accepted at Wichita State that fall and we moved back to Wichita because of the in State Tuition there.  She was a Junior and I was a second semester Freshman on probation.  Thank god for the GI Bill to help us pay for school. 

Barb and I lived in an 8X38 foot trailer not far from where my parents lived on the east side of Wichita.  We really didn't need much as the rent and utilities weren't but about $50.00 a month. We had each other and I had a construction job to tie me over until lasses started.  Wrong!  I went to work and the first week of the work I fell sick as a dog and could not go to work.  Barb was working part time and my worst sessions of sick were when she was working.  It wasn't until she came home on a 100 degree day in July and found me under a pile of blankets that she finally knew how sick I was. 

I went to Wesley Medical Center and was there for three days.  During that time I was not sick one minute.  They told me they didn't have a clue what was wrong and sent me home.  The next day I was really sick again and Barb and my father took me to the VA Hospital.  I wish I could tell you about the first two or three day there but, I don't have any memory of that time.  I do remember on the third day or so, I woke up to the hematologist (Lady vampire) drawing blood from my arm.  I asked her if they had a clue what was wrong and she smiled and said - Malaria soldier.  She asked me if I wanted to have a look at the slides she had made of the malaria in all stages and I said sure. It was a relief to know what was making me sick even if I did worry about future illnesses.

That day, one of the VA Doctors came in and told me about a new treatment program they were starting and asked me if I wanted to be a member of the study.  He said that one of the young officers just back from Vietnam had both Malaria and Leukemia.  The chemo treatment they started for the leukemia seemed to clear up the malaria.  The wanted to try a reduced medication level as chemotherapy and see if it cleared up the malaria.  Sure, why not.  I didn't relish having reoccurrences of malaria for the rest of my life.  I had a friend who's father had malaria fro the Pacific and he had to spend a month or so in the hospital every year.

The next morning they started the treatment.  I felt like a young stud that morning and they gave me some big pills to swallow.  By about 10 AM I was so weak that I could not eat lunch.  I just laid there in bed and let that chemical come out of the pores in my body.  It wasn't until about suppertime that I could even sit up in bed.  I would eat supper, shower put on clean PJ's and sleep like a baby.   That went on for most of the next week or so.  Finally one day the lady Vampire told me that my blood work was clear of any of the malarial parasites and they stopped giving me any pills.  I was still there a couple of days later and asked when they were going to send me home.  No one had a good answer and they said they couldn't tell me. 

Thank god the WSU Registration started and I was released to go register.  I did not even ask if they wanted me back.  I wouldn't have gone back there for all the tea in China.  I will admit that the treatment they gave me cured me of Malaria and I have never had any further problems from it. 

I spent the next two years at WSU and then we moved to Leavenworth so Barb could teach school there.  I finished my degree at KU and moved on with the rest of my life.


No comments:

Post a Comment