Long but desperate for advice


I had originally posted this in the military section but it was mentioned that I might get a better response here.

I'm hoping someone on here might be able to point my family and I in the right direction. I'll try to be concise.

A 28 year old family member is active duty in the Air Force and returned to the US one week ago after 2 years overseas. While she was overseas she worked on classified projects that may have included radiogenic materials.

While she was overseas, in the past two months she presented to the base ER twice with c/o CP, SOB especially at night, muscle pain and insomnia. She was told she had GERD and was given Zantac and Flexeril. She has no medical hx whatsoever and only RX drug she was on was BCPs. No labs, no CXR and no follow up was ever done and sx did not subside.

Subsequently, she returned to the US last week with an increase in sx, went to the base ER and after a CXR (where they asked her "have you had a recent chest trauma?") was immediate transferred to civilian hospital and admitted to CCU with dx lymphoblastic lymphoma with a mass on her lung. Has not been able to be stabilized to start chemo or tolerate CT of spleen, liver, etc so not sure if there are other sites. Had a shunt placed to treat her brain but was not told she has mets to the brain. Cannot stop putting out liter after liter of fluid so chest tube cannot be removed.

We (the family) are certain she experienced prolonged exposure to radiogenic materials. WHAT can be done for her and where do we start? She is currently in a hospital thousand miles from family who are staying in a hotel for the time being. Command is "looking into" her getting authorization to be transferred to medical center close to family for care/support.

I am the wife of a Marine who was disch on med board after injuries in Iraq so I am familiar with the military red tape and health system but this is WAY beyond what I know. Any info or direction you could give me would be hugely appreciated!

TazziRN, RN

6,487 Posts

No ideas but you have my prayers


488 Posts

Specializes in OB.

Her possible expossure needs to be discussed with her civilian MD. As for help with transfer, I would contact the red cross or the VA for help. It sounds as if she is not stable enough for transfer, but the VA or red cross should be able to hlep with hotel expenses for her family. I am very sorry for your situation and cannot offer medical advice, but I can offer my thoughts and prayers. I am a military wife and understand your frustrtation with the medical red tape that surrounds this.

Good lu

Tweety, BSN, RN

32,728 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 31 years experience.

I'm so sorry for her and your family. However, what your asking is beyond the scope of this website. Best wishes.

This topic is now closed to further replies.