Frank E. Sauer
I am compelled to share my story with fellow
Vietnam and Gulf War Veterans as it may have
an impact regarding your mysterious
I am a retired, 24 yr veteran of the US
Army. Overseas assignments include Vietnam,
Australia and Middle East (Gulf Region).
Shortly after my return from RVN (1971), I
began to have symptoms akin to Agent Orange
& Chronic Fatigue. The mainstay was
recurrent rashes and UTIs for which I
received nearly two years of antibiotics.
Most of the symptoms faded by the mid-1980s.
In 1989, I was in the best physical
condition of my life. I was then assigned to
the United Nations, Jerusalem (Israel) as a
UN Military Observer. During an operational
patrol in the Sinai Desert, in October,
1989, I became deathly sick. Shortly
thereafter, all the symptoms I had
from Vietnam began to reoccur (headaches,
chronic fatigue, sleep disorders, UTI, URIs,
back pain, etc). However, new
fingers and migrating arthritic pains,
fluctuating vision and most of the
GWS symptoms that can be identified.
As a good soldier, I reported all these
symptoms during my retirement physical, but
got no concrete diagnosis. I also submitted
a service-connected claim for disability to
the VA. I underwent a complete
physical exam (to include Agent Orange and
Gulf War registries) at the VA
Hospital, Martinsburg. The VA diagnosis was
chronic lubosacral strain, allergic rhinitis
and mild PTSD.
With the symptoms and problems I was having,
I did not agree with the VA findings.
Through a stroke of luck, I learned from my
local veterinarian that my symptoms were
similar to LYME DISEASE. I decided to see my
family doctor and have new tests run.
After some preliminary tests that ruled out
Thyroid, Arthritic Rheumatism, blood sugar
and other more common diseases, my family
physician referred me to an Infectious
Disease Specialist. I requested to be
specifically tested for Lyme Disease (IgM
Western Blot) and guess what...IT CAME BACK
POSITIVE! The positive Western Blot followed
after two borderline negative tests for Lyme
I was subsequently diagnosed with ADVANCED
STAGE LYME DISEASE...an infectious disease
that is multi-systemic and can cause most,
if not all, the mysterious symptoms that
have been reported by many of our Gulf War
If you are being told by the VA that they
can't find anything wrong and your body
tells you otherwise, you might fit into this
category. You should ask your local VA
Medical Center to refer you to the Gulf War
Referral Center for infectious disease
testing, to include Lyme Disease. Or, you
can follow the route I did and request a
Western Blot test through your family
physician when the VA is less than
cooperative as they were in my case.
Yes, it can be in your head...it's called an
spirochete known as Borrelia burgdorferi or
"Bb" for short, also known as Lyme Disease.
It can affect ALL parts of your body and
that includes the Central Nervous System
More on Frank Sauer's Symptoms and Lyme
The story above does not elaborate about the
bulls-eye rashes on each
cheek of the buttocks while I was in
Vietnam, and every summer thereafter for
approx 15 yrs. It also does not talk about
flu-like symptoms I had in RVN
before the rashes occurred.
I only learned recently that the Bulls Eye
rash and flu-like symptoms are very common
in LD. Of course, LD was a term named after
a problem with children, tick bites, rashes
and arthritic symptoms that developed in
Lyme, Connecticut in 1975. The real enemy is
known as a spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi
"Bb" that is normally associated with a deer
tick bite. However, it is now questioned
whether other insects including fleas,
biting flies and mosquitoes are possible
mechanical or biological vectors...the same
enemies we fought in both RVN and the Gulf
War (the Middle East for me).
It is also interesting to note that the
bacteria of Bb has been demonstrated in
museum mice specimens from New England
dating back to 1894. The disease has also
been known in man in Europe since 1909. So,
LD is not something that is isolated only in
certain States within the U.S. nor is it
hard and fast that the infection comes
solely from a tick bite. I can only say that
the Army and the VA made an oversight in my
diagnosis and left me to my own devices and
research that resulted in a "correct"
I believe I picked up the disease in
Vietnam and it went into
remission following several years of
antibiotics. However, it re-emerged shortly
after I became seriously ill in the Sinai
Desert, in 1989, and has caused havoc on my
body ever since. I spent two years
in the Middle East that included the GW
I have two Senator's looking into my case as
my military medical records are well
documented with treatment/symptoms since
1971 and the Army/VA missed the boat in my
case; only to have an independent infectious
disease specialist positively diagnose me
with the "late stage" disease. I have to
undergo a minimum of one month (more like
three months) of intravenous antibiotics
followed by oral antibiotics for an
undetermined length of time (perhaps the
rest of my life).
I'm not sure if there is any connection with
the mysterious illnesses affecting other RVN
and GW veterans, but I do know that the
comprehensive tests performed by the Gulf
War Referral Centers (3 nationwide) include
a Lyme Test in their infectious disease
differential. What I am unsure of is if the
test is only the Lyme Antibodies (I tested
negative twice) or if includes the
IgM Western Blot (I tested POSITIVE
BIG TIME in that test).
Immunoglobulin A, B, and M what are
IgA antibodies can neutralize viruses, bind
toxins, agglutinate bacteria, prevent
bacteria from binding to mucosal epithelial
cells, and bind to various food antigens,
thus preventing their entry into the general
circulation. The role of serum IgA is
"IgAD is a primary immunodeficiency disease
presumed to result from a failure of
terminal differentiation in IgA-positive B
cells. Multipotent hematopoietic stem cells
give rise to progenitors of T cells, B
cells, and natural killer cells."
"The development of B-lineage cells begins
in the fetal liver. B-lineage cell
development then transfers to the bone
marrow when it becomes the major
hematopoietic organ. Pre–B cells become
immature immunoglobulin M (IgM)–positive B
cells and then migrate from the bone marrow
to lymph node germinal centers. After
leaving the bone marrow, the B cells mature
and express immunoglobulin D receptors,
respond to antigens, and, with the help of T
cells (CD4+), undergo proliferation and
plasma cell differentiation (International
Union of Immunological Societies, 1999)."
Mike, "The immunoglobulin molecule: That's a
rather complex molecule! Well, the lymph
nodes crank out this protein molecule to go
after foreign bodies in an organism.
Too low numbers found in a blood test just
means that particular means of defense is
too low, possibly in decline.
Something is impeding the lymphs; bad
nutrition, poisoning, old age, etc. Trick is
to discover what caused such a condition.
I suspect you're on the path to connect that
to lymph damage. Since the liver is
definitely damaged with that substance just
like longterm metalysis of ethanol, follows
other organs will suffer as well."
From MERCK Manual:
Immunoglobulin G, a major class of
immunoglobulins found in the blood,
including many of the most common
antibodies circulating in the blood.
Also known as gamma globulin.
MERCK medical dictionary
has some pretty good definitions, check this
chapter on immune:
THE MERCK MANUAL, Sec. 12,
Ch. 146, Biology Of The Immune System
THE MERCK MANUAL, Sec. 11,
Ch. 145, Aids-Associated Hematologic
Disorders And Malignancies
Reproductive & Fetal Effects; Liver & Kidney
Damage; Blood Damage only Health Hazard
Kidney damage; Central Nervous System
effects only Hazard level 1?
CA & EPA study
What about the Hypothalamus?