Protecting our veterans' children
Legacy of Our Veterans' Military Exposures
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Protecting our veterans' children™

Sherri Wise 2nd Generation Agent Orange Victim Dixoin Survivor

January 02, 2012

 


I am the 2nd Generation

Agent Orange Victim &  Dioxin Survivor


It takes about 20 minutes for me to get out of bed in the morning, the pain is so intense that I just lie there and cry. Before I even attempt to get moving I reach into my nightstand and retrieve the meds that keep me going. I start with my metformin, to help keep my blood sugar regulated, next I take my blood pressure pill, from there it’s on to Lyrica ( for the neuropathy and fibromyalgia), then of course my muscle relaxer (degenerative disc disease and failed back syndrome) and Excedrin for the pain (I am trying desperately to not take narcotics). 

I force myself to get up, get dressed, take my kids to school and then I cry all the way home. The meds help I suppose but, honestly, I don’t have a clue what life would be like without pain. You see I am the 2nd generation, daughter of the 1stgeneration, mother of the 3rd generation and soon to be grandmother of the 4th generation. I watched my father fight diabetes, renal failure, heart disease, blindness and a host of other medical problems all caused from his exposure to Agent Orange. I also watched him die from his exposure. 

By the time I was 20 years old I had had 10 female surgeries to remove endometriosis, cysts on my cervix, uterus and ovaries. I had been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease and had had my first of 13 back surgeries. By the time I was 21 I was forced to have a hysterectomy, which devastated me. At 26 I was told I’d never make it to 30 without being in a wheel chair. After the fusions, the discectomies, the laminectomies, the spinal blocks, caudal blocks and a pain medication list that would blow anyone’s mind, I spent a good bit of time on a cane, in a wheelchair and on a walker. There are more back surgeries in my future, a wheel chair as well. But I am my father’s daughter and I will continue to walk, I will continue to fight.

I have cried many a night as my oldest child was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder, as I held her, as she struggled with the rage and the depression. 

I have begged God for relief, as I listened to the doctors tell me that my youngest child was born with a heart defect, as I waited outside the operating room for her heart surgery to be over. I pray every night that my unborn grandchild will be spared the misery of Agent Orange.

I have stood at the Vietnam Wall and felt the presence of so many heroes. 

I have wept at the torture that we the 2nd generation and the generation before and after suffer every day.

I have sworn to tell my story to any one that will listen. I am just one of many that will never know what a life without pain feels like. Yet, I am proud to be the 2nd generation, the daughter of a hero.


Sherri Wise
Legacy of Our Veterans' Military Exposures

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