Whitesburg KY
Partly cloudy
Partly cloudy

Scars, broken bones during and after my military career

Since 1957 I have passed over 60 kidney stones. I’ve had three operations and one basket cath.

I’ve only passed out once and that was with my first attack. I was driving to work on Travis Air Force Base and it hit me as I was going through a green light a few blocks from my office. I don’t remember anything until I woke in the Travis hospital. A military policeman found me and took me to the hospital, and had one of his men take my car home.

They say that a kidney stone attack is like a woman giving birth. I had never felt anything like that before.

They took an x-ray of my stone and decided to take it out the next morning. By that time I felt fine and wanted to go to work. The doctor said that he would keep me overnight. I think I visited everyone on my ward that day.

That night my bowling team had three games and I talked my nurse into letting me go bowling. I did not smoke or drink, but my teammates told me that if I drank a couple of beers that I would pass my stone. After a couple of beers I felt strange. When I got back to the hospital I passed my stone.

I did not know I had to save the stone and show it to my doctor. He did not believe I had passed it until the next morning my x-ray showed no stone and they let me go home.

In Germany in 1969, I had another attack at home, 25 miles from the hospital, and I was hurting very badly. It was after midnight and I drove to the base hospital. They did an x-ray on me and it showed a big stone, and they said it had to come out now.

The only doctor on call that night was a Turkish civilian, and he operated on me and took the stone out. He also did something during the operation that left my left thigh partially numb all these years. You can stick a pin in my thigh and I can hardly feel it. I had them put it in my records, and that is why I belong as a lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans.

My broken bones from playing senior softball all these 32 years are two fingers on my right hand trying to catch a fly ball in left field in our winter league. My knuckles on my right hand were hit while I was pitching to one of our young 50-yearolds, and it drove three of my knuckles about an inch back into my hand.

That’s a chance you take if you love softball at my age, the year-round.

I found out a few days ago that I have the first stage of osteoporosis. I started this morning my first annual intravenous (IV) dose, along with daily calcium and Vitamin D. This helps your bones and protects them from fractures for the entire year.

My doctor wants me to stop softball for a while, but I won’t do that. I promised her that I would play another position and would be careful on the playing field.

If any of The Mountain Eagle readers have osteoporosis, please see your bone doctor. They can help you.

Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in Fairfield, Calif.

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