In a stunning revelation, this columnist has  found that a new military related disability may be under study.  While not certain of the source of the reported study, it is possible that today’s children may one day pay hundred’s of millions of dollars for treatment for a debilitating illness that may strike UCAV (Unmanned Combat Air Vehicles) pilots without warning. These military pilots, most often Commissioned Warrant Officers or Commissioned Officers, are forced to pilot UCAV missions lasting multiple hours, in cramped high-tech “cockpits” located in buildings at Nellis AFB, Las Vegas, NV, and at air bases through the free world. While volunteers, few of these pilots could have imagined the potential illness unique to their missions: PTCTS ( Post Traumatic Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.)  Subjected to the constant stress of combat operations, always with keyboard, monitor and joystick at the ready, these well-trained and highly disciplined warriors face a potential future of unimaginable stress. Unable to shake hands, salute, or even grasp a pen without a need of surgery, they are likely to be medically discharged from service. As a civilian, their odd, left-handed grasp of the proffered right hand of an acquaintance will seem awkward and confusing, and may lead to depression and sequestration and concomitant treatment and hospitalization. The problem that must be studied is where will such treatment occur. Many combat veterans of late twentieth and early twenty-first century police actions and undeclared wars will require prolonged treatment and life-long follow-up for conditions as disparate as missing or truncated limbs, wound management, organ transplants, brain tissue trauma, and neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression, cyclothymia, suicidal ideation, mood disorders, domestic violence and PTSD  (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Veterans suffering from PTCTS may find it difficult to avoid guilt and recrimination from associating with fellow service members who actually fought “in” theater, in country, in a combat zone, in a hot war. The problem that must be studied by the CDC,  it is believed, is how to create a warm and pleasant therapeutic environment, one with high-backed heated leather seats and video displays, that will facilitate the treatment of these valiant “remote killers from the sky”  without giving the appearance of trivializing other combat related illnesses.  In a separate study, programs will be evaluated for treatment of pilots of domestic UALERSV’s (Unmanned Aerial Law Enforcement Reconnaissance and Support Vehicles ) whose misdirected fire has claimed CCLOL’s (Collateral Civilian Loss of Life.)  It is thought that such pilots may suffer long term psychological debilitation if Congress approves passage of Obama-care III, RTL (Right to Life) Legislation, which, along with Federal payments to the Decedent’s family, would require such UALERSV pilots to undergo strenuous marksmanship retraining after a mandatory sixty day paid suspension.


29 Feb 2020


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One Response to MEDICAL ADVISORY: CDC may be studying PTCTS

  1. Graham Morrison says:

    Bull, very well written and so subtly sardonic. I had to COL (chuckle out loud) several times while reading this. Not in disagreement, but as additional and perhaps ironic additional information from my own life, several years back I noticed that my hands would go to sleep as I was making my morning commute of thirty miles distance. I asked my GP about it, thinking it might be related to my degenerative disc disease and cervical discs. He asked me to turn my hands palms up, then he used the knee hammer to tap lightly the undersides of both wrists. These taps set each hand to tingling all over like they had “gone to sleep”. I was amused, but then he announced “this is carpal tunnel”. I was stunned, and blurted out, demonstrating my lack of Political Correctness: “it can’t be carpel tunnel, that’s a woman’s disease!” He assured me men are not immune. Now, not being the malingering type, I had no interest in surgery, which others at my office had undergone and taken off two or three months to recover from each wrist. I asked for ergo assistance, and armed with an ergo keyboard (which took one day to get used to) and some gel mats for the mouse, the problem improved by 90% and became a non-issue. All I am saying is that carpel tunnel respects no man or woman, Whether it is a serious disability, or can become one, is yet to be resolved in my mind. Thanks for your great blogs.

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