I was drafted in 1966 and given the usual battery of entrance medical exams. While in Advanced Infantry training I experienced severe difficulty during night exercises, and was sent to the base hospital for an eye exam that resulted in a diagnosis of retinitis pigmentosa. I was run through a medical board proceeding, really an interview with one officer, that resulted in my discharge for a physical disability. The best explanation given me was that the disease I had would eventually lead to blindness. Fast forward through twenty some years of anxiety and stress, limited employment if I chose to be honest on an application, etcetera. In the early eighties I volunteered for a clinical test at Mass Eye And Ear Infirmary for RP patients. Lo and Behold, I was found to have Fundus Albipunctatis, a related but not degenerative disease. My vision is normal, but for many years I feared and expected blindness. I am sure that the Army Doctors in the sixties did the best to their knowledge at the time, and many giant leaps in research have been taken since then. I'm much too busy being thankful to entertain bitterness, Life grants wisdom in strange ways. I've pledged my eyes to research upon my demise, and wish I could do more for those with degenerative eye conditions. If you are looking for a good place to contribute, send that dollar into the RP Foundation for Fighting Blindness.Reply Follow This Thread Stop Following This Thread Flag this Discussion
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