Elsewhere in this web site I mentioned that dysentary was a persistent problem for the SF soldiers. Almost all A-Team members suffered from it.
Sometimes... it hit you really hard!
At one point in my stay at Thuong Duc I became really sick. I tried 'toughing it out', but eventually realized that what I had was not an inconvenience... it was a real medical problem! I went to see Sgt Art Peters, the Medic. It did not take much explaining to describe the problem. Peters suffered through the dysentary along with the rest of us.
I have great admiration for Sgt Peters and all SF Medics. SF Medic training was an extremely tough, grueling and demanding process. These men put some
doctors to shame.
This was not the first time Sgt Peters would help me! See the '0 Legs, 1 Tail' page for another example of the expertise of the SF Medics.
I explained that I thought I would feel better if I could 'throw up'. Although Peters had the medicine (in the medical supplies closet) at his
disposal, he had nothing that would effectively treat the dysentery. Worse yet... he had nothing that would induce regurgitation. I thought I
would never feel any better.
Then, in a sudden turn of his demeanor, he exclaimed "I have an idea." Peters instructed me to go to the Teamhouse and look for some mustard. "Mustard?", I asked. Yep... he said mustard. Peters explained that I was go get the mustard and a water glass. I was supposed to fill the water glass 3/4ths full of mustard. (Hmmmm... an eight-ounce water glass 3/4ths full would mean 6 ounces of mustard.)
Once I had the mustard in the glass, Peters instructed me to fill the remaining space in the glass with water. I was to mix the mustard and water thoroughly... making a semi-thick, puke-yellow mixture. I was then supposed to pour this over my head.
Did you REALLY think that would relieve dysentery symptoms??
No... I didn't think so.
He told me to drink that mixture! Just the thought of drinking that thick mustard would have ordinarily evoked the gag reflex. But not now. I was SO sick that the thought of drinking the mustard didn't phase me. I was desperate!
Gulp.. gulp.. gulp! Down it went. Then I waited... and waited... and waited... Nothing! No stomach spasms... no body-wracking, heaving, retching, fold-at-the-waist motions. In fact... I felt much better. Whatever germs cause dysentery must have fled my body in advance of the 'mustard tsunami'.