29 December 2010

Has it really been five months?  We are still here at Fort Lewis. My husband is going through the MED board- the new pilot program, actually. He started it last February and we are still waiting. I think the last of his medical appoinments was a few weeks ago. He is now receiving Social Security disability as well.

Life has been good, for as good as our situation can be.   I am more or less his secretary in most things. His memory is shot to the point if I try to have him write his appointments in a scheduler, he ends up losing the scheduler within a day or so.  I keep track of everything on a giant calender in the hallway so we both can know whats going on each day.
I call him an hour before his appoinment because he won't remember he has one. I still get the phone calls from him asking me to come get him for lunch or after work, only for me to remind him that he has the car that day.  I still get the occasional panicky phone call from him because he can't remember where he parked in the giant Madigan parking lot. I will calm him down, talk him through it and we usually find out he has actually parked on the oppositte side of the hospital.  I usually just go with him to his appointments so I can know for myself whats going on with him medically and so we rarely 'lose' the car that way. His body, as well as his mind, is really tore up and worn down and we have been learning to live this way.  I was working up until a few months ago. We honestly thought we would be out of the Army by now, but I guess the longer he's in, the more money we can save. I try to look on the brighter side of things now.

My husband and I both still get therapy.  It does help, as does various medications.  He takes nine pills a day for multiple reasons, I just take two.  He's in constant pain, even while on the pain meds he takes, but he is learning to live with that as well.  He technically should be in the Wounded Warrior Battalion, but his infantry unit is taking decent care of him so he hasn't moved over yet. I don't think he will at all, if possible,  because someone told him that the Wounded Warrior unit can keep him in the Army past his Med board if they think he needs more treatment  and he does not want that.  He wants to be treated outside the Army because sometimes just getting away from all this is the best treatment of all.

I  am in the process of sending out nursing school applications, hopefully for next fall. I was working as a CNA until I broke my foot a few months back. Now I just hobble around, only dreaming of the day when I can wear a normal shoe on my right foot again. All my left shoes are getting worn out, while my right shoes are still new looking. The zipper on my left Harley Davidson boot busted and the leather is all worn. The right boot? Perfect condition. I can now drive using my left foot on the brake and the gas. My mind is so wired that way now that I don't think I can go back to using my right foot to drive again.

I keep my mind busy. I pray alot, which helps. Alot. I am so grateful I chose to stay with my husband despite everything because now his number one priority is me, our marriage, and our children. We are best friends again, something we hadn't been for five years. Now that we understand PTSD, TBI, and the other injuries he has, we can better deal with it all. There are still days that are not good, but at least they aren't a living hellish nightmare that we endured for so long. We both lost who we were. Life was beyond Hell.

There is still a very small part of me that is constantly screaming in anger and pain. No longer fear, thank God, but the pain and anger that is there is still very real. After hurting my foot and I literally couldn't get around for a couple of months, I rediscovered my passion for books. I read so much now.  Some people deal with thier pain through drugs or alcohol. I deal with mine through books. The escape is beyond heavenly. I have ten library books on my shelf, about twenty I bought recently through ebay, and ten more on hold at the Pierce county and Lewis-McChord libraries.  I go through goodreads.com and find the titles of books I want to read and just go at it. Mostly paranormal romances, or the occasional ballet story. I can't get enough, and I love every minute of it.  I'm going to let my foot heal completely so I can take ballet classes again.  I even thought about going back to Thai kickboxing. I did that when I was younger and loved every minute of it. 

One thing I know-I'm a different person now. I'm a stronger, better version of who I was before I lost myself to a very sick, wounded infantryman who went to war one person and came back someone...or something, very different. He was  a monster.   I would wake up in a panic in the middle of the night, not knowing who or what was lying next to me.... I'm sad that a part of me is dead after all that. I have shields that shoot straight up around me over topics  such  as  alcohol, Iraq, war, women. I can get cold and numb in an instant, with no  feeling in me other than self preservation for me and my girls. Nobody. Will. Ever. Hurt. Us. Again.

Life on post is  interesting as usual. Soldiers came home, the population has exploded, life is as crazy as  ever here.  There are things about  this life I have always loved.  I have so much to tell- the little stories of daily living on an army post. The things I used to write about before Hell hit home. I can't wait to write more. For now, there is a great book waiting for me by my bed. I must go to it.


Long-time RN said...

Hey, new format. Nice!

Good to read you again. Very good to read both of you are finding a way back from being lost. Your life sounds very full with the support and care of your husband. These 'unseen' injuries are incredibly complex. Both of you are in thoughts and prayers.

Dang on the Harley boots ending up mismatched! Hope your foot heals promptly.

Will check in to see how the MED board came out and if you've chosen a nursing school.

Literary escapes, heavenly indeed!

Best to you, Julia Anna.

Erminia Cavins @ ParmeleLawFirm said...

It's good to hear that everything is going well with you and your husband. How are you feeling now? It seems like you applying for SSDI benefits went well for you. Anyway, I hope that you are utilizing your benefits well and that you can recover from your disability.