Whoa, It has been a long time!

For a long time I found blogging therapeutic, and it really is.   But last year we were struggling, I wouldn’t have admitted it then but now with a fresh new look on our life we really were.   Our marriage was as strong as ever but my husbands health was failing, physically and mentally.   I blame a poorly ran VA and I blame ourselves for not leaving the VA sooner.  We have had a year full of struggles and great things.  How do I even begin?!?

  • The beginning of last year my husband had some surgeries and spent the month of January recouping from them.
  • In February, we found out that we were expecting!  This was both great news but scary.  If you have miscarried before it really is hard to get excited because there is a nagging feeling that things could go wrong again.
  •  Pregnancy was not that bad, we had a few scares with the health of our baby, but in general it went well and it went fast!
  • We had a beautiful daughter in October, after a long stay in the hospital due to my health issues.
  • Fast forward to today and we are  in a totally different spot.

Life is crazy, life is even more crazy when your loved one is was injured in war.   I for my sanity need to start writing again.  I am grateful to my readers who did reach out to check in on me and plan to have a new post up soon.


If I Could Turn Back Time…

I am borrowing this idea from a fellow blogger.      The question occasionally pops up, if you could turn back time when would it be?

Well, when would I?  It is so hard to just choose one point in time.  I always say I don’t regret my past because it has brought me to where I am today.  That being said here are the times I would love to go back to  just to relive the joy that came out of those moments.

The day we met albeit, I was in pajamas I would love to go back to that moment. The exact moment when he knocked on my Aunt’s door and I instantly knew I had to get to know him.  I stayed up all that night thinking of the possibilities of us, and wishing I would not have been so shy.  He was so sexy standing by his truck finishing his cigarette and I  don’t even like smokers.  I can still remember the butterfly feeling he created in my tummy.  I can’t stop smiling just typing this.

The day we wed,  I always tell people when they see my pictures at work, I would love to repeat that day.  It was the best day minus not having my mom that had passed and my sister who was pregnant with twins on bed rest.   Our wedding was everything I ever dreamed and more, I loved the moment we said I do and he kissed me and dipped me back.

Special moments with mom.  All off the special moments with my mom were amazing and I sometimes start to forget because she has been gone for three years now but, reminding myself brings joy back in to my heart.  I loved how she would always take time to sit and read to us, how she always knew when something wasn’t right.    I love how as I grew older our relationship changed in to a friendship like no other.   I wish that she could have spent more time getting to know my husband.

What are some of your special moments in time that if you could, you would go back to?

One Reason I Love What I Do

Let me be completely honest, a lot of the time I do not like my current work situation, and I won’t bore you with the details as, it is a long story of working in a state institution, that isn’t ran so well and filled with many people with  undeserving of their current positions.

That being said there are many things I like about my job.  One of which happened yesterday.  We have a constant rotation of people that I provide training and teach.  These people often come from all over the United States and several from other countries, this particular group came from an island in the tropics.   At times this is peoples first time in the Midwest and their first experience with cold.  After teaching a class, I was walking with some of its participants to another building.    It was about ten degrees and windy, there had been a lot of ice melt (salt) thrown down on the sidewalks to prevent ice.     As we were walking one of the new people said “what is all this crunchy stuff” I said oh it’s ice melt,   her response back was “Ohhh  so that is what ice does when it melts? That’s COOL!”  I giggled to my self and  explained oh no that is to melt ice should it be created, it’s salt.

It  makes me giggle because it’s neat to see the naivety in someone experiencing a new environment that I have always known.   It reminds me of how awesome it was a child to experience little things you never have before.  It also reminds me that I cannot assume everyone understands all that I do.  Also that everyone brings new and differing experiences to the table.

The VA Caregiver

Well I wrote an appeal letter to the VA for the caregiver.  I wasn’t going to but then I spoke to a  fellow wife of a wounded veteran who happens to be a lawyer.  She mentioned that the particular Caregiver Coordinator  told her that our VA facility wanted to be the flagship facility for getting people out of the caregiver program.

That set me off, and I know that we qualify and I am tired of my husband not receiving the care or programs he is entitled to.  I took the time to find and review the activities of daily living (ADL) and the Safety  requirements that they look at to determine eligibility and the tier (there are three levels of caregiver stipend).  I went through each requirement and basically assigned the level I felt was appropriate and explained why I felt that way.

Well  I mailed it in on December 16th, and got a call on Thursday January 7th from the same coordinator saying that because of my letter the Caregiver Board wants us to come in for a review!  I was filled with emotions, as this is scary and exciting.  I am not sure if this is a good sign or not.  We will meet with a clinical psychologist, and then a social worker, and then the caregiver coordinator. I asked what to expect so I could prepare my husband.  I was very concerned because he refuses all psychiatric care from the VA.   She basically said the psychologist would review what I do for him and not ask anything in detail regarding his time in the service.  My friend said they will probably administer a 10 min memory test.     The Caregiver Coordinator then said when we meet with the social worker we would talk about the care he is receiving and what we are needing from them etc.

I immediately got off the phone with her and called home. I asked my husband if he was okay with proceeding and he said yes.   So on January 27th we will go to this appointment and hopefully be accepted in to this program.  If excepted this will help me to more fully support his care, and help us get him on the right track of care.  Additionally it will help financially.

My fears are that somehow we won’t get approved and won’t get the care he needs, or the act of going to this appointment will upset my husband.  Either way if we get approved or not, I know that as a wife I will fight to my last breath to get the best for my husband, even if that puts me out of my comfort zone at times.


Life After Miscarriage

In all honestly, I don’t want to even be typing this, but I am starting to acknowledge my feelings after losing our first pregnancy. December and now have been a rough time dealing with the emotions of it.

So many questions, like I wonder if it was a boy or girl? Was it something I could have prevented? Will we ever have a baby? Why does everyone else get pregnant on accident?

It seems like this is the month for pregnancy announcements and I can’t help but feel jealous. But it’s strange on the other hand I am super excited for them but then I start to question why not us? When will it be our turn?  etc.  It just plain stinks!  What makes it worse?  The person injured when my husband was girlfriend just announced they are having a little surprise.  I am happy for them but my self pity and sadness steps in and makes me sad.

I know it’s normal to have these feelings, the more I open up about it the more people open up to me about their miscarriages which is comforting. I just wish and hope that we get a chance to be parents soon.

Back to Reality

Well my two weeks off came to a close, and today I am back sitting at my desk working a job I don’t really like. The time off was filled with good times, bad times, and plenty of relaxation.

We first headed to family visit with his family. It was great, we spent time with his moms side, and got to see his bother who is in the Navy and meet his girlfriend. We went to dinner and hockey with the grand parents, and we went to see Star Wars as a family.  It was a  good few days. I later found out his Grandma on his Dad’s side was hurt because we didn’t drive the extra hour and half to see her.  I was able to smooth things over with her and explained we hadn’t intended to hurt her feelings.  It is just really hard when his dad and him no longer speak.

We had to be back in town to get his meds on the 23 so I went with, on the way home I heard from my sister that my aunt and uncle had an explosion and subsequent fire.  This was my dad’s childhood home and my uncle had lived there for over 70 years.  The house and its contents were a total loss. On the bright side my uncle escaped with minor injuries, and was able to make a couple of trips in to save farm records.  My aunt was unharmed.  The official cause has not officially been put on paper yet, but the fire investigator thinks that when lightning struck that morning, it came in on the copper lines from the LP gas tank, and when the furnace started up that morning it created the explosion in the basement.

On Christmas Eve my husband and I made it over to my dad’s and we went and saw the house (or what is left), it was still burning which was surprising but when you live out in the middle of no where and the wind was so bad, there was no point in the fire department sticking around, the house and the contents are gone.  We are so very thankful that my Aunt and Uncle were spared.   That night my dad was able to give some of my mom’s clothes to my aunt. Which is exactly what my Mom would have done this makes my heart happy.

My Husband, the dog and I stayed with my dad through Christmas and even the next day. It was great, it felt so good to stay with my dad, as it was the first time since my mom had passed that both my husband and I had stayed with him.  We went to church on Christmas Eve, and my sisters on Christmas.  Christmas in general was filled with food and family just the way I like  it :).

Surgery went well and we spent the last week of my vacation being bums around the house, well he had no choice but to lay and recover so I was able to get a lot done, such as organizing my closet, getting rid of clothes, cleaning, and I even made homemade noodles and chicken.    On New Year’s Eve we celebrated at eastern time with a kiss and then went to bed.

The following day we had to make a quick trip to the ER because his bleeding had picked up, but the issue was resolved and we only spent a few hours there.

My break is over, so I better return to work.

Next post I will talk about my resolutions for 2016. 🙂

Happy New Year to All!


Christmas and Surgery

As the Christmas Holiday approaches I always reflect, this year I seem to be reflecting more on my mom her life, and our last moments we shared.   Her last Christmas was spent being sick with a stomach bug, I was so excited because my husband would be coming to my families Christmas for the first time, however due to my mom being sick, I spent Christmas Eve with her and my dad, and then traveled up to his family.    My mom loved Christmas, I hate that her last one with us she was sick.

Our Tree

Every year she would make her famous cookies, that to this day everyone talks about.  I plan to make a batch for Christmas. When we were little she would also make chocolate fudge and peanut butter fudge,  and always had a decorative boot full of candy canes.  I hope one day, if we are lucky enough to be blessed with a child I want to continue on with her little traditions that made things so special.

I wrote an appeal for the caregiver program and hopefully that sheds some light on the issues we deal with everyday that may not be reflected in his medical records.   If not, oh well. We are no longer going to wait on the VA to take care of things when it is affecting my husbands life quality.   So that being said, we went ahead and have a surgery scheduled that we have been waiting for the VA to refer him to an outsider for two years.  His medicare and tricare insurance will cover everything so we shouldn’t have to worry about cost.

The difference between the VA and the outside provider was night and day.   We walk in to the appointment the surgeon took one look and said yep we need to fix this.  This is how I am going to fix it, when do you want me to?   I was in shock at how fast they wanted to get him in to do the surgery.  We were offered December 23, or December 29th.  I don’t want my husband to miss Christmas so we opted for the 29th.

I am not going to lie, I am nervous.  I know he needs the surgery, I just hate that he has to have yet another one.   We have lost count on how many he has had, but this will be the first that I am the only one to help with the aftercare.  His mom will be gone and won’t be able to come stay and help out.   I pray that everything goes smoothly and he recovers fairly quickly with the results that we need.

I know he has been through so much but everything he has gone through has made him a very strong person, and he is my rock, my one true love, and if anything ever happened to him I don’t know what I would do.  I never, ever thought I would find someone I love as much and that completes me but he does.

So our Christmas plans are to head out after I get off work today to spend some time with his Mom and family, and then head home on the 23rd, where we will spend Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day with my dad and sisters.


Neurologist Appointment Finally!

Well, we were denied for the caregiver program but I plan to appeal once we receive the official denial letter. The coordinator said we did not qualify because basically he has to be so bad that he would be in the nursing home if I were not there…. which is totally not the case with my husband.    The coordinator only focused on the PTSD and if he was suicidal which is not the only qualifications for the program and exactly why I am going to appeal.

Yes my husband has bad PTSD, however he is not suicidal, he also will not receive psychiatric care from the VA because he fears they will take away his gun rights etc.   So if that is truly the only qualification for the program we won’t ever qualify.

Meanwhile today my husband had an appointment with a neurologist outside of the VA. This is the first neurologist he has seen since he retired. Not because he didn’t want to but because the VA and it’s outside company Health Net that takes care of outside appointments have made it incredibly difficulty to get appointments when needed.

This was an appointment to address the debilitating headaches he has everyday.  On a daily basis he has a headache that ranges in intensity from 1-5 on the pain scale, and at least 3-6 times a week he has a debilitating migraine that will rang in intensity from 5-10 on the pain scale.    When he saw the doctor at the VA pain clinic he tried a new medication. But we only saw that doctor once before the doctor was arrested for over prescribing and killing patients. See my post about it Finally a Pain Clinic AppointmentWhat a Joke! and VA Doctor Arrested.

The appointment went well,    the VA had only sent minimal records so he needed more information, and getting someone with a brain injury to accurately recall every single medication that he has ever taken for it is next to impossible. So the doctor is going to try a higher dose of a current medication and  take a deeper look at his records next appointment is in January.

While we waited for the appointment we went ahead and scheduled an appointment with an ear nose and throat (ENT) doctor to see about getting his broken nose fixed.  The VA  refuses to get an outside referral for my husband on this but expects him to drive three hours to see one, so when they would do surgery it would require us to get a hotel etc and have to drive round trip 6+ hours for each pre op appointment, surgery, and post op.  That is not doable for us. So we plan to use his Tricare and medicare to cover it.



I Am Back

Some times life throws you a curve ball.   For the last month I have just needed a break.  The loss of the baby and work was stressing me out so much.   I had to take a break from anything extra.  Which I did!  I spent time with my husband, started doing old hobbies I forget that I love and I took a week off of work last week.    It helped me to get back in to my groove.

We went to stay with his Grandma who has been diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer for the week.    She is doing quite well, and I love visiting her. She and my Mom’s sister (my aunt) are best friends so I always feel at home when we are there.    My husband and I spent the week relaxing and hunting together.   I don’t hunt but I do love going and sitting out in the beautiful scenery and in general taking in all of the beautiful things God has made.   I do not like getting up at 5 to get out to the hunting spot but everything after is a wonderful journey and relaxing time spent with my husband.

We were able to go out a about four. times and got a doe for his mom on the first day!   My husband would have gone out much more but the pain prevented it.  But that is part of this life, and I am thankful that he got to enjoy as much of it as he was able to.

Our dog had the unfortunate experience of getting sprayed by a skunk for the first and hopefully last time!  It was while we were visiting family and so we had to act fast.    We ended up googling and found a recipe for peroxide, baking soda, and dish detergent.    It worked fabulous!  The smell was gone with one wash.   The only remaining stench was from the area on his head where i was scared to get it in his eyes.

My husband is having more difficulty remembering things and appropriately managing medication such as he forgets when or if he took it, or will forget to re order the medication.   This spells trouble when you are on a medication that if forgotten puts you through withdrawal.    His primary care physician has started to really invest and care for my husband along with his nurse.  The communicated with us that we needed to apply for the caregiver program.   So we did and received our first interview call last week.  This program would be very helpful to us as I am providing more care than before. I am glad that his care team has appeared to actually start caring for my husband.  This turn of events is good for him as I believe he will be more invested in looking for the best care if he knows that his team actually cares if that makes sense.

I know this post is rambling and I have so much more to talk about like Health Net, the  service used to receive care outside of the VA so I will have to make that my next post.

I hope that everyone has a wonderful week leading up to Thanksgiving!


Life Stinks at times….

So we are not going to be having a baby,  My levels were rising very slow, and on Friday they had me come in for an ultrasound and more blood work.   Everything looked okay on the ultrasound but my numbers were not good.  So I returned on monday and my HCG had started to drop. So  now I have to go in every few days and wait for them to return to normal meaning not pregnant. The doctor told me to expect a lot of bleeding and cramping, but she couldn’t tell me when.

How can this be? Why can’t something good come in to our lives,  we were both so very excited and now it has been ripped away.   Telling the grandparents was the worse they were upset.  My sister is expecting and I would have delivered shortly after her.   I am so happy for her but it makes it hurt even more.  She is pretty upset that I am going through this and has been wonderful to me though.

It’s hard because technically I am pregnant still, and I feel pregnant, but I know it will end and it’s just a waiting game now. My husband is doing okay but you can tell he is hurting too.    I wish this was all a bad dream, we were so very excited.

It hurts so bad to be mourning someone who most people didn’t even know existed yet, being at work is exhausting because you have to put on a happy face when it is  the last thing you want to do.

I pray for the strength for both of us to make it through this and that we one day can have a baby.