Monday, December 8, 2008

Injury List - Updated 12/7/09

Throughout the ordeal Paul has had:

14 surgeries, plastic surgery will be in the future

His left arm sewn to his side for 6 weeks

Severed tendons where the shrapnal sliced through

10cm section missing from his ulnar nerve from shrapnel

Severed ulnar artery that’s still not pumping blood as well as it should causing numbness, lack of movement and sensitivity to hot and cold

Burns throughout his hand and arm from the blast

Tennis ball size chunk of flesh missing from his forearm

Damaged, missing tissue from his hand and arm

Piece of his thumb missing, cuts throughout his fingers

MRSA staph infection

Other infections

Groin flap to repair the missing skin and tissue leaving a 10 inch scar along his side, over an inch wide in some places

Diminished lung capacity, breathing at 60%

Fractured and bruised tailbone

Chronic back spasms


PTSD (tested negative for TBI)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Some New Stuff Going On

It’s hard to believe that Paul was wounded 5 months ago already. It seems like so long ago that the kids and I were living in the hotel, our days centered around visiting him at BAMC yet it was only a few months ago. Sometimes I stop and realize how quickly our lives changed and how different things turned out. He would’ve been deployed for 8 months now and it feels like he was never gone in the first place. I’m glad he’s out of Afghanistan (please still keep his unit in your thoughts and prayers though) but the transition hasn’t been that easy. Some days are pretty normal but other days I think I’m ready to send him back. Not really of course but sometimes he’s a little difficult to live with. It’s not so much the physical injuries but the emotional ones are the ones that make it harder. It seems like he’ll fly off the handle at the slightest things, mostly directed at me but also directed the kids. It’s been a battle all on it’s own just to get him to apologize for his behavior and take some accountability for acting that way. I don’t know if he’ll ever be a happy person but his behavior resembles bipolar disorder at times so it’s frustrating.

As far as the physical stuff goes, his arm and left side are doing a lot better. His arm still looks disfigured (his word, not mine) and will until he goes in for plastic surgery to reconstruct that part of his arm. The scar on his side is healing although it’s over an inch wide in some parts and completely covers that side of his waist, being about 9 or 10 inches in length.

One thing I haven’t mentioned before is his tailbone. It’s always been tender for him and being in the hospital for as long as he was just made it so much worse. Upon further examination, his doctor determined that at some point he fractured his tailbone. The bone itself is bruised and that’s probably causing him the most pain out of everything. He’s not been on any pain, sleep, or mood medications for a month or so now and he’s pretty much stuck having to live with his tailbone the way it is because they can’t do anything to fix it.

A few weeks ago we took a trip up north to see our family. Paul has always been allergic to cats and some dogs but it’s only been a problem when he’s been around them or people with enough of the pet dander on their clothes. This time, however, he was still having problems when we got back. I suggested he mention it at his next doctors appointment so he could get some prescription allergy meds. The doctor sent him home with a plethera of medications, inhalers, etc, none of which really seemed to help. So then they decided to do a Total Lung Capacity (TLC) test to check his breathing. The doctor and his nurses were surprised at the results and that he was living a pretty normal life. I guess the test determined that his lungs were only functioning at 60%. They think the other 40% had been lost due to smoking (until he was wounded he had smoked for 24 years), his allergies and possibly asthma, and some of the smoke and poisonous gases from fire fighting when he was in Iraq.

So Friday he goes in for more tests to find out what caused the lung disease. I told him this means he’ll probably never be a smoker again and he said “why not?” I said it sounded like the lack of oxygen has gone to his brain already. I think he was being sarcastic but since he had smoked for so long I know it’s been hard to completely walk away from it. None the less I’ve seen my mom being kept alive by a heart and lung machine and it’s not a pretty sight so I know that diminished lung capacity isn’t something to take lightly. If Friday’s tests do find smoking as the main cause, I’m not going to say I told you so because the bottom line is that the damage is already done and we need to figure out what to do to prevent more from happening.

Aside from all that we will be going home for Christmas this year. We haven’t been “home” for Christmas since before he went active duty so we’re looking forward to it. That would be the holiday itself, not the cold. It’s been in the 70’s most days lately which has been wonderful but it hasn’t felt like a winter wonderland by any means. So while I’m hoping for a white Christmas this year, I hope it doesn’t stick around because we’ll have to leave shortly after because he has to be back on the 29th for another doctor’s appointment, thanks to his wonderful (note sarcasm) case manager. Two of the case managers he’s had have been fired, the one from the hospital who I used to rant about and one that I liked. The one now is the one who tried to say he was lying about having a PICC line because she couldn’t see it (it was covered by his clothes) and then tried to prevent him from going to Ft Hood to get our stuff moved by saying he wasn’t well enough to travel and that it was too far even though he had everything okay’d by his doctor. Then earlier this week she called my cell phone twice started at 7:03am leaving a message for him that she hadn’t seen him since he’d been back from leave. He got back the week of Thanksgiving which was a two day work week for the military so I don’t know why she was so worked up. It’s not like she doesn’t have his phone number either because the old one forwards to the new one. I think she just enjoys being a witch and making transitioning soldiers lives more difficult. Paul won’t let me go to his appointments with her probably because he knows I’ll tell her what I think of her. I just don’t think she’s the right person for the job that’s all.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It's Been Awhile....

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I last blogged. It might not seem that long for some people but it is for me. I just haven’t really been in the mood to sit down and type anything. We’re still getting used to the new house and the changes in our lives. Most things have stayed the same but some stuff is new. I don’t have to help Paul tie his shoes anymore lol. My 36 year old husband learned to tie his shoes with one hand and occasionally one hand and his teeth. Hey you do what works right? His whole arm continues to be the source of excruciating pain with the exception of the fingers that don’t have feeling and don’t want to work. He has physical therapy daily for at least two hours and he says some days the pain is so bad he’s ready to pass out. They even work out his good arm to keep it strong but even that one feels like one big pulled muscle to him. His side seems to be healing pretty well but bending forward to pick something up takes a whole lot longer and is excruciating for him.

His arm still looks pretty much the same which is what we expected. He had a round of electrotherapy today to help him try and regain feeling and movement. The therapist kept increasing the voltage but Paul had no feeling whatsoever throughout his hand and part of his arm. The therapist said that wasn’t a good sign. The longer it takes for him to get feeling back if at all, the lower the percentage of use he’ll probably get back. After the surgery to repair the ulnar nerve and tendons the surgeon was hoping for him to regain 80% of the use back but it’s not looking like that will be the case. It’s pretty soon to tell but there’s no doubt the ulnar nerve is permanently damaged and he’ll never regain strength in his pinky or ring finger. As it is he may never regain feeling in his pinky. Right now he’s got about as much grip strength in that hand as an infant so he’s still got a long way to go.

Paul has never been a fan of taking medications but he’s got a whole row of them to take at night. The doctor authorized him to take up to 8 Percocets and 4 OxyContins a day if he needs to, in addition to the don’t kill your wife drugs for anti depression and anti psychotics, or in other words to help with the PTSD. Yeah IED wounds are a real blast.

We’re still hoping to make a trip up north soon if not within a few weeks then maybe over Christmas or something. We had to get the paperwork resubmitted for his TSGLI pay. What should’ve taken 30 days to process has so far taken almost 3 months. His original application never turned up and it turns out roughly 500 individual claims were never submitted or just ended up lost somewhere. Granted the Army forced the MSG who was in charge of this stuff to retire but that doesn’t make me feel any better about one more opportunity for my husbands social security number to be floating around who knows where. I guess there’s nothing to do but just wait and follow up by the end of the week or early next if we haven’t heard anything. It’s just frustrating to not be able to do anything about it but I have a lot of faith in the person handling it now that he’ll get it taken care of.

Aside from that the kids are doing well, still heathens as usual. The other day when I was upstairs folding laundry Kaiden was down in the kitchen taking all my cookbooks off the rack thing that I have and tearing pages out. I was so upset because most of the ones he tore through were from my mom and were wedding gifts in 1965. I didn’t want to hide them away in a cabinet where I couldn’t easily flip through them (I’m short okay) so I had them displayed on a nice kitchen rack with shelves. During this meltdown, Paul in his infinate wisdom took the opportunity to point out that it’s common sense not to have them where he can get at them. That was so the wrong time to point that out, regardless of it being true or not. He must’ve sensed this because he and the kids disappeared upstairs for a good hour which left me some uninterrupted time to sit on the floor in tears trying to repair the cookbooks. It upsets me now to even write about it because you can’t even know what it’s like to lose someone like that unless you’ve been there. It’s hard enough for me just to go through and pick out recipes and see the smudges and the creased pages that I remember seeing open on the countertop dusted with flour. My mom was such a great cook, she was that room mom type of mom who was always involved in our school activities and we always had dinner together every night as a family. She’d make turkey dinners just out of the blue and pancakes every Sunday morning before church. It was those traditions and family time that I’ll always cherish and wish I would’ve appreciated more at the time.

Having my husband wounded has really opened my eyes about how precious life is and how we never know what’s going to happen. We shouldn’t take any moment for granted and we should enjoy the time we have. Had Paul been in a different vehicle I’d be writing this as an Army widow. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about that and how that could’ve been our reality. It just makes me stop and think about how different things could’ve been.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Blogging From My Phone (no internet yet!)

I’m pouting, I have no internet and have to type this from my phone. We finally checked out of the hotel today. It was 3 and a half long months for me but I’m grateful to have had a place to stay close by my husband. Not only that but my stay there came to a grand total of 3,688.96 dollars (no dollar sign on my phone sorry) and I didn’t have to pay a dime of it, thank you Army. So not bad at all. I’m glad to have a whole lot more room now but sometimes it feels like too much room. No complaints though but I have a feeling that we won’t be here long.

We bought Kyla a nice full size bed so we could move Kaiden to the toddler bed. As I type this both kids are sprawled out on the comforter on the floor in our room. Seems they’ve gotten used to sleeping in the same room as us. Paul and I hadn’t slept together in our bed since April 23rd (who’s counting lol) and we would’ve kind of preferred to have the room to ourselves. Oh well, 5am will still come bright and early regardless.

The kids were tired and cranky anyway because they had their shots today. Kaiden got 3 of them so he’s good now until he’s 4. Poor Kyla got 5 shots today but she’s good to go until she’s 12. She screamed bloody murder every time the needles got near her arm. Being the mean mommy that I am, I was laughing at her being so dramatic. She walked out of the hospital with her arms hung limply at her side, dragging her High School Musical purse full of her Cars behind her. This was after she decided it hurt too much to keep walking with her arms straight out like a mummy. Kaiden refused to walk and insisted on being carried everywhere. The joys of parenting, lol.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

PCS on Short Notice

This week has been really busy and while I have so much to blog about I have to make this quick so I can get to sleep. A lot of things are getting to me right now and that’s how it’s been all week. We finally got our move dates and even though his unit had said just let us know and well get it taken care of. It should’ve worked out smoothly but there was a huge hassle over him leaving and ultimately we ended up getting about half a day’s notice to get up to Hood to be ready for the movers to come. There was so much that didn’t get done and I got to the point where I didn’t care what got packed and what didn’t. We donated 16 bags of clothes to the thrift store on post and have a bunch more to either get rid of or put in a garage sale. Unlike the other houses I’ve lived in, I have no sentimental attachments to this house. Yes this is where we brought Kaiden to but that house and the rental company is such a headache that I’m just ready to be out of there for good. And of course what fun would a last minute, unorganized move be without one of the kids puking and not having any towels right there to clean it up because they were already packed?

I know moving is supposed to be one of the top stressful events in a person’s life but honestly, yeah it was stressful but not nearly as stressful as having your husband blown up by an IED. I keep thinking with each of these events in my life that each one at the time is the toughest but then something else comes along and I realize it was a lot harder than the last one and so on. People tell me a lot that God never gives us more than we can handle and that if he brings you to it he will bring you through it. Sometimes I wonder why I seem to get stuck with a bigger share of crap in my life to deal with while other people seem to have a much easier time. But I guess the grass isn’t always greener on the other side or if it is, then the water bill is probably a whole lot higher. But some days I just want to yell enough already! and let someone else share my burdens so I can just check out for awhile. I know it doesn’t work that way and that I’ll just keep finding the strength I need to deal with everything because it’s what I have to do.

I’m rambling right now because I’m worried. Paul has blood drawn twice a week to make sure everything is okay. Plus when I administer the heparin and the vancomycin I sterilize his PICC line with alcohol pads and my hands are always clean before coming into contact with his stuff. When I flush out his PICC line I’m supposed to pull back on the syringe to get a small amount of blood through the line but I haven’t been able to since last week. When the nurse came out to change the dressing and do the blood draw I told her that I haven’t been able to get any blood. After doing the last blood draw prior to our leaving to move, Paul’s white blood cell count came back way too low which means he has an infection again or at the very least, he’s in the high risk category for a serious infection. The hospital called right away when they got the labs back and said he needed to go off the vancomycin immediately. So rather than spend his leave time relaxing, tomorrow we’re headed to the infectious disease clinic at BAMC to see what’s going on, then to get his PICC line taken out and hopefully the rest of his staples taken out. Something tells me that’s all not going to go as smoothly as it sounds and there’s going to be something wrong. Paul normally has a strong kick ass immune system so hopefully that will be to his advantage. I’m really hoping he doesn’t end up back in the hospital.

Monday, September 15, 2008

It's the little things...

I left my laptop at the old house by mistake so I'm borrowing Paul's but I just had to blog that Paul squeezed my hand with his left hand! Now it wasn't much at all and pretty much no strength but that was a huge deal since he hasn't held my hand with that one since before he left. He still doesn't have any feeling in his pinky and can only slightly bend and wiggle his other fingers but each day he makes a little more progress.

This weekend went by quick and we have a lot to do tomorrow so I'm off to bed but just wanted to share something that sounds like a small thing but is still a huge step for him.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Meeting Tim McGraw

This blog is going to be short because I'm exhausted and have to be up for formation again tomorrow plus we have another full day of stuff to get done. I miss my bed lol. Anyway, tonight we went to the Tim McGraw concert that was here on post and free for military families (not open to the public). Because we went through the Wounded Warrior center we all got to go VIP and sit in a special section closer to the stage. We also got goodie bags full of stuff from Sprint and free Chipotle burritos and chips. Paul was one of the lucky 13 who got to go back stage and meet Tim McGraw! He didn't want to go back because we couldn't go with him but I basically made it clear that he would die a slow, painful death if he didn't get me an autograph or a picture. So it's not a posed picture with him but it's a close up which is pretty cool. Of course my pen wouldn't work so you can hardly see the autograph on the picture I bought but he did sign his backstage pass so technically we got 2 autographs. I forgot to take a picture of that to post so I'll do it later when my eyelids welcome the thought of staying open.

I don't have that many pictures because we had to take the old camera since the new one is also a camcorder and those weren't allowed. It was an awesome show, the second time I've seen him in concert but Kaiden was tired and cranky so we started walking towards the shuttles before the show was over because he was so hot and screaming his head off. Of course both kids fell asleep on the way back and woke up just long enough to put their jammies on and go back to sleep. Speaking of sleep, my pillow is calling and my head won't be there long enough courtesy of the military and their o'dark thirty formations.

Monday, September 8, 2008

I'm not cut out for this military life.

Paul was finally released on Wednesday after spending 64 days at BAMC. I thought he'd get 30 days of convalescent leave to relax but every week day is full. I was quickly reminded that I'm not a morning person and could never join the military because I enjoy sleeping. I'm actually being paid by the Army to be Paul's non medical attendant since he can't be left alone and needs me to do a lot for him. I get to flush out his PICC line and give him heparin and antibiotics daily for the next 6 weeks. Once a week he gets a new supply of meds to go into his mini fridge (that's also taking up space in our cramped hotel room) and someone comes in to change the dressing on the wounds. Paul has to wear this bottle thing that's attached to his PICC line so that's getting old for him to carry around all the time.

Last week we did a lot of walking which left him pretty sore after being bedridden for over 2 months. When I mentioned having to go everywhere with him I wasn't kidding. That includes formation and all the inprocessing stuff that he has to go through. I have to do all of his paperwork and go to every appointment and meeting. He's got a list that seems a mile long of doctor's appointments for the next few weeks. There's a whole lot of hurry up and wait for me and for the time being it's me and the kids.

Kaiden came down with a cold again and after this afternoon we almost got a trip to the ER. We were out at the house doing stuff when he climbed up into a folding chair in the kitchen and leaned over too far. He fell flat on his face on the floor, splitting his lip (the 3rd time this week he's split his lip, this time the top and bottom) and banging up his nose, giving him a nosebleed out both sides. Poor kid didn't feel well in the first place and now his face is all banged up. Normally when he gets hurt he cries for less than a minute and is off playing again but this time he cried for over 15 minutes and clung to me. We grabbed our stuff and left and he had fallen asleep as soon as we got out on the main road. I was planning off Paul and Kyla and taking Kaiden up to BAMC but when I got Kaiden out of the truck he was back to his old self, running around and playing so I'm just keeping a close eye on him. I was worried that his nose was broken but so far no black eyes so we'll see what tomorrow brings. I have a funny feeling that he's going to be my kid who frequents the ER throughout his childhood. He never walks anywhere, he constantly runs and usually away from me if he can. He's really started talking a lot more since Paul's been back. His favorite words are "let go," "ha ha," "thank you," "Kyla!" "uh oh," and "dadda." Those are the ones we can understand but he's babbling a whole lot more.

Kyla is doing really well too and is absolutely thrilled to have her daddy back home. Suddenly mommy is chopped liver lol. She's come so far with her letters and can sing the alphabet song and tell you what sound each letter makes. She's started spelling words with her Hooked on Phonics stuff and is recognizing words when we're out someplace. We've started to notice when she's reading letters on signs that she reads right to left so we need to work on that with her a little more. She's going to be starting part time preschool on post after she gets done with her SNAP testing (special needs something something lol) through CYS. Because Paul is injuried and has a bunch of medical appointments, we qualify for unlimited hourly care at the CDC on post and the preschool program is right there too. I know she'll have a great time with that instead of being stuck with us all day. Kaiden's pretty clingy these days and he'll probably start before Kyla will since he seems to be developing normally so hopefully that goes well.

It's nice to have my husband back, even if he moves a whole lot slower and can't do as much. I know he's frustrated with not being able to do simple, mundane tasks and has a hard time asking for help. I feel guilty saying "do you want a hand?" but since his hand is out of commission that's pretty much just what he needs. He'd kill me for saying this but in some ways it's like taking care of another child because he's so limited on what he can and can't do. It's driving him nuts not to be able to drive, or carry something or even tie his shoes. I know he wants to get his leave and go home for a few weeks but with having to have the nurses come in once a week and all of his appointments he really can't go anywhere for awhile. Hopefully we'll be able to make a trip up north for Christmas.

I added some pictures to the Wounded Warrior album of how his injuries look as of today. I don't know if they're TMI but they aren't pretty. While he went in with one injury, he came out with two and the second one is just as bad as the first with all the infections he had. I learned later on that there were more infections than the two I was aware of. I'll post another update soon but this week looks to be even busier than last week so I don't know when, plus I have to share my network cable with my husband and you know how that goes. I need to get some sleep so I can be up at o'dark thirty.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

One more day I guess.

Well he wasn't able to get out yet today but they did remove the 2 drain thingys. I guess they are going to see how he does overnight and then hopefully send him home tomorrow instead. He actually fell asleep while we were there this afternoon and he didn't even hear us leave lol. I know he'll be glad to be somewhere where people aren't going in and out of his room all night and leaving lights on or messing with him. He had a physical "terrorist" work with him today and she insisted he pick stuff up and he kept telling her that his hand can't physically do that because of the extensive nerve damage. She refused to listen and told him he can't say "can't" and treated him like he was intentionally avoiding doing the therapy. She tried to get him to pick up a whole can of Pepsi that was open and he said no because his fingers are extremely sore and sensitive to hot and cold plus he'd spill it everywhere because he can't make his hand move that way. So then she stuck a ball against his fingers and held it there and tried to say look you're doing it. He said no you're the one doing it, not me because like I told you I have no grip strength and my hand doesn't bend that way yet! Once again she said you can't say can't and he said well I'll tell you what I can say lol.

I know they have the best intentions to get stuff moving again but I know he'd do whatever he could in a heartbeat. No one wants him to get his strength back in that arm and hand more than he does. But it's going to take time and he understands that. I watched him try and play his PSP last night and he had it propped up and was controlling it with his right hand and tapping the buttons as best as he could with his left finger tips so he'll get there eventually. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither were his nerves and tendons lol.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Today makes 2 months in the hospital.

Paul had his arm unattached from his side last Thursday and the doctors were happy that he was healing up better than they expected. Unfortunately while he went into the hospital with one injury, he will be leaving with two and a whole lot of scarring. His side is in pretty bad shape from all the infections (there ended up being more than 2, a bunch of smaller ones kept invading him) and he still has staples and stitches that will have to come out. As of right now he still has two drains coming out of his side that they are hoping to take out at some time today. His arm looks like it swallowed a tennis ball because it sticks out in a rounded shape where the new section is. So rather than sinking in like it did before it sticks out and is still stitched all around it.

I honestly don't think either one of them look bad but Paul has times where he gets pissed that he's going to be disfigured for the rest of his life (his words, not mine). I know he's going through a lot of different emotions about this and that it's normal and all but it's hard to watch someone you love dealing with this stuff and not being able to fix things. He's ready to get out of the hospital and go home and get back to driving a car and doing his every day normal things and I think he's going to be a bit surprised at how tough some things are going to be for him. He insists on not going back to the hotel when we have a perfectly good house to move into but the WTU may have other plans and want to keep him close by. That should be an interesting battle.

I did finally meet up with one of the other spouses here from the unit. Her husband is in pretty bad shape with 52% of his body being burned and losing part of his arm. Yet he's doing really well from the sounds of it and still doing his best to joke around with his wife through all the tubes in his throat. I can tell just by talking to his wife that they'll be alright and will get though this. She was telling me of another spouse who saw her badly burned husband and decided that she couldn't handle it because he didn't look like the man she married so she left her ring by his bed and left their kids with his parents. A month or so later the guy had died. I can't imagine what goes through some of these guys minds to not have their families by their side every step of the way. I know a lot of them have to be worried that their wives are going to reject them because of the way they look now. That's one of the reasons I keep telling Paul that his arm and side aren't that big of a deal. It's not to minimize it or anything like that but I just want to remind him that we can deal with this and that things will be okay.

Hopefully the next update I post will be to say that he's gotten out of the hospital. That was supposed to happen today but we still haven't heard yet what's going on.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Hoping for the best outcome.

It's been awhile since I posted an update about everything. I've posted blogs here and there, some just for me to collect my thoughts, vent, etc but aside from that I've been so busy trying to get everything done. I was going to jet up to the house this weekend (said that plenty of times now) but I was busy down here. We've got a realtor helping us with a house that we both instantly fell in love with. We're still planning on renting and he was more than happy to show us the house and help in any way he can. He's a friend of a friend of Paul's I guess and just a really nice guy. It would be nice to buy rather than rent because if his disability rating is higher than 30% he would get 1% knocked off the interest rate if we financed through the VA. There's just no way I want to buy in Texas though. We had originally planned to stay the 3 years in TX and then move elsewhere and don't want to have to worry about a house keeping us here.

Paul is still in the same room but moved to the other bed again to have a little more room. His new number is (210) 916 5296. That's one of the numbers he had before. He's still got his traction bed with the triangle bar to help him sit up lol. Hopefully some time this week or next they can detach his arm. Rather than keep him for 6 additional weeks the plan is to send him home with his antibiotics and hope that works. I think I mentioned that previously but so far things haven't changed and he's on track for that. Surgery on Friday went pretty well so hopefully he's right on schedule for the next one.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Just when I thought we were getting somewhere.

I guess this counts as another set back. The infection that Paul has now is going to take longer to heal. He's on an IV of Erythromycin, in addition to his other IV and he'll have to be on it for awhile. This morning the doctor said that he'll be in the hospital another 6 weeks after his arm is detached from his side. Today is day 41 since he was hit and he still has another week or two before they can detach his arm, so that puts us into October...

To top it off a good friend of mine (thank you for being one of the few spouses who gives a damn) in the unit let us know that two of the guys that Paul was with when he got hit, got hit again and are both on their way back to the states if they haven't already made it here. Whoever has said that Afghanistan isn't as dangerous as Iraq was full of it. Selfishly I'm grateful that my husband is safe at night in a free country but I still worry a lot about the ones who aren't. I don't know why it bothers me that for just about everyone else who has been injured there has been an email update that's gone out to the families, yet there was never anything about Paul's injuries. That just struck a nerve with me. It's not like we haven't ever said anything to question why that is. Whatever, thanks anyway.

I hate posting negative blogs all the time but some days are really just overwhelming. There's so much for me to do and I can barely keep track of it all. We have to officially report here on the 25th. I'm not sure how that works considering my husband reported there a long time ago. I wish I had someone to help me at Hood when it comes to making sure everything is done with outprocessing.

If anybody at Hood has young kids and they need some clothes, I have approximately 10 huge rubbermaid totes of clothes (more girls clothes newborn to 4T) that I would rather not drag to Ft Sam with me. I know I could easily sell them on ebay but right now I don't have time to put all the work into that. I guess if I just say screw it and have them moved I can do that then but we'll be moving our washer & dryer this time which will add more to our weight allowance. We were close before without them lol. I have half a garage to clean out and take to goodwill so if anybody wants two heathens for a couple hours I'd be thrilled. I'm going back up there soon and have to grab my checks, my POA and my CYS paperwork for child care down here. I love my kids but they need more to do than be stuck in a hotel or a hospital room all day. Plus I have stuff that would be easier to do without them along.

Thanks for all the help so far from everybody!!!

A big step in the right direction.

Today is day 40 since Paul was hit and for the first time he moved 4 of his fingers!!!! He could bend his first finger a little and slightly move the next two which is a huge deal because of the severe nerve and tendon damage. His pinky still has no feeling so he didn't even try moving that one. You can see the section of his thumb that's missing and it even looks like it's healing the area around it that's not burned. Overall his hand was really looking better than I would've expected it to at this point. He's on another antibiotic for the infection and it's not nearly as serious as the staph infection was so hopefully that will be going away soon. Other than being crabby because he's still there, and sick of the food, he's doing okay. The hospital says he's malnurished so he needs to start eating like a pig which is a little hard to do with the nasty hospital food.

The kids are still driving me nuts, Kaiden moves so fast it's hard to keep up with him, especially when my hands are full. I think that kid needs one of those leashes lol. Since he refuses to stay in the stroller and can work his way out of any 5 pt harness, I try to hold his hand when we're walking and he turns into a wet noodle lol. Kyla is just so whiny and doesn't listen at all at times. I've been trying to work with her with some of those preschool workbooks but I can see where she's lacking and hopefully as soon as we get moved here, maybe before we can get into a regular routine. There's a great place close by that deals specifically with kids on the autism spectrum that comes highly recommended, plus it's fully covered by Tricare. I love my kids but I'm really looking forward to getting them into daycare/preschool so I can get more stuff done on my own and hopefully start working again at least part time.

I have two houses to go look at this week, both with almost twice the amount of room we have now. I'm finding that I'm not even homesick because home is where our family is, whether it's here or there. LOL besides when I think of going "home" I start thinking about all the work that needs to be done to move and having to deal with the rental company! I'm sure that will be a pleasant experience as usual lol.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Some good news, some bad.

Paul has another infection. They don't know what this one is either but don't think it's staph. He had surgery early this morning and up until today his pain level wasn't that bad but now because they've been constantly messing with it, he's hurting and back on the stronger drugs. He'll get a break tomorrow and then go back in for surgery again Friday. I guess I figured for the amount of times they've gone back in and opened him up to clean things out that he'd avoid infections. So another setback but so far he's been able to have his arm attached so hopefully that means that surgery to unattach it will go as planned in a couple of weeks.

I did get moved into a hotel room roughly half the size of the other one. It's not that big of a deal, I look at it as having less space for the kids to destroy. Plus now I have a decent TV and DVD player, remotes that work, real water pressure in the shower, and a fridge that seems to stay cold. When I was moving stuff (it took me almost 2 hours with the kids in tow), I discovered that the door to the other room didn't lock like it was supposed to which kind of creeps me out. If I had known that earlier I would've changed rooms that much sooner.

The good news is that we got his orders so I can take them to transportation and get that set up and start the process with getting out of our house. I can also switch the kids doctors and get them all set with CYS for child care and preschool - yay! The ironic thing is that the orders have been ready since the 24th and just sitting on someone's desk at Hood because they apparently didn't think it was important for us to have. But that means everything goes back to the date they were effective so basically as soon as we have a house here to move our belongings into the better. I guess if we have any problems with our rental company about the house we've got a unit here willing to make the necessary phone calls if needed. Not just to them but to the press if it comes down to it lol. I really hope it doesn't come to that and that we don't have any issues! Fortunately this time there's no cross country move so hopefully things go smoothly with that. If I know my husband, if he gets the chance to go to our house and get his computer stuff ready to move he will. He obviously can't move any of it but he's already worrying about his stuff lol. I told him that it doesn't have that far to go and if something gets damaged it gets replaced. Chances are the kids and I will be staying here and then moving into someplace here, whether it's on post or off. There's a whole lot to do all of a sudden lol! My IL's are coming down to visit on a long weekend so we're looking forward to that.

Once Paul does finally get out of the hospital and back home he gets 30 days of convalescent leave that doesn't count against his regular leave time. He's really looking forward to that but isn't sure if he's ready to fly yet with the PTSD stuff, so chances are I'll be driving us there and back again and for sure stopping overnight! I wish I could skip ahead to the relaxing vacation part lol!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Pass the Valium and some liquor.

Paul has to stay in the hospital for 2 more weeks... at the minimum. Not only that but he will be going into surgery just about every other day to have his side messed with (tomorrow is 9). I honestly don't understand why because it would seem like they'd want to leave things alone so they could heal. He's got one of these things hooked up to keep the drainage stuff away from the wounds and the other day Kaiden accidentally shut it off which changed the pressure in his arm, making him just about come right off the bed because it hurt that bad. So he'll be there even after they unattach his arm, maybe as long as 3 more weeks.

I feel so stressed out and overwhelmed sometimes. The kids are driving me insane and Hood is taking their sweet time getting him outprocessed so we can't do anything. I don't know if I can get them registered with Child & Youth Services because we don't have permanent orders here. I either have to changed our PCM through Tricare and hope I can get on post care or drive back up for the kids' appointments because Kaiden is due for his 18 month shots and can't go into daycare being behind on them. It really sucks because we can't turn in our 30 day notice on our house because we can't use the military clause without permanent orders. So we're throwing money away on a house and all the utilities that we're not using. We even asked if we could have the military just move the stuff into storage here until we can get housing or a house here and we can't do that either. The water company is making it difficult and the cable company won't work with us either. It's just stupid.

Because he's going to be inpatient for another couple weeks or so, I have to move back into a single hotel room half the size of this one. They know we're basically living here so it's going to be such a pain tripping over our stuff. I might just go home for a bit and start getting stuff ready to be moved and see if I can rent some tables for a garage sale. The unit here is constantly on the old unit's case to get the orders done so I don't know what the deal is. Not only that but he's been back here over a month and his stuff still isn't here. I guess I have to contact Rear D to see if it's just sitting there or what. The main things he's worried about are his laptop, external hard drive (full of stuff) and his PSP lol. At least that stuff would give him more to do than just sit in a hospital bed watching the clock.

I hope after all this everything heals up okay. I contacted Army One Source and they are sending me this organizational binder for wounded warriors and their families so that should come in handy. Hopefully tomorrow brings better news or at least a little less stress lol. I keep telling his case manager that they should issue Xanax to the spouses at the start of the deployment and bump up the dose as needed. I'm trying to get used to my thyroid medication so I can chill out a bit and now flip out over the slightest thing. LOL so far I'm not rolling with it like a seasoned military wife!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Day 35 (ish)

I'm beginning to wonder if Paul is ever going to get out of the hospital. Seriously if it isn't one thing... He had surgery today again and I have no idea how they closed him up because he's supposed to go back down to surgery tomorrow to get the drain thing that they put in taken back out and get stitches put in where the staples were. Funny how the last time he had that stuff was when he had the infection, yet when I asked if it was back or not all gone they kind of tiptoed around the answer. He's still of course on antibiotics so I hope the infection isn't back because then I'd have to wonder why they aren't working to keep it away.

This whole thing is frustrating because Paul is so sick of being in the hospital. It's definitely starting to wear on me and the kids too. Tomorrow will be the second time that they have to extend my travel orders. I waited until the last day because I didn't know if he would be stitched up and sent out the door but now I don't even know if he'll make it out of there this week even.

I think I'm going to have to get back up to Ft Hood this week after all and just start getting stuff ready to be packed up. It's hard for me to be at the hospital with the kids because there is so much for Kaiden to get into and I spend most of my time chasing after him. I bring stuff up with me for them to do or play with but it only entertains them for so long with all the stuff in the hospital room. Thankfully Paul doesn't have a roomate right now because otherwise we get to see him for about 10 minutes a day which sucks.

I've been looking at houses to rent, something with a little more space again but I still need to get back home to have a garage sale. I have NO idea how I could pull that off with the kids. I just have tons of clothes to sell, especially Kyla's stuff. The thought of ebaying it seems like a lot of work, plus it takes me forever to get to the post office. Hense the reason Paul got 3 care packages at once. And speaking of those I have to contact Rear D again and ask if they've seen any of his stuff come through since they couldn't just let a friend of his send it home to his house. Heaven forbid the Army just do things the easy way. I'm sure this way they can inventory stuff and nose through this things so half of it will come back and the other half will be missing. (watch, Wiley X's, etc, etc, etc) I guess they're just possessions and I'm glad I have my husband back in almost one piece but sometimes the way the Army does things leaves me shaking my head.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Paul has to have surgery again.

His side isn't healing well where the staples are (he's got both staples and stitches) so they are going in tomorrow to clean things out and put in sutures to help it heal better. The staples were starting to pull apart and it was starting to drain too much again. I was expecting to be able to have him out of there today or tomorrow, not have surgery 8 or 9, whichever it is now. So far they are not planning on unstitching his arm again and I don't know if this one will delay things even more where he'll have to have his arm sewn to his side even longer. When he does get out he'll have to come back to have it unstitched and he'll have to stay a few days for that too. He's coming up on 35 days in the hospital and he's just tired of being there. The kids and I are ready to have him back home with us, well home away from home I guess, but I know he needs to get things healed up right.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

A month ago today...

I got a phone call that would change my life. When the initial shock wore off I was grateful that it was the phone that rang and not the doorbell.

A month ago today is the day that forever changed my husband's life and would start his long journey to recovery. The reason he's still in the hospital today.

Our lives can change in the blink of an eye. Some days I can't believe it happened. Seeing stitches, staples, burns, and bandages usually brings me right back to reality. Helping my husband do most normal daily tasks, like showering, putting on deodorant and opening bottles of Mt Dew has become second nature to me by now. At first he wanted to try and do it all himself because he knew he would eventually have to but I always stay a few steps ahead of him so he doesn't have to do that stuff yet while he's still in pain.

Being here at this base is a huge eye opener of the effects of war. When someone says their wounded warrior is in a certain section of the hospital I can tell which ones are really bad off and which ones are somewhat lucky like mine. After all the surgeries this past month, luck isn't a word you'd think I'd use, but I have my husband and he's safe. So then again maybe it's not just luck that has him here.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Some good news for a change!

The staph infection is gone! The doctor called me and told me the surgery went well and everything came back clear when they checked for any remaining infection. They did sew his arm back to his side and the 3 week countdown started back over but they don't plan to keep him in the hospital the entire time! They put in a PICC line for his meds and they're going to show me what to do when he's outpatient since it's in his right arm and he won't be able to do it himself. From the way things sound, he could still be released at the end of the week if everything goes okay. We'll still be staying in lodging for wounded soldiers and families so he can still get to the hospital easily but it will be nice to have him out of there! He says he wants to just sleep in his own bed even for one night lol. Hopefully things continue to go well and he can come home soon!

Friday, July 25, 2008

We got to meet the Secretary of Defense!

He came to visit the hospital today and stopped in to visit Paul! It was just a brief visit but he shook his hand, and chatted with him for a bit, thanking him for serving. He gave him a challenge coin and also gave one to Kyla. I was going to take a picture but I was holding Kaiden and couldn't get to the camera. There was a reporter taking pictures so if there's one of him and Paul online I'll post it. It was pretty cool though because he thanked all of us for our sacrifices.

Paul is getting ready for surgery tomorrow again because the infection spread from his side to his arm and his fingers overnight. I haven't heard what kind of infection it is but since that's how I lost my mom I'm kind of freaking out over that. We were walking around the hallways together when I noticed a huge spot of blood on the back of his shirt. He's got a tube coming out of his back to help drain it (nasty looking) and it was draining too much again so he got more stitches in his side tonight to help with that until surgery. For the amount of blood that he's lost since the actual injury, I'm really surprised he hasn't had to have any blood transfusions. He's still not out of the woods yet and will still be in the hospital for awhile yet.

A big setback.

Paul has a staph infection and is going to be quarantined again. That means the kids can't come see him and since I always have them I can't either for as long as he's in a quarantine room. He'll be on antibiotics for 4-6 weeks and it should take care of the infection but it was moving through his body fast.

Staph is the type of infection that took the life of my mom.

I keep thinking about how the case manager wanted to push him out the door to Hood or to get him released and it makes me mad. I could've easily had a soldier who survived an IED blast only to sucumb to an infection. Scary stuff. Of course I'm also thinking if he had gone to Hood would this have happened? Maybe they would've caught it sooner or maybe not even at all.

He's going in for surgery today around lunch time to have his incision in his side looked at and sew it up more. He just called back and the nurses said it shouldn't be an issue for the kids to come up and see him, provided they use the hand sanitizer stuff. Chances are though we might have to start gowning up like the staff does just for safety reasons.

I can't describe the feelings running through my mind right now. To me this is the scariest part of his recovery because I know first hand how bad things can get with a staph infection. Thankfully Paul was in the hospital when it was discovered. Had my mom been in we might have been able to save her life.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wounded Warrior Update.

It's been awhile since I last posted an update so I figured I'd share one with you since the kids are crashed out. I can't remember what all I've posted so far so hopefully I don't repeat too much. Paul is still in the hospital and had surgery last week and again today. Last week was the big one though. He had severed some tendons so they tied those back together. He also missing an 8-10cm section of his nerve so they took a nerve in his leg and in the back of his hand and transplanted it into his arm to hopefully get some of the movement back. Then they did what's called a groin flap (a little TMI here) and took skin and tissue from his side and groin area and put that into the areas that were missing and his arm is sewn to his side for three weeks while the new skin grows and heals. It really did look like a shark had bit him deeply but after seeing the pictures of his arm with the new skin I think it's going to heal really nicely. Prior to that surgery their prognosis was that he'd regain roughly 10% of the use in his hand and arm and after the surgery their estimate was closer to 80% which is wonderful.

He had surgery again today because he developed an infection in the incision in his side. I think he over did things because as soon as he was cleared to sit in a chair or briefly walk around he wouldn't get back into bed until he had to at night. He's hoping to be discharged to outpatient status soon which means I'll be changing the bandages for him but I know he's just wanting to be home again. Well that and he wants to oversee our move.

We decided to PCS here because this is a great hospital and the Warrior Transition Unit is awesome. It wasn't an easy decison and we argued a bit because he kept trying to do what he thought would be easiest for me and the kids rather than what was best for his well being. We went over every pro and con and finally came to the conclusion that this is where he needed to be. Fortunately it's only about 2.5 hours from Hood so no cross country move. I've found so much support here which I needed because I hadn't heard from the FRG this entire time until recently and by then I didn't even care. Plus it's kind of nice to already know someone here!

I've been so busy since I brought the kids here that I haven't been able to get online as often. Once I get them to bed I'm usually ready to crash right afterwards. If anything new comes up just check the blog or my status. I'm posting a kind of blurry picture of Paul with his new zippo lighter that the unit had engraved and sent to him. His had been blown off him when he was hit and they never did recover it. :(

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Paul's address at BAMC.

Here's an address for Paul at BAMC (Brook Army Medical Center). He should be there for at least three more weeks.

Brook Army Medical Center
3851 Roger Brook Drive
Fort Sam Houston, TX 78233-6200

The everything in a nutshell blog.

According to my husband I'm "one Army wife you don't want to mess with." LOL, I think that's funny. Although the irony of that is the person who he said that to was the case manager and he is the one person who has seriously pissed me off lately. It's a long story but let's just say I fought the battle of Fort Hood and won. The case manager was trying to rush Paul out the door, whether it was a transfer to Ft Hood, a discharge, whatever, he wasn't waiting for the paperwork or listening to the unit and doctors. Then he tried backtracking his words and acting like I was wrong so I set him straight each time he tried taking the bull by it's horns. I can't say I was polite but at least my trucker's mouth was parked for awhile since I got the job done without colorful words.

Anyway, aside from that if you saw my status I'm sorry I haven't explained or responded back yet. I've been so busy lately dealing with everything going on and Paul's surgery that my emails are piling up and I haven't gotten back to people's IM's and calls. Sorry about that but it's going to stay busy for awhile and I hope you know it's not intentional. I am actually waiting to catch a flight back to Michigan to get the kids and the car and start driving south again. Not looking forward to that drive but I want to get back here so we can all be together again. The kids are really missing us and we're missing them just as much.

Paul had surgery on Tuesday and he's recovering but it's rough. His left arm is literally sewn to his side. Yes I tried to take pictures but he wouldn't let me because his hand basically rests on his guy parts and he didn't care to have those showcased on myspace. His midsection is wrapped up like a mummy though so he can't even really move. He had what's called a groin flap, where they took skin out of the groin area and transplanted it into his arm and then attached his arm to his side to regrow skin and tissue. He also had some tendons that were torn, tied back together. He was missing an 8-10cm section of his nerve in his hand and then a small section of nerve in his thumb and the doctor did a nerve transplant to repair that.

Not an easy surgery by any means but he's surviving. He's already starting physical therapy so that his shoulder doesn't get stiffened up being in the same position for three weeks. Yep, he's got to stay like that for 3 weeks until the skin grows and heals.

Since he's going to be in the hospital for so long and this is a really good hospital, we've decided to stay here at Ft Sam Houston in San Antonio. Paul is temporarily assigned here and we're in the process of getting him permanent orders (permanent change of station) here so we can get moved down here. Don't think that was an easy decision because Paul and I fought over every little detail, and every pro and con about moving here or going back to Hood. We decided he needed to be here and fortunately they were able to still get the surgery done so he can start healing that much faster.

I do have an address for Paul if anybody wants to send him a card or any get well wishes. I'm going to post it in a separate email so it's easy to find. I'll post another update again when I can.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

10 Day Update

Sorry it's been awhile since I posted an update. Thanks again for all the comments and well wishes. It's been 10 days since Paul was hit and they were talking about sending him back to Ft Hood on Monday but then his plt sgt said wait, none of his paperwork is done and that's way too soon. The last thing we need is for him to get to Hood and have another screw up. Paul is already convinced that Hood would probably "accidentally" amputate his good arm. He wants to go home but since he's going to be inpatient for awhile longer and his doctors are all here he might as well stay. He and I talked about transferring down here since he's assigned to Ft Sam. I'm not sure if we still have to wait 30 days or if we can just request a transfer since this is technically his unit now. Obviously the job market here in San Antonio is much better than Killeen and because I firmly believe that Killeen is the armpit of America, it might not be a bad idea to come here. Not to mention our house that I just love so much is going to be costing us $1500 a month and BAH is just over half that, what's the point?

Aside from that he's going to be having another surgery (he's had 4 or 5 so far, I'm starting to lose track) and that one will be kind of rough for him. He's lost an 8cm section of his nerve so they will take a nerve out of his leg and transplant it into his arm. That's his best chance to get any type of movement back but may or may not be successful. He's still trying to catch up on sleep since this all happened. Nightmares are a huge issue so he'll get something to help with that. The PTSD is much worse this time around but he's talking to people about what happened so I know that will help him deal with stuff. He has no issues with talking to a chaplain or psychologist or even taking something to help him sleep or with the anxiety. I watched him sleep earlier and could tell when he was having a dream because his whole body moved. I moved him slightly to briefly wake him up which made him mad but I knew he'd stop the dream for a minute. It's hard to watch someone dealing with that kind of stuff when you know there's not a whole lot that you can do.

I helped him take a shower and while I was sure the next time I saw him naked it would be more exciting for me but not the case lol. He's not the type to let people help him so it's hard for him to step back and have someone else doing the work. He has gotten outside a couple of times but they won't let him smoke so that's ruining happy time for him lol.

I'm heading downstairs to eat with all the in laws, I'm sure I'll have plenty to type about that later. If I remember I'll post Paul's address here but if you want to send him a card or something you can just send it to our house.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


I feel so helpless because the Army is taking their sweet time getting us down to where Paul is at. He finally got to San Antonio only to find out that Germany lost all his paperwork so he had to do everything over again, meaning they moved his hand and arm and he's in excruciating pain. It wouldn't have been so bad but they gave him a much lower dose of the pain meds and won't give him anything to help him sleep. He's having horrible nightmares and is afraid to close his eyes because they're so bad. I don't think he's slept more than a few hours in over a week. He hasn't eaten either in almost 24 hours and unlike WR he's pretty much confined to his room.

To make matters worse he was told that it's likely that he'll never regain more than 10% of use in his left arm or hand because he's damaged some major nerves and sorry for the TMI but there are parts of his arm that are missing. He called me pretty much freaking out because the realization set in that in his mind, he's going to have a handicap and can't do a lot of things. I told him that he needs to prepare for the worst but hope for the best. Also that as difficult as this is, that he has to accept that this happened to him and realize that life is going to be different but it's going to be okay. I've done everything I've can to reassure him that I'll be here through it all and that we'll just deal with the adjustments as they come. He's still mad as hell at the Taliban for blowing up his arm though.

Honestly I've never felt so helpless before. I wish I could just get there because he keeps asking for me and says he needs me there to help him deal with all this. I'm not even there yet and I'm already worrying about what's going to happen when I have to leave to come back and get the kids. Right now it sounds like we'll be PCSing to Ft Sam because he's in pretty bad shape. So I'll be packing up the house myself and coordinating the move but thankfully it's only a 2 hour drive south. Nonetheless, a little scary!

Along with everything else though, Paul has burns from the explosion so he'll need skin graphs to help repair that. I just hope I can stay up there with him at night when I do get there so he will feel more at ease. Hopefully I'll be able to fly down there tomorrow or Wednesday at the very latest but if they don't get this flight stuff taken care of, I'm going to get in the car just so I can get there ASAP. It's so frustrating!!! I'm grateful to be surrounded by my family here in our hometown but I just can't help but think that if I had waited to come up I'd be there with him right now!

Monday, July 7, 2008

The latest. (well at least for today).

Paul made it back to the states, he was at Walter Reed for the night and is flying out to Brook Army Medical Center at Fort Sam. I'm probably flying back down there to see him either tomorrow or Wednesday and then flying back to get my kids and my car and driving back to TX. On one hand it was nice to have been with my IL's when I got the news but on the other it's a long way from home and now I'm kind of stuck.

Paul can't even really move his fingers and the wounds on his arm are so deep you can see the bone so avoiding an infection is a big deal. That kind of infection is how I lost my mom during the first deployment so I'll be watching him closely when I get there. He wants me to be there when he gets there and I can't and that really sucks. He needs help doing normal things like showering, getting dressed and brushing his teeth. He's actually looking forward to helping Kyla writing her letters and numbers because he pretty much has to learn all over how to do it again.

He's having a really hard time sleeping and dealing with nighmares and stuff. It's hard because he says he wants me there to help him but I have to wait for authorization from the Army to get there.

I still can't believe all the wonderful donations from different ogranizations for him. Upon his arrival to Germany he received a $250 Aafes card to buy clothes since he didn't have any, got a really nice brand new pair of shoes, got a backpack to put his stuff in, another $200 to use for other expenses, and a bunch of calling cards everywhere he's gone. Oh plus a handmade quilt with a note attached from Soldier's Angels. I still have to write the Angel who was assigned to him who's been writing to him and let her know that he's not been able to write back and what happened.

Just the support and prayers our family have received has just been phenomenal. It will be a long road to recovery for him but I know someone was definitely watching over him over there because it could've been a whole lot worse.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Just a quick update.

Hey, just checking in real quick here. Paul made it to Germany and he's been there for a couple days now. He was given a few calling cards that were donated so he's been able to call me and the rest of the family. The military also allows me to call him twice a day on their time so it's nice to hear his voice on a decent connection for a change.

He seems to be doing alright and has kept a pretty positive attitude throughout this whole ordeal. He's on nerve blockers for the pain and says it's the worst in his hand because he lost a big chunk out of his palm (sorry for TMI) and pieces in his thumb, plus the top of his thumb. He's had two surgeries to remove all the shrapnel out of his arm so far. The doctor said he will probably never regain much grip strength back and also won't regain full use of his arm. This means he will probably have to learn to write with his right hand and need help with little things that he was used to doing without a second thought. He was happy that he didn't lose his wedding ring but ended up with a large chip in it. I told he him that his marriage was a whole lot more than a ring and we could have it fixed but he said no it was a souvenir. And twice now he's said he wished he had his laptop or his PSP because he's kind of bored lol.

Rear d kind of screwed up and didn't officially notify me so all the info was going to his parents. Well they didn't kind of screw up they did screw up and then tried to say that my husband must've had his info down incorrectly. I told them to pull his paperwork on that and that he did it exactly right and they were wrong and needed to fix the situation ASAP. Sure enough, they were wrong and then tried to backtrack and say they had been trying to contact me. I said that I would've known if they had tried to contact me since my home phone forwards to my cell. I got a pretty lame apology if you want to call it that but at least things got straightened out and it's okay now.

I get medical updates on his condition every 24 hours, sometimes more often than that. I still don't know where he'll be coming back to but it sounds like he'll be there for a few more days. Since I'm in my hometown right now my SIL will be taking care of the kids and the military will fly me to wherever he is and pay for meals and lodging and then fly me back so I can drive home. If he's there over 30 days they will make arrangements for us to move there. So even if they send him to TX to recover I'll still fly down there for the time being.

His battalion commander called me on my cell phone from overseas to tell me how impressed he was with him. He said he expected Paul to be in alot of pain and complaining but instead he wanted to make sure the rest of the guys had made it back safely. Some of the guys panicked when they were hit (pretty traumatic for all) so it was actually Paul who got on the radio to report the attack and tell them he was hit. Had he been in something different more than likely he wouldn't have made it. As it was the medic was awesome and saved him from bleeding to death. The BC told me that he thought Paul was a wonderful soldier, a fine young man and he was damn proud to have him in the unit. He said he was very deserving of the purple heart and the combat action ribbon so hearing all that was really nice. Then he asked me for my email address so he could send me the pictures of it so we'd have them lol. Gross! I know he lost alot of blood and I don't need to see that!

I'm really glad he's alright because I know it could've easily been so much worse. I had thought many times of the scenario of getting the knock on the door but not so much if he were injured. Ironically I was watching Army Wives last week and when it showed the part where Roxy got the call that Trevor was injured I turned to my stepmom and said that's the call that I dread. Little did I know that just two days later I would be getting that call and it wouldn't be made for tv. It's been a lot to take in and I've been dealing with things okay. The kids know that their dad's coming back and that his arm is hurt but that's pretty much it. All I know is that someone was definitely watching over him and hundred's of prayers all over the world have gone up for him since this happened and that's just awesome. A lot of things are going to be changing for us and it's not going to be easy, especially for him but we're just going to make the best of things. I'm so excited to see him again even though it's not under the best circumstances. I watched the fireworks tonight throught teary eyes because I'm so grateful to be married to a hero.

I will try and keep y'all updated especially when I know where he's going to be sent to. Thanks again for your support and all those prayers, let me tell you they've really kept me going this past week!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

My husband is coming home.

Well the 15 month deployment just got a whole lot shorter. Paul called again early this afternoon and said they are sending him to Germany and then back to the states. He'll either go to Walter Reed, Ft Sam (San Antonio) or back here to Hood where he'll have a long road to recovery with physical therapy. Chances are he'll eventually be medically discharged after it's all said and done but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

He was awarded a Purple Heart today so I'm proud of him for that but it's pretty scary how he got it. I told him before he left that he didn't need to try for one and he said sometimes life has other plans, lol.

I'm probably not going to continue on up to Michigan to see the rest of my family unless he goes to WR and that will only be to drop the kids off and fly out there. I have a feeling they will send him right back to Hood since that's where we live. I'm not crazy about the hospital there but that will be the easiest.

Thanks for all the comments, IMs and replies, your support has been wonderful and made it easier to deal with. I'll let you all know when he gets back in town. Rear D has been less than steller with notifying me about stuff but they did say they expect him to make a full recovery so I'm hopeful. Right now he has zero movement in his arm and hand so he's got a long way to go.

I got "that" phone call this morning.

Sorry to just tell everybody in a blog but my husband was injured when his humvee hit an IED. I had just talked to him hours before and he was in good spirits so it must've happened shortly thereafter. I don't know if he'll be sent to Germany or eventually back home but he's already had surgery on his left arm and is supposed to have a few more. Hopefully he won't lose his arm when all is said and done. He was the one who called after he was medivac'd out of there so that's a good sign. He said he'll have to have physical therapy for a while and sounded pretty doped up from the pain pills.

Right now I'm waiting to hear if I need to go back to Texas or if I need to get a passport. I'm kind of numb and in shock but I guess that's normal. I'll post any updates I get.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

To whom it may concern...

Dear ADT,

I just wanted to say thanks for your outstanding customer service today. Your enthusiasm was underwhelming and your lack of friendliness and help was just so appreciated. Would also like to thank you for putting the main unit of my security system seven feet from the ground, keeping it too far out of my reach to replace that stupid expensive difficult to find battery. Thanks for explaining way too fast how to stop that annoying beeping every few seconds so now I have to listen to it all night.

Dear Elite Rentals,

You suck because once again I have to put money into a house that doesn't belong to me because you couldn't take the time to take care of the general maintenance on this house and if I don't do something about it you'll blame me for the excellent work of the previous tenants. Maybe some day you'll give me the name of the home owner and I can tell him what a stellar job you've done taking care of the place.

Dear children of mine,

Stop being destructive and needy. Play quietly and don't destroy anything just long enough for me to take a shower and clean up the house before you wreck something else. I realize you must've figured out by now that you outnumber me so go easy will you?

Dear Durango,

Please learn how to change your own oil and stop sucking up the gas every time I look at you. You are not worth the $80 it cost me to fill you the other day.

Dear Cafepress,

Please remove yourself from the dark ages and get direct deposit. Your paper checks that take days to get here are annoying because I don't have a local bank. Also please pay better attention when you print my designs onto shirts and don't slap them on there crooked so my customers want to return them and I lose my commission.

Dear Angela,

If Fort Benning was on the way home, we'd be sipping sweet teas and chatting over lunch right now. I promise we'll get together before this deployment is over. Fortunately we still have 13 months from today to plan something. By the way, did you ever see Jeremy there? ;)

Dear Texas,

I'm sorry you were built on the sun and feel the need to be 95 degrees today. I don't mind you in the winter but sometimes I think you and the electric company have a good laugh. FYI, most people don't drive on the shoulder of the highway at 70 mph to let someone pass.

Dear Michigan,

You're too damn cold and you need more jobs. However you are kind of pretty so I can forgive you this once.

Dear Panera Bread, Olga's Kitchen, Q'doba, and The Root Beer Stand, and Cracker Barrel,

You and me, we have some dates together. Just don't tell my husband.

Dear Bud Light, Honey Brown, and Killian's Red,

I'm sorry we haven't been good friends more than once or twice in the past 4 years. Sometimes you sound good but I don't really miss you since I've got my good sweet tea and two kids to take care of.

Dear suitcase,

Please pack yourself. Thank you.

Dear Rapists, Murderers, and Psychos,

The world would be better off without you. Please stay away from my while I travel and better yet just stay away.

Dear Ceiling Fan,

Thanks for being a piece of crap and not working right. Heaven forbid you not fall apart while I'm using you. I suppose you'd still be working fine if I'd just used the light. Apparently you're in a partnership with ADT because I can't reach you either.

Dear Husband,

I'm sorry that once again, the M&M's didn't make it to you. I have this need for chocolate and out of concern for you in case they melted, I felt that it was best that I eat them beforehand.

Dear Garbage Man,

Thank you for not knocking over my trash can this week only because it wasn't out there in time since you changed your route again and didn't tell me. Is it that complicated to stick with a certain time frame?

Dear Postal Worker (Substitute),

206 and 216 are not the same house numbers. Apparently you only realize this if it's a letter but not a package. If I put not at this address on the envelop please don't stick it back in my mailbox. I understand you're busy and can't get the mail delivered before 5pm and I realize that you work for the same government that my husband does so I'll try to cut you some slack - but only if you try to not deliver my packages to my neighbors.

Dear Time Warner Cable,

Thanks for your crappy expensive service. What I'm even more grateful for is that when I paid off my balance a couple of months after stopping service you neglected to notify the collection agency so now I'm getting letters about a balance that I don't owe and it's on my credit report. Oh and a big thank you for when I called you and you kept me on hold for 15 minutes, only to hang up on me by mistake. Glad I happened to do that survey so you got an earful from me when you asked for my feedback. Have a great day.

Dear Chase bank,

I closed my line of credit with you in February so it would be great if you didn't tell me that I still have available credit. I hate you and have no desire to have any additional products with you and will celebrate a year from now when my auto loan is paid off and I can bid you farewell.

Dear Deployment,

I hate you, I hate you, you suck.


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