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.


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