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 ..ping 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.


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