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.