Friday, January 2, 2009

6 Months Later

Well it’s been six months since an IED ripped through Paul’s arm and he began his long journey of healing. I can’t say that it’s gone by fast because those weeks, months in the hotel where our lives revolved around the hospital. When he came home it was to a completely different house in a different town so it was one adjustment after another. Even through all of it he has come a long way in his healing process. There is still a long way to go and I’m sure there always will be. It hasn’t been easy, it’s been trying and we’ve had days where our marriage has struggled and we’ve argued a lot.

He still continues daily therapy and has gotten back what seems to be about 25% of the use in his hand. I don’t know if that’s a high estimate but he can pick up and hold onto objects that are lightweight for just a short period of time or open a door that’s not too heavy. He’s still on all the asthma and allergy medications but is getting by when he’s not around animals or other stuff that causes him more lung problems. His arm and his hand still both look the same but he is supposed to have 2 or 3 more surgeries starting in a couple of months to reconstruct it and make the ball appearance less noticable.

His side has healed pretty well although just recently he said it has started hurting again in one area. I don’t know what brought that on but it’s enough concern for him to mention it to the doctor. Because his side wasn’t damaged from the IED and caused by his arm being attached to it for 6 weeks and being infected, he’s had issues with the military not wanting to count it towards his disability. That’s also the case with his tailbone problems which more than likely happened over there. I hope he doesn’t have another battle on his hands trying to deal with that since that was part of the process of rebuilding his arm.

We’re hoping he’ll get at least 30% VA disability but with the luck he has he’ll probably come in just shy of it to not get the benefits he wants. Supposedly the PTSD will be grandfathered in from the first deployment since I guess they stopped giving a rating for that. They did say he doesn’t have TBI which given some of the other symptoms and signs he’s had seems a little inacurate. Nonetheless I’m not a doctor and I would rather he not have to deal with that than have it just to get a higher rating but I worry that he does and it’s being ignored. The Army is notorious for losing medical records so I guess we’ll see what happens when it’s all said and done.

Of course the first week he got to BAMC they started talking about sending him to the promotion board. I figured if I didn’t mention it to anybody then it might actually happen for a change. Once again it gets mentioned and then doesn’t happen. It’s been 8 years now that he’s been at this rank so it’s probably not going to happen. I should’ve bet his squad leader that he wasn’t going to get promoted when we all were talking about it before he left. I remember hearing someone complain about being stuck at the same rank for 3 years and Paul said don’t even get me started and rolled his eyes. In his words the disappointments and lies have made his decision to be done with the Army easy. He knows he’ll never be able to be a fire fighter again so he starts school in three weeks to get some of his certifications done first so at least he can get paid for sitting on his butt at the computer lol. He’s learned to adapt to a standard keyboard, and although he types a whole lot slower, he seems to do alright.

I keep thinking that I need to sit down and blog about the whole phone call and finding out he was wounded. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the events of that morning and the days that followed. I will always be grateful that he came back alive but it certain turned our world upside down.

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