Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Today was supposed to be the big day. My husband was finally going to be getting out of the military because today was his ETS. Unfortunately he's halfway through his 16th month of therapy and he still has some time left to go. He signed extension orders for another 6 months but his case manager told him that he can expect to be here for another year. Never in my life did I expect to stay in Texas for 4 years. It's a bit overwhelming, especially because I'm pretty homesick.

Since we're still going to be here for awhile yet, I keep encouraging my husband to look into an inpatient PTSD program. We still suspect there is some TBI going on there too. The hardest part lately are the ups and downs and mood swings. Because I'm the one who is around him the most often, I seem to get the worst of his attitude. More often than not I cringe because the kids end up witnessing arguments. It's so frustrating and sometimes I feel ready to throw in the towel.

We actually just celebrated our 6th anniversary over the weekend. To say it's been a bumpy road is putting it lightly. In the first three years of our marriage, we spent more time apart than together. He's missed half of our anniversaries and left 3 weeks after we were married. Had he not been wounded he would've missed another one. I used to laugh when I realized that even though we were married in 2003 we didn't ring in the New Year together until 2006. It's just the way military life goes sometimes.

Ironically I know that I will miss some of this crazy stressful life. Sometimes I feel closer to my military family than my real family. Our previous duty station was Ft Hood and when the shootings occured I was amazed at the amount of support and concern I received that day. While we weren't directly affected, we did have friends who were on lockdown for over 7 hours and some of those killed and wounded were from the brigade that my husband's unit is part of. I think all of us in the military community were at least somewhat shaken about what happened that day. Had my husband not been wounded we would've still been stationed at Ft Hood. There are just so many what if's when it comes to his injuries. He's been recovering for longer than he would've been deployed. When I look back on the past sixteen months and all that we as a family have been through, it just amazes me that we've survived.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Injury List - Updated 11/7/09

Throughout the ordeal Paul has had:

16 months of physical therapy

20 limb salvage/reconstruction surgeries

His left arm sewn to his side for 6 weeks

Severed tendons where the shrapnal sliced through - surgery 4/09 because they came untied.

10cm section missing from his ulnar nerve from shrapnel - the nerve is permanently paralyzed.

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) - from Iraq 12/03-2/05, Afghanistan 4/08-7/09

Cone Dystrophy eye disease

Chronic Sleep problems and possible apnea - had sleep study done in 2009


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