Lots of changes have been going on around here. So much craziness added into the mix of our upside down lives that when it all calms down I'm not sure what I'll do. The biggest news is that the Army & VA finally came back with a rating for my husband. We had discussed a certain percentage that we would appeal if they rated him lower and surprisingly it was a whole lot higher than we expected. As I type this we just passed month 31 since he was wounded and began his long recovery here. We went over the paperwork with a lawyer as well as someone who was able to answer all of our questions (and then some) and clear up some of the confusion that comes with the territory. I am happy (and scared to death) to say the time has finally begun to say good bye to the military and to our home here in TX. We've been here just over 4 years and I'm ready for a change of scenery. We've decided to move to east Tennessee. It's not our home state but it's somewhere that we've both spent a lot of time and my husband has some family not too far away. We went back and forth on where to move and just kept coming back because it just felt right to us.
We started out the new year with my husband recovering from one of his deadliest infections to date. Having seen first hand how damaging and fatal sepsis can be with my mom, seeing how quickly my husband's condition deteriorated was pretty intense. Being a military wife has taught me to be used to him not being around but all of that went out the window when he was in ICU. The stress was a constant that whole time, a lot like when he was first wounded. For me, it was mostly just knowing his organs were shutting down and that it was literally killing him. I went through the motions of everything but was barely functioning myself. At one point I turned my cell phone off and avoided my computer and just simply hid in my room with my kids close by. I usually think of myself as being strong and able to hold it together but that really tested me. I am happy to say that despite his respiratory problems from overseas, my husband has pretty much made a full recovery. I will stalk him and drag him to the ER if he ever insists that he's just fine if he ever seems that sick again.
A couple weeks later, in the span of 5 days, our refrigerator finally went out for good, our dishwasher stopped working and leaked water all over the floor and our furnace went out. Yeah, that was a fantastic week. The icing on the cake was that our landlord refused to fix the fridge and offered out of the goodness of his heart to split the cost of the repairs and new parts with us. The rental company said if we didn't like that idea we could pay to rent one and have the old one hauled away. We knew we wouldn't be here that much longer and didn't even hesitate to tell them thanks but no thanks. Sorry I'm not into throwing money away because you suck. Since we had participated in the amazing Heroes at Home program through Sears and I had only used part of one of the gift certificates to buy my kids some new shoes, and I had some commission sitting in paypal, we were able to get this http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_04609059000P?prdNo=20&blockNo=20&blockType=G20 for a mere $35 out of pocket. That's even after $100 for shipping and sales tax. I can't tell you how nice it's been to have cold food again!
The landlords begrudgingly fixed our furnace and dishwasher but the rest of the 8 year old house seems to be falling apart. I was informed that houses around here are built to only last about 10 years. Really? That just blows my mind. Where I come from houses last just about forever. We had thought this would be the last of our troubles for awhile but got a nice little surprise a few weeks later when we had problems getting our credit cards to work. I use the term nice very loosely and with the full sarcasm intended.
We've been saving whatever we can to prepare for this move and that's not easy when we're essentially a one income family. So imagine our shock when we logged onto our bank account and discovered that we had $4 to our names. Someone had gotten ahold of our credit cards and drained thousands of dollars from our account. We immediately called the bank and they were able to freeze the cards and tell us that the transactions came from 3 states away. Not only that but the thief/thieves had my husband's actual credit card and pretended to be him. We are extremely careful with our money and the entire time our cards were with us, however, the ones we had were approaching the expiration date. I had called the bank a few days earlier and asked them why they hadn't sent out new cards yet and was informed that they sent them out back around the first of the month. The lady I spoke with tried to tell me that it can take a couple of weeks but something about that didn't have me convinced. Sure enough, we were hit a few days later, right about the same time my husband's SSI check hit the account. It's not enough to steal someone's money but in my opinion there's a special place in hell waiting for you when you steal from a wounded veteran.
We think that someone, possibly our sucky neighbors who seem to be responsible for alot of suspicious activity in the neighborhood, could have taken the replacement cards out of the mailbox. It's not that hard to figure out our schedule and they know what time the mail arrives every day. It's creepy to think that someone has been watching us. I assure you this does wonders for an already paranoid wounded warrior with PTSD. The part that bothers me is that the thieves were able to activate the new cards and use them.
We received replacement cards a couple of days later and although I was not amused at the time, the bank issued them with the same exact numbers of the ones that were stolen and subsequently frozen. Rocket science anyone? My husband called then and explained what was going on and they said they would send out new cards but that it would take 3-5 days for the money to be put back into our account. He asked them if there was some way they could send out the cards via certified mail so we didn't risk having them stolen again and they said they couldn't do that but would overnight them via FedEx. Of course our FedEx guy left the envelop on our front porch in plain sight. So much for security. The best part was when we opened the envelop and while the card number was different, there was only one card. Turns out our bank forgot to send mine. I'm not sure how you just forget something like that but I was so exasperated by this point that I pretty much unleashed my fury on this guy. I think he had me on hold so he didn't have to listen to my tirade but I was so fed up.
To add insult to injury, we had another transaction go through leaving us a whole $1 to live on. Looking back, I guess I'm glad that we didn't overdraft the account but of course both vehicles were low on gas and since we were planning on moving days later we didn't have a whole lot of food in the house. Thankfully my husband's WTB was able to get together some gas and commissary cards for us to get through the weekend.
Nonetheless everything seems to have been pretty much resolved and back to normal now. Well whatever normal around here is. Now that things have kind of quieted down, I'm not sure what to do. I can handle constant ongoing stress because that's what I'm used to, but the quiet feels so strange. I feel like I'm just waiting for the next tidal wave to hit. I hope that someday I can stop feeling that way and just enjoy each day without assuming something is going to go wrong.