Some of the wonderful things I have experienced since my husband has been hurt is that people in the community where we live sent a lot of cards and some associations made quilts for him which were really beautiful. We received a few donations along the way, which helped for the gas that I had to buy going back and forth to Taylor every weekend from San Antonio to pick up our son.
Christmas was wonderful for us as we got to spend it in our own house, in our own city, and sleeping in our own bed! We were staying at the Fisher House at Fort Sam last year and it just didn't feel the same. At least hubby was in the room with me instead of being an outpatient. I always reflect on our past year during the holidays. I have always done this, ever since I lost my Granny in 1989.
Our lives have been filled with some wonderful people. My family is in the east coast and we are out here in Texas so they didn't come to help out when Todd got hurt. I really did not have any resources except for my friends.
My husband's family lives a few hours away and they stayed with him for a bit when they could get away from their own obligations and jobs.
It was nice when it was just my husband and I together at night, talking about what we were going to do when he gets medically retired and what are we going to do with our home repairs and what we love and miss dearly about our son.
Every Sunday leaving the Fisher House to take him back to my friends that took him in so he did not have to leave the school mid year was just a killer.
It was a palpable dark cloud on us that we could see when we woke up. Knowing I was going to have to drive back without him in the car with me.
I don't know if our son ever realized how much it killed us to say goodbye.
I am so thankful to God that we were all together and that we are living together as a family again. I can't express to anyone how nice it is to wake up in the morning and hear my son's laughs and to be around our dog and see our things and live the way we want to live.
I don't think my husband's family understands how much he has been away from home. Todd was deployed twice to war,spent many times away for hurricane duty and also went to mission trainings that took him away from his own bed.
We have most of the time- I think 14 out of 15 years of marriage we went to his parents house for Christmas, versus spending it at home and having our own tradition.
Now that CSF is injured, he just can't take such a car ride. The 3 1/2 long car rides just kill him. It takes a lot out of him. It isn't just the oppressive pain he has in his leg and back, but the energy it drains out of him. He received a couple of guilt-inducing calls and a card that did not have a nice Christmas message on it, but "hope you change your mind about the drive." Well, no one in his family has had a leg almost blown off. None of them are suffering from PTSD and suffer from the constant pain and sleep deprivation he does. None of them realize how when you add up all of these factors and top it off with a huge dose of pancytopenia (low blood cells of all colors), it makes it so he can't do anything the next day.
How long do I have to watch this crap go on and not say anything? His own father doesn't believe that PTSD is a real condition so my husband does not want me to tell him. I don't as that is his business. However, it is very sad for me to watch my husband feel like he is not being good to his family because he just does not feel good enough for a trip. He has his good days and his bad days. The bad days he can not get out of bed hardly. The good days he is smiling, looking good, almost a vision of his former self.
We (his son and I) understand the ebbs and flows of his health. No one else around him does. His own family assumed that once he got out of the hospital, all is good. It is sad the river of denial that flows through their minds.
They don't want to think about how his life is so different now, how his mind is occupied even in sleep with horrors none of us ever want to contemplate, and makes it so sleep even isn't fun. His legs, arms, body twitches a lot when he goes to sleep. He puts off bedtime every night as he doesn't want to face the nightmares. I know that is why he does it. I even got him to admit it one night.
People he knew prior to the IED blast look at him and see his sweating forehead, the cane he uses, and the painful gait he has. They think that the problem with his leg is all he has. I let people we don't know think that it is all he is dealing with and listen to them telling him not to give up and to keep up with his therapy. Like that is really going to grow back a new half of a quad on his leg. To me the bigger worry is why is he missing white and red blood cells? We have seen 3 hemooncologists and they do not have any clue. One suggested removing his spleen just to see if the white cells are being eaten up by it. I asked her what the probability is and she didn't have any. So here we are, a year later and no answers. How long can he live that way? How long can the pain medicines be cycled in and out without hurting him long term? Will he be able to grow old with me?
Those are the questions in my mind,I have resigned myself to pray for his comfort and quality of life and leave the rest up to the big guy upstairs.
That is all I can do.
We are excited about celebrating 2011. We have a lot of exciting plans. My honey turns 40 and I am throwing him a party. My hope for you all reading this is that your 2011 is healthy, fun, and happy.