Monday, March 11, 2013

She will pray for a dog...

First off, the husband is doing well. He has voluntarily signed admittance to the hospital so he can get the treatment he needs until he can go to the treatment center in Texas. He is not happy about it, but he did it... and that is a step. He wants to thank everyone for the prayers and support, I know it means a lot to him and I know he needs it.

Yesterday his CO called me on the husband's cell phone because he did not have my phone number, and he did not know that I had the husband's phone until later during the day. He advised me of visiting hours at the hospital and as soon as I got off the phone with him I went to visit the husband. During the phone call he told me that he had called the husband's mother.

If you had read any of the "Adventures in Funerals" posts you would know his mother is not a stable person. So when the CO told me that he called the husband's mother I replied with "Oh God, you didn't..." He sighed and said "Yes, I did. I had to. Her number is the only correct number I had." He then asked me for his brothers number and my phone number so that he would not have to call her again. I couldn't help but laugh.

I went to visit the husband, he was very sedated, but was able to think clearly. We talked for a bit. He told me he was sorry. I told him he has prayers and positive thoughts coming from all over. He said "Tell them thank you. I appreciate it." When I got home I called his mother... it was inevitable, I had to.

I called her and told her that he was ok. He was safe. He was getting the help he needs. I told her that what he needed right now was prayers, positive thoughts and energy sent his way. He needed to know we love him, support him, and will be behind him through all of this. I told her this at least three or four times during the phone call, all to which she replied with "Yeah.."

At one point during the call the conversation switched to our animals. My cat is newly diagnosed with diabetes, and she has a dog with diabetes. The dog, she told me, had to have life saving surgery back in January, and that the vet said the dog might not survive. She said to me: "You were talking about praying? I was praying to Jesus, God, the Virgin Mary, all the Saints, and anyone else who would hear my prayers. Please don't let my dog die, I can't handle another loss!"

That pissed me off. I tell her that her son needs prayers over what he is going through and she responds with an offhanded "yeah" but her dog has surgery and she is praying to everyone?!?!??! What the F*#K (better Aunt Janie?). Seriously, the husband asked her over a week ago to call the family in Texas to ask for prayers and she told him no, she did not want to worry them. REALLY???? What is wrong with this woman?!?!?!?

During the phone call she tried to make it about her. She said "I know he is worried about me and me being alone and stuff." To which I replied "Well, he has been told by his CO, his doctors, and ME that he has a mission to take care of himself. He is not supposed to worry about anyone but himself. He needs to focus on HIMSELF and get better!" She did not like that and ended the conversation quick. I am glad. I could not take much more of that selfish woman.

Maybe I am being overprotective of him right now, but DAMNIT! What kind of mother is she? Why does it have to be about her? Why can't she show genuine concern for her son? I told Jeff a week or so ago that he needs to learn that she is his mother, he is her son. He is NOT her parent and he has no obligation to take care of her when she is fully capable of caring for herself. It is not his responsibility just because she is being needy and does not want to help herself.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

So is THIS Rock Bottom?

Last night was one of the longest and most frightening nights I can remember having in a long time. Yes, the husband was diagnosed with PTSD, and yes he had started counseling, but all that meant is that all of the emotions, turmoil, and memories that he had held in for 10+ years started coming out.

Last night was a breaking point for him. His reality is that he was doing his school work, and getting increasingly frustrated because he was just not understanding it (algebra- I don't get it either). He got hungry and decided to go to the PX and get something to eat (this was around 8:20pm), the PX was closed and he got angry because he just wanted to eat. He texted me, and I called and he was talking to me. He decided to go to the Shopette and get something. He went in and did not see anything he wanted, so he got a Mountain Dew and went back to his room. When he pulled into the parking lot it was filled with MP's and an ambulance. He was scared, confused, and did not know what was going on.

The reality: he was doing school work, got frustrated, wanted to quit. Went to get food and got pissed because the PX was closed. He texted me "sounding" despondent. I called him and was talking to him, and while I was talking to him he "left". He went from being despondent to being in Iraq. I drove out to see him and try to calm him. By this time he was in a full on flashback. I called his best friend and tried getting him to talk to him. He did not know him, he did not know me. The look on his face was absolutely terrifying. I got out of there and went home. His best friend told me to call the MP's, he needed to be safe. I called the MP's and told them what was going on. When he returned to the barracks they were everywhere. They took him to the hospital to evaluate him. I met him there...

From what he thinks happened to what really happened there is a three hour lapse in time that is unaccounted for in his reality. I asked him what time he thought it was, he responded "About 9?" I told him no, it was almost 1 am. The look of confusion and fear on his face was heartbreaking. He had a full blown flashback that took him away from himself for three hours and he has no recollection of it.

This is the reality, this is a face of PTSD. Luckily he did not hurt anyone, including himself, but if I did not call for help it may have been only a matter of time before he did hurt himself or someone else. Maybe not that night, maybe not the next day, but I know it was coming.

Right now he is in the hospital getting the intensive help he needs. He is waiting for the completed referral to go to a treatment center in TX for soldiers with acute PTSD. There is hope. This is not permanent. This is scary though and he needs prayers. Please keep him in your thoughts, prayers, or send positive energy his way. He needs it.

Friday, March 8, 2013

What's Next??

Since the last time I wrote I decided to take a week off of work to try to get my thoughts together. So much has happened that I needed a break and I decided to cut the one thing I could from my life (if only for a week)... work. Prepare yourself for a long post...

Monday was a day from hell... I took my cat Draco to the vet because we noticed he was losing weight. I had been noticing that he was peeing lakes in the litter box, and combined with the weight loss I was afraid of diabetes. 
This picture was taken at Christmas... from then when he was a fluffy 20 lb furball, till I took him to the vet on Monday he had lost 7 lbs. That 7 lb weight loss happened in a matter of weeks.
At the vet... not happy!
They took a blood sugar test and his numbers were over 400... diabetes. The vet suggested a low fat, low carb, high protein food for him and I grabbed the largest bag that they had there. a 20 lb bag cost me almost $60, add to that the vet's fees and I spent over $300 that morning... I still had to go get his insulin from the human pharmacist.

After the vet I had an appointment to see the husband's counselor. That went well, we discussed what he is going through emotionally, what we can expect, and what the plan is. It is a lot of information, so much so that I cannot wrap my head around it this morning (not enough coffee). Basically, he is a wreck emotionally when he can be. During his counseling appointments and such he remembers things, talks about it, cries, shakes, and allows himself to feel (and it scares him). As soon as he leaves and goes back to work he is back in soldier mode and no one at his work can see a difference in his performance. That made me feel better knowing he is holding his military bearing when he needs to- it is not affecting his job right now and no one is looking down on him. 

Right after that I had to go get the daughter from school and take her to the orthodontist to get fitted for her braces. That was a 3 hour appointment. While waiting I picked up Draco's insulin and about died from the sticker shock... $155 for his insulin and syringes!!! HOLY SHIT! That cat cost me almost $500 in one day! If he was not my furbaby and if I did not love all my furbabies like my own kids... never mind, I can't even think about that. Some might say, "He is a cat! That is a lot of money for a cat!" Well yes, but if you do not love animals like my family does, if your pets are not members of your family, then you will never understand.

I got home, worked on school work, and went to bed after 11 pm. I woke up the next day at 5:30 am and started my day. I decided I needed a day to relax. No appointments, no where to go. A day to relax, sleep, and clean if I felt like it. So I called in to work, told my boss I needed a day, and prepared myself to relax! Well, that day was hijacked when the daughter's school called me and told me she was feeling sick, throwing up, and hysterical. SHIT! OK, so I go get her from school, she is having another panic attack (she has been having them a lot lately). I took her home and called Behavioral Health to see if I could get her in to see an MD to get her prescribed something for the attacks and such. They have her see a counselor who basically told her that she was doing all of this for attention and likened her panic attacks to teenage temper tantrums. She also told me that I needed to let her figure stuff out (stuff meaning how to calm herself, etc.) on her own. She had been refusing to eat or drink all morning, and I had a feeling that some of her issue was because of that. The counselor said "She will eat when she is hungry, she will drink when she is thirsty"... uh, really? No she won't. Does she know ANYTHING about teenagers? ANYTHING about behavioral health, emotional disorders... ANYTHING?!?!?!?! UGH!
Me... things got pretty serious on Monday!

I was told to take my daughter to her regular doctor to have him prescribe something for depression and anxiety. I did. He told me he does not do that, it is up to the psychiatrist to do, and she needs to see a psychiatrist. @#$%^!!!!!! He did note that the last time she went in and got labs done they noticed she was dehydrated. He explained dehydration can cause dizziness  stomach upset, etc... Might be anxiety, might be dehydration, might be both? He did end up prescribing her an antidepressant, and said to follow up with a psychiatrist so that she can continue on the meds if they work. I went and got that filled and then went to Popeye's to get the daughter some mashed potatoes and fries so she could eat something soft that would not hurt her mouth (braces, remember?). 

The rest of the day went great. The next day I went to work, told my boss I needed at least a week off, and went home. I was able to be home, clean, relax, and I felt great. Then Thursday came and I went to a few appointments with the husband. I wanted to know what he was being told vs. what he heard. He has so many thoughts and fears and emotions swirling around in his head he is not hearing everything as it is in reality. We left his appointments and went to meet with his CO. That went well, it is amazing how different he acts in front of his CO over the counselors. How much BETTER he listens to his CO over his counselors! Maybe it is the military authority thing, and due to the nature of his PTSD he is able to snap back well enough to listen to his CO over his female, non-military counselors. 

So here is the plan. The husband is going to be sent to a 5 week or so intensive PTSD treatment center in San Antonio. He is scared, but we all think it is best for him and know he will be so much better when he gets back. I just keep telling him it is going to be ok, you can do this, you are going to be alright...

I also told him that he needs to consider the benefits to doing this and getting better. Not only will he be happy and able to relax for the first time in I don't know how many years, but he will be able to be a mentor to others that are experiencing what he is right now! He can tell them it is ok, he can tell them that this will not ruin their career AS LONG AS THEY GET HELP! PTSD is NOT PERMANENT!!  It is not a death sentence if you seek and get the help you need! There is hope, and he will be able to provide a whole new perspective and level of expertise (in a way) as an NCO that he was not able to do before. This treatment is only going to make him a better person! It is just sad that he can not see any of that right now...