Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hello, Normal. Its nice to meet the new you!

Its with a lot of emotion, and exhaustion, that I am finally able to say we are home.

We've spent the past week catching up with our dvr, checking out some of our favorite stores and restaurants around town and enjoying Lucy's "Yay, we're home!" present...which is perhaps the biggest trampoline they make for personal use.

Everyone has tons of questions for us at this point. If you have any that I haven't covered yet then please ask away! So here are things that seem to be sparking curiosity...

1. Are you all glad to be home? 

Why yes, yes we are :) Home has never felt so good. And Lucy has just gone nutty with excitement. All we have heard is stuff like "Mommy, I'm so glad we're all home together! Mommy I missed this! Mommy, Daddy gets to stay with us ALL NIGHT LONG!!!!" Haha its so cute. Her curly mop top bounces around the house with glee from dawn till dusk.

2. Were you glad to leave Walter Reed? 

Now, that's a horse of a different color. The answer for me personally is No. There are silly things I miss, like city life. But ultimately I miss the support and having everything we could possibly need right at our finger tips. That place is far from perfect but the whole Warrior Transition Brigade (and unit) is wonderful. Not having that support has been a shock to come out of.

3. How is the transition going? 

Its going. Haha that one is hard to explain but its going about as well as you can imagine, with a few bumps in the road. Ultimately though I think G.I.Joe is handling it very well and I am super proud of him.

4. What is going on now? 

Okay so here is the deal. He is still wounded. A lot of people have acted like "Oh prayers were answered! You guys are good to go now." Yeah, coming home was something we were striving for but that is not the goal. Full recovery is the goal and G.I.Joe still has over a year until he is there. So what are we doing home? They just transferred him out of the WTU (warrior transition unit) at Walter Reed, to a CBWTU (community based warrior transition unit, which is a term that will be used a lot on here). Basically that means he is still on medical orders for rehabilitation until he is better but he is doing it locally at a hospital instead of at a military hospital.

I want to be clear on this one thing...he is still able to get the care he needs. However, I was shocked and extremely disappointed when we found out the overall attitude of the program he is in now. I have a list of contacts made while in DC and I plan to send all of them a detailed letter on how things are being misrepresented and the disservices being done. One day I will share more on that. Without getting into it I can say that we would have not asked to go this route had we known the goals of this program. It should always be recovery for the wounded. Nothing else should take precedence.

Because of that we have a little less peace about the future but we're plowing through. Monday morning G.I. Joe's appointments start for physical therapy. At Walter Reed he had it 5 times a week, in addition to doing the exercises with me too. We're hoping they will be able to fit him in here for at least 3-5 days a week. He also will see a neurologist soon because his TBI "screening" at Walter Reed wasn't thorough at all and its very possible he has an undiagnosed brain injury. I manage his appointments and exercise schedules, drive him to all his appointments and keep track of pretty much all communication between us, his doctors and his case manager. I have such a huge respect now for care givers. I never understood before why wives or moms had to quit their jobs when their soldier was wounded but my goodness, its a full time job!

5. You have to take time for yourself, you know that right? 

It always makes my day when someone nags me about this. Really, it does. Because I know they want what's best for me, and they have at least some understanding/respect for how much care givers do. The answer is, yes, I know that I need to take a little me time for sanity. I've actually signed up to take painting classes and archery to provide ways to blow off steam and deal with my emotions creatively. I truly have no desire to burn out and resent my husband. That would just make everyone miserable. So I'm learning balance.

Okay, okay. This post was long enough but I figured we needed an update. I'll be posting more now when I can to fill in the blanks from this homecoming post all the way back to when I first arrived at Walter Reed. Thank you guys so much for all your continued thoughts and prayers! Our journey of healing is really still only beginning. Every now and then I get frustrated but then I just thank God I have the chance to be a wounded warrior wife. It could have been so much worse so we know without a doubt that we are blessed.

February 2012, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center


Amanda said...

I am glad to hear things are getting better. Like any injury there is a healing process that most of us cant quite comprehend. It's good to hear that you are thinking about yourself though. Here is to hoping things continue to get better!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad he's home. I know being home doesn't mean everything is fine and dandy, and going back to just how it was before, but it's a big improvement at least. I hope he continues to improve and is back to (I want to say 'normal,' but that isnt the word I'd really use, however, my brain escapes me right now) 'himself' as soon as possible with minimal pain. Having him home must be such an absolutely wonderful thing, and Lucy has to be over the moon to have her daddy back (I'm sure you're pretty thrilled too).

That picture is wonderful ♥

Chantal said...

I'm sure it's a relief to be home, though I can understand the stress in change!

JG said...

I'm glad you were finally where you could move home, even though it brings its own set of challenges. When you do get your thoughts formed regarding those challenges, you have an army of writers waiting to lobby on GI Joe's behalf. And that picture just melts my heart!

Taylor {Our Military Home} said...

I'm a new follower (saw your post on the milspouse Facebook group). I just want to say thank you for sharing about this time in your life and hang in there.