Friday, February 22, 2013

Well I don't believe in Canada

Sooo if I just make blanket statements such as "I don't believe in Canada" does that mean that Canada is not real?

We were at the VFW tonight and I was already pissed from the moment I walked in, I had left Josh there at about 9 and came home to read and relax then headed back at about 12:30 to get him... When I walked in some old woman (like older then my mom) was hanging all over him and when I walked over I just stood there and looked at her for a few moments and she was like "who are you" and I glared at Josh and then she was like "oh you must be the wife" and quickly introduced herself Josh said it just looked really bad and I believe him because I then watched this woman drunkenly do the same thing to everyone in the bar man and woman alike haha

So we move from the bar to a table and this fucking former Navy guy starts running his mouth about how he "doesn't believe" in PTSD WTF?! How can you not believe in something like that?! I don't believe in Candy Canes or puppies I guess they're not real!

I shocked both myself and Josh with how well I handled the situation... I very calmly told the ass that the night was now over and we'd be leaving and just left... No fight, no screaming, no bitch fit... So unlike me hahaha

I didn't feel any need to lose my shit today which is something that never happens I'm normally the first to look for a fight the first to flip out and speak my mind but like this just didn't feel like it was worth it

He is clearly a fucking moron and you can't fix stupid... I guess I'm finally learning to "pick my battles"

I gotta hand it to Josh though he took my side, and then asked if I was ok and told me how much he loves me and how I'm the most important person in his life and he couldn't live without me :) he kinda sorta made my whole day hehehe

Alrighty time for me to cuddle up with my amazing hubby! :)

Yahoooooooo

I can still hear the sound in my head and it gives me a feeling I can't explain to you I wish I could... It was the sound that my computer made when Josh logged on line during the deployment.

I had it set loud enough that no matter where I was in the house I could hear it, in the Evergreen house it was very easy, I had no carpet so it would echo haha

My heart is leaping and I'm smiling right now just thinking about it I can see hear it haha

It would wake me up in the middle of the night and I would always be hopeful... Hopefully that I would get the side of him that loved me, the side of him that missed me and made me laugh... that was rare but Every night I hoped for it

Every once in a while I think about that sound and miss it so deeply I miss the excitement of hearing it when I least expected it, when I needed it the most, when it was all I was waiting for

It brings me back to a different time in my life it's funny how a sound can bring back feelings and smells I think of it and can see myself in my bed at the Evergreen house... The room is dark because its the middle of the night and spotless because I was living alone and had nothing but time to clean... There was no carpet in that house so the sound would echo... Josh's side of the bed would always be tucked tight and the bed spread and pillow never disturbed it was like my own personal reminder everyday that I was alone and things were not how they should be...

The sheet thing is something I started as a child, my mom would always tuck me into bed super tight so it would feel like the sheets were hugging me as I grew older it became the only way I could sleep as a teen I would wake up in the middle of the night to re-tuck the sheets around myself... I stopped this when Josh and I got married because he would hold me at night (also because he hates tucked sheets) but as soon as he deployed I started again, come to think of it when he was hospitalized I did it too...

But enough about sheets haha

I always used to sleep very heavy and do again now that he's been stateside for some time but while he was gone a pin drop could have woken me and the Yahooooo of my laptop always did... I didn't care what time it was that was always a welcomed wake up call

When we would have a good talk I would fall right back to sleep with a smile of my face dreaming of homecoming, but when he would be in a mood I would be a head case sometimes I would cry so hard I'd throw up, others I would have to take sleep meds or drink a few cocktails to fall back to sleep, others I would sit up watching Netflix waiting for him to log back in hours and hours later because no sleep would come to me meds or not Til I knew he hadn't gone though with his threats of self harm

It's a sound I miss but also a sound I'm glad ill never have to sit around and wait for again

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Truth VS Facebook

I remember the first time I admitted to someone things weren't great between Josh and I...

It was Christmas Day during his second deployment and he was being an ass. Like a full blown monster...

He had gone to bed at like 5pm his time and that was the end of that so I went with my family over to my aunt's house for dinner when I got there my cousin asked me what was wrong because I was super distant and just avoiding everyone and I just slipped my guts I told her everything that was going on how scared I was how I was really thinking about leaving him how I didn't know if I could do it anymore the words poured from my mouth and I could stop them I had never spoken that truthfully or freely about what was going on to anyone and as I rambled all I could think was "stop talking stop talking stop talking!!!!!!" But I couldn't.

And then she said the famous line that after his melt down I heard daily "But you look like your so happy on Facebook"

Yeah no shit.

I wish my life was even half as wonderful and careful as it appears on Facebook... I can edit my marriage down to a few cute pictures, a loving quote, and bullshit smilies and noone knows any better...

I was living in WA state, 2800 miles from my family, it was so easy to pretend it was stupid how the hell could they know that while I was posting "Dinner with my super hubby!" I meant I was dropping it off at the kennels and then leaving seconds later because if we spent more then 5 minutes in the same room while awake we'd fight? How could they know that "yay! Girls night!" Wasn't a fun night with my girlfriends but a desperate distraction because Josh was working nights again and I was afraid to be in our apartment alone at night? How could they know that when he would post "love you" on my wall it was his attempt at apologizing for screaming at me for hours about things I knew nothing about

They had no idea.

They didn't know the hours I spent alone, the days I spent wishing I had made a different choice wishing I could go home and pick up my life where it left off

Facebook makes lying so easy, it's telling the truth that's hard.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Late night drives

When I lived in WA, the middle of the night was my fave time of day... Josh was normally deployed or working the road or on CQ so he was never home at night and as you've noticed I have a habit of sleeping during the day (lol)

My friends (Roxie and Lori) were thankfully also night owls and I was always running around with them somewhere in the middle of the night be it a random 2am trip to wander Walmart, pie and salad (haha Roxie fuck Denny's for buying out our diner!!!) at midnight, apple at at 11pm at The Rock, 3am "get in the car" basically kidnapped trips to the casino, random sex store trips where Wed laugh at the toys we were always out at night and it was so peaceful to me it no traffic just me and my friends

That's one of the things I miss most and tonight for the first time since I moved To VA I felt it again my good friend Cole called me and said she wanted to go out for a drive and I was like "LET'S GO!!!" And she came and got me and we just drove around for almost 3 hours it was wonderful!!!

Josh and I are so lucky to have Cole in our lives she is the only person here who has accepted us as we are, has accepted that Josh's health issue can cause massive problems but she doesn't judge us or use it against us or anything and I love her for that!

I love that I can trust her to go out with Josh and know she would keep him calm if something happened

I love that she doesn't laugh at me for my social issues that she doesn't judge of expect or anything

I'm so glad I have her and now that I know she does middle of the night drives, I have a feeling well be doing it a LOT more :)

I'm hoping if we start doing this, ill be a step closer to who I used to be

I've accepted the Washington version of me is gone, she will never totally come back there's no way to go back and pretend I haven't been though all I've been though with Josh last year

But I'm hoping that slowly pieces of that girl will come back... I felt her today and I miss her so much it felt so good :)

Thank you Cole for being a fantastic friend and a wonderful person WE LOVE YOU :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I wish...

I wish I had the problems the wives at Ft Myer have...

I wish my biggest problem was what day the ball would be or what time my husband was getting home

I wish I thought the worst thing in the world was CQ or a few days in the field

I wish I didn't know the pain of watching your husband board a plane for the Middle East, kissing him good bye and not knowing if you'd ever see him alive again

I wish I could just smile and act like everything is perfect

I wish everything was perfect

I wish for one second I could switch places with some of these women let them see how awful things could really be what it feels like to lay in bed at night alone AGAIN sobbing because you can't remember what he smells like or what it felt like to touch him

I wish I never had to spend months convincing myself that my husband was real and I didn't just make him up

I wish I didn't miss years with Josh, miss days with him we can never get back

I wish he was healthy

I wish we never came here

I wish I would have kept my big mouth shut and kept pretending

I wish these women could see how lucky they are and understand how heartbreaking what we have been though is

I wish we weren't being forced to give up everything we know

I wish we could go back to Ft Lewis

I wish we could go back in time

I wish I wish I wish...

Monday, February 18, 2013

Now and Then

I can't help but stop and think about how far I've come in the past 10 years... If 10 years ago you told me I've be married to a combat vet and we'd own our house I would laugh...

This isn't how I saw my life... Sometimes I wonder what I saw for my life...

A huge part of me never thought I'd leave New Jersey... I had a boyfriend when I was in HS (All though HS it was very serious and honestly as much as I don't like to admit this, 10 years ago if you woulda asked me who I saw myself with it would have been him but it ended very VERY quickly when I met Josh... I had no doubt in my mind the day I met Josh that I was going to marry him and I broke up with Matt that very night but thats another story for another blog) and one of our big fights was that I wasn't ok with not living in NJ... That alone should show you how much I love Josh I not only left NJ but moved as far across the US as possible without crossing an ocean

I still have an issue with being far from Jersey but I'm dealing with it... I'm realizing home is where my husband is <3

That Ex I was talking about above, I just found out he got married and I didn't feel jealous or upset or anything except happy! I sent him an email and congratulated him and his new wife I'm truly happy for him and so glad he has found happiness and I hope they are as happy as Josh and I are :D

10 years ago I never saw myself married to a soldier... Honestly, I was completely against the war... Don't get me wrong, I wasn't against the military it's not like they woke up in the morning and were like "I think we should go invade a middle eastern country!" They did as they were told but I didn't believe in the war in Iraq...

10 years ago I was a totally different person and honestly at times I miss her... But during my time visiting WA I found pieces of her again and that makes me so happy




How far is too far?

So I haven't really talked about this topic much but I might as well do it now, I mean it's a huge part of what we have going on here...

Josh and I have been seriously talking about starting a family these past few months we both know we want children it's just as issue of is now the "right time" I mean we're 25, we are both pretty selfish and self involved... He likes to go hang at the VFW I like I stay up all night and sleep all day, we both like to take random trips where we just throw Guinness and the car and go and then there's all the issues of his health and the MEB and how that's going to effect our future... So basically were stuck :/

We know we're going to need help getting pregnant it's not something that's just going to happen for us like it does for most... Because of the side effects of his meds were going to have to carefully plan it all out and may need medications or possibly IUI or IVF... And that's where things get blurred for me...

How far is too far?

Do we want a child bad enough to have him skip his meds for a few days when I'm ovulating? What if that's not enough? Do I want to take medications that could cause multiplies? Do I want to give myself shot after shot of hormones which may or may not work or again could cause multiplies? Ethically am I ok with "playing God" with IVF? What do we do with the "left overs", what if I end up pregnant with 4, 5 or 6? Do we believe in selective abortion? Do we risk my health to attempt to carry them all and end up with a bunch of babies in the nicu who may or may not survive and if they do could have lasting health issues?

Do we want a child that badly?

And further more, do we want said child now?

I see all my friends getting pregnant and having children and part of me wants that too I spend time with their kids and sometimes want my own but other times I can't Stand them!

I know it's different when they are yours because you raise them how you want they listen to you but am I ready to give up my life as I know it for someone else?

Tomorrow we have a therapy appt and I think I'm gonna bring this topic up and see if the dr has any books she can recommend on the ethical side of this... I mean there's no right or wrong answer there it's all gonna come down to what we believe :/

So... How far is too far?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Filter OFF!

So I'm sitting at the movies, alone, (I love going to movies alone and Josh hates scary movies so it works out great haah!) I'm waiting for MaMa to start but have 20 mins so I figured I'd write a bit about something that's really been bothering me lately...

It's NOT always PTSD! Not everyone who goes to war gets PTSD, no everyone who has nightmares has PTSD, not every soldier who comes home a little different has PTSD. If a dr has not diagnosed it then the person doesn't have it! Your NOT a dr!

Not every child who doesn't listen has "something medically wrong" with it... Some parents just don't parents, some kids are just bad! I find it shockingly hard to believe that as many kids "have problems" as parents claim it's like add of autism is like the new way to excuse your child's horrible behavior in public...

Not everyone has something wrong with them some people are just assholes some kids just don't listen some parents suck some men are faking to take advantage of the system some women just want to have a excuse to why her kid is screaming like monster in public

Here's something I have never told anyone I was diagnosed with Asburgers syndrome when I was 15. From 2nd grade on my mom took me to doctors searching for a "reason" for my behavior and every doctor has his or her own reason... Add, ADHD, odd, OCD, bi-polar, depression nos, mood disorder nos you name if I was diagnosed with it the final diagnosis being Asburgers when I was 15.

I have a lot of the symptoms but I don't fit into the "box" totally persay but as someone who has the diagnosis I can tell you it's no excuse for being an as in public!

My parents never let me run wild, they never let me scream and cry and melt down in public... If I had an "issue" they took me out of the store or where ever we were in seconds flat and either got me under control then went back or took me home because its noone else's problem that your kid is an ass!

My parents didn't expect special treatment or pity because I was a demon child HELL NO! They didn't let me get away with shit because I was "special" they forced me to become a functioning member of society! They didn't make excuses for me or try to play the EFMP card... My dad didn't stay home from work to "control" me my mom just handled it!

I was a VERY hard child ill be the first to admit that I was emotional, loud, pissy, and could be set off if you looked at me funny (after Josh got sick I went back emotionally to that age and behavior and Josh shut it down right fast!) my parents knew how to keep me in line and they did it... If you can't control your child KEEP THEM HOME noone else wants to hear your brat screaming I don't give a shit what you "say" is "wrong" with them it's no excuse! If I can control myself, if my parents can control me, then they can control themselves and their parents can control them!

I'm just so sick of hearing people talk about how their kids have problems... If your kids are all fucked up, STOP HAVING KIDS! If you can't keep your kids in control: KEEP THEM HOME!

Ok I'm done ranting my movie is gonna start I will write more about my medical issues later

It could be worse.

Lately I can't help but get pissed when people complain about things... "OMG this sucks my husband has to go to the field" "fuck the army! CQ again?!" "My kids miss my husband"

It could be worse. I could be so much worse. Why don't you shut your complaining mouth and be thankful for what you have?!

Be thankful your husband is stationed at Ft Myer the most shamtastic post in the whole effing country. Be thankful he's never deployed, and never will as long as your stationed at Myer. Be thankful the worst thing to happen to you is he was a few hours late coming home from work! Be thankful your kids are healthy, your husband is healthy, your healthy. Be thankful your family is safe and you don't have to live in fear of soldiers showing up on your front porch to tell you your husband is dead, be thankful you don't have to fear every time the phone rings that its the Army calling to say your husband is injured. Be thankful you don't spend your nights watching your child praying he or she makes it though the night. Be thankful that you don't spend your days walking on eggshells praying that nothing happens to set your husband off, to send him into an uncontrollable panic, to push him to the point he attempts to kill himself (again.)

It can always be worse. If there's one thing I've learned from my friends, from the life I'm living. It can ALWAYS be worse.

I have friends who have seen how bad it can get... Josh has severe PTSD, I got the phone call from BAF that he was injured... Someone has it worse... Marissa, a good friend of Josh and my's lost her legs in Iraq during OIF she spent months in Walter Reed recovering... Someone has it worse. Alicia's baby daughter died in December... She was a year old, the most beautiful child you could ever imagine... After she got sick I remember Alicia sending me pictures of her and all I could think or say back was "OMG she looks like an angel" she did... She looked how I always imagined an angel would look like... So beautiful, so peaceful, angelic... Someone still has it worse... My friend Melanie's husband was killed in action in Iraq in 2007. He left behind a young son and a heartbroken wife... But still I bet someone has it worse...

I always try to think of these ladies, the 3 strongest women I know, when I get to my wits end with Josh... I think of them and remind myself how truly lucky I am... Josh is home, he's alive, he's physically whole...

I try my hardest to not complain and I try to remind others not to complain because it can be so much worse... You have no idea how much worse...

So please the next time your thinking about bitching about something like CQ or Mids or the field or that your kids won't go to sleep stop for a moment and think of Marissa, Alicia, and Melanie. Think of them and know they never complain about what they are going though they hold their heads up and put one foot in front of the other and push though. If they can do it, so can you!

Remember, it can ALWAYS be worse...

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Midnight

So it's midnight... I'm laying in bed watching "We bought a Zoo" and wishing I could be sleeping... I should be sleeping... We have to be up tomorrow to help some good friends move but I'm awake... I'm awake and rubbing Josh's back hoping he calms down soon so I can sleep...

He's having nightmares again... Bad ones... I know when he's having then because he shakes and talks in his sleep... It's heartbreaking.

Part of me wants to wake him up but I know it's not use... If I wake him up hell be pissed but if I let him sleep maybe he can work though some of his issues in his mind...

I wish I could make his nightmares stop but I still haven't found a way...

Surgery post (no pictures)

This is the "G Rated" surgery post :) no pictures! Enjoy!

Josh brought it to my attention that I talk a lot about my ankle surgery but never really explain it to anyone any further then it was a sports injury that I had reconstructive surgery on so I figured why not go a little more into detail while I'm sitting here with nothing to do :)

When I was 15 I was on swim team (and pretty damn good!) but one day I wasn't really paying attention to what I was doing, misjudged my foot placement on the starting block and when I did my starting dive the top of my foot slammed into the block... Couldn't do it again if I tried. I thought I just bruised it so I kept going it wasn't until practice was over and I went to get out of the pool that I realized it was more serious then I thought... I broke my 5th metitarcle (sp?) and was cast and put on crutches

I never really thought anything of it again... After the cast came off it still hurt all the time and the dr did more X-rays and found nothing wrong so he said it was more then likely a soft tissue injury and told my parents to send me to physical therapy I did that but it didn't help so they did an MRI and a cat scan on my foot with and without contrast and again came up with nothing so the dr by that point just assumed I was either a teenager who wanted pain meds to get high or was looking for a get out of gym note for school and told my parents there was nothing more he could do

They took me to a few other doctors over the years but everyone came up with the same result of there was nothing wrong with my foot... Expect that about once a year I would fall and break the same bone over and over... Normally once you break a bone it's stronger because it a calcium deposit forms where the fracture was so it was odd the same bone was breaking again and again but no matter how many tests they did every thing came back clean

Finally in June of 2010 right after Josh deployed the second time I was putting Guinness into the car to take her to visit my grandparents (remember I went home to NJ for the deployment) and as I was lifting her my foot slipped and broke again this was the 8th fracture since I was 15 (at the time I was 23)

I was treated at JFK er in Edison Nj and sent home yet again on crutches... Josh was fed up! He told me that of noone in Nj could figure out what was wrong then as soon as I got back to WA to go to Madigan (MAMC) and have them look at it so when I got back in Feb that's just what I did... The dr at MAMC was the first to look at my ankle... When he started looking at it I was like no you don't understand my ankle doesn't hurt, my foot does! And he was like ok but when you fall and break your foot how do you fall and I showed him and he said "right... Your ankle gives out making you break your foot" it was like a light went off!!

He gave me an Rx for a MRI of my ankle but because of the return of 5-2 weeks earlier, there were no appts at MAMC Til after we PCSed to VA

As soon as we got to VA I made an appt at Walter Reed (Bethesda) for the MRI

What they found was mind blowing

The nurse came over to me when I got out of the MRI machine and said "we normally don't do this but here is your MRI on a disk please go right up to the ortho clinic they're waiting for you" um oh shit haha

The ortho doctor was blown away he had no idea how I had been walking all these years all my ligaments and tendons in my ankle were either stretched or torn and a massive cyst had formed in the space where the ligaments should have been

He told me because I was a spouse he was unable to perform the surgery at Walter Reed (they are currently only treating service members at their ortho clinic) and he didn't want to send me to Belvoir because 1. I hate them and 2. They didn't have a foot and ankle specialist so that's how I ended up with a referral for an ASAP appt with Dr Paul Cooper at Georgetown University Hospital in DC. He's the head of the foot and ankle dept and the lead attending... The dude is a rock star.

I have no idea how they got me the appt for 2 days later because I later found out people fly in from all over the country for this doctor and his schedule is jam packed

My first appt with him was on Jan 2,2012 and boy was I nervous!!! I had been shot down by so many drs in the past, told I was faking so many times that I was scared to death he would tell me the same thing... Boy was I wrong!

He came in and was VERY friendly, his office was running about 2 hours later (which I later figured out was kinda their norm) but he was kind and helpful he took X-rays in his office and then pulled up my MRI and said "Wow.l out loud real slowly he turned to Josh and I and asked if we minded if his med students came in I said of course not but I kinda knew that meant I was in trouble "This is what an ankle SHOULD NOT look like" is what he told his students as they stared mouths open at my MRI I honestly couldn't help but laugh

He told me that without question I needed surgery ASAP but we had to figure out which surgery I needed so he filled my ankle with lidocaine (um fucking ow!!!) and told me to walk... It didn't hurt at all!!! He said that meant I needed a sub Talor fusion and he was going to do a tibial bone graft along with a modified bronstrum to fix the ligaments and tendons

Keep in mind this appt was Jan 2nd with one of the leading Ortho drs in the country and he called his assistant in and said I was an ASAP case and he wanted me on the table the following week... WOW Surgery was set for Jan 11 at 11:30am

I tried not to google the surgery or do too much research before hand so I wouldn't freak myself out I knew it was gonna be bad but I also knew it would be worth it in the end.

Dr Cooper told me the basics... I'd have a 6 inch cut on the left side of my right ankle starting right above the "ankle bone bump" as I call it going down to almost the bottom of my foot, a tiny incision on the bottom on my foot on my heal (very small only 1 or 2 stitches) and a 3 inch incision right below my knee cap on the right leg, left side. He would tighten all the ligaments and tendons, remove the cyst, remove my knee cap and take part of my tibia to make my new ankle them replace my knee cap, and insert a screw into my heel that would go all the way up to the top of my ankle to hold it all together. I'm not even gonna lie, the only thing I was worried about was my NJ tattoo on my ankle haha!! He promised to do his best to save it but couldn't make any promises (btw: he did save it! Go Dr Cooper!!) he also warned me I would be castes in the 6-6-6 schedule, 6 weeks in a wrap, 6 weeks in a hard cast, 6 weeks in an air cast... I would be totally non weight bearing for the first 6 weeks and on bed rest more or less (I was allowed to go to the bathroom and go to my appts with him that was it) and he told me that while my foot would no longer break because my ankle wouldn't roll, I would loose 50% of the function of my ankle... That scared me a bit because I wasn't sure what that meant totally and I was too afraid to ask...

When I told my mom what I was having done she kinda freaked out telling me I had no idea how serious this surgery was and that I was rushing into it without thinking... I told her very bluntly I had been living in fear that my foot could break at any moment and Id rather be on bed rest for a few weeks and then be able to walk normal then live like this any longer

Josh's bosses were surprisingly understanding, after I gave them a dr note with my surgery details they have him 10 days off work (I was SHOCKED to say the least) looking back now, I wish I would have had him take the 10 days after I was released from the hospital but I had no idea what was gonna happen at the point and beggars can't be choosers! I was just thankful he had any time off to help me at all because as you remember he wasn't around much after my tonsils came out and I was basically on my own...

The morning of Jan 11 came quick and I was just as excited as I was nervous this was a much more involved surgery then my tonsils and I had no idea how involved it was until I was called back to the pre op area.

Everyone else was in either beds or lounge chairs separated by curtains but I was taken into a real room with glass walls and a glass door... The dr who took me back explained she wanted to give me privacy because they would be starting a nerve block before they took me into the OR... I had no idea what a nerve block was so she explained it... They would put a needle into the back of my knee cap into a nerve there and inject medications which would numb me from there down (basically like an epidural that only effected my right ankle from my knee and down) at first I was very against this idea and she said I could refuse it but she highly recommended it to help control post op pain after talking it over with Josh for a second I agreed... To be honest the idea of sticking a needle into the back of my knee cap is what made me hesitate and the funny part is I have zero memory of them doing it!

She started an IV in my hand and used lidocaine to numb the vein before starting it and I was VERY thankful for that (I hate IVs and I REALLY hate hand IVs) she then told me they were going to start the nerve block so she was going to put some meds into my IV and Josh had to leave because once the block was inserted I would be taken to the OR... I remember laughing and I remember Josh kissing me and telling me I was gonna be ok and he loved me and that's about it... I don't remember him leaving the room, don't remember the nerve block going in, don't remember the ride to the OR nothing!

My next memory is them waking me up in the OR after it was all done... They were telling me to move my toes and I remember it hurting really bad and I don't know if I said it out loud but I kept thinking (and I thought I was saying it but who knows hahah) "this hurts so bad you said it wouldn't hurt why does it hurt?!?!" And then I fell asleep again... The next time I woke up I was in recovery with a massive bandage on my ankle and on my knee, a second IV in my other hand and something called a Polar Pack attached to my ankle (it was under the dressing and when you plug it in, it moved ice water over my wound kind of like a moving ice pack it became my saving grace once I figured out how to work it.

I remember when I first woke up in recovery I could move my toes and then slowly the ability went away it was by far the weirdest feeling I've ever had to look at my toes and think "move" but they wouldn't move I remember touching them and freaking out a bit because I couldn't feel them but it felt like the bandage was way too tight the nurse said that was normal and cut the bandage a bit to give my toes room to swell (and swell they did!!!!) I remember asking for Josh over and over and at first they told me I had to wait Til I was moved to the next faze of recovery and I would close my eyes and ask again and I think I was in the same room and they finally said yes and brought him back... He took a picture of me with my stuffed animal he got me and he took a picture of my ankle all cast up and that's about all I remember until they told me they had a room for us upstairs (I knew ahead of time I would be staying over night at least 1 night and in my mind only a few moments passed but I later realized that like 8 hours had passed haha)

Once we got into the room they helped me move onto the hospital bed from the gurney I was on and then I sent Josh on a mission to get my over night bag and find me a salad and pine apple (don't ask I have no idea why but that was the only thing that sounded even a little good and OMG it was amazing when he brought me it!!)

I remember sitting there playing one phone and then happily eating my odd dinner giggling to myself that I was able to eat which was something I was most def not able to do after my last surgery... At this point my ankle didn't hurt at all and the only pain I had was in the cut in my knee but they had me all doped up on IV diludid so as long as I didn't meds with it I was basically ok it just felt like a bad bruise...

They were really nice and set Josh up with a cot in my room (it was a private room) so he could spend the night and help me if I needed anything during the night they also let me changed into my own clothes (they said as long as they could access the surgical site, my arm for my BP, and could hook up the EKG leads they didn't care what I wore so I changed into a black tank top and black stretchy pants and was one happy little teeny bopper!)

They had me get up once after I changed to go to the bathroom (I didn't realize how bad I had to pee they they asked ahahha!! Then I thought about it and I had been on IV fluids for almost 12 hours so that shouldn't have been too much of a surprise) the nurse brought me a walker because I was far too unsteady from the meds for crutches and it took both her and Josh to get me up and to the bathroom I remember laughing when I got in there because she had to help me with my pants (I couldn't pull them up and hold onto the walked at the same time) and I said "wow. 23 and I can't put on my own pants? Is this rock bottom?" Lol

I had VERY little concept of night and day while I was in the hospital Josh said I would fall asleep mid sentence and then just randomly wake up and finish the sentence hours later... The only bad thing about Georgetown is they have a very odd rule about pain meds... They won't wake you up for them if your sleeping you have to wait to get them Til you wake up which can cause MAJOR issues if you sleep though your dose time (once pain starts its very hard to get it under control again) so I set an alarm in my phone to wake me up every 4 hours so I wouldn't miss a dose.

This whole every 4 hour wake up call caused the no sense of night or day but honestly I didn't care as long as it meant I wasn't in pain!

The nerve block was supposed to last 48 hours but it Didn't even last 24! I'm so thankful to my nurse who advocated for me to the ortho resident who wanted to send me home the next morning the nurse said no no no and said she didn't think it was a good idea Til after I was stabilized without IV pain meds... Had they sent me home I woulda just been getting to my house when the nerve block wore off and let me tell you that was NOT pretty and it most def didn't tickle! It was horrid the pain went from 0 to 100 in like 5 seconds I almost passed out!

They gave me IV dudlidid and IV benedryll (plus Zofran for because all the pain meds can make you sick to your stomach) then OxyContin, Vicodin and a really strong anti anxiety med (I can't think of the name but its super common and holy shit does it work!!) in pill form... Needless to say I was stoned utterly stupid!

I have very screwy memories of the 4 days I spent in the hospital... I remember watching Card Sharks on GSN for what felt like hours (chances are it was like 1 Eppie because I am pretty sure it's only on for a half hour hahaha) and I remember the nurse putting me on oxygen because they took my vitals and my O2 stat was very low from the dulidud, I remember the dr visiting to check on me and begging him to give me back the nerve block (he said no only 1 per customer haha), And I remember being freezing cold and they piling warm blankets on me then scaring the crap out of the nurse because I was sucking on a blue push pop that turned my lips a little blue (my mouth was closed when she walked in so she didn't notice my teeth and tongue were also bright blue hahaha) she was all "um hunny how cold are you?" Haha I quickly explained it was a Lolly pop :)

The morning after surgery and every morning from then on the Physical Therapist came and got me up out of bed and made me practice using crutches I was not a fan of the PT dr but he would bribe me with the promise of a dulidud shot if I did what he wanted hahah

I was finally released on Sat and by that point I was pretty ready to be he and thought my pain was under control... Getting home was an adventure... We live 45 mins from Georgetown, which is smack dab in the middle of DC so we had to time leaving perfect to avoid traffic (they gave me a final shot of dulidud right before removing the IV to get me though the trip home and hold me over Til Josh could get my Rxs filled at the pharmacy

I don't really remember the drive home I'm assuming I fell asleep (that's normally what dulidud did to me!) but when we got home I realized we had quite a problem... How the hell was I going to get inside?!

Our front stairs of set up weird I have no idea how to even explain it so I'm gonna have to just post a picture to show why this was such an issue... I couldn't use crutches or the walker up the stairs so after trying twice I finally gave in and did it the only way I could think of to do it safely... I crawled.

Yes you read that right I crawled from the truck up the 7 steps to my door, up the 3 porch steps as then up the 8 steps that takes you up stairs into our living room. I took a small break that before continuing to low crawl, with my ankle in the air and trying to avoid hurting my knee any worse to my bedroom where I somehow found the energy to pull myself up onto the bed using only my arms I had worked up quite a sweat the by time I got into bed but I made it!!! And let me tell you I didn't move after that unless I had no other choice!!!

Just put 2 pillows under my ankle to elevate it (1 body pillow bent in half but a hospital pillow and covered it all with a pad thing they gave us at the hospital to protect the pillows from the blood that was leaking out of the cast

I was basically ok for 2 days but on Monday things got bad and I was in an unreal amount of pain the only way I could explain it is that it felt like the cast was going to cut off all circulation to my ankle and the feeling of pressure was unbearable! Josh finally said this has gone on long enough and said get in the car were going to the ER. He didn't wanna take me to Georgetowns ER because it was so far so we figured we would try Belvoir's first... Never again! This visit was Strike 3 against them in my book and I now refuse to go there for anything! I don't care how sick I am ill drive the extra 30 mins to Georgetown or 40 mins to Bethesda!

The ER staff was rude, uncaring and totally unsympathetic... After making me sit for 4 hours in the waiting room they called me back into a room and said there was nothing they could do for me because my surgery was at a diff hospital... WHAT THE FUCK why didn't you tell me that when I got here 4 HOURS ago so I could have gone to Georgetown instead of waiting here for 4 hours to have to go there and wait 4 hours?!

We go to Georgetown and they totally unwrapped my ankle taking all the dressings off of it and this is where I got my first look at the wound and Hod damn it was not pretty! I looked at Josh and was like "um at least my tattoo wasn't cut? I can't think of anything else positive to say about this..." The ER dr was pretty sure I was gonna be admitted because he was sure it was infected by the Ortho Resident thought otherwise and put me in a walking boot (5 days post op this SOB put me in a walking boot... What that fuck?! Over. And told me it looked fine for 5 days post off and to just make an appt with Dr Cooper for Thursday to have the stitches out...

I did what I was told and by Thursday I really thought I was dying I couldn't get comfy, I was in so much pain I was throwing up, none of my meds helped at all and the morning of my appt I remember begging Josh to not make me go because I was in so much pain and my head hurt so bad I was getting sick just thinking about taking a shower to leave the house... Thank GOD he pushed me to that appt!! He very well might have saved my life!

When we got there he dropped me off at the door (in a wheelchair) and we to park the truck I wheeled myself to Cooper's office, the foot and ankle center. When I got there I signed in then rolled myself to the back of the waiting room and burst into tears Imy head hurt so bad and my ankle pain was off the scales and I just wanted to throw up and pass out... There was an older woman who was in the waiting room who went up to the desk and requested they took me back next instead of her... She is a saint if you ask me and I now try to do this for others...

The nurse wasn't able to remove the Ace bandage I had put on my ankle (it was too swollen for the resident's walking boot and clearly I couldn't walk yet) the normal way of unwrapping it so he cut it off and called Dr Cooper in as soon as my surgical site was visible... Dr Cooper walked in, took 1 look at it and said "so you've earned yourself a weekend of IV antibiotics and pain meds! That one rockin' infection but what did you expect it's off the coast of New Jersey" haha Josh still laughs about that little joke

Dr Cooper also made the call at this point to put me into a hard cast with a window cut into it to view the wound site and keep an eye on the infection and the stitches... The nurse later told me I coulda picked a cast color but he just did it white because I could barely sit up without puking let alone talk to anyone so he didn't think I'd mind the white cast... He was very right. Cast color was the last thing on my mind!

They had me fill out all the admission forms and then have me the bad news that at the current moment the hospital was totally full so they sent me to the ER to wait for a room...

They put me in a bed in the ER and I was honestly a huge bitch to anyone who even looked at me let alone spoke to me until the nurse gave me a shot of dulidud then I was happier then a pig in mud!

They told me they didn't know how long it would be Til they got me a room but it was already 10pm and Guinness had been alone since about noon so I sent Josh home to let her out and feed her and get to bed so he could visit me in the morning

He was gone about an hour when I melted down... I burst into tears that I was all alone in the hospital and then it hit me that this was the first time since he was hospitalized since we had been apart and that was it I totally lost it

I called him crying so hard I was barely breathing and he was so sweet he told me over and over how much he loved me and that everything was gonna be ok and he'd be there with me in a few hours

They were able to get me a room at about midnight and I was very sad to find out I had a room mate (if it was a private room Josh would be allowed to spend the night) the girl was very friendly and she let me use her IPhone charger so she was my hero at that moment (I had thought to pack a small bag figuring I was gonna be admitted but I forgot my charger)

I talked to my roommate for a little while and then I fell asleep from all the meds I kept my alarms set and recommend to my roommate that she get on a similar schedule so we could get our meds at the same time (we had issues getting our nurse to bring our meds we were on an oncology floor and neither of us had cancer so they kinda forgot about us because we weren't actively dying...

We had to keep the door to our room shut because the smells on that floor were awful... You could literally smell death... It was a nightmare...

My roommate was nice but VERY needy and very whiny... She didn't like taking meds so she would wait Til her pain was totally outta control to ask for them and by the time they got them to her she was losing her mind and screaming and crying and it made me crazyyyyy!!!! Why wouldn't you just take the meds when you need them rather then wait Til your screaming in pain?!

I was in the hospital for 3 nights this time and on the morning after the 3rd night I basically told the resident she had 3 options: 1. Get me a private room 2. Send me home or 3. I was gonna sign out AMA because I needed sleep and just couldn't get any with her screaming and crying every 5 hours!

Thankfully she was willing to release me (she wasn't happy about it but said as long as I took the antibiotics at home she would agree to it) the Downside was the day I was released was the day Josh was set to go back to work and after 10 days off we couldn't ask for more so he picked me up at the hospital and signed me out then brought me to Ft Myer where a friend "Nikki" if you have read previous posts, picked me up and brought me the rest of the way home then helped me crawl up the stairs and into bed again

My second return home went surprisingly smooth... Josh set me up a little cooler with drinks and snacks in it to get me though the day while he was at work because I could barely get to the bathroom alone and most def couldn't go anywhere else

This system worked shockingly well and I was very happy with how we set it all up... I'd say we handled my severe limitations VERY well!

I didn't go down stairs post op for months... I was in bed with my ankle elevated for about 3 months I can't remember going or doing anything except laying in bed and going to my dr Til April when I went to the military Spouse Convention in Arlington (I was in a wheelchair but I HAD TO go see Mollie Gross preform!!)

I ended up being cast much longer then originally planned... I had 5 hard plaster casts, each one between 2-7 weeks then I was in the walking boot for 2 months followed by months of PT

In Dec when we were in Disney was still limping pretty bad when out of nowhere I felt a huge pop in my ankle and for a second I thought I really messed it up and then I realized it didn't hurt near as bad and I was able to move it way more it was like a Disney miracle! Josh thinks that either something was stuck under a bone and got loose or one of the internal stitches finally broke... Whatever it was it was amazing and completely life changing! I was almost totally pain free and VERY happy!

It's 3am right now and I'm falling asleep so Im gonna publish this then go to sleep tomorrow I'm gonna go back in as soon as I wake up and add the pictures and more details! Nigh!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sub-Talor fusion with a tibial bone graft

Before I go any further I want to warn you the pictures In this post will be VERY graphic of my ankle post-op! I will post the same blog without the pictures tomorrow so those of you with a weak stomach can read it too :)

Josh brought it to my attention that I talk a lot about my ankle surgery but never really explain it to anyone any further then it was a sports injury that I had reconstructive surgery on so I figured why not go a little more into detail while I'm sitting here with nothing to do :)

When I was 15 I was on swim team (and pretty damn good!) but one day I wasn't really paying attention to what I was doing, misjudged my foot placement on the starting block and when I did my starting dive the top of my foot slammed into the block... Couldn't do it again if I tried. I thought I just bruised it so I kept going it wasn't until practice was over and I went to get out of the pool that I realized it was more serious then I thought... I broke my 5th metitarcle (sp?) and was cast and put on crutches

I never really thought anything of it again... After the cast came off it still hurt all the time and the dr did more X-rays and found nothing wrong so he said it was more then likely a soft tissue injury and told my parents to send me to physical therapy I did that but it didn't help so they did an MRI and a cat scan on my foot with and without contrast and again came up with nothing so the dr by that point just assumed I was either a teenager who wanted pain meds to get high or was looking for a get out of gym note for school and told my parents there was nothing more he could do

They took me to a few other doctors over the years but everyone came up with the same result of there was nothing wrong with my foot... Expect that about once a year I would fall and break the same bone over and over... Normally once you break a bone it's stronger because it a calcium deposit forms where the fracture was so it was odd the same bone was breaking again and again but no matter how many tests they did every thing came back clean

Finally in June of 2010 right after Josh deployed the second time I was putting Guinness into the car to take her to visit my grandparents (remember I went home to NJ for the deployment) and as I was lifting her my foot slipped and broke again this was the 8th fracture since I was 15 (at the time I was 23)

I was treated at JFK er in Edison Nj and sent home yet again on crutches... Josh was fed up! He told me that of noone in Nj could figure out what was wrong then as soon as I got back to WA to go to Madigan (MAMC) and have them look at it so when I got back in Feb that's just what I did... The dr at MAMC was the first to look at my ankle... When he started looking at it I was like no you don't understand my ankle doesn't hurt, my foot does! And he was like ok but when you fall and break your foot how do you fall and I showed him and he said "right... Your ankle gives out making you break your foot" it was like a light went off!!

He gave me an Rx for a MRI of my ankle but because of the return of 5-2 weeks earlier, there were no appts at MAMC Til after we PCSed to VA

As soon as we got to VA I made an appt at Walter Reed (Bethesda) for the MRI

What they found was mind blowing

The nurse came over to me when I got out of the MRI machine and said "we normally don't do this but here is your MRI on a disk please go right up to the ortho clinic they're waiting for you" um oh shit haha

The ortho doctor was blown away he had no idea how I had been walking all these years all my ligaments and tendons in my ankle were either stretched or torn and a massive cyst had formed in the space where the ligaments should have been

He told me because I was a spouse he was unable to perform the surgery at Walter Reed (they are currently only treating service members at their ortho clinic) and he didn't want to send me to Belvoir because 1. I hate them and 2. They didn't have a foot and ankle specialist so that's how I ended up with a referral for an ASAP appt with Dr Paul Cooper at Georgetown University Hospital in DC. He's the head of the foot and ankle dept and the lead attending... The dude is a rock star.

I have no idea how they got me the appt for 2 days later because I later found out people fly in from all over the country for this doctor and his schedule is jam packed

My first appt with him was on Jan 2,2012 and boy was I nervous!!! I had been shot down by so many drs in the past, told I was faking so many times that I was scared to death he would tell me the same thing... Boy was I wrong!

He came in and was VERY friendly, his office was running about 2 hours later (which I later figured out was kinda their norm) but he was kind and helpful he took X-rays in his office and then pulled up my MRI and said "Wow.l out loud real slowly he turned to Josh and I and asked if we minded if his med students came in I said of course not but I kinda knew that meant I was in trouble "This is what an ankle SHOULD NOT look like" is what he told his students as they stared mouths open at my MRI I honestly couldn't help but laugh

He told me that without question I needed surgery ASAP but we had to figure out which surgery I needed so he filled my ankle with lidocaine (um fucking ow!!!) and told me to walk... It didn't hurt at all!!! He said that meant I needed a sub Talor fusion and he was going to do a tibial bone graft along with a modified bronstrum to fix the ligaments and tendons

Keep in mind this appt was Jan 2nd with one of the leading Ortho drs in the country and he called his assistant in and said I was an ASAP case and he wanted me on the table the following week... WOW Surgery was set for Jan 11 at 11:30am

I tried not to google the surgery or do too much research before hand so I wouldn't freak myself out I knew it was gonna be bad but I also knew it would be worth it in the end.

Dr Cooper told me the basics... I'd have a 6 inch cut on the left side of my right ankle starting right above the "ankle bone bump" as I call it going down to almost the bottom of my foot, a tiny incision on the bottom on my foot on my heal (very small only 1 or 2 stitches) and a 3 inch incision right below my knee cap on the right leg, left side. He would tighten all the ligaments and tendons, remove the cyst, remove my knee cap and take part of my tibia to make my new ankle them replace my knee cap, and insert a screw into my heel that would go all the way up to the top of my ankle to hold it all together. I'm not even gonna lie, the only thing I was worried about was my NJ tattoo on my ankle haha!! He promised to do his best to save it but couldn't make any promises (btw: he did save it! Go Dr Cooper!!) he also warned me I would be castes in the 6-6-6 schedule, 6 weeks in a wrap, 6 weeks in a hard cast, 6 weeks in an air cast... I would be totally non weight bearing for the first 6 weeks and on bed rest more or less (I was allowed to go to the bathroom and go to my appts with him that was it) and he told me that while my foot would no longer break because my ankle wouldn't roll, I would loose 50% of the function of my ankle... That scared me a bit because I wasn't sure what that meant totally and I was too afraid to ask...

When I told my mom what I was having done she kinda freaked out telling me I had no idea how serious this surgery was and that I was rushing into it without thinking... I told her very bluntly I had been living in fear that my foot could break at any moment and Id rather be on bed rest for a few weeks and then be able to walk normal then live like this any longer

Josh's bosses were surprisingly understanding, after I gave them a dr note with my surgery details they have him 10 days off work (I was SHOCKED to say the least) looking back now, I wish I would have had him take the 10 days after I was released from the hospital but I had no idea what was gonna happen at the point and beggars can't be choosers! I was just thankful he had any time off to help me at all because as you remember he wasn't around much after my tonsils came out and I was basically on my own...

The morning of Jan 11 came quick and I was just as excited as I was nervous this was a much more involved surgery then my tonsils and I had no idea how involved it was until I was called back to the pre op area.

Everyone else was in either beds or lounge chairs separated by curtains but I was taken into a real room with glass walls and a glass door... The dr who took me back explained she wanted to give me privacy because they would be starting a nerve block before they took me into the OR... I had no idea what a nerve block was so she explained it... They would put a needle into the back of my knee cap into a nerve there and inject medications which would numb me from there down (basically like an epidural that only effected my right ankle from my knee and down) at first I was very against this idea and she said I could refuse it but she highly recommended it to help control post op pain after talking it over with Josh for a second I agreed... To be honest the idea of sticking a needle into the back of my knee cap is what made me hesitate and the funny part is I have zero memory of them doing it!

She started an IV in my hand and used lidocaine to numb the vein before starting it and I was VERY thankful for that (I hate IVs and I REALLY hate hand IVs) she then told me they were going to start the nerve block so she was going to put some meds into my IV and Josh had to leave because once the block was inserted I would be taken to the OR... I remember laughing and I remember Josh kissing me and telling me I was gonna be ok and he loved me and that's about it... I don't remember him leaving the room, don't remember the nerve block going in, don't remember the ride to the OR nothing!

My next memory is them waking me up in the OR after it was all done... They were telling me to move my toes and I remember it hurting really bad and I don't know if I said it out loud but I kept thinking (and I thought I was saying it but who knows hahah) "this hurts so bad you said it wouldn't hurt why does it hurt?!?!" And then I fell asleep again... The next time I woke up I was in recovery with a massive bandage on my ankle and on my knee, a second IV in my other hand and something called a Polar Pack attached to my ankle (it was under the dressing and when you plug it in, it moved ice water over my wound kind of like a moving ice pack it became my saving grace once I figured out how to work it.



I remember when I first woke up in recovery I could move my toes and then slowly the ability went away it was by far the weirdest feeling I've ever had to look at my toes and think "move" but they wouldn't move I remember touching them and freaking out a bit because I couldn't feel them but it felt like the bandage was way too tight the nurse said that was normal and cut the bandage a bit to give my toes room to swell (and swell they did!!!!) I remember asking for Josh over and over and at first they told me I had to wait Til I was moved to the next faze of recovery and I would close my eyes and ask again and I think I was in the same room and they finally said yes and brought him back... He took a picture of me with my stuffed animal he got me and he took a picture of my ankle all cast up and that's about all I remember until they told me they had a room for us upstairs (I knew ahead of time I would be staying over night at least 1 night and in my mind only a few moments passed but I later realized that like 8 hours had passed haha)

Once we got into the room they helped me move onto the hospital bed from the gurney I was on and then I sent Josh on a mission to get my over night bag and find me a salad and pine apple (don't ask I have no idea why but that was the only thing that sounded even a little good and OMG it was amazing when he brought me it!!)

I remember sitting there playing one phone and then happily eating my odd dinner giggling to myself that I was able to eat which was something I was most def not able to do after my last surgery... At this point my ankle didn't hurt at all and the only pain I had was in the cut in my knee but they had me all doped up on IV diludid so as long as I didn't meds with it I was basically ok it just felt like a bad bruise...





They were really nice and set Josh up with a cot in my room (it was a private room) so he could spend the night and help me if I needed anything during the night they also let me changed into my own clothes (they said as long as they could access the surgical site, my arm for my BP, and could hook up the EKG leads they didn't care what I wore so I changed into a black tank top and black stretchy pants and was one happy little teeny bopper!)

They had me get up once after I changed to go to the bathroom (I didn't realize how bad I had to pee they they asked ahahha!! Then I thought about it and I had been on IV fluids for almost 12 hours so that shouldn't have been too much of a surprise) the nurse brought me a walker because I was far too unsteady from the meds for crutches and it took both her and Josh to get me up and to the bathroom I remember laughing when I got in there because she had to help me with my pants (I couldn't pull them up and hold onto the walked at the same time) and I said "wow. 23 and I can't put on my own pants? Is this rock bottom?" Lol

I had VERY little concept of night and day while I was in the hospital Josh said I would fall asleep mid sentence and then just randomly wake up and finish the sentence hours later... The only bad thing about Georgetown is they have a very odd rule about pain meds... They won't wake you up for them if your sleeping you have to wait to get them Til you wake up which can cause MAJOR issues if you sleep though your dose time (once pain starts its very hard to get it under control again) so I set an alarm in my phone to wake me up every 4 hours so I wouldn't miss a dose.

This whole every 4 hour wake up call caused the no sense of night or day but honestly I didn't care as long as it meant I wasn't in pain!

The nerve block was supposed to last 48 hours but it Didn't even last 24! I'm so thankful to my nurse who advocated for me to the ortho resident who wanted to send me home the next morning the nurse said no no no and said she didn't think it was a good idea Til after I was stabilized without IV pain meds... Had they sent me home I woulda just been getting to my house when the nerve block wore off and let me tell you that was NOT pretty and it most def didn't tickle! It was horrid the pain went from 0 to 100 in like 5 seconds I almost passed out!

                                                                   
They gave me IV dudlidid and IV benedryll (plus Zofran for because all the pain meds can make you sick to your stomach) then OxyContin, Vicodin and a really strong anti anxiety med (I can't think of the name but its super common and holy shit does it work!!) in pill form... Needless to say I was stoned utterly stupid!
I have very screwy memories of the 4 days I spent in the hospital... I remember watching Card Sharks on GSN for what felt like hours (chances are it was like 1 Eppie because I am pretty sure it's only on for a half hour hahaha) and I remember the nurse putting me on oxygen because they took my vitals and my O2 stat was very low from the dulidud, I remember the dr visiting to check on me and begging him to give me back the nerve block (he said no only 1 per customer haha), And I remember being freezing cold and they piling warm blankets on me then scaring the crap out of the nurse because I was sucking on a blue push pop that turned my lips a little blue (my mouth was closed when she walked in so she didn't notice my teeth and tongue were also bright blue hahaha) she was all "um hunny how cold are you?" Haha I quickly explained it was a Lolly pop :)

The morning after surgery and every morning from then on the Physical Therapist came and got me up out of bed and made me practice using crutches I was not a fan of the PT dr but he would bribe me with the promise of a dulidud shot if I did what he wanted hahah

I was finally released on Sat and by that point I was pretty ready to be he and thought my pain was under control... Getting home was an adventure... We live 45 mins from Georgetown, which is smack dab in the middle of DC so we had to time leaving perfect to avoid traffic (they gave me a final shot of dulidud right before removing the IV to get me though the trip home and hold me over Til Josh could get my Rxs filled at the pharmacy

I don't really remember the drive home I'm assuming I fell asleep (that's normally what dulidud did to me!) but when we got home I realized we had quite a problem... How the hell was I going to get inside?!

Our front stairs of set up weird I have no idea how to even explain it so I'm gonna have to just post a picture to show why this was such an issue... I couldn't use crutches or the walker up the stairs so after trying twice I finally gave in and did it the only way I could think of to do it safely... I crawled.

Yes you read that right I crawled from the truck up the 7 steps to my door, up the 3 porch steps as then up the 8 steps that takes you up stairs into our living room. I took a small break that before continuing to low crawl, with my ankle in the air and trying to avoid hurting my knee any worse to my bedroom where I somehow found the energy to pull myself up onto the bed using only my arms I had worked up quite a sweat the by time I got into bed but I made it!!! And let me tell you I didn't move after that unless I had no other choice!!!

Just put 2 pillows under my ankle to elevate it (1 body pillow bent in half but a hospital pillow and covered it all with a pad thing they gave us at the hospital to protect the pillows from the blood that was leaking out of the cast

I was basically ok for 2 days but on Monday things got bad and I was in an unreal amount of pain the only way I could explain it is that it felt like the cast was going to cut off all circulation to my ankle and the feeling of pressure was unbearable! Josh finally said this has gone on long enough and said get in the car were going to the ER. He didn't wanna take me to Georgetowns ER because it was so far so we figured we would try Belvoir's first... Never again! This visit was Strike 3 against them in my book and I now refuse to go there for anything! I don't care how sick I am ill drive the extra 30 mins to Georgetown or 40 mins to Bethesda!

The ER staff was rude, uncaring and totally unsympathetic... After making me sit for 4 hours in the waiting room they called me back into a room and said there was nothing they could do for me because my surgery was at a diff hospital... WHAT THE FUCK why didn't you tell me that when I got here 4 HOURS ago so I could have gone to Georgetown instead of waiting here for 4 hours to have to go there and wait 4 hours?!

We go to Georgetown and they totally unwrapped my ankle taking all the dressings off of it and this is where I got my first look at the wound and Hod damn it was not pretty! I looked at Josh and was like "um at least my tattoo wasn't cut? I can't think of anything else positive to say about this..." The ER dr was pretty sure I was gonna be admitted because he was sure it was infected by the Ortho Resident thought otherwise and put me in a walking boot (5 days post op this SOB put me in a walking boot... What that fuck?! Over. And told me it looked fine for 5 days post off and to just make an appt with Dr Cooper for Thursday to have the stitches out...

I did what I was told and by Thursday I really thought I was dying I couldn't get comfy, I was in so much pain I was throwing up, none of my meds helped at all and the morning of my appt I remember begging Josh to not make me go because I was in so much pain and my head hurt so bad I was getting sick just thinking about taking a shower to leave the house... Thank GOD he pushed me to that appt!! He very well might have saved my life!

When we got there he dropped me off at the door (in a wheelchair) and we to park the truck I wheeled myself to Cooper's office, the foot and ankle center. When I got there I signed in then rolled myself to the back of the waiting room and burst into tears Imy head hurt so bad and my ankle pain was off the scales and I just wanted to throw up and pass out... There was an older woman who was in the waiting room who went up to the desk and requested they took me back next instead of her... She is a saint if you ask me and I now try to do this for others...

The nurse wasn't able to remove the Ace bandage I had put on my ankle (it was too swollen for the resident's walking boot and clearly I couldn't walk yet) the normal way of unwrapping it so he cut it off and called Dr Cooper in as soon as my surgical site was visible... Dr Cooper walked in, took 1 look at it and said "so you've earned yourself a weekend of IV antibiotics and pain meds! That one rockin' infection but what did you expect it's off the coast of New Jersey" haha Josh still laughs about that little joke


Dr Cooper also made the call at this point to put me into a hard cast with a window cut into it to view the wound site and keep an eye on the infection and the stitches... The nurse later told me I coulda picked a cast color but he just did it white because I could barely sit up without puking let alone talk to anyone so he didn't think I'd mind the white cast... He was very right. Cast color was the last thing on my mind!


They had me fill out all the admission forms and then have me the bad news that at the current moment the hospital was totally full so they sent me to the ER to wait for a room...

They put me in a bed in the ER and I was honestly a huge bitch to anyone who even looked at me let alone spoke to me until the nurse gave me a shot of dulidud then I was happier then a pig in mud!

They told me they didn't know how long it would be Til they got me a room but it was already 10pm and Guinness had been alone since about noon so I sent Josh home to let her out and feed her and get to bed so he could visit me in the morning

He was gone about an hour when I melted down... I burst into tears that I was all alone in the hospital and then it hit me that this was the first time since he was hospitalized since we had been apart and that was it I totally lost it

I called him crying so hard I was barely breathing and he was so sweet he told me over and over how much he loved me and that everything was gonna be ok and he'd be there with me in a few hours

They were able to get me a room at about midnight and I was very sad to find out I had a room mate (if it was a private room Josh would be allowed to spend the night) the girl was very friendly and she let me use her IPhone charger so she was my hero at that moment (I had thought to pack a small bag figuring I was gonna be admitted but I forgot my charger)

I talked to my roommate for a little while and then I fell asleep from all the meds I kept my alarms set and recommend to my roommate that she get on a similar schedule so we could get our meds at the same time (we had issues getting our nurse to bring our meds we were on an oncology floor and neither of us had cancer so they kinda forgot about us because we weren't actively dying...

We had to keep the door to our room shut because the smells on that floor were awful... You could literally smell death... It was a nightmare...

My roommate was nice but VERY needy and very whiny... She didn't like taking meds so she would wait Til her pain was totally outta control to ask for them and by the time they got them to her she was losing her mind and screaming and crying and it made me crazyyyyy!!!! Why wouldn't you just take the meds when you need them rather then wait Til your screaming in pain?!

I was in the hospital for 3 nights this time and on the morning after the 3rd night I basically told the resident she had 3 options: 1. Get me a private room 2. Send me home or 3. I was gonna sign out AMA because I needed sleep and just couldn't get any with her screaming and crying every 5 hours!

Thankfully she was willing to release me (she wasn't happy about it but said as long as I took the antibiotics at home she would agree to it) the Downside was the day I was released was the day Josh was set to go back to work and after 10 days off we couldn't ask for more so he picked me up at the hospital and signed me out then brought me to Ft Myer where a friend "Nikki" if you have read previous posts, picked me up and brought me the rest of the way home then helped me crawl up the stairs and into bed again

My second return home went surprisingly smooth... Josh set me up a little cooler with drinks and snacks in it to get me though the day while he was at work because I could barely get to the bathroom alone and most def couldn't go anywhere else

This system worked shockingly well and I was very happy with how we set it all up... I'd say we handled my severe limitations VERY well!

I didn't go down stairs post op for months... I was in bed with my ankle elevated for about 3 months I can't remember going or doing anything except laying in bed and going to my dr Til April when I went to the military Spouse Convention in Arlington (I was in a wheelchair but I HAD TO go see Mollie Gross preform!!)

I ended up being cast much longer then originally planned... I had 5 hard plaster casts, each one between 2-7 weeks then I was in the walking boot for 2 months followed by months of PT

In Dec when we were in Disney was still limping pretty bad when out of nowhere I felt a huge pop in my ankle and for a second I thought I really messed it up and then I realized it didn't hurt near as bad and I was able to move it way more it was like a Disney miracle! Josh thinks that either something was stuck under a bone and got loose or one of the internal stitches finally broke... Whatever it was it was amazing and completely life changing! I was almost totally pain free and VERY happy!

It's 3am right now and I'm falling asleep so Im gonna publish this how it is and then tomorrow I'm gonna go back in and organize the pictures into the story in order and finish the story :) night!


Already lonely

So I got home on Monday at 6pm VA time and I swear as soon as I got off the plane I felt totally empty

I haven't even been back a week and I already miss WA more then I can even explain... Don't get me wrong, I don't miss the state I *HATE* the state its cold and rainy and trying to kill me but I miss Ft Lewis I miss my friends I miss knowing all the little short cuts and secret spots I miss being able to skip traffic by sneaking in 1 gate and out the other... I miss the rare sunny day when the sky is so blue and the trees are so green and you can see for miles and miles...

I miss late nights with my friends, I miss laughing I miss always having someone to hang with, somewhere to go, something to do...

I feel so torn, Part of me wants to move back but the other part knows that soon, so very soon, everyone I know will be spread across the country and my memories will be all I have left...

I mean Roxie is leaving before the end of the month and Susan before the end of the year... like I've said before Alicia and Lori are already gone...

I just miss what I knew, I miss what is normal to me... I know it sounds stupid but my time at Lewis was so much more simple, I was younger and still believed anything was possible, Josh was healthy (Or so we thought) we thought we had years left to travel the world with the Army had no idea what was about to happen...

I guess I miss who I was in WA more then I miss the location... I was very independent there... Josh was always at work or deployed so I was alone a LOT and got very used to that so it never really bothered me... As soon as I was back in WA I went right back into that mind set and I loved it... I'm not sure if it was the state or being with my friends (Thus being busy), knowing my way around without needing GPS or the fact that I had my own car and could go where ever I wanted at any time that made me fall back into "Deployment Mode"

But I'm back in VA now so I just need to get used to that and try to find a way to bring the WA me into who I am here... While I was in WA I was driving down Bridgeport Ave in Lakewood and saw a bill board for a car dealership and the car brand new was only $12K (The same car here was $20K) I spoke to Josh about it and he said its something to think about maybe when we get the money for the lawsuit from the car accident we could take a Space A flight out to there and buy the car then drive it or ship it back (For a savings like that its worth the drive or $1200 shipping!!!)


Speaking of being back in VA... I was going to go to Josh's therapy appointment with him today but I decided against it... I'm not ready to go to Rader clinic yet I'm not at a point where I think I'm strong enough to go there without having a panic attack and I'd rather not push it so I asked Josh if he could have his therapist call me and she did... She was VERY nice I was very impressed and feel very comfortable with her  treating him... She was understanding of my stand point on not trusting Ft Myer and she was supportive of his choice to not talk about Sgt Harris' death... Where as his prior therapist pushed him til he almost broke forcing him to tell the story over and over and over... it was to a point where it was making me twitchy to hear so many times so I don't have any idea how it was going to help him...

She said she would be happy to have me on speaker phone during his sessions and would call me after them if I like I was very impressed with the fact that she didn't push me about my Ft Myer issues and didn't accuse me of anything like his prior therapists have...

She asked me to send her his Belvoir records as she doesn't have them or access to them... Honestly, I'm HAPPY to send them to her and get them the hell out of my house sometimes seeing the green folder is all it takes to set me off so getting rid of them will be fantastic...

Tomorrow my friend Victoria (HI!) is moving up here with her family and they're going to stay with Josh and I for a few days til they are able to move into their on post house... I'm excited to have her here I really miss having good friends here like I had in WA... My friend Katelyn is coming in March for a week which I'm also excited about...

Josh has a 4 day weekend this weekend... We're gonna just relax tomorrow (Valentines) and have dinner in bed because I'm not feeling so great and Victoria will be here tomorrow night and then on either Friday or Sat we're going to go out for out little Valentines Date... I'm excited about it we're gonna go out to a nice dinner and go shooting (I know it sounds nuts but I love going shooting its such a great stress reliever!!!)

Well the dryer just went off time to make the bed then hit the sheets!! Night All!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

I remember me

It's 3:49am... I'm standing in line at SeaTac waiting for the Southwest Airlines people to show up so I can get my ticket, take the nice long walk though security to the gate and plop my ass down til 6 when my first flight takes off...

I had an amazing week... Great times with the most amazing friends anyone could ever ask for...

The only bad thing to happen is I got sick but I kinda expected that I always get sick when I come here I'm convinced the state is trying to take me out lol

It felt good to be back here... I feel totally refreshed and stronger then I have in a long time

I barely noticed that a week went by... When I visited Lori in WI back in May I was heartbroken to be away from Josh from the second I walked away from him at BWI but this time was different...

I mean I missed him, I always miss him when were apart but it wasn't overpowering I was able to easily function on just a phone call or 2... I didn't freak if he didn't answer I had no issues with him going to the VFW and having fun because I was having fun too

I like this side of me I like this person I know this person... It feels good to know myself because I felt so lost for so long... I felt like I had no idea who I was or what I was doing anymore

I don't want to leave here... I'm so scared as soon as I leave ill forget again and I don't want to go back to living how I was before it was no life at all...

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Contest questions

Hi everyone! Here are the questions for the contest please email me the answers so that people can't just see them and copy them hehe Sherie.Tucker3@gmail.com answer these 10 questions right and be in the drawing to win a $25 gift card!


1. What is my husband's name?
2. What is our dogs name?
3. What month did my husband deploy?
4. Where are we currently stationed?
5. What part of my body did I have serious surgery on?
6. What show scares me to watch at night?
7. What show do I watch to fall asleep?
8. Where was the random 2010 trip?

Good luck! Winner will be announced on April 1, last entry taken March 31! :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Contest!

Hi everyone! I wanna get this spread to more wives of vets with PTSD so I'm gonna start a little contest :)

I don't want the people to just click ones and never look again soooo the friend who gets me the most new views will get a price and anyone who answers my list of questions (the answers are in the pages of this blog I just wanna know it's being read ehen)
Will be entered to win a $25 visa gift card!

Contest ends March 31 so get sharing!

Please make sure the people who you send either email me or comment somewhere that you sent them ill post the questions tomorrow :)

Last thing: it's easier to understand what's going on if you read from the very first post forward not the post that's "on top" start from the bottoms :)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Hello Seattle <3

I'm so happy here.

As soon as I landed it all came back to me and I remembered why I love it here...

I rented a car and drove down I5 and it was like I never left everything was how I remembered it and I didn't even need the GPS hehe

I stopped to pick up dinner at the Tacoma mall before heading to Roxie's house on post...

I feel like Josh is deployed again its weird to be here without him but that feeling reminds me of how strong I was, how I lived without him for 15 months twice so there's no reason why I shouldn't be able to enjoy this week

Today Josh was in a meeting a work for almost the whole day and didn't answer his phone Til about 5:30 his time and I didn't stress at all it was really like I was back in deployment mode like I knew he was fine and he would call when he could I like feeling like this I like being carefree and just spending time with the ladies I love most

My friends make me stronger, this base makes me stronger, this city makes me stronger

I don't feel the overwhelming panic here that I feel in VA... I told Josh and he jokingly got pissed and was all "fuck you I'm gonna give you shit for the rest of your life about us moving"

He has a point... It was my choice...

I didn't just ask to move, I demanded it.

I chose to move, I chose the easy coast, I chose VA, I chose Ft Myer and I think that's one thing I am thankful for I can't blame anyone else for this but myself... I did it all thinking it was in our best interest but I was so wrong...

I missed my family, I missed being with Josh, I missed the sun and I let those emotions cloud how much I loved it here how much I loved the people here... They became my family... They will always be my family

I love the friendships I have here the kind where you can go years without seeing someone and its like no time has passed at all... When I got to Roxie's last night I walked in and jumped in her bed to watch TV just like I used to like it was any other day... I don't feel like a guest here I feel like I belong and it's a great feeling.

I remember when I first landed in WA back in 2008 I had never been here before but as soon as my feet touched the ground I knew I belonged here I knew this was meant to be my home...

Josh was saying if I really miss it that much he can look into schools here, we can sell our house with the money from the lawsuit and buy something out here (maybe in DuPont or Graham) I'm not sure if I wanna go that far yet... Because sooner or later Roxie and Susan are going to move (both their husbands are getting out this year and neither plan to stay in the area)

It's something to think about ya know? It's an option where I didn't think we had any before

My head feels clearer then it has it a long time and the longer I'm here the more I'm feeling like my old self

I'm so glad Josh pushed me to do this, pushed me to step outside my comfort zone and take this trip... He seriously may have saved my sanity...

It's sooooo good to be home

Frozen toes

So I'm on the second flight about a hour from Seattle... Out the window is pitch blackness and its really cold in here

Thank God I listened to Josh and wore shoes instead of flip flops my feet are freezing

So I watched Greys and this new show called 1600 Penn (it sucked don't waste your time haah) a show from the 90s called Salute Your Shorts and then put on American Horror Story: Asylum

I used to love shows and movies about psych wards... Crazy people fascinate me... I like to hear their stories, hear what they believe how they justify their actions... The ways the human mind can go wrong used to intrigue me but not anymore it bothered me deeply it's not enjoyable anymore

I look at these people and see myself and Josh I see our story I see how badly life can get out of control it's scary... I see how someone from the outside can pass a judgement and then suddenly that becomes the truth because they said so

They judge and pass judgements about a 3 hour movie after seeing 5 minutes of it they have no idea of the back story of what brought the story to the present of what happened to cause such effects

All the people at Belvoir saw was me trying to protect Josh they didn't see the years of pain they didn't see the lies or the hiding they didn't see the fear they had no idea what he had done to bring us to the point we were at

I used to love crazy people... Not anymore... Not since I became one of them...

Monday, February 4, 2013

In air

So I'm sitting on the first plane, about an hour from St Louis where I have a 3 hour layover (ummm fuck!!) this flight went pretty quick I took sleep meds and motion sickness meds as soon as I got on and just woke up

I stayed up really late the last few nights to try and get myself onto WA time so I am not as jetlagged when I get there so I was pretty tired and ready for a nap when I got to the airport

Josh had told me to take the sleep meds when I got on the 2nd flight (the one into SeaTac) but I decided against it because I'm renting a car when I get there and I don't wanna risk being tired

I'm really excited about the next few days with my friends I miss them so much but I keep reminding myself it's not going to be what I remember people change, bases change, and most of all people pcs

In my memory all the people I love are still there but in reality they're not...

I have made Fort Lewis into this almost fantasy place in my head where my heart lives where everyone I love is where I learned about who I am, found love and true friendships I've built it up so much in my head since we moved that I'm almost scared that going back is going to ruin my memories

I will always love that little house in Evergreen that I had, 2 blocks from Roxie, about a mile from Lori, at the bottom of the hill from Alicia...

But they're not there anymore and neither am I... New families have moved into those homes and I hope they love them as much as I did...

I remember Josh waking me up early in the morning with a call from Afghanistan and I would be too happy to fall back to sleep so I would go to the Donut shop on Bridgeport Ave and get breakfast for Alicia and I then go eat with her... Sitting at her breakfast bar while she baked... Laughing and sharing our joy and our fears...

I remember Josh being on Mids or CQ or in the early days of the deployment or hell any random Tues! Lori would call and say she's picking me up an We'd go to EQ in Tacoma... Lori is my best friend the closest thing to a sister I could ever ask for she is my true other half and an amazing woman... When Josh left for K9 school, leaving me alone in WA for the first time I called Lori and asked her if she wanted to do something... She said no she was busy and hung up quickly the next thing I knew there was a knock at the door she was already there with wine and Ben and Jerry's... That was the night she became my best friend... We had a sleep over at her house that night drinking wine Til we passed out laughing Til the sun came up

I remember having an awful day everything going wrong and knowing I could run to Roxie... Her back door was always open and her freezer was always stocked with tequila... I spent many days and nights with her drinking margaritas and laughing she was my friend true friend I've known her longer then I've known Josh the fact that I happened to marry a soldier who was stationed at Ft Lewis was fate saying she was meant to be in my life :)

But now Alicia is in OR and Lori is in WI... I'm staying with Roxie when I get to WA but she's no longer in the big house in Discovery Village...

Plane is landing, time to turn off the phone hehe :)