A New Outlook

By January 2010 we were feeling fairly confident with the CBOC and VA hospital.  Dr. S had joined the CBOC in Aberdeen marking the first time in three years that a full-time doctor was on staff locally.  Sean would still see Dr. H for follow-up or changes in his condition, but now he had a primary care physician for all his health needs. 

He had completed both blind rehab and inpatient PTSD treatment the previous year with positive outcomes.  He had a better handle on his symptoms, and medication was helping stabilize others.  Sean was coming to terms with the fact that his chronic pain, dizziness, and nausea might not improve, and was trying to find a positive focus. 

We were working on organization strategies to help him with his memory and cognitive deficits.  I was practing patience when repeating directions or conversations.  Sean was more responsive when I would point out that he was agitated or angry, and there was more peace in the house.

We made a decision not to chase physical symptoms any longer unless there was a change or an emergency.  It was time to focus on PTSD follow-up and maintenance and try to get at the root of his problems so we could move on with our lives.

Wow, it all sounds so nice!  But it was not exactly a Rockwell painting.  We had three teenagers and, sorry kids, we love you BUT, there was always chaos in the house.  The girls couldn’t decide if they loved or hated each other.  Our son had a constant stream of friends coming and going out of the basement.  Someone always had an event, an assignment, a need.  And let’s face it, they didn’t help out quite as much as we would have liked.

I had been given a break in 2009 with Sean being in hospitals for more than five months out of the year, but now that he was home there would be the demands of getting him to and fro. 

The school year was not going smoothly, I felt I was always running in high gear and spending a disproportionate amount of time on discipline when I would have rather been spending it on education. 

So as I re-read those first few paragraphs I think, “Yes, that’s were we were. . . in theory.”  But in reality, I was a trainwreck!  I was so tightly wound and unhappy with things around me, and within me, that it was hard to function. 

Almost five years had passed since Sean had been activated for duty, and those five years and the trials they brought had definately taken their toll on me, on all of us.

The difference now was, there was a faint light at the end of the tunnel.


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