Thursday, March 20, 2014

I fell off the blog wagon. Where have we been?

It feels like I fell off the blogging wagon. For a while I blogged fairly consistently about our life, John's health, his struggles and victories with his service connected issues like his traumatic brain injury, seizures, PTSD, headaches, falls, and everything life was sending our way.

Then I pretty much just stopped. I hid a few posts. I quit writing for a while.

Why? There's not necessarily a simple answer. Did things suddenly get better so we had no bad health and sob stories to pull at your heart strings and make the fury of veteran injustice rise? Not quite. Did things get worse so we had to focus more on health and doing the best we can? Sort of. Did we pull the uber personal posts for privacy? Somewhat. Did I just not have time to focus on sharing our journey? Yes.

John's had a series of good and bad days, as typical. He's on a mission now though, a mission to help
John and the Military Order of the Purple Heart
Chapter 1000, with the help of a Purple Heart
Service Foundation Grant, provides countless
care packages to homeless vets and vets in need.
other vets. That is literally some days the only thing that drives him to get out of bed. Seriously. With the traumatic brain injury he gets tired easily. The slightest stimulation will cause him to need serious rest. When we have to go somewhere, he sleeps a lot before, and he crashes afterward. Does he look like he can manage when he's out in public….yes. Most of the time he does or he simply will not get out.  Just remember that all wounds aren't visible and that chances are after he has been out in public, on these missions to help others, chances are it was so overly stimulating and physically exhausting that he crashed after. Yes, perhaps he falls, sleeps most definitely, and seizures with his typical nose bleeds are likely.  Does this stop him on his new mission? Absolutely not.

Part of John's disability is a delusion of his disability.  Sure, he knows the diagnoses that he has, but often he doesn't accurately judge what he can or can't do safely.  He may think he could drive a few states away to meet a friend…when in actuality he couldn't completely make it to a grocery store and back independently.

We tag along together. He's more aware of his limitations now. We're a team. When he has trouble coming up with the right words or trouble saying what he means, I help fill in the blanks. When he gets to where he can hardly stand any longer, I find him a chair. I move it behind him. We have to be more organized to make things work right. By that, I don't mean my house is spotless or uber clean. I mean, he has to write down events, appointments, anything he must remember. iPhone apps help him with that. I help him with that.

So, life's not always rosy, but it isn't horrible either. It is different and we manage best we can. We have a great system of support that comes to our aid when we need them. We couldn't make this journey alone. We're grateful for the positives. If you are struggling, I encourage you to find meaning in something and find a mission.  Find a mission to help someone or something that can benefit from your help. Chances are, you will be glad you did and you might just get the bigger blessing.

You can find out more about the Military Order of the Purple Heart by clicking here.

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