A Step Towards Healing

The last year has been really hard on Hubs. I have seen him slowly spiral downhill into a place I can’t always reach him. I have watched him change from the man I married into someone else. Someone who was a shadow of the person he used to be.

Over the last year, Hubs has seen no shortage of health care professionals. While we were still in NB, and he was still in the military, he was seeing a Nurse Practitioner. He had been seeing the same NP for years. She was also noticing the change in him. She acknowledged she thought he may be depressed about a year before he was released (which was about the time the release process started) She did not send him to see anyone at this time. It wasn’t until about 2 months before his release that she decided to send him to anyone. Well. He needed to see a psychologist or a psychiatrist. But those have waiting times. So she sent him to a counselor. The counselor acknowledged he had depression and anxiety ‘tendencies’ and gave him breathing techniques. They didn’t help him.

Through all this, I knew that something was off. He needed more help. But the military isn’t really open to spouses advocating for the health care of their serving members. I tried. But there wasn’t anyone listening to me. I was just the spouse.

Around the time he was being released we started meeting with Veterans Affairs Canada. VAC disappointed me over and over and over when it came to Hubs. Hubs should have all his medications and treatments covered in relation to his ankle injuries. His right ankle was injured as a direct result of the military and we have documented proof of his left ankle being injured due to his right ankle. We have documented proof that he grinds his teeth due to the pain and the stress surrounding everything. We had 2 medical professionals stating that Hubs was, on some level, depressed and needed help. VAC acknowledged that his right ankle was the military’s fault and is covering all his treatments. They acknowledge that his left ankle injury was caused from compensating for his right ankle, but they are refusing to cover treatment for it. We can’t find anyone willing to treat the right ankle and not the left ankle. As soon as the right ankle is treated, the fear is the left will get worse if it’s not receiving some care too.  And if the left gets worse, the right will to, because Hubs will likely compensate for the added pain in his left ankle by over using the right ankle. But I am kind of digressing here.

Every time VAC denies something, I can see  Hubs getting more and more discouraged that he isn’t being listened to. (this problem isn’t unique to us, a lot of people have this issue with VAC) No one was helping him with those emotions. Finally we were assigned a VAC caseworker here in Winnipeg. Finally we had someone we could sit down with and talk to. Someone who’s job was to oversee Hubs file. He can’t make the decisions on our claims, but we had someone who was going to advocate for us. Someone who wanted to see Hubs get the help he needed. Someone who was going to educate us on what our entitlements are. Someone who would tell us how to appeal the decisions we felt were unfair. Someone who could HEAR us.

We met with the caseworker for the first time in late August. He came to our home and observed. Finally I had someone ask me about Hubs mental health and how I felt he was coping. What I felt he might need. Imagine that. Someone asking me, his wife, his spouse, his support, the only one who sees him on a day to day basis. I felt heard. I told our caseworker about our day to day lives. I told him about how some days Hubs isn’t here. He’s here in body. But that’s about it. I told him that I KNOW my husband needs to talk to someone. I can see him going downhill. He told me about a clinic that sees veterans that Hubs qualified for that would enable him to see a psychiatrist for an evaluation and see someone on a regular basis if he needed it. And it wouldn’t cost us anything. I could have hugged him.

That was August. Hubs FINALLY had his evaluation yesterday. He was diagnosed with depression and chronic pain. The psychiatrist is sending in a referral to a psychologist, a referral to a pain management clinic and a referral to our family Dr to have Hubs put on anti depressants. Finally. I feel like a weight has been lifted off me. I feel like we are finally, finally moving in a direction towards something positive for him. I feel like maybe, just maybe, he’ll be able to struggle a little less and feel a little more like himself. I hope he can finally feel like he is being listened to and heard. That someone out there is taking him seriously and wants to see him heal. I want so desperately to have my husband back. I want so much for him to find a way to cope and not stress and obsess so much about everything going on. I know it might take awhile but I am still holding that hope that there is a better tomorrow out there for us.

Love, hugs and more to come later
Lynn

Trying to be patient….

I am not a patient person. By any means. I hate waiting for anything. Having four babies has taught me a lot about patience, and I am learning to be more patient, or at least hide my impatience from them. And I guess I do a pretty good job hiding how impatient I am since I am continually complimented on my patience when I am out with my kids.
However there are moments like now where I find it increasingly difficult not to absolutely lose my mind. Alex and Nick have spent the last couple days fevered. Random fevers on and off, a little lethargic but otherwise pretty normal. They haven’t been sleeping as well as normal, but it hasn’t been to terrible. Well today the fevers are gone and I’m left with 2 tired cranky boys. And Nick is teething. Tonight Nick has woken up four times. This last time he was complaining (again) that his teeth hurt. So I offered him Tylenol. He didn’t want any. Fine by me. But then he proceeded to lie in bed yelling and crying his teeth hurt. TAKE THE DAMN MEDICINE. Seriously. But no. He’s stubborn and refuses too.
So I’m lying in his bed with him. Listening to him yell. While I blog. Because I can’t touch him or he screams louder. And I won’t leave the room because he’s in pain. And won’t take the effing tylenol.
I’m trying not to get angry at him. But its midnight. I’m tired. And he’s already woken Zoey up. Because he’s yelling. Because his teeth hurt. And he won’t agree to take the medicine. But we’re getting through it together.
I love this child. He is the sweetest. Especially as he wraps his arms around my neck, kisses my cheek and closes his eyes.
Momma loves you baby boy.
Goodnight

Love, hugs and more to come later
Lynn
Lynn

Oh Pregnancy!

This pregnancy is making me miserable. Or maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s just life in general. I don’t know. What I do know right now is that I want to go curl up in my bed and stay there. For a really really really long time.
I feel huge. I mean, I guess that’s to be expected being 33.5 weeks pregnant with my third child, but I feel HUGE. Not like cute pregnant woman about to pop which is how I currently see every other pregnant woman I pass. But more of a ‘holy sh*t how many are in there’ sort of feeling. I am also really tired of people making comments about how busy I must be, and how my hands must be full, and ‘I can barely handle one kid!’ or my favorite ‘Wow where do you find time to make more babies?!?’
It might not all be the pregnancy making me miserable though. There is enough other stuff going on in this world to drive a person crazy. I am missing Winnipeg like crazy. I know I did the right thing, coming home to be here with Hubs when he needed me, but I am missing my family and kind of mourning the fact my mom won’t be with me when I have the baby the way I planned. I’m optimistic I’ll be living out west sooner, rather then later though!
I’m not trying to be bitter. I’m really not. I enjoy being pregnant and in fact I am the crazy one who was trying to convince my husband we should go for baby number 4. Although that was before my hips started locking up, the heartburn kicked in full force and I tried to wear my new sandals just to find that my feet are to swollen to get into them. Now I am more inclined to agree with him that this should be our last pregnancy and 3 babies is perfect. (Just don’t tell him that though. I might still change my mind again)
On the bright side though, the boys are officially moved into their big boy twin beds. And are sleeping awesomely I might add! It’s been two nights since I have had a little boy in my bed.. and to be honest, as much as I enjoy the extra sleep and being able to lie comfortable in bed… I miss it. I feel like, as much as I complained about them waking me up numerous times a night because I was falling off the bed, or couldn’t move at all, or had no blankets, or an elbow in my spine, I am missing out on something now.
I can’t believe in a few short weeks I am going to be welcoming another little baby into this world. To be honest, I am sh*t scared. I don’t know anything about little girls. I know they make lots of pretty little dresses for them (I have a nice collection of those). But in a lot of ways I feel like I am having my first baby all over again!! (I’m sure I’ll catch on pretty quick, a newborn is a newborn right?!?)
But this momma is done drinking her coffee and has a house to clean and two toddlers to play with (I am thinking we are going to make cupcakes today!)

Love hugs and more to come later!
Lynn