I have always said that I was a strong person, but the PTSD/TBI diagnosis and treatment process has almost broken me. I remember being so relieved when after over three years of living with my husband’s state of denial, we received a diagnosis. There was official proof that I was not crazy and that there was definitely something going on with him since returning from his last deployment. Now, we could get this show on the road and get him all fixed! Full speed ahead! Boy was I in for a rude awakening.
Anyone that knows me will tell you I am a fixer. I see a problem, I want to fix it. If I can’t, I will try and find someone who can. The past 10 years of my life has been dedicated to helping service members and their families, now I just needed to change the focus to my family. I had a new mission, I was ready to go. Little did I know that unless I quit my job, let the kids raise themselves, and spent 40+ hours a week helping my husband navigate this process, full speed ahead really meant a slow crawl with ridiculously long layovers in the most random places.
We left Fort Knox after our initial meeting. My husband was given a profile, filled out all the required paperwork and was now going to be submitted for a Medical Board review. He was anxious, I was relieved. He felt like a broke soldier, but I felt like maybe we could start putting our lives back together. The car ride home was a long, emotional roller coaster, which included me breaking my foot. Apparently walking across a parking lot was a bit much to ask of me at the time.
We got back home only to realize that under the current profile from Fort Knox, my husband could not perform his current job. After numerous discussions with his superiors and others at the State level, it was decided that since he is Full Time National Guard, the State needed to work with Fort Knox and have the profile changed so that he could still be able to secure his position and perform his duties. What we didn’t realize at the time was that this change would cancel out anything we had accomplished to this point.
Due to the profile change, he was no longer under the status needed for the Medical Board review. All of the appointments that had been scheduled by our Case Worker for Psych Evaluations and Brain Scans and testing for TBI were cancelled and we were once again back at square one. How did this even happen? In two weeks time I went from excitement and hope to complete frustration and anger.
What now? Where was the instruction book that would tell me where to go and what to do next? I know that following month I cried a lot of tears and sent a lot of not so friendly emails to anyone I thought would possibly listen. This was when I realized how enormous this task was going to be for our family to tackle. However, I am not one that backs down from any challenge and this is my family – so bring it on, because I will fight to the death for them, let the next phase of this journey begin.