Skip to comments.For Wounded Vet, Love Pierces Fog of War
Posted on 02/04/2012 4:53:14 PM PST by JOHN ADAMS
DALLASThe night Katie Brickman met Ian Welch at the bar, she knew right away the Iraq war veteran was the man she wanted to marry.
That made it all the more jarring when he asked a favor as they said goodbye in the parking lot: "When you see me again, just say, 'Hi, Ian, you remember me,' so I'll know that we've met before."
So began the wartime love triangle of Ms. Brickman, Mr. Welch and his post-traumatic stress disorder.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
My heart is weeping, for my husband, also a vietnam vet, now has Parkinson’s. I am his primary 24/7 caregiver.
Burnout is my biggest problem, and one that I must figure out how to manage.
He had ordinance explode just above his bunker; blew him to the bottom. He was unconscious for several days, partially deaf for about a week, and has had tinninitus ever since.
He lost his best friend, Blue, in the battle for Ol' Baldy. Lugged his friend's corpse back from the line. It was so drenched in blood, he burned it. He says when he dies, he just wants a simple pine box. "Dead is dead."
But he is strong; very strong. A true, hardworking, patriotic, can-do/will-do, get the F out of my way, Alpha male. He's lived for almost 2 decades with terminal lymphoma. He's stronger now than 90% of the young men out there.
That being said, he still can't talk about Korea without crying, so he doesn't.
“”My heart is weeping, for my husband, also a vietnam vet, now has Parkinsons. I am his primary 24/7 caregiver.
Burnout is my biggest problem, and one that I must figure out how to manage.””
I think everyone here can understand what you’re going through. It’s not something that doesn’t face us all as we grow older even without the trauma of war thrown in. I don’t think you can figure out how to do this 24/7 without some help. I hope and will pray that you will find some help available in your area. My husband and I are in our mid ‘70’s and I have unwelcome dark thoughts in the night of “what if?” I think we all do. I can see in some of my husband’s behavior now reason enough to concern me.
Our daughter says, “Don’t worry. I’ll take care of you and Dad.” To which I reply - “Oh! No! you won’t. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.”
My oldest sister took care of our mother with dementia in her home for 5 years but she had a lot of help from daughters/daughters in law/grandchildren. She could never have done it by herself. Please don’t try. Reach out.....
Is there anything we freepers can do to help find the relief in your area that you will need? You don’t want to heap stress on yourself and become unable to care for your husband...
We will pray for you. Please feel free to PM me anytime...
What an incredibly beautiful thing for you to say and do. God bless you.
Will get back to you tomorrow. I am dead tired, and the alarm rings early in the morning for the next dose of Parkinson’s meds.
I have been blessed with a counselor who is being “tough” with me, and demanding that I take care of myself.
It is hard to break the habit of 24/7, but I am working on it. I intellectually know I have to take care of me, if I want to take good care of him, but leaving him, even if he has a life alarm, is hard.
I promise myself I will do it tomorrow. Go get on the exercise bike on the 18th floor, or go to the Y to “pool walk” - or something.
But it is hard to leave him alone, mostly because he gets confused and thinks I am leaving forever, even though I ask him if he see a suitcase, or my magnificent stash of knitting yarn packed up and ready to go.
Of course, he doesn’t see any of those things, but he still worries, has bad dreams, etc.
Sometimes, life is hard, you know? And it isn’t fair. But we must carry on.
My thoughts and prayers go out to you both.
The WSJ article was riveting!
I had just spoken with my therapist about my depression last week, and he started talking about a recent therapy for PTSD that has been gaining adherents, in fact there are about 40,000 practioners in the US presently.
The therapy, EMDR, or “Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing”, has the patient recalling his/her trauma, then concentrating his eyes on a rapidly moving object closely in front of him: back and forth, back and forth, etc.
As I, a layman, understand it, the rapid eye movement, following the close target, begin to blur the hemispheres of the brain, so that the one side that focuses on emotion, melds together with the other side that evokes reasoning, which provokes an understanding of the traumatic events within a patient’s inner pschye, allowing the patient to cope with the trauma.
Sounds weird, but the military has begun using the treatment. Might be a breakthrough for our heros!
More on EMDR.org , and EMDR.com
Are you connected to a church? Many have deacons or similar who will undertake to organize help.
You’d best ask for concrete help. Like, “I’d like someone to come over every Saturday at 2 so I can run errands until 5.”
Or, “I’d like someone to come and make dinner on Mondays so I can get my hair done.”
One dear to me has PTSD although not as bad as this man. He has greatly benefited from regular deep tissue massage. He’s fortunate to have a very gifted and well educated massage therapist. It got him through a lot and he’s doing well now.
God bless your Dad!
My wife just lost her 92 year old Dad. He had a great run after taking a bullet through the lung in WWII Battle of the Bulge.
Our oldsters experienced combat differently than our Vietnam, Iraq, Afgan troops of the more modern era.
Back then, the enemy had the guts to wear a uniform, so a soldier knew who and what they were trying to kill.
Today, the T-shirted local, yards away, gives no clue as to foe or local, and if you make a mistake, you have just killed a civilian, or his weapon just killed you.
That can prey on your mind for decades.
It is a win-win program for both veteran and dog as shelters provide those most likely be euthanized.
The range of afflictions improved by interactions with dogs is legendary: blindness, deafness, cancer, seizures, autism. This is a natural.
Am having difficulties finding much information about this. Would most definitely make a contribution!