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Tried strong face, but I NEED support

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in Matters of the Heart
Hi Everyone,
I have finally come to a point in all of this that my own positive outlook isn't getting me very far. The back surgery has seemed to work thus far and Im sure most of you know that I have recovered well to this point. But there is so much more on my plate now that I cant mask it, and need support, encouragement, to not feel so alone. I also need all the prayer, crossing of fingers, and thoughts that all of you can muster up.
Long story made short (I hope I can be long winded please bear with me).
My injury presented itselt in Feb of 07, my husband deployed that May to Iraq for 15 months. In Sept of of 07 is when I blew my L4 out completely causing drop foot and a slew of problems. Because I have no family here or any real support I dealt with the injury and deployment alone but did it, I came through it. I pushed the surgery off until he came home from deployment and then a few months longer than that so that we didnt have to deal with surgery first thing when he got back. I risked nerve damage during this time, luckily there doesnt seem to be any (thank you God). I finally had the surgery on Dec 2nd as we were told at that time that he was going to be getting out of the service in August of this year (09).
Well, Ive had the surgery and now for certain diplomatic reasons and surges he is looking at getting stop lossed. For those who dont know what that is, to put it plainly it is a back door draft extending his contract. More plainly, it means he would go back to war for another 12 months. That would make him in the desert 37 months in the three years of our marriage.
The surgery has taken its toll on our relationship, intamacy has been hard, and this stop loss possibility is tearing us both up.
I dont know what I will do if he has to deploy again. I cant mow the yard, clean the house that well, bathe the dogs, get groceries alone etc. By the time he would deploy I should be able to do much more (hoping) but I think I will stop breathing if he does get stop lossed.
For those that know me better, know I am upbeat, but I cry and cry over this as its becoming more real and more of a possibility. I know I am worrying about a "what if"...but in the military world thats all we know for certain, are the what if's. I am trying to prepare myself the best I can should this become official, but I just cant wrap my head around it.
The last time he was there three inches of foam kept him alive (and angels as well) as he was shot through the helmet. I just finally cant wear the mask of Im okay anymore and didnt know where to turn but here. I don't know how to do this again.
Please send up all the prayers you can, cross those fingers, have us in your thoughts. Sorry for the ramblings on, I just dont know how to cope with this MAJOR "what if" that looks like it will be an official soon as he is going for "pre war" training for a month. Thanks for reading :)
Love to you all,


  • Please dont make this into a political issue, I know the politics that pertain to our situation. I know how many various opinions there are, but I am looking for support not political views on this matter. PLEASE dont think I am being rude in saying this :) I will be happy to answer the questions I can answer as some of this is sensative material. If you throw in a "war is hell" thats fine haha I know all to well, just no political debate please :) thanks again
  • Erica,
    I'm sorry you are going through all of this. Isn't there a way that he can talk to his superiors to see if he can stay given your situation? I know the military is all about family. This stop loss thing is really getting to a lot of families and my heart goes out to them. My brother was sent to afghanistan 2 times and both times he got jerked around not knowing when he would be coming home cuz it was always months after they originally said. His son was a newborn the first time and when he came back Wes was walking and didn't know who his daddy was. It was sad.

    I can't imagine how hard it is to go through all this alone and not have family or friends nearby. Isn't there something where the military wives are to keep in touch with each other while the husband's are deployed?

    You are such a sweet person and my heart goes out to you. I wish I could tell you something that would make you feel all better and fix the problem. Just know that I am always here to lend and ear to listen to you or a sholder to cry on.

    Take Care Erica and I hope things start looking up for you shortly. You are forever in my heart and prayers.
  • We are doing all we can to talk to his superiors about my situation and that I really dont have any help or any type of home support for things like house work etc...
    As of right now it doesnt warrant him being able to stay should they stop loss him. It doesnt seem to matter to them one way or the other, they need him more than I do in there eyes. He is too good at his job and they are preparing him for things that point to this being official. They do jerk us around, so very true, thats why this is so scary right now and the stress of not knowing is just mounting every day. We are having a sit down with a Commander this week or next to discuss my need for help and home care as I wouldn't have any. Thank you for being such a wonderful friend I appreciate it on so many levels and I know that I can rely on you for encouragement. :) You are so kind with such a big heart and I cant thank you enough for being a great friend to me.
  • Do you have family you can go stay with while he's over seas if he has to go? Just lock up the house and take off to a relatives house to have them take care of you. Is it possible to get your inlaws or your parents or maybe a sibling or cousin to come stay with you to help out? Did you check into any programs where the military wives get together. They might be your best help and support group should he have to leave.

    I pray that they will see that you need him to be home to take care of you. Being a military wife is a tough job. I have a tough time being a military sister lol. Do you have kids yet? My brother's wife is an army "brat" so she is used to the military lifestyle. It works out great for my brother because there is no miscommunication or problems when he has to go overseas. What branch of service is he in?

    I will always be here to lend and ear or shoulder as I said before. You've always been there for me too.

    Just keep focusing on healing and getting better. You've been doing so great.
  • Erica,

    I am so sorry that you have to worry about all of this. You don't have to do it alone. I know what you mean about trying to be upbeat in chat. You can also be the real Erica with the ups and downs of life's challenges. This certainly is one of them. I just wish that you didn't even have to worry about this when you have been recovering so well. Try not to let it all set you back. You absolutely have my prayers!! I feel so badly that I vented to you when you have all this on your plate. My very best to you and your husband. Please thank him for me for his service.

    God Bless your whole family, Erica !!!

    Please vent in chat anytime you need- we are here to support!!


    glo :)
  • This sucks. I don't really have any good advice to give you other than send good vibes your way and let you know I'm thinking of you. I've talked to you many times in chat and you are usually such an upbeat person and cheer others up, I wish I could do the same for you.

    Serious surgery stresses any marriage, I cannot imagine your circumstances. My husband and I went through counseling together after my initial surgery because things were so hard(and things are better for us.) When things get settled for you, I recommend taking advantage of any counseling the military offers. You two are newlyweds that haven't been able to go through the normal growing stage together!

    I am wondering if going through the Red Cross on base or the chaplaincy unit might help. I don't think they can intervene on the stop loss issue, but maybe they can arrange for some sort of lawn mowing or big household chores.

    Would it be helpful to have a statement from your surgeon stating that since his last deployment, you have a permanent partial disability and need care? I know the military is the military and they're going to do whatever they want to do, but maybe it would help? Is there some clause about alienation of spousal affection?
  • I hope the sit down you have with the Commander buys you some time with your husband. Only being close to family would you be able to make it probably. I hope and pray he won't have to go because of your health. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I know exactly what you feel, when the smiley mask keeps slipping off and all you can see is a frightened, anxious face in the mirror. I am glad you have found that in here and in chat, amongst your spiney friends you feel safe enough to show how you are really feeling underneath. It is so very tiring to have that confident smile painted on all the time isn`t it ?

    My dear friend has just gone through her first pregnancy whilst her hubby is serving in Afghanistan and I have seen her heartbreak when she has gone off to scans and check-ups with a girlfriend in tow to support her and no matter how understanding they are , its just not the same without him, it should be him hearing the miracle of their baby girls heart beat for the first time with her.

    I do not have any advice to give you, but I am sending my best thoughts and hopes of strength to you and hope you can keep your spirits up and keep taking one day at a time and that you come out of this safely at the other end and that one day you won`t have to paint a smile on, because there is a real one already there .

    Love and best Wishes from a fellow mask wearer and your chat friend,
  • Hi Ming,
    I realized I forgot to answer this in my original reply to your original post. Where is my head hehe. Well the possibility of me going anywhere would be an option if my surgeon and physical therapists would move with me. It's not easy to lock up the house and leave although I wish it were, because people take advantage of the fact that the soldiers are deployed and there are many burgluries this that and the other.
    As far as support here, in the way of military wives...those tha live on base do move back to a home town so there goes half right there, and the ones that choose to stay here most of them work 70 hour weeks so the time flies by.
    Before he left on last deployment I was already injured and was in very bad shape, I was on percocet and could hardly walk and that didnt stop them then. We found out there was no program the military offers as far as home care, lawn mowing etc. You just have to find someone in town to do that for you. Unfortunate I know, you would think they would have better options. There is what they deem disabled, and what they dont and I can tell you the disabled list is very short and mostly limite to single parents with a disabled child.

    But we will find out more this week hopefully the commander is not too busy this week like last week to have a sit down.
    FRG is also a joke here, its a small base so the FRG get togethers are...a joke. No support there, found that out last tour.

    Thanks again Ming (((((hugs)))))
  • Thank you for the reply, dont ever feel bad about needing to vent. I am here for all of you just like I know that you all are for me as well. I just finally couldn't keep this part in anymore and the stress of it always being on pins and needles right now. I will thank him for his service, and thank you glo for recognizing what he does it means alot :) So far its not setting me back in my recovery, and wont let it, promise. Talk with you soon hon.

  • Thank you Charry,
    For reading and for your support. I appreciate it sooooo much. :) :) :)

  • Our marriage has been stressed to the max. One tour of 15 months and the preperation for that, moving three times in three years, the operation on my back and now looking at another 12 month tour. We havn't been allowed to be newley weds yet isnt that sad!?!?!?
    I knew a deployment would stress the relationship, but wow I was not prepared at all for the stress this surgery has on it. We are open with each other as best as we can be. By no means are we perfect at it, but we try to share how we are feeling and stay open as much as possible.
    The Red Cross is really only there for things that are of the utmost emergency once they have already deployed. If I was in an accident that required me to have surgery they would be the ones to notify him over there, its the fastest way to notify them of an emergency. That cant do anything while he is still here. Chaplain...nothing. Our best bet is the commander right now, with a letter from my NS, physical therapist, and the note on what my surgery entailed as well as the restrictions that follow. We shall see.
    Thanks for your reply, and you always have brought a smile to my face when we are in chat, and able to talk. So that alone hon is more than enough support.
    This suuuucks but I know somehow we will get through it just like last time ( i was injured then as well I just didnt have all the limitations I have now )
    Thanks again hon, I hope you are doing well havnt heard from you in a while and your always in my thoughts. You've had a rough go since your surgery and I hope thats all getting better now.
    Big Hugs
  • Firstly, I am so happy to hear your good news that you shared last night!!! Its about time they got you a surgeon and wishing you all the best in what comes next.
    Thank you for your reply, and yes the mask gets heavy at times. I figured I would bring this over here in a forum and out of chat so I can be both, supportive and supported.
    It is heart wrenching and breaking as you have seen with your friend. We have chosen to not have kids till we know his time in the service is officially over as he was never going to retire in the service. We have seen how hard it is for other couples and have chosen not to involve a child in this process (luckily there haven't been any oopsies)
    Thank you so much for your support here, and know I will be thinking of you as you go through the next stages with your surgeon, wishing you all the best and praying this is the answer you have been waiting so long for.
    Will be in touch :)
  • Hi Eve,
    Thanks so much for the reply, Ive tried not to let this get the better of me but it finally took its grip as things are getting more serious and time is getting closer to knowing the verdict. Its been brewing but I am fortunate to have all of you here for the support, not just for my recovery but for life in general.
    I feel like I have bonded more closely with alot of you in the last month and have such a good time in chat, and that in and of itself has been a huge help. Whether we are in "class" or havin a dip in the hot tub, or grabbin coffee at the shack its a good time. Keep the laughs coming but when I need to cry...I promise to let the mascara that I dont wear anymore cause lets face it whats the point of that when going to PT hehe, but I will let it run.
    Thanks hon for everything and for all the good laughs, and the more of them I know to come.
    Big Hugs
    Take me some pictures!!! lol
  • This is a photo of him coming home from his last tour, and although I was filled with PRIDE, JOY and RELIEF, I never want to relive this day again no matter how awesome it was to see them all come home. I want the PRIDE, JOY and RELIEF to be...that he stays home sigh...will keep you all updated and I am trying to reply to you all personally forgive me if I skip a beat.

    Should I have to relive the days that he left and came home and the days in between, I will do it with Pride, yet again. To be a soldiers wife...its what we do, with a smile and a tear as they come and go always with a smile and a tear... and wait again for the Joy and Relief.
  • Erica,
    I so much appreciate our conversations and friendship. It sounds like your plate is running over and all I know to do, is say I am praying for you and your hubby to hang on. You married each other for a reason and that reason is still there. Unfortunately, a war and a back got in the way. WOW. You are in the healing mode and things will improve although as we both know this doesn't happen as quickly as we think or want it to.
    You guys need to start planning on what to do after all this is behind you and keep working on those dreams. They will happen.
    So my fingers are crossed, my prayers are heading your way and when you need support I am here as well as so many of us are. Don't be afraid to let your emotions out. As I have been told here, it is about time.
    Big Hugs,
  • Julie my dear, its you hehe...
    I too enjoy the friendship we have developed here along with all the others. Thank you for the words of encouragement and prayers. They mean the world to me. Its hard being a military wife and letting down that gaurd of things "arent okay" because just like our soldiers have to put on there war face so do we.
    He is my rock and best friend, my soul mate if you believe in such things, I do and he is. I have a healing back, and a hurting heart, and sometimes a bad foot...but I am thankful so much to you and everyone else who have made me feel more at ease with letting this gaurd down. I finally feel like I know where I can "fall" and be okay cause there are people to catch me.
    One of these days we will have to meet up in that small little town of Coosawatchie, you know Eve would never let us live it down haha. But truley I do hope we can meet up one day. Thanks again hon. Talk with you soon and take care of yourself.
    Erica (is that my name??)

  • Erica,
    My heart goes out to you and your husband. My daughter and her fiance are going threw this also. He just got back in November from a 9 month tour in Iraq. They said he wouldn't have to go over again and now he was just told he has the possibility of being deployed to Afghanistan. I'm not sure how much more of this there relationship can endure. He is suffering from PTS. I hope they can keep your husband here with you in this trying time. I heard that commanding officers can sometimes get things approved when a family member is ill. Good luck to you and god bless.
  • Thank you,
    I am so sorry to hear that your family is also directly being hit by this surge to Afghan. We were told the same thing, but here we are staring down at another possible deployment. There is so much stress on our relationship with the previous deployment, my injuy and surgery, and now this. I know we can make it through it but each time there is a deployment the relationship changes...not always for the worst but it changes. I hope the commander will take this all into consideration, my need for care right now but as Im sure you know, the military is the military and it doesnt always concern them what family matters there are.
    I will keep him in my prayers, no soldier with PTSD should go back to war, but they are in short supply which is sad and I know a few of my friends who are being shipped back even though they suffer from PTSD. All of them are in my prayers, and I will place him in the pile of prayer. Thank you again
  • Erica, My heart goes out to you. It's not fun being newly married and living by yourself. I am so happy to have met you in chat and went to school with you... didn't we have fun in class with Mr. Alex...hehe. Your a very supportive and caring person. Lets hope the deployment doesn't happen and if it does we are here for you 24/7 --- Stay positive and live one day at a time..that's all any of us can do

    Many Blessings to you...Cynthia
  • Thank you hon,
    Im glad Ive gotten to know you so much better over the past month, we do have alot of fun in the room together. At least I wont have to eat paste alone anymore hehe. Doing my best to stay positive and being able to read all these wonderful posts have helped. Thanks hon, see you in class!
  • Erica, I am really sorry that u have to go through this now. It's a tough one, but it sounds like he has already done his duty, let the guy stay here near his wife that needs him. Going thru surgery and the such is very difficult by yourself.

    I think i told you after my accident i made my hubby go back to work, because we needed the money. My point is I know how hard it is to be brave when you are alone.

    The two of you are always in my prayers. This is the time you should be able to enjoy each other.

    Keep your chin up kiddo.
    Love and Hugs,

  • Thank You,
    Your always a joy in the room, and have been a good friend to me. It will be hard to do alone if it comes down to it. I agree he has done his time, and two tours already and its time they let him decide whether or not he wants to stay in, and he doesnt so let the man GO!
    Thank you for keeping us in your prayers
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,839
    hear this news Erica.. You should have been through a lot in a short period of time and have done your best to keep on going. I am sure that if your husband gets deployed, its is going to be one major strain.
    I hope and pray that things dont come about this way and that you have the strength it will take to weather it all.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • We sure hope it doesnt happen either. Its hard to prepare for something when one day its going to be a stop loss and the next its not. It just keeps bouncing back and forth and at this point we both just want an answer so we can prepare ourselves again for a lengthy deployment, if it is a stop loss. With help from friends, and you all here I will be able to deal with this yet again. I know I am strong enough to pull through it but finally know that this time I will need help. I just want an answer, this roller coaster just keeps us both stressed, and strains everything. I know I can do it, I just dont want to if we can avoid it! Thanks for the reply of support I appreciate it.
  • Your story has touched all of us deeply. We pray for your husband's safe return and for you and him to reunite and live your lives together forever in peace and bliss.
  • Meydey,
    Thank you for your support and prayers while we are in this time of bumpy wait to see if he will be going over seas yet again. I appreciate your reply thank you
  • I want to say so much more but I don't want to politicize this because it is all about you and your husband. I grew up around the military all my life and I always seen army wives by themselves and felt sorry for them. But the community was always tightly knit and there were many programs to help out military families. I think that you are a very strong woman and I can't imagine having to deal with painful back problems on my own. There must be some way that your husband can appeal his deployment if you are disabled and he is the only one around to take care of you. Please look into that. I don't think the military would send someone off who has a spouse who is severely disabled. And in the news I've heard that Washington plans on getting all the troops out of Iraq in 18 months. It would make no sense to send more soldiers there if they are planning on leaving. However, more troops are being sent to Afganistan so you guys need to find a way to stay together because of your incapacitation.
  • I know it can be hard to keep the politics out of this and for not doing that I appreciate it. You and I both know after being around the military community what its like, and just how many times it doesnt make sense and everythings backwards to what you would think it should be. They allowed him to leave when I first got the injury, and didnt allow him home once the injury got worse. We didnt expect it then but this time we are finding all the programs we can to prevent this. Yes, he would be caught in the surge to Afghanistan this time around.
    We are going to be getting me in for an assesment with EFMP if our base has that to offer. We are at a smaller base with fewer options and offices. So there are few things we are learning along the way, and what we can do to prepare. Being apart of a smaller base doesnt help in the tight knit community of military wives so its just...hard. Thank you again for the thoughts and prayers and for you reply. Reading through these helps me get my bearings again to keep finding ways to prevent this or the strength to get prepared.
  • Hi Missy,

    I have read all these posts and have taken time away to think of how to reply.

    You are a delightful young lady who has become a very dear friend to me. Its been great to get to know you and your supeer husband and you can be assured that Justyn and I are always available for you at the end of a telephone, day and night.

    Being a wife full stop isnt always easy, but to be a military wife is extra hard. Communication is vital but that you already know hunnie. All the ladies and gentlemen that have replied to this thread have given you loads of really great advice, so there is nothing more for me to add.

    Thank you for being so happy, patient, welcoming to everyone, you have a wonderful listening/advising ability and you are a superb friend.

    Take care
    Lots of love
    Danni aka Butters:D
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