Posts

Showing posts from 2011

Veterans Day

Image
Last Friday we celebrated Veterans Day and soon we will be celebrating Thanksgiving. On Veterans Day I took Victor to dinner and we had a wonderful day. I thanked him for ALL he has done specially all his sacrifices. I feel Victor sacrificed his health for the Freedom of this Great Nation and I love when he tells me, he will do it all over again in a heart bit. Sometimes, things that we take for granted are taken from us. I am glad I never took my husband for granted because I always ppreciated all he was and now all he is.

Veterans day for me it is everyday. The appreciation I have for all their sacrifice is always there. I am grateful for a Nation that values and recognizes their veterans. We, the spouses of military play a vital role in their performance and their well being. We, the spouses are what I call the backbone of the family, because we keep it all together while they are gone; so I am also thankful for all those military spouses that chose the sacrifice of living a life d…

TBI Advocate

Hi Friends,

I apologize, it has been too long since I updated the blog. Many great things happening in our lives. In the past months Victor and I have been involved more than any other time with higher leadership in the military talking about our experiences as a wounded family. We were invited by the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, GEN Chiarelli to speak at a symposium he and his staff coordinated. Who would have thought that Victor and I will have the opportunity to speak with the Vice? When we met GEN Chiarelli and having the opportunity to talk with him, I realized how much of an advocate for brain injuries he is. He is committed and changing the policy in the army in how TBIs are diagnosed and treated. GEN Chiarelli is definitely working hard on these initiatives and he definitely needs the support of policy makers and others in the military.

Two years and 3 months ago when Victor was wounded I never thought our lives were going to change forever in this way. We have become adv…

Traumatic Brain Injury and Family

Image
In the past couple of weeks I have been ask several times, How am I doing and how I keep up with so much? I honestly don't know how to answer that question but yes my life is pretty busy. I tried to maintain a good spirit, always a smile in my face and rather look for positive things in my life. It saddens me so much when I see spouses that are in the first stages of having a loved one with traumatic brain injury (TBI). I tried to support them and go back in time and place myself in their shoes but it is never easy to say "It will get better". "It will get better" is a phrase that Victor always told me and at times in a tone like he wanted to convinced me about it. At times I was so frustrated that I said to myself, "yes it will get better for him but what about me?" How did I find happiness in the midst of all the situation? Now 2 years later I look back and I can say things are definitely better. Today Victor and I have found new hobbies, we bond in…

Perseverance

Image
It has been quite some time since I last wrote to you. It has been a very busy and hectic past months. Victor and I are working on some projects that will change the policy for the treatment of TBI. In the past couple of years we had our ups and downs and our life changed drastically, but we are perseverant, we do not give up easily.

Victor and I just celebrated our 11th Anniversary and we went to our favorite spot on Earth, Disney World. We celebrated our Honeymoon as well as every anniversary Victor was home in Disney. It was a time of reflection and fun at the same time. We enjoyed so much, just like the old times. We realized that this new normal did not stop nor affected how we will share and how we were going to enjoy our life. We always had great conversations and we still have them, just about different topics.

We now strive to make a better world for those with traumatic brain injury and their families, but since we cannot talk to each person and family with TBI, we decided t…

Oil Spill Families

Image
Today my sister sent me a link with the interview Anderson Cooper made to the families that survived the Oil Spill. I identified so much with these wives. Once thing I heard many times is "This is not the same man I married, he is different". I felt they heard me talk in the past but it is just that we all go through the same experience. God knows how many times I have said to myself "Where is my husband?", how some days I miss so much my old Victor. I fear many times forgetting how he was, his voice, his gestures, the way he laughted... At the same time it feels selfish because he is here and so many Soldiers have lost their life or are severely disabled, but I feel I also lost my husband and it feels wrong.

Despite all these feelings I do not regret living the life I have now, because I have been meeting an making new wonderful friends. It is a new world of experiences and anecdotes. Now I can see the power of love and the power of a marriage based in true friends…

National Intrepid Center of Excellence

Image
In the past two weeks my husband and I have been in Bethesda MD at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE). My husband was referred for further evaluation for his traumatic brain injury (TBI). It has been an amazing experience that I will be writing about in my next posts. I wanted to stop by and let everyone know that we are doing great, we are enjoying of some EXCELLENT treatment and we will share our amazing experience.

This is a time that has been bringing Hope to us. Please continue to raise your voice and never give up because every day it is a new one, so are you ready to see the Sun shine one more time?

With Love!

Dedicated to a TBI Warrior

Today I rejoice in so many blessings in my life. On June 29, 2009 my life turned 180degrees and redirected my path to a new direction, one that I never expected to live. My husband sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and what happened afterwards is a long story. At first it was like having my heart ripped apart and I asked myself "Who is this new man I am sharing my life with?"

As life started to take a new meaning and new direction, it was like been in the center of a tornado, many thoughts, frustration, sadness, sorrow and dissapointments in many areas revolving around us. I remembered seeing my husband so sad, frustrated and feeling worthless. He would say to me "Now, what I am going to do? I am no longer good at anything". My heart would again just break but I wanted him to feel empowered and started asking him, What skills are intact and what would you like to do? Victor and I have a strong and beautiful support system. One of our great supporters who I …

Medical Evaluation Process- Part I

Image
It has been a while since I last wrote. My life is just so busy that sometimes is difficult to keep up with everything. I have no excuses, I should not abandon my blog :) right? The intention of this Part I is to decsribe the first phase of the Medical Board. The first phase is done at the medical facility where the Soldier is stationed and receives the medical care. In couple of months I will also write about how to review the packet, who you should involve and what are the potential events that you may encounter.

My husband is going through a medboard (military medical retirement) and even when things are smoothly coming along, it is hectic with medical appointments and tracking all the things that comes with it. We mainatin ALL the documentation, make copies, ask for copies and oh well, it is so much documentation. There are always obstacles on the road but fortunately, for now, things are going well.

Like I mentioned before, the medboard process is a separation so like any sudden, u…

Water Therapy

Injuries caused by Improvise explosive devices (IED) are not only external but also internal. Other than the brain injury my husband developed it is like fibromyalgia and he is always hurting. His joints hurt, all of them. We went to the Rheumatologist who referred my husband to physical therapy specialized in musculoskeletal pain. We went today and there is no more satisfaction that encountering a provider that cares and listens. Well, after all the discussion of what has been done for my husband's condition he recommended water therapy. Water therapy will be in a pool that contains underwater tread mills so he has to walk for 45 minutes twice a week. The best part is that I will be able to be with him during the therapy, so we will be going for a "walk in the water". We will chat and exercise together at the same time, just like the old days. I will let you know in a later posting how it goes.

For morebinfomation go to: http://www.spine-health.com/wellness/exercise/wate…

TBI in Disguise

Dear Caregivers,

Has your spouse being diagnosed with TBI? If so, does your spouse suffers from PTSD? How do you know what is what? This could hold the clue and key to treatment and will determine the healing process. Is TBI treatable? the answer is YES, Is PTSD treatable? the answer is YES, is the treatment the same? Most of the time NO. Why? Because some impairments are due to the brain capacity to perfomed optimally.

My husband has brain injury as the result of an explosion and Iraq. Often providers attribute all the symptoms in soldiers to PTSD when in fact they can be the result of the TBI and yes TBI and PTSD ARE NOT THE SAME. PTSD and TBI share some characteristics but ARE NOT the same. Don't be shy and ask questions to providers, this is your right as a patient or a spouse or family caring for a TBI patient. So the big question is "Why are we treating TBI as PTSD?" The answer can be described with a very sophisticated financial calculation. My husband is getting ne…

Medical Retirement, Really? Who saw it coming?

Dear Friends,

It has been one and a half years since my husband sustained a traumatic brain injury. After so many fruitful efforts my husband will be undergoing a medical retirement from the Army. At first I was so worried because my husband did not want to retired but the reality is that most of his impairments will stay with him in some way or another so he will never be fit to return to duty. It will be a difficult transition not only because of what the process entails but for me it will feel like a separation, a divorce from the army. This may sound strange or maybe dumb but I am honest in what I feel. For me it feels like another loss, another grief, another reason that makes me sad and wonder...

In the army I met wonderful friends, those to whom I shared so much. When the soldiers deployed, we the spouses were more united than ever, we had Friday nights dinner, Saturday care packages preparation and we always had something to do. It was a family, one that carries the same burdens…

New Year, New Goals and Hope!!!

Happy New Year to all my friends. The beginning of a new year is most of the time the beginning of new goals that we expect to fulfill. It is common to set goals based on lived experiences so this year one of my goals is to never give up hope. Hope is the key ingredient to expect what your heart desires. My hope is that I can have happinnes, love, patience, wisdom and all those characteristics that will help me succeed in whatever should come to my life.

When I think of the year 2010 it makes me wonder where did it go, it went so fast, it was so hectic, so accelerated that I barely had time to enjoy myself like I used to. This year I will try to do meaningful things that will deliver postive outcomes and that will make me happy. Things that will be new experiences during this year will be my husband’s medical retirement. I know many unexpected situations and new adjustments will come with this new change in our lives.

This first quarter of the year I want to write about the medical re…