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, worries and joys. Being a military wife can be very rewarding, so I will miss that. My friends will remain friends but one day their duty will take them somewhere else.

Well going back to the Medical Evaluation Board (MEB), a process that takes days for some, months for others like my husband. The first appointment is conducted by the doctor in charge of the medical care and this doctor will review the list of conditions. I was overwhelmed seeing that before my husband had null, zero, nada conditions and now his list is longer than a 4 year old list to Santa Claus. Yes it saddens me but at the same time looking at the positive side I am so blessed to have him with me.

I encourage all spouses of soldiers that are starting or undergoing the MEB to be next to them, go to their appointments (of course if he/she wants to) and be very aware and knowlegeable about the process because whatever happens will affect your future.

For now we just had the first visit and the development of the list of conditions. The next appointment the 27th will be a more thorough review.

Much love and hugs!

Comments

  1. So much love heading your way. <3

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  2. We started the process in October of 2008 and my husband is still not retired. His records should have been sent to Ft. Sam Houston last week, but his psych profile went missing. It's a frustrating process, but we keep on keeping on!

    Take care, be patient and hang in there.

    Ginny

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  3. Just read Victors blog. As indicated by his friend Tracy, you both are serving in a different, greater capacity...being the voice for TBI's in the military. It is so needed.

    It is natural to mourn leaving your military family, but, as you are already finding I am sure,there are many more great people and opportunities coming into your life.

    I live by the saying "you have to pour the cup out to have it filled back up again."

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  4. Thanks friends! Ginny I have heard and seen that delay too many times, I just hope you can be done with it soon :)

    I have met the most wonderful people during this process like Debbie, you have been an inspiration to us. We have been tremendously blessed by all the friends that sympathized with us like Annie and those who are our emotional supporters.

    Thanks for your words, love and encouragement! Hugs!

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  5. My husband was diagnosed with a TBI in 2008 and we have been to many SRP's and MRB's and the only thing that has happened so far is that he is now no longer depolyable. He has another SRP/MRB on the 18th. The VA has rated him 90% disabled but every year he gets worse. His short term memory is horrible. His once great communications skills have severely deteriorated, he can barely feed himself on some days because the tremors have become so bad. He was told he will eventually lose the use of his left arm all together. However, he has been looked over at the MRB's every single time. He is 36 and he had a stroke in April. We just learned that on top of his TBI his heart was damaged from the repercussions of the IED blasts.
    It is very frustrating to watch him go through all of this. I was recently told by his physcian to leave a post it on the dash of our vehicle because he sometimes forgets where we live. He is too proud to call me and tell me he is lost. We moved 7 months ago and he still forgets where we live! The note is supposed to contain his name, my name and our relationship as well as our phone numbers and then our home address. My husband is a scout for the US Army. He can no longer perform his duties and to him he feels like he is being cast out and looked over. He sometimes feels like he should have died over there a feeling he has way too often and it is very scary.
    I truly sympathize with men and women who are dealing with this because it is something Dr.s are still learning about. In the military, unless you can see it, it doesn't exist. My husband has been told by commanding officers that he is fine and that there isn't anything wrong with him. They tell him to just suck it up. Traumatic brain injuries can cause all sorts of residual problems. One in particular that we are now facing is Parkinson's Disease. Not fun, and definitely hard to watch your loved one go through.

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