When do you stop?

Back in January, I started a support group for fellow wives of wounded soldiers in the Austin, Texas area. When I first started it, I was unsure how it was going to work out and worried that I might not be ready for something like this. It is hard to take on projects when your soldier does not allow you to get your 7 or 8 hours of sleep in one straight block. At my old age, I am not so able to thrive without rest. Funny how I took that for granted. I used to go one whole day without sleep when I had my own business. Talk about drive. I am still driven, just in other ways now.

Back to the group- I have found it to be one of the best things I have ever done. It has helped me a lot and I have seen where it has been useful for some of the other ladies, too. There is room for growth and I have big plans for it. I am so happy that others in similar situations don’t feel as alone anymore. It is something I am very glad I did. I get to hear about successes first hand from others trying different methods on fixing their husbands.

So, here is a big question about drive, research, and pushing. For all of you with wounded soldiers at home suffering with TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), and other debilitating health issues, when is enough enough? I can’t seem to stop researching the latest and newest methods to help restore cognitive function. I am always googleing TBI, PTSD to see if there are new strategies in helping to remedy the side effects. Through one of my friend’s blogs, I see there are injections that are being given to soldiers suffering with PTSD and that they do help a lot on reducing anxiety. However they have to be repeated every 3-4 months. To get the shot, you have to go to the clinic, which is far from here. So my hubby would have to endure the painful journey of getting there as well as receiving the injection, which would be another kind of pain. When I started talking to him about it as I got excited when I saw Kristle’s blog, he said he was not interested.

What? You are not interested? You like having PTSD? You like having the nightmares that make you literally sweat out a gallon of sweat each night and have the flashbacks? You like waking up sick to your stomach when you experience one of your many horrible wartime experiences? How can you not want to get rid of this? How can you not want to try something new to get it eliminated?

I got upset. I thought WTF- why am I doing all of this research to help him regain his short term memory issues and other cognitive deficits that really frustrate him if he does not even want to try something that has a documented success rate?

He won’t even try acupuncture and I have many wives tell me how much it has helped their soldiers with pain and also some of their anxiety. Anxiety is the huge feeding pool which fuels PTSD. This is not fair. I hear about all sorts of new treatments and things to try and he won’t even consider it.

What do you ladies do? I am frustrated. I don’t want things to be like this for the rest of our life. I want him to have fulfillment from what he does and to feel good about himself again. I want him to one day wake up without the chronic pain that knocks him down and makes him sick to his stomach.

Is that too much to ask for? Do I just stop and give up?

When I look at my husband, who is still young at age 41 and has a life left in front of him- I can’t imagine him not trying something to help him feel more like he used to. Would he want to spend the next 25-30 years suffering with chronic pain? Would he want to keep going and keep the blinders on to alternative treatments around him?

Can I just stop and let him control what he tries next? Can I let go of this?

6 thoughts on “When do you stop?

  1. I had to offer things to him and let him decide. If he said no I knew it wouldn't work anyways because he wasn't ready for it to work. I told him about that brace at the Center of the Intrepid and he was all meh about it. I haven't mentioned it again. If he wants to live in pain the rest of his life that is his choice. I have finally gotten to the point where I have stopped worrying and stopped trying to fix it. Good luck, I know it's hard.

  2. Thank you for your kind words. Perhaps if he saw the video of the guy using the brace, or even if perhaps my hubby told him how much it has helped him.. LOL I know. I am not listening to what your hubby has told you. See, I am trying to fix him, too. WTF is wrong with me.. it is SO HARD to watch someone not receive everything they can that will help them. I am going to have to find your ways of letting it go. Thank you, Grasshopper!

  3. Hi! I am the wife of the veteran who received the injection for PTSD. Its called the Stellate Ganglion Block, and Dr. Eugene Lipov is the man who is spearheading a study right now! HE is AWESOME!!! I will give you whatever information you need! I have pros and cons for the injection. However, there are pros and cons for all the pills my husband was taking! Though it isn't a cure, it absolutely did help my husband. It wasn't long term, but seeing him happy and seeing the "old" husband made it worth it! You can email me anytime!! winwinkateri@gmail.com And I enjoy reading your blog!!!

  4. Kateri, thank you for your kind comments. I have found your blog posts in regards to your hubby and the stellate block and I have mentioned it to my hubby's neurologist. I love him, if I haven't said that yet. I am so glad to hear you got to see glimpses of your old husband. Were there a lot of cons?? I will be sure to email you. Thank you thank you for posting all of that information. I am going to share it with my WWW group I hold here in Texas.

  5. When do you stop,…. this is a wonderful question. I am faced with my own limitations as well as what he will do or not do. I've seen things come in waves- we try something and regulate other parts of life, them try something else, and regulate again. I am sure there is so much more out there, but as the caregiver I am frustrated with my life being sucked into warrior only issues. I try my best to remember to go have fun with the entire family or the kids and just pretend we are all OK and untouched. I suppose when our warrior is ready, then its time…

  6. I had a great session with my counselor the other day. she asked me what do I do with all of my energy used to research after I get excited and then he shoots it down? That is when my frustration and disappointment turns to sadness. I realize when he turns it down, it makes me internalize. I feel that he doesn't care enough about me or his son to want to try these things to make himself better, to help us as well as himself. I know I shouldn't. However the way I feel is the way I feel. I am sure I am wrong with the thought he doesn't care because I know he cares very much. I think that he has been through so many doctors and is on so many medicines that he can't take any more. I also think that deep down he is worried that these ideas and suggestions may not work. To me the thought is nothing ventured, nothing gained. I think for him the disappointment might be too devastating. I think I need to take a deep breath and just let it all go. It is beyond my ability to make him do anything. He is a man, capable of deciding things for himself. Even if I don't agree with him, I have to let him make his decisions. For now he has the capability.This is SOOOOO hard.

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