Got Stimulants?

pinup imageI was chatting on facebook with a mutual wife of a wounded service member. We were talking about what sort of substances one might get find themselves hooked on in our caregiver lifestyle of never enough sleep and always so much to do.

Here are the top ten, the caveat is this is for humorous purposes only. Addictions are nothing to laugh at, unless your addiction is to a really strange fetish like parakeet feet and then I am going to totally have a belly laugh at you and your parakeet. Poor, sad parakeet.

If you really find that you do have some sort of substance abuse issue with any of these substances, contact your local mental health provider as there are many ways to clean yourself up.

So, without further adieu, here are the top ten most likely to be over used stimulants available to us in the USA.

1. Coffee
2. Sodas whether diet or regular, the caffeine is the same
3. Energy Drinks – I used to depend on Sugar Free Red Bull to get me back and forth safely on the long drives to Ft. Sam Houston and back to Taylor and back to FSH again. My weekends would rack up 500 miles. I never wanted to drive tired with precious cargo in the car such as our son. So, sugar free red bull, twix, chips, and other things to perk me up were frequent passengers.
4. Energy Shots
5. Spark and other safe vitamin concoctions designed to perk you up using high amounts of B vitamins and such.
6. Herbal concoctions such as Ma Huang, aka Epehedra, Ripped Fuel, or Xenadrine
7. Wellbutrin – I have heard some people take this prescribed antidepressant because it tends to perk them up. Messing with your brain chemistry is never advocated. Seizures, worse depression, all sorts of crap could go down for you and your quest to find energy.
8. Amphetamines- if you are overweight and your doctor is old school, you might be getting prescribed these. Warning- speed kills. If you are taking these from a purchase off of a street corner pharmacist, you will find yourself arrested if these aren’t legally prescribed. You will get so strung out you might neglect your kids, your dog, and your wounded warrior. Bad, bad caregiver!
9. Cocaine- illegal, bad, horrible stuff and very much going to get you arrested if you use it. Not to mention bad for parenting! Also, that constant sniff and bugging out coke addicts do is very annoying. Blow your damn nose already!
10. When cocaine and amphetamines can’t do the trick, some junkies just go right for Crystal Meth. Although I can perceive the bonus of tweaking around and being awake for days, I am really attached to my healthy, pretty teeth and my skin. I have noticed how people that use speed and meth and other illicit narcotics tend to age faster than an average person. It really makes the face look horrible.

So, what can you do in a healthy manner to give you some energy that will not get you arrested, keep your health, teeth and sanity in check?
You can exercise. Get outside. The recharging of your D vitamins is very important. Vitamin D3 is super important for pain management (good for your wounded buddy, too) and you can only get it by taking a supplement or getting out in the son. Many of us (moi included) run a bit short on this. Tricare will cover labs to check this. It is amazing to me how much energy I feel from getting out with my pup on the leash. It is energizing. I use the time to clear my head, do some deep breathing, and focus on my pace and the dog and what he is investigating. Just getting out of your home can make you feel happier. Get a friend to meet you at a park and you have double the energy. Seriously. It is one of my favorite things to do.

Weekend Warrior- NOT!

Many people think that the National Guard soldiers are just weekend warriors, meaning they just serve one weekend a month and that is it. My honey has spent many times a month doing some training, a 5-day drill where he can’t come home at night, or gotten deployed to hurricane duty. The Guard is utilized heavily for all US disasters. Very little people know that they actually helped defend the US in WW2. During Hurricane Katrina, those Guard members unluckily stationed in New Orleans got shot at by some gang members who did not want to be evacuated during the flooding. They were not armed to protect themselves, which was very frustrating to the soldiers and to the family members that had to worry about their safety.

Well, after the first deployment, CSF had about a year to catch up at his regular career. He only got to spend maybe 5 months at it before he was recruited into another mission to train for. Even though he was in the US, and no more than 30 minutes from me, he was unavailable to us. Not a big deal, by then we were used to it and in my opinion, once you deal with a deployment in a war zone, being apart in the US is not a big blip on the radar. Sure, you get lonely and miss the guy, but you aren’t worried he is going to get blown to bits on a convoy. Kind of like when I took him to buy his cruiser when he returned from Iraq. My friends at work asked,”Aren’t you scared of him getting killed on that bike?” I said,”Once you deal with a soldier in a war zone where people are shooting at him every day, a motorcycle seems so benign.”

So… after the 6 months of school he went to, he wasn’t able to be released from his one unit to the other to go to Afghanistan with his friends. People he has fought with in Iraq, people he has trained day in and day out with that he trusts with his life. He was to remain with his main unit. Well, ironically, about 2 months later he gets notified that he is to go and get deployed with a different unit entirely, and this time using the skills he does in his civilian life. In fact it was his degree that got him recruited. So this came from the big wigs up high, and superseded the management at his unit. He had to go. Managerial pissing match lost!

It was comical. Kind of. In his mind it was a toss-up if it was better to request to get deployed with his team-mates and do the deployment in Afghanistan, or take his chances and possibly go to Iraq again with his main unit. He would be stuck there longer and with new people he hasn’t trained with. Fate intervened and he got to be deployed in Afghanistan on a different mission, however it turned out his friends were not too far from where he was.