Thursday, June 28, 2012

Head in sand.

I live in an incredible country that gives its ordinary citizens rights and privileges that no other industrialized nation does. Apparently something huge happened today and a lot of opinions are going around. Since I haven't read a thing on it, I won't even attempt to speculate, but nor will I allow someone on either side to "educate" me. If I get around to it, I'll read the information out there and decide for myself. What is so upsetting is how people are expressing their opinions (many of them uneducated and unfounded in fact). I have so much faith in humanity based on my own experience in this world, but all the racism and classism is just so discouraging. Most of the people who would be making these awful comments have already been unsubscribed to on my facebook, so for the most part I've been lucky. I haven't had to go on a de-friending spree.

And let me say that I also feel that I can't say too much because I and my husband receive government benefits. Yes, we've "earned" them, but that doesn't give me cart blanche to talk about anyone else who should or should receive benefits. I live in government housing, too. I know there are incredible differences between what we have and what someone else has, but I'm not the type to decide what is and isn't "worth it." I could tell you some stories of egregious misuse of government funds that have gone on here, even for things that aren't necessarily bad, just wholly unnecessary.

So this is me, pulling my head out of the sand long enough to make an evasive comment, wave my little American flag, and putting my head right back in.

But the shit show on the internet is so entertaining. I haven't had this much to laugh and be amazed and stunned about since Susan came to visit my blog. And I was just getting bored... giggle.

Reddit link that is pretty informative about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

CNN HLN Stories of Courage.

July 4 at 7 and 9 pm. Check it out!

So our interview was in February, the walking footage from Christmas (previously featured around that time), and hopefully the unit's homecoming is in there as well. I guess it will all just have to be a surprise!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Down South and Dogs.

We've been down south lately, soaking up the family time and general goodwill of our favorite place. The downer, though, is that Aaron's older brother is deploying with his National Guard unit soon. He's going to train for 3 months and then embark on a 9-month of deployment. Here's a little education for you active folks: NG deployments are rough and tough, especially on families. The training starts up about six months ahead of time, with enough of a crazy schedule to just totally piss off whatever boss a soldier might have. Then, in that total year away, these guys (it's an infantry unit so I can say that) might get a weekend to spend with their families. Or they might get a 12-hour pass or two, but not a whole day. Since neither the training nor the deployment is long enough to warrant any real leave, they don't get it. There is also apparently/maybe a concern that since these guys are in such intense training the family is considered a distraction and therefore no family time for a year. I can't begin to articulate how completely angry this makes me feel. FRGs are sparse and rarely functional in these units as well, since everyone lives all over the state. The families which need the most support during deployment (don't flame me, I said during) hardly get any. Don't even ask about an adequate pre-deployment briefing. You can't order a bunch of families to drive hours to a meeting every month. I dare anyone to actually think Reserve and Guard components don't pay their dues when serving. In my honest opinion they and their families pay dearly when it's time to deploy. The NG isn't even supposed to deploy like it has been in the past decade- it is here for national defense, such as natural disasters. I'm not saying they aren't capable or needed to go to war, but some states have suffered because there weren't enough troops back home when they were needed. But anyway, if you're the praying/good vibe type, send some off to my brother-in-law and his family of wife and three kids. I just can't even imagine what they're going through.

Let's not even talk about how going to Afghanistan doesn't do anyone any favors and we should really just stop the nonsense all together. But hey, I'm just some crazy wounded warrior wife with only my own horrible experience to base my opinion on, what the hell do I know?

We have dog news. Before we left, we worked out a situation for our beagle, Scooter. We can't call him ours anymore, because the foster has agreed to keep him. Scooter has been running free on a horse farm for months now, living a dog's dream life. Our next stop out of the hospital barracks is an apartment, probably followed by a condo, then maybe in 3 years we'll have our house with our yard. I can not in good conscience take Scooter away from a farm, filled with children (the foster is a horseback riding instructor) and other animals to play with and tons of scents to chase to live in an apartment. (New York worked because there was affordable doggy daycare ($60/week!) when I couldn't get him out. We were also supposed to be out of there by the end of this year, and we weren't going to settle for anything less than a fenced yard for our next post). I cried about "leaving" Scooter at the farm and expected Aaron to hate on me for even bringing it up. It turned out, though, he had been thinking the same thing for some time. The foster loves Scooter and had already thought all of this as well, and I think she was trying to figure out a way to ask us to leave him with her. So it was decided. Our small dog, Charlie Buckles, will come with us when we can get him. He is pug/rat terrier/chihuahua, and can be any type of dog we need him to be. The foster also knows that Charlie Buckles just loves humans and won't hurt too much to change back to me us. So... there is that. I don't need anyone to point out to me that I am lucky to have a foster who loves Scooter enough to want him for herself and have that work out, or that people regularly don't "abandon" their beloved pets. A beagle is not the type of dog we're ever going to have again as a pet because of our new lifestyle, and I can't be selfish enough to take Scooter from a healthy environment into an apartment just to say I'm a good doggy mama. I know where he is and I can visit anytime, as he definitely remembers me. While it hurts, I know it's best. And yes- I do stress that much about the happiness of our pets. Dogs might not be people but they are certainly deserving of healthy, happy lives. Aaron and I do see a service dog in our future, and we will make sure Charlie Buckles receives the training he needs to learn to cope with having a canine boss. We also might go with a girl dog, just to quell any competition that might arise. So there's a little family news.

Alright, peoples. Hope everything is great and you're all having great weeks. Think a happy thought today- it's never as bad as it seems!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Last night I had a full-on cry fest for no really good reason other than still being really, really upset that my beautiful husband lost his legs in a terrible and senseless war. I blew snot all over his face when he leaned in to possibly kiss my forehead and caught a "cry cough." How lovely of me. But for a drunk guy, he did really well. He pulled out all the tissues and just let me wail.

And I do still get really upset about all of this. We were out to dinner with a group of warrior families and a tire on Aaron's wheelchair popped like a freaking gun. I am surprised no one ducked under the table or had a meltdown. I honestly thought it was errant firework in his bag left over from some fun this past weekend, which would have been embarrassing. I mean, what the hell. He has borrowed a friend's wheelchair and he said it was like walking around in too-big shoes (which is really funny). But it still sucks and I suppose it always will. Having prosthetics is not akin to getting your limbs back. Some VA reps try to discount disability of single limb guys because they think that working with a fake arm or leg is just as productive as having a real one. That's really ignorant but you can't win them all, right? It just isn't the same and I am terrified of all the future health problems Aaron might face because of all of this shit.

But life has been better lately. Calmer. It's not one thing or another, or even a concerted effort to do better at dealing with all of this. I feel like our priorities are in line and we're understanding each other a little better. I care less that he won't clean, but he cares enough to be less messy. I don't let the inspections bother me because this isn't my house- it's the government's house and I bet if all government housing were subject to random inspection more people who needed it would have it and fewer who abused it wouldn't.

I also keep accidentally acting like an adult and I am not bothered by this at all. For instance, my shower head was supposed to be fixed when my shower was also re-chalked. Instead, a baggie of screws was left on the bench and the shower head still sags like a sad old lady. I really wanted to go down to the desk and ask if "they" weren't fixing shower heads anymore because this wasn't the first time the work order was missed, but instead I sent an email to someone in a better position to investigate why it wasn't done and make sure it happens. I'm not asking for a prize for not being a bitch... but it does feel nice! Usually when I act like an adult it's because I have to and I'm really grumpy about it, but lately I don't mind it.

Some friends have been really worried that my loony toons "Susan" commenter really bothered me, and while usually something like that would set me off, it didn't. I mean, I don't know maybe I am actually learning to let things go. I wouldn't get too ahead of myself though, I could lose it again tomorrow over something else just as stupid.

And to close out the post, I would like to share with you a comic from one of the funniest women on the planet, Allie of Hyperbole and a Half, from the post "This Is Why I'll Never Be An Adult." Here is something I think I'd like to frame:

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I disabled comments on my last post. But okkkkaaayyyy.... I think it's pretty obvious this is someone I've met in real life and has had issues with things I've said before. This person clearly knows me. There is a reference to me apologizing to people I've "slandered" that is just odd. Seeing as posts made just since Aaron was injured are visible, the only people I've said nasty things about are people involved in my botched up notification or some wives I knew in the unit who said really ugly things to me and/or about me. I won't defend or explain those posts because I wrote them at a time when all of those feelings rang true to me. I have since moved on from being that angry, and not thinking about those people anymore. Honestly, Susan's dedication to my blog is creepy. She doesn't need to explain herself further and neither do I. Continuing to comment isn't going to make this situation any less crazy or out-of-control.

 I never expected the amazing support I've received here and on Facebook, so thank you all for that. Look people, you can't argue with crazy. Someone who would dedicate so much time to a blog written by a person she obviously finds undesirable is engaging in questionable behavior. She obviously reads a lot and the idea of me reproducing under my current circumstances was enough to warrant her response to every single comment made here. I strongly don't believe in blindly agreeing with anyone (a huge issue among military spouses if you ask me) but I don't think being rude does anyone any good, either. No one will certainly listen to rudeness. "Susan" never meant to be nice about what she had to say and it should have ended there. If she comes back, just don't even bother with her. I usually don't mind a good shit show, but I would like my readers to have the chance to do more than just defend me (which again, is amazing). Those of you who come here often don't over-simplify what I write and when comments are left, they are usually supportive or constructive in some way without being nasty; even comments that haven't kissed my ass (I actually got a few good ones in the past that called me out). We know who we are; I know who I am. And lastly, it's the internet. You can't win on here and I accept that. I will still have anonymous, unlinked comments enabled nor will I ever remove a comment. Transparency is a paramount virtue in my life (as long as safety comes first, obviously). I apply that here, as well.

Thanks again, people. Hug yourselves tight, reread for a good laugh, and move on. I promise to be back soon with something else worthy (at least to me). Loves and hugs!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Yay, Commenters Remind Me of How Much I Don't Know!

 From Susan, on my last post:
I am also a military wife and mother who has experienced a life situation similar to yours. Just some words of advice from someone who actually is a mom, it is best not to have any expectations as to what your child will be like; it is not a child's job to "save" you, and a child may come to you with a heart, values, and opinions completely different from yours. Also, it might be best to wait before thinking about introducing a child into your life. If you are feeling overwhelmed by taking a few college classes and keeping your house clean while caring for an ADULT husband who can actually communicate to you what he needs, you are not ready to take on a child. 

Thanks, Susan. I am so glad you took time out of your day to point on that I am currently not ready to have a child. What is so incredibly awesome about the situation with my husband is that the likelihood of us even having a child anytime next year is so low that I don't think anyone has to be worried that we're doing it this soon. Notice how I didn't elaborate on what our timeline exactly is? I did that on purpose. There is actually no situation where we could pop up pregnant without first knowing we could actually have kids at all- which is a long way off, in case you didn't get that from my post. Jesus totally loves you for reminding me in one anonymous paragraph all the things I need to consider. And if for some reason anyone else didn't get from my blog that I am clearly one of the most open-minded people on the planet, particularly when it comes to kids, then maybe reading this blog isn't for you.

From someone who actually is a mom... what a lovely, sensitive statement. I totally get it now.

P.S. I have anonymously commented before, but it is not something I ever did regularly. It was either alcohol-induced and/or I was in a really shitty mood. I don't do it now nor do I say negative things to people on the internet, just because I don't think I'm special enough to change anyone. Also, how well do we really know each other on here? I am going to bet somewhere between "not really at all" and "not in the least conceivable bit." But what do I know.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

DNA Expansion.

Nope, no birth announcement here. Just clarification and getting it all out. Aaron sustained an injury when he was blown up last year that greatly threatens our fertility (not our function- we have PLENTY of that). We regret not freezing his baby juice, which I highly suggest to all of you folks looking at deployments. Anyway, he's also been on testosterone (T) therapy since the beginning of his hospital stay. It has a lot of benefits, but one of the side effects is that it inhibits sperm production. Research shows that the T does not affect the eventual sperm production. It doesn't matter how long he's on T; the answer is always going to be the same. We might have to wait longer to accept negative test results, but T isn't hurting him. It take a year to 18 months for his body to produce any sperm. It could be a shorter length of time, but that's the longest. If there aren't any usable tadpoles a year and a half after he stops T, there aren't going to be any. And there's the other part of the problem: Sperm doesn't do anyone any good if it doesn't swim. The urologist is confident in his ability to make babies with low numbers, as long as those numbers involve swimmers. There are the facts of our situation. We also don't have any idea if my pipes are any good, either. I never have assumed that I had a right to a family or that I could produce one. I'm just going to assume, though, things are alright until we know otherwise. There are other plans for us just in case, but for the time being we are forging along under the idea that we could have a baby with IVF.

We do have a timeline. We are in complete agreement about when we want him to stop T therapy. What I find fascinating is that our ultimate goals haven't changed. Originally, I told him I was only good for one birth, even though we both agree that two children is a desirable family size. I fully believe that a second child will come to us in a different way, and the child will save us just as much we will save him or her (obviously this is a reference to adoption, and the amazing gifts a child can bring to a family). I don't want a lot of kids just because we might not have any now. I don't know how many rounds of IVF I am willing to go through before we decide adoption is the best method for us to expand our family completely. But together, with Aaron, I know we want a child, and hope for two but aren't banking on any one thing or another. We just have ideas and back-ups. We just know we want a family.

Family. Why have kids? This world can really suck. Well, Aaron and I do have this insatiable need to be normal. Since that will never ever happen because it isn't normal to be a double amputee, we want to be as normal as possible. We want to contribute to the encompassing beast that is life- not just a singular life, or two lives joining, but humanity as a whole. And while my siblings and I don't have the best relationships, I still want that kind of family connection for our kids. No huge dreams here for us, though. Our kids don't have to be like us or look like us. They're gonna be our kids, no matter what. Or kid. Maybe getting that first kid is so exhausting we decide one is plenty. I digress. What I'm saying is that we still desire to bring life into this world, not just because we're supposed to or that it's what everyone else does when they get married, but because that's a piece of the puzzle for us and our life together. We feel good about the decision to have a baby, have our marriage changed by that baby, and raise that baby in the world today.

At first I thought I'd want all the kids we could handle when I found out we might not ever have any. I don't know what kind of mother I'm going to be, but I know I will most likely still desire to work. I am not going to suddenly want to encompass my life with the institution of family and kids and that be it (not that that is a bad thing at all, I just don't think it's for me or Aaron). This does happen to some folks- they come out of this war and breed a whole sports team. Awesome for them. It could happen, but I could also decide to shave my head tomorrow. Both are highly unlikely. I think it's important to teach kids that they aren't special and there are bigger things out there than just our own personal experience in living (says the blogger, now isn't that ironic) and therefore I know I won't have a problem working after having a kid. So we're back to our original plan: One genetically linked baby and eventually, maybe, one with different DNA but the same heart.

We have spent this weekend with our nephews and niece, and even through all the mishaps we are still excited. Kids are gonna ruin our lives, dictate so much of what goes on, and we can't wait.

It's so nice to still have one original dream intact. Everything else has changed for us- even our career choices and how we want to live our life together. This is, I believe, the only dream we had before the blast that has remained unchanged. We thought about changing it, but the first idea wasn't a bad one so we've decided to keep it. I am just as pleased with that fact as I am our goals about family.

I also feel like a real, live grown-up married couple by coming to this decision with my husband, at the same time. I wonder if this is what all other couples do instead of whatever childish antics we're usually up to. It's like playing house! Look- we're adults! Look now, because the moment won't last long.

So there you have it. That's what's up. I can't believe we are planning on a family. I think it's kind of nuts to have kids but then again, it can't be that nuts. Most- not all, but most- parents I know are still pretty neat people and their kids aren't so bad, either. I know I am going to tell my kids the internet was a myth and that the scar on their ankle isn't from a GPS chip, no, but an accident in infancy. ;)