I'm a Military Blogger


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Wife of a Wounded Marine

I still remember back to 2009 when my husband went off to boot camp. It was the beginning of what I thought would be the rest of my life as a military spouse. He was going to go career, and I was preparing myself for the deployments, the separations, the moves and the hardships.

In 2010 he deployed to Afghanistan, and when he came home 13 months later things were different. Not terribly, horribly, awefully different. Just different.

In 2012 we moved on base, and he transferred to a new unit, preparing to deploy again. This time, I swore I would be more ready than I was last time. I was almost anticipating the deployment, the first one we would go through with a new baby. It almost felt like a piece of cake compared to the 13 month one. DH put in his enlistment package.

Rewind to 5 days ago. DH was out at another base doing pre-deployment work-ups. During a live fire exercise something went horribly, terribly awry. Someone was shooting in the wrong direction, and as a result my husband took a bullet to the calf. It narrowly missed both his bone and his artery, before flying out, leaving a golf-ball-sized hole in the side of his leg. He was treated in the field by a Corpsman, before being life flighted to the nearest full-size hospital, received a blood transfusion and then a CT scan to check for underlying bone damage. Then after determining that there was nothing more that could be done at the hospital, they brought him home.

So where does that leave us? I have absolutely no idea. He has no feeling in his foot and after a consult with a neuropathic surgeon it was determined that the extent of the damage is currently unknown. It could be temporary, or it could be permanent nerve damage. The nerve may re-attach itself later, or it may not. He may be able to walk unassisted, or he may not. They can't do anything at all until the wound itself begins to heal, a process which could take months. He has a wound vac in, a negative pressure device that suctions the wound, pulling out fluid and infection and forcing the skin closed. We have a home care nurse who changes the suctioning sponge every 3 days (a process which DH says is more painful than actually being shot). Then there are consults with other doctors and therapists.

He should return to work by the end of the month, but on extremely limited duty. Obviously, he's not deploying. And I'm fairly certain he's not going to be able to re-enlist. I have absolutely no idea where this leaves our family, and with 7 months until his EAS date I'm almost in a panic. With a new baby and a disabled (temporarily? Permanently?) husband and all the therapy and appointments, I do not even know what's happening.


Warrior Wife said...

First of all, I am sorry you are experiencing this! And also, he won't be released from the military until there is a decision about his wound and how it affects his future, ETS date or not. He can not be released while still injured. Nerves do grow back, it just takes a lot of time. There are a ton of guys who are able to re-up with even missing limbs, so I wouldn't worry too much now. Long term, yes- the question is there. But as long as he's injured, and as long as there isn't a final decision, he will remain active duty. Do some research to try and find out if there are any treatments you should be pursuing, anything different you could be doing, and ask about them. The one thing I have learned in all of this wounded warrior mess is to be proactive and have a voice. It shouldn't be that way, but those who do research and speak up do get results.
Wound vacs SUCK BALLS!!! I would love to skeet shoot them off the top of the hospital. It's great what they do... but man, are they are a huge pain. Try to have him time his pain meds to just before the nurse comes. It might help a little.
Right now, it's going to be okay! He has you, and the military can't kick him out while he's still hurt. A med board takes months, so try to worry too much. I just started following you, so I won't say things I can possibly know... but you know you can do this!

Anonymous said...

I found you from pinterest someone pinned one of you care packages. I read about your daughters birth, post partum and you husbands recent injury. I am an AF wife and understand being a mil wife can be hard. I hope that things get better for you!Something that has been a blessing to me when I was a new mom was MOPS and PWOC. I am not sure where you are stationed but look into if either of them are in your area. They are both women's groups that can provide love and support for you and your family. Stay strong you can do this! God Bless