We have been doing so well for so long. Our little family of four had our routine down and we were just moving and grooving right on through it. Then Monday Chaz came down the stairs and said he didn't feel right. He had me look at his hip and I instantly knew it was shingles. We had just had a bout with shingles in October and this was the same spot and looked identical.
I knew we had to have immediate medical attention. We are so blessed to have choices for care. We have the Ft Campbell ER. We have the Murfreesboro VA and since I enrolled him in Tricare we have a regular doctor to see as well. We decided to go with the VA because he had been seen there just last month and he likes his team there. While Chaz called and sat on hold I text his AW2 rep, Melvin. Melvin's job is to make sure to help us when we need it. I cannot sing his praises enough. Melvin is a rockstar. Melvin is also a veteran and most importantly Melvin gets it. He has been such an amazing addition to our team.
The three of us got the ball running. The girls had something going on that evening so Chaz drove himself to the VA and they saw him, listened to him, treated him and sent him back home. He immediately began taking the pills and looked a little worn by the time he got home. He said he was fine, just sore. Monday was not that bad.
Tuesday we were set to travel to Kentucky to see a house being built by Helping A Hero. When Chaz woke up at 7, he felt awful. I had a conference call and told him I'd call our builder after my call to cancel our trip up. I called and left a message and then went upstairs to check on him and he looked great and I mean great. He asked if I was ready to go. I was puzzled since I just called and cancelled. He then grabbed his cell and called and told her we were leaving shortly. We made it to Kentucky and checked out this fabulous house. It has our floor plan and it was amazing to see in person (more on this later). Our builder watched Chaz walk around it so she could take notes on adjustments he may need. Then we headed back.
On the way back home, Chaz noted that he wasn't feeling good at all. I knew the Tylenol was wearing off. And bless his heart his sinuses were bothering him too. Once we got home it all started going down hill.....
That afternoon Chaz could not get comfortable. He hurt so badly and it was all over. He did not sleep well at all and neither did I. Wednesday was a day full of uncomfortable for him. Every time the Tylenol or Motrin wore off I knew it. He has to take the shingles meds five times a day and I was trying to help him with that. He was trying to keep up with it because I was doing everything that he normally helps with and was still working my two full time jobs. He felt bad for "being a burden." Silly men, we all know you're a burden when we say "I do" and hello we do it anyway.
Thursday was worse than Wednesday, but at this point I had had very little sleep. I was up with him for three nights straight now. He hurt too much to move and our home is not handicap accessible to him at all. So I was waiting on him and helping him with everything. It was just like when we first discharged from the hospital except now I am doing tax returns and Yellow Ribbon Fund work, homeschooling the girls, cooking, cleaning, driving them to activities, and, and, and, and......
Thursday I yelled at my hubby. I wanted to help him and this "being a burden" crap had to stop. I cannot stand to watch him hurt. The lack of sleep and extra duties had just got to me and I lost my temper. I told him he was going to listen to me and he was going to let me help him and that was the end of it. He was dehydrated and I could see it. Dehydration happens very quickly to amputees and you have to watch for that. I was not going to just stand by and watch him suffer. Once again my hubby learned my stubbornness is greater than his (granted he was in a weakened state and couldn't really put up a fight). I gave him his care plan,left Deryn in charge and took Ryann to dance. By the time we returned, you could see he was better. I guess yelling does work?!
Friday morning came and you could see he felt better. He was slowly getting himself recalibrated. Saturday was better. So good in fact he took Deryn to softball practice. It looks like we have the shingles under control, but he is having a lot of pain in his back.
I really did not need a crash course in caring for my wounded hero. I really do not need to watch him suffer in pain again. I have had enough of that. I did not need to be reminded of how much caregivers do on a daily basis. I found it funny that I did an interview with the Washington Times on Thursday. Bless the reporter's heart she got an earful. I was too tired to hold back. It did turn out to be a great story though and I hope my crash course in caring makes others think about how much caregivers of wounded heroes do day in and day out. I am just one of thousands out there doing this job 24/7-365 and some days it is absolutely exhausting. But no matter what happens, I am just thankful to still be here to care for my hero.