I haven’t blogged in months. During the time I was away, my life really changed. I was, and am, overwhelmed. I stopped blogging because it was one thing too many. I usually strive to have hope in my blogs but I am not certain how much I can provide here, as hope is in short supply.
There is always a bit of humor in life with animals. Scout, my service dog, continues to progress in his training. He is doing quite well with reminding me to take medication. For a while, he would randomly ring the bell. Smart dog had figured that the bell meant a treat but not that only when I had to take medications! I had the bell ringing quite often! I have the oddest animals. I have a Black lab that doesn’t play fetch. My cat, Brigid, does. She’ll wake me at 5:00 am to toss her crinkle ball for a game. Brigid doesn’t (fortunately) climb the Christmas tree, my ferret Kaliyah climbs it and everything. The ferrets also steal and stash interesting items. I have several mismatched socks and recently found a bra under the couch.
I also moved into a new house. It is a little larger than my old place. I love the fireplace and huge walkin closet. It also has a two car garage. I plan to get some weight gym gear so I can have a small home gym.
I continue to run. Scout and I did our first run as a team Thanksgiving Day on the Walla Walla Turkey Trot. He was a bit excited and I had trouble holding him back the first mile or so. The run was the first time I didn’t compete, at least mentally. I just ran. It was an interesting experience.
In my heart, I still want to run marathons. I am not sure I will ever be able to get there again. That is a depressing realization. Running has been a passion for me my entire life. When I was in 3 rd grade, I had the playground monitors time me while I ran to the fence and back. It never stopped. I ran my first marathon in 1989. To think, with the fatigue I always feel, migraines, and trying to work, that I may never run another one… It’s a loss of part of who I am. I just get so damn tired at the end of the workday, I just can’t train, if I don’t have a migraine. A friend suggested I walk marathons instead. Marathon walking is a sport in itself. It takes time, commitment, dedication, and training. But, it’s not running. That’s like telling a downhill skier who can’t ski downhill anymore to take up cross country instead. It’s still skiing. It’s two totally different things.
Work is also hard. I’m still on limited hours and duty. I see few patients. I feel almost useless.
The Army is finally taking action. First, I was passed over for promotion again because I could not attend the training school, so was ineligible for promotion. The military now wants to remove me for not being promoted. I have choices; discharge, retirement, etc. This does not reflect what happened. I wanted to train! I had a date for school. I sustained a TBI and was unable to go. I am still not medically able to train. Which brings up the other situation. The Army is also convening a medical board to look at fitness for duty. Since I cannot medically serve, and have over 15 years in the Reserve, I can be medically retired. This reflects the situation. But, it takes up to 6 months. They want me to sign the paperwork to be removed for no promotion by next month.
My unit isn’t helping, either. I’ve been in the military, either active or reserve,for almost 18 years. Give a choice, when I got my commission as a social worker almost three years ago, I would have stayed another 10 years. I took the commission to help Soldiers. It’s a huge mess now. And another part of who I am that died.
My unit is deployed. I’m not. People tell me I have a purpose here. There’s a reason. I am yet to see it. I see so few patients and touch so few lives.
I died on 4/25/11. My body lived. I sustained a TBI that left me with a half life to live. I have to accept what died and build new. What is my identity? But, dammit! I want to run a marathon!