So this is my first time writing a blog, so bear with me, as I get started. A little background on me, my name is Tam, I was raised in Butler, Pa., and now reside in Marion, In. I have 2 kids, a daughter 23 and son 17 and 3 wonderful grandchildren, 5, 2, and 1. I work retail part time, the same company for last 10 years till I moved. I know work part-time for another major retail company and I am also a caregiver, to my wonderful fiancé, who is an Iraq War Veteran. My fiancé is also the father to my daughter; we had separated for several years, due to being young and making family choices.
We were reunited when he returned to Pa, after he was medically discharged from the Army. He came back to meet our daughter for the first time, and be with his oldest daughter that also lived in Pa. His oldest daughter is 26, and has 4 kids and a stepchild. He also has a son 22 that lives with us, and a younger daughter 14 that lives with her mom.
My fiancé has PTSD and chronic low back pain, chronic right knee pain (from an injury); his neck is fused from c4 to c7. He also has several other medical conditions, high blood pressure, gerd, depression, just to name a few. He takes 13 different meds a day, I manage all his meds for him, and put them in the weekly pill containers, so that I can verify if he took his meds, I do all the cooking, cleaning, shopping, take care of him and work part-time. It is a lot to do and some days if wish I had more hours in the day, but that won’t happen, so one day at a time.
He walks with a walker because of the right knee injury, that knee will give out at any given time and he falls. It was hard for him to accept that he had to walk with a walker at 45. His back pain keeps him on the couch or in bed, watching TV or playing play station. It is very hard him to stand for long periods of time or sit for long periods of times. So working is not an option. His PTSD keeps for things like fireworks on the 4th of July, shopping (large crowds bother him), going out to eat, (if we do it is before the dinner rush or a corner booth so he can see everyone), driving (road rage), he generally feels safer being at home. The VA is safe because there are other Vets.
I never know what his mood will be like from day to day, or hour to hour. We don’t watch war movies or the news because both of those things can be a trigger for him. He doesn’t get violent, he instead shuts done won’t talk or do anything. It is hard being out somewhere and have to leave because something may have triggered him or he is in pain or uncomfortable.
Living with PTSD is the hardest thing I have ever done, but he is my hero and I won’t change anything. I figured out that I am meant to be here with him and helping other veterans and their families.
Submitted By: Tam, proud fiance of an OIF Veteran