It has officially been eight months since my last blog entry.

Eight months.

Ugh.

There is just so much going on in my life, and I want to share it. I need to write it out. I need to wreck this blog.

I think part of why I stepped away from it for so long was because I was trying to make it something it wasn't. So I turned away from it. But here I am, going back to where it all started: my husband's injury.

I'd like to say he is fully rehabilitated and we are no longer living under the shadow of chronic pain. But he's not, and we're not. Not at all.

We're not really sure what's going on, but all we know is that he is in more pain than he's had in years, he's walking less, bedridden more, and we're seeing some of those same familiar ailments. So in addition to the medical care he already receives from the VA, I added him to my health insurance in hopes that we can get him back to his original surgeon for a re-evaluation. To be quite honest, the VA doesn't understand his injury anyway, and when he broke his toes last year, they couldn't be bothered to read his medical records.

It's been a lot to deal with, and I'm just going to come right out and say it: I'm angry.

I'm angry that this happened to my husband, this vibrant, active, beautiful spirit is a ghost of who he was. I'm angry that this was a 100% preventable accident, and I'm angry with the people who ignored the original problem that led to his injury. I'm angry with the people who make fun of my husband for using a cane or making snide comments when they assume they know how able-bodied he is. I'm angry that I am slipping deeper into a caregiver role, when I really need care and time for myself. I'm angry that the VA won't acknowledge that he has diagnosable PTSD and instead blame his symptoms on chronic depression. (I mean, who fucking wouldn't?) I want to scream from the rooftops that none of what we experience now was present before his accident. I am angry because it has been four years since the accident happened, and we are backsliding. I'm angry I turned down several really amazing jobs for him to finish the treatment that he needed for his PTSD, and the treatment didn't work. And I'm angry that we can't move on from this.

My husband is permanently disabled. There are things he will never do again. Trust me, we've tried. We've rebelled against medical advice. We've pushed limits. But we always wind up back in the same spot.

People who are able-bodied cannot understand it. They can't fathom that there is an expiry date on able-bodiedness (not yet anyway). They don't have to leave the comforting space of denial. They can leave our homes and leave our lives without anything more than an uncomfortable memory. But we had to learn to accept it. We battled and raged before we did, though. At each other, at our families and friends, and at the world.Though it sometimes felt like losing, this acceptance eventually turned us into victors. It molded us into the survivors we are. And we have learned to adapt so that we can thrive instead of just surviving.

So yeah, I'm fucking angry. And the reason I'm writing this is to tell all of you caregivers out there who have been through this that is it OK to be angry. It is permitted to be angry. It is encouraged to be angry. Just let it out. It's hard to heal from a festering wound that we keep hidden. Sometimes wounds just need to breathe. And we know this because we are caregivers, but it helps to be reminded sometimes.


Photo by Matheus Bertelli