Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tuesday, April 27

I'm starting our story from the day his deployment ended. These entries are composed from memory, my journal entries, and the notebook I used to log Jay's unusual behavior.

First Day Back to Work

Today Jay had to go back to work. The doctor wanted him to have a little time off but because the guys had just returned from a deployment he was required to complete Reverse SRP (soldier readiness processing). I consider that BS (no explanation needed). I drove him to work as he was not able to drive himself. The medication that Dr. W had prescribed had yet to really kick in but it was clear by that point that he didn't belong behind the wheel.

I was afraid to leave him so I drove to the Walmart just off post and walked around for an hour. According to his profile he was allowed to call me to get him if he needed me. I drove home not sure if he was going to make it thru the morning. I knew they only had a half day or so, so the odds were good that he'd make it. His friend drove him home and although he still had the breathing tic when he came in the house, he appeared well.

Around 1pm he became very sleepy but refused to lie down. (This would be what I would battle for the next week.) He would be exhausted to the point of sleeping while standing, but would absolutely refuse to sleep. So, I would follow him around the house to make sure he didn't hurt himself. My mother had called me in the afternoon and since I needed to charge my phone in my car I asked Jay if he wanted to smoke in the car while I talked to her. While we were out there he asked me to look for something in the house. I ran in the house to get it and when I came back outside he was asleep and burning a hole in his pants with his cigarette.

Although he was beyond tired he demanded that we go to the pet store. He had his heart set on getting two baby rats. I wanted him to stay home where it was safe but he insisted. So off we went to find his babies. He presented several tics at the pet store and appeared very withdrawn but the employee that helped us was so kind. I live in a very rural military community. This employee was a big man with a gorgeous tan, lots of jewelry and a ton of mascara. Not exactly the good ol' boy that is the norm here. He was also a rat lover. So, I believe that he knew what it felt like to be different and he made us both feel very, very normal. For as long as I live I will never forget how he looked at my husband. It was such a look of subtle understanding and acceptance.

The medication had put Jay into a zombie-like state but he seemed to come out of a bit as he was putting together the cage for the baby rats. It was so sweet to see him on the floor building their habitat with our son. My husband always, ALWAYS, has something living to take care of. We have not been allowed to have dogs or cats anywhere we've been but in the last couple years we have had a snake, a ferret, some hermit crabs, fish, and several rats. Actually, the love of rats came from the snake. Jay had bought a feeder rat for our snake that turned out to be too big for him. The rat and Jay bonded and we realized how smart and sweet they actually are.

Dr. W called tonight and recommended Jay start outpatient care on Tuesday. I would drive Jay to formation around 6am and then have him at the Army hospital at 7:30am where he would take a bus with some other patients to a clinic in the city. Jay's only job for a while would be to get well. I told him that Jay couldn't sleep. Wouldn't sleep. Was afraid to sleep. He told me to have him take Klonopin and Ambien. I fixed Jay a plate of food and went to get ready for bed. I came out to find him with his face nearly in his food, fast asleep. Thank God.

He slept soundly til the alarm went off at 4:30am. Ugh. Formation.

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