Saturday, June 12, 2010

Jan and Dr. W

Friday was a big day. Jay had his first appointment with Jan, the therapist, and a follow up appointment with the psychiatrist, Dr. W. Thankfully, my wonderful mother came down to watch Rush for the day. She called me the night before saying she had the day off and she would be here super early so that I could go talk to the doctors without the boy. She didn't ask. She just said, "I'm coming. You need to go." I can never repay her for that. It's a long drive down here and it was a long day for her to be stuck at my house since the appointments were stretched out so far. On top of that, I misread the appointment sheet and thought our psychiatrist appointment was at 1pm. We showed up at the office and they told us it wasn't until 1500. Jay told me a long time ago that I need to learn military time. I thought I had. 1500 is 3pm not 1pm!!! The rest of society seems to run just fine using AM and PM so why can't the military? (Ok, a quick google search slams me with the knowledge that the 24hour clock is the most used in the entire world. Oops. It appears that I cannot expect the military to cater to me.)

So without little Rush dominating the room, Jay and I were able to have very productive visits with the therapists. I had an appointment with Jan several weeks ago while Jay was still in the hospital. I thought she was an artsy type who seemed really laid back. I had told Jay that he was going to LOVE her. Our appointment got off to a rocky start though when she lost the giant questionnaire that Jay had spent 30 minutes filling out. She searched for nearly 10 minutes between her desk and the front office. Finally she found it...on her desk. One of the questions was "How do you relax?" Jay had stated that he likes to watch Spongebob Squarepants with the kids. Jan read the questionnaire and asked, "This Spongebob, it's a cartoon I guess? Does this say Square pants?". It turns out we had just met the ONE person in the country, possibly the world, who had never heard of Spongebob. I kept waiting for her to say she was just kidding but she was completely serious. We found this inconceivable since Spongebob has infiltrated our house like black mold. Jay has only been a dad for seven years but I've been a mom for 16 and that little sponge has been in my face since my oldest was a kindergartener. To never have even heard of him makes me wonder what exactly it is she's sniffing from those aromatherapy bottles. But scatter-brained and un-commercialized as she might be, we like her. And more importantly, she likes Jay and wants to help him. Anyone who wants to help him jumps to the top of my favorite people list.

And to be fair, I suppose I can see how someone might go thru life without ever knowing about Spongebob. Her child is grown, perhaps she has no grandchildren. She might not watch TV, and that's not terribly uncommon. Now that I think about it, I feel like a big jerk for ever suggesting that she's somehow unusual. However, as a mom with kids raised in the Spongebob era, I still find it hilarious.

Our appointment with Dr. W lasted two hours. He is the most considerate and caring doctor I have ever met. He is unquestionably concerned with Jay's case and very much wants for him to get well. He even handed Jay a piece of paper that said You Are Repairable. I thought that was so sweet. I went through my list of concerns: not driving, unable to leave him alone, the zombie-ness, the lack of short-term memory, etc. He addressed every one and is convinced that Jay has had a TBI (traumatic brain injury). Most likely resulting from a particularly nasty blast that occurred while he was in Iraq. Strangely, I am happy to hear this. I have always thought that this one particular explosion had caused damage but I had no proof. I still don't, but at least I have a doctor who believes that this is the case and that it needs to be examined. He thinks that an MRI will not provide the details that he wants so he'll send Jay in for something more detailed. I am not excited to hear that my husband's brain is scrambled. But, I am comforted to know that what Jay is experiencing might actually show up on 'paper'.

Dr. W has filled out our paperwork to begin the med-board process. This will be the first step to getting out of the military. It could still take forever but there is a Warrior Transition Unit that Jay will go to while we ride it out. He will still go to outpatient therapy every day with the other guys (and girls) but instead of returning to his unit to be their medic, his main job will be to get well. I am so glad that I went to this appointment because there was so much information exchanged that there was no way Jay could have kept it all straight. I had to write it all out when I got in the car because I knew that I would never remember it all. On Monday we drop off the paperwork that Dr. W started and pick up the new prescriptions. Then we wait.

I have so many emotions tied into leaving the military that it will have to blogged another day. This post is long already. I am happy that the process is being started to get Jay away from the environment that causes him the most stress and at the same time nervous about our financial future. But if there is one thing I am learning from this experience it is that there is little use for my worrying. I can plan and plot and diagram and chart our future all I want. But if there is something waiting around the corner to knock us off our path then I will just have to scrap it and start over. This is true for everyone. It would do my up-tight nature good to just let go of the wheel for a while.


  1. I'm glad your appointments went so well. I can understand your feelings about the doctor suggesting your husband has a brain injury. I don't know why, but I feel like physical issues seem "easier" to fix than mental ones. I also have to say, though, I don't understand: how could someone not know who Spongebob Squarepants is? That's just bizarre.

  2. Ummmm...I kinda know who Spongebob is but have never seen the show. Gosh, I think I just showed my age..LOL!!
    I'm so glad Jay likes the therapist. It sounds like they make a good team for Jay. A good team on your side is invaluable.
    Physical problems do seem much easier to fix than psychological ones. I have fibromyalgia and it took a year to get a diagnosis. There are no tests for my condition. I hope the doctors can figure out exactly what is going on.
    Hugs and blessings,

  3. I am so happy to hear (read?) that your appointments are going well. I really hope the doctors can find out whats going on and fix it right away, the correct way the first time.