My husband is an old warrior. A Marine. A boots-on-the-ground grunt who served in Vietnam, though who the hell it was he served over there in that hot, green jungle, I can’t tell you.
But, I can sure tell you with certainty that he has never recovered from the experience, never really come home.
I can tell you with no hesitation whatsoever that his overwhelming Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has intruded on every day of his life since they flew him home after he disarmed a landmine the Marine Corp way–by stepping on and detonating the little bomb.
But all this is old news.
What I want to talk about today is the little known fact that veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder have twice the chance of developing dementia than those without PTSD. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100831073805.htm
My husband is one of those old warriors who, after forty years of living with PTSD now lives with the diagnoses of dementia.
Let me give you an example of what this means.
This past weekend we traveled a few hours up the road to Springfield, Missouri. We stayed at a motel just over a mile from where, on Saturday morning, I talked to a wonderful group of writers at Sleuth Ink. http://sleuthsink.blogspot.com/ My husband did his best all weekend to be helpful and supportive.
On Saturday morning, I drove one mile down highway 44, from the motel to the library, left the truck with my husband. He was to return to the motel, hang out a couple of hours and then return to meet up with me at about 1:00.
He got lost. Tried to enter the freeway on the exit ramp. Which frightened and further confused him.
When I finished my meeting with the writers, he was sitting on a bench in front of the library. He’d lost the keys to the truck.
Here’s what I want to share with you.
Love is complicated and I’m beginning to understand that God tests those he loves most.
And here’s another gem of wisdom.
War sucks and then it sucks some more and then it gets worse.
For the love of God, isn’t it time we figured out a way to resolve our differences that doesn’t involve blowing each other up?