important roles of a service dog

Important Roles of a Service Dog

These past few weeks have been extremely busy for me. Between appointments at the VA, cleaning the house, writing and doing yard work, I’ve had little time to relax. It’s really not that bad that my time is filled. This time last year I was a hermit never looking to leave the house unless I had to. I feel as though I’ve been blessed beyond belief this year and I’m the happiest I’ve been in a while.

I have noticed a change in my mood when I’m out in public without Tank. I forget things at the store because my anxiety is pushing me towards leaving as fast as I can. That leaves me with having to go to two different stores to get the items I missed. When Tank was with me I felt calm and I was able to think clearly. When my symptoms ramped up I would feel the pressure of his head pressing against my leg and that would be enough to get me out of my head and in the moment. All I had to do was lean down to pet him and the anxiety and stress inside was reduced.

I’m missing Tank being with me so much that I sometimes see or feel him when he isn’t there. Like the other day when I was walking through Target I started feeling overwhelmed because of too many people around. I thought for sure that Tank was on my right side, I even looked down to see if there was the slight chance of him being there.

Yesterday as I was driving home I started to get really bad road rage because of some dumb drivers. As I turned a corner I thought I saw the black of Tanks shiny hair and again I looked back like I always do to calm myself down. Instead of his pretty brown eyes staring back at me all I saw was an empty seat. Sometimes it feels like I see a ghost of Tank, it’s weird.

The only thing I can compare it to is the first couple weeks out of the Army. Waking up late freaking out like I missed PT formation, I even caught myself standing at ease with my hands behind my back while in line. It was odd readjusting to a life without expectations, responsibilities, forced exercise, and people who can relate. Or when someone you love either dies or leaves to go somewhere forever. It’s like you whole body goes through withdraws from that person because they where such an important part of your life.

I guess I’m sort of going through a withdraw. He has been such an important tool in my recovery that I’ve dependent on him to help me get through rough situations and bare being in public without sweating like I’m in a hot box.

I’ve learned that service dogs play an important role in the lives of people with disabilities. They become a part of who we are by being there whenever we need them, either for emotional or physical support. I never realized it until I was without Tank.

He will be leaving in a few weeks. I don’t think it will be extremely hard to deal until I pair with another dog. I have high hopes that it won’t take long. I’ve actually forced myself away from Tank for the past week, letting my daughter play with him and fulfill his need. that way I feel like it will be an easier transition. He doesn’t like it that much, if I don’t pay him attention he will forcefully place himself in front of me and stare me in the eyes whimpering until I ask what he wants.

I love Tank to death, always and forever. I will be ok without, one journey ending and another on beginning.

Loving Tank

What Tank wants

It’s getting down to my final weeks with Tank. I still remember the first day we met and the immediate connection we had together. Ever since that day I’ve tried my best to give Tank what he needs so that he’ll be a happy, loving dog.

I’ve lived day in and out with him for the past four-month and I have to say that Tank is a very picky, sensitive dog. I don’t mind it though because that’s what makes him special. He has a personality that I’ve never seen out of a dog before. There are certain things he needs done for him to be comfortable; so, I decided to make a list of all the special things I do for Tank so that he can feel at home with his new owners.

First and foremost it is extremely important that Tank gets let out in the morning for a long walk or run so that he can poop and his anal glands can be expressed. He poops at least two times during our mile walk. If he doesn’t poop at least twice he will feel uncomfortable and in turn will start whimpering and licking his butt uncontrollably because his glands are swollen. It took me two months of being in the winter when it’s too cold to walk far to figure this out. I was taking him to the vet every month for them to express them.

Second, he loves his sleep in the morning and he doesn’t usually eat until after 1 o’clock. Speaking of eating, he is extremely picky. I buy Nutri-Source dog food, any flavor will be fine for dry food. He also needs wet food or else he will starve himself until he has to eat the dry food.83F5ADFA-5C36-4028-A248-AF5BAC114CAA

He was on a wet food only diet, 3 cans a day because of a large pancreas that the vet found by x-ray and I haven’t been able to break him from it. He is stubborn sometimes, especially with food.

I usually give him a cup and a half of dry and mix in half a large can of the wet food in with it. The mixing is important because he’ll just eat the wet food and leave the dry food and stare a hole through your head when he’s hungry until you give him something enticing.

The third thing that he needs is some solid attention every day, an hour at the most or he’ll whimper and start rubbing his head   On the carpet and start rolling on his back trying to itch. I usually call him over and start scratching his head, he loves it when you rub up and down from his forehead to his nose as well as the corners of his eyes.

He’ll eventually plop down onto his side then raise his leg to get his belly rubbed its his favorite thing on earth. A good belly rub paired with his wildly kicking leg equals a happy Tank. He’ll even thank you by pressing his front paw into your chest or he’ll try for your face. He turns into the biggest baby in the world when he’s on his back getting his grey and white-haired belly scratched.

The fourth thing is that Tank loves to chew on raw hides. I usually give him 1 or two a week. They have to be basted in beef or chicken, he won’t touch the plain ones. I bought the plain ones before and spread peanut butter on it. He licked off the peanut butter and left the rawhide. I found good ones on Amazon.com by Digestez, the chicken, beef, and pork filled rawhides. He’ll chew one up in less than two hours. And don’t worry, he chews the rawhide until its small enough to swallow.

The fifth thing that Tank needs is a car ride. He loves car rides just as much as a belly rub. He sticks his head out and likes to get a big wife of the air around. He looks like he wants to fly off or something, he’s too funny.

The last and final thing that Tank needs is to sleep on the ground next to the bed, he likes to be next to someone at all times of the day. He gets scared being by himself. He sleeps through the night if you take him out to relieve himself before going to bed.

If all of these needs are met, than Tank will be a happy camper every day. I’m so jealous of the next couple who has the privilege of having him in their life.

Gray

sinister chuckles-wadi-us-salaam

A Sinister Chuckle

Have you ever been with a group and fell like your left out when someone tells a joke and everyone gets it but you. You hear it but it doesn’t make sense because it sounds downright crazy, but everyone else is chuckling, so you must have missed something, right?

The first time I was assigned to an infantry unit on the front lines in Iraq I didn’t get most of the jokes my other squad members said. I was always left asking, “What’s so funny?” which in turn led to more chuckles and laughs.

HA! It didn’t take to long to catch on once we started fighting together day in and out.

After a few days I fell in sync with the team. Fighting to survive inside a cemetery with bombs blowing old skulls and bones on top of you makes you grow up fast. I had to catch on quickly in order to understand them so we could work better as a team.

Eventually, after weeks of fighting, death and destruction became normal. So normal that almost being shot warrants a laugh followed by the lust of the enemies blood.

The best way for me to describe this is to take you into that point in time of my life. I’ve taken a couple of pages from chapter 18 in my book Combat Medic so you can experience the raw side of war.

This scene is from the Battle of Najaf in the WADI-US-SALAAM cemetery, the largest in the world. Enjoy, and don’t hesitate to comment or ask questions.

“None of us wanted to keep going, but we had no choice. We took a quick break in a tomb to rehydrate. I squatted to the ground and finished drinking my third bottle of water for the day. My DCU’s were covered in salt crystals and dirt. It had been two weeks since I’d showered and shaved. I was so exhausted I could have passed out. I’ve never been worked this hard in my entire life and there was no end in sight. At times I felt like being dead would be a better option.

“Who’s up for a little target practice?” Martinez asked. Everyone chuckled except me; I must have missed the joke.

Martinez explained to me that we were going to try and lure people out with bait. Two people had to go out and start making commotion while the other guys watched for the enemy.

“Ok, pick a number between 1 and 20,” Martinez said.

I said 13; his number was 15.

“Damn,” Rodriguez and I both said; then we looked at each other. He smiled, “Gotta die someday, right?”

“Yeah, buddy.” Martinez said, “Don’t worry; they can’t shoot worth shit anyway.

“Glad it’s not me,” B stated before walking through the doorway to outside.

Rodriguez and I stood on top of newer graves in front of the tomb, in clear view for anyone in the cemetery to see. My heart started pounding, filling me with a burst of adrenaline. I’ve survived crazy shit all day; I should already be dead. Rodriguez started yelling, “Woohoo! Yeah!”

I joined in, the whole time moving my head scanning the cemetery for people who might come out to look.

Rodriguez pointed to the top of a tomb in the distance, “You think I can hit the nipple on the top there? The blue one?”

“Bet you I can before you,” I said.

B and Martinez spread out, watching for weapons fire. Rodriguez took a frag out and popped it into his grenade launcher. After taking a couple seconds aiming, he fired. Thump! It sizzled downrange and exploded off to the side of it.

“Damn!” he yelled, I laughed while loading a round. I took aim and popped it off. Boom! The building next to it exploded.

Fuck man!” I yelled loud, trying to draw attention. Rodriguez shot again and hit it. I pointed to another one, “The blue and yellow dome there.”

There was a building in my way as I aimed, so I jumped on top of a taller grave and fired. The top of the dome caved in.

“Fuck yeah!” I shouted.

As Rodriguez took aim to fire another one, bullets started flying around us; we jumped down as B yelled, “Three!” I stood up firing.

When I squatted down again, Rodriguez yelled at me, “Frag’em!” So I loaded a round, counted to three and stood up. I saw two people shooting; one in grey rags, another in black. I aimed and pulled the trigger, Thump!

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M203- Grenade launcher (FRAG)

The round launched out and hit the tree right behind them. BOOM! It split in half, sending smoke and debris everywhere; I saw the guys fall.

“Fuck yeah! Yeah!” Everyone screamed.

“Yeah! Nice shot,” B yelled at me.

We started advancing towards them. Two of us laid down suppressive fire while the other two sprinted forward, leaping behind another grave. When I went to rush forward, there were a couple of graves knocked down in a pile blocking my way. I ran and jumped on top shooting; then jumped back down.

I looked over and saw that Rodriguez had to do the same, but when he jumped on a grave his foot went through. He fell headfirst trying to get it unstuck. I ran over and helped him get his foot unstuck. We both started laughing because he was on his head with his legs dangling in the air.

We got a couple graves away when the firing got heavier. Rodriguez took a grenade out and tried throwing it, but it slipped from his hand, falling two feet in front of him.

“Grenade!” he yelled; we both jumped behind a grave as it went off. BOOM!

I tried throwing one, but as my arm came forward it felt like I was throwing a 40-pound weight and it just rolled out of my hand.

“Grenade!” BOOM!

After it went off we laughed that none of us had enough strength to lodge grenades. I looked back at B, who gave us a go-ahead before firing off a bunch of rounds. We jumped up and made our final push forward. I was filled with a rush of adrenaline as we came up on their positions.

The only thing I saw was blood sprayed over the ground when got there.

Fucking got the bastards, I thought. Rodriguez pointed to his eyes then to a blood trail on the ground. It looked like someone had been dragged into a tomb. He pointed to the building. I nodded.

I took lead, quietly creeping towards the building. When we got to the door I took out a grenade and threw it in. After it exploded, Rodriguez kicked the door in and we stormed in firing. No one was inside, but it was filled with rocket launchers, mortar shells, and bullets; a weapons cache.

“We hit gold,” Rodriguez said.

Before I could respond a hole in the ground came into my view.

“Hole!” I yelled pointing my weapon at it. Rodriguez grabbed two grenades out of his pocket and threw them in. We walked outside as they went off. BOOM!

Rodriguez called the lieutenant to let him know about the weapons.

“Blow the shit,” the lieutenant ordered us. “If you can’t, I’ll push the building over.”

“Roger that,” Rodriguez replied. “Keep watch while I blow this bitch,” he said, walking past me into the doorway

“Got it,” I said.

I stood behind a large pillar next to a wall across from the door, a perfect position to take cover from the blast and still keep watch of the area. I waved to B who was with Martinez 30 yards away. He waved back and kept scanning the cemetery. Rodriguez took out a grenade, threw it in and ran out as it went off. BOOM!

“Fuck! They didn’t blow.” Rodriguez stated after walking back in. He came out and stood directly across from the door and shot a grenade in with his launcher. BOOM! The building exploded multiple times sending smoke and debris everywhere before it collapsed in.

Bullets started flying past me.

I fell behind the pillar while rounds rattled the wall behind me. Neither of us could see where it was coming from so we called it in. After a couple seconds we heard the lieutenant start lighting someone up; the Bradley’s gun was distinguishable from any other weapon. It pulled up a couple graves away from us. We jumped up and fired downrange while we ran over to the Bradley and jumped in.

I fell into the bench exhausted and panting. Rodriguez and I looked at each other, then bumped fists. We both sat trying to catch our breath and drink water. I just happened to look down and see that he was bleeding from his left leg.

“Dude, you’re hit,” I said, pointing. “What happened?”

He grabbed his leg and looked at it. There was a blood soaked hole in his pants. I made him take off his boot and pull up his pants. He had taken a piece of shrapnel in the shin. I took a field bandage out of my pack, opened it, and held pressure on the leg.

“Dude, I might have to send you back.” I said.

“Fuck no doc, I’m ok,” he said desperately.

I stared him in the eyes, not wanting him to get more injured by going out. “Are you sure?”

“I’m serious, it doesn’t even hurt,” he said. My leg started throbbing in pain; at that moment I knew how he felt. I should have said something about it but I didn’t want to leave; we still had a fight to win.

I held pressure on it for a couple minutes and saw the bleeding had gone down. Rodriguez begged me to not send him back; he stared me in the eyes.

“Please doc, those bastards are still out there. We’ve gotta kill them for Hunter.” I didn’t say anything; that’s been my driving factor since he got hit. I wrapped the bandage around his leg and told him to put his boot back on so I could see how he was with weight on it.

He stood up and walked around, “See, I don’t feel a thing. I’m good.” He wasn’t limping, so I told him, “Ok, but we have to get it looked at when we get back. Tell me if it gets worse.”

“Thank you bro,” he said. “I’ll tell you, promise.”

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My Army Commendation Medal.

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Chuckle

combatmedic.org (happy Tank)

Accepting the Inevitable

Happy easter everyone! First off I want to say thank you to Jesus Christ for everything he did for me, without him I’d still be struggling with life.

I really had an eye opening experience these past few days, something that I’d like to share because I think it will help people struggling with PTSD or any painful experience that was felt in life.

As you know there has been an active search for a family that can welcome Tank into their home. A great couple came along that thought Tank would be an awesome addition to their home. Tank had a play date with their dog Jack, it was like they knew each other from a past life they got along so well.

This past Friday I met with the couple without the dogs there. They were an awesome couple, better than I’d even thought they’d be. We shared stories of our dog’s antics and I told them as much as I could about Tank and his needs. They both work from home half the week and they are just know buying a three level house were Tank and Jack can run outside from the main level or down the second level deck.

It sounds like he’s going to have a better life than he’s had here. I’m so happy for him. I’ve been hoping that he’d find a good home so I won’t feel as guilty for giving him away, it makes it a lot easier on the both of us.

We hope that after they have Tank for a few months and I have another dog by my side, we can have visits. It’s good to know that I won’t have to say bye to him forever. Who knows, this couple could become good friends and we can see Tank for years to come.

I can’t say that the whole experience left me happy. I left the meeting with an actual time when Tank will be leaving. Walking out of the Starbucks into gloomy rain felt appropriate for the mood I was in. Something inside of my chest was tingling as I walked slowly through the rain towards my car.  Getting drenched wasn’t a concern, I didn’t even notice my pants were soaked until I sat inside my car.

Thoughts weren’t pouring through my head like normal, images of the whole meeting circled around instead. I imagined Tank in their home, the life  he’d have with Jack running around playing and digging holes.

I think my heart was the thing tingling, because now it burns a little with every jolt of my heartbeat. I guess I was really sad, I’m not that in touch with my emotions anymore, that’s why I can only describe the feelings that I get because they come on so sudden and leave abruptly.

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He’s cool just laying there.

I think the only times in my life I’ve felt like this was when I left someone or someone left me. I remember when my mom moved out and divorced my dad. We were on a trip with my dad and came back with all of her stuff gone. I remember not being able to talk to her and crying curled up in a ball on my bed for days. The same feeling of my heart being burned and torn from my chest… it almost that close.

Did I make the wrong decision to keep looking for a service dog?

Will I find a dog better than him?

I can’t stop those thoughts even though I know the answer… No, I didn’t.

Everything in life happens for a reason. Every struggle that I’ve faced has made me stronger in the end. I know that this feeling will pass and I know in my heart that it’ll work out for the best.

One day I’ll have a service dog by my side everywhere I go, a tool that will help me travel around to talk with people about how to live a better life with PTSD.

Tank has served his purpose for me and I hope his future is filled with love.

Jolt

Sleep- Not That Overrated

When I first joined the military the one saying that I hated the most was, “Sleep is overrated.” Well you know what, it’s not. I’ve had trouble sleeping since my 14 month tour of duty in Iraq back in 2004. Thirteen years I’ve struggled to stay asleep because of nightmares and cold sweats. When I wake up my body has so much adrenaline running through it that it takes a few hours to get back to sleep. That’s why I have to be drugged up to sleep or I would lose my mind thinking I’m trapped in a nightmare or worse, dead and living in purgatory for the thinks I had to do to survive.

They diagnosed me with Bi-polar disorder when I got out of the service  because of the episodes I’d have of not sleeping, drinking heavily, and fits of anger and rage. It wasn’t until 10 medications and three doctors later that they started testing me for PTSD. That’s when the stories of war, the ones I’ve drank away and tucked back deep inside my mind, came rushing back like an untamed fire.

I couldn’t stop seeing dead people, hearing blood curdling screams for a medic, thinking that everyone that surrounded me in public was looking to shoot me or stick a knife in my back. It felt like I was seriously crazy and couldn’t stop thinking of the what if’s in life.

“What if I don’t ever fall asleep and die?”

“What if I tell someone what I’m seeing and they throw me in a padded room?”

“What if this is all a dream and I’m still fighting on the front lines?”

In my sleepless, intoxicated state I would go days without leaving the house believing that I would die if I did.

Everything in my mind was about death, so naturally my thought went towards ending it all. With one shot I could get some rest, I would never have to think again. I had bought into the idea that things would never get better because no one could understand, I couldn’t even understand what was happening.

Something inside of me knew that my actions and current state were leading up to consequences that would have an immeasurable impact on the lives of people I loved the most. That part of me cried out in exhaustion and brought me face to face with Jesus and our father God.

From that moment forward I put all of my efforts into finding a path I could walk down happily without worrying about the demons tormenting me about my past. As soon as I gave it all to God my outlook on life has done a total 180 degree turn.

I’m so much for my life and other veterans lives that struggle with the same issues as me that I’ve made it my mission to find ways to live with PTSD so I can share and hopefully save lives.
Measure

A Little Dancer = Proud Father

This week is going extremely well. It was kicked off with a day at my daughters big dance competition on Sunday. She did two great routines and I have to say that I’m extremely pleased with how far she has come in two years.

Aleah loves dancing because it is fun to her. I can see the lively spirit that overtakes her every time she moves to a beat. She reminds me of myself, I’ll break out in a dance just because the song is on point, but I could never do competitive dancing.

Her team got a platinum reward for one of their routines, I’m pretty sure that is second place , I’m so proud of her. I told her that everyone has to practice to become great at what they do, some harder than others but if you practice with all your heart you will get better.

I believe you could use that philosophy for a lot of things in life. The only difference between someone who succeeds and one who falls short is the amount of practice they each put into it.

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Picture of Aleah in her dance outfit with my mother-in-law.

When I saw her bright smile and the way she moved, I could tell she practiced hard.

It’s moments like these that makes me glad I stuck around to see where God would take me. Life has finally worked out to my advantage, only because I took the initiative to change it. Living life for Love, Family and Salvation are the one things that holds this chaotic world into place.

 

Pleased

Blind Leading the Blind

I want to take some time to explain a part of scripture in the Holy Bible that’s had a huge impact on what comes out of my mouth when talking to other people and changed how I viewed myself.

In the NIV version Matthew 15:1-16 Jesus teaches about Inner purity:

10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. 11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”
12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?”
13 He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14 Leave them; they are blind guides.d]”>[d] If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”
15 Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.”
16 “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. 17 “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”

What I took away from this scripture was that the foul language that came out of my mouth everyday defiled me. I was forced to view myself through Christ’s eyes and all that I saw was a heart full of anger, regret and resentment.

I never used to be as foul-mouthed growing up. Yeah I said a swear word now and again and talked bad about people, but that was nothing compared to how I was in the military at war. I blindly said  Fu**, Sh**, As*, Bit**…. you get the picture almost with every sentence I said. It felt good getting all that stuff off my chest at the moment, everyone in the military has a foul mouth. It became normal to me.

After I thought about how my heart used to be so innocent  as a kid and now it’s torn and dark because of my actions, I wanted to change. If I didn’t open up my bible to find answers to the situations in life I would have never been able to wrap my head around why I felt so dark all the time.

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The word that you speak comes from the heart. Keep it healthy.

It’s taking some time to eliminate crude remarks from coming out of my mouth, because it takes time to soften a hardened heart. I’m trying my hardest to let my light shine instead of spreading the darkness around. That’s why I say it is extremely important for anyone with PTSD to seek out God as best as you can to figure out how to cope in this world ran by sin.

“But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29 (NIV)

Blindly

Never Give In

Tank and I are doing as wonderful as ever. Now that he’s just a house pet and isn’t forced to be in public, he has been calmer.

He doesn’t like being caged up during the day while I’m at appointments. He whines, cries and pants hard after I close the cage locking him in. I think he’s just so used to going everywhere with me and never having to be alone that he feels like I’m going to leave forever.

My trainer said that I could bring him around with me and leave him in the car with the windows rolled down when I have to go inside somewhere. I started doing that just to make him happy. He likes to put his whole head out of the back window to get a nose full of the fresh air. He’s too funny, sometimes it looks like he wants to jump out and fly through the air… I bet that’s what he thinks, or he likes all the different smells. Either way he is too cool when he does it.

It’s going to be hard letting him go within the next couple of weeks. I’ve thought long and hard about the time in between giving Tank up and my next dog. He’s like my crutch, it’s easier for me to get around with him watching my back. How will my mind be without having him next to me to keep me in the moment?

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Tank and my baby girl!

I know that my PTSD symptoms have been kept in check because of our constant interaction. He’s the only live being around me 24/7, how will I be able to leave the house on a whim like I do with him?

I have to keep moving forward even though things are going to change. I have a mission from God to save as many lives as I can from this horrible suicide epidemic that’s plaguing our nations veterans and families. As long as I have a tenacious grip on the goals that I’ve set when I first started my quest, God will provide for me to fulfill the mission he has given.

The good people over at Project-Delta are working relentlessly to find a new dog that can one day be by my side for years to come. I love that the path God has laid in front of me has connected me with so many loving and like-minded people. I have nothing but hope for the future to come.

Tenacious

In Constant Denial of Taking Medications? ( Short read )

Too Many Prescription Pills

I’ve been fighting with myself for the past couple of months over my use of prescription medications. I’m in constant denial of the fact that they help me. One day they could quite possibly kill me from one of the many side effects.

Being a veteran from the Iraq war, I struggle every single night from nightmares and cold-sweats.

I’ve taken at least 13-18 different medications the past twelve years for sleep, PTSD, anxiety and depression. The other dozens I’ve been on are to treat anxiety and depression. In total I take 5 pills a night and 2 during the day. I’ve been doing this for twelve years with little help.

Suicide was always in the back my mind. I was downing medications and still having problems with my mood and sleep. There were days that I thought I had died in Iraq. My mind was so messed up I believed I was in purgatory.

Acceptance

After accepting the fact that I needed help from medications, I’ve been able to focus and accept the fact that I’ll always be hunted by my past, but I don’t have to let it get in the way of my goals and values.

The only way I’m able to enjoy going to live sports like the Twins and the Timberwolves is if I take Clonazapam. I wouldn’t be able to sleep without medication either. Trust me, I’ve tried everything from herbs to diets and nothing else works.

In constant denial of taking medications
At the game yesterday! Twins vs. Royals

So if I will have to take medications my whole life, should I expect to die from some sort of side effect?

I believe God will take me when it’s my time, but I also know that he respects our choices so I don’t want to shorten my life on my own accord.

I know I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my life. Since I started opening up with my doctors, they were able to get me on the right meds to keep me stable, but I still have my days. I know that everyone who has to be on medications the rest of their lives  feel the same way as I do.

So I wonder, is there going to be a point that I won’t need medications?

I have to remember to ask my doctors. I think this is a valid question for everyone. The pharmaceutical companies creates thousands of drugs to make us feel as though we need to be dependent on them so they can milk money out of  insurers and our pockets.

We should make it a priority to see how these drugs affect our bodies before taking them without question.

Click Here to buy a copy of Combat Medic on Amazon

Combat Medic
A soldier’s story of the Iraq war and PTSD
In constant denial of taking Medications?

In Constant Denial? ( Short read )

For the past couple of months I’ve been fighting with myself over my use of medications. I’m in constant denial of the fact that they help me because I feel that one day I could quite possibly die from one of the many side effects that’s given to me on a 7 page print out every time I pick them up from pharmacy.

Being a veteran from the Iraq war, I struggle every single night from nightmares and cold-sweats.

I’ve been on at least 13-18 different medications just to get something that helps with my sleep. The other dozens I’ve been on are to treat anxiety and depression. In total I take 5 pills a night and 2 during the day. I’ve been doing this since getting back from Iraq in 2005.

So twelve years I’ve been off and on medications with little success. Before I had Tank suicide was always a thought in my mind, I was downing medications and still having problems with sleep.There were days that I thought I had died on the front lines; that time when mortars were landing on the roof above our heads and I blacked out. My mind was so messed up I believed I was in some sort of purgatory.

After accepting the fact that I needed help and the medications, I’ve been able to focus better and accept the fact that I’ll always be hunted by the war of my past, but I don’t have to let it get in the way of my goals and values.

I wouldn’t be able to sleep without medication, trust me I’ve tried everything from herbs to diets and nothing works. Same as the anxiety; Tank helped with it a little, but I wouldn’t be calm in public without medication. The only way I’m able to enjoy going to live sports like the Twins and the Timberwolves is if I take Clonazapam.

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At the game yesterday! Twins vs. Royals

So if I will have to take medications my whole life, should I expect to die from some sort of side effect? I believe God will take me when it’s my time, but I also know that he respects our choices so I don’t want to shorten my life on by own accord.

The only thing I do know is I’m at the happiest point in my life than I have ever been. Since I started opening up more with my doctors, they were able to get me on meds to keep me stable, but I still have my days. I know that everyone who has to be on medications the rest of their lives  feel the same way as I do.

So I wonder, is there going to be a point that I won’t need medications?

I have to remember to ask my doctors. I think this is a valid question for everyone. The pharmaceutical companies creates thousands of drugs to make us feel as though we need to be dependent on them so they can milk insurance and our pockets.

We should be champions and make it a priority to see how these drugs affect our bodies before taking them without question.

Denial

Champion