Friday, July 29, 2011

Life's Problems and the Fire Swamp

This week has not been one of our better weeks as far as news goes. Considering that the high points have been that two days between urgent care and the hospital ruled out appendicitis and some other nasty chronic stuff and the symptoms just were the result of a really nasty infection requiring two different should give a pretty decent idea where the bar for "good news!" was set.

When we got married, we had decided to not put Lloyd's name on stuff until after he was home for good in case anything came up that would require his being here if it was held jointly. (House, cars, etc.) Guess what. It doesn't matter. We received news this week that we can't move forward to refinance (or sell) the house without his (notarized) signature on date sensitive documents because Wisconsin is a joint marital property state. Considering his current situation, that is not possible. The only way around it is with a power of attorney (POA)....which would also require his signature - see previous sentence. Which came first....the phoenix or the feather? A circle has no beginning. And we're basically stuck until either he is home for good or comes home for leave in December. (The urgency that we have in getting this fixed is that our current mortgage holder who has been screwing up all sorts of stuff for us financially since they took over a year ago has upped their game to bold-faced lies that are easily refuted and making threats for not playing along like docile sheep to the slaughter. US Bank is clearly not aware that they are poking a particularly ornery bear who has a lot of repressed rage from dealing with the Army.)

Speaking of the Army, another week has passed and Lloyd has still not been able to sign off on the packet to send to the medical review board. This makes for a total of five weeks now that all of the paperwork has been finished and only needs his doctors to sign their name on the line stating that his file is correct. Yes. You read that correctly. Five weeks.

At this point, we are both feeling pretty frustrated about how much our efforts to move forward are being thwarted by circumstances in our reality. It's a suffocating feeling that leaves you feeling sinking and trapped with little chance for escape. The flame spurt has a popping sound that precedes it (ample warning to adjust to a situation before you're faced with a crisis), and ROUSes are defeated by pounding the snot out of them (hard work and determination can overcome some pretty big and ugly problems), but lightening sand sucks you in.

Thank you all for your continuing support and prayers.

God Bless!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Miss Gibbs

The amazing and incredible Leroy Jethro Gibbs would never go on vacation for a week in the middle of a big case and leave justice unmet. He couldn't even stay retired, when he left someone very competent in charge in his place, because there were wrongs in the world that he needed to right. He'll do anything in his power (and some things technically not in his power) to ensure that our servicemen get the treatment that they deserve. That's just the way that he is.

Miss Gibbs does not meet her namesake's focus. She was went on vacation, and no one did diddly squat in her absence. Big shocker there. They don't do all that much when she IS in the office. They sure aren't going to get more motivated without her there. She's back finally this week though. ( least that was the word on update since then to confirm or deny.) Maybe, after only, you know, a month, she will be able to get the signatures on the forms. This is why a 3-6 month process is moving into its 18th month. Thank you Uncle Sam.

Prayers remain the same....for us to not get too frustrated with the continued delays, for paperwork to finally be ready to send, and for the review board (when they get the case finally) to assign a 30% or greater disability rating.

God Bless!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Red Cross

The Red Cross does a lot of stuff. They're known for blood drives, disaster relief and humanitarian aid, and ensuring humane treatment of prisoners all over the world. You know what else they do? They provide US military families peace of mind in knowing that in the event of a family emergency, they can quickly verify the information and get word to soldiers stateside or deployed who might otherwise be unreachable. For anyone used to dealing with red tape and "official channels" with the military, "compassionate" and "speedy" are not words normally attached. However, with the Red Cross involved, they are.

Maybe we can use some of their expertise for folks to reform the medical review board process.....

Thank you for all of the extra prayers this week.

God Bless!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Conspiracy Theories Come from Somewhere...

There is nothing new to report except a growing suspicion that there is no way that people can be this incompetent and negligent on accident. Maybe it's the emotional strain finally causing paranoia, but this is just ridiculous.

Lloyd is still waiting for the doctors that have worked on his case to sign off on his packet to go to the review board. They have had it for over 2 weeks now, and it's still not signed. Before that, his packet was delayed for a month because someone forgot to hit "save" on his file, and no one noticed it despite his going to the office multiple times a week and asking why it was delayed. Before that, it was a case manager waiting for the doctor to send Lloyd's diagnosis....despite the doctor claiming that it had been sent multiple times over the course of about 8 months. (When Lloyd finally asked for a copy of the diagnosis himself, they sent it in about 20 minutes.) Everyone accepts that the Army is all about delays, and it is totally understandable that every case is different. At the same time, the process should take 2-6 months tops. The Army told Lloyd that they were going to med board him 17 months ago, and he still has a month minimum (probably more) if they send his paperwork to San Antonio tomorrow.

This med board and the benefits that hang in the balance are not about a big payout for us. It is about making sure that he will be able to get the treatments that he needs from conditions that arose as a result of his time in service and ensuring that we will not be in trouble if it gets worse instead of better over time. With the continued delays, it is hard not to wonder if they are trying to wait it out to avoid paying. We ask for continued prayers for a speedy resolution. Also, we ask for prayers for us as we deal with the emotional strain that this has caused us.

God Bless!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Pinch Me

Lloyd got his paperwork all signed. It went to San Antonio, and the medical review board gave him a 30% disability rating. He will be home next week.

And then the alarm goes off, the euphoria of the dream dissipates, and reality returns.

This week, Lloyd made a minor pest of himself at the med board office on base in the hopes that Miss Gibbs would be able to get his packet together and ready to send to San Antonio. No dice. He will have to try again next week.

Progress in other areas is being made at least. There are boxes ready to head over to the storage unit which is pretty exciting. (Did that really just get written? Boxes to a storage unit is exciting? What kind of an old fart is writing this thing?) Also, Lloyd has started looking into what will be involved for his schooling when he is finally able to come home and utilize his GI Bill. There are a LOT of schools out there, and we both want to make sure that he picks the one that will be the best fit and most helpful for him. (He's worked hard enough to get the GI Bill....he's going to make it worth it.) Right now there are a couple that really are standing out from the field. We'll have to see for sure how things look when he is out and able to check out campuses and talk to people from the schools.

One of these days, Lloyd really will have all of his stuff ready to sign, so he can come home. Until then, we'll just keep praying that the day comes quickly.

God Bless!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Like 40 Grit Sandpaper

The two weeks since our trip to Arizona have been pretty rough for us. There has been nothing new on Lloyd's discharge since he got to Charlie Battery which is frustrating. He also hasn't been given any chance to call and talk unless he sneaks a quick call when he's supposed to be doing something else - like sleeping.

Not having movement on Lloyd's discharge stuff is nothing new. We are actually pretty used to it by now. Normally though, we can vent frustrations, tell random funny stories to lighten our spirits, or just talk about whatever is on our minds at the time. Not having that is incredibly isolating and mentally exhausting.

We know that this too will pass. We are just praying that it passes quickly.

God bless!

Friday, July 1, 2011

This Weekend

Today kicks of a long weekend that many will fill with camping, cook-outs, fireworks, and fun. There is nothing wrong with that either. It is quite fitting that people would spend this weekend enjoying the freedom to spend time relaxing and having a good time with family and friends. Just don't forget why you have it.

On this day 235 years ago - July 1, 1776 - the motion being debated on the floor of the Continental Congress read :
"...That these United Colonies are, and of a right ought to be, free and independent states, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved."
Have you ever thought about what these men were really debating? Have you ever REALLY thought about the circumstances and time that they lived? The King George III was not like the benevolent figure-head Royals that appear in the supermarket tabloids of today. Just having the discussion could be considered treason against the Crown and a capital offense which is why no official record of the debate was was simply too dangerous.

On July 2, 1776, a vote was taken, and independence declared. It would take two days to finalize the full text of the Declaration. It was a document like no other in history, and it would change the course of history. Stop and think about that. When was the last time that you read this document? Have you ever? It doesn't take long.....just a few minutes. There was no need for frilly or fancy phrasing. In a few concise words, these men told the world that on this land there was a new nation - and explained all of the things that they had tried to do to prevent this necessity.

While you are enjoying this long weekend, take some time to reflect on the freedoms that you enjoy and what those men risked to give them to you. Think about the men and women who have fought and died to ensure the continuance of those freedoms and the sacrifices of their families. If you are at all thankful for those freedoms (and you should be), ask yourself what you are doing to express that gratitude and ensure that those freedoms live another generation. If you've got kids, let them know that there is more to this day than a barbecue.

God bless!