A real update....

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-1999
A real update....
Fri, 10-18-2013 - 10:05pm

Most of the time I read the board on my phone but I finally got my laptop out...

Nothing much is new with me or DH... same jobs, same house, etc.

Justin got out of the army in Nov. 2011, went to Florida to go to school for motorcycle mechanics, graduated this past spring and worked for a time for a Harley Davidson dealership.  Then PTSD raised it's ugly head and he's been unemployed since.  He's been going to the VA 2-3 times a week for treatment of his PTSD and various army related physical ailments and to get a disability rating.  His back and knees are such a mess that we question whether he'll ever be able to work full time.  He's also deaf in one ear and has lost 20% of his hearing in the other.  Also has TBI that really messes with his ability to remember and concentrate... I sometimes wonder how he ever graduated school.  He's living with us for now, though at the moment he is in North Carolina visiting a girl that he met when he was in Florida... they would likely be married now if it weren't for the 1700 miles between them. I'm not overly fond of her, but he's happier than he's been in awhile.

James and Chrissy's divorce was final almost 2 years ago, in April he married the woman he's been seeing since he and Chrissy separated.  Ironically, Jamie is the younger sister of Chrissy's bff from high school, so James has known her for quite awhile, but until 3 years ago he pretty much saw her as the annoying little sister.  They have a little guy named Mathew who was born on July 2.... he's absolutely adorable.  Yes, I'm an obnoxiously proud grandma! ;) James, the formerly troubled teen, is a youth care manager in a school for - get this - troubled teens.  He's apparently pretty good at what he does, but the school is under review at the moment by the state, may be forced to close.  If it does, he's thinking about going back to school using his GI bill.  Doesn't know for sure what he'd go for though, some kind of social work has gone through his mind a few times.  His wife also works at the school, but she HATES it there, even before the licensing issues came up she was talking about looking for something else right after the first of the year.

Zack is still in the army and is stationed at Ft. Hood TX.  He's taking college classes toward a degree in History with a specialty in Military History.  He had knee surgery in January because he tore his ACL when he was in Iraq - playing football! LOL  We dont hear from him very often but when we do he seems happy.

Nicki and Tim have been married for almost 2 years, Wyatt is now 2 and baby number 2 is on it's way.  She got scolded by her doctor this morning because she's 5 months pregnant and has only gained 1 lb - but she had such round the clock morning sickness for the first 3-4 months that I'm not surprised.  Her doc wants her to EAT and she says the thought ust makes her nauseous.  Wyatt is talking like crazy, knows his colors, numbers, can count to 20... they have him going to a day care that is also a pre-school. Even though he should be in "2s" they have him in the preschool room a lot to keep him challenged.  Nana is pretty proud! Nicki and Tim moved into their own place in April and they've never been happier.  She is working full time as an LPN, she was going to go back to school to finish her RN in January but now that she's pregnant she's going to put that off at least a year.  Even so, she's making a decent income working at a county owned nursing home that has an exceptionally good wage and benefits.  Tim is working full time as an auto tech, thinking about going back to school to start working on advanced certifications.

So that's pretty much it for us.... Pam I see you've been in the Madison area this week.  Yes we will have to get together one of these days.

Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
Fri, 10-25-2013 - 9:24pm
Thanks for the update. Sorry that Justin has such problems with PTSD. Mental health is such a hard thing. Glad everything else is going well.

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-26-1999
Wed, 10-23-2013 - 8:46pm

Hi Rose - took me awhile, but thanks for the update!  I'm sorry to hear about Justin's problems.  It's such a shame that his service to his country landed him with so many ailments.  I work with TBI patients so I understand the cognitive implications.  I would imagine the PTS only exacerbates the issue.  Hopefully, with continued counseling he can get that under control and his cognitive issues will improve.  I have seen people with brain injuries continue their improvement over years so I know it is a long process but I hope time will heal.

Glad to hear James has gotten his act together.  Seems like last time I read an update (which admittedly was probably eons ago!), he had estranged himself from your family.  I'm glad you are back involved again and enjoying the grandson.  As for his work, so many counselors for troubled kids walked that path in their own youth - and those people end up having a much bigger impact as a mentor than others who don't have the same history.  So good for him on all accounts!

I loved the photo - and I can't believe how big Wyatt is getting!  It is amazing how quickly time goes now.  I just saw someone at work who "just had a baby" - or so I thought.  I asked her how old her "baby" was now, and she said 4 years old!  As for that - my oldest is 31, will be 32 in March and THAT blows my mind!

                        Calmama54, from the beautiful

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000
Mon, 10-21-2013 - 4:37pm

Love the family pic, Rose! Sounds like everyone is doing well. Hopefully Justin will get the help he needs. I can't imagine what some of these kids have gone through and what they've had to see. And they are still kids when they're in their late teens and early 20's... Enjoyed our trip to WI for a couple days last week. The colors were great but it was cold and rainy when we were there. We visited Jason in the Madison area on Wednesday and then went to the Baraboo area and stayed in a GORGEOUS bread and breakfast Thursday and Friday night.

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Mon, 10-21-2013 - 12:04pm
Love the family photo! Hugs to Justin, we've had a lot of PTSD issues with DH and after going through all the VA stuff and therapy, we finally got his disability rating upped for him, but it took almost a year. I hope they can get things all figured out for him, and if everyone sees positive changes from this new therapy, keep at it!!
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-1999
Sat, 10-19-2013 - 8:07pm

I know he *should* be on meds but he refuses to take any. :-( He has found a mental health team that will work with him without meds and he feels like he's getting better so for now we're going with it. When he was still in the army he went for treatment and was on so much medication he felt like he was in a fog all of the time but didn't feel any better. In Florida he saw a team that was into talk therapy that he didn't feel comfortable with but the team he's working with in Madison seems to be helping him. He feels better. His gf sees a positive chaange. We see improvements coming so we're not pushing the meds for now.

Thanks for the complements on the pic.... Zack was home on leave for a few weeks in August so I made everyone cancel all plans for an afternoon to get it done. We're really happy with it.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sat, 10-19-2013 - 6:09pm

Yeah, I can't post anything from my phone, either.  Can't sign in from a mobile. 

The family pic is beautiful, Rose, and Wyatt is adorable.  Glad to hear the 2 couples are doing well.  I'm sure that is a load off your mind.  Sorry to hear about Justin.  If the psychiatric care he's getting from the military isn't accomplishing anything, perhaps you can find some sliding scale care from the state.  PTSD IS treatable.  He should be on medication, and be with a counselor who is using results oriented techniques, rather than "talk therapy".  My P & PT's are going out to him.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sat, 10-19-2013 - 10:39am

I'm glad to hear the update--and see the family pic.  It's really too bad that Justin has so many problems.  I hope the VA comes through with disability soon.  Pretty soon you'll have to start a daycare for all the grandchildren!