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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Congratulations to "A Guiding Star"! From One Wounded Warrior Wife to Another....

As a wife of a 2-time wounded Veteran of the Iraq & Afghanistan Wars, I know all too well the challenges of loving and living with someone who has been to combat and continues to fight the battle once he gets home. My husband served in Tekrit (COB Speicher), Iraq in 2006-07. He came home totally changed. He was NOT the man I fell in love with and married. I did not know the man who the Army sent home to me. He was distant, unloving, hateful, reclusive, didn't want anything to do with me and our daughter, just wanted to sleep and play video games (war games mostly), got angry about everything, had flashbacks, attacked me in my sleep WHILE HE was asleep (night terrors), attempted multiple affairs (although it wasn't until 2010 that he actually HAD an affair, then again in 2014), etc. He was finally diagnosed with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), depression, and anxiety disorder. He had attempted to take his own life two times in a 3 yrs period (2007 in Iraq and 2010 in Wisconsin). He served, in combat, again in 2012-2013, in Kandahar, Afghanistan, where he was blown up by a suicide bomber on March 2, 2013 and was nearly killed. He received a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and his PTSD was worsened, as is expected. He came home with a ton of health issues related to the TBI. He is almost 35 yrs old, and he now has SEVERE PTSD (so bad that the Army medically retired him at the highest rating possible for a retirement with PTSD and so bad that he's been hospitalized in inpatient psych 3 times now), multiple TBIs (one from each tour- the 1st one was never diagnosed or found until he received the 2nd one in Afghanistan), TBI-induced migraines, TBI-induced hypothyroidism (he has to take medication for the rest of his life so that his thyroid function will be managed), TBI-induced tinnitus (ringing in the ears), brain damage that includes damage to the portion of his brain that controls anger & rage (he has to take medication for the rest of his life so that his anger & rage can be controlled) and cognition & memory/recall (he has memory problems and problems with understanding information that is told to him or that he reads). The man I fell in love with 9 yrs ago and married 8 yrs ago (our 8 yrs wedding anniversary is March 28th!) was the sweetest, most caring, most faithful, most honest, most loving, family-oriented and fun-loving man I had ever met! The man I am married to now (and live separately from as of last week) is uncaring most times, is very dishonest with me, has cheated on me with other women, has abused drugs & alcohol, has told me many times he doesn't love me or that he hates me (always when he's enraged or having an affair), has evaded me and our kids many times, has emotionally neglected me and our kids many times, is emotionally disconnected from me most times, tells me that he no longer "feels" love for me, is unmotivated to get out and do things to stay active unless I make him do it, lacks initiative, can't remember to takes his meds/brush his teeth/or take a shower without my reminding him or his setting a reminder alarm on his cell phone; yet through all the bad with him, I still love him with all my heart. He may not be the man I married, but he didn't ask for this to happen to him either. His actions tell the story of his combat experiences. He killed and watched others kill. He had people trying to kill him. He was shot at. He was blown up. He had a live grenade thrown in his lap. He had buddies die. He watched children die and be tortured. He watched a vehicle (with people inside) get blown up by an IED and he saw people coming out of the vehicle while on fire. He saw people get projectile shrapnel shot into their body. He lived everyday of 2 deployments not knowing if he would come home alive or in one piece. With all the trauma and chaos that he survived, I can't (nor can anyone else) expect him to NOT be changed and a be a different person. Trauma, no matter what the cause, changes people forever. For all the problems we have had with him since his return from 2  combat deployments, we have also experienced happy and loving moments with him. He may not tell me he loves me like he used to, but when he reaches for my hand with hesitation, while we are sitting in church; or when he reaches to kiss me on my forehead like he did when we were dating; or when I catch him looking at me and smiling...then I know...somewhere deep inside this war-torn body and soul, is the man I fell in love with, and I hope that one day he will have the strength to realize how important he is to me and our kids.

My story...our story...is very common in the wounded warrior community. Unfortunately, this same story can also end in divorce or by suicide (for either the Veteran or his/her caregiver). Until our government realizes that our Veterans and their families deserve to be treated with more respect and honor than what they are, and until they realize that they have way too many Veterans not getting the help they need when they come home, yet they continue to send money to other countries instead of helping these Veterans, then this story of mine will continue to be in vain...and so will the stories of millions of others.

Please read the story at this link. Help support our Veterans and their families!

Monday, March 16, 2015

SheSpeaks product review- DRIP DROP Hydration Powder #DrinkDripDrop

As a member of SheSpeaks, I was given the opportunity to try out and review a new product called Drip Drop Hydration Powder. I was sent 4 packets of varying flavors to try, for free, in exchange for my personal opinion of their product and review.

Drip Drop is an electrolyte replacement aide that states it is "medical grade." As a nurse, I know how important it is to maintain electrolyte balance. When a person gets sick with vomiting, diarrhea or dehydration, and the person does not have IV fluids or some type of electrolyte replacement product given to him or her, it can become a very dangerous situation for that person. Electrolyte imbalance can affect the function of a person's kidneys, liver, blood production, and even brain function, so keeping electrolytes balanced is a key part of survival.

Drip Drop comes in packets that are opened and then mixed into 8 fl oz of water. (Kinda like the drink mix packets you can buy at the store.) The packets are 0.35 oz each, which equates to 10 grams. The flavors that were sent to me were lemon and berry. You can find out more about this product at their website.

The back of each packet does clearly state to only use this product under medical supervision. It also states that children under 12 mos of age should use this only under the advice of a doctor. Due to the nature of this product, and the fact that this product is for electrolyte replacement and should only be used when a person is sick, my family and I did not have a chance to try the product out. Thankfully, we have been perfectly well during flu and cold season!

I will hold on to these packets for future use, as this sounds like a great product to have on hand for illnesses.

Please check out #DripDrop! I have 2 - $3 off coupons available for 2 lucky readers who are interested in receiving them. They do EXPIRE on March 31st, 2015.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

My Experience Shopping @ the Children's Online Boutique #FABKIDS

Rating 10/10
5/5
modified review posted Mar-01-2015
"Just started ordering outfits for our 5 yrs old son. He now has about 4 outfits or so from FabKids. We love the outfits! He loves them too! The quality of the clothes is excellent, the choices are unique, and the price is comparable to retail stores. We are very pleased! I have signed up for the VIP monthly program so that I can start building our son's wardrobe with some really cute clothes. He's very petite, and it's hard to find cute clothes to fit him. Although he wears a 5 in boys, the clothes we get him in the stores always tend to be too long or too big on the waist. So far, all of the Fabkids clothes have fit him perfectly!"
This is my recent review that can be found on Reseller Ratings. I was not compensated, in any way, for this review or for the sharing of my review. I just wanted to share my satisfaction with FabKids.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

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Tips to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft!!!


(Photo found via Google image search. Image located at this site. I DO NOT know anything about that site nor am I promoting it. Just giving the site credit for the image. )

Prevent identity theft by following some very simple rules:

1) ALWAYS destroy your mail that you throw in the trash or recycle bin! You can invest in a shredder to shred your mail. You can cut up your mail. You can tear it up. You can even dissolve your mail in a mixture of bleach and water. (I saw that one on a show last night!) ALWAYS make sure that anything that has your name, address, personal information/medical information, bank information, credit card information, etc is DESTROYED somehow before discarding in the trash.

2) ALWAYS peel off prescription bottle labels and tear them in pieces before throwing away an empty bottle. If someone gets ahold of a prescription label, they can not only steal your medical and personal information, but they can also create fake prescriptions to retrieve your medication.

3) ALWAYS destroy any school paperwork that identifies where you, your spouse/SO or your children attend school.

4) NEVER give your social security number, date of birth, drivers license number, address, credit card or bank account information, etc to anyone over the phone IF you did NOT initiate the phone call.

5) ALWAYS destroy prescription lists and paperwork that the pharmacy sends home with your medications...IF it has any identifiable information on it, such as your name, prescription number, doctor's information, phone numbers, etc.

6) NEVER use public Wi-Fi access/hot spots to access your bank accounts, credit card accounts, email, social media or anything that you would use a password for. Public Wi-Fi accesses are hackers' paradises. Save these types of sites for your own private Wi-Fi network, i.e. home access.

7) ALWAYS ask for proper ID when allowing any techs or repair guys to access your home. If someone shows up, and you did not arrange for them to show up, ask for their first and last name, company that they work for, and their ID, then look up the company's phone number (don't ask for it because they may give you a false one), and call the company to verify that the employee is who they are and that they have a valid reason for accessing your home.

8) If you are going away on vacation or will be gone from your home for a few days, ALWAYS put in a request with your mail man or post office to hold your mail. Do not let mail accumulate at your home. Same goes for packages!

9) Don't sign up for miscellaneous apps that you don't need! A lot of apps access your personal information that is not necessary. You are allowing them to invade your personal life and sometimes...your friends' too!

10) When shopping with a bank debit card that has a credit card logo, use your card as CREDIT whenever you can! DO NOT use your card pin number at gas pumps. If you have to use debit, go inside and make the purchase. Identity thieves put card skimmers on gas pumps all the time. You won't even notice it's on there. Once they skim your card, they have total access over your whole bank account!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Decorating Our New Home- First Christmas

Our family moved into our new home in May 2014. This will be our first Christmas in our new home. We had so much fun decorating for Christmas this year! (I plan to buy lots of Christmas decorations after Christmas, when they get marked down, so that we can decorate even more next year.)

OUR CHRISTMAS TREE AND STOCKING HOLDER W/GARLAND ON THE DRAPES





 LIVING ROOM SIDE TABLE CHRISTMAS SET UP

KITCHEN BAKERS RACK LIGHTING


CHRISTMAS TREE RING DECORATION OUR DAUGHTER MADE


BEAUTIFUL PINE GARLAND (FAKE) ACROSS OUR DRAPES...WE ADDED ORNAMENT BALLS TO IT THIS YEAR AND LOVE HOW IT LOOKS

KITCHEN COUNTER CHRISTMAS DECOR SET UP

WINDOW LIGHTS (FROM OUTSIDE)

OUTSIDE VIEW OF WHOLE HOUSE

FRONT DOOR