Hi everyone! My name is Rose and I’m here to tell you my story about how the Quality of Life Foundation has helped me and my family. Currently we live in a small town of Sebring, FL. My husband’s family is from here which is why we moved down here.
I met my husband Patrick when we were both in the Army. He had just gotten back from Iraq and I had just finished my training. I knew right away that I loved him, and that I wanted to marry him. Several people in our unit warned me about some of the issues that he had, but I loved him anyway. Shortly after we got married we found out that we were having a baby. Shortly after my son was born we both got out of the Army, and moved down to Florida. We moved here so that we could both go to school and have someone around to help take care of our son.
It was when we got here that his PTSD really kicked in. I think the transition to civilian life made a huge impact on him. Shortly after Patrick started school he started having horrible anxiety attacks mixed in with other things. I started having to go to pick him up from school on a daily basis. We not only had to go to the small clinic that we have in town, but for anything big we have to make a two drive to the Bay Pines Hospital in St. Petersburg. I don’t know how many times 911 was called because of his symptoms.
Also, during the 3 years that we have been here I suffered two miscarriages, but thankfully god finally blessed me with a daughter. So as of right now I deal with taking Patrick back a forth to appointments at least once a week, making sure he takes his medicine, reminding him to do his school work (he’s always asking for chemistry homework help), doing my own school work, and taking care of two children.
The quality of life foundation has truly helped me as they were able to provide me with someone to come help me clean my house. With everything going on in my life I don’t really have time to clean, and this service has made a huge difference. I haven’t been as stressed about trying to stay up late and do it. This service has allowed me more time with my kids.
The most important advice I think that I could tell a caregiver is don’t be afraid to ask for help. I have a hard time asking for help because I feel that it is my job to take care of my family, but sometimes I just can’t do it alone. I also can’t be an effective caregiver if I’m stressed all the time.
If I could tell the average American anything, it would be getting educated about PTSD and get some understanding of what caregivers and veterans go through on a daily basis. There is not a day goes by that my husband doesn’t think of the friends he lost overseas. Having PTSD is a daily struggle, and I wish every day that there was a cure. But the most important thing anyone can do is be supportive. As for me there is not a day goes by that I don’t have to take care of him, or that his fears become my fears, but I do it because I love him and I wouldn’t change a thing.