A Road Less Traveled

Caregiving is a journey of at least two people— the caregiver and the care receiver. It’s not a race to the finish. There are detours, diversions, and sometimes roadblocks. Sometimes your journey is a straight, flat four lane highway with light traffic and sunny skies; other times your journey is a winding one lane mountain path with a sheer drop off on one side, mountain on the other, with oncoming traffic, and mudslides. There will be some parts of your journey that you will want to take out and pour over the “preserved” memories—snapshots if you will. There will be
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Just Breathe

Where are you located? I am located in Albion, MI. Where did your veteran receive the majority of his/her medical treatment? The majority of my husband’s treatment has been post-service, here in Ann Arbor & Jackson VA hospital clinics. Which branch of service is your family affiliated with?. We were both enlisted in the U.S. Army. How has care-giving impacted your day to day routine and your personal life? Yesterday was our 13th wedding anniversary. It was about a year after we were married and he was already discharged that different behaviors and moods started appearing. He spoke less and
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A New Lens on an Old Hobby

Dear Quality of Life Staff, Volunteers and Donors, I have been a caregiver to my husband who is an amputee, with many other residuals of his combat service including PTSD, TBI, and many other health issues over the last seven years. We have four daughters from ages 2-14 and live in NC. It wasn’t until recently that I had realized that everything I loved doing was put on hold while attending to my husband’s and family’s needs. He went through 27 surgeries for limb salvage and then two post amputation for an infection with osteomylitis. I want you all to
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Finding Strength

  Where are you located? I am the mother, full-time caregiver and 14-year health care advocate for a 100% service-connected Navy veteran son. Ken and I reside in Jayess, Mississippi, a tranquil, rural area of Walthall County, where regardless of real or perceived adversities, we awaken each morning to the songs of joy espoused by numerous species of birds, the foreign murmuring of numerous insects and a “ribbit” or two from a lonely frog. I believe the “Fowl Choir” serves to encourage and substantiate that the universe is unfolding each day as it should. However, regardless of the songs attesting
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Caregiver in Grenada, MS

My son James and I (his caregiver and mother) live in Grenada, MS Jim as we call him returned home in 2006 from his fifth deployment to Iraq. He had some injuries although physically not life threatening for which we were thankful but as time went on the PTSD began to present itself in many forms for which he sought treatment for there in Cheyenne, Wyoming at Warren AFB, But at one point things got just really tough and because another deployment was upcoming and he had 20 years in he decided to retire out not even considering asking for
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The Smallest Act of Caring

Where are you located? Waynesville, MO Where did your veteran receive the majority of their medical treatment? My veteran was not catastrophically injured while in theater, but rather years of deployments eventually took their toll on him physically and mentally. The majority of his conditions arose a few years after returning from his last deployment. He received most of his care through Fort Riley’s Irwin Army Community Hospital and for specialty care was referred to the civilian hospitals surrounding the post while he was assigned the Warrior Transition Unity on Fort Riley, KS. What branch of service is your family
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5 Signs of Caregiver Stress… and How Quality of Life Foundation Helps Make a Difference

Fatigue; caregivers too easily find themselves constantly feeling tired and run down from the sheer volume of their many roles and responsibilities.     Anxiety; caregivers are constantly worrying about tomorrow, next week, and next month. The kids, the bills, the veteran.  The ‘what if’ list is never ending.     Social withdrawal; oftentimes caregivers feel as though ‘outsiders’ do not understand their life, and will skip hanging out with friends and social events and choose to stay home to avoid awkward explanations.     Health issues; many times standard preventative care like dental cleanings and wellness checks fall by
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“Me” Time

We currently live in Cary NC. My husband received a majority of his medical treatment and recovery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. My husband was in the army for 7 years before he was medically retired due to injuries he sustained in Iraq. I became his primary caregiver as soon as he was medevac’d home. Before he was injured I was a certified pharmacy technician. Now I am his sole care provider and 95% of my time is spent taking care of him and making sure his needs are met. Being his primary caregiver can be exhausting. There are
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Help Around the House

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
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A Passion for Advocacy

Where are you located? Goodyear, Arizona Where did your veteran receive the majority of their medical treatment? My husband receives his care from Surprise VA clinic along with the Phoenix Carl T. Hayden VA facility. Which branch of service is your family affiliated with? My husband is a Purple Heart recipient and served in the Marine Corps for almost 10 years. Please share how you came to be a caregiver. I was a CVICU nurse that cared for critically ill patients for 6 years. I knew my husband while I was in nursing school and kept in touch with him
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