A Day of Hope

Today was beyond a gorgeous day. Perfect temperatures and beautiful skies. It was the kind of day where your windows are down so you can feel the warmth of the sun on your skin. It was day filled with hope and promise yet there was an overhanging sense of nervousness. That sense of nerves was due to an impending surgery of someone I adore was going to be experiencing. In fact, it was to be the sixth surgery on his right knee in the past six years. In order to understand why it was a day mixed with feelings of hope and anxiety, there needs to be an explanation provided. You see, with each surgery he has undergone, more pain, frustrations, and disappointments have occurred instead of the positive results that have continually been promised. It has made my heart ache to see someone so strong, become so down and in so much pain due to the ineffective treatment he has received from Veteran Affairs. Here is a man, who wanted to devote his life to serving his country in the Marine Corps. However, due to an unfortunate turn of events, he was to be medically discharged due to injuring his knee. Although, I did not yet know him, I can only imagine the complete disappointment he must have felt at having to let go of what he had hoped would be his lifelong career. After knowing him for the past two and a half years, I can read that disappointment in his eyes and hear it in his voice when he talks about his time in the service. I can also see how happy that life had made him. I would give anything for time to be reversed and for him to not have his injury and to still be an active service member, even if it meant not meeting me. He means too much for me not to want him to have the life he had hoped to have. Instead, here we are, years later, preparing for a sixth knee surgery. It makes me angry and sad that the care and treatment he has received from Veteran Affairs has been insufficient and a complete waste of time. It has caused further damage to his knee which has led to so many other problems for him. To be honest, it’s not fair. It is frustrating and heartbreaking. And when people are ignorant and have a lack of understanding of what he has had to deal with, I am instantly angry. Anyone that knows me can attest to the fact I am not a person who instantly becomes angry. But when I see the lack of care he receives, the minimal patience that is directed towards him, and just the complete disregard of kindness of people, it upsets me greatly. This is a man who had wanted to serve his country, but whose life has instead been put on hold due to the several instances of incompetence of the VA and who just wants life to be somewhat normal again. What person wants to spend every day on the phone trying to get through to people who will help and listen? Who wants to spend every day repeating that same routine from the day before of trying to get the VA to do their job? He spends every day with disappointment and pain. He doesn’t deserve that. He deserves to feel good. He should be able to walk without pain. To be able to do some of the things he enjoys such as working on projects, go for a walk, and work out. To no longer have his knee snap and cause such excruciating and unbearable pain. And one of the biggest things would be to work again. It’s hard on him not to be able to do the work he wants to do. He is such a strong person, stronger than he realizes sometimes. He has a good heart. He has a bigger heart than he likes to admit. He tries so hard to make his life better. Finally, after all of the stress, heartaches, strain, and disappointments, we are hopefully at a turning point today with this surgery. Several weeks ago, he finally was able to get through to our Congressman who has since then become involved. This involvement allowed for him to be able to see a good doctor here in town who determined that he would need another surgery, but is confident this surgery will resolve the issues. That surgery took place today. It went by quickly and we are now back at home to begin the recovery. The doctor truly believes this surgery will actually help to get his life back to a more normal state. How lovely that would be. My fingers are crossed and I am feeling optimistic this is what he needed. Time will tell if the promises of the doctor are to be believed. All we can do for now, is keep pushing forward with his recovery and face whatever the future holds.

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