Tank& I

A Strong Bond

Not much has happened these past few days. The sleep study I went in for sucked so bad. At 830 that night they hooked me up to a wrist monitor with a heart lead and stuck me in a room with four other guys to sleep the night; two things that made me uncomfortable to start the night out. Plus, I had to sleep on a super hard hospital bed with I knew would irritate my back. I felt like my sleep was broken throughout the night because I kept waking up to my back crying out to me in pain with sweat pouring off my head. I don’t even know how I got any sleep that night. By the morning my back was stiff and sore.img_0271

At my appointment the next morning my doctor told me I tested negative for sleep apnea, but they want me back to check for restless feet syndrome to see if that is what causes me to wake up. The whole test made me upset. I woke up more during the night from other people making noise. I still had nightmares too, just like every night. The doctor said I got six and a half hours of sleep throughout the night and that was spot on with the recommended amount for a 33 year old.

Why am I so tired every day like I didn’t rest at all?I’m really getting sick of nodding off several times a day because I feel like I get no sleep. I wish someone could tell me something because I don’t feel safe driving anymore.

I felt so run down and hungry after the appointment that I thought I’d better treat myself to a good breakfast, so I stopped to eat at The Original Pancake House. The Banana praline crepes were so amazing; I can still taste the caramel on my tongue.

I drove over to my dog trainer Lindsay’s house to pick up Tank. As soon as I walked through the door he was all over me panting, rubbing his furry body across my legs, jumping up licking my face. The anger and frustration I was having for the VA slowly disappeared the more we interacted. It was just a distant thought by the time I was leaving with him. I guess we both missed each other. I feel a strong bond with Tank, like he is apart of me in some way.img_0270

It got bitter cold this weekend. It snowed from Saturday into Sunday afternoon. We all stayed inside most of the weekend playing games and watching television. I don’t think Tank likes to be inside all day, he kept coming over to me whimpering and looking outside.

After going outside with him a few times I think he realized that being outside during the winter in Minnesota is highly overrated, especially when there is a snow storm. I felt bad for him when he started limping on his paw after being outside for a minute. On our way back inside he started yelping out when he stepped down. I bet his paws were freezing, so I ordered him a pair of booties. I hope I get them soon so he doesn’t have to be in pain when relieving himself in the snow. I also ordered a bunch of different rawhide chews that I think he may like. I spoil him way too much, but I feel like it’s a mutual respect thing. He watches my back and helps take away some of my anxiety, I give him all the treats he likes.

Lindsay, Patti and Len from Project Delta came over tonight to check in with our family and also so Aleah and my wife could introduce themselves to Tank and finally get to pet him. They all were nervous at the start of it, especially Tank kept looking at me with his tail wagging swiftly across the ground to see if it was okay that they were petting him. He started calming down as soon as they both started giving him treats.

Aleah was super happy to finally get to pet him. Jessica was glowing with joy too. She doesn’t say it much, but I know she loves him. I’m glad they finally get to show him affection. I can tell Tank is in a better mood since he doesn’t have to walk around with the muzzle on anymore. He gets his vest in a few days and then we dive into public training, I can’t wait

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Author of Combat Medic : A soldier's story of the Iraq war and PTSD.Served as a combat medic on the front lines in operation Iraqi freedom/ enduring freedom. Medically retired from the Army in 2006 with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, retired from the VA hospital since 2013. After struggling with PTSD and suicide for twelve years I have made it my priority to share my story with as meany people as I can to help America understand what it's like being a combat veteran back home from war. It is my hope that other veterans can relate to my life and take use the same tools as me to live a better life with PTSD.

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