Lucky 13?

Tomorrow marks the 13th year that has passed since the accident. Looking back there have been some years that have been better than others, but this one is going the best so far. Sure there are still some challenges. Fall weather has set in and I am having more neuropathic pain in my legs, but not bad overall.6-7 years ago I was almost confined to a wheelchair, now I not only work full time, try and get things fixed around the house, I am cycling 75- 100 miles a week. I generally take two days a week and find some cool routes in and around Portland, OR.

As good as this year is going I found out yesterday that my work is doing away with the weekend shift, which is what I have been working. Fris, Sat , Sun 3 12hr days. I will now be moving to day shift. Which is Mon – Thurs 5:30 to 4. So now I guess I will find out how I really am doing. If I am unable to do it, or things just don’t work out I am fairly certain I will file for unemployability with the VA. That would mean being rated at 100% and having more income than I do now. I will fill my time with writing and volunteer work and such. I will be unable to attend my group and mindfulness class. I think I will be ok. I know it will be hard thru the holidays, but who’s isn’t? Just with mine add physical pain, emotional strain, depression and so on.

I am also unsure how often I will be able to read all the blogs I have been fallowing. Let alone have time to write anything myself. Well here’s to nothing, yet everything. Hope to chat with you all soon. Till next time… Joe

On the verge

On the verge of breaking…. body, mind, and soul

On the verge of staying, leaving,

On the verge of knowing which way I should actually go

On the verge of changing, ever trying my best to improve

On the verge of not trying any more

On the verge of loving, hating, not to really care

On the verge of sacrificing myself even more

On the verge of taking something just to at least get one score

On the verge of losing what little I may have left

On the verge of taking control for myself at last

I choose to remember the ones

Sure all had, at least in most regards, volunteered to be where they were now in the midst of. Walking out and feeling the blast of hot air from the giant sandbox hitting their full battle ready dressed bodies. All of those that have served have given some, but now some were about to give it all. While many others would witness firsthand what the price of war truly is. No matter what your MOS (job) you had a vital part in, not only the “mission”, but also the lives of the other brave souls around you. Some did the minimal, others lackluster, while others excelled. There is still the one, or perhaps more, that went above and beyond their job to do all they could for the mission and for those around them. We had seen glimpses of their being so stellar in training missions and way back in the day to day operations before the war, but now would become their true time to shine. They did it not to receive some medal they could hang on their uniform. Which some received, but many more did not. They did it because it seemed as if they were there and set apart from the others for some special reasoning beyond my comprehension.

demo

There are those that falsely assume the glory few deserve. There are those that ride the coattails of others. There are those that abuse the system intended to take care of those that took care of us so well they have to pay for it the rest of their lives.

50 cal  test driverubble

I choose to remember the ones that could have stayed inside the wire, but chose not to.

I choose to remember the ones that volunteered to go on all the different types of missions.

I choose to remember the ones that pushed their bodies to the limit, and sometimes beyond, just to try and accomplish the task at hand.

I choose to remember the ones that could have stayed on main base, but instead went out to the FOB (forward operating base) just to ensure their equipment, vehicles, and fellow soldiers were being cared for as best as possible.

I choose to remember the ones that could have taken R & R (rest and relaxation) to go see their families a lot earlier, but sacrificed the opportunity for that of a fellow soldier that  needed it more.

I choose to remember the ones that could always seem to dig a little deeper and find more than the average “intestinal fortitude”  to do the best job they could in the circumstances that surrounded them.

I choose to remember the ones that I will always remember because I have considered it an honor to serve beside them.

80%

After my stay in the mental ward last summer, many people suggested I get re-evaluated by the VA. The main purpose being to get it annotated correctly on my records as PTSD and not simply depression. After completing “the process” known as the VA system it was annotated as PTSD with depression secondary to my nerve and cold weather injuries. They also changed my total disability rating from 70% to 80%. A few more dollars every month… just a little bonus? At first I thought so too, and it is but it also is not.

Lately it has kind of been messing with my head. I know all to well that I am not your “average Joe” due to my disabilities, but now there is a bigger number attached to them. If an average male my age is a 1 than I am capable of being a whopping .2. On a scale of 100 being average I am a 20. On most people’s scale of 1 – 10 I am now a 2 and there isn’t anything I can ever do to change that. I have tried my best over the years not to let my disabilities stop me from doing anything, but I have also learned that there are a lot of things that I am no longer capable of doing. There are still other things that are debatable on whether it is best for me to try, or simply pay someone else to do it for me.

The latest, and best example is I am going to change the windows on my house. 17 windows total. Do I pay $8,000 and spend two to three weeks killing my body to do them myself or pay $15,000 to have someone else do them in 3 -4 days? To most it would be worth saving the money and doing them themselves, but to me it is a much bigger debate than money.

Anywhos… till next time- Joe

Kow

Here is something I have been searching for for awhile. I have been meaning to share it,but was unable to locate it until today. For a writing class I took we were given different pictures of cows that used to be throughout Portland, Or. Here is the cow I received and the story I wrote. Hope you enjoy.

Joseph Loy

WR 090

11/14/08

Leslie Ormandy

Mars Mission Gone Amiss

I began with the normal life as any cow should. I was born on a farm in the Ohio valley, a region with the most beautiful natural landscaping anywhere in the world. The Ohio valley sits at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, near the border of Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Nestled in this glorious valley, rich with natural resources, was the farm on which I was born. My father, not unlike many others worked for many years in one of the numerous coal mines located throughout the valley. My mother had one of the most difficult jobs any jersey cow could have; she remained home to care for all of her calves.  I grew up as an average jersey cow. Although I had my fair share of turmoil, usually caused by my own choices, I seemed to turn out better than most of the other calves in my herd. Some might say I turned out worse, but I say that there are some sacrifices worth making when they are for a cause greater than one’s self. Choices and circumstances can help us to become better people and also shape our personality.

The first decision I made that started to transform my personality and my physical transformation was when I decided to take the first opportunity to get out of that small Podunk town that came along. That opportunity was when the recruiters came into my high school and offered a whole day out of our classes to take their placement test. I gladly took their test, and I did it rather quickly to get out of school as soon as possible. Sure enough, a few days later, the recruiters were calling and bothering me all the time. They wanted me because, as it turned out, I placed quite well on their test. I took the offer to become the first member of my herd to join the Air Force. Their offer was to become a test pilot, with a nice enlistment bonus, was almost impossible to resist.

After serving this great land of ours, I was offered a job at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. I started off in the lower tiers of pilots for NASA. I worked tirelessly and quickly moved through the ranks. I soon had my own squad underneath me. I had quickly become the first member of my herd to leave our native farm, let alone leave our world.

I was selected as mission commander of the first mission to Mars. We had numerous training exercises, and we were placed on a regimented diet before the big mission came upon us. Being mission commander was a daunting task for me, but I was looking forward to the opportunity of a lifetime.

Mission day was quickly upon us. The fanfare and parades filled with; jubilation, streamers, and fireworks, had been done and cleaned up. All the build up and excitement had come to culmination. We went through the usual pre-launch procedures with nothing out of the norm. Mission control then counted us down. As they reached zero, I flipped the bright red switch to fire the launch rockets. We gained speed quickly and were soon burning through the second stage of our launch rockets. We all breathed a sigh of relief when we had passed through the Earth’s atmosphere and officially completed launch sequence.

We then performed the sling-shot maneuver, quickly sending our spacecraft around the moon. We then set course for Mars. Nothing seemed abnormal until we had reached our destination, Mars. We set into orbital rotation around the red planet, and we began our checks that had to be done before setting foot on the mysterious planet. Once we had completed the necessary checks, we stepped into our Mars landing craft. We had named our Mars landing craft MATT (Mars All Terrain Truck). We had to leave one person in the main shuttle for communication and guidance purposes. Although it was nothing like a truck, MATT was the best name we all could actually agree on. We worked together as a brilliant team to be the first cattle to set hoof on Mars. We began our tests of the soil and air. That is when it all went wrong.

Behind us we could faintly hear a squeaking sound, and we struggled to figure out what it was. We could see what looked to be a group of four humans approaching us. Most humans do not consider us cows to be an intelligent species, but we did force them off of Earth decades ago. They came at us with branding irons; trying to scar us as part of their herd that would soon be slaughtered. We fought with all our might. In the struggle, my co-astronaut, John’s gravitational force director was damaged. Susan, the other astronaut on the surface with us, and I tried everything we could think of to save our co-worker and dear friend John. The forces were too great for anything to overcome and John’s body could not withstand the rigors it was undergoing. He passed swiftly and the humans quickly tied his carcass to their horses. As the humans were occupied trying to get the beef from John’s body, Susan and I escaped to the ship. We quickly took off from Mars. We had a memorial ceremony for John on our journey back to Earth. It was then I realized something was wrong with me, because my body felt weird and tingly. I had a hard time walking and standing. The longer I stood, the more my feet and legs hurt. I always feel cold, especially in my legs. I had to struggle with something I had never struggled with before, running. I used to be able to run faster than almost anyone, now I had a hard time doing it in the required amount of time.

It took a long time, and a lot of different tests to finally figure out there what exactly wrong with me. My body had become separated and distorted, due to my gravitational director and life support systems also being damaged in the struggle with the humans. They finally made it to where I no longer had to run, but I also could no longer get promotions. The doctors call it complex regional disorder, and it will only become worse with time. The distortions will continue to get more and more severe.

After a lot of thought, I turned in my resignation to NASA.  I now struggle with the never-ending pain and different mental effects that I occurred on that mission to Mars. I have to do physical therapy almost everyday. Although now I deal with John’s death both mentally and physically everyday, I know deep in my heart it was worth it. You see sometimes it is worth sacrificing part of yourself for someone else. It was worth it for the mission. It was worth it for John.

Exactly my point

I think I may have finally had enough. I texted the W a simple enough question about $20 that has magically been missing. After getting a different text from her the next hour I finally asked why should I continue to work my ass off to try and communicate better when I feel as if I am hardly listen to.  Her response, “Huh? I am confused, if this is about us I would prefer to wait till you get home instead of making a mess of things on text.”

Sure we have all gotten things f’d up through texts, but ignoring the question of “Did you happen to find the $20 that disappeared?”. I don’t think too much can be read into that one.

I simply responded with “Exactly my point.”

The latest from the W which I am not even going to respond to at all “I am ignoring your last statement you made at all…I want you to talk to me in person and I really wanna listen to whats going on….”

I am so tired of it I just want to scream!!!!!!!

Thanks for reading today’s venting. At least till this point…………