Hello to my ADHD peeps and ADHD loved ones,
We’re jumping back into the story of my time in the military after a month without posts. I know I left this story hanging, we went on a road trip for the month of June down the entire west coast. But now I’m back and ready to get going again, I hope you enjoy part two of this story.
Before deploying I was running two miles in 11 minutes and 40 seconds. Coming back from Afghanistan I was running two miles in 18 minutes. My back was hurting and when I brought it up to the new leadership of my medical platoon they told me to work out more. Trust me, working out wasn’t the issue, I went from 85 sit-ups in two minutes down to 25 before I started getting sheering pain. My run went from two miles in 11:30 up to 18 minutes. I ended up seeing my Physician Assistant because I felt like my back was deteriorating and he asked me what I had been doing to treat it, after discussing my problems he decided it was time for MRI’s and physical therapy. I then spent my next two years going through the same cycle over and over of X-ray, MRI, physical therapy, orthopedics rinse and repeat. This is not my providers fault, the military has guidelines and my PA is still my favorite provider of all time, he was doing his job with the guidelines that the military gave him. I ended up getting medically separated from the military, but not before getting a new provider who told me that he was going to do what he could to make sure that my process was stalled and/or thrown out because he decided that my issue was a non-issue.
After getting treatment for my back in the military a lot of things ended up changing for me. I had leadership mock me. I was constantly belittled because of my back. I was constantly asked do you think you can do that the box looks heavy we don’t want you to hurt your back anymore. I went from being a near ideal soldier to being crapped on by people, and being under a boss who didn’t know how to treat patients because he spent his time not training, but ensuring that he was in position to get promoted. I could go on for days about this, but it doesn’t matter and it’s not the point of this story. I ended up getting out and getting treated through the VA, which don’t worry I have horror stories about that also, but those will have to wait for another time.
I ended up getting out and I was finally free from stress. I didn’t wake up knowing that I was going to have to deal with bosses, things were looking up for quite some time. Even though I hated the second half of my time in the military I still had fond memories for the times before the military flipped and I was exiled by leadership. I ended up going back to school after getting out, I went to a small community college in my hometown and I was open about my time in the military for about a week.
I lived in a small town and there are really two distinct groups of students at the community college. Those who are going back to school to strengthen a resume or pursue a new certification like an LPN but have significant life experience, and those who are straight out of high school. Immediately I realized I don’t fit into either of these groups. I want to socially drink with a friend and talk about memories from the past but I don’t want to go to a party and see how many beers I can drink before I fall into the bonfire. I also don’t want to hang out with someone who sits back and complains about how back in their day they didn’t drink Seltzers.
I meet a couple people that are in my age range and naturally they are curious as to why I’m going back to school and what did I do during my time away from school. I start with being open about being in the military… and then the questions flood in.
“How was it? Did you kill anyone? Did you see crazy things in combat?”
Obviously I go with the bare minimum and brush off the questions that I am not comfortable with, but I noticed that people start to talk to me a little differently. I don’t get asked after class how to do things. I start getting treated differently because I am not a typical college student. I get set on the outside of social groups because I don’t have a typical story. I seem more stand offish because I don’t talk about my time in the military. When I do talk about it I tell vague stories that are not jam packed with excitement. I talk about times that I found funny like when we put surgical lubricant all over a box and one of our bosses brushed by it and yelled at us for two hours trying to find out who would put surgical lubricant on a box like that, waiting for someone to bump into it.