Vietnam Wife (3 IMAGES)

Gripping her cellphone, the woman shook so hard with fear, beads of sweat formed on her forehead.  She heard nothing but her rapidly pounding heart and the shrill of her ringing phone.  Please pick up!  Oh God, someone please pick up!

Listening … Is he still sleeping?  Listening … Oh thank God, yes!

She had just counted the pills.  Twenty-three gone where only a maximum of eleven should have been missing.  Last time this happened, he flipped out and hallucinated thinking she was the “gook”.  He had tried to kill her.  She had to run for her life.

And here his psychiatrist had prescribed the exact same medication that had made him flip out.  Why wasn’t the drug alert notice in her husband’s chart?  OMG!  Someone please pick up!

It seemed like forever standing there shaking uncontrollably, heart pounding madly unable to catch her breath.  Finally finally an operator picked up saying, “Operator 13. How may I assist you?” and the woman clutching her cellphone frantically stressed how urgent it was to speak to her husband’s doctor.

In making that phone call, the woman broke every rule.  She was not allowed to interact with any of her husband’s Nam related doctors or counselors.  Hubby ruled.  HIPPA assured that.  What other options did she have?  Rapid fire past decisions flew in her mind while she had paced back and forth at her wits’ end.  No other decision she knew from her nightmare experiences would help in this present matter.  She had done it all.  No, only one option remained.  She had to call his doctor.

Terror invaded her very soul all with intent to destroy her.  Within a matter of days her husband had morphed into a mad dog baring his fangs and with the slightest provocation ready to attack.  How would this man react when he found out she had broken his every rule?  The woman’s knees almost gave out not knowing what was to come.  Yet, she still clung to her phone refusing to let terror win.

Listening … listening … what was he doing?  Hearing nothing.  Still sleeping. … *huge sigh*

Her neighbor’s key in pocket, screen door unlatched, ID and money and credit card in pocket, all set in case she had to run for her life again.  Shaking shaking still waiting for the operator to connect her to the right department, she kept hearing a kind voice, “I did not loose you.  Still trying to get someone in the right department.  Hang on, Ma’am.”

At long last an associate of her husband’s doctor took the woman’s call as the words finally freed, came tumbling fumbling flying out.  Twenty-three pills her husband had taken and he was acting out of his mind.  The last time this happened when he was on this medication he flipped out and had tried to kill her.  Why why had his doctor prescribed this medication again?

The promise was made for her husband’s psychiatrist to call back.  Now to keep her husband asleep until that call came so she made no noise.  Almost two hours passed and still the phone did not ring.

Listening … Is he still sleeping?  Listening, holding her breath … listening … no sound.  

In those two long eternal hours agonies panic all consuming, the woman paced back and forth waiting waiting waiting for the phone to ring.

OMG!  This was an emergency and this doctor kept her waiting?  Please please don’t let her husband wake up!

Suddenly the house phone rang, not her cellphone as she had requested this doctor to call.  She picked up immediately and all was said was, “Vietnam Wife, this is Dr. F.  Let me talk to your husband.”

Quickly she put the call on hold, running on tiptoe to get the extension to bring up to her husband where he was still sleeping in bed.  “Husband, you have a phone call.”  “I’m not taking any calls”, she was told.  “This is important, you must take this call.”

The woman handed her husband the phone.  Her face flushed bright red, her heart pounding so loudly she would swear her husband would hear.  She listened to the conversation.  His doctor approached the situation not addressing this emergency directly but instead got her husband to promise to see him the following day bringing in the new medication with him.

Oh God!  She had made the right decision.  Yet, still …. how would he act once he was off the phone?

Standing her ground, shaking quaking sweating bullets every muscle tensed ready to bolt, she heard, “Did you call my doctor?”  And because this woman does not lie, she told the truth.  “Yes.”  She replied.

Her husband became silent.  Ready to leap and run for that unlocked door, the woman still stood where she was.  What she heard next almost brought her to the ground.  “Thank you for calling.  I knew I was in trouble.”

That is when the tears began.  And she knew in her heart that the highest decision was made even though she broke all the rules.  Facing terror as she just had done, this Vietnam Wife should be awarded a Medal for Bravery.  When it came to saving her husband’s life and perhaps hers as well, this woman chose to break the rules regardless of the ramifications.  That takes guts.

Want to know what a definition of Love is?  You just read it.

When the Silence is broken,
the Secret looses its power.

This is dedicated to all those women (men) married to a Vet who no longer recognize their own spouses (mates).  May all of you find solutions to this complex painful illness called PTSD.  My Heart truly goes out to you!

Photography/ “Vietnam Wife”/April 2017©AmyRose

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