Friday, May 30, 2014

Removing All External Stress

I've seen all kinds of doctors for this PTSD thing
In anticipation of the healing they could bring
I have a doctor to prescribe my med
I have doctors who get into my head

I have a doctor for one on ones
I have a doctor for a group he runs
I may have more doctors but I forget
I even have a doctor I haven't met yet

I sincerely appreciate all they do for me
Each one is as helpful as they can be
Maybe my meds will start to plateau
Maybe the counseling will do it, I don't know

As I study all of this to hopefully find a cure
There is one thing I have learned for sure
Before I can get out of this big mess
I need to remove all external stress

I don't really have a choice in the matter
This is nothing about which to smatter
40% of PTSD Vets take their own lives
Just a very small number survives

I was killed fourth-five years ago
I'm just dying real slow
I've never seriously considered taking my own life
But I can understand how other people do with all this strife

I still have a strong sense to survive
My family needs me alive
To establish a somewhat positive outlook
I need to reduce stress by hook or crook

I've considered a life like the "Jeremiah Johnson" movie
Living in the mountains sounds pretty groovy
Even that movie "Castaway" sounds healing
Yes maybe extreme, but nonetheless appealing

The bottom line is simply this
I may never again experience true bliss
But I think I could manage my PTSD with better success
If I could just eliminate all of this external stress

David Rose - Vietnam Veteran - Combat Medic

Poem From a PTSD Vet

David Rose - Vietnam Veteran - Combat Medic

The Three P's of PTSD Life

Depression is living life in the Past
Peace is living life in the Present
Anxiety is living life in the Prospective

David Rose - Vietnam Veteran - Combat Medic
Inspired by Dr. Jackson

Through the Holy Spirit

I keep hearing that this PTSD is here to stay
My only hope is to try to cope in some way

These memories are embedded in my brain
Sometimes they make me feel insane

Medication hasn't helped me yet
They could be more of a threat

I've had private one on one sessions
From multiple professions

I've had therapy in a Vietnam War group
That just brings up a lot of old poop

I wish my mother was still alive
She could tell me how to thrive

She was a counselor too
But from a Christian point of view

She kept a journal just before she died
It wasn't much but she really tried

She had written only a few pages
That little bit truly engages

She said, "Develop a mindset of constant prayer.
With the Holy Spirit be aware."

Even though she didn't write much
My heart she did touch

Luke 4:18 says, "With the Spirit be infused
To set at liberty them that are bruised"

Through the Holy Spirit we can heal
And survive any challenging ordeal

David Rose - Vietnam Veteran - Combat Medic

Celebrating Memorial Day with PTSD

I've appreciated dozens of Memorial Days
I've celebrated it in lots of ways

I've been to the Indy 500
I've been treasure hunting and wrongly plundered

I've toured the Greek countryside
I've crossed the great divide

I've stayed home and had a Bar-B-Q
I've even worked all the way thru

I've respected Memorial Day all these years
I've experienced cheers and tears

I've remembered my fallen brothers from the war
I've shared my esprit de corps

I've today experienced Memorial Day with PTSD
I've definitely become much more of a devotee

David Rose - Vietnam Veteran - Combat Medic

Please Don't Tell Anyone

I have a ninety year old father who lives with me
He has pain in his back and in his knee

His doctor gave him this Percocet pill
He said, "ask anytime for a refill"

I was struggling one day
Needed to keep my demons away

Decided to try one and take a chance
Seemed like a reasonable idea at first glance

Made me feel warm everywhere
Had more conversation to share

It really gave me the boost I needed
My idea had succeeded

Percocet allows me to feel happy
Instead of being so snappy

I understand all the reasons it's wrong
Some days I just need a little help to get along

I haven't started anything that can't be undone
PS. Please don't tell anyone

David Rose - Vietnam Veteran - Combat Medic

Hit Me Broadside

I was just walking along one day
Spending time in my usual way
When along came this Greyhound bus
It must have been doing seventy plus

I didn't see it coming
Didn't know I'd be succumbing
No way to avoid the collide
The thing hit me broadside

Sent me flying and landed on my head
At least I'm not dead
Felt like I was hit between the eyes
With all of the complications that implies

Even though this is an analogy tale
It illustrates how PTSD can strongly prevail
Long recovery from a bus wreck
Long recovery from PTSD I expect

David Rose - Vietnam Veteran - Combat Medic

A Man of the Moon

Considering becoming a man of the moon
The opposite of living life around noon
What difference would it make
The time of day I am awake

The night provides better cover
More like living life undercover
I seem to have fewer triggers then
That I experience during day time and again

I run my errands at night now anyway
The things I used to do during the day
Like grocery shopping and going to the bank
It's even midnight when I put gas in the tank

There are far fewer people about
And much less traffic enroute
During the day I hear car horns and phones ringing
At night I hear the leaves rustling and birds singing

The night is a more peaceful time in which to live
I'm also attracted to the solitude it can give
The night just offers more of what I need right now
I'm seriously considering making it work somehow

David Rose - Vietnam Veteran - Combat Medic

Rice Wine To Go

Worked six days a week in the ER
On my day off I'd hike out to where the Montagnards are
I volunteered to conduct a sick call
As they didn't have modern medical support at all

I didn't carry a weapon as a CO
So I had an infantryman assigned to me when I go
I would hike through the jungle on the trail
Not knowing what each journey would entail

My first stop at each village had to be the Elder's Hut
I had to comply with their native customs somewhat
So I joined them in their rice wine drinking tradition
Until I was of a drunken condition

They even provided meals for me to eat
Wild boar and corn on the cob that couldn't be beat
Everything they served me to eat was just fine
Then they brought me a cup of guess what, more rice wine

After all of that I did manage a sick call, I think
If I needed a consult I always had a radio link
I remember finding a few diagnosis that made the effort worthwhile
Even carried a few back to the hospital once in a while

I made friends with the elders over the course of the year
The drinking was new to me, I had never even tasted beer
We couldn't communicate verbally but we really didn't care
Our game of charades was pretty fair

My last visit there was a memory to forever cherish
Because of a friendship that would never perish
They gave me a Montagnards blanket and all the children danced in a row
They gave me something else too, can you guess what, some rice wine to go

David Rose - Vietnam Veteran - Combat Medic

My PTSD Septic Tank is Broken

When I built my PTSD house 45 years ago
I installed a septic tank down below

A lot of poop has built up over the decades
Not all of it degrades

One day I thought I smelled something fishy
Went outside and the lawn was all squishy

Repair man said the tank had a crack
Would cost me a lot of jack

Decided to not repair it now
Would mask the smell somehow

City inspector said "Codes are not being met"
I said "Recent rain made the lawn that wet"

Soon the neighbors started to complain
Said I was contaminating the terrain

Later the toilet started to flow over
Because of all that poop out in the clover

Decided to use the toilet upstairs
To avoid those costly repairs

One day I came home and opened the front door
Got covered in poop from that damn war

David Rose - Vietnam Veteran - Combat Medic
Inspired by Dr. Lefton

Gaining Insight

Now that I have studied this PTSD for a while
I can reflect and understand why I've been so hostile
There were numerous times throughout my life
When I have created unnecessary strife

Sometimes when I would open my mouth
The conversation would turn south
If I had to make an important decision
It may be based on a wartime vision

Many of my civilian engagements were wrong
Because my head was where it didn't belong
I lost a lot in life because of all of this
It's painful to look back and realize what all I missed

Strained relationships with family and friends
I hope it's not too late to make amends
I was protecting myself from them and them from me
Back then it was the only way I knew how to be

I'm not saying I have all of the answers yet
But I'll take all the little nuggets I can get
I still have a long way to go
But at least I'm gaining insight about things I need to know

David Rose - Vietnam Veteran - Combat Medic

His Big Scar

As an ER medic in Nam
We kind of did our own thing
Nobody really gave a damn
They let us have our fling

I wore custom tailored pants
And let my hair grow long
Funny what privilege grants
Been wearing a scrub shirt all along

One day I decided to walk into town
Don't remember what I went for
Maybe just to walk around
Didn't know I had a surprise in store

A new MP stopped me in his Jeep
And threw me over the hood
I didn't make a peep
Why he handcuffed me I never understood

Hauled me off to the MP station
And pushed me through the front door
Told the sergeant there I was getting a citation
Because he didn't like the uniform I wore

Sergeant said, "That's Doc Rose.
Why are you bringing him in?
Don't worry about his clothes."
That poor MP couldn't win

Sergeant said, "Take Doc wherever he wants to go
And take off that damn handcuff!"
There is no way that poor MP could know
That he didn't have to get tough

About a week later, that same MP came into the ER
Seems he cut his hand and finger
Was going to be treated by Dr. Hitar
I told him, "Doc I got this one. No need to linger."

I comforted the MP as routine
Told him he would feel no pain
As I drew up some saline
Instead of Novocaine

I said "Let me know if any of this hurts.
I can give you more pain killer."
It's amazing the control he exerts
He was as rigid as a pillar

He toughed it out
While the nursing staff was giggling
Not once did he shout
He wasn't even wiggling

Every once in a while
Someone whipped the sweat off his brow
He even mustered a smile
He got through it somehow

To become friends is what we requested
Saw him often in the ER
I'd joke about getting arrested
He'd whine about his big scar

David Rose - Vietnam Veteran - Combat Medic



Just a Jerk

Diagnosed with PTSD about seven months ago
Because of my experiences as a GI Joe

I think I have seen ten doctors if I remember right
The VA has lots of doctors on site

My PCP discovered my plight first
She sent me to another doctor who was better versed

He said "my job is to reconfirm"
"I am just short term"

He said, "Meds are what you need"
"We have another doctor for that who will intercede"

"These meds have no guarantees
They could be worse than the disease"

"Long term therapy is what you should get"
"You have another doctor for that too I'll bet"

After many months of one on one
It's now time to bring in the big gun

"You need to start group therapy now
I think it will help you somehow"

"This doctor is a Vietnam Vet too
He may have a better clue for you"

"OK. Now go see a doctor for an Agent Orange exam"
"Had one two months ago, but forgot where I am"

"That first doctors exam was for the AO Registry
This doctor is who you really need to see"

Nice to have all this high powered examination
But then have some high school dropout do my claim evaluation

What happens if after all of this work
These doctors decide I'm not sick at all, I'm just a jerk

David Rose - Vietnam Veteran - Combat Medic

I Know of a Hero

Not I, but I know of a hero who...
Threw himself on a grenade in the mud
Fortunately for him, it was a dud.

Not I, but it know of a hero who...
Flew his helicopter in with enemy all around
Tried to fly away, was shot to the ground.

Not I, but I know of a hero who...
Threw his body on a grenade to soften the blast
Gave of his own life so others will last.

Not I, but I know of a hero who...
Shot six snipers, plus two more by hand
Sacrificed himself, while his platoon made a stand.

Not I, but I know of a hero who...
Made five charges to create a perimeter gap
Enabling his company to exit the trap

Not I, but I know of a hero who...
Encouraged and directed his men where to return fire
Pushed back the enemy outside the wire

Not I, but I know of a hero who...
Positioned himself to protect his friend
Watched the enemy aim, knowing it's the end

Not I, but I know of a hero who...
Sees a grenade come in, his own life to give
Covers with his helmet, all men will live

Not I, but I know of a hero who...
Single handedly reduced the enemy into defeat
Provided cover, while the wounded made a retreat

Not I, but I know of a hero who...
Fell on a grenade and survived the blast
Gave aid to his comrade, before he passed

Not I, but I know of a hero who...
Pulled the wounded to safety, giving CPR as he went
Aided his comrades, until he himself was spent

Not I, but I know of a hero who...
Pilot can't survive the crash, but the navigator can
Ditched plane in the water, to save the other man

Not I, but I know of a hero who...
Destroyed 10 enemy bunkers and more
Saved his own life, and those of his corps

Not I, but I know of a hero who...
Utilized 3 helicopters, to evacuate 51
It's hard to comprehend what he had just done

Not I, but I know of a hero who...
Caught an incoming grenade and held it to his chest
Saved 3 of his comrades, from the blast he suppressed

Not I, but I know of a hero who...
Was seriously wounded and driven to win
Took a rocket, to do him in

Not I, but I know of a hero who...
Destroyed a bunker and performed without a flaw
Forcing enemy troops, to quickly withdraw

Not I, but I know of a hero who...
Organized a retreat to save his men
Went back in, to do it all again

Not I, but I know of a hero who...
Malfunctioned his grenade, seconds to react
To save his platoon, he absorbed the impact

Not I, but I know of a hero who...
Was a POW who adhered to the code
Gained respect from the enemy, for the valor he showed

Not I, but I know of a hero who...
Rolled over on grenade so comrades wouldn't pass away
Energized his team, to defeat the NVA

Not I, but I know of a hero who...
Crossed a river to recover his wounded when success was slim
Moved them all to safety, even though he couldn't swim

Not I, but I know of a hero who...
Kept his damaged jet in the air to complete his mission
Silenced the enemy defensive position

David Rose - Vietnam Veteran - Combat Medic


Have to run now
To distance my emotions somehow
Not sure of what to do with everything I was feeling
My intrusive thoughts kept me reeling

Ran to and fro doing this and that
Trying to forget about all that combat
Built a big house and drove a fast race car
Formed a company and traveled afar

Wrote books about a cliche'
Took surgery call almost every day
Produced many musical concerts
Built a satellite network to gain new converts

Worked every wake hour with my dot com
Trying to forget about that Vietnam
Extreme busyness was my deal
Didn't know the right way how to heal

David Rose - Vietnam Veteran - Combat Medic

The Clock in the Hall

Ever sense this PTSD thing hit
I've been down in the pit
I stay pretty much secluded
From normal activities I'm excluded
Can't keep living life this way
Hope it's not here to stay

The clock keeps ticking on the wall
I can hear it down the hall

I see my friends moving along
Their lives are going strong
Life is going on else where
Even though I'm not there
The more depressed I get
So in this room I sit

The clock keeps ticking on the wall
I can hear it down the hall

Life is passing me by
No matter how hard I try
It's hard to get going
With the symptoms I'm showing
Can't keep living life this way
Hope it's not here to stay

The clock keeps ticking on the wall
I can hear it down the hall

David Rose - Vietnam Veteran - Combat Medic

Recognition or Acceptance

My therapist thinks it's recognition I seek
Minimizing my PTSD so to speak
"Won't get any praise from the VA"
Is what my therapist had to say

Exiting the plane from Vietnam
I just wanted to get home to see mom
Didn't really know what to expect
Never dreamt I'd receive such disrespect
Was I seeking recognition then?

Hospitalized for shell shock in 71 & 73
Before PTSD was yet to be
Stress so great I was bleeding inside
All support back then was fully denied
Was I seeking recognition then?

Didn't know what to do with myself
Put my emotions away on the shelf
Decided to run for the next 45 years
But now here come the tears
Was I seeking recognition then?

Tears have hit me seemingly overnight
Impressive what a change PTSD can incite
This is nothing I asked for
Just long term side affects of a lousy war
Was I seeking recognition then?

When I stay in bed all day from depression
Or when I speak with a lot of aggression
When I can't do my work all day
Because my concentration goes away
Am I seeking recognition then?

When I startle in fear
Thinking danger is near
When I sit in a defensive position
To anticipate the opposition
Am I seeking recognition then?

When I don't go to movies or watch TV
Because of what I might hear or see
When I shop in the middle of the night
Because I'm so uptight
Am I seeking recognition then?

When I have nightmares that awaken me
And get me up at three
When I have intrusive thoughts during the day
The horrible images they portray
Am I seeking recognition then?

When I volunteer at the Medal of Honor Museum
I'm not working in a colosseum
I'm as secluded as I can be
No one ever sees me
Am I seeking recognition then?

Through the decades I have even established recognition
Support for our troops was my personal mission
I would be at the airport when our troops flew in
Even when none were next of kin
Am I seeking recognition then?

Perhaps my therapist is confusing acceptance with recognition
I've already stated that seeking camaraderie was an ambition
Trying to replace the honor we had during the war
I don't think it's out there. I don't look anymore

I'm not trying to contrive
I just want to survive
It's hard enough dealing with all of this
Without being thrown into the abyss

Don't send me off to war
Then treat me like a whore
Don't minimize how I feel today
By letting this recognition thing get in the way

David Rose - Vietnam Veteran - Combat Medic