Permanent and Total.
These words, spoken today by the psychologist at Hubby's C&P exam were bittersweet words to hear. On the one hand, it's what we wanted. It's what Hubs deserves to get. However, at the same time, to hear that your loved one's condition is permanent is somewhat hard to hear.
Hubby has been receiving benefits from the VA and social security for quite awhile now. However, he was not considered permanent and total. Hubs has spent the last 5 years since his medical retirement afraid that if he got better, they would take all this benefits away. He finally decided to put in for his Permanent and Total based on my urging and the urging of his psychologist and psychiatrist. We submitted the paperwork and then, the VA decided to do a C&P, which is an exam to judge you, for lack of a better word, to see if you really deserve it.
Hubs has been stressed to the max about this exam. I went with him today to the exam for support and to answer questions the doctor might have. Turns out, the doc was awesome. We sat down and we could tell right away that she had already read up on his files and she said that it was really a formality that we were there. That right away eased my mind. She was very approachable and somehow, I'm not sure how, she got Hubs to open up.
Hubs cried, I teared up, and at the end of the exam, the psychologist told us that Hubs would NEVER have to come in for another of these again. She said she was going to write whatever she needs to to ensure that he gets his Permanent and Total.
I'm thrilled that Hubby can now feel secure knowing that it won't be taken away. At the same time, it enforces what I already knew; Hubby is irreversibly broken. There is no cure for PTSD. I know that, Hubs knows that. But to hear Permanent and Total…..still kind of hits you.
However, this is good news. Hubby can and will continue to work on his traumas and coping skills. He will learn even better how to get through the dark times when his anxiety and depression take over, without the threat of having benefits taken away if he shows improvement dangling over his head.
Yes, he will continue to fight the fight, and I will be right there beside him all the way.