Before And After


Lalage Snow’s photojournalism of a soldier’s before, during, and after pictures entitled “We Are Not Dead” shows not only the rapid aging process that the body goes through during a major stressor; but it enlightens us on the psychological toll it takes as well.

There’s also a group I’m involved in on Facebook and recently the ladies decided to post images of their before vs. now in their caregiving career.

I never really thought about it before, exactly how stress (both physical and mental) affects our appearance. War is one thing. You expect the soldier to come back changed. But do people really understand what we caregivers go through after they come home? I think not. It’s not something that is widely talked about. It’s as hushed hushed as PTSD was during/after WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam. So we must now speak out about it and not be afraid to hide behind closed doors anymore.

Caring for my veteran is a badge I proudly wear. He served his country. That service broke him. He is my hero. And I will do everything in my power to love and care for him for always.

So, now that this has come to my attention, I decided to put together some pictures of our lives, to see exactly how much we have changed since the incidents, the pain and PTSD, the VA and all those dealings, my responsibilities and dealing with all the demons while trying to keep some sort of normalcy in our lives these last 15 years.

You just don’t realize how it has affected you, how much you’ve changed/aged, in such a short period of time until you see the pictures side by side.

Him - Before Incident Kosovo 1999

Him – Before last incident – Kosovo 1999

Him - Good Day Pushing Through

Him – On a Good Day Pushing Through

Him on a Bad Day

Him on a Bad Day

Me Before Last Incident - Kosovo 1999

Me Before Last Incident – Kosovo 1999

Me Today

Me Today

We have our good days, but due to the chronic pain and constant migraines, they are far and few between.

DiningIn1999

Us 1999

Us On A Good Day

Us On A Good Day After the Incidents

 

What I’d like to do is gather more Veteran Caregivers’ before and after photos and do something similar to what Lalage Snow did for the military members, just to see if caregiving is as changing to the caregiver as war is on the soldier. So, if you’re willing, please contact me and let me know if you would like to participate in this endeavor. I would gladly give you credit and link to your blog if you have one.

LadyJai

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13 thoughts on “Before And After

  1. Dancing In The Weeds

    This is a wonderful place! Thank you for stopping by leading me to what you have created here. I’m looking forward to reading your past and future post. I love how the two of you are smiling in the “Us on a good day after the incidents”. It makes me smile too. 🙂

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    1. LadyJai Post author

      This makes my heart sing! I am now considering turning these articles into a book, but I would need to do some serious research as to “how” 😛

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  2. Rachna Chhabria

    I agree, stress is bad for health. After my dad’s heart surgery which was a major stressful period for me, I underwent lots of health issues.

    Hey please delete the previous message, I hate the spelling mistakes I have made.

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    1. LadyJai Post author

      When my father had cancer and right after his surgery, I realized just how much all that stress changes a person. I never seen my father look so “old.” It was so unnerving. I never really thought it would do the same to the care giver. But, it does. All my pictures I look so tired. I never liked my pictures before, but now…ugh! Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. eliexpat

    Thanks for popping by my blog:-) I have been reading yours-very moving story. Will for sure like to follow you, and yes – keep going lady- and your writings are so good. Was captivated by the first words. Sending you warm thoughts and happy to connect with u:-)

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    1. LadyJai Post author

      Thanks for visiting, Alex. I have two novels in process at the moment but they are fiction. You are now the second person who mentioned to me about turning my caregiver blog into a book. But, honestly, I am not sure how to go about it.

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  4. Paula Kaye

    It is the same even if they aren’t military. Both Richard and I have changed so much in the last 2 1/2 years since his stroke. He has lost so much weight and gotten so frail. I have lost all the color in my hair and gained a ton of weight. People rarely think of the toll it takes on the caregiver! Thinking of you today 🙂

    Paula at /Smidgen,Snippets,&Bits

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    1. LadyJai Post author

      It is so true! It doesn’t matter the circumstances. It is stress all the way around. I mean, look at any president before they go into office, then look at them 4 years later. The stress changes them. The problem is, most people forget about the caregivers. It’s hard enough to get people to recognize the soldiers, but the caregivers are completely invisible.

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