Monday, April 28, 2008

Blah Blah Blah

I have had a very long day. Most of it was handling random business...running errands. I am exhausted and just gorged myself on pizza. The kitchen is a mess because there are little piles of sorted laundry scattered around like islands in a sea of tile. And there is this awful odor because I go the bright idea that I would attempt to rescue the compromised coffeemaker before buying a new one. Someone told me to try to run vinegar through it to clean it out. Well, I only had cider vinegar because some random recipe for a marinade called for it. So I tried the cider vinegar, and now my house has the pungent odor of burnt cider vinegar. I sprayed air freshener and have been doing laundry so the house smells like flowers and my detergent, but all that is doing is creating the stench of pickled flowers. What do pickled flowers smell like? I have no clue, but I imagine it to smell like the entire ground floor of my house. Blech!
I have opened a new insurance policy and renewed our tags for the vehicles, which is always fun. And I attempted to get a laundry list of items needed for the house in about 5.2 seconds because my husband was parked in a fire lane. That was fun.
The plan now is to curl up on my huge comfy sofa and read, and I can bet I get through about 2 or 3 pages before my eyes start to close involuntarily.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Nothing to Say

I have absolutely nothing to blog about this morning. Except OHMYGODTHECOFFEEMAKERDIED! The last one I had, my child ruined by filling the water chamber with dark cocoa baking powder. He did this in an effort to make hot chocolate at 3 AM while we were sleeping. So hubby, son and I loaded in the car for an emergency trip to the local department store to buy a new one. (I won't mention said department store's name because I hate them with a passion, but they are oh-so-handy in a pinch.) So this is my second coffeemaker this year.
So what is wrong with it? I have no idea. You fill it to the 12-cup mark, put in the go-juice grounds and let it brew. It has an automatic timer that turns off after 2 hours, but you are lucky to get a teaspoon of coffee in that time frame. And it is making these horrible noises. Big gurgles and splashes and hissing like it is posessed by a thousand demons. I. Need. A. New. One.
So here I am on a Sunday morning, looking like a stark-raving-mad lunatic in pajamas. My hair is crazy, and my eyes are half open. And I have no go juice. I could decide I wanted to be handy by taking the back off of the thing and trying to figure out what is wrong. But that requires energy, and I am afraid I will find a Hot Wheel in there or something.
I was up most of the night crying last night. I wonder if there is some You Tube support group I could join? A 12-step program to kick the addiction of watching crap I should not be watching? I equate the You Tube fixation with driving past an accident. You almost HAVE to look. So I watch the stuff and cry, and sob, and sniffle. Then I can't sleep because there are a million thoughts going through my head. None of them positive, I might add. And I have come up with a grievance for the military wives who post this stuff: why do you all look like you haven't shed a tear in a decade? Seriously, their makeup is not smudged, not a puffy eye in the place, and they are sending their husbands off to WAR! Everyone is smiling and posing for pictures. WTF?!? So I posed the question on a message board. And I got replies like "They were just holding it in until they got home." or "They are just being strong." Huh? Strong? I am one tough broad. But I am sitting here watching the videos and bawling like a baby. There is no "be strong" or "hold it all in" for me. I am going to embarrass the living crap out of my husband when that day comes. It won't be by choice. There will be no choice to it. It will be a completely involuntary response to Uncle Sam taking my husband away from me for over a year. Sorry, but it cannot be helped. And Evan? Might as well leave Evan home, because I will already be a basket case, but then if you add to the mix my son pleading for his Daddy, it will all be over. We won't even be able to get home after that.
So just being tough? I don't think so. There has to be more to it than that. Maybe Jody is coming over as soon as she gets home, and she is excited. Hell, I don't know. I'm most likely wrong, and I will toughen up by then too, but I doubt it. You never know until you are in that situation, I guess.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

What's the Difference?

Last night a friend and I were discussing the differences in the Army and the Marine Corps that may give John difficulty when adjusting. We could not help but laugh at some of them. A few could get John into trouble. The Marine Corps does not salute indoors, and the Army does. He is going to have to recondition himself on that one. I am willing to bet he will piss off a few officers before it sinks in and becomes second nature.
But the boot bands and bloused trouser legs, no cover block, and no rolled sleeves. I can see John now trying to do this with his ACU's.
Anyone who has never had the pleasure of knowing a Marine will not appreciate the comedy in all of this. They are purists, and view the Corps as the representation of all that is elite, disciplined. Name tags on uniforms? No way. They are "professionals". Patches on combat uniforms? What for? And what in the hell is up with that beret? I can almost see the look of disdain on John's face when he is told to wear it.
I am saying none of this to insult the Army. But the Marine Corps is a big, bad Boys' Club with their own set of standards. I swear they must check the testosterone levels of all recruits before allowing them to attempt to enlist. And my husband is a member. Some friends have equated the military to high school athletics. The Air Force is the Freshman team, the Army is Junior Varsity, and the Marine Corps is, of course, Varsity. "Where does this leave the Navy?", I asked.
"They are the cheerleaders!"
So what is my civilian take on all of this? Quite simply, we have different branches of the Armed Forces for a reason. Each does their job. Each is composed of our American brothers and sisters fighting so we do not have to. Each suffers the loss of the other. They are all brothers.
It's just that the Corps has a far-better swagger.

Losing Steam?

Lately John has been more and more difficult to motivate. No PT. Or very rarely. For the most part he sits on the sofa, watching movies. He is pretty much eating whatever he wants, and this worries me. I am by no means a shining example of physical fitness or proper nutrition for weight loss. But I am also not the one aiming for reentry to the military. I am afraid. I am afriad that he will e shipped to Iraq or Afghanistan, into a combat situation, and will not have the physical bearing to be able to keep up. He has gained a portion of the weight back that he had initially lost. I'm not quite sure how to get him motivated. Quite honestly, I should not have to. He should be doing this on his own.

Proud of My Kid

My husband and I, along with our neighbors, went to our local community park with the kids the other day. It was just a little big deal. The kids played on the playground while we adults watched on.
We noticed that there seemed to be quite a few special needs children present. No big deal either. We figured they were on an outing. Evan has never been around children with disabilities. And let's face it--children can be cruel whether by intention or just by asking impolite questions with brutal honesty toward someone different from them.
Well, I look over and Evan was sitting with this boy who appeared to be not much taller than him. I had noticed the boy walking around aimlessly by himself earlier. I immediately went over to them, afraid my son would be rude and hurt the boy's feelings. I could not have been more wrong about my son. He spent a good portion of his time there playing with the boy, leading him by the hand through the playground, having fun.
A friend of mine, upon hearing this story, said he reflected on us as parents, that we have raised Evan well. I was so proud to have a child who will reach out to someone very different from him, to focus on what they have in common instead of the differences.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Finally, I Saw It!

I have wanted to see the film Ears Open, Eyeballs Click since I knew it existed. What in the hell is it? It is a documentary filmed during Marine Corps boot camp that really shows what it is like for the recruits. Watching it made me so proud that my husband did it. He made it through that! Of course John insists that boot camp on Parris Island is much tougher than San Diego, and of course the film was filmed in San Diego. There were parts that made me laugh. But there were also parts where I got misty eyed. I was somewhat disappointed about the Parris Island thing. I wanted a closer look at what it was like for my husband.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Slightly Tweaked

Why is it that John has worked on this reenlistment issue for so long, and now that the time is most likely here, I am flaking out? As I am typing this, an Army recruiter is on the way to the house to pick up some final paperwork for John's waiver, do a final taping, and have John sign his contract. This is it. Now or never. I am scared to death.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


With my husband pursuing entering the Army, we wanted to see this film. I didn't originally think this vey prudent. I am prone to tears as of late, and visual imagery of patriotism and/or war seem to compound this. The day is rapidly approaching when I will no longer be just an observer. This will ultimately impact my life grossly.
Unable to obtain a babysitter, we watched the film online (is it illegal to watch or just to upload???) Just John and I cuddled up with the laptop. I must say the film would most definitely be enjoyable for someone not potentially affected by the actual policy. It was enjoyable if I detached myself from the current circumstances of my life. I cried a little, especially at the imagery of a military funeral. But is it because of the moving moment of the film, or just simply that military funerals have always done this to me, long before I married a veteran or that same veteran I married decided he wanted to reenlist?
And okay, I must admit, the guys in the film were HOT. You got me there!
But I have to say it: Stop-Loss pissed me off.
At the risk of not sounding politically correct or in-tune with our men and women in uniform, I am sticking with that statement. It seems tawdry to go to a theater on a date and buy your popcorn and Sno-Caps and sit and watch the plight of our troops on the big screen like it is there for our amusement, first of all. Yet recently watching Lions for Lambs on dvd did not have this effect on me. It may be because L for L prompted healthy discussion and political debate here in my house.
I felt bad that I had this reaction to Stop-loss, so I started doing some internet research on the policy. I was sort of hoping to find some obscure fact about the practice that I had not before become aware. I didn't.
I believe that the film did bring some things to light that desperately needed to be. Primarily the PTSD that is plaguing our men as they return from war. And that stop loss is real. But in the film, all of the men returning are suffering from it. I know the statistics of PTSD are staggering, but not all-encompassing. And is the reaction of the average Soldier returning from Iraq to go AWOL??? The film made this look so easy. You just find someone to help you with fake IDs and cross a border. When the main character was standing at the Mexican border, I was hoping he did not cross it. Of course the film didn't load correctlly on the computer, and it stopped at this point, so I originally didn't get to see the real ending and was really pissed off. I just thought that would portray these men as cowardly, and send the wrong message to the troops.
So what is my reaction to the actual practice of Stop-Loss? Yes, it sucks. But almost everyone realizes when you sign a contract to serve, you are actually committing to several years after your active service ends known as Inactive Ready Reserves. John was IRR when the war in Iraq started. During this time, you can be called back to active service. Its just a part of military service. Would it really be better to reach the end of an active service term and return to civilian life only to be called back again? Yet there isn't any controversy over troops being recalled to active duty from IRR.
This leads me to a familiar topic: Read that contract you sign, people! You cannot expect to recieve money for college, pay, medical benefits, reenlistment/ enlistment bonuses, room and board, etc, without catches and loopholes. If you can live with the loopholes, like John can, sign the papers. If not, walk away. I read in an article while doing some online reading on the issue the following quote:
"....In the event of war, my enlistment in the Armed Forces continues until sixth month after the war ends, unless my enlistment is ended sooner by the President of the United States..." Well, doesn't that about sum it up? We are in war. Two of them simultaneously, to be exact. If you signed the papers, you signed the papers. I'm sorry for them and their families. My family will be among them soon. But we are doing so with the knowledge that this could very well happen to John.
Two National Guardsmen sued over this, and it was shot down. They said their recruiters deceived them by not telling them about stop-loss. I did not know a recruiter was responsible for knowing every tiny detail about everything related to the military. That is why the contract is printed. They should have read it more carefully. I am glad a judge shot their claim down.
We are at war. We need troops, and the Army is under-performing in the task of getting new bodies to enlist. Its either stop-loss or a draft in order to keep the man-power needed to do the job. At least stop-loss is utilizing troops who are already committed and volunteered.


When I tell people of my husband's intention to reenlist recently, I have heard comments of such ridiculous nature about how things are safe now. In no way is Operation Iraqi Freedom "safe". There are now 4,039 American families who will never be the same because of this war. Please do not get me wrong: this is not an anti-war statement. I won't even speak on that subject, and you can take from this what you wil. Where does my concern rest? That these are my American brothers and sisters over there fighting this war. Whether we should be over there or not does not change this fact in my mind. These families affected are like mine in that at one point, their loved one said "I am going to risk my life to defend this country". They send their loved one off to war, assuming he or she will return many months later. As I write this, and I anticipate what it will be like to watch John leave, I also in some part of my brain envision what his homecoming will be like. These families were robbed of that by some guerilla with the notion he is defending all that is holy. I hope they find peace with all they lost. I, as a civilian, am so grateful for that sacrifice. I cannot find the words for more eloquent a statement. There are none.

We are Learning!

Evan brought home a new school library book the other day because he thought his father would approve. It was called "Alpha Bravo Charlie" and it went through the letters of the military alphabet, using examples from each branch of the service as examples. For example, Lima is for "Leathernecks", which got a hearty "Oorah" from my husband. But the moral of the story is that Evan and I now know the military alphabet!
Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel, India, Juliet, Kilo, Lima, Mike, November, Oscar, Papa, Quebec,Romeo, Sierra, Tango, Uniform, Victor, Whiskey, X-Ray, Yankee, Zulu......Hahahahahaha

Our Time?

John and I have started this habit of staying up extremely late. I have friends who would consider 10 PM late. Nooooo...We aren't referring to such a normal hour here. We are talking about times when there are actually some who are waking up and starting their day....4 AM or so.
Neither one of us is sure when this started. He blames me. I am the pepetual night-shifter, even when not at work, and have the awesome power of requiring very little sleep. I'm not sure when this developed either. Perhaps it is conditioned. When I was in school, from high school on, I would do as much as was possible, trying to make every little moment in my schedule count. There was never a fluff class like home economics or sewing. If there was a space in my schedule at all, it was filled with something useful like chemistry or an advanced physics course I didn't have time for before. Then I would swim, work a damned-near full-time job, play in the band, play softball. I was always doing something. By the time I fit all of that in, there was precious little time left for sleep. I did the same thing in college. So now here I am and I actually have trouble sleeping for more thn 4-5 hours unless under the influence of some substance. But anyhow...
So we wait until our kid goes to bed, trying to hold onto sanity everynight. Until the Mommy and Daddy calls have stopped, until there ae no more " Get back in bed, Evan" comments, when we can be in peace to watch that movie we have been wanting to see or talk about something interesting we saw in the news, or play a game of cards. This is our time. We have so little of it each night that it gets very difficult for me to cut it short.
I know this is going to make my nights much more difficult for me when he is not here. The house will be quiet, there will be no distractions, I will be unable to sleep because I am still hard-wired that way, and John will not be here. I'll wonder where he is, if he is safe and warm, and wish he were home with me. And I'll cry. Because it wil be our time, and we won't be together.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wardrobe Problem?

Okay.....My husband is one of those guys who will just throw on anything that is clean and hit the door. Sometimes this results in mismatches, or he will lift his arm in public and see a hole in the underarm or something equally embarrassing. I try to remove these items from circulation while doing his laundry, but am human and sometimes miss things.
So we are getting ready to leave to go and meet with his recruiter. I am frazzled, as I have an interview and am trying to make sure I have all that I need, so I do not pay any attention to what he is wearing. I know he does not look like a bum, as I would have noticed this.
We get to the recruiter's office, and all of the guys start commenting on what an ugly shirt he is wearing. I look and see he has a Marine Corps tee on with his jeans. To an Army recruiter's office!
The recruiters were teasing him, and told him he was not to wear it anymore, handing him an Army tee. He changed.
On another note, after a follow-up telephone conversation, it would seem all systems are go for the Army.

On a completely different note: I love this song, and have been singing it in my head all day. Just an FYI.

Monday, April 14, 2008

What Is That Smell??????

Awwww my son! My baby boy. Look at his picture there on the side. So sweet. So angelic!

WRONG! That child is far from angelic. Tonight, before his bedtime, he goes upstairs to take a shower. I hear nothing eventful to alarm me. No crashes or splashes or other ominous sound.

He comes down the stairs after the shower, and looks all cute with his wet hair and gorgeous smile. Then the smell hits!

"Evan, what did wash with?"

"Just soap Mommy!"

"What soap Evan?"

He runs away, leaving behind him a cloud of noxiousness. It would seem that my angel decided to clean himself with about five different perfumed gels of mine. They smell lovely by themselves, but not mixed all together. In fact, he smells like a French.....working girl. He runs up to hug me and it literally brings tears to my eyes, not because of the touching and tender moment, but because of the fumes that are wafting off of my child. I have not checked yet. I am afraid. I think his shower just cost me about $100.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Because He Still Wants To......

We started this journey so long ago. First, he was thinking about being a Corpsman because he wanted to be in the medical aspect of things. Then it was the Marine Corps because that is what he knows. Then other things in our life forced his reenlistment to take the back burner while we worked on getting things in order. He lost 80 pounds, then gained some of it back, then lost it, then gained a little more back. Then all hell broke loose in our lives, and things changed drastically. Through all of this, he still wants to reenlist. But the focus has now become getting him some sort of education completed so in the event that I cannot work, we will not be completely out of sorts. So how does he get both?

He contacted the Army. After being in this game for a little while, even I was impressed with what they had to say. Back in as an E-4, as in no loss of rank. PFT and body composition standards that will not break the back of a man who has been a civilian for almost a decade. Possibly even back in as an E-5 because he has completed 80 college credits as a civilian. Still no boot camp, but only a 2-week orientation of sorts. Almost guarunteed the MOS of combat medic, with said training allowing him to be a practicing civilian EMT upon discharge. Possible radiography tech training and credentials, which he wanted as a civilian but found the waiting list for nearby programs to be too long. A break for me. I could slacken my work hours a little and focus on getting that pre-med degree finished, at least. Relocation from an area he hates. This could possibly be the best opportunity for my family. BUT.........

I am still scared. Unlike before, when I refused to tell him what I wanted, I have agreed with him verbally. This could theoretically fix all of our problems right now. It could make things better. But is it worth the risk? We are not so naiive to believe that this all comes without a cost. We know for a fact that he will ship off to war. It could be immediately or it could be a year after training. Unlike the Marine Corps, the Army deploys for twelve to fifteen months, at the least. That is a very long time for my husband and Evan's father to be gone. And what if something happens to him? Of course, everyone that leaves for a combat zone believes they will be like the other guys they know who came back safely. But they would be foolish to believe that they could not be, instead, the one on their hometown news broadcast in the flag-draped casket. Or the veteran they show learning to walk with his new prosthetic.

It feels like a gigantic gamble. Like we would be pawning something very dear to us, which we can't live without, not knowing if we will be able to ever get it out of hock. My mother always taught me to not gamble with anything you cannot afford to lose for good. And there could never be enough money in the world to make up for the loss of my John. I would never be whole again. He is a part of me after all of these years, after all.

I am at a loss. I am finding a hard time stopping him from doing something that will get us out of this situation. But I am also having a hard time with the danger of it all. Is this the only way out? And after a year, with him still wanting to reenlist, would any other solution be acceptable to him? Is he just doing this to get us out? Or is he using our current circumstances as a justification for going back in? I'm afraid I will never know the true answer to these questions.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Us, If We Even Tried!

My favorite movie these days is "Fun with Dick and Jane". If you have lived under a rock lately and have not seen this movie, it is about the perfect All-American family who loses everything when his company goes under. Slowly they sell off all of their posessions one by one, and try any last-ditch effort to get money to cover the bills. When they finally get a foreclosure notice in the mail, they resort to desperate measures. I can relate, but like John and I, some people just are not hardened criminals. I wouldn't even have the cajones to try this. And even if I did, and tried to pull it off, I would feel so guilty and turn myself, as well as all of the money, in . Just like she said in the movie, maybe we just aren't Badasses!

Ha! Here ya go John!

Hahaha! This is from the Popeye movie that was out when I was a kid, and this song is sort of an inside joke. The other night, I got it stuck in my head, and was singing it around the house. Keep in mind that I sing a little worse than Shelley Duvall. It was also in Punch-Drunk Love, which had to be the strangest movie I have seen. Anyhow, John was laughing his head off at me singing this song, so I had to post this!


In case you can't tell, because of the recent events, I have been doubting myself. It's really hard not too when a string of misfortune comes your way, and you are a student of logic. One has to ponder whether the events are a result of one's own actions. Surely it can't all just be bad luck. But I found this Emerson piece, and since I am an idiot, and cannot figure a way to format this where it will stay that way when I publish this post to the blog, I am going to put it in the sidebar. I will sum it all up with this statement: yes, I am successful. Read: I am not such a failure after all.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Hoping for a Miracle....

Our lives have fallen apart. Plain and simple. We try and try to keep a positive outlook, but each step forward is followed by two steps back. I would love to know the secret to keeping one's chin up when there is this much weight on one's shoulders. It is something I am having trouble figuring out at the moment.

There are others out there who have the desir eto help but not the means. They have done what they can and I will forever be grateful to them, even if it something as simple as a good intention. But this is a very lonely place I am in. I feel like I am driving my friends away. I cannot seem to keep myself from venting or discussing what is going on in my life. But then on the other hand, when I do, I feel like I am bothering them with my troubles. Or that they just don't want to hear it. On that same note, I have a hard time being my outgoing, wise-cracking self these days. I am more bitter and depressed. No one likes a bitter woman. I fear I have become one of these toxic women that you read about in Cosmo or something, and don't know what to do about it. But how are you supposed to act when all hope is gone? When there is no light at the end of the tunnel, but only darkness for as far as you can see?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Just Something I Read

Awesome read. Awesome. It isn't something I would normally choose, but the preview for the film looked interesting, and since the book is always better, I rushed to read it so I could see the film without guilt. Of course all hell broke loose (see last post) and the movie was never to be for me.
But I loved it. Now I have this fixation with the Tudors....NO--not the cable show. And John hates it because this is so different from the things in which he is interested!
So The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory. In the meantime, I will finish The Fountainhead then I plan to read it again.


This is hard tp write...errrr... type. It's such a long story, but I have been MIA for quite some time now, and this is why. So I am juyst going to cut and paste something I had already written.
I am grappling with the decision to reveal this as I type it. It is very personal in nature, but I also know that we are all a family of sorts. And I know you will all laugh when I say that we medical personnel truly do make the worst patients. But during my absence from the site over the past few weeks, I became the patient, and I do not like it one bit. Some background information is needed for you to understand what is going on, so please try to stay awake.
I was 17 years old, on my way to my fast food job during my senior year of high school. It was pouring rain at the time, and I was involved in a hit-and-run accident when someone in a very large truck ran a stop sign. My car went skidding sideways, with my head striking the driver’s side window as my body went hurtling sideways. I was taken to the emergency room, where a head CT was done. I had a concussion, and was sent home. Lucky me.
But then a couple days later, we got a call from our family doctor telling us to report to the office to discuss the results of the head CT. It turns out that the radiologist, when reviewing the films, had discovered something out of the ordinary. I will never forget the sound my heart makes when it drops out of my chest, as it did that day when my doctor drew a crude depiction of a brain on a dry-erase board, explaining where they had found the mass. It was two days before Christmas. My follow-up with the neurosurgeon was a week later, the day after my eighteenth birthday. They sent me to the best. The Mayfield Neurological Institute of Cincinnati. So we trusted him when he told us that it was too small to be of concern, that it may possibly even be artifact on the film. It was forgotten as the years passed.
Here we are now. I’m a wife, a mother. A healthcare professional. And while I was sleeping off a twelve hour night shift, I am awakened to blinding, stabbing pain in my forehead. Pain so intense that my screams caused my husband and young son to run to see what was wrong. The room was spinning and nausea set in. Then came the fear. I was taken to the ER, where a head CT was done…..again. I knew it was not good when the doctor called me to the nurse’s station to look at the scan on his computer. For a moment, I was out of my own body. This is the same physician I had worked alongside to save the life of others. This was someone else’s brain on the screen. But there it was. Just lateral to midline on the right of my frontal lobe. That ugly, ugly thing that had caused the phone call all those years ago. As we stood there looking at it, another physician with whom I had worked walked through, saw the film, and exclaimed “Oh, S##T!”, not realizing it was my head we were looking at. That is when the tears started. The doctor’s voice seemed to be coming from somewhere else as he told the nurse to schedule the next scan with contrast. When she asked for the indication, it seemed unreal when he said “Brain tumor, right frontal lobe”.
That was March 14th. Since that day, the pain has not stopped unless it was under the influence of narcotic painkillers. I cannot work while on narcotics, so I have had time to mull this over in my head. There has now been a total of 6 head scans, including an MRA (Thanks to Dave, who knew immediately what it was!), 2 standard MRI’s, and MRI with contrast, and 2 CT’s. Yet we still do not know what is happening. The theory is that the pain is caused by the tumor pressing on my skull, causing back pressure on my brain. The debilitating symptoms alone are enough to justify its removal. I have not gotten official word just yet.
But what is most profound to me are the thoughts that have gone through my head. We expect our patients to trust us, no matter what. With their lives, the lives of their children, siblings, parents. Yet now that the time has come, I am having a hard time trusting the capable hands I have worked alongside for some time now. We expect them to take what is coming with ease, yet the idea of someone opening my skull is terrifying me. What is to become of me? What is to become of the brain that holds so much? The tissue that holds within it the memory of my son’s first step, my mother who I lost all of those years ago. The memories are all I have left of her. What is to become of my career when someone is to take a scalpel to the area that tells my hands exactly how to intubate, or exactly what drug to give to counteract my patient’s life-threatening arrhythmia?
I am learning too. For the scans, all of them, I was not claustrophobic enough to require sedation, but only for one reason, and one reason only. My John. I could get through all of them as long as I felt his hand on my ankle, telling me he was there, even when I could not see him. It did not matter that the tech was watching from another room, or that she made sure the call button was in my hand before she left me. It just mattered that my Marine was there for me if I got into trouble. After over seven years in a marriage where I have always been the strong one, it took this to show me how much I truly need him with me. To realize that it will all be okay if he is there. That we will survive this too. Together we can.
So why am I telling you all of this? I honestly am not sure. Part of me is hoping you will learn something from the story. Perhaps you will approach your patient a little differently, or hug your loved ones a little tighter. But another part of me wonders if this is something we all have to learn on our own.