If You Are Crazy, You Are Grounded

Filed under: — lana @ 6:10 pm

But only crazy people want to fly. Catch-22.

Today was a fine exercise in logic. The S1 lost my overseas orders. They will not attempt to find my orders until I put in the dates for my PCS (permanent change of station) leave.

In order to know my dates for leave, I need two things: an overseas brief so I know what I need to plan for, and my transportation brief so I know the details of when I need to get my car to port and so on.

In order to get a transportation brief scheduled, I need to present them with five copies of my orders.

Furthermore, the S1 says that my company clerk doesn’t need to know when the next overseas brief is, because according to their records no one in his company is going overseas because no one has orders to go overseas.

So without the orders I can’t schedule the two briefs and without these briefs I can’t get my leave form done and apparently therefore can’t get my overseas orders which are necessary to schedule these two briefs with which I could complete the leave form that would allow me to get my orders.


My platoon leader told me I was allowed to go up there and punch them all as long as I said I was from the other company.



Filed under: — lana @ 8:24 pm

More than just a roll of sweet candy now, as I am now a tested and qualified Combat LifeSaver. Another grand Army class taught in the fashion of being designed sometime around the Civil War and carried through without accounting for current battlefield techniques, which says I know primitive ways to bandage wounds and administer intravenous fluids.

It was, in fact, the IV that was the joy of my day today. I really don’t have much of an issue with needles, more like a squeamish problem as things look unnatural. Blood is fine, as long as nothing is bent strange. As such, seeing a needle going into someone’s arm is simply not natural.

As it turned out, I was fine with performing the IV, though my subject was a touch displeased when the first attempt went awry due to rubber gloves a touch too big. Disassociating the arm from the person attached was probably not what he wanted me to do, but it kept me on my feet. Tragically, I can’t say the same for watching the demonstration. I was fine until the medic started poking around to show how it all worked. Then I took a knee. That wasn’t enough either so I sat on the floor with my head well below table height so I didn’t have to watch anymore. Outranking most of the people in the room didn’t help, as it did make me a bit of a spectacle. The medic was happy to point out that I was sweating around the same time one of the soldiers announced I was looking a little pale. A bit later, I was fine and had to watch again because I may have missed something while I figured out that the room wasn’t actually spinning and my stomach had not jumped three feet to the left of my body. Then I had to wait another stick or two until I could trust my feet well enough. Two people passed out… of course we all laughed, just in case we did the same.

But come the time of my own adventure, I was steady and found it quite manageable. It was hard to watch, but easy to do. And what this did for me psychologically was worth it, as now the helpless feeling I got in Iraq as I watched people die can finally subside. Nothing is worse than watching a person die, unless there is nothing you even know how to do. Hopefully getting this certification and staying on my feet, or at least conscious, will help the feeling of helplessness that has been with me for months finally go away.

So overall, not the worst experience of my life. A chance to learn, of course, should never be passed up… or passed out…


Sitting Still

Filed under: — lana @ 8:01 pm

It isn’t that hard to sit still.

Unless someone tells you not to move.

I went last week for a bone scan. After several months, someone finally thought to ask why it was that I was still having problems with my ankle and with my feet. They ignored my comments that it may be because no one has actually done anything to cure any problems I may have and sent me for some tests grumbling about how busy they were. So I sat on a table with my feet placed in positions I wasn’t aware they were supposed to be in so the camera could get a good angle and then I was told not to move for approximately eight minutes at a time while the camera attempted to detect the radiation that had been pumped into my bloodstream several hours prior. Then my feet were moved to another obtuse angle and another eight minutes was put on the clock. And so my day went.

Once the scans were done, I puttered around the waiting room for a bit watching some movie on the women’s channel which only airs movies that involve the vengance of a wife that was beaten, or of a female detective trying to figure out a murder while her husband changes his name and blows up boats to cover up a deal gone bad. Those movies are great. But I digress. The nurse finds me and tells me I have to go talk to the doctor, something that is not common around the hospital where I am convinced the doctors actually would avoid all patient contact if they believed they could get away with it. I wander through the labyrinth of hallways to his office, which is well hidden from public view, and sit down to answer a few questions. He seemed a bit nervous, which I found disconcerting until I realized that he must simply be nervous to be talking to a real live patient, and to avoid making eye contact which seemed to make him worse I looked over his shoulder at the computer screen where the pictures of my feet were still milling about.

One foot, the one that doesn’t hurt, looked normal. The other one had black splotches all over it that looked like someone spilled the dregs of a coffee pot that had been sitting on the burner for approximately seven and a half weeks, allowing it to glop all over the ankle and the top of the foot, along with a few toes. I found this a little nerve-wracking so I listened to the doctor again, who was asking me exactly how long this had been going on and whether anyone had done anything prior to this to correct the issues. I found his questions fairly amusing, and the pictures not nearly so, and saw fit not to ask about the results which he said would be given to my doctor within the week.

I think I’ll just wait until I see the podiatrist in a week and a half. Something tells me an extra week on top of the six months isn’t going to make or break the issue here.

In other news, my husband has returned from the wonders of the Middle East, so I no longer can sit on my couch all evening puttering about on the computer without feeling like some kind of loser. Soon enough he will rediscover television and I can go back to my routine, I figure, but until then I feel a bit like a sideshow carnie attempting to entertain bored children. Good thing I have my freakish toes to show off.

I’m off to play with my other big toe. The nail is finally falling off of that one now, too, though it had the decency not to get infected first…

Another day in the humdrum life of the military soldier…


Too Long

Filed under: — lana @ 11:23 pm

A year is too long overseas.

Two years can be too long to have left some days.

Three years is a long time already in.

My dog, back home, fell today. She always slept too close to the edge of the bed, and fell off time and time again. The problem is that now that she is over 14 years old, her bones aren’t catching her like they used to when she was a young and stupid puppy. Her leg broke, apparently the femur, and the surgery prognosis for a dog that age is simply not that good. It’s traumatic, and chances are she wouldn’t survive and if she did, she would not be happy.

I was going to go home next month, too see friends, to see family, to see my puppies. They’ve been around since I was 11, so they are a big part of my life. We promised to take care of them, my mom of course ended up doing the work. They weren’t bright, they weren’t well trained, and they were named as only an 11 and 12 year old can name them with names that made no sense whatsoever but the parents agreed that our names would be the ones that stuck. I wasn’t allowed to name her sushi… my mom said it would give her a complex.

It’s strange how we get so attached to pets. My cats are my sanity until my husband comes back from deployment and don’t complain when I get cranky. My dogs sat on the bed next to me when I got my wisdom teeth out on break from college and didn’t laugh at my huge chipmunk cheeks.

I can’t get home nearly enough. I haven’t seen my dog since Thanksgiving; before that it was the previous Thanksgiving. I just can’t get back as often as I want. I can’t get leave, there are places I want to get to without home on the schedule, my parents could come to see me so I didn’t have to get up there. There just doesn’t ever seem to be enough time, or maybe I just didn’t make enough. I always say that I can’t stop, that you only live once, that time is a’wastin’ while I sit in North Carolina or Iraq or Afghanistan, gotta see it do it have it whatever. It’s finding that balance, understanding what time needs to be spent doing what, that I still need to learn.

I miss my puppy, I miss my family, I miss my friends. Life takes us in all directions sometimes, and we can’t always be there for everyone we want to be at the times we want to be there.

But we can try, in whatever capacity available. For however long we need to. Too long or otherwise.

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