Baby Steps

Filed under: — lana @ 6:49 pm

Well Monday was the first step in the right direction. Followed quickly by several large and staggaring steps backwards, to be sure…

After weeks, nay, months of nagging my S1, I finally acquired my orders to leave lovely Fort Bragg, North Carolina to head to… somewhere in the general vicinity of Germany. These are the orders that make everything happen. These are the orders that allow you to escape and learn and do great and wonderful things that may or may not include trips returning to my favorite vacation spot. These are the orders that will allow me to move. These are the orders most soldiers acquire two to three months before departure in order to ensure a smooth transition.

These are also the orders that tell me that I am supposed to be there in three weeks.

So upon receipt of the orders, I find out that my second-in-command for my team is not going to be around for the next two weeks, drastically increasing my workload to ensure my team doesn’t get left in the dust. Most of the time they take you off the team leader position when you are on orders. Well, I wasn’t on orders until this past Monday, and so now I have to clear as well as steer around a gaggle of privates who are new to the unit and have nary a clue of things such as a convoy operation or what a guy looks like upon taking a .50 cal round to the head. Thanks to my husband, I have multiple photos of such things, since I opted not to add those to my normal photo album while I was overseas. So I teach, maintaining the team leader spot and all the fun it entails particularly when my platoon leader calls me with strange and off-the-wall questions at random hours of the day, and in my spare time I get ready to move to another country. In two and a half weeks.

I go to transportation when I find some time. I find out that they are backed up and that I will not be able to schedule a pick-up for trivial things, like clothing, until around the day I leave, so I won’t have such trivial things, like clothing, in Europe until sometime around the end of May.

I head to port call to book my flight and inquire about the transport of my car. They can get me to Germany by my report date in early May. The car should show up by July.

Meanwhile the doctors are trying to medically eradicate me from the Army system due to my gangrenous foot, with which I continue to gross out my first sergeant who perpetually reminds me I shouldn’t have gone ahead and climbed a mountain in Africa, I make plans to go SCUBA diving for a weekend a week and a half before I am set to leave (despite my gangrenous foot and the fact that I had scar tissue removed from my eye three weeks ago), and I haven’t a clue of what on earth I am going to pack.

Looks like life is picking up the pace a touch. Good thing I took four days to leave North Carolina and not be surrounded by the hectic nonsense… It will work itself out, to be sure. I left Afghanistan and Iraq intact, surely I can leave Fort Bragg the same way. Just with a few less pairs of socks…



Filed under: — lana @ 11:05 am

So perhaps a short entry, as I attempt to stare down my computer with my one operational eye in an askance version of a pirate glare.

On Monday I was fortunate enough to brave the Army medical system for some sort of procedure they refer to as something long beginning with an M that no one outside the medical field, and indeed most likely several in it, could never hope to remember. This was done in order to correct the significant amount of scarring on my right eye that occurred after I underwent corrective eye surgery in 2004, was made undeployable by the medical staff, and was subsequently made deployable again a month later by my unit when they looked at the undeployable and scratched out the “un” and said to get on the plane. Ten months of 140 degree UV rays pounding into my eyeballs later, the doctors seemed a bit shocked that it looked like I was looking at life through a moldy shower curtain draped over one eye. So this past Monday a fine lieutenant colonel grabbed a very sharp knife, held me down under a very bright light, and scraped said knife back and forth about half a million times over my eye, all the while reminding me that it was inadvisable to move at this particular juncture.

Five days later I can finally open both eyes again, though now I have perfect vision in one eye and am convinced they actually removed the other one and replaced it with that of a friendly fruit bat. So I wander about the house bumping into things on one side and attempting to distinguish the difference between the valium pills and the anti-nausea pills, which they conveniently put in similarly shaped bottles and which are exactly the same size but one seems to be a slightly different color than the other, which is particularly handy when you are having trouble distinguishing between your significant other and the cat much less which pill is ivory versus which one is off-white.

The doctor said, upon the follow-up visit, that it would be fine, that most people get their vision back sooner rather than later but that it could take up to a few months. I said that was just ducky. He said that technically you only need one good eye to be able to drive. I asked him if he was kidding. He said he would show me the law if he thought I would be able to read it, which he didn’t think I could.

In other news, this coming week I get to go in for “joint manipulation therapy,” which is a fun way of saying they are going to break my foot in the hopes that I will be able to walk better.

There were complaints in the media that our friends overseas that try to blow us up from time to time are upset because we torture or demean them. I don’t think they have seen what it is we do to ourselves…

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