Future Plans

Filed under: — lana @ 1:31 pm

So the other day I figured hey, I haven’t seen a doctor in about a week, may as well pop on in and see what else is broken, because it seems like every time I wander in they figure out something else that I probably should have had looked at about three years ago.

This time it was a delayed follow-up to my head examinations of a few months ago when they determined that when someone takes a chest plate for body armor to the face, they should probably get more than laughed at. Like, maybe someone should try resetting the bone. Doctors can be so particular about things like that.

But no matter. So I went to the doctor and said, “Funny, I still have headaches.” And he looked at my CT scan results of my head and said, “Well that’s because your face is deformed.” To which I responded, ‘Well gee, thank you, and now about my headaches.” He finally explained that it appears repeated blows to the face may result in things like a deviated septum and an awful lot of built up scar tissue in what used to once be a nasal cavity. Pack that in with a year of building sand castles in a third world country and you have yourself a prime candidate for some surgery.

My commander, upon receiving my email that mentioned my face was now apparently sub par chose to call me and upon me answering the phone to forego the “Hello” and skip right to, “You have got to be kidding me. What the hell is wrong with your face?” Which I forced him to clarify before providing him with a proper response. He will miss me when I am gone. I am sure of it.

So the final tally is both feet are shot from frostbite. One ankle doesn’t appear to have complete ligament structure. My tailbone is out of place. My left shoulder sometimes pops and makes my left arm go dead for hours. My face, apparently, is broken.

I am left with a fully functional right arm.

Potential careers, as discussed with my commander and with my soldier, both of whom were most entertained by all of this, seem to be a little limited. We came up with Miss America, though I have to limit all hand-waving to the right; Wal-Mart greeter, though I may need to sit on patio furniture while waving and greeting; Sandwich-board holder on the highway, as long as the sandwich board can be rigged only across the right shoulder; and of course, rail-hitching hobo.

So the options are out there for me, once the Army finally determines that I am no longer fit to swim among taxpayer dollars. Of course, first I might get to go back to Jihadistan, where I can happily make one-winged sand angels in the dirt and breathe through only one side of my head until the left brain dies off completely. There are strong indications that this process has already begun.

The sky is the limit, I suppose. What you can believe you can achieve, I am told. Several other euphamisms also apply… some more polite than others.



Filed under: — lana @ 12:27 pm

Apparently I have unwittingly signed myself up for a health experiment:

Does red wine really lower blood pressure?

I say this because during the day it appears everyone does everything in their power to raise my blood pressure. Then in the evening, I attempt to drown my potentially homicidal rage in bottled joy.

I have yet to figure out where the ice cream fits in. I haven’t heard of red wine lowering cholesterol, but maybe one of my other vices can compensate.

The soldier that was supposed to come out to our office got sent elsewhere, though no one thought it a good idea to let us know this until about the day before he was supposed to arrive. And only then because I asked when we should pick him up. Serves me right for being proactive. So yesterday I heard a rumor that they are going to send another one to replace him… which means he will replace someone who never arrived and was in fact a replacement for someone who isn’t leaving for several months…

So having given up on the office staffing issue as well as the fact that our office isn’t allocated another person so this incoming soldier will get no furniture, no chair, and no computers upon which to work, I attempted to find a way to speed along or otherwise eliminate the various holdups in my medical process. One would think that with two wars going on it would be a simple matter to say, “Find me a unit heading somewhere warm, like the desert, attach me to them for six to eight months for the duration of next winter so I can salvage what is left of my toes, and then I will be out of your lives forever.”

And one would be right to think such. It was indeed easy to say that. Apparently it was not so easy to actually do that, as I was pleasently and politely told to pound sand and find another way out of Germanistan, which on this the first day of spring is a balmy 37 degrees and snowed about half of the day.

Combine that on top of the lovely workers who rolled into our office this morning and proceeded to disconnect and then reroute all of our computer systems before asking us if we had a spare modem to which they could hook up the new system. When I answered no, shouldn’t you have that, they shrugged and looked at all the wires now hanging about the office and mumbled something about going to lunch. Turns out they did have one, but they had forgotten it at their office. Why they thought I might have an extra one laying about I have yet to discern. They turned back up without the modem anyway and hooked the systems up the old way, saying they will be back tomorrow to hook it up for real this time. I guess today was just a practice run.

My boss always tells me everyone is trying. I tell him I know they are… trying my patience.

That’s usually when he tells me to go home… now where’s my corkscrew?



Filed under: — lana @ 1:29 pm

So I did some estimations and calculations and I figured out that if everything went remarkably un-Army and fast I could see myself as a double-oh-civilian by the end of July. More realistic estimates put it in the fall sometime, and most probable estimates a year from right about now. The light, however faint and wavering, is gleaming there at the end of the tunnel. Circled by moths and the occasional gnat…

Funny thing, however, is that while I bothered to do these calculations at the same time someone echelons above were making their typical knee-jerk reactive decisions that provide me with such joy and entertainment in my day-to-day life.

This time it involved notification that the unit was about to get another noncommissioned officer and they need somewhere to put him. Pronto, apparently.

So they says, “Well,” they says, “Isn’t that fine noncommissioned officer [interjection: despite the word fine they actually mean me] going to leave us sometime?” “Yes,” they answers theyselves, “She will leave sometime.” So they says, “Well,” they says, “She will need replacing when she leaves, whenever that is!”

No one seemed to point out to them that the earliest departure date even in the most unrealistic of scenerios has me leaving within the next four to five months. More like eight to twelve, actually.

But I am not complaining. To be sure, we don’t have any computers for him, nor do we even have basic furniture to accomodate another person. To be sure, it would not take me three months or so to train up someone to replace me when I am used to having two weeks to train a replacement no matter what job I am doing or what desolate hellhole I am trying to help fix. To be sure, we will receive more noncommissioned officers between his arrival and my departure, so rushing him here to replace me is probably not top priority in the next few months.

But it does, potentially, excuse me for an eight month long nap. I know that I won’t take anything any easier, because it is in my nature to still plug away at the drudgery and confusion that my daily life has become as I try to puzzle out the Army and the mission to which I am assigned, but at least there is the potential. I have been rather tired this past four years…

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