The Joys of Life and the Pains of Life

When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.
~Franklin D. Roosevelt

I’ve been a bad blogger lately. It’s just that I’ve been so busy. And I know everyone is busy with their lives, but when you work 47 days in a row with only three days off (two jobs plus the Navy Reserve drill weekend… so three jobs!) while trying to get a house ready to be put on the market so you can finally, FINALLY live with your husband who is deploying soon… blogging just seems to take a back seat.  And I really don’t want it to.

So once this house is on the market, I’m going to dry that month-long blogging thing where you blog each day of the month. The house should be on the market in the next week or two, so I think I’ll start that in September.

Add to all that fun is the fact that I stepped on a carpet staple that was left from when we pulled the carpeting up four months ago. That silly little puncture wound that I didn’t even realize broke the skin until the next day has caused me the most grief of any injury I’ve ever had.

I punctured it on a Tuesday night.  Wednesday night I noticed it had broken the skin, so I cleaned it with hydrogen peroxide and put some triple antibiotic ointment on it (I wasn’t worried about tetanus since I’d had two of those stupid shots in the last four years). By Friday night, I noticed that it was starting to look a bit infected.  So I started soaking it in Epsom Salt baths and adding water to some of the Epsom Salt to make a poultice to slap on it and wrap it up.

During work Monday I noticed that my toe was really starting to ache. So when I went home, I unwrapped the bandage and noticed that not only was it still infected, but there was a gray ring circling the wound.  Skin isn’t supposed to be gray, no matter what race you are.

So, off to Urgent Care I went. The doctor there (I was back in a room in less than 10 minutes!) said that it was definitely trying to get severely infected and put me on some Cipro antibiotic.

It stopped being painful to the touch and started looking much better just 18 hours later. Because of Tri-Care, I had to go to a follow up the next day with my Primary Care Manager (PCM)’s office.  I was told that by the looks of it (and it was already looking better!) I did the right thing in going to Urgent Care.

That Friday at work, I noticed that it was really starting to ache again. So, I decided to take off my bandage at work and check it.  Yeah, was NOT looking good and was looking like it was getting infected again. By this point, I had a bulge out of the wound that protruded about 1/8″. The doctors took one look at it and decided that they wanted to be uber-safe and put me on Bactrim–both oral and topical–which is a stronger antibiotic and would even fight MRSA, which they didn’t think I had but wanted to make sure I didn’t get.

Because I was to leave the following Thursday to see my husband for the first time in 11 weeks! and to go to my first drill weekend, they wanted a follow-up on Tuesday just to make sure. Tuesday came and they were really surprised that it wasn’t healing better than it was.  Mind you, I was mostly limping this whole time because pressure on it really hurt. The doctor (PA, actually) was a little worried about me traveling cross-country for five days and it wasn’t until I assured him that I was near several hospitals, including Navy ones, that he felt better.  I did have a doctor’s note that I was not to run during my drill weekend.

So, Thursday I headed to Washington and saw my husband again (I’ll talk more about that later).  Saturdays of a drill weekend with my command include PT in the afternoon. I had told several people several times that I wasn’t supposed to run and had a doctor’s note for it.  All the officers were male and there were two female Chiefs there. So, PT time came and they decided to do some version of Ultimate Frisbee, even though it was 90 outside (though felt only like 80 or so to me since there is no humidity in Washington state). They had asked me of I brought my PT gear, and I said yes but that I wasn’t supposed to run. So I was told, “Then join us, but don’t run.”

Okay, so just how are you supposed to play Ultimate Frisbee without running? I was the new kid on the block and the only female officer to boot. It was my first drill weekend ever and only the second time I was in uniform. I didn’t want to be labeled “that woman” who couldn’t hack it with the guys and played the “poor me” card. So I sucked it up and played the best I could, which included running.

By the end of the first game, I was really struggling. We all took a break to get some water and get in the shade. I started shaking and thought it was weird that the heat was getting to me… and my toe was throbbing more than it had in quite a while.  Little did I know it was none of those problems, but I’ll get to that.  The Skipper heard my voice, which I guess was shaking too, and decided that I was to sit out the next game and that I was to be monitored. He volunteered first.  Actually, he kept asking if I wanted to be taken to medical, but I refused because I figured it was just me being stupid and overdoing my toe. Again, little did I know it was something else and I probably should have gone to medical.

So I finished my drill weekend, where I didn’t get to do anything but stare at some screens watching check points around the area and a GPS of the ferries going across the Sound. My CAC card wasn’t set up yet, so I couldn’t even access a computer.

I was teased a bit (which I expected being the Newb… and totally deserved since it took me three tries to put my belt on correctly. Note to self: don’t let your husband help dress you in the morning because men and women wear their belts differently in the Navy.) and they decided to make me the Bull Ensign, which is the most senior Ensign in the group. Which is funny because it was my first weekend… but the next lowest ranking officer is a LT, so it worked. They went and bought me larger butter bars (the collar devices we wear to show our rank) and had them engraved with the word “Bull” on them. The teasing and the Bull Ensign thing really made me feel welcome and I’m going to miss the command when I leave for my new command in October.

So, on Sunday after my last drill, Huzzy and I went to get some pizza where we could see Seattle across the water. As we were eating, I started scratching the bumps that had appeared around my wrists and thumbs two days prior. I had assumed it was bed bugs (eww! we checked and didn’t see any) or heat rash. I looked down and saw the bumps had really turned into a rash and was spreading all the way up to my shoulders on both arms. I knew immediately that it was an allergic reaction and that with me traveling cross country back home, I needed to get this fixed before it was an extreme emergency mid-air.

I figured it was the antibiotics I was on, but I was on day 9 of the 10 day schedule. So I called the on-call nurse, as you need to do with Tri-Care to go to Urgent Care (didn’t know if it was truly an emergency since I wasn’t having problems breathing). They said that it did indeed sound like it and to stop taking the antibiotic and get some Benadryl and start taking that. Apparently, an allergic reaction to Bactrim is pretty common… and you are more susceptible to heat when you are on it. Oh how fun.

So, I had another doctor’s appointment when I returned home on Tuesday. The doctor decided that the toe wasn’t healing and that it was time to see a podiatrist.  That Friday, I got a call saying my appointment was for later in the afternoon. He took one look at it and knew it was… they call it Proud Flesh in horses (I actually said it looked like that a week prior since my horse had it) and that’s a nickname for it in humans. Basically, my skin cells went nuts and produced too much skin/scar tissue so now I have a bubble outside of the wound that actually has veins in it and stuff.  It’s tender and hopefully it will go away. The podiatrist has said that it’s tough to get rid of but we are doing the “wait and see” method as opposed to cauterizing (doesn’t always make it better) and cutting it out (could make it come back… worse).

Fun. This coming Tuesday will be five weeks. I’m tired of it.

This post is getting long so I’m not even going to mention the dogs being sick multiple times or a stupid bee… or bull hornet or something… flying up my pantleg and stinging me like mad.

So that was the Pains of Life. The Joys of Life were that I finally got to see Huzzy for the first time in 11 weeks. We had been married for 18 weeks at that point. By the time I see him in 12 days again, we’ll have seen each other for 11 1/2 weeks and been married for almost 22 weeks. That’s half our marriage apart. Not fun, especially with a deployment on the horizon on his end.

If I don’t get out there to  live by the time he deploys (which is looking like I won’t be), we’ll have spent 3/4 of our first year apart, and unfortunately, not all due to deployment. Deployment is one thing, not being together because of stupid circumstances is another.

So yeah, it was absolutely wonderful to see Huzzy.  Well, as much as I saw him. He picked me up at the airport after he got out of work on Thursday the 23rd and had to work Friday, then I worked Saturday and Sunday, and then we had to be up at 0430 to get me to the plane for my trip home Monday morning.  At least we got to see each other a few hours each night.  It was heaven on Earth.  I missed him like mad and had to really blink away tears when I saw him the first time in the airport. I’m such a sap.

This trip, it’s planned for me to get there late evening (like 2330) on a Wednesday, for him to work Thursday and Friday, for me to drill Saturday and Sunday and then for us to BOTH have the following Monday through Sunday together without either of us having to work. Then he’ll work Monday and I’ll leave Tuesday morning.

And I say planned because there is always a “but.”   This “but” is the fact that while I have someone to watch the Fuzzy Monster (aka Skah the 115lb  1 1/2 year old Great Pyrenees), I don’t have anyone to watch the Greyhounds. My normal dog sitter (and maid of honor!) got too allergic in my house. See, she is fine with the Greyhounds as long as she takes her allergy shots, but is extremly allergic to the Fuzzy Monster. Apparently, even though I vacuumed and dusted and everything in the house, there is too much of him in there and she was highly miserable during the whole time we were gone.  My mom had taken Skah for the long weekend since I knew Jamers was allergic to him.

So, I went to my back-ups. I tried a couple who I dog sat for three years ago–no go because they would also be gone. I tried the local Greyhound group president–no go because she is having surgery. I tried a young co-worker who sits for her aunt’s Grey–no go because she and her boyfriend are taking a vacation to San Diego during the time.

The only other option I could think of was the person who watched Skah on our Honeymoon. She is VERY reasonably priced at $15/day for one dog and $25/day for two.  But that comes down to $350 that we just don’t have.

So I’m about ready to cancel the vacation and just go the Wednesday prior to my drill weekend through Monday. I’d have to change my ticket, but that would only be $75.  My mom told me not to cancel yet because if we could get someone to help her walk the dogs (she doesn’t have a fenced in yard) that she’d take them. That’s four dogs (she has one of her own)  she’d be walking four times a day… 16 dog walks! I feel horrible about it and am not sure I’m going to take her up on the offer (if we can even find someone to help her).  But a part of me feels really selfish and wants to so that I can spend SOME time with Huzzy before he deploys and I don’t see him until into 2010.

*sigh* Such is the Navy Wife Life.



2 thoughts on “The Joys of Life and the Pains of Life

  1. Your Mom wants you to go as bad as you do. I say if she offers to do it. She knows the situation you are in. My Mom would do the exact same thing. Of course I would feel guilty but I would probably still do it and then do something fantastic for her when I came home.

  2. So sorry about the foot thing. That is crazy. I agree with Amy. If your mom is volunteering to do it, let her. She knows how important this is to you and she wants to help. Let her. You can always do something nice for her in return after you get back.

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