Friday, April 27, 2007

More on Patrick

Okay, guys. I've gotten a few e-mails about Patrick going back into the hospital. I don't have time to answer them all (sorry) and I have only spoken to Patrick briefly. I didn't want to write about him until I knew that he wanted to share. But blogging was the last thing on my mind when I finally talked to him.

So here are the rough details.

He went back to the hospital yesterday because he was running a fever. They gave him a CAT scan last night and found out that he has an abdominal abscess between his lung and spleen. They tried to drain it last night but it didn't work. So they're going to try something else tomorrow.

Either way he's in hospital until Monday.

I'll post more later if I can.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

There's No Crying in Blogging

The general has informed me that I must post again. He's sick of looking at the picture of my daughter's "odd" ballet costume.

The problem is that I have just about one thing on my mind all the time lately. And I can't write about it yet.

Well, okay. I do have some other things on my mind. But you've heard all about Patrick, and you can read how he's doing on his own blog. And everything else in my life is just normal mom-type stress, as usual.

The problem with stressing about something and trying to be brave about it is that my angst can show up at the oddest moments.

My kids played violin today at the school's fine arts fair. They did great. They were cute. And when the art teacher was handing out awards, I started crying. I have no idea why. I almost always cry at the kids' performances.

I happened to catch a documentary on Logo the other night. When I started watching they were just talking about Reagan, and the AIDS crisis, and Act Up. And I started to cry. No, actually, I was weeping. Full on, no holds barred weeping.

I cried while reading a story about airmen visiting the Enlisted Village's home for airmen's widows.

I'm crying about everything!

But I have yet to cry about the thing that I know is really bothering me. Maybe I'm afraid that if I start to cry I'll lose control. I'll never stop.

Hell, I didn't even tell anyone about it for a while. Then in one day I told my mother and Patrick, and now I'm a blubbering mess.

Damn reality. I should have just left the picture of my daughter in her "odd" ballet costume at the top for another day.

Monday, April 23, 2007

You've Got Nothing On Me!

You think you've got talent. Ha! You've got nothing on me.

I rock. I rule. I am the queen of all things.

I am the all-time best mother who ever lived.

I have conquered the unconquerable.

I put my daughter's hair in a bun.

Let's review. This is her hair...a stacked bob.

And I managed to twist that tiny amount of hair into a bun for her ballet pictures.

I couldn't be more proud of myself if I had actually done...oh...well...something that was actually important.

I rule seven-year-old ballet hair.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Fly By

In exactly seven minutes, my husband will be flying his aircraft over the crowd at the air show here on base. Then he'll fly that baby right on out to another week-long TDY.

I hate air show weekend. When we were young, we lived for air shows. It was an air show that inspired my husband to go into aviation way back when he was seven-years-old. But after twelve years (twelve years!?!?!) in the military, they've gotten old. It's impossible to drive on and off base, and I've got shit to do. Lot's of shit. Shit I can't skip.

In light of the Blue Angel crash yesterday, I can't help but think about the constant danger of flying for a career. My heart grieves for those Blue Angel families.

To be completely honest, I have a lot more to talk about on this subject. But I can't quite yet. When I can, I will.

But on that note, does anybody else have any bad news they'd like to share. Really? Come on. Go ahead and let it rip. Everyone else has.

Did anyone else notice what an incredibly bad week this has been for just about everyone? Surgery and more surgery, suicide attempts, massacres, break-ups, crashes, and just all-around general crappiness. What the hell is going on out there right now? Did anyone have a good week last week?

I feel like my threshold is pretty damn high right now. So, universe, if you've got any more crap to throw at me why don't you just get it over with right now. I'd like to get on with it, thank you very much.


I hear the engines on my husband's jet right now.

Fly safe, honey. I'll see you in a week.

Friday, April 20, 2007

And a Big Fuck You Very Much

About an hour ago, I got this text from the sicky.

"Tube is out of nose. I took it out on my own and gave it to the resident."

I had just parked the truck when I read that. And I had to stop a minute to shake my head and laugh. God, I love that side of him.

It's hard to relay that in a text back to him though. I can't wait until he's home and I can talk to him again. I miss him.

I do have other things going on in my life. I swear. But it's hard to write about something else when your thoughts are so concentrated on one thing. Give me a bit, and I'll post more.

Back Home and...Empty

I am back home safe and sound. I wish I could say the same for Patrick.

My daughter, especially, is very concerned about him. But both kids think I owe Patrick five day's worth of rent since I stayed in his apartment all alone.

When I tried to explain that it wasn't necessary to pay Uncle Patrick my son asked, "Why? Is he rich now?"

*insert huge guffaws from both parents*

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Update on Patrick

I'm home from another day in hell the hospital. Patrick has asked me a few times to go ahead and let everyone know just what was going on with his surgery and his complication. But I'm having a very hard time doing it.

I asked him, "Wouldn't you rather do that when you can?" But he knows he won't be updating his blog anytime soon.

So here is the Reader's Digest, dumbed down version of what happened. I'm sure he (the very well-educated patient that he is) will explain it much better than this if he ever gets out of the hospital.

Back in September, Patrick had surgery to help resolve the three issues that were keeping him from being able to swallow. He explains it all here.

Although it took him a long time to heal, when I visited him at Thanksgiving, I was amazed at what he was able to eat. I had never seen him eat without using pints and pints of water to force his food down. Things seemed to be going pretty well. Not great. But okay. (He can explain that better.)

But the last few months have been a major backslide. In fact, when I went out to dinner with him on Sunday, he was worse than I've ever seen him.

The thinking was that the "wrap" at the bottom of his esophagus was either too tight, or it had slipped. Personally, I was voting for the slip, because it seemed to have gotten so much worse so quick.

But what do I know. It turns out that he had adhesions. "An adhesion is a band of scar tissue that binds 2 parts of your tissue together." He had so many adhesions that the surgeon couldn't tell the difference between his esophagus and his stomach.

And so he accidentally punctured his stomach. Or as Patrick told me while spaced out on morphine in recovery, "I have a hole in my stomach."

Well, better to get it in the OR then on the street.

He wasn't happy when he woke up in recovery and had a tube in his nose. It is draining his stomach for now. On Friday, they will test to see if his puncture has healed, and then he should get the tube out.

He'll be staying in the hospital until at least Sunday. Funny how that day keeps getting pushed up and up.

For most of today he was running a bit of a fever. He was also very uncomfortable because his 85-year-old roommate-from-hell's wife kept pushing the heat higher and higher. I'm going to let him tell that story.

The very wonderful nurse was able to move him to another room but when I left tonight he was still running the fever. Not exactly great news.

All in all, he's okay. He looks amazingly good considering all he's been through. Let's just cross our fingers that his fever goes down and his tube comes out.

He'd appreciate some visits, especially since I'll be leaving for home tomorrow (Thursday). My husband is going TDY (on a business trip) and I have to get home to take care of the kids. Just a fifteen minutes visit would help make the time go faster for him but not wear him out.

I thought leaving him on Monday night was hard, but leaving for the airport tomorrow is going to suck great big donkey butt. Please keep a good thought for him this week. He deserves to heal quick and be comfortable more than anyone I know.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Gift of a City

One thing that always surprises me about Patrick's apartment is how amazingly quiet it is here. And with his bed moved down from his loft in anticipation of his recovery time, it could almost be described as cozy.

I never thought I would like New York City. Besides a very scheduled high school class trip (which doesn't count) I was over 30 before I visited for the first time.

Now I love New York. I am a convert. I love Central Park and all it's winding ways and green spaces. Green spaces that are soaking wet right now, but still. I love that you can find just about anything within a few blocks. I love how you can walk most anywhere and hop on a subway when you can't. I love that any kind of food in the world is right at your fingertips.

I was feeling very cosmopolitan because I navigated all of the trains and subways to get from Newark to Patrick's apartment by myself. In fact, his subway stop felt pretty much like home to me. It is my favorite subway stop.

Of course to be really cosmopolitan I would have had to take my limo from the airport. But then I wouldn't be a real New Yorker. I'd be a rich one.

I'm feeling like a real New Yorker right now though. I just had my late night dinner delivered to my Upper West Side apartment. Where I will be eating it to the accompaniment of my neighbor's sex chorus. (I don't hear a girl. Maybe he is alone.)

At least I can pretend to be a real New Yorker for a few days.

I wish happier circumstance had brought me here. But I wouldn't have left my husband and kids to fend for themselves during our busiest season for happier circumstances.

Today was hard.

Patrick is doing okay. I still haven't gotten any real details about how things really went, but I know he is much more uncomfortable now then after his last surgery.

The waiting was hard. But I'd rather be waiting here where I can charm the nurses into getting me information then back home waiting for phone calls like last time.

I love that my husband gets that. And loves me so much he can happily send me on my way.

Leaving Patrick tonight was one of the hardest things I've ever done. It wasn't as hard as saying goodbye to my husband for months overseas, but it was close.

As I sit here in his apartment tonight, trying hard to think of other things, I am marveling over New York City. And the amazing life it has.

Patrick made a gift of the city to me. For that and many other reasons, I love him so much. I want him pain-free and fully healed right now!

In the meantime, I'll get some sleep so that I can be the best friend I can be in the morning. That's all I have to give him.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

"Senior" Prom 2007

"Turning Back Time"

Too bad they couldn't turn back time on my face!

I'm leaving for Patrick's tomorrow. If I can, I'll update everyone on his surgery by Monday night or Tuesday. Keep a good thought for him, please.

Time to go pack. Goodnight!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

I'm Not the Only One

Ha! Look at this. I thought I was the only one in the world with a fear of buttons.

Apparently it is a real thing with a real name. It is koumpounophobia.

I've never felt so vindicated. I'm telling everyone!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Take a Gander

The comment thread on this post at Joe. My. God. is quite interesting.

That's all I'm going to say.

Are You Kidding Me?

According to the Associated Press, pay is soaring to keep people in the military.

Yet the very month my husband became eligible for a $15,000 bonus last year, it was yanked away. And we are already seeing people getting "laid off" (the military doesn't call it that) left and right.

In fact our best hopes for a financially comfortable future are in an early-out retirement offer. Or the death of a wealthy loved one.

I'm hoping for the early-out.

I am very glad some Army and Marine folks are getting a tiny, little chunk of what they deserve to keep on serving. But by using the word "military" in its headline, the Associated Press is painting a very distorted picture of life in the military today.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Protecting the Plate

There is a saying in softball.

"A walk is as good as a hit."

For some reason, in my semi-conscience state this morning, while getting ready for the day, that phrase was running through my head over and over again.

A walk is as good as a hit. A walk is as good as a hit. A walk is as good as a hit.

It isn't even always true.

Sure, when you take a walk, you get to advance to first base. But when you swing away, you have the chance of hitting a home run.

You also have the chance to strike out.

So unless you only need one run to win a game, and the bases are loaded, a walk is really only a less bad alternative. You've got to evaluate how the pitcher has been throwing. You've got to evaluate how you've been hitting. You've got to evaluate the needs of the team.

When I realized what I was muttering while half-asleep this morning, I took it as a sign that I need to step up to the plate ready to swing. But the more I've thought about it, the more I realized that it might be a sign that I need to take what I can get.

As long as I get more balls than strikes, I'm at least headed to first.

But as I sit here writing I've realized something.

I can't even remember the last time I was up to bat.

It's time to dust off my cleats and step into the box. Let's see what this pitcher's got.

Monday, April 09, 2007

It's the Not Knowing That's Hardest

Last week's love fest post about my husband was inspired by all the incredibly thoughtful things he was doing at the time. Those things included his encouraging me and arranging for me to go to New York next week for Patrick's surgery.

Yes, Patrick is having more surgery.

Knowing how awful I felt last September when I was here while Patrick was in the hospital there, my husband said, "We'll do what we can to get you there," and then took a week of leave from work. He'll be the stay-at-home dad next week and have to deal with all the shit that's been going on around here, which I don't feel like talking about.

But that post was also inspired by the way he had been dealing with some really crappy stuff that had been going on around him. Work has been harrowing. His step-father was an ass (as usual) and my husband totally stood up to him.

He's just had a lot going on. In fact when talking about his step-father's dickish ways, he said, "He just caught me at a really bad time. With every thing at work and worrying about Patrick and everything you're stressing about..."

But as it turns out, it was way worse of a time than I had thought.

Two weeks ago, my husband got orders to Iraq.

And I'm not just talking about the squadron being tasked to send someone. I'm talking about him being called out by name.

And I'm not just talking about some Air Power fly over shift or a cushy set-up-the-general's-lunch kind of assignment. He was going out on the ground with an Army unit to do his magical, voodoo warrior shit on insurgent booby traps.


But he didn't tell me any of this. In fact, he left on his TDY last week without telling me about his Iraqi deployment.

When he got home on Friday he found a quiet moment and said, "We need to talk."

Now, when my husband says, "We need to talk," it can only mean one of two things. Either we're moving or he's deploying.

"You're deploying, aren't you?" I knew this was coming.

"Well, not now, but it was close."

He had just found out that morning from his commander that the powers-that-be (with some help from his commander) had decided he was too mission critical to the squadron here to leave at this time.

I'm not sure how to explain this to civilians, but maybe other military wives can understand. It's not that I'm shocked or upset when he gets deployed. This is what he does. I know he'll deploy. I'm pretty much always just waiting for him to tell me when he's going.

But it is this maybe he will, maybe he won't shit that gets really fucking old.

Yes, I'm glad he's home for another summer. We have fun plans. But I can't get too comfortable in that because for all I know, they could change their minds again tomorrow and send him.

Yes, I'm glad he's not going to be doing some scary ass shit on the ground. For now. But we'll have to wait and see what kind of deployment he gets in September.

Ack. I didn't even realize this was stressing me at all. When I started writing this I had a completely different point. Right now, I'm thinking of my friend Jenn (Who I owe an e-mail) whose husband has been going through some awful stuff during his third year-long tour.

It may sound weird and ungrateful, but sometimes as a military wife you just want to scream, "Send him already! Will you! I just want to get on with it!"

I've said it a million times before. It's the uncertainty that sucks the most.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Practice What I Preach

Today while I was jogging, walking, and crawling on the treadmill I saw the most beautiful man. He was riding a bike just in front of me and I could only see his face in profile. But dear Lord! He was scrumptious. And his calves were works of art.

I watched him finish his workout, stretch, and wipe down his bike. All the while my eyes were traveling from his gorgeous face, to his stellar ass, to his breathtaking legs. I can tell you every detail of the back side of the running shorts he was wearing.

As he went down the stairs and I wiped up my drool so I wouldn't slip, I suddenly realized something.

I forgot to check out his package!

Damn it. Damn it! So much for yesterday's resolution.

I spent the rest of my time at the gym looking for him. I was going to check out the front of those shorts if it was the last thing I did. But he must have left right after his bike ride and I missed him.

I now have more incentive to go to the gym than ever before.

I've discovered a flaw in my crotch-watching plans though. There is a very good reason women look at a man's face first. When you check out the package first, you can think to yourself, "Hmmm. Nice." But then you look up to see the face of the package owner and you think, "Ow! No! My eyes! My eyes!"

Men in their sixties with lower bodies that could belong to a much younger man, should not wear tight jeans to the gym. I mean, sure, kudos for him. He had the waist of a sixteen-year-old gymnast, but damn. I am traumatized.

I could have been checking out someone's grandpa's penis.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Gift Basket that Keeps on Giving

"I saw the most beautiful man. He had perfect arms, legs, and chest. And his ass? I couldn't take my eyes off it."

"That's interesting. Did he even have a face? Or was he just a headless, beautiful torso with limbs?"

It's funny, because when I hear that a man is beautiful, my first mental image is of a classic face with a full-lipped, kick-ass smile. Then my mental image moves on down to the rest. Which I'm quite interested in. But the face comes first.

Apparently, this isn't so for my male friends.

You can blame it on Nicky that I have packages on my mind. (Oh, wait. Did I just leap onto the subject of packages? Well, they are on my mind.)

Yesterday Nicky posted about the high-five. (Did you know that the first public figure to high-five was a gay major leaguer?) He included this image of John Rocker.

What is shocking to me is that I didn't notice Rocker's massive basket until Nicky mentioned it. But as Nicky pointed out, that seems about right because apparently, checking out the basket is a guy thing. Both gay and straight. They did, like, a scientific study, or something.

Huh. Who knew?

From now on, I'm checking out crotches first. Every man I meet will get the below-the-belt eagle eye from me. I think women everywhere should join me. Maybe it will be the first step to bridging the gender gap.

Or maybe we'll usher cod pieces back into style.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

It's the Little Things

I replaced my grubby, government-provided toilet seat in the guest bathroom with a spiffy new privately-bought one.

I am deliriously happy and couldn't wait to pee.

I'm taking that sucker with us when we move.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

This Man of Mine

My daughter is so excited that her parents are going to a prom together. You know, before we ever had kids we decided that the most important thing for our children to know was that their Mommy and Daddy love each other. Our marriage is the rock that their lives are built upon.

So whenever the kids make comments about how much we love each other, I get a really ooey, gooey, warm feeling inside.

Last weekend, before he left on a week-long TDY, my husband was showing my daughter how to dance like grown-ups. It was so cute. Later she said to me, "Daddy is such a good dancer, Mommy. You're lucky to have him as your date for the prom."

"Well, kiddo," I responded. "I'm pretty lucky to have him, period. Although, well, you know. It isn't really like I lucked into having him. I made good choices and...yeah. Kiddo, you're right. I'm lucky."

My husband's awesomeness doesn't really ever get proclaimed quite enough. He is the most understanding and compassionate man ever born. Yet he can hold his own in any manly conflict.

I swear after all this time, I am still getting to know him. Or maybe we're both growing and constantly learning about each other.

I could go into details about the selfless things he does. The way he takes my own cares on as his own. The way he has accepted and grown to love my family in a way that I know I can't duplicate for his. The incredible way he balances caring for this family he loves with a calling that he holds dear.

But all in all, I just think it needs to be said.

He's the bomb. And I'm lucky.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Spring Training

Last night my daughter and I were watching television. I hit the channel guide to find some Spongebob or Fairly Odd Parents when she suddenly exclaimed, "Wait, Mom! College softball is on!"

Oh, be still my beating heart!

Last week we were at indoor softball practice when she tugged on my shirt and said, "Look, Mom. That banner says, 'Spring break softball camp.' Can I go?"

Oh, Honey! I don't care if it cost $1,000. You can definitely go!

So it is Spring Break time here and my daughter is attending softball camp during the day and has softball practice three nights this week.

Okay, so basically, one kid down and one to go. And my husband thinks he's going to talk them into loving hockey.

Ha. We'll see. I'm taking my son out to play t-ball right now.


No, not catcher, Baby Girl. Think pitcher, shortstop, pitcher, shortstop, pitcher, shortstop.