Nearly 6 Months Later…My How Things Have Changed!

I was reminded this morning when I logged into my yahoo account that this blog existed and was in terrible need of updating.  My most sincere apologies to those who follow this, and I will try my hardest to keep this more up to date!

Let’s see. My last post was 4 days before my husband Joe left for his deployment…that would be the same day that I found out that I was pregnant…again! Yep, 4 days before my husband left for an 8-9 month deployment we found out we are expecting another bundle of joy. I am going to be honest here and say that we were supposed to be done at 2 kids. 2 boys! When I read the pregnancy test and went crying out to Joe about the injustice of life, I was completely serious! I didn’t want another kid, unless it was a girl of course. We were nice and settled in our little family. Our kids sleep through the night, they respond to basic commands, eat grown-up food (for the most part). To add another baby to the mix would throw off the dynamic.

Well, 4 shell-shocked days later, Joe got on a plane headed for war torn locales and I was left 5 weeks pregnant with a 5 and 2 year old. Can you talk about a rude awakening? We were moving into summer time and my morning sickness was in full force. Right now I can’t really tell you how I made it through the first 3 months with both kids home and begging for stimulation and attention…and me barely able to lift my head from the toilet and fix them breakfast. There is probably some sort of post traumatic stress trigger that will bring it all back in a few years. But we did it. We made it through a hot and muggy Virginia summer with minimal bloodshed.

In the beginning of August I opted to do a 3d ultrasound to determine the sex of the new baby. I was seeing pink…I assumed after 2 boys that I would be blessed with a beautiful baby girl. I went into the ultrasound with the serene smile of a mother in the know and walked out fighting back tears. You guessed it, another boy. Now I have had almost 3 months to come to terms with another boy and I think I am doing well. We have decided on a name, a family member had a boy less than a year ago so we have tons of new clothes for him. I have resigned myself to the fact that I will be the only female in my house. So long as everyone is happy and healthy.

Due to the new addition, the military is moving us into a 4 bedroom house in a neighborhood down the street. We move on Halloween. So on top of being nearly 7 months pregnant, my house is boxed up and somehow I am going to have to figure out how to dig up the satellite dish so housing doesn’t have a panic attack. My husband doesn’t come home until either right before or right after the baby comes (we still don’t have a firm homecoming date). You can say life took a hard left turn…or right turn…whichever your fancy, but being the military family that we are we are dealing with it the best we can.

If anyone is still reading this, I am so sorry I stopped blogging for a while but as I have been writing this I have realized that really is a good outlet. Especially for someone who only talks to children all day and spends her nights worried sick about her husband.

Neglectful Blogger.

Yes, I have been a neglectful blogger lately. I do apologize to those who were waiting with baited breath for my next entry…sarcasm of course! It has been a hectic couple of weeks. My husband has his pre-deployment leave last week and we went to Las Vegas for some grown up R&R. We had a fantastic time…spent too much money and got much too drunk! By the time the last day of our vacation rolled around we were begging to get on the flight back home.

Joe leaves soon. VERY soon. I am an emotional wreck. My kids are emotional wrecks. We found out a few weeks ago that his platoon was sending him to a week-long training course for a week. Of course they scheduled it for the week before he leaves for his 8 month-long deployment. So if we get technical, I have 4 more days with my husband. My oldest son Scott is so mad at me. Since Joe left for training a few days ago, he has been accusing me of “making daddy leave because I am so mean.” He thinks that his daddy doesn’t want to be his daddy anymore.

We are trying to be honest and open with the kids, letting them know that their dad is leaving for a while but he still loves them…all that song and dance. But my son Scott is so sensitive, he thinks he did something wrong. My heart breaks for him. As much as I tell him that Joe still loves him, it doesn’t make any difference to him. This is just something that our family is going to have to power through, and we will. We have gone through so much already, and I think it only makes us stronger.

So as you can see, I have been slightly preoccupied the past few weeks. Things will pick back up after we get this show on the road next week! Oh- and please forgive the serious, slightly whiney nature of this post. I feel strangely comfortable whining to complete strangers rather than my family. They don’t need any more whining 🙂

Allergies and the East Coast

I have terrible allergies. I mean really bad. I grew up in Colorado, near Boulder, so allergies there weren’t too terrible. The air is really dry and arid so allergy sufferers normally don’t have such a bad time of it. When we moved to the east coast for the military, I really didn’t think much of it. That was until one April morning, 3 years ago, when I woke up with a balloon instead of a head.

I remember looking outside and seeing the world blanketed in a soft, yellow pollen. I had NEVER seen anything like it. Our black car was yellow. Our green house was yellow. The dog was yellow. Another fun fact about me…I can’t take allergy medicine. I mean I can, it works, but it makes me so sleepy that I can’t be trusted to take care of my kids if I take it.  This being said, I washed my face and made sure to clear the pollen from my nostrils and eye sockets (how did it get into the house??) and started my day.

I think my youngest was maybe 3 or 4 months old so I wasn’t getting much sleep or rest time as it was. My husband was working the night shift at the naval hospital, so I was on my own. Even though there was pollen all over the place, it was still a really nice day outside. North Carolina in the springtime is beautiful. It’s not so painfully hot yet. Now remember I had no experience with pollen or anything like that so I happily got my kiddos dressed and took them out to the park.

Big mistake. I stepped out of my front door and started sneezing. My stroller made tracks through the pollen on the sidewalk. My eyes were watering, my throat was itching, my nose seemed to be running and stuffed up at the same time. I did manage to make it to the park, let my oldest play for about 7 seconds and then had to call the outing to a close.

I hacked my way back home, stripped off my clothes and stumbled snottily into the shower. The water ended up running yellow, that is how bad this pollen was. I called the doctor who gave me a prescription for an allergy medicine (which is now available OTC I think). This too made me fall asleep.

Now that we are in Virginia, the allergies aren’t any better. We had a pollen snowfall a few days ago so everything is again coated in that nasty stuff. I still can’t take allergy medicine unless I am planning on going to bed the second the pill hits my stomach. My husband and children are completely immune. They could go and make pollen angels outside and be fit as a fiddle. I would probably die from asphyxiation. Next duty station: somewhere with a low pollen count.

Spring Break

My youngest, sleeping off his Benadryl high. Poor little panda bear.

Hurrah, it is spring time! April is beautiful in the southeast. The weather is in the 70’s and 80’s most of the time and the trees and flowers are blooming. My allergies are out of control and my nose is running like the leaky faucet in my kitchen. A lovely mental picture, to be sure. Despite all of this, I planned to go outside to do some yard work yesterday. Let’s get this straight, by yard work, I do not mean planting a lovely row of gardenias in my back yard. I mean that I will be raking/scooping up the tons of dog shit that accumulates over the last week.

Cleaning up doggie waste is generally my husband’s job. I handle the kids, the house, my schoolwork, the bills, and any other random chore that comes my way. The dogs and the backyard are his deal. He wanted the hounds, he takes care of them. Easy way to look at it. Naturally, he went to the field this week. Also naturally, he left on Monday morning without taking care of the backyard. Since the weather is so nice, I planned to spend the week outside, tiring my children out. The oldest is on Spring Break this week. We have a gigantic trampoline in our backyard and the community park is outside our gate. But in order to get to the trampoline, or the back gate, I had to carve a path through the dog poop.

I put the boys on the trampoline while I toiled in the yard. They were bouncing and having a generally good time. I looked up from raking, the smell of dog excrement in my nose, just in time to see a gigantic hornet land on my youngest, Joey. This little boy is fearless, really. He will do anything at any time…Totally all boy. As I see this hornet land on my child, I yelled at him to stay still, don’t bounce! You see, I am allergic to bee stings and the allergy is genetic. Of course, Joey, being a 2 year old, did exactly what I told him not to do. He flung up his arms and did a belly flop onto the trampoline. Naturally, he was stung by the hornet.

I went into panic mode. I had visions of anaphylactic shock running through my head. My husband was gone (and the Epi Pens with him), my five year old Scott was screaming that his little brother was dying, and I had dog shit on my shoe. Joey had been stung on the neck, near his ear. He was already starting to puff up. I was watching my child turn into a balloon. Luckily, the kids were dressed, had eaten lunch and the car had gas in it. I hauled both of their asses into the car, threw a movie into the DVD player (best invention ever:  a DVD player in the car), and tried to buckle Joey into his car seat. He wouldn’t fit! He looked like a red-headed, red-faced panda bear. The buckles wouldn’t close over his tummy. He had fluffed up to unimaginable proportions.

The whole drive to Portsmouth Naval, I had my eye on him in the review mirror. Thankfully, I didn’t hit tunnel traffic. The emergency room nurse took one look at my panda child and stabbed him with an Epi Pen and IV’ed him up to some Benadryl. The swelling started to go down. There was no damage to his airways or anything like that. This is lucky since that is what happens to me when I am stung. A few hours later, I took home my slightly less fluffy panda bear boy and an extremely bored and cranky five year old. Joey was drunk on antihistamines, weaving in and out of the rooms in the house, giggling. I was exhausted.

In my panic to get to the hospital, I left my phone at home and didn’t get a chance to snap a picture of Joey in the throes of a hornet sting attack, but I did get one of him passed out in a Benadryl stupor on my chest (posted!). I texted my husband and told him politely, but firmly, that I was never taking care of the “yard work” again. It was obviously detrimental to mine and my children’s health.

Pre Deployment Leave!

I have mentioned before that my husband is deploying soon to a particularly scary area of the world. For an “undetermined amount of time.” This really gets to me. Normally, these sorts of deployments are the usual 6-7 months. They don’t often get extended. But with all of the crap going on in the Middle East, and due to the fact that my husband is part of a gung ho marine platoon, they have done away with nice things like time constraints. How hard is it to at least give us wives an estimate? I am guessing 8 months, but I wouldn’t put any money on it.

So normally, before a deployment, the military person is granted “pre-deployment leave”. Usually it’s 2 weeks. A nice little break with your family before you leave for undetermined amounts of time. Well, since my husbands deployment was moved up by 2 weeks, they have cut the pre deployment leave to 7 days. Are you kidding me? First he is gone for however long they want, they moved the deployment up by 2 weeks, and now I only get 7 uninterrupted days with him. Not cool. Not cool at all.

So I decided to grab the bull by the horns and TELL my husband that him and I would be having some grownup alone time before he leaves. We never had a honeymoon (see my strange wedding story blog) and I can’t get over this fatalistic attitude about this deployment. I would rather have spent an awesome few days with just him and me than have sat at home worrying about the upcoming separation. In my bull horn grabbing, I picked Las Vegas as our destination of choice. I had been before, but I was 15 so you can imagine how fun it was for me. My husband hasn’t travelled as much as I have yet, so he has never been.

Ahh Sin City. Now, I posted earlier about how I google everything…you bet that my browser history is FULL of websites about Vegas. Where to stay, what to do (gamble!), where to eat, tips for first time visitors…you get the idea. I haven’t picked a hotel yet, I won’t until I make sure that we actually get paid this week (re: Government Shutdown post). But I am thinking about the MGM Grand, the NY NY, or the Monte Carlo. I can get flights and hotel for 3 nights for around $900. Any ideas, comments, or opinions would be much appreciated. We will be trying to fit the most fun and grownup excitement into 3 days. And preferably without any “Hangover” style mishaps. The tickets get purchased next week!

Government Shutdown.

Ok this really grinds my gears. I am NOT into politics, never have been and most likely never will be. Whoever is in the White House at a certain time usually has no bearing on my day-to-day. At most, we just get more or less of a raise at the beginning of the year. But for the past few months, the government has been threatening a shut down. Fantastic.

At first, I read over the article and shrugged my shoulders. Eh, what was the big deal? So we couldn’t visit national parks for a while (and I know this is not the only thing that would shut down…don’t flame me yet). But then I started researching more in-depth. Bring on the googling. I googled for hours. Looking at military websites, government websites, forums…you name it, I was there lurking. I unearthed some articles that irked me. People were saying that the government employees would NOT be getting paid. Well fine, I said. My husband is in the military and who would ever think about not paying their military members? Two hours later, I was steaming mad. There is a general consensus around the internet that if the government can’t pull their heads out of their asses, we will not be getting paid.

So I sweated through the middle and end of March and was pleased to see our LES up for the April 1st pay period. An LES is the military version of a paystub. Comes out a week before we get paid. It stands for Leave and Earnings Statement. Our money direct deposited on the 1st and I paid my bills, did my grocery shopping, put a little in savings. The usual. Then I get up this morning to drink my coffee and surf the net and I see a news story on how congress can’t figure out what they want to do and that my husband may not be getting paid as of April 8th.

They made a big deal of saying that active duty military members would be required to report for work and would see their pay retroactively when the government starts running again. That is all fine and dandy, but what am I supposed to do in the meantime? Yes, we have an emergency fund. No we don’t live paycheck to paycheck but this would be an extreme inconvenience. In the civilian world if you go to work you get paid. Nobody would say, “Hi, I am going to need you to work a 12 hour day in extreme conditions. By the way, you won’t be getting paid.” But this is exactly what my husband, and many other military members will have to be doing. What about the guys fighting for their lives and our freedom in Afghanistan? Do they not deserve their meager paycheck? What about those military families that are on welfare and food stamps? What about the $1000 in back pay that they still owe me for the screw up on our pay while my husband was in Cuba? Military pay has always been a hot issue, and now it’s about to get hotter.

I like to think that the American people wouldn’t call for this. That we support our troops and recognize that any work deserves a paycheck. But what I think doesn’t matter. It’s those childish men and women who are in charge that can’t get their shit together and keep our country running smoothly. One signature and the men and women who are protecting our country will not be getting compensated for their dedication and hard work. To me, that is pathetic.

Field Week.

I hate the field. With a passion. In Marine Corps lingo, “the field” is when a platoon goes and practices all of their defensive maneuvers, rolls around in the dirt with warpaint, and generally acts like big strong military men. Going to the field is usually extremely fun for the marine (or navy corpsman in my husband’s case). They get to do what they joined the military to do, without having to deploy. Unfortunately, deployment is exactly why they go to field training.

My husband and his platoon are deploying soon. Ugh. Can you tell that I am completely unenthused about it? This will be our first big deployment. Ever since he was stationed her in Norfolk with the FAST team, the field weeks have been out of control. The point of the FAST team is to secure things like foreign embassies and weapons and such overseas. They can deploy at a moments notice. This also means that their deployments are on a rotation. No matter what, I usually know the general time and to where my husband will be going.

What stinks the most is that he just came home from a deployment to Cuba (Guantanamo Bay) a few months ago. And now he is going back out again. I know a lot of people (mostly civilians) who would say, “Oh well, you know what you signed up for when you said I do.” This is true, yes I do know what I signed up for. But the reality is so much more terrible than the thought of surviving a few months without your husband. When my husband left for Cuba, it felt like my heart was ripped out of my chest…I wandered around for a week not knowing what to do. Suddenly I was in charge of two extremely confused and sad children. And I was all by myself.

I got through it (more on that later), and was so grateful when he came home. I wasn’t worried about the danger (there was slim to none doing training exercises in Cuba). But then he got home and I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to enjoy him being home since he was basically going to have to turn around and go out again. I have tried to live by the moment, enjoy the time I have with my husband, and the time that my children have with their dad, but it is so hard.

This upcoming deployment will be much more dangerous. If anyone reads the news they should have a fairly good idea of where he is going. While I am fairly candid in my blog, due to OPSEC (operational security) I cannot say exactly when, or to where he is going. Gotta protect our military! But I will say that this one has me worried, scared even. All I can do is trust that he will come home alright.

Wedding Nostalgia.

Joe and I went to a wedding this weekend. It was a military wedding. A friend of mine from work and her marine fiance were tying the knot. I absolutely love the idea of a military wedding. So formal and the groomsmen and ushers all look so snazzy in their uniforms. All in all, we had a good time. My pantyhose had a slight malfunction (runner all the way from ankle to crotch), and my husband primped in his dress blue uniform more than a debutante at a London ball (he couldn’t decide whether to wear medals or ribbons…a life changing decision to be sure).

Of course whenever people go to a wedding, you can’t help but reminisce when you hear the couple take their vows. I would love to be able to tell you that my wedding was as lovely and romantic as this one. All acoustic guitar and champagne toasts, but then I would be lying. And who lies in a blog…

When Joe and I got married, we decided on a courthouse wedding. He couldn’t get any leave and we really couldn’t afford to do a whole shebang due to money. No big deal, a nice private, family only wedding was fine with me. The week before the wedding, I went to St. Thomas with my family. This was planned WAY before Joe and I decided to get married. I like to joke that my honeymoon came before the wedding and without the groom. We spent a lovely week in St. Thomas with my sisters, parents and grandparents. We were due to fly home on a Friday and I was to get married at 9 am the next day.

We get to the airport at St. Thomas and go through customs. If anyone has ever flown to St. Thomas then they know that the airport is not air-conditioned and extremely small. Not to mention I had my son with me who was 2 at the time. Not a good combination. Of course we find out that the flight to Philly was delayed. No biggie, we had a 2 hour layover there to get to Chicago. The plane in St. Thomas took off an hour late and it was a 4 hour flight to Philadelphia. Around the time that we were supposed to land, the pilot comes on the intercom and says that there is traffic and we have to circle until we had clearance to land the plane. Now I am starting to panic since there was only about 45 minutes until our connecting flight was supposed to leave for Chicago.

After a half an hour of circling, a screaming toddler with pain in his ears,and a panicked bride to be who hated to fly, we landed in Philly. Of course we would be in a completely different concourse and the airline had left my son’s stroller in St. Thomas. Fantastic. My dad took one look at my miserable, sunburnt face and took off like a light to the next flight to Chicago, as ours had already boarded and got in line for takeoff. My parents, my sister, and my son and I hauled ass through that airport. Jogging with a two-year old is no mean feat, let me tell you. We got to the gate just as they had boarded everyone and were trying to figure out who was going to fly standby. Panting, I went to ask the people at the check in desk if there were any seats leftover. She gave me a look and pointed, smirking, at the 30 or so people milling around the gate. Obviously this was going to be a problem.

She tells me that I am last on the list and I won’t be able to make it out until the morning. I literally burst into tears. I had been waiting to marry Joe for 7 years and this was definitely a bad omen. I will never forget the reaction of those people at the gate. When the attendants began calling out names for standby, each one of them declined their seat. They kept saying, “Let the bride go, let the bride go.” The flight attendants were not to be deterred. They said I wasn’t on the flight roster, it was illegal to let me go on the flight. I was miserable, sobbing in a plastic airport seat. I suppose the attendants took pity on me. She said, “Get your bag, get on the plane. There is one seat left.”

I looked at my mom and dad who told me to go. I couldn’t take my son, he couldn’t ride on my lap, he was too old. I handed him to my mom with his diaper bag (which had 2 diapers left), I gave my parents, my sister, and my son a hug and a kiss and boarded that flight all by myself. My family had to stay in Philadelphia overnight to catch the first flight to Chicago in the morning.

I made it to Chicago at midnight, had to hire a cab to get home, and passed out for 4 hours. I got up, managed to make myself somewhat presentable, and drove off to get married in Waukegan, IL, where Great Lakes (naval base) was. I suppose it doesn’t matter that while we were waiting for the JOP, I went to the bathroom. While I was in there, Joe was asked if he didn’t mind having a group wedding because of time constraints in the courthouse. I was just lucky to be there and to be getting married. Although, getting married with 10 other couples was possibly the weirdest thing I have ever done. But our vows were said, we were married, everything was done.

My family made it home that morning, but they missed my wedding. I will always regret that. According to my mom, they had dinner at the hotel in Philadelphia that night where everyone was talking about the girl who managed to barely make the last flight out to Chicago to get married. My mom proudly told them that girl was her daughter.

So I suppose every wedding is beautiful, and in its own way, mine was too.

Wearing Rank.

Ah…wearing your spouse/significant other’s rank. It’s something that nearly EVERY military wife has done at some point. Yep, even me. I won’t admit to it often but sometimes it’s hard not to. Now, I always feel like I should do a little background explanation for those of you who aren’t living the military lifestyle. When a spouse “wears the rank”, it really means that they are using their husband (or wife’s) staus in the military to better their social lives. I had been warned about this before I got married, but brushed it off.

My first experience with a military wife wearing her husband’s rank was when we had just moved to Camp Lejeune. Jacksonville, N.C. is a total military town. It has Wal Mart (two of them!), bars, strip clubs, tattoo shops. Weird things go on there. I have heard rumors about a midget strip club night at one of the popular clubs down there. Of course, we didn’t know any of this when we moved there. We had wanted to get in base housing but the wait was a few months so while we waited we rented a townhouse out in town. It was a pretty crappy place, had a lot of “waterbugs”, a.k.a. roaches, neighbors were all kind of trashy. Jesus, I sound like a spoiled brat.

I had taken my son Scott to the park in the community. It was summertime and hotter than hell, I must have been covered in sweat. Not looking my best, I’m sure. A mother and her son came up to us and her son started playing with Scott. As mothers do, we carefully tested the waters to see if we had anything in common. Turns out we did…both of our husbands were in the military. Once this was discovered, she started into the military wife inquisition. This is where they ask what branch your husband is in, what rank he is, what he does in the military, how old you are, and how long you have been married. They keep a mental scorecard in their heads, checking off each answer, and using that to judge your “worth” in the heirarchy of military wives.

Unfortunately, I failed that test. If that had been the old days, I would have been the scruffy maid milking the cows in the barn. My answers were as follows: husband is in the navy, he is only an E1, he is a corpsman, I am 22, we got married 3 weeks ago. Suddenly her friendly face turned stony. I will always remember the way she curled up her lip at me and snapped at her son to come here and that they were going home. She literally took her child by the arm and towed him out of the park, away from the contamination of my virginial military wife status.

I was so offended. I couldn’t understand what happened. I was a generally likeable person. I had friends! Hell, someone liked me enough to marry me…why didn’t she want her kid to play with mine? I kept this experience to myself, always wondering what I had said wrong. After I spent a little more time in my new role as military wife, I began to understand (but definitely not condone) that woman’s thoughts.

Camp Lejeune is not a naval base. It is a Marine Corps base. The only naval people there either work at the hospital, with the platoons as a field corpsman, or in the administrative side. The fact that my husband was not a marine was my first fail. Secondly, he was an E1. Fresh out of boot camp. No rank, no respect. Next, I was too “young”…a sterotypical fresh, young military wife. Lastly, we had only been married 3 weeks. This I don’t understand, everyone has to start somewhere!

Now that I am a seasoned military wife, I have caught myself doing this…the military wife inquisition. I always stop myself before I finish, knowing that this could be a young, new wife who is lonely in a new duty station. I have often told my husband that I want him to go officer so I can be saluted when I drive through the gates on to a military base 🙂 Or so I can park in the primo spots at the commissary. But I would never treat another wife so disrespectfully. Even girlfriends deserve respect, because a military girlfriend is only a few steps away from a military wife.

The Joys of Tricare

Let’s discuss the lovely healthcare system of the United States Armed Forces, also known as Tricare. Tricare Prime in our family. Disclaimer: I am NOT bashing the fact that I get free, usually quality healthcare! Just putting that out there. I just might be bashing the logistics of said system.

When my husband was a stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC, he worked at the Naval Hospital. This was our first duty station so he was fresh out of boot camp and A-School (job training), and was just pretty much a huge newbie to the Navy scene. So they slapped him into night shift work at the hospital on base. Not his first pick on how to spend 2 years in the military, but what can you do? Gotta pay your dues somehow.

This was my first experience with being a military spouse in general. We had gotten married 2 weeks before we moved from Chicago to N.C. We get signed up for Tricare, my oldest son and I. Things are great, we are learning about our new locale, getting to know the local Walmart (pretty much the hottest spot in Jacksonville, N.C.), and then BAM! I found out I was pregnant. Called the OB-GYN clinic and told them I had a positive pregnancy test. They told me I have to come in and take a “military issued test”. I say ok and drive up to pee on a stick that looked exactly like the First Response I peed on the day before. Lo and behold, the military says I am pregnant. Fine. This is in May, they can’t fit me into OB-GYN until January. January is when my new fetus is due to make its debut. So they send me to Family Medicine. I get my first appointment in July. That’s a lot of waiting for a pregnant lady.

My pregnancy was slightly high risk towards the end. The baby wanted to come out, the doctors didn’t want him too…Premature labor was put under control  and my actual birth experience was not too shabby. This was the first time having a baby in a military facility and I had heard horror story after horror story. Still do actually. The only disheartening thing was the corpsman who was brought in to start my IV. Turns out he was buddies with my husband (they had gone to Corps School together) and instead of paying attention to the elephant sized, panting pregnant woman that he was supposed to be “professionally” sticking, he was joking around with Joe about their times in Chicago and how “fucked up” they used to get. While I had the upmost faith in my own husband, this guy was stressing me out so bad that the nurse came in to see why my heartbeat was off the charts.

Immature corpsmen aside, my experience with Lejeune wasn’t too bad. It wasn’t until we moved here to Norfolk that Tricare and I have become foes in this crazy healthcare battle. Now if you have ever been to the Hampton Roads area you know how congested it is, and how full of military it is. It’s out of control. There are all sorts of bases here. Tricare set me and the boys up at Langley AFB which is about 30 minutes away and through a tunnel. Again, if you know Norfolk you know to avoid tunnels at all costs. The traffic here is painful at best. Naturally, aside from necessary appointments, I self medicate at home and avoid going at all costs.

Unfortunately, this week I have received a lovely present from my husband (who is conveniently absent in the field)…a cold which morphed into the worst sinus infection I have ever had. So I suck it up, call the appointment line and attempt to get seen so I can snag some antibiotics.

Me: Hi, I have a sinus infection and would like to see my doctor.

Operator: We’re sorry, there are no appointments available until next week.

Me: I will probably be dead next week, are you sure you can’t fit me in?

Operator: Ma’am, if there were appointments open, I would give you one. I do apologize.

Right, not getting an appointment at the doctors. They suggested that I go to the emergency room at Portsmouth Naval. Hah, not likely with two young children and a husband who is playing war games in some field…It would seem that free healthcare does have a price tag; although at least I can say that I have it!

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