Saturday, January 29, 2011

Is it over yet?

I wish it were.  Over.  I'm tired of having to make decisions for the family on my own.  Or handle the finances the best I can on my own.  Or trying to narrow down with logic and try to make educated guesses on my own.  I was pretty sure, back in the fall, that this was a partnership.  It really does not feel that way sometimes, and I get angry about that.

Mothers do things that go unnoticed and we are supposed to just 'let' it happen.  Our roles are sometimes a silent one.  We facilitate family support and our reward is silence and no acknowledgement.  Sometimes by our spouse, more often by our children.   Sometimes, Moms wants to jump up and down and shout and point.  Hey!  I did that!  I helped!  I made it happen!  But instead, we are supposed to be content to sit by and watch while others reap the rewards or be so thrilled with others happiness that that should be enough for us.

Sometimes I feel bad for feeling this way and I know how much my husband appreciates me and there isn't a lot that he misses.  But that is hard to feel when he himself is not tangible right now, not here, with me.

So I'll wait.  Carry on my life and go through the day to day motions.  I do what is expected of me, as a Mother, A Wife, and for my career.   I'll do for others, because I want to, and I need to.

I'll admit.  It's not always easy to hold your head up high and smile.  I'm not even always thrilled that my husband is a hero and out doing things for this country that most men would not even dream of.  I'm always proud of him.  But I can't really say I'm thrilled about this whole situation.  I don't think I'm supposed to be.  Most spouses are not going to say how pleased they are their loved one is out there, risking it all for our country.  Incredibly proud?  Absolutely.   But I'd be fooling myself and others if I said I was happy about it.

I'd even like to say that I'll be happy when it's all over and life can go back to normal.  But it won't go back to 'normal'.  Does anything really go back to 'normal' after you've been apart for 400 days and you've both been stressed, pushed to your limit and who knows what else?  This year+ is going to be a defining point in our entire life.  I'll still be thrilled to death when he comes home.  So we can get on with our lives.  But I'm not fooled that anything will go back to normal.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Day Three

It's now Day Three of being sick.  Snow day, so the kidlet was helping to keep me company by playing cards, trying to stick the thermometer in my mouth and urging me to take the wrong medication for my cough.  She's cute.  She also wants to be entertained and that can be very hard while I am not well.  So we've read books, watched movies and I still cannot teach her how to shuffle cards.  The dexterity will come.  Jello is always good when one is under the weather and it appears it also doubles as a toy...

I got a couple phone calls from concerned friends, but typically when they hear me attempt to speak, they don't want to keep making me speak.  I appreciate that.  I'm starting to get restless, having sat on this sofa now for the better part of the past three days.  I hope my husband appreciates the new look of my backside when he gets home.

I have not heard from him recently, at least, not over the phone.  We were able to BBM for a bit today, but not too much.  I really want to talk to him, but I really would not be able to talk for too long.  And then he'd worry about me more, because... I -really- sound bad.  I have that deep down congestion that you hear from someone who has smoked for 80 years and their lungs start to shut down.  Hopefully I will start to improve over the next couple days and I will hear from him.  It always does a body good.

Right now the kidlet is reading over my shoulder and I had to explain what I meant by 'new look of my backside.'  Awkward...  The metaphor doesn't work as well when you have to spell it out.   Another thing we did today on the computer while we were hanging out, was to check out this site:

The site, sponsored by Xerox, allows you to send free printed post cards to military personnel stationed overseas.  There are a lot of hand drawn designs to pick from, designed by children all over.  You can pick from several options as your message, or you have 472 characters to write your own personalized message.  It's that easy to send service members a thank you and let them know that they are cared for and thought of.  We sent out several and had a blast doing it.  

It's really cute that my kidlet wants to take care of me while I am sick.  It helps me feel like I am doing a good job, despite my flubs.  I dread the day she stops telling I'm the best Mommy ever and starts glaring at me with her pre-teen or teen eyes.  So while I'm down for the count, I'm happy to indulge her in her doting efforts.  

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The start of 2011

So far, 2011 is not off to a good start.  It all started with a tickle and a small cough.  Being Asthmatic, I've had a lot of struggle and experience with coughs, lung pain, shortness of breath and inhalers.  It all started when I was turning 12.  I was getting ready for my birthday party, finishing up a few chores when it started.  The tickle, the small cough.  By the time it was almost ready for my party, I was coughing up things that no pre-teen ever wants to see.  I was determined to follow through with my party, however, so I convinced my parents I was fine.  Having never been officially diagnosed with Asthma before, the thought did not really cross anyone's mind.  We had moved recently, so this was a meld of Old friends and New Friends.  I was really excited and the thought of being sick was not appealing.

By the time the party was in full swing, I was sitting down and focusing on breathing.  Shortly after, I was in the ER, in a full fledged Asthma attack and having my first experience with a nebulizer.  They wanted to hospitalize me, but my Mom hates hospitals and I didn't want to miss my birthday party... which was still going on back at my house.  Without the Birthday Girl.  I was allowed to go home with one provision; that I come back in a couple hours for another treatment and evaluation.  Kinda of a bummer for a 12 year old.

Fast forward to an undisclosed amount of years, and there I sit, in Urgent Care, with my small, mini-me.  The diagnosis of Asthma was not a surprise, having been there, done that, and seen the signs.  My daughter was sitting there, getting her first nebulizer treatment.  I told her how when I first started to get them, I thought it looked like a peace pipe.  She thought it was really funny and erupted in a coughing fit.  Whoops.  My bad.

So when the tickle and the small cough started earlier this week for my daughter, I took it in stride.  Following Doctors orders, I increased the use of her rescue inhaler and made certain she was following through with her other asthma meds.  The wait over the next day or so was tenuous.  Alas, the effort proved to still result in a trip to the doctor.   The pediatrician also told me she suspected I had bronchitis...  Something my coughing fits had already told me.  However, being the dedicated human service worker that I am, I went into work anyway.  And was promptly scolded by my co-workers.  One of my co-workers and I were working on a problem solving model for our clients, and she turned the tables on me and we ended up troubleshooting my coughing.  The end result?  Calling my doctor.  It's always good to model the behavior we want to see in our clients, right?

I was asked to come in within a couple hours.  Greeaat.  It had not been that bad earlier that morning, but had rapidly advanced.  I had started out the day with a normal temp., and by the time I got to the doctors office, it was nearly 102.  Walking Pneumonia and Actue Bronchitis was my dx.  By the time I got home, I knew what it was like to experience fever chills and I have to say the experience of burning from a fever and being freezing cold is not at all pleasant.  Trying to sleep sitting up is really no fun at all, something I've had to do on and off for years.  It never really works.  You might fall asleep sitting up, but you eventually start to slid down the pillows and awake to a coughing fit, courtesy of the phlem that settled in there while being horizontal.

Starting off the new year with my husband over seas and walking pneumonia does not sound too promising to me.  I know my husband is worried about me, being sick and he's too far away to do much.  Thank god he has not called recently, I know he'd get more upset if he heard me try to speak.

So I'll sit and wait for the anti-biotics to kick in and my fever to break.  In the meantime, my daughter and I have bonded by watching too many movies and trying to sneak the favored blanket away from each other.  She's very cute, trying to mother me every time I cough too much, she shoves the thermometer in my mouth, and tries to feed me medication.  She's starting to feel better, for which I am grateful for.  But I do wish she would retain that I cannot speak very well.  Charades is not her strong suit.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Navigating the Airwaves

Recently there have been some important issues that my husband and I need to talk about.  We both have Blackberries, so we can BBM, but it's just not the same.  That's one of the big obstacles during a deployment.  Life still goes on, finances still have to be dealt with, there are still kids to bring up and somewhere in all of that, we have our brand new marriage to develop and grow.

Text messenging has been a life saver for this deployment.  He texts me good morning most of the time when he knows it's around the time that I wake up.  He sometimes says good night to be when he is heading down for the night. We send little kisses, hug and flirts to each other and that's very comforting during days that otherwise I would feel very alone.  

However, it pales terribly in comparison to real communication.  Be it the phone or in person, texting just doesn't come close.  The subtle nuances are lost that are typically conveyed with intonation, posture and inflection.   It's very hard to maintain life when communication is so limited.  I know, I hear it from people, I should be thankful, because 10 years ago it would have been different.  Cell phones were not as abundant and I would not have nearly what I have now with the communication.  That type of view does not really get me far.  To think that I may have had less communication with him doesn't help and of course I am grateful.  

Deployment is hard and having someone that is an integral part of your life ripped away for a year+, it's very hard to deal with.  The first year of marriage is hard enough, never mind trying to navigate the first year of marriage without the crucial other half.  Sometimes I think I text him too much, I don't want to overwhelm him with the day to day details of life, but on the other hand... isn't that what encompasses part of marriage?  So far he doesn't seem to mind, although I worry I am causing him to worry more than is necessary... And so on and so on.  I don't know how else to be married, though.  I'm fairly certain that he doesn't mind and he has said it helps him feel more connected to home.  

What I want most from all this is to come out the other end of this deployment with a stronger and more resilient marriage than when we started.  Now if the other end of this deployment would just hurry up and get here...