The Misfits

This is about our family's journey to a new norm after our son Chris was seriously injured in an IED explosion while deployed to Afghanistan. I chose the title "A Misfit's Mother's Journey" to honor some small way all the amazing young men in his squad, "Martin's Misfits". I owe a debt to these amazing men who worked together to save my son's and his buddy's lives and to the young man who sadly lost his life. This is a debt I can never repay. I hope you will find inspiration in our story and admiration of the young men who understand the consequences and are still willing to risk life and limb in the hope of protecting others.

Monday, September 24, 2012

It's moving day! No more hospital! Well...sort of...

Finally there will be no more wires, tubes, beeping and people coming in and out at all times. It'll be our own control over where we go and what we do. It is also a sign that Chris is really on the road to recovery and rehab. My worries lessen since it is such a positive step forward even though a whole new set of worries arise. The Marines aren't really well known for taking great care of their members and we have heard the horror stories from other wounded warriors. It is nerve racking not knowing what to expect next. How are they going to treat him and us? So far they have been great I really hope it stays that way. After what seems like the whole day a nurse walks in with a grocery bag of medications, to include the seven shots of Lovenox I will have to inject in his arm. Really?! I am so not the nurse type! I love taking care of people, but I never want to be in a position to hurt them. I had practiced a couple times while he was inpatient and, well, I didn't do so well at least according to Chris. Having to administer those shots definitely gave me a new appreciation for what nurses have to do. It was chaotic and crazy getting all the stuff loaded into the golf cart to take over to building 26. I looked around the small room as I was packing and wondered where did all this stuff come from. Hell, it's only been 3 weeks and one person! Reminds me of all the moves we made from state to state, country to country. When you live in a house day after day you never realize just how much you acquire until the day comes for you to move it. While Wayne works with the Duty NCO to get his stuff in the room Chris and I headed over separately. Walking in the sunlight and down the concrete sidewalk towards Bldg 26 another weight was taken off my shoulders. What a sight we were, him in his wheelchair rolling down the sidewalk while carefully balancing items on his lap and me walking behind carrying a couple bags and his huge shower chair through the throngs of people in the courtyard. Thankfully we run into Laura who came to visit us, but I don't think she planned to be a pack mule for us; being the sweet woman she is she had no problem helping us out. After filling out a bunch of paperwork I made it to the room. The door opened automatically and I am treated to the sight of a huge expanse of an entry way. However it was very plain and oddly shaped. To the left was a sink, some cabinets, a college size refrigerator, a microwave, a couple chairs and two card tables. Just wish there was a place to put a TV and a chair so Chris an I could watch TV together, but we will adapt and overcome. In front of me were two doors, one to Chris' room and one to mine. The rooms were decent sized with hospital beds that were hard as rocks and small TVs in each. The bathroom was to the left and was expansive as well with a roll-in shower for Chris. I was glad to see how well the room was set up. Then it hit me...we needed food, towels, plates, silverware, etc. and we had no car to get that stuff. Laura was so sweet and offered up her, her van and her time to drive us where we needed to go. Colleen ended up surprising us with a dorm warming visit and we surprised her by pulling her into our shopping trip. The big NEX is amazing, split into two buildings with a food court to die for with a Panda Express, Five Guys and an IHOP, just to name a few. It was getting late and I felt so overwhelmed. I felt guilty for taking up Laura and Colleen's time, rushed to get all we need in a short time because of the boys lack of shopping patience and feeling like so many people seem to want something from me. Right in the middle of it all I was asked to handle a situation. Boy did I handle it badly and I ended up hurting someone who meant a lot to me, Chris and our family. I hope one day that person will understand despite how badly I messed things up, my heart really was in the right place and I never meant to hurt them. By the end of the day I was so drained. A day that started out with such promise and joy ended with joy tainted by stress, regret and sadness. I was happy to see the day come to an end and my bed (even as hard as it was) welcomed me with open arms and new sheets. Thankfully tomorrow is a new day with new promises and opportunities.

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