So I know it's been a while since you have heard from me, and I am sorry, but I plan to make up for that now, so get comfy, this is going to be a long one!
The same day as my last post I got a call from Curt on my way home from work telling me he thought he should see a Dr. Coming from anyone else I wouldn't have been surprised, but this is the man who fought me tooth and nail about going to the ER when he broke a 1 inch tire iron over his nose shortly after we started dating. When that happened, he said something along the lines of "All the hospital is going to do is glue it, I have some super glue right here." I quickly informed him that the ER would be using STERILE glue and that he would also need an x-ray and tetanus shot. He was none too pleased when I won the battle and he was sitting in the ER waiting for all of the above. Luckily the x-ray showed no broken nose, and that is still a mystery to me! That is really the only encounter I have had with Curt needing a Dr.
He was sick 1 time that I can remember in the last 8+ years. We were in California visiting his family and Curt said he didn't feel well. He went into his moms room, slept for about 15 hours and came out like he was superman again. That was also pretty early in our relationship, so when he said he needed a Dr that Wednesday it nearly knocked the air out of me. I knew his cough had been getting worse, but I didn't realize just how bad he was feeling until the words came out of his mouth. I explained that not only did he not have a Dr due mostly to the fact that he never needed one, but that the letter I received from his commander indicated I was to take him to the nearest ER in the event that medical care was needed. Here's the kicker...he AGREED! No kicking, no screaming, no fighting me tooth and nail, just an "Okay, we'll go when you get here." I nearly fainted myself from shock!
So I called my wonderful friend and neighbor Laurie and explained what was going on and asked if she would watch Gunnar so I didn't have to take him to the ER with us (I didn't need him getting sick, and a 6 year old in the ER is NO fun!) Lucky for me Laurie was not only home, but more than willing to take on my son along with her 2 kiddos for a few hours. Huge thanks to her! The next call was to my mom for the fastest ER in the East Valley. She sent us to Gilbert Regional. If you live here and don't know, it's the hospital down by Power and Ray with the helicopter on the roof. This place is AMAZING! We walked right in and went straight back to a room...no waiting room, no triage...it was great! I think the whole thing from start to finish was about 2.5 hours, and they ran every test in the book on Curt! That included taking about a pint of blood, a chest x-ray and giving him a breathing treatment.
Long story short, they chest x-ray came back with a 3 inch spot of pneumonia on his lungs. The nurse came in and gave him a shot about the size of a horse needle of an antibiotic that made him white as a ghost and nearly passed out. Scared me half to death! His fever was also higher when we left the hospital then when we went in. When he woke up the next morning his fever topped out at 103, and I had him take a fever reducer while I went off to work. I checked on him every few hours to make sure his fever didn't come back up, and it seemed we were in the clear and it was just a reaction to the antibiotic. He was getting better and was on the road to recovery, but it was no quick fix, at least not what Curt was used to, and neither was I. My superman had found his kryptonite.
He was doing better by Christmas, but still FAR from himself. So we had Christmas Eve Dinner at Mom and Dad's house with some of Dad's rocket buddies and Grandpa and Grandma Barbara. Then we spent the night there so Santa would only have to make 1 stop. Christmas morning was great, Gunnar was great about waiting until Grandpa and Grandma got back to the house to open presents and Katlyn played Santa and handed out gifts for most of the morning. I think everyone was very pleased! Then Daddy made his traditional Christmas morning breakfast, which was more like lunch by the time we ate. We spent the rest of the day just hanging out.
On Sunday we did some shopping, and I think that pretty much wiped Curt out for a few more days. I had to head back to work on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. That brings us to Thursday. We woke up early to go get my ID and try to avoid any possible waiting like we encountered at Luke AFB. Let me tell you, we hit the military ID jackpot! We went to the Army Air Guard by the airport, and we were the only ones there! The woman was so nice she even gave Gunnar an ID and he's not supposed to get one until he's 10. The kid was all smiles and is still telling anyone who will listen that he has his own ID.
After that we headed over to Curt's old stomping grounds (TCI) to say hi to anyone who might be stuck working the skeleton crew. Then we grabbed a few essentials to send to Afganland for Curt's cousin and went to see Tron 3D. I was quite impressed I have to say! It was a really cool movie. Later that evening we met my dear friend for an excellent dinner at The Keg. We had such a wonderful time, but were ready to crash when we got home.
The next day was Friday, New Years Eve, and we were going to spend the day relaxing and picking up the house after doing a few small errands. Somehow the few small errands turned into being out ALL DAY! We picked up my truck from the shop and we picked up a few more things to send to Afganland, including some Crazy Juice, better known as Rockstar, and some Monkey Butt. These were both requirements from my 6 year old son to his "Uncle Rich". He also could not stop giggling about the Monkey Butt (it's a powder to help avoid rashes..G just liked the name). We ended up gathering the rest of what we needed to send to Afganland and headed to the post office for our first lesson in APO shipping (that's a military address in case you like me no so long ago didn't know) and customs forms. Interestingly enough, the customs forms are not at all designed for an APO address, which may as well read like a forgien language.
We barely made it home by my "required" off the streets on New Years Eve at 4pm time period. Just in time to clean up for Curt's best friend from Tucson to come up for the night. Our neighbor and her son also came over and we enjoyed a great dinner. I made enchilladas and a salad and she brought pineapple and mango and mimosas. It was a great treat to spend such a relaxing time with people I enjoy so much. I even stayed up until midnight! I'm pretty sure it's the first time since I've had Gunnar that I have made it until midnight on New Years Eve. Curt finally did not have to wake me up to kiss me at midnight. That's when I knew it would be a good year!
Saturday we hung out most of the day. Andy had to get his annual calender, so we headed to Tilted Kilt for lunch. Then we had dinner at Curt's cousins house with the whole family. It was great to see everyone and spend time with family. Before I knew it, it was Sunday morning and we were having breakfast with my parents and grandparents and saying goodbye to Curt.
Gunnar and I took him to the airport, and Bless our military ID's, we were able to get a security pass to the gate and stay with him until he boarded the plane. I am certain this goodbye was harder than the first. This time I knew what to expect. I knew how long my days would be and how sleepless and lonely my nights would once again become, but this is what I signed on for. I agreed to be an Army wife, full of long days and sleepless nights, all for the glory of being able to stand beside a soldier and know the he is making the ultimate sacrifice. Watching strangers stop and shake his hand and thank him for his service, and seeing him blush ever so slightly makes me well up with a pride that is nearly indescribable. It makes long days tolerable and sleepless nights just part of everyday life when you can see and feel what I feel and what I am sure every other military spouse, parent, sister or brother feels too.
Curt made it back safely late on Sunday night. Gunnar and I both had off on Monday, and I found that I deal with separation from my husband by cleaning and organizing everything I can get my hands on. I was up until after midnight on Sunday. I cleaned out and reorganized and cleaned the inside of the fridge and the pantry. On Monday I did a few errands, including a records release for Gunnars medical records and picking up just 2 of my meds, to the tune of a $1000 saving to my $6 paid THANK YOU Tricare!!! I then proceeded to come home and go through 9+ years worth of paperwork and weed out what I needed to keep and what needs to be shredded. I was just finishing up this little project when there was a knock at my door....but I'll save that story for next time, I promise you won't be disappointed.