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Friday, April 30, 2010

Me, the ugly truth

People keep asking how I'm doing. 

I'm horrible honestly. 

The deployment I could probably do, being sick I could do, losing another baby I might be able to do, but all three are just too much for me.  Coupled with Lillian being absolutely horrible in every way.

I'm counting the days until he gets home, all the while trying desperately not to count.  I'm trying to stay as busy as possible and not think about anything.  I have a membership to the zoo and the botanical garden and am going to get one to Busch Gardens.  But that's all just for Lil.  She loves it and when she's loving something she's not generally as horrible acting and I have a prayer of her sleeping at night. 

Having people here is wonderful.  But then they always leave.  So thankful for company, but it just makes me wish someone could move in and stay until he gets home.  Everyone is commenting on how bad Lil has gotten- mom and dad, the nursery workers, my friends, her friends, the YMCA staff....So, obviously its not just me imagining things and its not just that she does this only for me.  Not sure either of those are good things, but at least it doesn't make me crazy.

But we're not even at his halfway point yet and right now I have NOTHING planned for the month of July. Not a single thing. Three friends are moving at the end of June. I'm losing babysitters, friends for Lillian, activity partners, and people who understand what I'm going through.  It leaves me with two more friends who are "possibly moving" within the next three months, a girl I'm not super fond of and Lindsey, who is pregnant, due the same day I was.  Lindsey asked me the other day what I thought of the boy and girl names she was thinking of.  ?!?!?!  I don't care, and I certainly don't want to hear about it.  AT ALL.  And I certainly don't appreciate being asked about it.  And believe me, there are pregnant people and new babies EVERYWHERE.

I'm looking for a new Sunday School class at church as ours has dissolved and so far, I have had no luck.  Visiting Sunday School classes on your own is NO fun.  

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Richard update April 28

 I got tasked with another job today. The Warrant told chief he wants a project done in 2 weeks, and Chief tasked it to me to be in charge of it. Why I’m not sure yet, but he did. So I have to get a spreadsheet together of all the CASS benches out here in 4 different work centers including my own, gather all the information on those, what type they are, part numbers, serial numbers n so on, then also every setup we have to run gear on and what platform it runs either F18. E2-C2. SH-60 or HH-60, then the information on those setups, part numbers serial numbers type equipment code n such, then also I have to find out every single piece of gear the work centers can run. For all 4 work centers. Funs tuff, and have to have all of this done in 2 weeks. So that’ll keep me busy. It has so far today. Got together what I’m needing from the work centers and I’m tasking them with some of it and giving them a deadline 5 days from now so that gives me time to put it all together and hopefully beat the deadline givin to me. It’s also been a pretty busy day workwise out here also. Already feels like we never had a port visit because everything just jumped right back into hyper drive.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Stacey's doctor visit 4/22

Have had a cough for two weeks now.  Started as allergies, so I figured it was just from drainage, but since the allergies are long gone and the cough and throat are still here, something else was up. 

Also, for a couple days now I've felt a twinge in my right wrist when I've been grasping or twisting.  I figured I just slept on it wrong, but it persisted.  Well last night, in the night, it woke me up several times, in severe pain.  This morning, it was still really intense.  I couldn't grasp my fingers together to hold a pen or anything.  So, I went in. 

They did a strep test, a chest x-ray, bloodwork (Yeah, I'm gonna need a transfusion soon at this rate) and a wrist x-ray.  They said the cough is bronchitis and gave me a cough medicine and steroids.  For the wrist, he said there are no broken bones, which we didn't expect, since I didn't do any one thing to it.  So he said that for now he is going to call it tendinitis.  That is "inflammation of the tendons", there is no cause, and really no fix.  But steroids and anti-inflamatories can help along with meds for pain management.  He gave me all three. He also gave me a brace to wear.  He said the brace wouldn't help or hurt the tendinitis if it is that, but in case its not, he would like to keep the wrist immobile until we figure out what it is for sure.  If it is not better in 10 days, I have a referral to an orthopedic surgeon.  He said it could be something as simple as muscle spasms or a pinched nerve or something as serious as a tumor or MS.  So far, it feels much better tonight, but I"m not sure if that is the meds helping it or the pain meds masking it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Richard's account of a typical day

Well, my day start waking up at 5, showering, then heading in to the shop to go eat with friends around 5:30 who work nights, and back in the shop about 5:50. 6 I get my passdown from the night shift production sup on whats going on with specifics in the shop and then also get a passdown on whats going on with every piece of gear in the workcenter. Currently our backlog is just under 60, and I know whats going on with every single piece we have. After I get my passdown I check tools  to make sure nothing is lost or broken or needs to be replaced and sign all of those off. By this time I have 20-30 minutes tog et my coffee and do whatever else I want before everyone days and nights has to go up the ladderwell for quarters where we stand in formation and hear whats going on for the day if anything special is up or if someone screwed up we all get to hear about it. That only lasts for 15 minutes, 20 at max. We all come back to

the shop and days will get things set for what they will be working on and nights gives them a passdown if they didn’t already get it before shift starts and quarters. At 7:30 the whole ship cleans for an hour. After that nights stays around for like 20 minutes extra before leaving to do whatever before bed and days starts workin on whatever gear we have that they took a passdown or I told them they need to work on. Now is where the fun begins. There is a report printed out daily of the status of all of our gear, which includes any parts that are on order. I go through and scrub all of our items for status updates from supply on when n where our parts are coming from, find out why they might take so long and to expidite it or why they get cancelled or if there is any on board somewhere in another shop or even in supply because supply doesn’t update nalcomis properly which is the sytem we use to document n track everything. You can look up a part and it might say theres 0 on board but it will have a location and if you physically go there and have supply check sometimes they do

have one on board. So I get to do supplies job for them also. The average length of my BMT for the shop is 10 pages but sometimes hits 11 pages. If things don’t change much and its not a busy day for me I can get everything done with that in 30-40 minutes. Sometimes its takin me a few hours to do if I have other things I get interrupted with. Yesterday I wasn’t even able to get to it. So far every day I’ve had to deal with getting paperwork filled out for BCMs which is for items that w3e cant fix for one reason or another. Parts being burned up, not being able to get parts, parts not coming in for a year or more, parts being cancelled etc. I do a lot of research for alternates for things we can use if we’re unable to get exactly what we need. I work a lot with Chin who works in supply, and I work a lot with Chief Johnston, and Master Chief Dickinson who both work in PC. Last few days I’ve had to deal with tracking parts that supply

had that they didn’t even know about and I had to go through Supplies Chief and Master chief to be able to pull them out and they got in trouble for not doing their job correctly because I was doing the research they shouldve been to find these parts they should have given us a few weeks ago. There’s quite a few people who know me now because I get stuff done. Our Chief here which is always never around notices a big difference too from the other supervisor that was here before they moved him to another shop. He’s had some questions for me that Ive been able to answer for him right away and also told him thigns I’ve found that he hasn’t, so he doesn’t mess with me to much. Only thing he messes with me about is how the people in my shop are slobs which they are and are getting better, but I don’t know if they’ll get to where he wants them lol I clean up after them quite a bit too. We are severely undermanned in this shop. My

other 2 cruises 1 shift had more then both shifts have out here. So we’re like 30% manned compared to my other cruises. Makes things hard because people have their chow breaks and smoke breaks and gym time n things like that. You can cut it short on them, but you have to manage everything out to be fair. When we’re out here it is to do work so there’s not a lot of play time. Pretty much you work and sleep. I have my CDI stamp out here again so that’s good and lets me sign things off instead of waiting for the LPO to do it now. I’ve finished my quals up to 308 and won’t have to take anymore tests for it. Everything else is just getting the training and signatures then routing it. 301, 301, 303… to 308 you have a test for all of them which I’ve finished now. I have to get up to 313,

and then do my 3m quals 3m301, 302, and 303. Every Tuesday we have drill that goes from an hour and a half to 2 hours and everyone puts into play what they know about damage control if we were ever attacked. It’s a lot of fun I think. It’s like playing pretend back in elementary. A bit more sophisticated ho and a lot of people monitoring and making sure you are doing it right, because if it did happen a lot of lives are at steak and also the ship. I’ve been participating but at different locations tog et some training and sign offs. Last week I was finally assigned to a spot and just followed to learn and yesterday I was actually doing it for real. I had a lot of fun and only had one slight mess up which wasn’t a huge deal at all. I was told I did really well for my first time actually doing it. The qual level for that position is 312, so I’m doing a job I don’t even have my quals for yet lol Whats nice too is that you never really go down either. So from my spot I can go up but they wont really ask me to go to a spot at a lower qual rating. So I jumped ahead of a lot of people. Partly because most people hate

the spot I have. Im an investigator and go out to find whats wrong and report it in on what is going on so they can make the decision who to send in. The whole time I walk around looking for damage or casualties of any sort and try to respond first then go report it if its to much. I have a full setup I wear and it gets really hot, yesterday I actually used the oxygen tank I carry around with me. Every Wed we have training instead of cleaning but that lasts for 2 hours instead of one. Its mostly useless stuff and pointless but its required by the ship to do. Um, other things that I do through the day is just a constant monitor of Nalcomis to see whats goin on, if anything changes or comes in and also keep track of what my people are doing. I work in the largest work center, both in size and the amount of gear we run. We have over 60 setups that we can run gear on and each setup can either run 1 piece of gear or up to 6. Usually I eat after everyone else for lunch and get 20 minutes and for dinner if I do get time to eat I also have about 20 minutes for that too. Shift ends at 7, but I’m generally still getting things finished up by 7:30 or so. Nights runs the gear and generally get more RFIs, but we do more of the tedious stuff. At least I do anyway. My

guys focus on running the gear. The different places I deal with on the ship ranges from the very front, like 4 feet from the front, all the way back aft so I do a lot of walking and go up n down a lot of ladderwells. I try to get to bed about 9:30 so after work I sometime have an hour or hour n a half if things are going smoothly. But there’s meetings I have to attend sometimes for random stuff. I get along with most people out here but there are a few who I butt heads with. I’ve even done what I hated that people did to me. Saying I’m the more Senior ranking and if you don’t like it you can basically screw yourself lol I always try to avoid that and get things resolved calmly but sometimes people just wont listen or don’t care n you just have to remind them whether they like it or not they are in the military and they signed up for it and this is how things work. Quite a bit of the stuff I do is at a First Class level so the people I have to deal with and

the ranks I deal with above me sometimes they just shrug me off, but that’s slowly changing now that they see me more often and the people who have been supporting me. I need to study for this next test to try and make it. Youd be surprised the difference it makes with some people just having the extra chevron. Well, I’d write as little more about out here but in just writing this I’ve fallen a little behind on other stuff I have on my desk right now. Someone from supply called and is asking for us to do some research for him because hes not sure on how to get the answers. So glad I know how to do my job and his…. Love you much and will call again real soon. :) sorry about the typos, fingers are frozen and fingertips are numb hahah

Monday, April 19, 2010

Neat article about the Ike


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Saw Kathleen today. She did more bloodwork (26 vials total now in 11 days) and an ultrasound.  She said that since my levels were so low on Friday night, and since I passed the baby itself and my pain and blood levels were so high, she is not assuming I will need surgery.  But I have to keep having my bloodwork tested weekly until it goes down to zero.  If I have significantly increased pain or bleeding, or a fever of higher than 101 in the meantime, I'm supposed to go to ER.  Otherwise, I have to keep up all pregnancy restrictions until my level goes back down to zero, but I am fine to travel this weekend.  They did the autopsy and the baby was a girl, aged at 7 weeks 2 days.  They found nothing specifically wrong with her, but at that early age, they rarely do.  She also tested my blood for two specific causes of miscarriage on my part.  Said they rarely, if ever, come back positive, but it is the only two things they can actually test for so they are.  Those results will take 1-2 weeks.  When we get those results, she will give me a referral to a fertility/prenatal specialist who will then discuss options with me for when/if we try again and what to do when/if we get pregnant again.  She asked if I wanted happy pills and I told her I didn't know, I had never had happy pills but I was pretty sure that with a problematic two year old, a missing husband and a dead baby, the pills weren't going to make me happy. She told me to call her if I wanted them.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Richard does work on the aircraft that went down.  Work is crazy right now because of it.  A chief just moved from his office into their shop to oversee everything. 

He is also very upset about the baby.

Pray he is able to get some down time and just relax and de-stress for a bit.

I had bloodwork drawn today and have an appointment on Wednesday for bloodwork, an ultrasound and an appt with Kathleen, this will determine if I need surgery or not. Not the ultrasound I was hoping for though.

I have plans to go to Hershey, PA with Teresa on Thursday. I will still do that as long as Kathleen okay's it and I do not have to have surgery. 

I am continuing to have severe pain and am pretty mentally messed up.  Just taking it minute by minute, glad for every email and short phone call from Richard.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Okay, he was finally able to call.  For three minutes.
I spent all last night at ER and I'm losing the baby.  I sent a Red Cross message to Richard, he apparently hasn't gotten it yet. 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Baby Update

No ultrasound today. The tech left at lunch, sick.  They did urine and blood work as well as a regular exam.  The bloodwork (6 vials!) will be sent out and back early next week.  The exam showed her "what could be expected at this point".  She said she wasn't going to act like anything was wrong until we knew for sure that was the case, which we do not now.  She scheduled me for an ultrasound next Wed with a follow up appt with Dr. Kemp the following Thurs.  Gave me a huge bag full of samples and info.

Update on Richard

There was an airplane crash.  Four crew members were on board, three were recovered, one is missing.  All communication to and from the boat has been stopped, excluding Red Cross messages.  To the best of my knowledge, there is no way that R could have anything to do with this, he never flies in missions, he doesn't work on this type of plane, he isn't involved in any rescue operations, etc.