It has been a tumultuous week to include but not limited to 0530 muster times, skipped lunches, moldy chairs, mega-full inboxes, an extremely helpful NMCI tech (<3>
"Make sure you take this with food and plenty of water,
three times a day for at least three days
to reach it's peak effectiveness.
Remember if it sits in the bottle it won't do you any good."
"Apply this twice a day to clean and patted dry skin.
Remember if you put it on dirt it's not going to work."
I bet those patients of mine just walked off shaking their heads wondering what was I thinking. I know better that they probably have a two year supply of ibuprofen and mupirocin in their medicine drawers, cabinets, storage sheds...
As a junior Corpsman on any given work day morning, I would wonder if my turn to languish in the refill department had come or if I was to man the front-lines and placate diabetics or other regular customers of the pharmacy. The normal day time front-line experience is beyond any bad day at a grocery check-out. You're pressured to lick, stick, and pour at high speed to keep wait times down, all the while silently freaking out and getting OCD because you don't want anyone to die on your watch. Oh did I forget while standing on linoleum in dress shoes at 4 hours at time, doing the pee-pee dance while smiling.
During the work week we had Red Cross volunteers. The Red Cross volunteers usually were retired Chiefs or spouses of officers. They taught me as much about the Navy and how the "system" worked as much as my first Chief did. These folk gave selflessly of their time and patience to help us hold back the onslaught of sick and tired patients. Our volunteers were paid in hugs, conversation and thus avoided being put out to pasture. As staff we would know when one of them started to take a turn for the worse. It would start out they came by every Tuesday and Thursday, then just Tuesday's, then every other Tuesday. Each visit would get shorter too, from a half a day, to a few hours, to "Just wanted to stop in and drop off these Blueberry muffins." Then you'd make rank or go TAD and when you get back you'd find out they had passed away.
My favorite times were when I stood weekend independent pharmacy duty on the first payday weekend. This is when the lonely WWII veterans or their widows would make the trek to our clinic or hospital to get their refills for the month. This also when they would do their monthly commissary shopping for groceries.
I was amazed at the stories of sacrifice and heroism both groups would share. The grace the widow displayed when sharing her wedding anniversary, his birthday, 0r how they celebrated VJ day, she seemed at the brink of tears, never to overflow but just misty. The men would tell stories of storming Normandy and the brothers they left there, and ones who came home not quite right. Somedays it was like the live version of the Notebook and on others Saving Private Ryan.
I guess I have waxed nostalgic long enough. This is Friday and I was going to accomplish this past week has either been done (if really important) or is no consequence to the the bean counters (my delicate laundry items). Priorities... Eh! I try not to dwell on the past and keep moving forward. Walt Disney said it best:
"We keep moving forward,
opening new doors, and doing new things,
because we're curious and
curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."
This may have seemed choppy and disjointed but I had to fit it. I wear so many hats but,
I am thankful to be an American, US Navy Corpsman, wife of a US Navy Corpsman, Sister of a US Marine, the daughter of US Navy Corpsman (RET), daughter of a legal immigrant, and my kids' mom.