An Army Wife's Life

Once upon a time I was a college student, then I was a teacher, and now I'm a mother. Technically, I'm currently a freelance writer... but really I am an ARMY WIFE. Expect to find... funny (at least to me) anecdotes, thoughts about la vida military, hopes, anxieties, dreams, commentaries on current events.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Impossibility of Running Errands on Post

I was too exhausted to blog yesterday.

I sent DH the pictures of my pregnancy tests...he liked that. Can you see why I had trouble with the first one?



The night before I called the appointment line to get a pregnancy test because the Army will not trust that I am actually pregnant until one of their clinics administers a pregnancy test.

The appointment line told me (about five times) that I could walk in ANY time.

So, at noon, I went on post to a Brigade-level "steering committee" meeting.

For those who are not familiar with the Army's organizational structure, the highest level is Division, then Brigade, then Battalion, then Company (or in the case of Field Artillery, Battery). Each company is also broken into platoons and each platoon has squads.



Basically, the Brigade Steering Committee is when all of the Battalion-level Family Readiness Group (FRG) leaders (usually the Battalion Commanders' wives) and the Brigade FRG leader (the Brigade Commander's wife) and the Rear Deployment Commanders get together to share information and work out kinks in the system.

Our Battalion Commander's wife did not come to Ft. Hood and so a Battery/Company Commander's wife has taken the job in addition to her Company-level responsibilities and my FRG leader and I are trying to help her out. On top of this, two of the Battery Commanders' wives are unable/uninterested in running their FRGs. So, my friend is basically worried about 3 company-level FRGs and the Batalion-level issues, as well.
The meeting really drove home how inadequate the communication has been between our Rear D and the FRG leaders.

The newest issue is the mailing address. Most soldiers do not get mailng addresses before they deploy because these are likely to change. Some of our soldiers did and we were told to start mailing. Then, word came out from the Brigade Commander's wife, hold off on mailing--part of the address will change. So, we put that information out. When the men spoke with their wives, they told their wives that the FRG was wrong, the address is good. Apparently the unit already there offered to hold mail for our guys.

The problems with this are:

(1) If leadership in theater is contradicting the FRG, no one will trust anything we say.
(2) Having another unit "hold" your mail is not really a reliable deliver method.

Since we cannot mail anything in time for Christmas delivery, the whole thing is silly. Why not wait and give your mail a better chance of reaching your soldier?

I was in the meeting for THREE HOURS. Then, I went to get the Pregnancy Test...walk-in hours were over. Great.

So, I went to the 4th ID gift shop to Christmas shop. Nope. Closed.

That evening, I fielded issues with our "virtual FRG." There was a complaint in my inbox from a woman in another Battery. She did not think FRG meeting information was getting to her in a timely enough manner and wanted written reminders and was not happy with the amount of information she had received about the deployment. So, I responded and Cc'd the FRG leaders for her husband's battery and the Rear D commander.

We send written and phone reminders in our battery, but we also have the Commander's wife as the leader AND she has me as her co-leader.

Sometimes I wonder if people realize we are volunteers!!!

As it turns out, her FRG leader did not even know her husband was attached to that company.

I told the battery FRG leader that I would write her a nice e-mail back, explaining that she had added this wife to her list and thanking her for volunteering to help distribute written reminders about the meetings.

...but that's just me. I'm like that.

Today was a little more productive.

When I went to do my volunteer AVID tutoring, however, I found out they have finals. Because the school was closed last Thursday, I did not get the reminder. No tutoring now until January. I am a little bummed about that because I find it very energizing...but I could use the time and the rest.

So, off to the clinic.

The nurse called me into the office and her first questions were first day of last period and method of conception. I explained that we were trying to conceive and I had taken two home tests. The nurse asked, "And you want to know if you are pregnant?" I responded, "I know I am pregnant; I just want to be able to make a doctor's appointment and the Army won't let me until you test me."

Stupid paternalistic Army.

I took the test and waited. A different nurse announced the results...she acted as if she had this momentus news to tell me, "Were you trying to conceive? ... Well...you are pregnant!"

No kidding.

The second nurse was very nice, though, she talked to a doctor for me and I convinced them to run blood tests for toxoplasmosis (if I contracted it a while ago, I'm safe) and for iron levels (since I'm a vegetarian).

She told me not to worry too much about the iron--apparently green leafy veggies are an even better source than red meat. Heh... I enjoyed telling my carnivorous husband that. He's been trying to convince me I have to eat meat when I'm pregnant. I eat tons of spinach, nuts, avocadoes, and plenty of yummy veggies and fruits.

The doctor, though, was an extremist about the cats...she said I should get rid of them. Fat chance. I've done enough research about this to know that indoor cats RARELY get toxoplasmosis and if I've already been exposed (from an outdoor cat I had when I was younger or from when we first got the cats), I'm safe.

I will know my blood test results in a couple of days. The nurse gave me her direct line to call for the results.

I'm considering getting an automatic litter box, although they are costly. In the meantime, I have a mask and rubber gloves and I am washing my hands REALLY well. Even that is probably overkill for indoor cats, but it sets my mind at ease.

I would like to be able to talk to a less overly-dramatic doctor to get some more legitimate advice, hopefully my OB GYN will be more helpful.

After the clinic, I tried the 4th ID museum gift shop again. Still no luck.

The car must have warmed up, though, because after 8 days, I was finally about to raise the little back window (it refused to go all the way up the night DH deployed)!!! YAY!!! I can park in my driveway again, instead of fiddling with the garage door every time I want to go up.

So, home again, home again, to work and eat and nap.

I may go to a Junior League committee meeting tonight for our fundraiser for the Children's Advocacy Center if I have the energy and go get some work done now.

So, a much more productive day than the previous day!

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