Danced Right Away From His Problems

, , , , | Romantic | March 26, 2020

(I am married to a fellow Marine, a man with two left feet and no sense of rhythm. He hates to dance; probably inevitably, I am a dancin’ fool. We come to terms with this early in our relationship, or at least I think so.

It’s Friday and we are meeting at the Officer’s Club. This particular club has a DJ and dancing on Fridays. I sprained my ankle earlier this week, so I come limping into the bar on my crutches and greet my husband.)

Me: “I see the DJ is getting ready.”

Husband: *in a tragic tone of voice, glancing at my crutches* “Yes, and I was just going to ask you to dance!”

(I tried to smack him with a crutch but he was too fast for me.)

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This Doctor’s Stubbornness Runs Deep

, , , , , | Healthy | March 11, 2020

(Whenever I start coming down with any sort of respiratory infection, my voice gets deeper. The deeper the voice, the worse the illness is. I am stationed overseas in the nineties when a couple of coworkers notice that my voice is getting deeper. I go to Sick Call the next morning, and the corpsman, familiar with my history of pneumonia, sends me to the nearest US military hospital about 100 kilometers south to get seen by actual doctors.)

Doctor: “What brings you in today?”

Me: “I’m coming down with some sort of chest bug. Every time my voice gets deep, I get sick a few days later.”

Doctor: “What sort of symptoms are you having?”

Me: “At the moment, just the deep voice.”

Doctor: “That could mean anything. It’s probably acid reflux.”

(So far, the doctor has not examined me in any way.)

Me: “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? Sir?”

Doctor: “I’ll prescribe you an antacid for a week or so. You should also prop up the head of your bed just a bit, to help control the reflux.”

Me: “First, I’m not here for acid reflux. I’m coming down with some sort of twitching awfuls, because my voice is getting deep. When I start sounding like James Earl Jones, I always get pneumonia or bronchitis or some other chest ailment within a couple of days. Every time. Since the deep voice just started being noticeable, I’m trying to get ahead of the disease. Second, I have a waterbed. Propping up the head of the bed will have no effect.”

Doctor: *frowning* “Sure, it will work. Just put a boot under the corners of your headboard. This will raise your upper body slightly and help prevent acid reflux from irritating your larynx.”

Me: *sighing internally* “With all due respect, sir, you cannot tilt water. It always stays level.”

Doctor: “Just raise your headboard a couple of inches. You’ll see.”

Me: *sighing out loud this time* “Sir, it’s a waterbed. Here’s a demonstration: run a little bit of water into that portable basin next to the sink.” *pointing at the small metal basin*

Doctor: “Okay.” *runs water into the basin*

Me: “Now, tilt the basin up on one end.”

Doctor: *lifts one end of the basin slightly*

Me: “Notice that the water stays level, no matter how high you raise either end of the basin? That’s why raising the head of my waterbed will be less than useless.”

Doctor: “Oh. I guess you’re right. I suppose we’ll have to get you an appointment with the gastroenterology clinic to cure your reflux.”

Me: *facepalm* “Sir, I don’t have reflux. Could you please listen to my chest?”

(I was given a prescription for antacid and told to go back to work, all without the doctor conducting an examination. Three days later, I was back in the hospital as an inpatient… with pneumonia.)

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Showing A Serious Lack Of Military Intelligence

, , , , , | Right | March 10, 2020

(In the United States military, the Military Police branch is jokingly referred to as the “Women’s Infantry.” This is because, since its inception, the MPs have always accepted female soldiers as equals, going back so far as the 1940s. As such, it’s pretty much one of the few places where female soldiers are respected without question and don’t experience the same harassment other female soldiers can. At one of my last postings, I was assigned to work in the Traffic Office, basically dealing with minor infractions and keeping the patrols running smoothly, things like that. Almost everyone there, including the civilian workers, were female. And the civilian workers were prior MPs, too. One day, a male Infantry Soldier comes into our office with paperwork.)

Infantry Soldier: “I need to get stamped to final out.”

(This means he is transferring to another post and needs confirmation signed off on his leaving packet.)

Lieutenant: “I can help you, Corporal.”

(He hands his packet to our section leader, a female officer. She checks her computer and then looks back to him.)

Lieutenant: “Okay, Corporal. So, our system has this glitch where sometimes past infractions will not show as being paid for. Unfortunately, this means I can’t sign off until someone at Legal checks their system and confirms your ticket was paid in full. Luckily, they’re only two doors down. Tell them I sent you, they’ll check and sign in the box, and once you come back, I’ll stamp it.”

(This is something we deal with constantly, and since it’s the Army, no one will fix the system so we don’t have to send people on a side trip. But it’s only a fifteen-minute detour at most, so most people don’t mind. Most people.)

Infantry Soldier: “No, look again. I paid for that ticket. It’s over five years old.”

(Keep in mind, he is enlisted, and the lieutenant is an officer. The fact that he hasn’t addressed her as “ma’am” and is using that tone of voice makes everyone look up.)

Lieutenant: *amazingly keeping her cool* “Corporal, as I explained to you, there is a glitch in the system. Just step down two doors to Legal, explain what I said, and they’ll sign it. Then I can stamp it for you. It won’t take long and you’ll still be out of here in less than thirty minutes.”

Infantry Soldier: *raising his voice and getting aggressive* “No! I don’t owe any money! I paid the d*** ticket.”

(The lieutenant now stands up from her desk so her rank is one-hundred percent noticeable. She’s usually laid back and easygoing, so long as you stick to protocol. But now she fixes him with a death glare.)

Lieutenant: “I am not legally allowed to stamp your paper until Legal signs it. No one will stamp the paper until it is signed. We are not doing this to mess with you; we are doing this because that is how the system works. I know it’s inefficient, but I cannot control it. Now, go to Legal and—”

Infantry Soldier: *INTERRUPTING, of all things* “WHY AREN’T YOU LISTENING TO ME?!”

(At this moment, the Sergeant walks in, second only to the Lieutenant. The Infantry Soldier turns to him.)

Infantry Soldier: “Hey, can you help me? She won’t sign my paperwork!”

Sergeant: *ignoring him, as the corporal dropped his rank, too* “Ma’am, what’s the problem?”

(The Lieutenant coldly informs the Sergeant of the situation, with no less than eight interruptions from the Infantry Soldier. Keep in mind, in the military world, these sorts of slights can land you in so much trouble, you get court-martialed! The Sergeant finally hears the full story and turns to the Infantry Soldier.)

Sergeant: “So. I’m a Marine. Hurt my leg, transferred to the Army. I was an MP in the Corps too. And be it Marines or Army, your kind never changes. Females are part of the MP Corps. They fight with us, they bleed with us, they die with us. The Lieutenant, who you’re treating like s***, can break your arms with her bare hands. Males like you make the rest of us look bad. So, I’m going to keep this paperwork, and you’re going back to your unit and bring your First Sergeant down so we can have a talk. And if you try to fight me or refuse to leave, I’ll just throw you in the brig and call him myself. What’s it going to be?”

(The Infantry Soldier tried to argue, but once the Sergeant took out his handcuffs, he left. I wasn’t present when he came back with his First Sergeant, but I imagine it was not a fun time. By the way, the phrase “Women’s Infantry” is worn with pride by us MPs, especially our males!)

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Unfiltered Story #187723

, , | Unfiltered | March 3, 2020

(I work in the military as a Steward, our customers seat themselves at a table, fill in a chit with their order from the menu, and we take the chit to the chef and bring the order out when complete…customer had ordered an omlette, however soup is included as a starter but has to be ticked on the chit)

Me – Sir, your omlette

Customer – I havn’t had my soup yet (he says without even looking at me)

Me – sir you havnt ticked the soup box on the chit, hence why it hasn’t been brought out.

Customer – well i would have bet a months wages i’d have ticked that, I bet you rubbed it off (the order is filled out in pen) but either way, i always have the soup so you should know to bring it out to me.

I inform him of our wastage policy as stipulated in the back of the menu…and i then proceed to be repromanded for 15 minutes for, in his words, being rude and insobordinate.

These Trainees Will Have You In Stitches

, , , , , | Healthy | February 27, 2020

The first time I have to have stitches is during annual training for the military. My unit is required to participate in an exercise across the country. However, there is a prep period of about a week to two weeks depending on the size of the unit for this particular exercise, where we are required to be present and mostly do checks of equipment.

During this time, I am messing with my knife while by my bunk. I go to close the blade and nick my finger pretty bad, about half an inch deep on the tip of my index finger, right to the side of the nail to about the middle of the finger pad. I immediately go to my first aid kit to get gauze, thinking I’ll be able to stop the bleeding with direct pressure. I manage to reduce the amount of blood pouring from my finger a little, but after about an hour it hasn’t stopped so I am escorted to the aid station.

It isn’t during sick call hours, so it’s pretty slow and I’m admitted quickly. Despite reserving non-sick call hours for life, limb, and eyesight situations, they agree to see me. The major who is the equivalent of a surgeon or doctor comes in and analyzes the wound. It’s still bleeding and the flesh is separated, so he determines that I’ll need three sutures to keep the wound closed. I’m asked the question that would lead to me having the worst pain I have experienced in my life.

“Since it isn’t a life-threatening wound, would you mind if we let a few trainees inject the novocaine apply the stitches?”

Ever so ignorant, I agree; besides, my mistake can be another person’s learning opportunity, so why not? I agree and I meet the two trainees who are my rank, and a nurse who is a non-commissioned officer walks in to supervise as well as the major.

As a boy, whenever I got nervous or fearful around needles and the like, my father taught me to overcome these fears by looking at the procedure and concentrating on the pain level and how the fear never really justified how much it actually hurt.

As they prepared the numbing agent and stuck me once, I felt nothing; the major concluded that they’d missed and had them do another dose. My finger felt numb at the base but the tip where they would be working still had full feeling. After triple the normal dose and six different tries, my finger was now swollen from the local anesthetic and I could still feel my fingertip. I could not receive any more medication, so they decided to continue anyway. 

I’ve dealt with needles. They didn’t hurt too much except that the trainees weren’t smooth on the exit and tore a bit while removing the needle. That’s not too bad; I give blood regularly and I’ve experienced it before. However, I saw the hook that was about to be sent through my body three times and I shuddered. These trainees had likely never done this before on a live subject. Granted, it wasn’t that bad of a wound, but it was still in one of the most nerve-rich centers on the body.

I tried to look at the procedure as the hook was pushed in for the first time and I nearly teared up from the pain. The NCO saw this and went into what I later learned was trauma nurse practices of distraction and breathing exercises. We talked about family and other subjects and when the pain got worse, she had to remind me to breathe. Twice more, they put the string through the skin while I forced myself to hold my hand as still as possible. The first two were done by the trainees and the last by the major. The major had experience so it wasn’t as terrible and took considerably less time.

When I was done, they wrapped it up and sent me back to my tent with no meds or painkillers —  which I sort of understand — just with training, gauze, and other medical supplies to change the bandages every 24 hours. 

I still had to go through the week-long exercise, and my bandages were removed in the field with a pair of scissors a week later. I still have the scar from the uneven stitching and I shudder whenever I think about having inexperienced medical staff perform stitches without effective anesthetic. To this day, I don’t trust local anesthetic by anyone, and I had to be put under general when I had my wisdom teeth removed about two months later.

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