Thursday, October 25, 2007

More of the story continued...Thur.Oct. 19 & Fri. Oct.20, 2006

Eisenhower Army Hospital

The Day Rodney is due to travel to Fort Gordon-Eisenhower Army Hospital-Augusta, GA from Andrews Air force base in Maryland.
I received a call early from my contact in GA, Sgt. Hill telling me of heavy fog in Augusta-so it may cause travel to be later but most likely would burn off. Rodney's flight is scheduled to depart at 10am. I hope there are no more delays-but I need to prepare myself for that chance-especially the way things have gone over the last week. Rodney called around 10am that they were on the strip ready to take off. (I do know that later he told me they were a little delayed due to President Bush's motorcade arriving to take off in Air force One-he said he didn't see much but a bunch of black vehicles and everything moved really quickly. He then called again at 1:30pm to tell me they had landed in Georgia and he was on an ambulance in-route to the hospital.-Thank goodness!!!! I received a call from a Spc. Gordon later in afternoon. We discussed what was going to happen now-how soon things would move along so I could fly down to be with him. He shared a couple numbers with me for the hospital and to contact him. He rode with Rodney in the ambulance. He said Rodney was very emotional and really did need to have family with him. Spc. Gordon was now my contact person for getting info. to DC so I could travel. I was pretty disappointed to find out he believed it would most likely be Sat. before I flew out.
He told me about lodging at the Fisher House-which is a house close to the medical facility where family members can stay. My mom and I looked up information and it looked like the perfect solution instead of staying off-base farther away from the hospital. I would have to wait and see if there was any availability when I arrived-they did not take reservations for good reason. Family members were checking in and out on a moments notice-so I will deal with that when I have too. I attempted to reach Travel and transportation throughout the day- and finally spoke with Sgt. Brademous (the person who initially made the call to me on the 13th) around 6 pm in the evening. He had not received any paperwork from Eisenhower that day and had 12 other families also waiting for travel orders to the same location. So not looking good for travel on Friday. I am really exhausted, anxious and I have lost 7-10 lbs over the course of a week. (not the best diet plan but I didn't mind losing the weight!). I did speak with Rod after he finally got to his room after triage and all-he and I were not on the same page at all. He was so irritable and I was obviously not in the best shape-I was so hurt and scared thinking what if I cannot handle this and I am no help to him. We were both dealing with the destruction of our "plans'-this was not supposed to happen-him going to Iraq and making extra money was supposed to help us get out of a financial bind. Now we had so much more to deal with-I didn't care about the money issues so much as how he was going to handle not finishing his mission and being with the unit he had grown so close to over the last almost 5 months. We ended the call with him saying he would call in the am and hopefully he would have information on me coming to Georgia. I did receive a call from a medvac case manager in Georgia in the early am hours-she had been speaking to Rodney and he had been very upset that he upset me. She wanted me to know he did want me with him. She said that these soldiers have been thru so much and dealt with so many people that don't know after being wounded-it is so easy for them to take out their frustrations on the one they know love them and won't give up on them.
That made total sense and I appreciated her taking the time to care enough to call me. So much emotion and the not knowing is the hardest...

Oct. 20, 2006-Friday-I get the call and I am on a flight to Georgia to be with my soldier!! Praise the Lord!!!! After a long morning Friday of trying to get things moving-calling Georgia and then Dc and back and forth-I finally got orders to travel. It was so worth the work and I am so sure the people involved are so glad to finally not be getting calls from me :) My flight leaves KCI at 2:40 pm-I am packing away-most likely over packing but not sure how long I will be there.(I have about 5 people in my room with me chattering and helping-it is almost like a party-I am excited and a little nervous-even though I don't mind traveling by myself at all) The kids are all taken care of by grandparents and there is a list a mile long for what they have going on. I will miss my oldest daughter's senior night and my middle child's confirmation at church-but I am doing what I need to do and the kids understand.
The last week has been a blur but also felt like it was months not days. I am so exhausted but ready to see Rodney!!!!
My mom, step-dad and Carley took me to the airport. My mom made sure I was there in plenty of time (I have a tendency to run late no matter what :)-I flew from Kansas City to Charlotte, NC to Augusta, GA. I flew in a prop plane from Charlotte to Augusta-first time for that! One of Rodney's case managers met me at the airport on her own time in her own vehicle to take me to the Fisher House then over to see Rodney-it was almost 10 pm eastern time when I finally walked into his room. He burst out crying and hugged/kissed me and said "I am so sorry I got hurt"-I felt so bad for him-he had been so lost-. I ended up staying in the recliner right next to his bed that night-I couldn't leave him! I felt such a sense of relief and focus. I laid for the longest time and just stared at him-so thankful to be able to do that and see him rest so soundly. I wasn't worried about anything else at this point-I would deal with finding out information of his condition and see his wounds tomorrow!

It is a week ago today that Rodney was wounded-so he has been without family or familiar faces for over a week-but he has really only been fully awake since Tuesday.
Maybe that is a blessing?

More of the story later-The healing process in Georgia!

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