OK, this post will be relevant to some…others not so much.

My husband was in the Marine Corps, loved his job, but he wasn’t born a stick figure. There are some people who just are “built” bigger than others. He did his job and did it well. He just needed more exercise than some. So when your so-called “leaders” are more inclined to not PT (exercise) then it hurts others. He didn’t care about his personal appearance and make sure everyone in the shop got theirs in. I mean that is part of their job. He was more worried about himself.

My husband loved being a Marine but the times have changed and the people who are in don’t have the same heart and feel of his/her brother of the past. The brotherhood isn’t the same. With so much competition now to just stay in the Corps it is leaving these people with the knife ready to stab someone on the back. It is truly pitiful. I feel for my husband because what he wanted and was trying to do for us was taken away from him because someone didn’t care. You see for those that aren’t aware the Marine Corps has a strict guideline for physical fitness. They have to stay within a range for the height and weight. For those that are a bit more dense they can measure them and make sure their appearance is within standards. There was only one day that my husband has ever been below a certain weight and that was in boot camp. But no one can keep that same regimen like in boot camp. I mean that is all they did in boot camp so I guess it is possible if that is what you did ALL DAY LONG. But he still managed to stay fit and have good scores. They just weren’t what they once were after boot camp. Hell I can remember some of his leaders telling him that he would never make-weight his entire career. Even docs would tell him that. His body just wasn’t made that way. I can understand because I have always weighed more than I looked. In high school I was in the weight lighting club and wasn’t big and buff but still weighed 165 pounds. I am pretty sure there are some of you that know what I mean.

Anyway, the day came when it was time to weigh-in and get ”taped” (measure the waist and neck mainly) of course my husband was off. Only by 1/2 inch that morning. So they asked the person there to re-tape him just to make sure. I mean they are only human and it isn’t an exact science and human error can make for huge consequences. The person (I will be nice) I guess had his panties in a wad and he wasn’t a girl…That person decided when asked to re-tape him like they were asking a huge favor. I mean come on that was his job. It was like they hurt his feelings when they asked him re-do it. His words….and I quote, “I am going to go ahead and say NO”. My husband knew what that meant. He knew from that day forward what it meant for his career and our livelihood.

We had a huge surgery for Dusty about 8 months away. It was a lot to take at this point. The complexity of the surgery was one that surgeons didn’t want to touch. So we were able to find two surgeons in the country that could and would handle this. One just happen to be a professor at UNC. Thank God. No pain perception, seizures, immune challenged, etc…all meant for this was a challenge but the professor was sure we could do this. My husband didn’t know how this would end. We had already gotten all the authorizations for the surgery. We had secured 4 different payment sources to cover this. Only problem is that when the guy decided not to do his job and just re-tape my husband two of the payment sources would be out of the picture when the surgery takes place since my husband would not be able to stay in the Corps. This surgery wasn’t cheap by any means. Its costs estimates were over a quarter of a million dollars at this point. How the hell we were going to afford the two that we were losing was beyond stressful. We didn’t know what would happen. I am not sure if UNC just wrote it off or what happened but I know they didn’t worry us with that at all. Thank God because we had enough to worry about.

In recovery Dusty had to be reminded to breath. It seemed as if he just didn’t want to breath. His oxygen levels got too low. We kept calling his name and did all kinds of stuff to keep him breathing on his own. Medical staff don’t like to see a patient’s oxygen levels go below I believe 92 percent.  Dusty kept dropping below that. I had to go to the waiting room and get my mother to talk to Dusty. I mean what kid doesn’t like it when grandparents are around. Well especially Dusty. I was kind of freaking out when I was in the waiting room knowing when I left the recovery room and Dusty wasn’t breathing like he should. A few minutes seemed like an eternity. My step father and I were on pins and needles wanting to know what’s going on. FInally….a nurse. He’s good to go. My mother got him breathing like he needed to.

Finally, they transferred him to his own room. The next 24 hours were rough. Dusty had numerous seizures. The longest one made the doctors a bit nervous so they opted to call a hospital code on him. Which sent doctors and nurses from so many departments in the hospital. He had one that lasted more than 7 minutes long. Thankfully he still had his IV in at that point. They got everything under control. He was a bit out of it for a while after that. At that point I don’t think I had slept in almost 48 hours nor had my mother. My husband and my daughter were still at home since he couldn’t miss work. He had only been on the job for a month and a half so there wasn’t time off available. Both of them kept their phone handy though. When they came up to the hospital the car broke down on the way. Oh man…I couldn’t help but laugh cause this was just over the top. Forty-five minutes away from home and two hours away from the hospital and the car breaks down. Not even fun I am sure. They somehow drove the car back home. It was a stick shift so my daughter told me that they only had a couple of gears it would go in so they couldn’t really stop. Its ok though my best friend told them to just drive her pick up truck. So that they did. It has been roughly 8 months since surgery and Dusty is doing much better.

Now since the door to the Marine Corps got slammed in his face something else less glamorous will soon come through a door. He has been taking a CDL class while still working a full-time job. He told me one day he didn’t want to disappoint my mother. I asked him what did he mean? He said when we got married I told your mother I would take care of y’all.  So his determination right now is obvious. He gets up at zero dark thirty (ok 0500) and then out the door by 0600 in order to make it to base for work at 0700. He is working for a contractor on base. Only problem…this job there is no run for advancement. He wants to make sure that he can provide for us. We need insurance for sure but right now…nothing pre-existing is covered. I know what the law says but that isn’t the case. Between the time my husband Marine Corps career ended and the current job we went past a set number of days without insurance. So the insurance company can say not covering pre-existing conditions.   We have to wait until mid July. That makes the life of diabetic with all my medical issues a pit tricky to manage. Thankfully we are covered for Dusty somewhat. As well as we do have a stack of bills from the numerous doctors and hospital but we will get it paid in time.

Now in the next few weeks our daughter graduates high school and my husband finishes his CDL class and hopefully can pass the test and get his CDL license. I am hoping that door will open up another career that he can take pride in and once that will get him where he wants to be. None will be like his idea of the Marine Corps brotherhood but his optimism is enormous for a change.