This is my maybe 50th attempt at writing something long-term. Might work, might not. Failure is good for the soul…but I’d like this to work, personally.
It’s taken me about 20 years to figure out that this is what I want to do with my life – write. It’s not that I have anything particularly enlightening or interesting to say but moreover that I just talk all the damn time so I might as well have an outlet – if anything, it keeps my friends and family from wanting to murder me outright.
Even when I was in the Navy, I actively sought out journalism and photography and tried to cross-rate (change jobs) to journalism (called JO – Journalist – at the time but they changed to MC – Mass Communications Specialist – when I was trying to cross-rate). I’m naturally drawn to any vocation where I can be nosy and figure out the truth of things.
I loved being a police officer in the Navy but I think the reason it appealed to me so much was because of my defined sense of justice and the fact that most of my family/heroes/people I respect are in the law enforcement or law trade (mainly lawyers). My mother (a prosecutor) always told me that she’d rather me be a stripper than a lawyer. The last time I tried on a pair of “stripper heels” in a store that catered to the exotic dancer crowd (which I entered because I had freshly turned 18 and I could, no other reason), I tripped, fell, and broke a mirror in their store. I was asked never to return. They ruined my career aspirations that day.
In lieu of law school, stripping, and being a cop (which I cannot be anymore due to my service-connected disabilities), I’ve decided to try writing…again…for the 50 millionth time.
This time, however, I’ve decided to take a more focused angle than I did before and define my voice. I am a veteran, I am a mom, and I am an unrepentant nerd. There are nerd blogs, mom blogs, and veteran blogs but I don’t think I’ve seen anyone combine it into a trifecta. Maybe they have but I haven’t seen one – and since I’m not a special snowflake, I’d be willing to gather if there isn’t a blog like this, at least there are people who could relate on some level and maybe learn what it’s like to be a mom and a veteran all in one, especially from a disabled angle.
About my disabilities – I’ll make that short and sweet. To date, I’ve had roughly 13 surgeries, mainly lifesaving but some for basic maintence from the injuries. I had a horse accident while on leave to visit my husband (who, at the time, was my boyfriend), Sam. We went to his uncle’s house to ride horses and the horse reared back, tipped over onto HER back, and the pommel (or horn) of the saddle caused blunt force damage to my stomach when she landed on top of me. Thanks to God and good fortune, she got off of me quickly and ran away without dragging me along with her or stepping on me. I was med-evac’ed to UK Chandler Medical Center where I had 2/3rds of my colon removed, part of my small intestine, and had an ileostomy put on my stomach while I waited for my intestines to heal. I later had the ileostomy taken down and my stomach was stapled back together (where it had been on a wound vac and healed over mesh before).
From that surgery, I went on to become pregnant with my daughter, Abigail, who is now 6. It wasn’t a hard pregnancy, all things considered, but there were a lot of nutritional concerns out of the gate. Thankfully, we hit all the benchmarks and today we have a happy and healthy little girl.
A year after giving birth and on/near my birthday, I had my gallbladder removed after 4 bouts of attacks that were deemed “intestinal blockages”. What was missed was the fact that, on top of being gall bladder attacks, it was causing pancreatitis. Emergency surgery lead to that being removed.
About 5-6 years passed and I had frequent UTIs and kidney infections but every doctor I went to said it was not stones. Fast forward to finally having the VA send me to a specialist and I came to learn that I had stones, they knew about them, and I needed 3 surgeries over 3 days to remove the stones in EACH kidney that covered 90% of each kidney. Fun. There will be a fair deal of bitching about the VA but I’ll warn you ahead of time, so don’t worry.
My body is riddled with scars and I have gone through more surgeries than I cared to have but I remain very grateful to be here so I’m not going to bore anyone with a whole “woe as me” diatribe about the vast unfairness of it all. It is what it is and, as Shawshank Redemption so sagely says, “Either you get busy living, or you get busy dying”. I choose the former rather than the latter.
If you have anything you’d like me to write about from one or more of my areas of interest (parenting, veterans, surgery, disability, marriage, geekdom, et cetera, et cetera), shoot me an email below.
Take care and God Bless!