Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Just a molehill...

So, that whole "sleep in spurts" thing kind of became the norm for me up til about two days ago.  And that, coupled with a high ops tempo (read: lots of self-induced pressure on myself), makes for an unhealthy me.  I made it to the gym pretty much every day of my first week; on my day off in my second week; and not all since then.  The lack of sleep was really not good.  I'd get off shift between midnight and 1:30am, hit the hay some time between 2 and 3am, and then my roommate would get up at 4:30am for her 6am shift.  I'd hear her when she got up then fall back asleep for a minute or two.  Then I'd hear her when she left the room to go take her shower and then fall asleep until she came back.  Then I'd hear her when she left at 5:30am.  I'd get up for my day around 9:30 or 10am.  Rinse, repeat, til a day off.
Since my last day off (I'm off today) I've had an incessant headache and, up til two days ago, soreness in my back, shoulders, and neck.  Every time I stood, I would give it ten seconds and lean on something when the throbbing started across my forehead until it stopped...another ten seconds or so.  Same thing if I went from a dark room to a bright room (i.e. every time I left the room where the TV is at work).
The good news is: my roommate discovered a way to help fix this issue (I envy her ability to sleep through noise and light changes).  She moved into a room that has a member that is Forward Deployed and I now have a roommate this also Forward Deployed.  Basically, we each have new roommates but they aren't here at the moment.  I got six hours of sleep in a row Sunday night and seven hours yesterday.  Still had the headache, though the back and shoulder pain has gone.  Went to Sick Call last night to see what can be done about that.  They gave me an IV (I'm not drinking enough water, go figure) and some Fenagren(sp?).  That stuff had me slurring like I was drunk and gave me the worst case of restless legs that I've ever had.  Really didn't like it.  I think I'd rather have the intermittent headache instead.  Anyhow, they put me on quarters for the rest of the night.  I think I went to sleep around 9pm last night and then got up at noon-thirty today.  15 hours, although great, is not the amount of sleep that I'm aiming for on a daily basis.  lol.
Bottom line...I now have the opportunity to get uninteruppted sleep and plan on doing so.  I'll be able to get back to the gym in another few days once my body is running on all pistons and this damn headache is gone for good.  Of course, I'm due to start my period in the next few days but that's bad only for one day.  lol.
As for work, I mentioned that we transport a lot of "out-of-towners" to and from their various locations.  When I see them in their seats, on their way "to" the hot zones, I look at their faces and wonder what they're thinking.  Are they scared?  Are they just wanting to "get this shit over with"? What are they missing most from home?  How long have they been away from home?  Will they come back on their own accord, wounded, or in a casket?  You really look at your mortality here.  THIS is where it "gets real."
It "gets real" when the plane that was broke for six hours is now fixed and the boss "greens it up" and it's in the air not three hours after you've signed off that last discrepancy.  It "gets real" when the boss has to break a jet out because of something that can't be fixed due to lack of parts and you realize that those 100 troops have to get off the jet and wait; which means that whomever they're replacing has to wait that much longer to come back.  THIS is the pressure that snowballed into soreness in my shoulders and back.  BUT, when the big boss says: "We don't expect miracles out here", you realize that it's better to take a little bit of time and fix it right than to miss something while trying to just get it done.  My inexperience is a hurdle but it's not the mountain that I was making it into.  Just a molehill.  A molehill that I can level in time.  :) 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Countdown to my 2013 birthday aka My Deployment

We left Dover on Thursday, got to Baltimore that afternoon and flew out that evening.  Our first stop was Ramstein Air Base in Germany.  I think we were there for about an hour or so.  We actually left Baltimore late and that kind of worked in our favor 'cause our layovers were shorter.  After Ramstein, we headed to Incirlik Air Base in Turkey.  We were there for, I think, two hours.  Our final stop was my deployed location.  It's an "international" airport but I think called international cause more than one country flies uses it.  The interesting tidbit is that planes that are made/operated out of here are not allowed to land at European airports 'cause they're deemed unsafe due to not being "up to code" as set by European standards.  Reassuring, isn't it? 
Anyhow, our military jets are in and out of here all the time.  I won't go into specifics but, let's just say that it's like Reno International Airport with lots of "out-of-towners" coming and going--most in uniform.
The base is small but I really don't mind that aspect.  You can walk EVERYWHERE except don't try to walk to my workplace.  There are armed guards with very big guns who will shoot your ass if you try to get past the guardpost.  Take the bus, definitely.
I spent Saturday getting settled in.  We landed at 3 in the morning and I wasn't able to get in my room until after 8am 'cause there was an issue with my key.  Finally laid down to sleep around 11am--mind you, I hadn't been in a horizontal sleeping position in two days--but slept in spurts.  My room is right next to the entry/exit door of the bay (think motel style with doors on the inside of the building) and folks were to-ing and fro-ing all afternoon.  My roommate got in after 6. So I decided that would be the end of my trying to get a nap just so that she wouldn't feel like she'd have to be quiet while I was trying to sleep. 
We have a few things in common--we've been in about the same amount of time (she hits 17 years this month, I hit 17 in April), she's stationed at Kadena currently and I was once upon a time, and we're about the same age. Some very distinct differences: she's married and has four kids, I don't; and she's Security Forces and I'm Maintenance (but really that's kind of similar too 'cause we both work with men, most of whom are young enough to be our kids lol).
I meandered over to the dining facility again (had gone the first time before trying to sleep) and had some dinner.  Saw one of my coworkers there so I was glad to not have to eat by myself.  :)  I had fried catfish, dirty rice, and mixed bell peppers.  It was actually pretty good.  I went easy on the catfish as it was a little spicy and my innards are adjusting to not eating so much processed food again.  After dinner, we walked around the Exchange 'cause TSgt R hadn't been in it yet.  Not much for the girls--we always have to make due with stuff that's geared towards the guys.  Though they did have quite a selection of women's shave cream, feminine products and dousche?  Do you not feel fresh, even after you shower?  Got you covered there.  Bwahahaha!!!
After that, TSgt R wanted to see if our ID cards were able to be retrieved from the folks that had them hostage--Personnelists used 'em to process us for something, I really don't know what.  They were in so we got them back then headed over to the smokepit.  I have a feeling that if I don't want to hang out by myself, I will be taking in some secondhand smoke on this trip.  :(  Oh well, the things we do to make friends.
Finally, it was time for sleep again.  I ended up staying up a bit and skyping with my bestest bud way over in Iowa and her daughter aka Miss Thang.  Quite cool.  Hadn't actually seen them in more than a year so that was nice to see their smiling faces. 
I think I finally hit the hay around 10pm but, again, slept in spurts.  I know I slept only because there were dreams that I remember having.  One had Jerry Seifeld in it.  I have no idea why but, none the less, he was in it.  Thank God it wasn't a sex dream.  I think I'd throw up in my mouth if it was.  At 3am, the cacophony of alarm clocks went off.  I think there was at least six that I heard.  Then a couple more at 3:15; still more at 3:30; and then my roommate's at 4am.  I got up shortly after she left at 5:30, surfed the net for an hour or so and then hit the gym at 7.  Breakfast an hour later and here I am.  It's 9am and I don't need to start getting ready til 10:40.  I think I'll try for an hour and a half nap.
My thinking is: sleep when I can, eat if I'm hungry, and workout whenever there is time.  I think that's going to be my existence here for six months.
37th birthday aka May 24th, 2013, here I come.