Saturday, February 23, 2008

For Our Paig-ee's family!! WHEW! What a day!!

So yesterday morning I am sound asleep in bed, dreaming that I'm Jessica Biel....flat stomach and all. What I call a "good dream". :) I, all of the sudden ,hear what I think is the door bell. I roll over and look at the clock. It's 5am. Yes people, that would be 5 in the A-YEM. I roll over and wake the Capt. He answers the door. It's our Paig-ee from upstairs. For those of you here for the first time, Paig-ee is one of the Ya-Ya's. There are 4 of us...Walker's Jen and Leigh...Paig-ee and me. We are buds. Great buds. Sisters of the heart. And now one of them was at my door at 5am sounding very much like she was in tears. SUPER YA'YA'S....ACTIVATE! The Capt rushes in the bedroom and says 7 words. 7 small words that strike fear in the heart's of momma's everywhere..."Hannah had a seizure. Paige needs you." Hannah is our Paig-ee's youngest daughter. They just adopeted her. She is the youngest of the Mini YA'Ya's. She's 5. Let me stop for a moment and let that sink in. Oh, and did I tell you that her hubby...Sassy Chris, is away in the States?? NO??? I didn't?? Yep, he is. If you are a military spouse you are now looking at your own hubby with a bit of anger and you may need another minute to punch him in the nose because you sooooooooooo understand!!!!!
Okay, back to my story. I jump out of bed, look at myself in the mirror, cringe a sec and then run upstairs. Paig-ee needs me. When I walk into her house her oldest son is up with an air of "I am the man of the house right now, if you have any questions I will be happy to help you." Paig-ee comes out of her room and fills me in. Seems our Hannah had a fever the night before. Nothing major. Motrin was all she needed. That and to sleep in Momma's bed. At a little after 4am she woke up and started saying Mom, mom, mom, mom. Our Paig-ee checks her head, it feels just a bit warm...again..nothing major..and tells Hannah to go back to sleep and then she rolls over to catch a few more ZZZ's before work. Next thing she feels is Hannah pulling her hair in what she described as waves. Paig-ee turns the lamp on and sees her baby, her youngest daughter, the new light of her life, in the middle of a siezure. Eyes rolled back in her head and everything. The whole horrible kit and kaboodle. Paig-ee starts telling her to stop it...stop it right now Hannah!!!!(there may have been a bit of panic going on and more power to her I say!!)
She then jumps out of bed to take her to the ER. Oh no! But wait. If she goes to the ER will they send her to Dongsong?? This is written with a shiver. That's the hospital off-base. When you walk into there it's like going into a third world country. She shakes off the fear, wakes up her oldest child and runs down to my house, which is where we are now in my story. Now let the record show that 3 minutes after I come upstairs, my Capt walks in...fully dressed...keys in hand. He is not letting Paig-ee drive herself. Him and Sassy Chris are friends and he is going to do his duty and help out his friends wife!!! We shall take a moment to all sigh.......siiiiggghhhh
Paig-ee is running around the house, alternating between tears and trying to get everything in order so she can take Hannah for help. Where is Hannah?? Laying on the bed. Happy as a clam but a bit confused as to what all the fuss is about. Paig-ee is shaken. Down to her core she is shaken. The Capt says to me that he will stay with the kids and for me to go with her. I leap into action...because I am a super-hero! I go downstairs and put some clothes on, look at the hair, cringe again, put it into what could be mildly called a pony-tail, hairspray myself to death, squeeze half a tube of tooth-paste in my mouth and run back upstairs. (I may have had three cosmo's last night and was feeling a little woozy..heehe) We head to the ER. We are praying that the good doctor Ayers is on duty. When we walk in they inform us that yes, he is indeed the doc on call. We high five each other and feel instantly better. Oooops, small is not the good doc on call it is SOMONE on call. Paig-ee panics at this point and tells me to fix it she is taking Hannah to the bathroom. I listen to the phone call to SOMONE ELSE. She tells them to take Hannah by ambulance to Dongsong. Paig-ee and I both panic now and look at each other. What to do?????? We know,
CALL WALKER LEIGH!!! Each Ya-Ya has a job. Walker Leigh is the most organized person I know. I swear she should be president. She would have this country in tip top shape in no time. We call her. She is in the shower but goes into hyper-drive cause now she is needed. We decide to give her a couple of minutes and will call her back. Then we wake up someone else we know...someone I got to church with..and get the Good Doc's phone number. Yep, we called him at home. It is now 6am. His wife answers (we go to church together as well) and tells us that yes, he says to go to Dongsong right away. They are equiped to handle this. Yeah, but ummmmm
THEY SPEAK NOOOOOOOOOOO ENGLISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Paig-ee is again in tears and I am feeling helpless. The !#$!@#! behind the desk are getting impatient. We hate them for a second. Then we hug, I tell her I love her and will be right behind her and .....she is gone. Alone, momma's out there, she is alone. I call Walker Leigh, she is already in action. She is getting dressed and we are going up to be with our Ya'Ya together. Walker Leigh is packing a small bag of things that may be needed when I walk to her house. She has juice boxes, snacks and Won. Can I say at this point in the story that I just love her and no, you may not have her, we need her here.
When we get to Dongsong "the place of nightmares" Paig-ee is in a corner bed. We had stopped to bring her breakfast and proceed to hand it out. Let me right now try and describe to the mothers out there what the ER looked like. Close your eyes for a moment and imagine that you are in a foreign country. Your hubby is 80 bazillion miles away. Your child has had a seizure. The good people on the Army base do not have the equipment needed to check to make sure your baby is okay so they send you to a hopital off-post. They ONLY speak Korean. Again, let me hone this point home, you are alone. The ER you are sitting in is an open bay. There are beds stewn everywhere. It is full of patients. Three of which are tied down. One of them is yelling his head off. A couple are throwing up. One lady has her hopital gown half off and they are checking her chest. No curtains closed. No privacy. People staring at you because you are American and you have a small Korean girl with you. People openly staring at you..and you are alone. Very alone and feeling very small and helpless. The doctors do not wear gloves. The translater is not available for 2 more hours. Right now I know that you are getting your purse so that you can find a military spouse and take her out for lunch because you had no idea the atrocities that we suffer in the name of our spouses keeping you safe in your beds at night. I will wait while you do this. Okay, back?? Was lunch good?? Did you hug this military spouse and thank them profusely?? Good. We need it more then you know.
Back to the story,
Let me tell you some of the things they did to our Hannah while Paig-ee and Walker Leigh had to hold her down....they had to give her a suppository (why?? We don't really know, they spoke no English) then they decided they were going to admit her. Our Paig-ee told them no. She told them Hell to the No!!! She was not staying here, overnight, in this place, ALONE!!!!! They find a doctor that speaks ummmmmmm, a little English and he trys to explain to three momma's what is going on. They need to admit her since she had a history of seizures as a small baby and has had heart surgery. They need to make sure that this is just from the fever and not a symptom of something else. Oh, and happy day, they need to take blood from little Hannah and they need to take it from her neck. Oh, and they are going to do it without gloves cause that's how they roll here. While he is explaining things Walker Leigh was asking questions with such an authoritative voice that all the men in white coats turned to her and started explaining things to her. Where was I you ask, I was sitting on the bed across from Hannah radiating strength to her and ready to be back up in case Paig-ee bolted and decided to get the hell out of there. They take blood, they insert an IV and then all 58 men in white coats back slowly away from the angry three of us. We sit together and re-group. We cheer Hannah, Walker Leigh glares at the people around who are staring and being nosey, we close the curtains with a swoosh so they get the idea that by golly we are Americans and we have rights to privacy!!! DID THEY NOT GET THAT MEMO????!!! We sit and get the other two kids and the dog sorted. We figure out that the Major Roper, husband to Leigh, will call Sassy Chris and break the news gently to him about his daughter. Walker Leigh will take the dog and the boy, I will go home and take the middle daughter, since hurray! she is sick as well (when it rains it pours!!) then after school the middle daughter will go and spend the weekend with a friend. Walker Leigh organizes all of us. She is in charge. She is a mover and a shaker. Paig-ee sits on the gurney with poor sweet Hannah. Giving her kisses, telling her she is soooo brave, quietly loving her like only a momma can. Where am I??? I have found entertainment! The crazy guy next to us is having moments of freak out. He is tied down to a gurney and voicing his opinion of the whole debacle. I am entranced and need to see what is what. I decide to non-cha-lont-ly walk on by and On-ya-ha-say-oh him. That means "hello new friend!! What are you in for" in Korean. We bond at hello and then he voices his opinion, loudly, about not being able to get out of restraints to go on over and sit by his new best friend, me, and learn more about the gorgeous vixen in crazy pony tail and no makeup,! Then "The Ghost" is brought in. He is making wooo-ohhhh boooo-ahhhh noises. This give all Ya-Ya's the giggles. Okay, now it's on!!!! When you get three tired Ya-Ya's together who need a little comic relief...wellllllll...we can get a little rowdy. Especially when one third of all the ER patients are tied down!!! What is that about???? As we sit there Walker Leigh decided that enough is enough and Paig-ee is due a translator. Paig-ee and I move out of her way as she determindly goes out the door to find one. Walker Leigh is on the job, all will be well. By now Sassy Chris has been informed. He is actually at Paig-ee's parents house. (Hi Paig-ee's mom and dad!!!!) Having a little vacation from his hard TDY. How nice for him. Military wives, that was typed for you cause you will understand!! He is alternating between panic and numbness. He is trying to figure out how to fly across the world in an hour. Can you even imagine getting that call???? Alcohol is consumed. Then he breathes. Then more alcohol is consumed.
Here the story winds down. Tests are taken and looked over. Walker Leigh finds two translators. All is explained to satisfaction. Hannah is not going to have to be admitted. She is allowed to go home as soon as her fever goes down a point. Paig-ee needs to stay put while we go collect kids. Our other Ya-Ya the wonderfully talented seamstress Walker Jen is at home. Holding down the fort, cell phone in hand. She is taking care of feeling anger at "the man" (not Sassy Chris but the government who planned this whole off-base care thing) and sending out waves of strength to Paig-ee. If you do not have girlfriends in your life who you love without reservation then go! go and get thee some!!! You cannot do anything without some girlfriends to stand by your side...hold your hands in the hard times.....pass tissue when needed...back you up in a fight.....and make you laugh when you want to cry. Girlfriends...get thee some now!

Lunch is brought to Paig-ee and Hannah (Walker Leigh) and Middle Daughter is tucked into a bed on the couch and given movie after movie to watch with a juice box (me) and phone calls are made to make sure all is well and no-one needs to be "taken out" (Walker Jen)

They tell Paig-ee at noon that she can leave soon. At 4! YEP! at 4pm Paig-ee grabs the IV and starts to walk out. She has had enough. She is going home. At noon all pestullance and pleague decended upon Korea and they moved into the ER. She can take no more. She needs to get her baby home where she feels safe and in control of things. The nurse on duty panics and gets the doctor there. They sign her out. Diagnosis?? The fever spiked and she had a seizure. Done. Case closed.

Put a fork in us, the Ya-Ya's are done.

Paig-ee comes over for some hand holding and to pick up her own Middle Daughter. It is decided that the dog will stay at Chez' Roper with Walker Leigh and Oldest Son will spend the night there also. Paig-ee is in no condition to drive and pick everyone up. She is bone tired. Exhausted. Fragile and yet one of the strongest women I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. She did good. Paig-ee's momma, you should be proud. You raised her well. Sassy Chris.............LET THE RECORD SHOW THAT YOU NOW OWE HER AN ALL EXPENSE PAID TRIP TO THE STATES IN THE SUMMER...AND SOME DIAMONDS...AND A BACK RUB...AND DINNER OUT AT NAPOLI'S...AND ANYTHING ELSE UNDER THE SUN THAT THE YA-YA'S DEEM NEEDED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
For the rest of you...if you are a military spouse, all my love and admiration for you are boundless. You are my sisters in arms. You know of what I type. I am off to rest now.
I sign off in the way of Ya-Ya's past..............................and this is for you Paig-ee....and Walker Leigh.......and Walker Jen.........


Kim West said...

You are a great friend for taking care of Paig-ee like that. Military wives know how to stick together and be there for each other when it is needed - we can be superwoman in those times. I so hear you about the "he needed a vacation from his horrible TDY" - Pa-leeeze - my DH is going on TDY for a week soon and it will be piece of cake for him - not so much for me. Hell, even a year in Iraq would be a vacation for him compared to what I would have to deal with.

Leigh said...

Dawn - I love you and my Ya-Ya's. You never know how much strength you have until you are faced with something like this, (Dongson), but somehow it always works out. And then you can laugh and cry and be thankful for our U.S. of A! God Bless American and my Ya-Ya sisters. As I read your blog, I was laughing and crying and laughing some more. It was like an episode of Designing Women, Julia and Suzanne taking charge and busting into the ER, parting the water and making everything right! Love you all!

Dawn's Daily Journal said...

hahahahah! That's right girl!! You are soooo Julia, taking charge and I can be Suzanne..flirting with the mental patient in the bed next to us!!

Anonymous said...

I love you, Ya-Ya's!!! That was some fun though wasn't it!!! Ya-Ya!!


QuiltingFitzy said...

OMG, I'm tired! Chaos is tiring! Sending you good thoughts today.

Anonymous said...

Dawn You are awesome. Please give my love to Paige and the kids. Thanks. Tanya

Colleen formerly of South Africa said...

You deserve the diamonds and Way way more! So glad it all worked out. Colleen adjusting from South Africa

Lauren The Artist said...

I"m so glad it worked out and I'm very glad Hannah is better... now Chris- get your a$$ home already!!! Ya'ya's in the house! ~jen~

Anonymous said...

I've got me some YaYa's but we're called TaTa's. Call them whatever you want, but we need our friends, our buds, compadres, amigos. Whatever they are, we need them. I'm glad that you have found such true friends in a foreign land. I just can't imagine finding my way through a system that doesn't speak my language. I'm so glad that your story has a happy ending, a story I hope they never have to experience again.

Jenna said...

I'm so sorry that you all had to go through that!! How scary!! I'm glad that you each have one another to lean on...that's the Military spouse way.

Miss all of you!