Friday, January 25, 2013

Happy Wife, Happy Life?

Most of you may or may not know.. I am a military wife. My husband is a Submariner  assigned to a "boat" (I still don't get that) here on the Subbase Kingsbay.  What you may not know, is that I have a new-found respect for military wives everywhere. The shit they go through (sorry for lack of a better word) is insane. This shit gets real, deep and real deep. In fact- had you told me before becoming one, how hard they do have it. I might've scoffed at you. I think it's just one of those things that you have to go through, physically, emotionally, mentally-- to fully appreciate and understand.

 Now I know- the way they work my husband  well- it ought be illegal. He literally has no off days for months while he deployed, and even worse, when hes home (in port) he works so much I barely see him. Submariner wives will tell you (well most) that having them home and working like that- is worse than them just being gone.

Keeping all this in mind- it's a safe bet to say most of us wives (I know me, in particular) can get super stressed out. I mean think about it, marriage itself is stressful anyway. Then add a mortgage, a couple of kids, the fact that you've picked up and moved across country away from everything familiar to deal w all this (by yourself more than half the year) catty navy wives, DRAMA, missing family and friends (gross understatement) then there is the holidays which just passed, TRAVEL, ugh. Perhaps wives with none or one child might not get as stressed, I don't know. But as for me? Well, I'm seriously ready to bust up out of here!

I wrote an article last year about how they force you to be seen on base, and they cant even do anything there.
Not really. They have to refer almost everything out. The issue there is, your going to the subbase to make an appointment to MAYBE get a referral to a REAL doctor to make an appointment. In fact- one time, I make an appointment, go down there, request my referral get told that it will arrive in a week or so (bear in mind- my husband is deployed and I have TWO kids in tow) a few weeks go by, no referral. (Dermatologist) Call up at the Subbase docs, get told they cant just redo it for me, Oh no- that would just be too easy for me huh? I have to make ANOTHER appointment to get my referral. Well aint that doofy as all get out? That was 8 months ago I still haven't seen a dermatologist, simply for the fact that I refuse to make another appointment for a referral. It's the point.

Moving on, they will tell us our appointment is at 3:30, but you have "to arrive 15 minutes early"
Then, once you get in a room, the doctors are short with you!  I even had one, a "Gracia", not listen to the heath issues I had with my daughter, tell me she was going to check on a medicine I asked about. She just never came back. 10 minutes go by and two of her nurses usher me back to the waiting room to "wait for her, because she had moved on to other patients" I was VERY angry  naturally, and expressed that...  I was told by the nurses I needed to make another appointment to finish my discussion with her, because she only had ten or 15 to talk to me. WHAT? So if I have several issues I need several appointments? How is that fun to drag two kids while my husband is deployed to three separate appointments? Seriously? Real doctors offices would NEVER turn you away for being on time. I was not "15 minutes early" one time, and arrived right at my appointment time, only to be turned away to make another for another day. Even worse? The doctors offices are almost always EMPTY. Tell me-- what REAL doctors offices would treat their patients in this manner?
Yes, I was breathing fire!
This is the same doctor that I go to, and sit for however long, sick as all get out, and get handed a "prescription" for Mucinex and Tylenol.
I do realize that viruses have to run their course and (so they say) antibiotics will not work, but couldnt you give me some prescription nasal spray, or something worth getting dressed for? Hell there is a CVS across the street from my house, I could've saved us all time & heartache and bought the damn Tylenol and Mucinex myself! What did/do I come/go here/there for!?!?

So being stuck in this house as SAHM and a Navy Wife with little to nothing to do, I have put on  a little bit of weight. Before I got married  I was a skinny/trim 130, a size 7, and healthy. Now I am a size 10/11 and about 150.
It's depressing and doesn't look right on me, so of course I go to the gym and work on it when I can. I get no results (not really) but at least it is something to do to work out my frustrations and boredom.

This is where I came into my newest "base issue"...

Now, you'd think the Navy would know how utterly stressed out we wives can get and they would make our lives as simple as possible when they can. But really- they make the simplest things even more difficult, by attaching military like rules (were not enlisted!!!) and regulations. Now I get it-- a lot of the services they provide us with are free, and some people who might not get them, would value them. But in this case, you get what you pay for- and what you are paying for is nothing, and you get nothing. No you get stress, that's what you get.

The base has a fantastic gym. I love their gym. I prefer it to the city's civic center/REC center that I have a paid membership for.

Now why in the world would I have a paid membership to the rec center in town, when I can workout on the bases gym for free?

Good question!!!

I workout at both actually. I pay for the REC center membership to the tune of almost 40$ a month, because they have a tot drop room, with babysitters. The maximum workout time is 2 hours to leave them, and there are glass walls, so you can peek right in and look. Its quite nice.

BUT --  I like the equipment on base better-- but when my husband is ALWAYS at work.. I cant leave them with him. Being that we wives are ALL away from all of our friends and family, and my friends here have their own issues and lives and children.. they arent' willing to keep them everyday for me to workout.  So, if he is at work, I cant go on base. But when he's not at work, I take advantage of it- and I will leave them with him to go on base to that gym.
When hes at work (and he always is) I go to the rec center and use their babysitting service.

Even then, the rec center hours are fishy- they are closed Sundays  their tot drop is only open half of the day, closed for hours in the middle of the day, and open again a few hours at night. Plus they are constantly changing these hours as they see fit, so it's kinda hard to keep up with.

Last but not least- some of the older women who were so sweet and gentle and kind that worked there are gone, and replaced by snarky middle aged women, who I'm sorry- you can just tell they hate their job, and possibly children. But I am speculating. So they are supposed to open the tot drop for the civic center BACK up at 4. I have sat there NUMEROUS times with my kids, one time I sat there for 30 minutes waiting on the tot drop girl to even show up. A few other times it was 5 and 10 minutes late. This never happened when the older ladies were there- but I guess they retired.  :(  IDK?

My workouts were looking pretty bleak at best.

I was tickeld when I overheard that the base's gym would be adding their own "tot room". When I came back from Christmas vacay (my daughter had a 3 week stint out of school for that, I took advantage to visit back home the full 3 weeks, and try to forget my stressful life here) I was delighted that it was done. The room had been made over and it is fabulous.

 I was so excited, since this solved 2 problems. One- the issue of the negligent tot drop sitters, and two paying a membership every month. The difference with the REC center and the Bases "tot drop" is big though. The room the tot drop on base is in, can hold at maximum 13 people. That's children and adults, and there is only 2 elliptical machines, some hand weights a few balls (medicine and exercise/sit up) and 3 exercise bikes. Basically 5/6 women at most could work out there  There is no day care worker, it's you and your kid(s), so you cant move around the gm and use all the equipment, you have to stay in that tiny room with your child, but it's better than nothing, and like I said, really cute.
But, there is no strength training machines in the new "family" room, so I would be totally lacking this very important part of  my workout. Essential to weight loss really.

But never-mind that- I was just glad to be able to workout again for free and not worry about tot drop workers being late,  paying a membership, etc etc.

The new room on base has a plastic partition up with very soft floor, and play toys, such as: dinosaurs  play food, a kitchen, legos, puzzles, and all the likes. It even has 2 sides, one smaller and even softer, for infants to be separated from the older "tots".
VERY NEAT, and very appreciated.

I have been in there several times, about 9-11 times now. I always take a friend with me, because working out alone is so damn boring I can't even force myself to go alone.

My friends that workout with me are Billie & Karema,. Neither of which has their own child.
Nothing has ever been said at sign in about them not having kids. We sign in, we go back- we workout and hour or two, we leave. In fact (and maybe it's simply the hours I go) there is never anyone else back there. Just me, my kids, and my workout partner.

So we get about 20-25 minutes into our workout  and I'm just getting warmed up. This lady busts in on us, like she caught us doing something god awful  Fussing at us saying "there is 2 of you and only one child!'
Ummm.. ok?
Nice observation there, grasshopper.
So after trying to dig out of ther what the heck she is even talking about. She is fussing that "the rules state" that if you don't have a child, you cannot use the room.
So what about the other 10 times I've been in and noone has said a damn thing?

I could understand this, if I had a bunch of women in with me, and none of them had kids, or if there was even anyone waiting to use the room (like I said, there is only 5 machines)
But noone was!

I look at the "RULES" which are HUGE btw, posted plainly up on the wall. Nope. Nowhere up there does it say ANYTHING about if you do not have a child, you cannot use the room. I was offended, tossed out mid-workout for no reason.

I even tried to talk to the gyms manager, a Georgia-- about this ridiculousness, and not only was she just as foul with me (which I was already mad btw, DUH!) she was extremely unapologetic, "well these are our rules" umm.. no they are not. The "Rules" paper I signed said nothing of this sort on it.

Not only did the manager of the gym handle the situation all wrong (she should've apologized) and possibly even if empty promises, promise to "look into it" and see about changing the rule, since- as I pointed out to you and to her, there was not one person/mother even waiting to use the room, Is there no gray area?
But she was so unwilling to even hear me out, so I asked Georgia to talk to her manager. I said, is there someone else I can talk to about this?
Her reply? Verbatim "Not really"

I beg to differ sweetheart.

 I marched my butt on foot (since my workout was interrupted) across the base to Fleet and Family Support, and asked the lady there if I had a compliant about the gym, and the gym was unwilling to help, who do I go to next? She was super nice and helpful, thank goodness. She gave me the number for a Bob who is the head of the MWR here, and he was VERY apologetic, very nice, and very willing to help.

I guess the point of this long ranting blog, is only to get some of the stress of my chest.

Dealing with the kinda stuff we deal with here, it only serves to make our lives more difficult. I have adapted this attitude here that if you make my life difficult, I will in turn show you personally how the golden rule works. Don't expect any breaks from me when your rude to me.

Perhaps the old me, back in the day, a BRAND new Navy Wife (with that new Navy Wife smell!!!)  upon arriving at this base.. I probably would have never even went into the mangers office. Even if I would've I probably wouldn't have taken it any further than that. I guess I am just fed up with the hoops we have to jump through here. The Navy has all these silly rules which they have for their protection  BUT at what cost to us?
They end up making doing something that should be extremely simple, such as going to the doctor, going grocery shopping  getting a workout, the list goes on and on and on SO MUCH MORE DIFFICULT than it really should be.

 Almost the point  where I am broken by them. Like an unruly husband. I wave the white flag of surrender. Screw it! I give up! YOU WIN!  I am so miserable here, that I have been talking about moving back home. And soon.

I just don't know mentally how much more I can handle. My neighbors are less than friendly, my husband is GONE 80% of the time, since his boat is in dry dock. I'm bored out of mind, stressed to the max. The instances mentioned here, and not the only issues I've dealt with here. Merely the tip of the iceberg, especially when it comes to the base's "health care", or in my opinion lack there -of. I know I received better (more importantly, less stressful) healthcare when I was on medicaid.

Diving into the issues of Tricare prime and standard would take up a whole 'nother blog. Like this one: The base will approve certain people to be seen off-base, and they do it all the time.
 But you have to submit it in writing, and mine has been denied 2x. Yet I meet women, who are seen off base and keep their prime without paying for standard, and their children do too. And I'm not gonna lie, it's infuriating,  to be so miserable with the "care" you receive  and try to intervene, and show them where they are doing wrong. Ask to be seen off base, only to get denied  then to meet women who didn't get denied, is really a slap in the face. Its gotten to the point to where we will be sick for a week before I will even call to go down there.

It is always something at the military base. Whether it be at the gates, the grocery store, THE DOCTORS OFFICE (hands down the worse) and now, even my scared workout times has been disrupted by these silly rules. I'm not gonna lie to you- there is nothing they could say to get me to go back to that base gym with my children ever again. I don't have time to stop what I am doing, get dressed get kids ready, pick up my GF (who is carless) both of us ride up there, only to be tossed out not even halfway into our workout..

Its just a little much. How much more does the navy expect me to endure here?
I have had it with their silly rules.


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