The Big Blue Bus in Front of Me

by Karen Grimord on June 29, 2008

Today, I got up at 7:00 A.M. and did some emails to only find myself at 10:00 A.M. asleep with my hands still on the keyboard.  I guess I must have still been tired.  I washed clothes yesterday so I was all caught up on the weekend duty to prepare for the next week.  By the end of the week, my suitcase is empty and so Saturday I have to get every thing washed and put back in the suitcase in nice stacks so that I can find things during the week.  I thought I might try to find my way to a little place that I went to last time I was here, but then I thought I would go by the hospital today.  I kept telling myself don’t do it; that I needed a break to just get a way, but sometimes I think when you get that inner-voice you should listen to it.  Anyway, as I was driving to find this place from last year; I kept fighting with myself go to the hospital, no take a break, go to the hospital, NOOOO take a break.  Just as I was passing Ramstein, the big blue bus with the red cross on the back that I am so familiar with pulled down the ramp in front of me.  OK, ok, I smiled and looked to the sky and said I get your message.  I followed the bus to the hospital.  As I arrived, I was shocked to see 2 buses already there and I had followed the third.  I got the keys and went to watch the buses unload.  I was again disheartened to see that they were still pulling litter patients off a third bus.  Usually, the first bus or so are litters and the last ones are ambulatory patients.  So having 3 buses as litters made my heart sink.  As I was talking with one of the liaisons, I learned that we had another two buses coming in.  Another one would still have litter patients on it.  So this was the reason I had to come to work today.  As the last bus started to unload, I knew I had to get to the WWMC ASAP to prepare for a large influx of patients and liaisons.

I filled duffel bags with get well cards and letters and stocked them on the shelves.  I folded ankle socks, undershirts, medium boxers, and put out more toothbrushes, shower gel and shampoo.  Then I waited about 45 minutes for the patients to get finished with their briefings and seeing their case managers.  Then they came.  If I did not know better, I would have thought there were 200 of them.  They just kept coming and coming.  Shoes, socks, sweats, shampoo, toe nail clippers, pj’s flying every different direction.  Twice I was told thank you for being there on Sunday for them.  They could not imagine me showing up just for them.  Little did they know I did not have a choice.  When the man upstairs throws a big blue bus in front of you, well, you don’t ignore it!!

I only worked 4.5 hours today but it feels like a full 8 or 9 hours.  Today I want to thank Kathi and Brian Jenkins.  They have opened their home for me to stay while in Germany working.  Kathi makes sure she brings home plenty of water from the commissary for my kidneys.  It is never easy to have an extra mouth to feed or the extra cost involved with that one extra person doing clothes or showers.  So I thank both of you!

Good Night again from a very tired woman.

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