Everything Will Be Okay, It Could’ve Been Worse

“Everything will be okay,” and, “It could’ve been worse,” are two of the most deaf-toned responses to someone who has suffered a loss, survived a traumatic experience, or in the midst of a difficult time. What these two phrases do is actually dismiss any of the emotions the person suffering are experiencing.

About three weeks ago my husband was involved in a gnarly accident. A driver decided at the last minute he/she didn’t want to exit and slammed over into my husband’s lane, which fishtailed his truck up an embankment, flipped, and then rolled back down to the freeway exit. The driver who hit him never stopped.

His collarbone is fractured and hasn’t been able to return to work since the accident and won’t be able to for another couple of weeks, at least. It’s been difficult. The Hubs can’t lift his arm up, he’s in pain, he can’t work or do simple things like taking out the trash because it requires two hands to lift the lid and pull.

The air in our apartment is tense at most times because we’re both a little frustrated we don’t know what we didn’t know and we couldn’t know unless we’d experienced it prior. You think you’ve asked all the right questions but if you’re going in blind there’s no real way to know, until you’ve figured it out, which is frustrating and confusing. It’s been one big crash course in health and auto insurance.

It’s frustrating that some faceless no-name driver who caused this pain in our life, won’t be held accountable, because they simply chickened out and left the scene. How does that person even sleep at night? They don’t even know if he survived. Ugh, makes me rage.

Add the holiday season to the mix and currently, in the midst of moving apartments, “you’re going to have a bad time,” as that ski instructor on South Park once noted.

It’s been difficult. I’m grateful I got the phone call I did that night because I understand it could’ve been an entirely different situation, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get to feel frustrated and angry, or tired and upset just because it wasn’t a lot worse.

Two things have surprised me throughout this entire experience. One being how defensive I got when random people noticed my husband’s sling and asked what happened. Mind ya business. Two is how people respond after THEY’VE asked the question.

So how is he doing? Well, he’s in a lot of pain. We’re trying to do our best to keep his movements limited. Yeah? He’s SO lucky it wasn’t any worse.

How are you (me) holding up throughout all of this? It’s kinda sucky. He’s frustrated about constantly asking me for help and I’m frustrated about reminding him to ask for help so he doesn’t further injure it. Everything’s going to be okay. 

Was he able to return to work? No, the doctor wouldn’t clear him because he can’t lift his arm above his head. We’re a little stressed about an extra three weeks off. It could’ve been a lot worse, work won’t let him go. 

Over and over again the same thing, he’s so lucky it wasn’t worse, everything is going to be okay, it could’ve been way worse, over and over and over again. For the record, you don’t know if it’s going to be okay or not, nobody has a crystal ball they can look into and see that in fact everything will be okay. So. Hush it.

I’m a little surprised about how frustrated it made me, like why ask the question if you don’t want the truth? How come when we answer with the truth about our pain and discomfort it makes YOU so uncomfortable you fumble for a response? What if you just said nothing and sat in the suck with us for a moment?

I remember the friends who didn’t try to pull out some positive remarks to help “remind me of the bright side,” or try to give me some crap about life’s lessons. It meant more to me when their response was, “This sucks, I’m sorry. What can I do?”  Even if the answer was nothing, the simple acknowledgment of the suckiness made it feel less sucky, because it does suck and that’s okay.

 

Everything you have ever wanted, is sitting on the other side of fear.

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I don’t need to be taken care of and it’s a problem, sometimes…

From a very young age I was taught to never depend or expect anyone to take care of me, and over the years that mentality warped to include never asking for help.

I didn’t ask for it when I was trying to figure out how to pay for college. It never occurred to me to ask anyone how to plan a wedding. I was one week away from being homeless before a friend stepped in and offered her couch.

But in that same token, I moved out at 18-years-old and didn’t ask for one damn penny. Ever since my babysitting days, every dime I made went to savings. It was prideful to know I furnished my first apartment and not a damn soul had a string attached to me because all my bills, food and needs were paid for by me.

This is also how chips on shoulders are formed. My drive to push through college while working and doing three internships was driven by fear, not confidence (even though that’s what everyone looking from the outside in saw).

I was terrified of becoming a nobody waitress.

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Where did that come from? I got a double dose from both parents.

I think it derived from my Dad’s old school upbringing of keep your nose down and work your ass off mentality, which is what gave me my great work ethic.

My Mom had three kids under five by the time she was 28-years-old and knew how dependent she was on my Dad’s paycheck. She wanted her daughter to get the education she never got and be self-sufficient, which is why I made sure I finished college.

Even when I had to take a 16-month hiatus because of the military life, my mom’s voice in the back of my head reassured me I’d get back to college and finish.

I would be educated.

I’m self-sufficient and don’t need anyone to take care of me because I have proven time and time again, all I need is a strong me to get me through anything.

There’s kickback from certain friends and family who confuse need with love. I’m married and I love my husband, and yes I do need him to be my husband.

But, I don’t need him to provide the bacon so I can fry it up. The ideal life for me doesn’t include a husband who works and does all the providing while I pick up a hobby in hopes it makes me side-money, or pop out babies or both!

Does that make sense?

I need him to be the best husband he can be, just like he needs me to be the best wife I can be. We’re co-partners in a long-term relationship who need to work together to stick together.

Know what I’m saying, now? We’re equal shares.

There are goals I’ve been working to achieve and won’t rest until I get ’em. I’m lucky the Hubs is supportive and secretly hoping his wife makes it “big” so he can officially say he robbed the grave, futuristically.

When did my self-sufficiency bite me in the ass? The moment it got confused with asking for help.

There’s a damn difference between “being taken care of” and asking for help. A huge damn difference.

It took me a long time (almost 29 years) to really understand the difference. There’s power in being independent, and there’s power in reaching out to others when you need a good laugh, talk through a hard situation, for comfort or reassurance, or even literally help in making connections to peruse an idea that’s lit a fire under your ass that you’ve only realized it a month ago.

The last bit might have been the moment I had that opened my eyes to the difference between taking care of and help. And it might have only happened yesterday afternoon…full disclosure, never said I had all of the answers.

Yesterday was the first time I asked for help, and it was the best decision I made for myself. It’s going to lead to additional opportunities to help me reach my overall goal. The Beatles knew it, even if “I get by with a little help from my friends,” probably meant drugs. The philosophy is the same. 😉

Cultivate it.


RamblinRandol is about finding yourself and learning to love yourself again. Life is real and raw, there’s no room for perfection here. If you’d like to join the Hot Mess Express tribe where we discuss the daily struggle and bring real life to light, come hang out in my new Facebook group, here

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SMHS – NAFTA?

It’s Friday, so you know what time it is. Time for #SMHS – Sh*T My Husband Says!

There’s something special about being married and by special I mean hilarious. After a certain amount of time has passed you begin to get into the deep minutia of life and crazy metaphors, conversations, and ridiculousness get exchanged.

Here’s this week’s gem.


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Once it’s heard it can never be unheard. 

SMHS – Is It Man’s Day Yet?

It’s Friday, so you know what time it is. Time for #SMHS – Sh*T My Husband Says!

There’s something special about being married and by special I mean hilarious. After a certain amount of time has passed you begin to get into the deep minutia of life and crazy metaphors, conversations, and ridiculousness get exchanged.

Here’s this week’s gem.


shit my husband says week 6


RamblinRandol - (2)

The Hubs has jokes and they’re always at 7a.m. in the damn morning. 

Mayborn Literary Conference Winning Submission – Married in Blue Jeans

Over a year ago I submitted a personal narrative to the 2015 Mayborn Literary Conference in Dallas, Texas. Much to my surprise, I won and recently received the book in the mail with my story printed inside, stirring up the never ending mental debate of “if” I should share it on the ‘ol personal blog.

Funny, it being printed in a book means a bajillion (maybe not THAT many) strangers will potentially read my story, kinda cool yet kinda terrifying all in the same breath. So why the hesitance to share it on here and not a second thought about its printed existence? I’m not positive, but I think it could have something to do with controlling tendencies…

On a whim I’ll throw caution to the wind and share instead. After all, I can’t write something and not want anyone else to read it now can I?

Continue reading

Pike’s Peak – Day Two

After yesterdays breakfast, I knew todays was going to be just as good. I almost couldn’t wait to get out of bed, almost.

Knowing we had to tire the dogs out before leaving them at the hotel, the Hubs found a disc golf coarse (golf with a frisbee) 25 minutes away. Every time we go somewhere new, we check out their disc golf courses. We were’t disappointed, the puppies were pooped.

There was a foot trail that circled the park and I decided to tire the pups out a little bit more. A quick run never hurt anybody, right? Wrong, we got lost, it didn’t circle the park and the Hubs had to come pick us up, miles into the country, oops.

I just love how much fresh water is running through Colorado. This was taken while we were getting lost (but didn't know that yet).

I just love how much fresh water is running through Colorado. This was taken while we were getting lost (but didn’t know that yet).

Bella enjoying some that fresh water.

Bella enjoying some that fresh water.

After we got back to the hotel, we checked out The Cog Railway Train Adventure and were disappointed to find you were required to schedule the ride 24 hours in advance. Matt really wanted to go on top of a mountain.

Plan B! We can drive up to Pikes Peak, even better! So we drove the 20 miles to get to the base of the mountain to begin our trek up, and man was that a long way down.

The views from the side of the mountain were anything but ordinary. Breathing in that fresh mountain air was rejuvenating, even with the altitude trying to take your breathe away.

We stopped to hike up some rocks before getting to the tops and this is where the picture below was taken.

Matt taking in that mountain air. It really is hard to take a bad photo when everything is so beautiful. This picture is one of my favorites though.

Matt taking in that mountain air. It really is hard to take a bad photo when everything is so beautiful. This picture is one of my favorites though.

I dared myself to get out of the car and near the edge. This picture is proof and so is my face. Mommy!

I dared myself to get out of the car and near the edge. This picture is proof and so is my face. Mommy!

I wouldn’t say I have a fear of heights, but rather a fear of falling. I’m pretty proud of myself for standing on the edge. My knees didn’t give out, hallelujah.

To the top of the summit is 14,115 feet above sea level. Fun Fact: The view from the summit inspired Katherine Lee Bates to write “America the Beautiful” in 1883.

Before you get to the summit, you travel up roads that are a little to close to the edge for my taste, guardrails only on the sharp turns. Due to ice and snow we couldn’t make it all the way to the top, but we got pretty close.

We made it to Boulder Park, 13,380 feet above sea level. We got out, trampled through feet of snow ( with improper clothing, I was wearing capri work out pants, yikes!) and hiked to the top of the boulders, trying to get as high in the clouds as possible.

I'm surprised I didn't trip, my kind of luck is funny like that.

I’m surprised I didn’t trip, my kind of luck is funny like that.

It is a long way down to the bottom, but the view is unbeatable.

It is a long way down to the bottom, but the view is unbeatable.

I think Matt was done with my obsessive picture taking, or he really is embracing #TheBeardLife.

I think Matt was done with my obsessive picture taking, or he really is embracing #TheBeardLife.

My, "I can't believe I'm climbing this, already up to high" face.

My, “I can’t believe I’m climbing this, already up to high” face.

As we drove back down the mountain, we stopped at the Crystal Reservoir and took the self-guided nature trail. The reservoir was frozen over and we got to read about the Big Foot sightings.

Yes, you read that right. Big Foot was spotted by a guest in Pikes Peak back in 2001. A sign was added to commemorate the sighting. You can read here about more tales of Big Foot and the Sea Monster in Mystic River.

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That's a big, foot!

That’s a big, foot!

We got back to the hotel, ate dinner and passed out before 10 p.m. and if you know me, that’s a feat all in itself. Goodnight!

The V.A. Hospital is a Joke

Dear Mr. President & South Dallas V.A. Hospital Director,

The Veterans Affairs Hospital in South Dallas is the most atrocious building, company and hospital I’ve ever had to set foot in. The receptionists you employ to handle the front face of your organization are horrible, rude and miserable human beings. I hope that with this letter, it challenges you to take a closer look into how the people who selflessly fought for this country, are being treated with such a lack of respect, a dog wouldn’t bother its time.

On February 6, my husband and I spent almost six-god-forsaken-hours at your E.R. not counting the two hours it took to drive both ways. He didn’t even get to see a doctor. A total of 10 hours wasted at the hands of your entire staff. Tell me, how would that make you feel? Do you remember what it feels like to be treated like a peon?

The whole fiasco started a week ago, when my husband injured something near his groin area. After two days without a change in the swelling or pain, that Wednesday morning he called his primary doctors office in Denton, another V.A. clinic, to schedule an appointment. That receptionist took down his information and promised a phone call by the end of the day.

No such call came, instead an explanation that appointments could be made after business hours, implying my husband needed to practice patience. So he did, for three more days until on Friday when he left work early to sit in their offices until they had to see him. It’s hard to promise a phone call to someone when they are standing in front of you.

His primary doctor explained that he wasn’t sure what was causing the inflammation but that if it were him, he’d make a trip down to the V.A. hospital in South Dallas. A urology appointment could take at least a month, and with it being so close to the family jewels, it was in his best interests to make sure nothing major was wrong.

So here we are, still waiting, staring at this faux wood walls waiting to hear his name called. So that he can vanish behind the mysterious doors that are so damn hard to get through. Where nobody knows how to get in, but plenty have made it through, just not my husband.

A women at the from desk, rudely waves off my husband at the four hour mark, when he questioned if his name had already been called. “You’re still waiting for a bed.” She couldn’t even remove her eyes from the computer screen to give him the shitty news. Where did these people, if they can even be called that, get their people skills? Didn’t they receive any customer service training?

These same employees were chumming it up with their fellow coworkers while texting and browsing around on their phones. A constant show of how much they didn’t care about the people waiting beyond their plastic patrician. What a bunch of disgusting individuals.

But it’s true, isn’t it? They don’t care, because this hospital gives “free” health care to its guests and if you don’t want to receive the free part, you are more than welcome to visit a regular E.R. I heard that solution come from a few of your employees mouths, as a problem solver for other wannabe patients. Is this how you want to be represented?

Two more hours have passed, and this time it’s my turn to do the questioning, women to women. “Hey, I was just wondering if there is any way you could tell me how much longer it’s going to be, we’ve been here almost six hours.”

Without as so much of  glance my way she told me, “he’s still waiting on a bed.” She never even asked about my last name.

“We’ve been here longer than all the people in this waiting room, you can’t give me any information on how much longer it’s going to be, or where he is on the list?”

“No, we have a priority list and that is how we see our patients.”

I had tears in my eyes because of how frustrating it was, words couldn’t describe the feeling, only the sounds of steam coming from my ears and my teeth grinding gave truth to my emotions, furious.

“Well when will my husband be a priority? How much time do we have to pay before he is allowed a doctor?”

I have few suggestions for how to better operate this lack of professional taste and common courtesy company, and it’s to employ people who have a heart. Administer attitude and personality tests, those in the green are only allowed to deal with the public, the rest of your barbarians can work with behind closed doors.

The amount of disrespect shown in such a small space is sickening. I have dealt with the public since I was 15-years-old and I have always treated people the way that I would want to be treated. Communication is what makes all relationships work, and it’s a crying shame the people in charge of this world don’t know that.

It’s a shame our own country can’t protect the same people who fought to protect them. They fulfilled their contract, now fulfill yours. If small business owners ran their businesses the way the government runs theirs, they would be out of business and maybe that’s the solution to the problem.

Get your act together.

Regrettably,

An angry, taxpaying, higher educated, concerned and frustrated wife.

“Shinseki Obama VA hospital”Jeff Koterba May 22, 2014

**Update** A little over a week later the V.A. called my husband asking if he was okay. The hospital called his name at 5 a.m. the next morning (11 hours after we arrived) and he wasn’t there. They were calling to make sure he was still alive …