Where do I begin? The past year and a half has been a nightmare due to the pandemic, which happens to still be raging throughout the world. I send my love to those who have been affected. In addition to the pandemic, my personal and professional lives have been turned upside down.
Where do I begin?
Professional: For those of you who do not know, I am currently active duty military. In Spring 2020, I was scheduled to change duty locations but was put in a holding pattern for nearly three months. The delay was due to the “new” pandemic and the rapidly changing Rules of Engagements for it.
In July 2020, I was finally able to leave Wichita Falls and move a few hours down the road to Abilene. This was perfect because I would be able to visit my wife and son until they were able to join me (more on that in a few).
Dyess AFB was my first duty station which allowed me to feel comfortable on my return “home”. After time off work for house hunting and quarantine for COVID, it was time to show up for work. I explain to leadership that I would be having a simple procedure, in September, on my hip and would be out about six weeks.
Before I could even get settled into my new work area, I was immediately ostracized. Familiarity, knowledge of the B-1 Bomber, nor nearly 20 years of service mattered. I was soon shipped off to another squadron on base as an overage. It was basically a holding spot for me until whenever.
Physical: I had the procedure in Dallas on my right hip to repair it so I could “get back in the fight” on September 10th. The follow up appointment on October 27th gave me news I was hoping for, the hip was healing properly.
On October 29th, the entire world changed. I snapped my right femur while at a carwash. Many people have said “the femur is the hardest bone in the body” or “there is no way you broke it at a carwash”. The shit really pissed me off because there was no reason to lie about this catastrophic injury.
The next day was a surgery to have a rod and screws placed to stabilize the leg. A lengthy recovery began the following week. During this time, I began to experience pain in my lower back. A MRI in December would reveal a herniated disc and fracture in my L4 vertebrae.
Physical therapy continued until I could have surgery to fix my back. The surgery occurred on March 15, 2021. I was again laid up until I could continue physical therapy in May.
Personal: Prior to the spring of 2020, my wife and I were having issues. We decided to live separately so my son could finish preschool with his friends. This would give us a fresh start in Summer 2021.
After I began having issues with my leg, I could feel us drift further apart. This had a lot to do with me remaining in Abilene for treatment, while my family was in Wichita Falls. I expected them to drop everything (whether realistic or not) and be with me during my recovery. This led to our visits becoming less and less frequent over the next year.
Blog: The blog was the last thing on my mind during this time. I tried to do some reviews locally but my mental health was not in the right place. This led to me abandoning the website from the spring until this post. I even thought about not renewing the domain name in August.
Professional: I have not been to work since September 2020. This puts me at nearly a year since I have worn my uniform. I am currently going through a medical board to determine if I am able to return to work.
Physical: I am currently in physical and “mental” therapy to return as close to 100 percent as I can. The broken femur has caused my right leg to remain 2cm smaller in diameter and one half inch shorter than my right leg. The mass has a good chance to come back but the doctor does not know if the length will.
Personal: We ended up deciding that a divorce was the best course of action because the past year did unrepairable damage to our relationship. The divorce was finalized last week.
Blog: I have made it a priority to get back to writing. Traveling and sharing it with you all gave me the best feeling.
The past 18 months have kicked my ass for sure. I was at the lowest point I could imagine and somehow I am still here. The only question now is…
where do I begin?