Last night after work, I went to one of the German hospitals to visit “my personal’ body guard.” There is a picture of the two of us in another blog. He has been out of work sick for a while. The hospital is about 30 minutes away and I have never been to that part of Germany. The guest house owners gave me a map, wrote directions and then gave me a hotel cell phone. I told them if I was not back by midnight to send out the rescue/search teams. Their directions were perfect. I only had to make one small turn around in the town where I was going. The bad thing was, my “Bob” told me he was in ward 9 room 11. I got to the hospital and there was no one to help get me to that ward. I got in the elevator and noticed there were only 8 floors. Oh, no, now what. I got out of the elevator and found a young man in a wheel chair. I explained to him what I was looking for and he said there is no 9. There are only 8 floors. I told him that I noticed that, but my friend said 9 room 11. He asked if I understood my friend correctly. I told him that it was a text message and I had to believe it was correct. Then he said he understood that the German E on the elevator was actually floor 1 in the US. So maybe my friend did it for US and not German. He told me to check floor 8. He went to floor 6. On the way up, he said it was interesting that an American was looking for a friend in 9.11. That was a very bad day for everyone across the world and no one will forget that number.
I went to floor 8, and sure enough, the rooms were all marked 8. I finally found a hospital worker and explained my situation. He looked at the paper that I had written the information on. He said this is the correct hospital, but they do not have a 9, only have 8 floors. I told him my friend had to be there. He made 2 phone calls with no success. Then he asked me what my friend’s name was. Don’t you know my brain went dead. For the life of me, I could not remember “Bob’s” German name. I told him it was “Bob,” but I did not remember the last name. Now you have to realize that “Bob” is not a German name. So when I told him “Bob” he looked at me funny and asked if this was a German friend. I told him yes. He got back on the phone and the only thing I understood him saying was “Bob” and 9.11. He hung up the phone and told me to follow him, that he could not explain how to get to 9.11. We got to ward 9, yeah!!! He told a nurse we were looking for Bob. She had gone to some of her rooms and was asking if any of them were known as Bob. My friend told the nurse that he was, and so he was expecting me when I knocked on his door. The door opened so fast it scared me and there was Bob! He gave me a bear hug and I turned to the man who was helping me and I said see, “this is my friend Bob.” We had a good talk for about an hour and I told him I had to go since it was getting really dark and I did not know the area. I made it back to the guest house with no problems. The lady of the guest house heard me come in and came out of their apartment. I turned to her and put my hands in the air as to cheer that I made it back ok. She gave me a big hug and all was right in the world again.
This morning as I was getting ready to go to work I heard a car trying to start from the guest house parking lot. You could tell the battery was dead, but they were still trying. I went down and asked who the man was. I found out he was American and had to get to LRMC. I went outside and spoke with him and he told me he had a CAT scan scheduled at 8. It was 5 til, so I told him I would take him. I dropped him off and went back to the guest house for my breakfast. I normally do not eat breakfast, but Gaby does not make anything bad and that includes breakfast. I am going to be spoiled by the time I leave here and will miss her good cooking.
Store room 4 is almost finished. Some last minute clean up tomorrow and we should have it done, thanks to a volunteer who came in and helped work on it all day with me.
We found more blank greeting cards today and I now know we really could open up a card shop. I have sent 4 very large boxes of blank cards to the Middle East and could probably send 3 more. I managed to also get 4 boxes of razors, t-shirts, stationary items and pens, sent out.
We had some VIP’s come through today. We had a very nice time and they were talking about the amount of time it took to keep everything running smooth here. When they were getting ready to leave, I told them on their next visit to wear jeans and a sweat shirt and I could put them to work. They both laughed and one of them said he would be sure to wear his shirt and tie and the other said he would make sure not to come back while I was there.
We have a very large amount of items the WWMC can’t use. These items are usually used clothing, so we have to pack them up and someone takes them to the German Red Cross. We have had about 10 large boxes that have been sitting here since I came to work at the beginning of the month. I told one of the chaplain’s assistants that I needed his help. He and I have a wonderful relationship. He is always promising to get a task done on a certain day for me and I always know that he will not get it done. He is so busy, that just taking items to the Red Cross is difficult. Anyway, I asked him to take them and he said he would have them out on Tuesday. I knew he would not, especially since I was not there on Tuesday. So on Wednesday, I saw him bright and early and he started promising me again. He went to PT and on his return I started harassing him again about the Red Cross items. He told me that he had to take a shower first and at 11:15 he would take them. I told him that at 11:16, if he was not out of the shower, I was going to open the shower door and tell him he was late. He started laughing and said if anyone would do it, I would and he would not be in the shower at 11:15. By 11:30 the shipment was packed up and ready to go. That opened up just a small section of storage room 4, but at least it gave us more space to work.
I can embarrass myself anywhere, and I proved that yesterday. I was packing up excess items for the Middle East. We wear a badge on a lanyard around our necks. I was holding the flaps down on a box, and just as I was getting the label in place, my badge fell into the tape. I did not react quickly enough and taped my badge to the box. Not just a small corner of the badge, but the entire thing! Here I am, bent over the box with legs spread to help hold the box flaps down and stuck to the box. I actually had to laugh at the picture it would have been if someone else was in the room. Then I thought, “oh, this is not good if someone did come into the WWMC.” I had just let go of the roll of tape when I heard the outside door open. My worst fear..patients are going to see me stuck to the box. Just my luck, not only one patient would see this stupid trick, but 3 patients and one liaison walked in. The first patient looked at me and said, “Need some help?” When I looked up, the liaison was just coming through the door. The only thing he could say was, “So you must be the talented one.” It is ok, you can laugh, I do. I have embarrassed myself worse than this over the years.
We had quite a few combat related injuries arrive today. There were 3 Purple Heart ceremonies today, but I did not work with the patients too much as there was a volunteer in the WWMC and I worked inside the storage room. I work where I am needed, and those storage rooms are definitely in need during this visit.
I worked 8 hours today – thanks to Laura Haynes for helping make this possible!