March 1, 2012

Buddy System

This will probably come out all melodramatic, even though I don’t mean it to be. But I don’t know how else to present the subject, so just trust me when I say, I’m saying this to you in a calm, conversational tone of voice. ;)
SoldierMan has been gone the last couple of weeks doing Army stuff. Which is a post in itself, my first real time alone with the puppies and without him since we got to Ft. Bliss. But that’s not what I’m talking about.
I’m also on blood pressure medication. Another post I owe you. Just go with me here.
Anyway, I take the medicine at night when I go to bed, because otherwise I wouldn’t remember to take it at all. And sometimes, a totally normal side effect is heart palpitations. Totally. Normal. Okay?
So the other night, there I am, laying in bed with the lights off, just me and the pups (Jeb gets to sleep on the bed with SoldierMan is gone. On. Not in.) and I get palpitations. Totally normal.
But as I’m laying there thinking, I wonder. What if, hypothetically, it actually had been something serious? Something incapacitating? It’s just me and the dogs here. And, I’m a homebody. An introvert. I don’t necessarily interact with someone here locally, other than my husband, on a daily basis. So what if something happened? Would anyone find me in a reasonable period of time, if I needed help but couldn’t call for it?
Or, to flip it around. The other day, I was going over to a friend’s house. I got there and knocked, and she didn’t answer. I wait, and wait, and she doesn’t answer. So I sit in my car, figuring she’s just gotten held up at CDC (military daycare) and she’ll be home soon. And she was, about 10 minutes later.
But – what if she wasn’t? What if she had fallen in the shower that morning and been unable to call for help? What if I was the only person who was planning on seeing her that day, and I had just decided to give up and go home when she didn’t answer the door, assuming “something must have come up”?
Again, not trying to sound like a worrywart. But we’re out here and we only have each other to rely on.
I guess my point is, how do we do that? What does it look like? I’m not saying we need to have a phone-in procedure. But just to have the conversation. If we happen to notice someone hasn’t posted on facebook all day, consider that a cue to send a text just checking in? If we’re supposed to meet up somewhere and someone doesn’t show, how many times do we text/call before going to someone’s house?
By the way – to whom it may concern – if you ever get in a position where you need to go to the ER, please just call one of us instead of trying to drive yourself. We’ll gladly take you.
You deployment veterans, how do you deal with this situation? Did you have a buddy system with your friends? Does this sound uber-paranoid or practical?


  1. Oh, I totally had those thoughts {which were FAR more melodramatic} when Joe was deployed! Being out here in the middle of the ocean, I often wondered who - if anyone - would even notice if something happened to me. I didn't have any sort of buddy system set up, but I did have several people here that I usually saw once a week...and family and friends back home that I talked to frequently. And I volunteered at the museum, so obviously someone would have noticed if I dropped off the face of the earth. But I think having a buddy system is a fantastic idea for deployment/TDY/training. It's so easy for milspouses to feel secluded or left out when their soldier is gone, and to have someone that you *have* to check in with would probably be great. Or it would have been for me. Maybe it's a little paranoid, but I say it's better safe than sorry!

  2. I've had those thoughts too. While my mom calls me every day (multiple times if I do not answer over the course of a day), I do not know who would be around if I was by myself. I see my friends about once a week, but I don't think that would help at the time. I really don't know the solution!

  3. I'm gonna share a short story.

    I had a couple friends that lived over by where Nancy lives now. They were neighbors. One of them got pregnant, and her hubs had to leave for some training or another. One night, she passed out in the shower. She called her neighbor, who was on the west side, and who called me. I drove over there and called to her when I went in. I knew her giant dog, too, which was a plus.

    She was OK, and had been overworking herself. But we all had the thought, what if she hadn't woken up?

    And I'm sure you saw my pictures from when I fell. I do not run without my phone now, unless J is with me.

    So let's all get together, before all our hubbies are gone, and set something up.

  4. I've had the same thoughts. Palpitations can really mess with your head even when you know they're totally normal and nothing really to worry about. Living in the middle of nowhere with a high risk pregnancy and Joshua on deployment, mostly I tried not to think about it. The boy's not big enough to dial 911 or at least he wasn't...we're working on it now but I had a friend who knew to check on me. We talked about it. If I didn't post on fb, text or email, she'd call first and if I didn't respond soon, she would have come over.

  5. I think that's a natural (and rational) fear to have. I am always the "tough girl" who doesn't worry about those things - which is not a good thing. I think having a check-in system during deployments or trainings is a great idea. Something like a twice-a-day phone tree where you call one lady, she calls the next and so on. That way, everyone gets a check in, but it is not too much for any one lady to handle.

  6. When my hubby was deployed thankfully I had a buddy system with a few friends. It made things easier for all of us and it worked.

  7. I'm having some concerns about this too! we are getting really close to our first deployment and I worry about what would happen to my kids if something happened to me and I had an emergency. This is a real concern and I need solutions! I'll be following your comments!

  8. Are you on blood pressure meds because it's an election year? Just kiddin'....I couldn't help myself & I hope you're okay!

    I kind of had one set up in a roundabout way...I ran with Alisha every single day (unless we texted that we wouldn't). So if I didn't show up at the time/place, she would have checked things out (I hope!). It's an excellent idea...especially for those that don't have a scheduled job/volunteer position!!

  9. When the Hubster was deployed, I was always scared that no one would know if something happened to me. I don't know my neighbors so it was a worry. Luckily, nothing did happen but I still understand your feelings. I'm probably more of an introvert than you so these are the things I constantly worry about. :)

  10. I agree that we should come up with something. We didn't elaborate on it at dinner that night, but I'm sure we'll get plenty of opportune chances in the future.(More movie days?)

    And are you fussing at me? :P I just really didn't want to put anyone through the torture of waiting at WBMAC. :)

  11. I like the phone tree idea. I'm sure we can work out the details. We do need to get on that. Let's discuss on Wednesday!


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