Saturday, October 29, 2011

I do it all. Except....

I pride myself on being able to sit down and take it. Not in a "do you know it is domestic violence awareness month" kind of way, but more of the "just do it" way. I schlep uniforms to the cleaners. I speed-racer ironed academy uniforms (then said "no more!"). I pack lunches at dinner and make breakfast for lunch. I have my weekend on Wednesday and Thursday and celebrate Christmas on any day in December that starts with a twenty-something. Heck, I celebrated Thanksgiving for several years straight at the police station!

If you are a LEO family this is no big news to you. And none of us (usually) are complaining, it is just a reminder of what our normal is. It is one heck of a different kind of normal than most other people I know.

That is why I was knocked on my butt this week when I realized there is something I just won't do when it comes to the police wife life, because as I have just explained, I do it all.
My husband brought home his body armor for a good cleaning. Some wear them over their shirts, some under, but if you have half a brain you wear your freaking vest on duty.  This is the one piece of equipment that kind of creeps me out.  It's this ugly, smelly, nondescript thing that could very well save my husband's life at the very best or at the very worst make a horrible injury much less severe.  I'm happy he is bringing it home for cleaning, but it sure does give me the creeps.  Oh, did I already say that?  Well, it does.  He's scrubbing it and cleaning it like it's a pair of boots he's sloshed through a homeless encampment in and all I can think of is "Please don't die, please don't die, please don't die."

Which is totally *NOT* like me.  People ask me stupid questions like this All. The. Time.  "Don't you worry?"  "What would happen if...?"  From some people I know it is sincere and they are truly concerned.  But other people who are asking me stuff; it almost feels like they have no right to ask, well... don't get me started.

I was doing ok ignoring the whole thing and keeping it together until I saw this little tiny rectangular piece laying on our bed (because really, where else would you clean this stuff?!).  A little bigger than a 4x6 index card, I think.  (I'm not sure, I didn't look too long.)  The Trauma Pac.  Now, this picture over to the right is just a representative photo I found on a message board on the great world wide web.  But I can tell you that if that tiny little rectangle with the nice "Trauma Pac" description and "second chance" were sitting there on my bed WITH AN OUTLINE OF A HEART like this one has, I would have been through the roof.  I almost had to pick it up and put it under the bed or in my husband's sock drawer because I had such a strong reaction to it.

But I'm tough.  I do it all.  I'm a police wife.  So I kept my freaking-out-ness to myself and just in passing mentioned it to my mom the next time we were chatting.  It felt good to have it off my chest and I could move on.  I can't tell you how ecstatic I was to have that thing all put together and back in my husband's locker... yes, doing the job it was intended to do, keeping him safe(r) and sweaty on the streets.

Is there something about the job that is like nails on a chalkboard to you?  This one is certainly mine!


Deputy's Wife said...

The thing that gets me is when Hubs partner is off more than he works, leaving hubs in city by himself with back up coming from God knows where. We all know the streets are getting worse and it's just NOT safe. I wish his dept. would make a rule that you could not take off your normal shift to work off-duty or to wouldn't be able to do those things without this job in the first place! Sorry, rant over!

KD said...

That has to be so frustrating!! DH's agency doesn't have partners but they have minimums that they have to abide by ~ so only a certain number of officers can be off at a certain time, and they are pretty good about holding over officers from other shifts if they are at minimums and then officers call in sick. Sucks to be held over at the end of a 10- or 12-hour shift, but I'm grateful for the coverage in the interest of safety!

5ohWifey said...

When we were shopping for 5ohHubby's uniform they offered to sell us this little 4x6 pack here. There was absolutely no way I could handle the idea of not buying it and I dont know why its even an option.

PS The vests are supposed to be cleaned? um.......

KD said...

Haha.... Actually DH's first vest would stink after a week and it was near impossible to get the smell out. This one, for whatever reason, is much better. DH washes the fabric cover and then wipes down the inserts. I think. I try not to pay attention, but it certainly doesn't happen as regularly as a uniform cleaning around here.

Rebecca said...

Hello there - stumbled upon your blog just searching for other police officer wives..

As a semi-new police officers wife..everything freaks me out! It helps that we just moved into our first home recently so Im busy cleaning baseboards, doors, and unpacking clothes boxes rather than wondering/worrying about what hes doing for the 10 hours hes at work.

My Husband brings home the vest pretty regularly to wash it so Im getting used to looking at the potential 'life-saver'...I will say though..when he was cleaning it one time, I noticed he didnt have a back plate, he said they usually dont come with one, you buy it separately. I pretty much yelled at him ordering him to get one as soon as possible! Why would they make come with just front ones and not the back?!

Jeffrey said...

I've been a police officer for 24 years and I wear two of these trauma packs. It still amazes me when I see officers not wearing vest at all. I patted a guy on the back the other day and didn't feel anything but skin. So Sad.

My wife has hung in there with me all these years and I adore her for it.

Nice blog. I'll check back from time to time if that is alright with you.