The 4077th to the 43rd, Korea
Oh, my dear older brother, Dean…
So much has happened in this past month that I’ve been away from the 4077th, so I’ll write as quickly as I can (a long letter coming, I can see it already). And I hate this already!
Today is the first day in which I could lay down on my cot in the nurses’ tent and relax and rest, knowing that I have nothing to do. I am not supposed to be doing anything really. I am banned from the O.R. unless it’s an extreme emergency. I can’t walk out of the camp without someone being with me, Hawkeye taking that position most of the time. And, most of all, all eyes seems to be on me, as if I was a freak in a circus show.
I know that you don’t know why all of this has to be so. You also don’t know why I was sent away from the 4077th and sent to Sister Theresa’s Orphanage, which is ten miles away from here (thereabouts), too far away for you to be traveling from your unit. Father Mulcahy drove me there on one his weekly visits and left me there on orders, safe for the time being, and would not bring me back unless an inquiry has been set up in my name and I am ordered back to my unit.
Why again, you ask me? Why is an inquiry being set up in my name? Well, Dean, my dear brother, I am being sent on trial, in a way. I am posing a security risk to our beloved United States of America and they have to figure out HOW much of a risk I am, with all of the top secret (albeit interesting) information that I know and can give to the enemy, if captured. They know me under a different name, but that is no matter to the Army. They only are worried about a person with too much.
So, again, why am I possibly being sent back to the United States, if that is the decision? Well, Dean, it’s quite simple: you’re going to be an uncle. Yes, my brother, I’m about three months pregnant and pregnant women do not belong in a war zone, especially in a hospital three miles from the Front Lines. I was ordered to a safe location – the orphanage – and worked there, for a little while.
I enjoyed my time there, truly I did, and was satisfied with seeing the orphans daily and finding food and medical supplies for them (the Black Market is fun to barter with, by the way) and playing childish little games with them. However, it doesn’t distract me from the dread in my heart.
I’ll start at the beginning. After all, that seems to be the best place to start…
Well, it all began after Hawkeye finally found me by the landmines (yes, I walked towards that way, despite what you tell me to do, which is staying away from them), throwing up and trying to deny everything and say that I’m fine. He then got me up and dragged me to Pre-Op (I was super dizzy and wanted to faint for most of the walk) and made me wait in an examination room while he checked on the two wounded soldiers that came on chopper behind us. Trapper and Frank, who were on shift, were handling them with Nurses Bigelow and Fields, so it left Henry free to bother me while Hawkeye was away.
“Ok, Jeanie, what’s up? Pierce told me come in here A.S.A.P., so here I am.”
Henry came in, oblivious to the seriousness of the situation, while I was throwing up in an odd bucket (from the O.R.) that Hawkeye left for me, knowing that it was bound to happen again. And, Henry being Henry, he remained that way for a minute (oblivious, I mean) before hearing me gag and spit into the bucket and seeing it overfill a little.
“Holy smokes, Jeanie, what’s wrong?!” Henry finally saw what was going on and stopped dead in his tracks, I swear. He soon was on his knees and holding back my hair, which had loosen from the bun I put it in, whispering encouraging words in my ear, telling me that it’ll be ok and things like that, as always.
My stomach stopped giving my trouble a few minutes later, so I was able to talk for a minute before I had to throw up…again. “I don’t know, Henry. Why don’t YOU tell me what’s wrong? You’re the doctor here.”
Then, my head went back into the bucket, as if my stomach wasn’t empty yet.
“You and your sarcastic comments are going to get you into more trouble one of these days…” Henry muttered with a sigh as Hawkeye came in, toweling off his hands.
“What do you think, Henry?”Hawkeye threw the towel to one side, eying me with worry, as he had been for the past few hours.
“I would have said she had what every woman has every month, but it can’t be this serious.”
Henry let me go (my hair pulled back safely) as I stopped throwing up again, standing up to face Hawkeye. I myself felt my stomach lurch forward and flip after I was let go, but it stopped bothering me for the time being. I sat up slowly, keeping my head low and then between my knees, to keep the room from spinning.
Hawkeye shrugged his shoulders, also not mentioning – God forbid he mutter! – one of the words that doctors usually avoid (others included rape and abortion, if you must know). “It’s worse, I agree. I also think we need a female rabbit brought in, without Radar’s detection. Otherwise, we won’t hear the end of it for a while.”
“Hey, I’m over here.” I picked my head up slowly, watching the room slowly come to a standstill. “You both don’t need to talk like I’m not in the room. And I don’t think it’s that serious. I think I just have some bug or something and it’ll go away.”
Henry suddenly came before me, kneeling, his face appearing urgent. “Jeanie, honey, when is the last time you had your – umm, your thingee –”
I tipped my head back to laugh, ignoring the new pain in my abdomen. “God, Henry, you still don’t know how to talk seriously, do you? If you and Hawkeye must know, the last time I had my period was in August and I didn’t have another afterward. And this was before Hawkeye and I started dating and having sex under your nose in the Supply Room.”
The Commanding Officer’s face turned bright red. “Your mother, if she were here, would say that you’re without shame. And sometimes, I agree with her.”
Hawkeye laughed along with me. Whether it was about the statement (it being true sometimes) or the fact that Henry was being embarrassed and covering it up, I could not tell.
“If my mother were here, she’d also be singing from the tent tops about how much of a whore I am,” I added, a little angry that Henry mentioned my mother in such a tone. “And then, she’d be trying to kill my father when he was here a few weeks ago.”
Henry was serious again. “You’re right, Jeanie, and I’m sorry for mentioning it. But sometimes, she can be right. You are without shame.”
“That is not true and you know it,” I growled back.
“Ok, ok, you two,” Hawkeye butted in. “Jeanie, I want to test you as soon as possible, hopefully tonight, if Captain Courageous and Major Malpractice finish up.”
“Pierce…” Henry warned him, obviously weary of the name-calling.
“Henry, either way, we have to get Jeanie tested, to get all of the obvious possibilities out of the way.” Hawkeye wrung his hands nervously. “Simmons might have done more to her than we thought. Therefore, we need to cross out a lot of things off of the list before we do anything else.”
“Anchors away, Doctors,” I practically screamed, suddenly sticking my head back in the bucket, ending the conversation.
A little while later, when all seemed to be quiet and the two doctors were done talking over my head, Hawkeye pulled me back up and said we needed to hurry up and get to the O.R. before it was taken up again. The wounded had arrived in heavier loads at the 8063rd (we were sure to get some of that) and we needed to head out and get the testing done with, even if I wasn’t well enough.
So, that was pretty much that. I tested negative for V.D., cancer and even the flu. With yet another embarrassing examination in stirrups (legs up and spread out, Dean, if you want an image, and if not, I’m sorry for saying anything), Henry and Hawkeye, with Margaret along for the ride (she insisted that she needed to be there for her nurses, even me), found damage in my female parts. However, the last test was a pregnancy test. And we all know what the result is, Dean, unwanted as this was.
The shock was widespread, I’m afraid, Dean, especially in Henry’s department (he was so angry with me that he didn’t speak to me in the days before I temporarily left the 4077th, telling Radar to say what he wanted to say to me when I left), knowing that I had to get out of Korea as soon as possible. But, before the gallant Commanding Officer could sign any discharge papers for me (and a party to be held in my honor), he was ordered by H.Q. to get me out of the immediate war zone. So, I went to Sister Theresa’s for the rest of February and most of this month (it was suggested by Father Mulcahy and approved by H.Q., which I didn’t mind). Then, I was ordered back and told about my “trial” because of activities done before the war and the question of if it’ll be a risk to send me back Stateside.
God, Dean, I STILL cannot believe the reaction before and after I left this place. The nurses call me a whore, talking about Hawkeye being a backstabber, and then ignore me, save for Kellye (who already yelled at me for talking about abortion as an opinion in front of her, saying that it was not fair to the baby) and Margaret, who actually looks in after me. She’s tried to be my friend, which I am appreciating very much, but I don’t like Frank around her a lot (nobody does, and I’m starting to think that she deserves better). She seems to “false” then, if you know what I mean. Other times, she’s concerned and asks me how I am. I usually tell her I’m fine and don’t need anything, which drives her away, thank God.
Henry, as you possibly know, is still extremely angry, but is JUST starting to warm up to me, especially after I came back a few hours before (embracing me warmly when I jumped out of the jeep, laughing as he cringed). He thought that it was all Hawkeye’s fault, but then thought about Simmons and said that he was also a possibility, since he figured out (without asking me) that I was raped three times (it must have leaked somewhere otherwise and I know that it wasn’t Sidney Freedman). Otherwise, he’s been overprotective and it’s driving me a little crazy, to be honest with you.
This pregnancy has been crazy too, albeit quiet. Trapper’s not letting me have any gin from the still and always makes sure that I don’t go to the Officers’ Club for anything (spoiling all of my fun!). Frank ignores me, as always, unless he finds some fault with me. And Hawkeye…well, he looks frightened out of his mind. To know that a child might be his is killing him (and he yelled about me being abortion too, even though he said that it was my choice). The suspense is not good for him. But, he keeps his professionalism around him and is as good as a doctor to all, which I know frightens him when he uses it on me.
I want to be back with Sister Theresa, where there was no name-calling, complaining and even backstabbing behavior. There was kindness and compassion at the orphanage. Oh, hell, Dean, I humbled myself upon the feet of the orphans (their acceptance of everything is just stunning!) and even thought about them day and night, concerned about them and not myself. They had nothing while I had something.
And God, older brother, they kept me busy all the time, making me wish that I could do more for them, but finding nothing except looking for food and supplies someplace, keeping them comforted and playing games with them before bedtime. Even visits from Father Mulcahy helped because he brought the things we needed sometimes. Other times, he was apologetic because he could find nothing during the week, but was cheerful and brought joy and happiness to the children.
Otherwise, Dean, my “trial” is tomorrow, so I have to be ready. I have my formal suit ready (it barely fits on me now) and my jeep to Seoul is ready and signed out for the day. Klinger is driving me out there and staying with me, if you must know. He is, naturally, making sure that he wears his own outfit: an outrageous yellow dress, matching parasol and the new pair of high heels that were replaced by Henry. I could TELL that a visit to H.Q. would have him up in arms about wanting that Section Eight!
Afterward, depending on the results, I might be allowed to be discharged or can stay in this hellhole (or, there’s to be another inquiry, depending on everything…again). Another possibility is a little-known post in the middle of nowhere, if Colonel Flagg has his way.
I shudder, Dean. I don’t like it here or at another crummy post around the war zone, but I don’t want to be with Mom and Clarence either, having a child or having it known that I was pregnant and aborted. And I don’t WANT to be stuck in some other country with nothing to do and nobody to be with me when the baby comes!!! Oh, Dean…what have I gotten myself into?!
Oh, my God…I am getting distraught, nervous…and I don’t need that. I have to stop writing now. I think I have written enough for today, but I promise that I will write, when I can, to tell you about the result of everything. I can only cross my fingers, older brother, and so can you. Hope for the best…
Your sister, Jeanie