[This is a post by Gabrielle.]
Josh asked me to write on here since he and the others are finding it difficult to make time to post. I don't notice any difference myself, since Josh has managed to write a lot since we all had to run from the compound. I guess he might be asking because he needs some extra time to get settled in. Any way you cut it, I'm glad to help. I am not a writer, though. So don't expect wonders of literary prose here.
It wasn't made very clear to me exactly what I am supposed to write about. Many of you have probably read something about me on the blog before, but I guess the best way to start is to give you some background on me.
I'm married and the mother of two boys. My husband and kids made it out of the compound with me and the group of people from the clinic that made a run for it together. My sons are old enough to learn the basics of first aid and patient care, so they worked shifts at the clinic just like the rest of us. My husband is disabled. His back causes him serious pain almost all the time, but he didn't let that stop him from being useful in so many ways that he became vital to the daily workings of the clinic. He did a little bit of everything, from changing dressings to repairing the various electronics we used in our daily routine.
I guess that leaves me. I'm an RN with fifteen years experience. I've worked everything from emergency rooms to long term care, which is where I met Josh. I was his supervisor on the weekends, in addition to being the wound care specialist at our facility. I don't want to brag too much about myself, but there isn't a lot about the human body that I can't diagnose. Chalk that up to being curious my entire career mixed evenly with a passion for books and learning.
Josh already mentioned that we've been running a sort of mobile medical unit. The vehicles we took out of the compound were the ones we kept parked right at the clinic as storage units for extra supplies and ambulances if the need came up. Lucky for us, or we would be out here in the cold with little to eat or drink and nothing to trade for.
When we left, we focused on getting away above anything else. We did manage to find two of the vehicles stashed away from the compound, packed with enough supplies to keep us going for a few days at least. The idea for our little band of gypsy doctors (as I like to think of them) came from Evans. It was only our second day away from home when we were flagged down by a group of people who came pouring out of a big farmhouse set on a hill. We figured they had to be either really trusting or in desperate need of help. Probably didn't do any harm that there are big red crosses set on white painted on the side of three of our vehicles. We were either medical personnel or Knights Templar...
The people holed up at the farm were two families who had stuck together through the worst of the zombie plague. They had hundreds of acres of food to live from, and managed to catch water and store it. They were all old-school farmers who knew how to make do, but the one thing they didn't have was access to people with my particular skills, or Evans'.
One of the kids with them had slipped on the ice when he was bringing in a load of firewood, broken his leg. It wasn't a terrible break, and the cuts he suffered in the fall weren't too bad except for the one on his head which needed stitches. He'd been laid up for most of a day, the family doing what they could to care for him. I was willing to help without thinking twice, but Evans was the one who made the rest of us realize that without some sort of trade, we would be out of food and medical supplies in no time if we just handed out help to people with no payment.
The families weren't too thrilled to be asked to pay, but after a bit of grumbling they did admit that it was fair. Evans and I set the bone and put together a splint, stitched the head wound, and patched the kid up as best we could. To the surprise of the boy's parents we also gave them some antibiotics and pain medicine. I guess they didn't think we'd be stocked up that well. Don't think I just ran from the compound without snatching a few things first. First thing I picked up was the huge pair of suitcases we use as a pharmacy.
There was a definite moment of pure greed in the eyes of the people we'd helped when they saw how well stocked we were. All of us were armed in some way or another, and I think the fact that we had helped their son was the deciding factor in why a few of them didn't just go for it and try to take our supplies. I can't blame them for having the thought. Who in the world right now isn't desperate to do everything they can for their families?
In the end we drove away with a large stock of extra food (mostly potatoes, some corn and two live chickens...well, not live anymore.) and a good lead on where to get a safe rest for the night. That last bit we ignored. I don't think they would have come after us at the place they suggested we stop for the night, but none of us was so certain that we were willing to risk it. In the end we camped out in an abandoned clothing store, covered in layers expensive ladies' wear to ward off the chill night.
Wow, I didn't think I would write quite so much. I will send this off to Josh to be edited, since it's his blog this is going on. I'll try to write again soon.
[Editor's note: Josh here. I had to trim some bits and pieces from this post that might have given the soldiers back at the compound an idea of where Gabby and her people are. I did do a little cleaning up and made a few of the sentences flow a little better, but the above is pretty much as she wrote it. All in all, I have no complaints.]