30 September 2007

30 SEP I get around

30 SEP I get around.

Hi folks. I don't know how long I can talk because we have a troop on the way in who was shot in the chest. He is a trained member of a special forces team, so you can guess that he is pretty tough. Those guys seem to be able to get through anything. I hope we get him through this all right. If he makes it to our door, he has a 98% chance of surviving, if you go by past experience. We are pretty proud of that and we are working hard to keep it up or perhaps even make it better.

I also have a patient on the table in OR 2, but before I can finish, I have to wait for Neurosurgeon J. and Ophthalmologist B. to finish their work on her skull and left eye. She was peppered with shrapnel from an IED explosion. Surgeon M. and I checked her belly because one of the fragments of metal had entered her liver. Fortunately there was no serious injury in her belly and we could close her up. When the team finishes work on her head we will turn her over to lay on her stomach and take out the fragments that entered from the back and wash the wounds. This is how many of the injuries go. There is work to do from head to toe.

This morning I started out with a "Lazy Sunday" and staggered out of bed late. I poked around the hooch for a while, changed out my laundry and then went for lunch. I checked in at the hospital, but the SOD had things under control. I went to Air Force gym to work out, and after that for three laps in the pool. Mind you, the pool is 50 meters long so it isn't as wimpy as it sounds!

All in all, I covered about eight miles today, and it was a lot easier on my trusty steed: a black and purple Huffy mountain bike! It is covered in dust, the front tire has a slow leak, and last night I broke off half of the front sprocket guard when I derailed on the way to the DFAC. Still, with regular bathings in WD-40, it gets me where I want to go, no questions asked. I inheirited it from plastic surgeon M. when he left; he got it from another surgeon before him. If it doesn't get crushed under a HMMWV, I'll pass it on when my time comes to leave.

I've included a picture of my old red Fischer from the last time I was here. That bike was in the nutritionist lineage; I'll have to see if nutritionist S. has gotten it handed down to her. I'll admit that I was a little embarassed to be riding a Fischer in Team Huffy Balad, but no doubt that Fischer never failed me!

Being on two wheels again reminds me of being a kid growing up in Madison. Everywhere we went we went there on bike. We roamed the streets like a gang of nomad budding preppies. There weren't too many places to go. We could cut off horsepond onto the Rt. 95 truck stop to play Space Invaders. We could go to the high school to see a game. There was the Ben Franklin five and dime to get candy or baseball cards. But more often than not, the destination was the beach. Everyone was at the beach at some point. We could hang out with the kids from my Catholic school and the local school kids. There were the kids with Sunfish sailboats at the sailboat beach and we would try to hitch a ride. Our parents would have cookouts at the town beach. Sometimes we would crash the dances at the Beach Club where the rich kids were. To be honest, no one in Madison had it bad, but everywhere has tiers. There was almost no worry that couldn't be made better by going to the beach. It was just about the best place in the world to grow up.

Well I don't have a beach here, but biking around gets me through the day and eases some of the worries. Just now, there's the trauma call to the ER over the loudspeakers. Take care for now. I'll be seeing you all later at the beach.

Love, Chris


Here's a pic of my front door. Yard of the month, baby!

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