24 January 2008

24 JAN 2008 Happy to report

24 JAN 2008 Happy to report

Well, it seems that I'm turning into quite a slug. I no longer wake at the crack of dawn, mysteriously, wondering where I am. I will sleep hard and deep until that alarm gets me up. I'm still not back to work, but I've made all the arrangements to have things up and running when I get back.

I've been getting the kids up and ready for school most mornings, and it is a lot of work! Today I was nearly foiled by a lost shoe, but we were able to locate an old pair of red Chuck Taylors. It's tougher than getting an army marching in the morning! It is also nice to have calm quiet lunches with M. while the boys are at school.

I received some very happy news from my friends back at the hospital. We had been treating an Iraqi girl named S. who had developed an abnormal blood vessel in her neck from a gunshot wound years ago. Vascular Surgeon M. and Radiologist B. worked intensely to correct it using minimally invasive techniques. As Radiologist B. and I travelled home together, we wondered what would become of S. and how she would recover. I've delayed in reporting this a few days to allow the family a safe passage home, but I'm happy to report that S. had an excellent recovery and shouldn't be bothered by that abnormal vessel anymore. Perhaps most importantly, after a few days recovering from the stress of surgery and anesthetics, she was up at the Wii video game again, owning anyone who challenged her to bowling.
It is so easy to come home and return to loved ones and familiar surroundings. Still, I can't help but leave a small part of myself behind. There is no way to treat the Iraqis and work side by side with the team at the hospital and not leave a small part of my heart behind. Now the people I have contacted are individuals to me, and my fate will always be tied up with their future well being in a small way. The desire for things to improve in Iraq is very personal, both for troops who are doing the best job they can in the face of danger, but also for the Iraqis striving for a safe home for their children.
I was contacted concerning an upcoming documentary that will be shown on HBO 29 JAN called Baghdad Hospital, Inside the Red Zone. It is about the experiences of doctors and patients in one of Iraq's civilian hospitals. As much as we had correspondence with Iraqi doctors concerning patients we shared, I never had the opportunity to visit an Iraqi hospital. With the terrible dangers outside of our protected nest in Balad, I'm glad for that. But it does make me eager to see a view of their world.
Best wishes,


mary ann said...

I appreciate hearing about the girl's progress and about your normal life. I had a quiet lunch with my husband today and that's as good as it gets, Mary Ann

Jen said...

I hope that we can see the documentary up here.

That's great news about S! It must be slightly wrenching to be thinking about the people that you've left behind there as well, but I'm glad that you're home with your family now.

Good luck with the shoes this morning!

lainy said...

Your child's lost shoe early on a school morning can be a disaster, but you figured it all out. So sweet that the simple things in your life are to treasure.

Wonderful news about the little girl. What a relief.

Of course you left a little of your heart in Iraq, those people became your family while you were there. Bless them all. I'll continue to pray for them.

Quiet lunches with a spouse are wonderful.

God bless you Chris and your family.

emergencyem said...

Hey C, haven't left a comment here in awhile, so I figured I'd throw some "comment love" your way.

Hope all is well.

HollyB said...

It's great to read your blog now that you're home and enjoying the life of a Dad searching for shoes! Boy did that line about Red Chuck Taylors take me on a trip down memory lane. Both of mine wore them.
And those lunches, I'll bet they are one of the highlights of your day.
Thanks for the update on S. Glad to hear she's recovering so well.

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 01/25/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

overactive-imagination said...

Hi Chris,
It's so great to have you back on American soil. Thank you for all that you did while serving our country.
I know all too well the joy of a husband returning home from Iraq and I know that your family is thrilled to have you home.